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The Gender Divide

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:26 pm
by Openhome
The Twilight Saga fan base is heavily female. In fact, the Y chromosome is a rare thing indeed among faithful Twihards. However, males do make up a part of the fandom, and male fans often love the books just as strongly as females.

But do they love it for the same reason? Do the genders see the Saga the same way? Is there a difference in how males and females react to the story?

So, my XY friends. Tell us if the 23rd chromosome makes a difference in the Twilight world! We of the XX variety will be happy to contribute our thoughts as well (as if you could shut us up!)

Re: The Gender Divide

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:59 pm
by Chernaudi
Just to get this debate started, I know that I'm in the minority here. I didn't even find Twilight in the same way as most of you. I worked in a library from 2007-'09, and in that time, I saw numerous copies of the Twilight Saga books go through, but I didn't really pay attention to them aside from how many did go through. I didn't even know that a movie was being made until the fall of '08, and even then, I didn't pay attention to it until I found out (much later!) that Kristen Stewart, who I first saw in Panic Room and Speak was portraying Bella Swan.

I tend no to pay attention to popular culture a lot of times because a lot of this stuff tends to be fads and what not, but I'm thankful that I payed attention to this, and Kristen being in the films and a couple of my friends giving me feed back on the novels is what got me into them.

Things that I've either wondered about or have become pet peeves are numerous.

I've been wondering if being a guy has lead me to see things differently as far having read the novels and seen things from my POV, as I've discussed in the Breaking Dawn movie threads? And why is it that guys who like Twilight are seen as being borderline homosexual or that they're desperately trying to get a woman to date? Those are pet peeves (in addition to how the media and some sects of the fandom has reacted to certian things) that I just can't get around. Why do Twi-guys have a gay stigma to them, or that they're desperate to get chicks? Just 'cause the novels are aimed at women and are written by a woman.

Just to let you know, I also write fan fiction, and I do have a male character, a vampire hybrid that's a retired US Army officer that served in the Army Rangers, and he, to an extent, is a steriotypical "man's man", but he's not just some hardened, emotionless man. And I do give my female OC's a bit of a tomboyish edge, but they're all (some more than others) very feminine at heart. I also do have some thoughts about the Volturi that are rather militaristic, like if Aro really does believe that we as humans have weapons capable of challenging and even destroying vampires, I wonder how'd he'd react to a B-2 flying over Volterra, making a low pass over the Hall of the Volturi? I do tend to anaylze these books and some hypothetical "what if" situlations.

I'm into stuff that "guys" are into, like cars, mechanical devices, and if you have a question about World War II technology, I can probably answer it. But I also read the Twilight Saga and I'm into stuff that girls do--not as a participant, but I do wonder why they do certian things and such. I just don't get it with the "gay" stigma and what not. America is a free country, isn't it?

Feel free to discuss anything I've written, or if you'd want to ask something or share something I haven't mentioned that's interesting and relevant to this discussion.

I just wonder if any other male fans are willing now to step in the breach?

Re: The Gender Divide

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:00 am
by Jacobs-girl
Sorry Chernaudi, I'm a female fan, but I thought I'd post anyway.

I basically agree with everything you said. There is too much stigma surrounding Twilight. It's bad enough for female readers (I have been criticized before for being a Twilight fan) and I can imagine that it's much worse for the male fans. I think it's all because of the stereotypes which exist in society. Yeah, sure, we might think we've come a long way since the woman's place was in the kitchen and the man's place was out working, but in reality gender stereotypes still exist to a certain extent. This is why I think that stigma surrounds guys who read Twilight.

Apologies for this rushed message; there's more I could say but I've got to go now.

Re: The Gender Divide

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:47 pm
by Chernaudi
And there's a debate going on in the BD tread about Summit's marketing department playing up Taylor's abs and what not. It made a good story about him doing whatever it took to keep his role, but now it's old news and is boring, hyped up PR trash now.

Trying to sell an actor/actress' sex appeal does get old fast for me, even if it is a woman. I do say that if one' s gonna play up male character's sex appeal, do it for a female character/cast member if you're gonna be fair. Of course, if they were really fair, they'd not play up the sex appeal card at all and let the movie sell itself. Besides, the half-naked wolfpack members deal wasn't even a sex appeal card in the novels--it was more out of their necessity than anything else. Summit's marketing and PR people and maybe even MR has turned into a sex appeal card to get girls to see the movies, as if they'd have trouble doing that anyways--the fanbase is mostly female to start with, so what's the problem?

