Friday, January 3, 2014

In Defense of "Girly" Books/ Thank You Twilight

When I was younger I always swore that I would never read "girly" books.  I'm not sure how exactly that was defined, but usually these books involved romance and embarrassing titles that made everyone think you were stupid.  So I read classics, fantasies and mysteries, etc., trying my very best to avoid fluffy stories that were decidedly not cerebral and made my brothers tease me.

In middle school I began to sneak some in, a little Princess Diaries here, some Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants there. But I always made the equivocation that these were well written or feminist in someway (both of which are true).  This all changed however when I decided to read Twilight.  Yep that's right.  I've read all four books and reread 'em more times than I remember.  And it rocked.

After a year and a half of hating the teen vampire series phenomenon and refusing to try them against the advice of a far wiser friend, I borrowed the book from the school library to take on my trip to Florida.  By the end of the trip I was almost finished Breaking Dawn.

I've never had a favorite genre for books, it's always been that I read whatever looks good, from cereal boxes to biographies, but I was missing one key piece.  Reading pleasurable books that admitted that they were just for fun.  Perhaps the story lines can be a little predictable or the wording cliche, but I enjoy the books and their characters and am ready to come out as a romance novel fan.  Besides, I can totally analyze them from a feminist perspective when I'm done.

Recently, my teacher joked that the books I was reading for winter break were stupid.  They were two of the best books I have read in a while (The Fault in our Stars  by John Green and Sisters Red  by Jackson Pearce). I am currently reading a book on the women who influenced America's founding fathers.  I think my academic legitimacy is still intact, thankyouverymuch.

So thanks Stephanie Meyer, for making an honest feminist out of me.  I now unabashedly read Good Housekeeping and Ladies Home Journal.  I bake people cookies and dream of glittery tutus.  And I no longer give a crap, which is the ultimate feminist statement.  If you'll excuse me, I have a victorian romance novel to read.

1 comment:

  1. Good! This reminds me of an author's discussion (on twitter) about "chick" lit and "guilty pleasures". Just found it (from @officiallyally on July 7) but can't add a picture of it so here it is:
    1/2 I wish we lived in a world where people realized how uncool it is to mock Twilight & Twilight fans just b/c. But we don't. And I hate that"
    2/2 You can substitute "teen girls" for Twilight/twilight fans in that last tweet. The mocking is interchangeable and NOT coincidental
    RT @naturallysteph Yeah. No one is too big to be hurt. and no fandom is, either. It's painful to be shamed for loving something
    RT @michelru book shaming is lame & benefits no one. Let's do away w/ "guilty pleasures" & enjoy what we enjoy & allow others the same.

    I have to say, that reading that definitely made me check myself because I was doing that, making fun of people who were obsessed with Twilight. I had already read it ages before it become popular in my class so I thought of myself as beyond it and above it. Really had to think about why I was being mean about it, and the people who liked it
    The thing about "teen girls" is so true also, like with boy bands.. and pink, princesses,.. I have to be careful about my feminism as including especially those who chose the "feminine" [what's considered].
    May have gone on a bit of a tangent here, have so much about this stuff!