Well, the age-old argument reared its ugly head again last night. I say “age-old”, but I really mean “since 2005”. And 2005 is relevant because that is the year that Stephenie Meyer unleashed the undead beast that is Twilight, her dreary vampire romance juggernaut.
You probably know where this is headed, and if you don’t here’s a subtle hint: it’s a genuine war of the sexes. I’ve often wondered how it is that one single solitary author can tap into the nerve center of women and girls the world over with regards to the male ideal. My wife is normally a logical and sane woman, but when the subject of undead romance comes up, she goes into a swooning frenzy. I’m picturing love in the undead world being a whole lot more populated by flesh-eating zombies; she pictures some morose guy who never sleeps and spends his time moping around and proclaiming his eternal love for your limited-time body.
SO I asked her: how did Meyer tap into that vein of crazy in every brain of all these ladies? What made this creepy, pasty lump of dead flesh so appealing that you and millions of others have fallen in love with a fictional character? She says it’s because of his endless devotion, that even though he’s already dead, what he really wants is to die yet again for the love of a whiny teenage girl. This appeals to women. My theory is that despite the liberation of the fairer sex, despite equal opportunity advances and the advent of the pantsuit, there is still a desire to be rescued by many women, apparently and preferably by someone who feasts primarily on human blood.
This is total crap.
Women have had the opportunity since the dawn of time to have a guy throw themselves in front of careening danger as a gesture of devotion. Those guys? They were called “nice guys” and you didn’t want nice guys. Nice guys didn’t cut it: you were busy pining over the bad boys with early-onset felonies. You may have called these guys “assholes” in polite company, yet it seemed as though you secretly hoped they would drunkenly shove their tongues down your throat while the nice guys built pimples and perfect attendance records. I don’t think I have to spell out any further what team I was on (can I get that door for you?).
The answer, therefore, must lie in the undead nature of this kind of person; nice guys are only appealing as an eternal option when they no longer have a heartbeat and are ice-cold, unsleeping vampires who wile away the night watching you sleep (in the human world that’s called “stalking” and is a punishable offense). But at least I finally got it. It took that long, but apparently, I am now in tune with what it is about the vampire-attraction.
Or so I thought.
Turns out the bad boy jerkface is still appealing to women in the same genre.
They just happen to be underage werewolves.
And so, the chasm between men and women remains, mysterious and unanswered for another generation.