Tag Archives: romance

Live Free or Twi-Hard: A Guy’s Perspective On Women’s Perspective of the Twilight Series

C.S. Lewis's book looks strangely like "Twilight." Photo courtesy of W.K.

We’re a culture of story-tellers. We’ve been doing it for so long. Homer. Shakespeare. Fitzgerald. And with any good story comes a moral to that story. Stories teach us about ourselves–they teach us about our fears, what we value, lessons we need to learn. And stories, if they are good enough, will pass the test of time. They will be passed on from one generation to the next to teach the next generation where they come from and warn them of what they have the potential to be. Stories reveal our identities.

Like most guys, I find the female world mysterious and complicated. I think Relient K puts it best in their song, “Mood Ring.” They suggest that girls should get mood rings to warn guys of what mood they currently are in: “Mood ring oh mood ring/Oh tell me will you bring/The key to unlock this mystery/Of girls and their emotions/Play it back in slow motion/So I may understand the complex infrastructure known as the female mind.” Now okay, guys are somewhat mysterious too–we don’t like talking about our feelings. However, there are times that we are allowed to show our emotions. The BBC reveals some and Tremendous News reveals a hilarious set. Women often see our true emotion when (and this is some of my own thoughts) 1. Something happens to our genitals. 2. We lost a lot of money. 3. Someone we truly love dies. 4. Our favorite sports team loses. See, guys are simple.

If stories do reveal identities than perhaps those romance novels that women often like to read also reveals their identities. Perhaps it reveals a woman’s fantasy–what he should look like, how he should talk, what she believes a man must do to win her heart.

Books like "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" get kids to read again. Photo Credit: Children Book Blogs

Being a guy and knowing “Guy Land” because I live it and have researched it, I asked myself an age-old question better men than me have asked: what do women want? If stories do reveal identities than perhaps those romance novels that women often like to read also reveals their identities. Perhaps it reveals a woman’s fantasy–what he should look like, how he should talk, what she believes a man must do to win her heart. Enter Stephanie Meyer, author of the “Twilight” Series. Her 4 books have made the New York Bestseller list, and like J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series it inspired children and teenagers to stop playing video games or shopping for clothes and go to a bookstore and pick up a book. The “Twilight” series reveals a certain type of heroine in the main character, Isabella “Bella” Swan, but feminists believe she’s a “villain” (more on that in other posts). So why write anything about Meyer’s “Twilight” series? They aren’t important; they aren’t a special work of literary genius? I could care less about the series, but when a book like that spawns a movie (“New Moon”) that the Los Angeles Times reports as breaking two-box office records in one day, as well as create a pre-teen and teen frenzy during its premiere, or how book publishers have started to change the covers of their book to mimic “Twilight”–to say that the books can or doesn’t influence the next generation is to say that the moon doesn’t influence the ocean waves. I can still hear the screaming and crying girls. I shudder thinking about it.

After 2 hours of reading the first book, I’m on page 212. And what I’m learning so far…well, it’s terrifying.

A couple days ago, I wrote about the double standard with Taylor Lautner being “jailbait” I realized that before I could make more judgments, I should really be an informed reader. I’ve never read the books, but I was introduced to the first movie back in June by my friend, Jillian. She loves the movie, and loves the book even more.  To see her and other girls light up when Edward or Jacob walks into the room–it was interesting. So in order for me to understand what the “Twilight” books were revealing and how they could affect the next generation, I needed to know what the fuss was about–I needed to read the books myself. And the bet was made for me to read the books before the New Year. So I picked up the phone, called my friend Victoria, and borrowed her books. Oh, and if you’re reading this Victoria, I was quite secure in my masculinity to be walking around UCLA with the books in hand. Okay, I was a little embarrassed when I walked by the gym. I wanted to approach the book differently. Other reviews and other websites gave a woman’s perspective on the books. I wanted to give a guy’s perspective on the woman’s perspective of the books. Like I said earlier, we can learn a lot from the stories we tell, and the “Twilight” books aren’t an exception. I want to learn what it is that girls and women want in a man–or at least what they think they want in a man. I want to learn what they want a man to do. After 2 hours of reading the first book, I’m on page 212. And what I’m learning so far…well, it’s terrifying. So you’ll have to wait for the next post–I’ve got to continue reading.

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Filed under Books, Life, Masculinity

A Life-Changing Love

love

Photo Credit: Flickr

What exactly is love? Countless of people from philosophers to psychologists to poets and musicians have tried to define it, but perhaps the concept is just too difficult to define or to grasp. Yet it exists somehow. Some define it as a “strong positive emotion of regard and affection”  (Source 1). Authors Lewis, Amini, and Lannon (2000) attempted a more biological definition, that love is an essential human drive, like hunger or thirst and may occur in the form of oxytocin, neurotrophins, and pheromones. The field of psychology looks at love as more of a sociocultural phenomenon.

Hollywood thrives over those sappy films filled with love and romance. They’ve become classics in our homes–movies like “Ghost,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “While You Were Sleeping.”  Unfortunately, sometimes Hollywood’s portrayal of love is really not about love at all. It’s more about lust. You know, those American Pie films that are supposedly about “young love” is really about the pursuit to “score.” Have we forgotten what love is? Or is love just purely “sex and candy” (Marcy Playground)?

The music world, is never without love songs. Nat King Cole cleverly created initials for love (“L is for the way you look at me. O is for the only one I see. V is very, very extraordinary. E is even more than anyone that you adore”). The Everly Brothers sang that “love hurts, love scars, love wounds and mars.” Singers Joan Jett and Hadaway as well as the bands Incubus and Nazareth would agree that love is painful. But although love may be painful, it may be well worth it, as Taylor Swift reminds us with “Love Song,” a song about two modern-day star-crossed lovers. How romantic. The Backstreet Boys are willing to do anything “as long as you love [them].” But they are not alone. Heck, we’ll do anything for love, or at least to feel love.

Sometimes, this pursuit for love or to feel loved leads us to a downward spiral as we find it in the wrong places. We want intimacy, and not in the sexual sense, but in the sense that only love can provide. Intimacy is the feeling of mutual affection. It’s what genuine friendships are made of. And we aren’t getting enough of it. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy makes us cheat on our spouses, instead of doing our best to examine the problem and communicate it with our spouses. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy leads us to an addiction to drugs and alcohol–we end up drowning our sorrows away because the temporary high and buzz makes us feel better about our lives. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy leads us to harm ourselves, believing that no one in the world cares about us, so it is better to just end our lives right here right now. The tragedy is that we deceive ourselves and that we allow ourselves to be deceived.

Love is out there and it’s not about cute little pink and red hearts. Just recently, I heard a song from Jaeson Ma which basically inspired me to write about this. Jaeson is an outspoken individual who is a culture changer, world shaker, and history maker.

His new song, “Love,” is refreshing because it provides a different message from all those songs and movies about love. What is love? Love is about sacrifice–it’ selfless. It’s thinking about others before yourself. What a radical idea! Perhaps it’s only radical because in our society, we use the word love so much, that it’s lost its meaning: “I love what you’re wearing.” “Do you love the Fray’s new song?” Perhaps it’s only radical in our society because love is self-centered instead of others-centered. We do things because it’ll make us look better. We do things for another only if they do something for us.

I want a love that is life-changing. I think that’s the only sort of love that’s worth it. So why don’t you take a minute and check out this unique message about love, and if you love it, then spread the love:

Photo Credit: Flickr

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Filed under Christianity, Life, Music