I’ve just read a fascinating post about New Moon, the newest in the Twilight establishment. Someone’s looked at the relationship the two main characters have through the lens of domestic abuse. There are fifteen signs that the National Domestic Violence Hotline regards as a signal that you may be in an abusive relationship. Answering ‘yes’ to even one of the fifteen questions is a bad sign. Bella would have fifteen ‘yeses’. An excerpt:
Has your partner…
* Tried to isolate you from family or friends.
Bella doesn’t have time for anyone else!
* Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
* Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you.
Does tossing her through a glass table count?
* Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
“We’re breaking up. And I’m leaving you in the forest.”
* Scared you by driving recklessly.
* Forced you to leave your home.
She had to run away with him to flee from the other vampires in the first movie, and she had to drop everything and run to Italy in the second.
* Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
Check. Even in the hospital, nothing is a big deal.
The compete list is here. I also found a list on Wired’s Underwire blog of 20 Unfortunate Lessons Girls Learn from Twilight, which are in a similar vein. I understand that some of the situations in the film arise as a result of the fantasy/vampire theme, and as such probably shouldn’t be classed as abusive. That said, I saw the first movie and have to say that I think 14-year-old girls need a better role model than a girl with no ambitions other than pleasing her (abusive vampire) boyfriend. Maybe that women’s studies course taught me something after all…