I can't decide if I should call myself a Twilight fan. I like making fun of it A LOT. Can that be considered a fan? I'm definitely not a fan of the books, I read the first one and that was enough of that forever. But of the pop-culture phenomenon, I think I'd have to consider myself a fan. Like this video...
...how is that not awesome?
Speaking of the Twilight phenomenon, I have a semi-related rant after reading opinions of several Twilight-haters. (Here is one example, but most of the teeth gnashing I come across is done in message boards and blog post comments. Here's a small offensive sampling.) I get a little annoyed at the excessive hand wringing done over the "bad message for teenage girls" thing. It isn't the best message for girls, I agree. But I don't see nearly the same level of pearl-clutching done for the billions of things out there that are a bad message for teenage boys. Rap music, violent video games, unrealistic expectations of female beauty, Megan Fox... there are plenty of negative media influences out there polluting our teenage boys. Sure, there is some hand-wringing and pearl-clutching, but not like there is for Twilight. No one thinks the Transformers movie spells doom for our civilization.
This bothers me because the disproportionate response over Twilight suggests that teenage girls are less able to handle negative influences than boys. That their delicate girly minds aren't strong enough to be exposed to Twilight and reasonably deduce that a book about vampires is different than real life. Maybe the negative reaction to Twilight is the appropriate response and we're selling our teenage boys short, but either way, it annoys me. Let girls have their escapist fantasy. If they can't come out of it unscathed, then they had problems before reading Twilight. Let's not blame the crappy books. Mercilessly mock them instead. It's way more fun.