Team I'm Not On A Team

So I saw Eclipse recently. It wasn't bad, in fact it was probably my favorite of the three Twilight films so far. It had the most plot outside of Bella and I enjoyed that. The tropes of the film, for anyone out there in the world who has not actually hooked into the series, are of passion and denial, desire and restraint, vampires and werewolves, chastity and bonding. A little bit of creepy stalking, controlling behavior and extreme passive-aggressiveness thrown in for good measure, as if that is the measure of how a man should love a woman. It isn't actually, but a lot of teens (and even adults I guess) tend to buy into it. It's a proto version of intimacy, you know? That a bad boy who treats you badly (because he's wounded) is the one for you so you can...what...heal him? Are you a fucking nurse?

Anyway, a good friend of mine sent me this link about the teams. You know, Team Edward or Team Jacob. Most Twihards have picked a boy they'd prefer Bella to get with. So this article is about why Jacob is doomed to lose ("lose" because as we all know, love is a contest. It sort of is, I guess, though if it's that much of a contest I can't say it's love...something else perhaps.)

You should read the article because I think it's pretty awesome, and let me tell you...my opinion is really really important. It references a lot of things about the series that have always made me uncomfy-the race issues which I am not qualified to deconstruct but bother me terribly, the paternalistic controlling that most of the men inflict on Bella, and mostly the huge divide between cold unfulfilled longing (Edward) and earthy actual desire, though one based more on competition to "win" than love (Jacob).

(((And as a side note, why in Maud's name can't Edward control himself in bed with a human? I've seen Edward both run like a cheetah (super speed) as well as just fucking WALK at a normal pace. You're telling me he couldn't just fuck at a regular tempo? Or he couldn't just let her take the lead and let her pleasure and safety be the focus? Well of course not. )))

Many of the points of the article were pointing at Team Jacob as the superior team because he was earthy and sexual and eager to hit the sheets (and apparently without the risk of hurting her?), and disparaged Edward for his pained look at Bella's suggestion of sex, that his denial indicated repression.

I can see this point. After all, if he is incapable of going down on a woman without killing her or if his icy member of doom would pierce the fruit of her ladygarden, I suppose some prudence is necessary. But much of his denial comes from this idea that Bella isn't ready. She needs to graduate. She needs to be married. She needs to wait. And it's a very paternalistic, misogynist, and frankly anti-pleasure attitude.

But here is the thing. Pleasure has consequences. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar or a fool. Racing headfirst into passion (in any circumstance) has it's dangers. Yeah, it feels good. But is that rush and the erotic cocktail of hormones an indicator of more sustained goodness to come? Or will it knock you the hell down and everyone else along with it.

So see my realization is that this is why the book is for teens. Teens have to learn these things about the difference between love and lust, when one is ok and when both can occur. About the difference between stalky controlling behavior and actual respect and honor. How passion is like a wave and lovers all have to learn how to surf.

Some waves you can tell....no matter how beautiful and big they are...man, they are gonna wipe you the fuck out. Some waves seem small and mundane, but there is a swell underneath them that will rise and take you all the way to shore in a glorious ride that will leave you both safe and sound, and out of breath and filled with life. And the whole point of the teens I guess is to learn how to read the ocean of love and know when to get on the board and when to wait it out.

I'm not on a team, but if I was, I'd be on Team Grown Up, even though I still struggle with love, lust and longing, even though I still wrestle with the siren song of "the Bella", and even though being grown up and honest and self-aware can be really, really hard.

It's worth it.

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