(read the summary part first)
The Arzim Rebuttals (the final part)
The Ultimate Reasons why twilight definitely SUCKS
(this article is also posted to support midnightqueen12's reaction to twilight attacks; amy2609's 101 reasons why Twilight sucks, as well as my article of why anime is much greater than twilght; and of course, other booksie members' articles concerning the flaws of twilight series. This article contradicts any other articles that support Twilight's 'positive points'.)
1. "Edward is abusive"
2. "Fantasy does not excuse a lack of realism"
3. "The books are sexist"
4. "The books (Twilight specifically) have no plot/character development"
5. "Bella and Edward are in lust, not love"
6. "Bella is an idiot (aka Meyer tells and doesn't show"
7. "Imprinting IS sexual no matter what (aka imprinting is sexist and pedophilic)"
8. "Twilight sends bad messages... and it DOES matter"
9. "Science 1: Why Nessie can't exist"
10. "Science 2: Meyer fails at it"
11. "Choice: What Feminism isn't, and what Bella doesn't have"
list of some of the countlessSEXISM parts/threads in thetwilight series:
as taken from http://twilightsucks.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=twilight&action=display&thread=6"
-Bella is expected to cook and clean for Charlie
-Bella is expected to not have an opinion and listen to everything Edward says.
- Bella is always saved by Edward instead of ever saving herself (damsel in distress)
- Bella's thoughts revolve around Edward. She has no dreams, hopes, ambitions or interests outside of him
-All the female characters in Twilight are stereotypical Barbie Dolls (Demeaning the fact that some girls actually DO have personality...and brains.)
-Bella is supposed to come off as a strong and independent female, but as soon as she falls head over heels with Edward she turns into a submissive and obedient eyesore.
- Alice constantly worries more about Jaspar than anyone else, focussing on him so much that she misses Edward's changing decisions about killing/not killing Bella until she meets him after Biology (See Midnight Sun, chapter 1)
- Bella is saved in the big fight at the end by Edward and Carlisle. Emmett and Jaaspar also fight/dispose of James. The other female vampires are nowhere around and Alice only takes orders from Carlisle on how to help. Again all the saving is done by males for no reason
-All the guys end up asking the girls out for the girls' choice dance
-Bella got forced ito many thngs she di dnot want to do (e.g. the ball) but Edward never seems to do something she wants to do, but he doesn't in return
- Bella practically goes into a coma for months aftter Edward leaves her for her own good
- When Edward returns she forgives him no questions asked
- Edward spies on her when she is sleeping before they've really eve ntlaked to eahcother and she finds it flattering
-She excuses all the bad things he does because "he loves her"
- Bella fainted when she kissed Edward
-the fact that she jumped off a cliff when she thought she heard his voice, The fact that she was willing to harm herself just to hear him speak is pathetic
(Meyer's twisted scienctific explanationsof her own hapless science are tentatively marked in GREEN)
(and now onto thefinal part ofArzim's Rebuttal)
Science, Part One
"My reasoning was, why should the sun burn them? That seemed like a very mystical kind of thing, and my vampires are more science than magic to me (whereas my werewolves are more magic than science)."
There you have it, fangirls. That’s why we’re allowed to criticize Meyer for her bad science.
1. Edwards sperm... Or, why Edward should be infertile.
There are a variety of possibilities here, so let's go through each one of them.
"Edward is frozen! His sperm survived!"
Edward has been a vampire for several, several decades. If unused, sperm survive inside the testes for a few days, let's say between 3-7 days. Outside the body, they survive a few hours. Inside the female, they can survive up to three days. Additionally, sperm require a specific temperature to survive; specifically, around 96 degrees. That is why the testes draw up closer to the abdomen for warmth when males are cold ("shrinkage" when swimming, for example) and why they "drop," or extend away from the abdomen, in a hot shower (as the body heats up).
