Mormon Girls and the Sludge called Twilight

It’s behind the times, sure, but let’s talk about Twilight, religion and sexism for a minute, m’kay?

I’m a Mormon girl, born and raised right near Salt Lake City. I’ve played with being inactive over the years, but I know my life would totally suck if I didn’t have my religion to fall back on.

I am also part of the “Twihard” generation, sadly. The first book came out when I was in middle school, and I begged my mom to let me buy it so I could read it. She refused because it’s about vampires (even though I read Dracula at the age of ten). I was only successful when we saw it on the shelf at Deseret Book (big Mormon bookstore, for those of you who don’t know). So, we bought it. And I read it in one night.

But I didn’t like it, even though I couldn’t figure out why at the time. So, I handed it off to my sister, who’s two years older, and said it was something she might like better. And she did. My sister was a Twilight fan. And she’s supposed to be more mature than me, remember. She made me go to the midnight release party for the book Breaking Dawn, too.

Let’s just say I like to block out that memory.

Now, many, many people in the world know that Twilight isn’t great literature, to put it in the nicest way. Blah blah feminism blah blah, anti-feminist Mormons blah blah, Renesmee’s a chestburster from Alien blah blah (gotta say, I love that image), Edward’s a creepy abusive possessive stalker blah, Bella’s a vapid Mary Sue who only exists to be Edward’s girlfriend/wife/baby mommy blah blah. You’ve heard it all before, probably.

Though my hate of Twilight has only grown over the years, I do not hate Stephenie Meyer as a person. I read The Host and didn’t find it too bad, though a very long way from being something I loved. Yes, she wrote a crappy series. But she doesn’t deserve to be personally attacked because of it.

And let me say it right here—Mormons are not anti-feminist, strictly speaking. Feminism, even in its one-sided narrowmindedness, is women doing what they want because they want to. So, if a woman wants to be a stay-at-home mom because that’s what she wants, not because it’s what society expects of her, she is a feminist. Likewise, if she doesn’t want to get married, but wants to say single with hair flowing through the wind as she rides through the glen, firing arrows into the sunset, she is also a feminist. What is anti-feminist is a woman who becomes a wife and mother even though she doesn’t want to. A woman who really wants to just get married and have kids, but remains single and with a high-paying career because she knows all the flack she’d get if she ever settled down.

Yes, Mormons are encouraged to get married and have kids, and some people will make us feel guilty if we don’t by the time we’re twenty, but the presidency of the church does not condone such behavior. Every group has its fanatics, and we’re no different (boy, I could tell stories).

So, yes. I’m a Mormon. I don’t identify myself as a feminist only because I believe in equality between the sexes. One day, I do want to get married, and maybe even eventually have kids. But I absolutely loathe that horrific thing known as Twilight.

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