Today’s post is about a video that has spread through the internet like a plague, affecting thousands. I’m talking about the Buffy vs. Edward mashup video. The reaction to this video goes one of two ways; you either love it, you laugh and cheer on Buffy, or you get ridiculously angry and go with team Edward. It’s generation vs. generation or ideals vs. ideals.
The famous video…
Now that you have seen the video we can get to the heart of it. This video was created by Jonathan McIntosh, who wrote here, a very comprehensive explanation behind the creation of the video. What McIntosh did was retell the popular Twilight movie in a feminist, pro-Buffy manner. This isn’t just about the Buffy lovers against the Twilight lovers; it’s about the gender roles each portrays. You have Buffy, the strong kickass heroine that is constantly saving the day and not taking crap from anyone. Then you have Twilight’s Bella who can’t survive on her own, who goes damn near insane over a boy and is constantly being rescued by a man, the classic Mary Sue damsel in distress. Then you add in Edward, the possessive, dominating and manipulative love interest. The thing is, throughout the Twilight books and the movie this is shown in a good light, all of this is seen as romantic and sweet. You have countless young girls swooning over Edward, and wishing they had their very own "Prince Charming" to come and sweep them off their feet.
Jonathan McIntosh’s takes out that blinding “romance” and shows Edward in a new light, the clips shown are still the same scenes, the same lines but simply put into perspective. That stalking and sneaking into someone's room and so forth is creepy, not romantic. Instead of focusing on Bella, McIntosh focused on Edward, he wrote as a guest blogger explaining why…
“As an aspiring feminist guy, I wanted to speak out about issues of sexism and gender oppression in media but I wanted to do so carefully and intentionally. That’s why I chose to focus my critique on Edward’s patriarchal behavior in Twilight rather than on Bella’s actions. I didn’t feel it was my place to lecture her on desire (even in remix form), especially since her character is already disempowered by the original screenplay to the point of absurdity. So I built each scene around Edward, and then looked for appropriate responses from Buffy.”
The well-spoken Jonathan McIntosh made his empowering point; he made it in a hilarious and entertaining way, rather than in an angry abrasive manner. Now, he is not the only one that is speaking out. You also have people like Laurell K. Hamilton, the best selling author of the Anita Blake novels (featuring the very strong and independent Anita) speaking out on Twilight. In the August 7, 2009 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Hamilton was asked her thoughts on the Twilight novels, in which she replied,
“… I ask people why [Twilight] really captured you? What I heard from all ages is that it was very romantic that he was willing to wait for her and that there was no sex. They like the idea that [Bella] was like the fairy princess and [Edward] is the handsome prince that rides in and saves her. The fact that women are so attracted to that idea - that they want to wait for Prince Charming rather than taking control of their own life - I find that frightening.”
And personally, I am right there with her, I also find it frightening. Both Jonathan McIntosh and Laurell K. Hamilton bring up excellent points but you neither have to agree or disagree with them. This isn’t an attack on the Twilight fans; this is showing opposite portrayals, we are sharing all views on the Twilight phenomenon instead of just one.
To all the Twilight fans and all the Twilight haters: Why do you either like or dislike the books/movie? Please feel free to share your opinion on the topic.
Also, if you are curious about the thumbnail image used in the post, it is from a t-shirt that you can buy here.