Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Beef With the 'Boys Suck' Argument

by: The Duck

Alexandra Adornetto wrote Halo, yet another anti-feminist, abusive relationship glorifying ‘book’ to hit the young adult shelf. But this blog is not about that book. I have not read the book yet, though I have heard a great deal about it. I have however added it to my masochistic reads shelf, and will eventually be picked up. This blog is about something the author wrote, something which irked a lot of people. Myself included.

Some time ago she wrote an article, titled 'Why teenage boys suck more than vampires', and you can find the article here.

Before you read my entry I suggest you read the article, otherwise my reply wont make much sense.

You can pretty much guess the idiocy of the article from the title, not to mention the stink of Twitard. Not surprisingly, the article disgusted me outright. And I disagree majorly with this article. I think it is sexist, arrogant, and an outright delusion of the author.

My response to this article is as thus:

Now I know that Twilight has actually been used in real life as the inspiration for tweens to find their own Edward Cullen. Girls have asked their boyfriends to watch them while they sleep and put ice to their lips before they kiss them. Girls have dumped their boyfriends when their bites didn’t make them vampires. Girls have begged their parents to follow a car that looked just like Edward’s. Twilight dildos have also been invented to support these twisted fantasies. But what people don't seem to understand is that Edward Cullen is, number one, NOT REAL. Not to mention the man is in no way whatsoever appealing, and I don't care how gorgeous he is. Oh yes, apparently he's hard and pretty and marble and chiseled and chagrined or whatever, but the guy is a douche. He forces control over Bella, treats her like she's a bit slow, stalks her, and watches her while she sleeps. That’s not romantic. But in the book it is forced into our heads that he’s meant to be perfect. And a lot of Edward Cullen fans consider him perfect, and he’s the perfect gentleman and the perfect boyfriend, yada yada. Okay, fine. Let’s consider that opinion for a moment then.

Let's talk about 'perfection'.

Who knows what perfection means?
Show of hands.
If you guessed ‘flawless’ you’re right.

Now show of hands who thinks perfection exists. Think hard on this one.
If anyone raised their hand, shame on you. Go to the back of the class and you will write lines after school for 36 years.

Perfection means flawless. Do you really think flawlessness exists? And really think on this for a moment, and don't even start defending your argument with cheesy symbolism. It is physically impossible for ANYTHING, including a vampire, to be flawless. And in this case, it is impossible for a human to be flawless as well.

And you can't get angry at teenage boys for not being 'perfect'. Teenage boys are not perfect. No one is perfect. Adornetto certainly isn't perfect. Perfection doesn't exist. It is a ridiculous demand of anyone.

And now to poop on your opinion that Edward Cullen is perfect: PERFECTION DOES NOT EXIST (just to make sure it's understood). Especially in a douche bag like Edward. The man is nice one minute and then the next minute he's like 'Must... eat... Bella...'. And vampires are not perfect either. It doesn’t matter if they’re pretty and strong, they can’t be perfect either. They can kill you in an instant, they burn in the sun, they have to struggle, really struggle to put up with eternity, some of them make mistakes that cost them a great deal, and any love they feel for a human can easily be overshadowed by that monstrous hunger for blood. But in the end of the day, vampires are FICTIONAL.

I would also like to add that the whole general concept of comparing fantasy to reality and demanding reality to suit their fantasy is asinine. Why do you demand human beings to be like a fictional character? Where is the sense in that? If you are convinced that a fictional character gives you more satisfaction than a human, then you are a sad, depraved person with absolutely no life and a major stick up your bum. Because apparently you believe that ordinary human beings are not worth your time. Only hot fictional hunks can suit your needs. And I’m not talking about the typical fangirling over a fictional character, I’m talking about actual sick obsession with said character that you demand every member of that character’s gender to be like him, that you decorate your room with posters of him and kiss them every night before you go to bed, that you pick up the phone in hope that he calls you, that you think he’s real and he’s the only one for you. That’s sick.

And as for the whole ‘teenage boys suck compared to Edward’ thing, pshaw. Now then, allow me to explain that not every single guy is an ass and a commitment phobe. Perhaps you need to get out more and try to actually find out for yourself if you agree with Adornetto. Sure, nice guys are hard to find. But it is the same with teenage girls. Trust me. But I happen to know a few nice guys, who have the right idea about love and relationships. So you see, not all teenage boys have issues with that.

