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  4. Anonymous asked: In response to an ask you got previously. I could never respect an author who glorifies giving up your education to have a baby. I could never respect an author who makes it seem that women cannot be whole without a man. I'm sorry, I don't care if you like it or not, but the fact remains is that Stephenie Meyer, yes I congratulate her success, but the subject in her books is basically 'Women need men or else they would never survive and it's okay to give up your education if you are pregnant.'


    Wait… where does it say that Bella doesn’t eventually go to college?

    I’m not sure it’s reasonable to assume it doesn’t happen just because her educational future isn’t specifically mentioned in the end of the book.  What’s stopping her?  Married women and mothers go to college all the time.  My twenty-something sister-in-law who was a teen mom just graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Business in May.  Being a vampire won’t stop Bella from going to college, because it didn’t stop Edward from going through medical school, twice. 

    These types of Bella is a bad role model arguments highlight a disturbing shift in the way that Young Adult fiction is viewed.  When did it move from being that which explores the human experience to being a How To guide for teen behavior?  We’ve come to a dangerous place when people are looking to YA fiction to function as a paragon for teens to model their lives after.

    When we start requiring all protagonists to be perfect role models without flaw or weakness, who make only the most ideal choices we would want teenagers to make, we not only put the very nature of fiction into jeopardy (because you can’t make an effective exploration of the human experience if only one type of experience is allowed), but we also rob educators of the ability to help students analyze the choices that characters make and the impact good versus bad choices have on the story.  Not to mention the fact that   you vastly underestimate the ability of teenagers to differentiate between a fantasy love story and real life consequences.

    Fiction is supposed to be about exploring human experiences—the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It’s putting all aspects of life under a microscope to examine how they interact.  It’s about taking ordinary people and putting them into extraordinary situations to see how they behave.  Not every human female is a strong, independent, flawless decision maker who graduates high school, goes to college, conquers a career, and does it all without once batting an eyelash at another man or woman.  It’s nigh on psychotic to think that this is the ideal or only acceptable course of life for a woman.  This is what modern feminism gets us: it tells us that in order to compete with men, we have to be soulless robots with nothing but self-improvement and career advancement on our minds.  Yet you’d be very hard-pressed to find a man who feels complete without a woman or another man in his life.  Sure, those people are out there on both sides of the gender fence, but the human race will cease to exist if that is what we expect out of everyone.  My point being: it is okay for novels to explore different experiences from the one that you personally might feel are ideal.  That’s the whole point of fiction!  If every story in the world was just about perfect people doing perfect things the perfect way, no one would bother to crack open a book!

    The bottom line is that people really need to relax and quit treating Twilight like it has single-handedly destroyed everything women have fought for over the years.  It hasn’t.  It’s just a fucking book.

    Anyway… thank you soooo much for writing!  You really got my wheels turning on this one and I enjoyed it a lot.  I just want you to know that, while I don’t agree with you, I completely respect your opinion and the fact that you, personally, can’t respect Stephenie Meyer because you see her book’s message as in direct conflict with what you see as the only acceptable path for a woman.  One thing about the human experience that I personally learned from fiction, is that when two people voice their opinions in respectful and intelligent ways, it’s okay to disagree.  ;)  Thanks again for writing, and take care.  :)

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