Remember what happens when humans turn into vampires? Their body dies. Their body stops generating heat. All conventional wisdom, therefore, says that Eddie's sperm ought to have died within a few hours of his human death. And although Meyer describes Edward as "icy" and "frozen in time," he isn't actually frozen. He's a corpse. So, the argument that Edward's vampiness preserves his sperm (which, by the way, he didn't ejaculate that sperm for over 100 years...yeah, okay).
But, for the sake of argument, let's say that Edward did have some viable sperm. Then, the question is: why was Nessie half vampire. Since vampires don't age or grow or produce body fluids other than venom (...more on that later), Edward's sperm could only have been human. Why was Nessie not fully human, then?
"The chromosomes changed! Like in, um, the rest of his body!"
Ah, Meyer's "chromosome" explanation.
Haha, good one.
More on that later. But for now, let's make this explanation a simple one.
The difference (and why mammals can maek_babiez) between body ("somatic") cells and gametes (ovum, sperm) is that body cells have 23 pairs of chromosomes (=46) and gametes have only 23 chromosomes, period. Further, the ovum's 23 pairs match up to the sperm's 23 pairs. When they fuse, they create a zygote with--wait for it, now--23 pairs of chromosomes, just like somatic cells! Thus, gametes are called haploid cells because they have half the number of chromosomes as somatic cells (diploid cells).
So what does all that basic biology talk matter? Well, here's the thing, in plain speech.
Those gametes went through a delicate and complex process (meiosis) to arrive in their current form. There's no way that a vampiric "virus" or whatever could transform them into a viable vamp_sperm without totally f*cking them up because they aren't the same as somatic cells.
Even if this vamp_virus could somehow alter the genetic code of somatic cells (thereby turning each of Eddy's cells (and therefore, sets of DNA) into vamp cells, that same process would not work for a haploid cell without irreparably damaging it and rendering it useless in terms of babymaking.'
But, for the sake of argument, let's say that somehow Edward's sperm was viable, with its vampness intact (25 (TWENTY-FIVE) singular chromosomes...>eyeroll<). Meyer says that Nessie was born with 24 chromosomes (presumably 24 chromosome pairs). This does not make sense.
I've seen Twilighters use the mule/ninny defense, saying that horses have 64 chromosomes and donkeys have 62 and since some mules has 63, it "works" for vamp/humans and therefore dhampirs as well. Besides the fact that mules getting 63 is a total crapshoot, here are some reasons it doesn't:
--Humans have 23 very specific chromosomes.
--Vampires (and for the sake of the discussion, let's assume that this is possible) have 25 very specific chromosomes.
--Human 23 match with the vampire's first 23 (assuming they are the vampire's original human chromosomes).
--Human gamete has 0 left over, Vampire gamete has 2 left over.
Now, presumably, it's those 2 extra chromosomes which give the vampire its vampire traits.
What are those vampire traits?
Well, vampires are humans' predators. They hunt, kill, and gain sustenance from humans. This is NOT the same as the donkey/horse relationship, two animals which are very, very similar genetically - i.e., four-legged mammals, hoofed, living, herbivores, part of the equidae family and the equus genus.
Saying that a human and vampire can cross-breed is like making the argument that tigers and antelopes can cross-breed. One predates upon the other. They have extreme genetic differences. Humans are living, omnivores, mammals, members of the hominidae family and homo class. Vampires are dead, sanguinivorous, asexual, and since while they're possibly a member of the hominidae family, they sure as hell don't qualify for the homo genus (also, because they're not real and based on fantasy, but then again that's the point of this whole discussion - the absurdity that Meyer tried to explain vampires scientifically). Not only that, but they are humans' natural predator (strength, speed, DaZzLe!).
Long story short? THEY DON'T MATCH UP TO HUMANS.
Besides that, even if those two left over chromosomes somehow joined up with each other, it'd probably result in some really fucked-up congenital defects (...they arguably did, but whatevs). They would not result in a perfect little creature like Nessie.
What about Nessie?
> Unless Edward's sperm doubles as Miracle-Gro, Nessie ought to grow very slowly.