Also Edward isn't a commitment king. What kind of a boyfriend FORCES his commitment onto Bella? In fact if anything he uses his constant commitment to tighten the leash around the poor girl so she is convinced she won’t ever want to leave the gentleman of a sparklepire. Edward is not a protector either. You know how he would be? If he stayed away from Bella completely. Because his blood lust for her never ceases. He said himself it's hard to control it, and he could hurt her quite easily. So why doesn't he stay away from her? Because he prefers to stay with her for the smell of her tasty, tasty blood. Oh, and hormones, because apparently Edward Cullen never grew from his adolescent years.

And of course there's the whole 'ew teenage boys are mean and they dont want commitments like we dooooo and they dont wanna talk to uuuus and they just want us for seeeeeeex' and bla bla bla. Oh my dear God. Do you honestly think that only teenage boys behave like that? Do you really think teenage girls are any better? Teenage boys and teenage girls have a lot in common in that aspect if you really think about it. We all share the ups and the downs. Let's draw comparisons, shall we?

Some boys are not into commitments. Some girls are not into commitments either. Girls are not blessed with super-commitment powers just because some of us are desperate for one. And there are girls that don't mind the one night stands, the picking up random guys from bars, the occasional different boyfriend, and it's the same for guys.

Some boys do fight. And some girls fight too. How many times have I heard about fights in high school where girls kick, scratch and smack each other?

Some boys do just date girls for sex. And guess what? Some girls do just date guys for sex.

Some boys cheat. And some girls cheat as well. I know several girls who even encouraged each other to two time their guys, because it's 'more fun' that way.

Some boys are in it for appearances. And the same goes vice versa for girls. Even Adornetto admits that the only redeeming features in her ex boyfriend were his looks. Many girls only like to date hot guys for their hotness and don't bother to see past that. That's why Edward Cullen is so popular.

Some boys are unhygienic. You think every girl is squeaky clean???

Some boys always drink. Annnnnd many girls do the same damn thing. You know how many girls spend their weekends getting wasted?

Some boys are immature. Some girls are also immature. Whether it's in relationships, or everyday life. Every teenager has the ability to be immature. Every person has the ability to be immature. It's not just teen boys; it is very much teen girls as well. Immaturity doesn't depend on gender.

Some boys only care about how they appear to their mates. And girls have the exact same issues. Heck why is it that when a girl joins a certain group in high school, it does happen that said girl will become just like the members of her new group? Every teenager has a desire to fit in. Girls are not blessed with the ability to not have to worry about that. Many girls worry about how their own friends see them, because they want to fit in. Sometimes they care about how their friends see them above everything else. They will do what their friends want them to do, and be how their friends want them to be. And it's the same for some guys too, I imagine.


I don't understand why teenage girls tend to think they can have a superiority complex and completely diss the opposite sex. Every single one of those girls is a hypocrite. We are not better than boys. Boys are not better than us. We are all equally guilty. Stop being sexist and think you're being feminist. That's not what being a feminist is. Being a feminist is not bragging that women are better than men. That’s being a hypocrite. Being a feminist is persisting that men and women are EQUAL IN EVERY ASPECT.

Also, Adornetto, your whole thing of reality being ‘overrated’ is ludicrous. Girl, you need a serious reality check. Pronto. You should have listened to those psychologists who suggested you get over the fact that fantasy and reality shall never combine.

9 comments:

  1. When the Twilight buzz was still at stupid levels, I remember reading a forum post by a girl who admitted to breaking up with her boyfriend because he wasn't enough like Edward.

    Which...yeah. I haven't got much to add to that.

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  2. An 18 year old giving advice on what true love is? Hello, at 18 I thought I was going to marry Joe Mcintyre from NKOTB.

    No 18 year old girl, or boy for that matter, knows what true love is at that age. At least the author of Twilight was written by a grown woman who was married and has experience (or so I hope) true love.

    "Real conversation can be awkward, rambling and self-conscious; Bella and Edward's exchanges are anything but."

    Snort.