And amping up the action to get guys to see the films isn't really much better in my book. The films should stick to canon on that one. I mean, if one doesn't like the books the way they are--male or female--why would they like an embellished movie with cranked up action and sex appeal that didn't exist in the novels.

I think that this stuff is all about the bottom line and trying to sucker in the unindoctrinated--sort of like propaganda, which is why I think that we should all do our research before we believe anything we see in the movies.

But this is all my opinion, and male or female, I want to hear yours.

Re: The Gender Divide

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:03 pm
by Jacobs-girl
Yes, I agree. I think prejudice and stereotypes play a large part in it and, like it or not, I guess we all have stereotypes ingrained within us to a certain extent. It can be something as basic as the image we see when we think of a place, e.g. when I think of NYC I see a mixture of images like arty Brooklyn, the glamorous Upper East Side...etc, but I know that NYC in reality is much deeper than that and that I am just seeing it through a stereotype. And of course there are less flattering stereotypes and the derogatory ones which are frequently aimed towards Twilight fans.

Re: the sex appeal thing. Movie makers have been using that as a marketing technique for decades and I think they are certainly using it very effectively for Twilight. I'm afraid that it doesn't really bother me, although I do find the shirtless Taylor scenes amusing because, whereas in the book being shirtless is due to necessity, in the movies it's so blatantly obvious that it's really all about his abs.

Re: The Gender Divide

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:24 pm
by Chernaudi
I just think that Summit and MR have taken the sex appeal and action aspects of the film too far in some instances by inserting things that weren't necessary (NM fight) or focused too much on the sex appeal and action and not on the story (Eclipse).

Re: The Gender Divide

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:48 pm
by Emmettroselover
There is definitely a stigma in society about the saga and what the fans are all about. This is mainly due to Summit and how they have marketed the films. I am so tired of hearing that Twilight is only for tweens and teens. First of all, the age of fans ranges vastly and research has proven that half of the fans are actually adult women. Then of course we can throw in a few awesome Twi-guys!

I get teased by friends and family, but I really do not care. I love Twilight and like I tell them, it is nice to be passionate about something with such a big fanbase. Meeting fans at events and online is so much fun, so I am not embarrassed by my love for the saga.

It is clear that Summit has tried two techniques while marketing, sex appeal and appealing to a broader audience. They made it painfully obvious that Taylor's body was going to be a selling point. Ever since NM, they have been pushing him down our throats, not the character of Jacob as much as Taylor's abs. It was fine at first, but like usual, Summit takes it too far. They have not boosted Taylor's credibility as an actor. If anything, they are damaging his reputation for the future. It has become a punch line in the media. The more he has to talk about his abs, the harder it will be for people to take him seriously later on, even if he does want to be an action star. Plus, it is a total double standard that a 16 year old boy was used in such a manner. Now, Taylor is of legal age, but still a teenager. If he was a girl, their need to exploit his body would be seen as immoral, but since he is a boy he can be seen in plenty of magazines and in the media lifting his shirt or having his abs exposed. Then too, Taylor had pictures of him doing that pre-Twilight so I am not too surprised. Boo Boo Stewart also does that and he just turned 17 in January.

The other issue is the need for action in the films. Summit cannot just be happy with the loyal fans and box office records they have broken. They need more out of greed and try to appeal to men by adding action. In Eclipse, there was already going to be action and yet they had to go to the extreme by having Slade direct it. By doing so, they were out of touch with the romance....the essence of all the books....and focused way too much on Seattle and newborns, something that was mainly mentioned, but not seen. I do not understand this move because most men are not going to voluntarily see Twilight unless they are Twi-guys. It might have eased their pain of having to take their girlfriends to see it, but there was no big reception from men about the action scenes and in the process, they alienated fans who want the films to stay as canon as possible. Gender definitely plays a role in the films and most of the time, Summit's actions do more harm than good. They only add to the stigma that has been created. Their greed has caused many of the issues because they could not leave well enough alone.