> She should also require a more balanced diet, seeing as blood is actually very poor nutritiously and her body wouldn't get the required nutrients and fuel to sustain her metabolism and SuPEr!growth.
> This is also the reason that Bella's gallon of blood as her tasty pregnancy supplement is completely baseless. Blood has very low nutritional value as well as being bad for humans if they ingest too much of it. If anything, Bella ought to have become very sick and starved to death if all she was doing was drinking blood. There's a reason vampire bats have to ingest ridiculous amounts of blood in order to survive.. It's because blood sucks as a food source.
> If she does grow fast, then chances are her extra chromosome or two would really fuck that process up (...like, say, Down's syndrome, aka trisomy 21 [an extra chromosome! Why does that sound familiar?], which causes developmental problems in the brain as well as some physical oddities, like smaller, almond-shaped eyes, protruding tongue, shorter limbs, etc.).
"Yeah, but Edward doesn't have sperm! He has venom!"
Meyer has said (and I'm paraphrasing), "there are a lot of things that venom does."
Well, that's true. One of those things is that it gets into the bloodstream, it starts vamping a person.
Given the fact that Edward banged (ha. ha. ironic?) Bella hard enough to leave bruises and the fact that she was a virgin... Chances are good that his venom_sperm should have come into contact with torn hymen or, once ejaculated into her uterus, should have been absorbed into the bloodstream. Meaning, Bella would very quickly have experienced a burning sensation inside her body and I really don't want to imagine Edward sucking that venom out in an effort to de-vampify her.
But, for the sake of argument, let's say that the venom somehow passed through her vagina, uterus, and into her fallopian tube where it reached the mature ovum.
There's this thing about sperm that makes it special. I'm not going to get into the nitty-gritty details of it, but there's a complex hormonal response within the egg and within the sperm that make it possible for the sperm (about 0.05 millimeters long) to penetrate and fertilize the egg (visible to the human eye). Not only that, but it's human sperm which are capable of going through this process.
But, let's say that venom could do the job, too. Now, as far as I know, there aren't any human elements to venom (especially as it's apparently lethal to humans). So, if somehow the venom got to the egg, there are a few scenarios that would play out:
> The venom's acidic (or basic, dunno which) nature would go Wicked-Witch-of-the-West style on the egg, destroying it completely (considering the egg is pretty fragile, and if venom can dissolve a contact lens in a few hours, then it would definitely f*ck up an egg).
> If the venom didn't destroy the egg, then it would make the egg all vampire (remember, no human element)... and the egg would not mature at all. It would die, and then become a "frozen in time," dead egg.
> It would not turn the egg into a super-special super-speed growth demon spawn.
So. There you have it. Why Edward's sperm should exist, why venom doesn't work, and why Nessie's only possible origin is magic.
"But it's fantasy!"
This is one case where that argument works, kind of. Meyer was an idiot to try an explain her vampires via science. It's a cardinal rule of fantasy that if your explanation won't work, find one that does.
You know what explanation works for vampires? Magic.
Call them supernatural; that's what they are.
Using science as a bizarre crutch for your fantasy only ruins your continuity and your world's logic and it brings down the writing to the level where I have rendered her plot completely unworkable by the application of basic biology. The reason this is a problem is because it is yet another symptom of Meyer's complete fail when it comes to basic writing technique and theory.
Science, Part Two
Diamond-skin & body-heat
Meyer says about the vampires’ sparkle motion power that “their skin hardens into a diamond-like substance (only harder). This material has prism-like qualities. The sun does not damage the skin regardless of the reflecting.”
…The problem with being “harder” than a diamond is that diamonds aren’t, you know, flexible. Now while it’d be an interesting idea (and alternate solution to the vampires-don’t-go-out-in-sunlight aspect of vampire lore) if they suddenly turned to stone in the sunlight, Meyer doesn’t do that. Their skin is just diamond-like. How do they move? It should be impossible.
About body heat: We learn from the approximately 234250907811 times that Bella says it that Edward is cold and hard and pale and icy, even when they’re in bed together.