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  3. I think the whole thing with Adornetto is much more complex than a lot of us, myself included, have given it credit for. She's very pro-abstinence and takes a few stabs at feminism in Halo and I got very angry at her for doing so but how much of her views are nature and how much are nurture? She's still very young and clearly the creation of her upbringing so I find it really hard to call her out in the same way I do for female writers like Fitzpatrick and SMeyer. While she is clearly more open about shoving such messages that she preaches in her articles into her books, I still want to give her the benefit of the doubt because she's young and seems to just be blankly spouting these buzz words and phrases. That probably sounds incredibly condescending.

    For all our discussion of sexism against women in these sorts of books, we seldom touch on how boys are portrayed and what it says about the male sex; for a huge chunk of YA, the guys are either blank slates there to serve the fantasy element for the reader or they're beefy jerks who confuse insults, stalking sexual harassment with acceptable behaviour in a relationship. I think it's because the majority of the books we have problems with are aimed at us ladyfolk but it must suck for guys to look at these books and think "Wow, this is what we're supposed to be like?" I think it was Hannah Moscowitz that wrote an article on the anti-boys attitude going on in YA right now, although I think the problem extends to both sexes.

    Okay, that went on much longer than expected, my apologies!

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  4. That article was such a WTF moment for me! I noticed in the comment section that a lot of people called Adornetto a misandrist. To be honest, I think she's even more of a misogynist. (And I DO think she'll cringe when she reads that article ten years down the line!) The thing is, she's writing a post where she assumes that all teenage girls want what she wants - a uber-protective, commitment-fanatic alpha male who reinforces every patriarchal notion of the 'little woman'.

    By the way did anyone notice that she describes the ex-boyfriend and the hero of her book in the exact same way - endearing, with floppy hair?!

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  5. I just do not have the time of day for people like Adornetto. It's great that she's a young author, but it's not great that her words are so heavy with undertones of her own beliefs and standards. She is disrespectful to teenage boys by generalizing them all when really only a minority make up the stereotype of 'stupid boy who only cares about sports, alcohol, and sex.' it is a disservice to boys for them to be portrayed that way.

    Nobody is perfect, and it's wrong to hold anyone to standards of fiction and fantasy (whether said standards are misguided or not). Do we girls like being compared to flawless models in magazines like Sports Illustrated and Playboy? Then why should we demean boys in just that same way?

    The comparison game is something that both sexes should think about and try to correct.

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  6. Huh... I never thought I'd see the day when a YA author drops the pretenses. Guess I didn't look at the right place.

    I really think that Adornetto will end up looking back on this article in a few years' time and go "What was I thinking?" This is the kind of stuff that is a perpetual embarrassment to authors, and no matter how many great books you churn up (or don't), people will continue to razzle you about it. Everything about this article screams of juvenile kiddiness - the crude generalizations, the constant emphasis on how great fictional characters are, not to mention the refusal to differentiate between fiction and reality.

    Also, I think I threw up in my mouth a little when she used the word 'provider' to describe Edward. Seriously, what-the-what? It's not like Bella was completely useless - she actually wanted to go to college and succeed (and not get married and not have children), but then Edward shows up waving his big fat check book and she is passively-agressively forced to give up her dreams in order to embrace his old world values. That's not love.

    Where does this hatred of men come from?

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  7. I particular enjoyed the part where she listed the three types of men, which can be summed up thus:

    1) Stereotypical man.
    2) Stereotypical woman.
    3) Actual human being.

    Surprise! People are complicated and it takes work to understand them. Who knew?

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  8. I fail to see how teenage boys suck more than vampires. I just got to a part in a book where Edward secretly pulled apart Bella's car engine so she couldn't go see Jacob. He says he's trying to protect her. I say that's total BS. What teenage boy would pull that kind of stunt. Er...well, I suppose boys like that may exist, but they'll hardly be glorified like Edward is.

    - Jackie

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  9. This woman needs help. She obviously has serious psychological issues. Honestly, her first problem was to group all teenage boys into one obvious bumbling idiot that she had the misfortune to date at one time period, and is obviously still wayyy too sour about it. That's her problem, but she certainly doesn't need to go around insulting all teenage boys in favor of her wonderful Edward who would emotionality manipulate and abuse her as much as her heart saw fit.

    I call BS, ladies and gentleman.

    If this was an adult male griping and complaining about teenage girls, comparing them all to Disney Princesses or some crap like that, people would start screaming out in protest. They'd call him a stuck up geeky computer nerd with no social life who's mad that he can't get a girlfriend. But when an adult female does it, she gets published and widely recognized for her 'genius' article.

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