Re: The Gender Divide

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:09 pm
by Chernaudi
Exactly! Why not set it during World War II or just after and have US Army Air Force (as the USAF was know at the time) take P-51 Mustangs, P-82 Twin Mustangs, P-47 Thunderbolts, and US Navy F4U Corsairs and F6F Hellcats strafe the "enemy" vampires, and B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers carpet bomb them, and the Army and Marines open up on them with automatic weapons and heavy artillery? A WWII version of Dr. Strangelove meets Twilight? Couldn't be more out of place.

Why not have Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson direct and write it? Car chases and explosions. Again, couldn't be more out of place.

Granted, it's not as bad as those scinerios I've posted above, but Summit and MR, especially Summit, have taken embellishing the story too far, and they do it so over the top that I'd bet that some of you would almost rather see what I've typed above.

I know that most guys won't go and see the movies unless their wives, GFs and daughters drag them along, but there are people like me who do like the stories the way they are, and that they shouldn't be screwed with. Of course, as you can tell by the first thing I've posted, I'm into World War II stuff, but my favorite WWII movie? Tea with Mussolini. One, it has Cher in it (an other person or things whose male fans are stigmatized as being gay), and I do think that it's one of the few WWII movies that a woman can enjoy. How many women were drug by their husbands or BFs to see the ultraviolent Saving Private Ryan? I like 1965's Battle of the Bulge and The Great Escape, both are good movies, but don't have a ton of violence in them yet still has enough action to keep one entertained.

Violence and action aren't everything when it comes to getting guys to watch a movie, but the marketing people for these film companies tend to have their heads buried so far up their intestional tract that they can see what they just had for lunch. Unburrow your heads and actually take a look at that whole fan base.

Re: The Gender Divide

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:16 am
by Fighting fate

I have tried to get my bf to see the light, he was one of those “make fun of twilight because it’s a girl thing” people. I tried so hard to get him to see reason, to get him to see he was bashing something without truly knowing it. He agreed to read the first book, begrudgingly at first though. I found my attempts to be wasted nonetheless. Now I do give him some credit for sitting through that for me, but in the end he just didn’t like it. But I became ok with that, because even though I wish he could have seen the amazing appeal like I did, I can appreciate his attempt… though useless, way more than him just blocking anything and everything Twilight out simply because it seemed girly. Twilight wasn’t his cup of tea, but at least he knows that from actual experience, and not out of assumptions and stereotypes. And honestly his aversion had more to do with him not being a big reading fan than with the story itself.

It's crazy how much so many people are missing out on, male or female, because they listen to stereotypes and follow what's "socially acceptable" or expected of them.

As for the movies sex appeal, it is becoming a bit ridiculous the way everything has gotten. What was once a pure tale of romance, true love, and sacrifice, has become some action teen movie. Don't get me wrong, each movie has its enjoyable and redeemable parts, as well as its cringe worthy moments. Whatever was derived from the book has some merit. But mostly I feel that the action has been played up and the romance played down, all to try to appeal to a wider fan base, which I’m not sure they successfully accomplished. It’s unfortunate really, but I just try to accept it at face value, and as a separate thing entirely from the Twilight saga.

I wonder what the fan base, especially the men who haven't read the books, will think of the supposed gore that is going to take place during the birth scene in BD. What with SM taking a more predominant role in the direction of the film. And I do wonder what they will think of the final battle scene.

Re: The Gender Divide

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:44 pm
by Chernaudi
This quote from Mike Altman's lyrics for the song "Suicide is Painless" (best known as the opening theme for the dark comedy/satire film MASH, of which an instrumental version is used for the TV sitcom of the same name) sums up how I sometimes feel about some things about the saga, namely what the production team, MR, and Summit will do, and the stigma that the saga has with men:

"A brave man once requested me
To answer questions that are key
'Is it to be or not to be?'
And I replied 'oh why ask me?' "

That is sort of the bewildering thought I have as far as that stuff goes. I know of the reasons that the powers that be use to justify their decisions publically and the stigma that surrounds the saga's novels, but we do know that there are other motives involved. So "why ask me" why these guys do what they do?

However, we do know the reasons, but it's BS to try and excessively rationalize things when we do know the simple answers.