My question is this:
how does Edward’s body NOT absorb Bella’s body heat? It’s not as though his body can’t react to other forms of energy, so why does Bella’s delectable 98.6º flesh have no impact on him whatsoever? If you hold a rock in your hand, the rock eventually warms up. If you sleep next to a corpse, you’ll wake up to the fact that the parts of the corpse that your body has touched are in fact warm. It’s not as though Edward’s body is generating ‘cold’, since ‘cold’ doesn’t exist in scientific terms.
In theory, since Edward isn’t keeping ice cubes in his pants (we don’t think), he should always be room temperature, which means that to a human’s touch, he should feel slightly cool. In hot weather, he’d feel warmer. But seriously—perpetual iciness makes no sense at all.
Beauty (and omg, sparkles!)
I’ve ranted on about this elsewhere, but for the sake of covering my bases I’ll do it again. Why do vampires suddenly become Greek gods/goddesses upon transformation? Fans like to say that their beauty makes them attractive to their prey, making it easier for them to catch wee, sparkle-struck Homo sapiens. There are two problems with this, namely that the text contradicts that theory and that even if it were in the text, it makes no sense scientifically.
What does the text say?
Much fuss is made over the vampires’ inhuman beauty, yet Bella is the only idiot actually ATTRACTED to it. Edward says several times how other humans are instinctively afraid and wary of the vampires ON SIGHT; so how does that make any sense whatsoever with the theory that their beauty is a secondary adaptation for hunting? Answer: it doesn’t.
What does evolutionary theory say?
Refresher course for those of who have forgotten:
evolution (and if you don’t believe in the humans-and-apes-have-a-common-ancestor theory, remember that evolution is happening every day in bacterial populations—MRSA is the product of evolution [the bacteria which had mutated to be resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics reproduced to create MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant forms of bacteria] so it’s okay to believe in natural selection) works on the principle of natural selection. Basically, natural selection is the idea that on average, the strongest, most-adapted organism will survive (and therefore procreate) and the weakest, least-adapted organism will not (and therefore its gene set is nullified). Evolution is based on reproduction; a lot of biologists argue that reproduction is the overarching biological need in all organisms and that all behavior works to that end.
What does this have to do with meyerpires and how pretty they are?
Vampires are already pretty much indestructible as well as the perfect predator for their prey; they are infinitely stronger, faster, smarter.
Thus, the following questions must be asked:
How could beauty have evolved as an adaptation when hardly ANY of them die (meaning that even an ugly vampire would be able to feed and survive), and even if they DID…
THEY DON’T REPRODUCE.
Vampires are not BORN; the only possibility for genetic diversity (reproduction & genetic recombination) is completely NULL thanks to the fact that females are infertile (more on the males later).
"But making a new vampire IS reproduction!"
No, it isn’t. In Meyer-land, humans become full vampires rather than half-vampires when turned. This means that there is no sexual reproduction happening because, as we know, sexual reproduction requires two separate sets of DNA (and in the vamping process, the human’s DNA would theoretically combine with the vampire’s to make themselves a half-vampire… this doesn’t happen.).
If it was asexual reproduction, like mitosis, then the newly-turned vampire would be an identical copy of its maker, but again this obviously isn’t the case. The only possibility then is that Meyer’s version of vampirism is more like an STD than anything—that is, a virus or bacterial infection that happens to transform its host into a sparkly, scintillating, stunning monster.
So what does this prove, exactly?
Simple: that the vampires’ beauty makes no sense and serves no purpose other than to Mary Sue-ify and Gary Stu-ify the Cullens (and of course Bella).
Bella and the Illusion of Choice
"But feminism is about choice, and Bella gets to make her own choices!"
This is an argument that I've heard not just from fangirls but from the Great Smeyer herself, and while it seems compelling at first glance, the fact is that it's just as bad an argument as many of the others I've addressed over this series.
let's talk about feminism.
