I’m the correspondent for the Class of 2008, so I’ll be writing updates on what everyone is doing post-Hamilton for the Alumni Review Magazine.
Can you let me know what you have been up to since we graduated, and if you’ve seen any other Hamilton students/grads since May?
Hope all is well, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Climb Mount Fiji,
But slowly, slowly!” —Issa.
It sounds melodramatic and shrill to say that Bella and Edward’s relationship is abusive, but as the story wears on it becomes increasingly hard to avoid the comparison, as she gradually isolates herself from her friends to protect his secret, and learns to subordinate her every impulse and movement to the necessity of not upsetting Edward and his instincts (‘I could quite easily kill you, Bella, by accident’), until by halfway through she is trying to suppress her very pulse (‘my blood was racing and I wished I could slow it, sensing that this must make everything so much more difficult’) and planning her movements like a chess game - ‘I worried that it would provoke the strange anger that flared whenever I slipped and revealed too clearly how obsessed I was.’ Whenever she responds physically to his kisses, he immediately draws away and berates her. Supporters will call this the erotics of abstinence. I call it fear and distaste for female sexuality and a poisonous message to be feeding young women.”
I understand that this is a story of teen romance. I therefore expect some amount of angst to factor in. And maybe I’m spoiled by the Hermione Grangers and Eowyns of the past few years. But I’ve come to expect more from female characters. It really bothers me that this movie depicts a girl who falls in love within days and then proceeds to spend the rest of the movie supressing everything about herself for this boy. And the worst part is that this is considered as a ‘happy ending’ for her. The boy, in turn, never even shows any level of interest in Bella as anything more than physically attractive. He follows her around because he feels ‘protective’ of her. This works out well when she’s being attacked, but she doesn’t consider it even a little creepy that he’s following her, sneaking into her room at night and WATCHING HER SLEEP. Bella never makes any attempt to stand up for herself. The day she’s attacked (and subsequently rescued by Edward), her father gives her a can of pepper spray to protect herself. She rolls her eyes and laughs at him, saying she doesn’t need it. Never mind that hours earlier, she was in danger of being raped. She has a boy to protect her now, so she doesn’t have to worry about it.”
There are two main classic cultural myths of females, two false assumptions that have been used as the definitive excuses to subjugate and disenfranchise women for centuries in all manner of societies. The first is that women are devious and reckless creatures who tempt men who can’t control themselves. As a result of these fiendish seducers, the weak but noble men do all manner of vice and corruption, deeds that without the temptation of the women they would not have even considered. But, wait, they are also weak-willed and emotionally fragile creatures that cannot care for themselves and must be protected from peril and shielded from emotional complication (’the fairer sex’). Whether accidentally or intentionally, Twilight revolves around both stereotypes.”” —
Lucy Mangan, Maria Walters, Scott Mendelson
Finally, the comp-lit’ers of the world stepping to the plate. STOP BUYING THIS DRIVEL, PEOPLE.