Feminist Critiques Or Bound By Our Own Conceits?

There are few news outlets at the moment who aren’t filling countless column inches with opinions, reviews and essays on the cinematic and literary phenomenons that are Twilight & 50 Shades Of Grey. Hell, it’s hard not to.

Interestingly though, alongside claims that female stars front and centre equal a positive shift towards a more gender balanced entertainment industry, one or two voices have cited these role models as reductive, in part due to their stringent adherence to gender stereotypes.

This may or may not be valid, but if fictional storylines of women being elevated, protected and cherished are so broadly embraced by the audience, is it more useful to criticise the messenger or examine why they might be so appealing in the first place? I’m going to have a crack at the latter.

I’m feeling a bit awkward this morning.

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Kristen Stewart: Fallible But Futureproof

Kristen Stewart. Shows a promising disrespect for convention. Image via Gf/Bauer Griffin.

She plays the central character in a movie franchise that has changed the face of cinema, but is almost universally hated. She dates, and has been publicly vilified for cheating on, an actor who is repeatedly heralded as the most desirable male in the world today. She can rock the red carpet with the best of them, but given half a chance she’ll be accessorising her look with battered Converse instead of  designer heels. She has a healthy understanding of satire (see above).

All this at 22-years-old.

How Kristen Stewart has held onto her sanity, dignity and sense of humour in the last few years, I have no clue. But I will say this. In twenty-odd years, when Twilight is but a blot on her ouvre and her status as a feminist icon is unquestionable, remember where you read it first.

Dear Mr Maslow: Kristen Stewart Broke Your Pyramid

And the award for the Most Evil Act Committed This Year goes to… wait, what? Image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Dear Abraham (can I call you Abe?),

Since I last wrote to you, things have changed a lot and I’m not necessarily sure it’s for the better.

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