What is it exactly? Well, in a word it's equality. If I were to expand that definition, I would say that feminism is about the right be treated and judged the same as those of the XY persuasion, to have the same opportunities, and to have the right of freedom of will the same as any man.
So, it's not so much about choice as it is the equal right to "choose," if choice is the end object.
For example, if men can choose to remain a bachelor or to be promiscuous without judgment, so too should women be allowed that choice with the same repercussions (or lack thereof) as in men's case.
So, let's bring this back around to Twilight.
What choices does Bella make? Let's sample three of her decisions throughout the series.
1.She chooses to follow James' instructions at the end of Twilight
If you're arguing for Bella as a strong female character who is feminist because she is "allowed" to make her own choices, this is one bad example. Why? Because this choice was a bad one. It revealed Bella as stupid and incapable and led to Edward needing to swoop in to save her. Why? Because she, the weak and silly woman, was too dumb to see through James' unoriginal scheme and to her detriment made a bad choice because of that. This doesn't prove that Bella is strong, or that she's a feminist just because she made a choice. In fiction, the existence of the decision is not so important as the results of that decision themselves and how those results affect the perception of the decision-maker. Here, Bella's decision forces her into the weak damsel in distress figure yet again, thus propelling the charges of sexism and anti-feminism even further.
2.She ignores Edward's mandates against visiting Jacob and LaPush
This one is a bit tricky. On the surface, it seems like an empowered decision. If you push deeper, however, more unsettling truths emerge.
For example, why does she stay with Edward despite his abusive actions?
Why does she submit to his attempts to control her behavior the rest of the time?
Then, if you turn to the action itself (and forgive me but I don't have a copy of the book on hand), Bella says something to the effect of 'I know I won't get away with this' or 'I know Edward's not going to be happy' (or something like that), acknowledging his role as an authoritative and dominant partner.
She doesn't like his behavior. She doesn't appreciate his attempts to control her, yet she exhibits no sense of strength or empowerment and Meyer treats the event like Bella's "breaking a rule" (Edward's rule) rather than having the right to do as she pleases. Not only that, but when his actions finally do irritate her--after she realizes that he removed her engine--she doesn't dump him or bitch at him or say, "fuck off, I'll do what I want" - instead, she leaves her window open. Even though Edward imposed his will on her and upset her with his abusive and controlling act, she doesn't respond. She doesn't get angry. All in all, she thinks of herself as powerless and acts powerless. The choices of an empowered female? I think not.
3.Her "choice" to become a vampire
Throughout the series, this was the one thing that simultaneously irked me and made me glad for her character. On the one hand, I was annoyed that she wanted to give up her humanity, her future, and her friends and family. The fact that she had zero ambition other than gluing herself to Edward's side for the rest of eternity bugged me. On the other hand, I was glad that she'd made a choice and stuck by it even in the face of Edward's obvious disapproval and anger over her decision. In books 1-3, Bella did intend to become a vampire.
But there are three problems with that.
1) Her becoming a vampire was contingent upon Edward's agreement (Edward's choice),
2) it took the Volturi's decision and the Volturi's timeline to make Edward agree, not hers, and
3) becoming a vampire was never within her power to begin with. It was an illusion of choice, not actual choice.
However, Breaking Dawn completely destroyed whatever tenuous thread of empowerment existed. She didn't get to choose to become a vampire--she was unconscious. She was dying, a broken and bleeding husk. Edward decided when the time was right. Edward chose to make her a vampire. Bella didn't have any choice in the matter at all, from beginning to end. Becoming a vampire was completely out of her control and even if it weren't, even if Edward was going to abide by her wishes and make her a vampire in some special candlelit room... that was taken away from her. That illusion of her "choice" was irrelevant in the end because it was Edward who made the decision.
So, what "choices" does Bella make?
1. The "choice" to nearly get herself killed due to her monumental stupidity.
2. The "choice" to submit to abuse, even though it's emotionally damaging.
3. The "choice" that didn't actually give her a choice.
~~~Those don't sound much like choices to me.