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"Oh, to be 16 again..."

"Oh, to be 16 again..."


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Published by Tom Matlack
On the Prowl: Why grown women are the real audience for Twilight.
On the Prowl: Why grown women are the real audience for Twilight.

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Published by: Tom Matlack on Jul 15, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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to be
16 again...
On the Prowl: Why grown women are the real audience for Twilight.
!" $%& '()*(+,
Aûer my column, ºurlvlng ln Cars wlLh
vamplres" was publlshed lasL week, l recelved
scores of emalls lnslsung LhaL l'd mlssed Lhe
real polnL of Lhe ñlms. And whaL would LhaL
real polnL be? 1haL 1wlllghL lsn'L almed aL Leen!
age glrls llke my daughLer, kerry-lL's almed aL
Lhelr moLhers.
1hese emalls remlnded me of an lncldenL LhaL
l'd somehow blocked ouL. Lven Lhough l can'L
brlng myself Lo pay money Lo see Lcllpse, l dld
see new Moon on Lhe day aûer 1hanksglvlng
ln 2009. l was Lhe only guy ln Lhe packed movle
LheaLer. Whlle Lhere were plenLy of Leenagers,
mosL of Lhe audlence was mlddle-aged women
who were, as besL l could Lell, hungry for some
raw Leenage boy meaL.
1hey waLched ln dellghL as krlsLen SLewarL
(playlng 8ella Swan) panLed her way Lhrough
a love Lrlangle LhaL lncluded an amazlngly buñ
and bare-chesLed wolf-boy, !acob 8lack (1aylor
LauLner), and Lhe amazlngly pale and pouLy
vamplre, Ldward Cullen (8oberL Þamnson).
l wasn'L Lhere for Lhe sLory, buL more as a klnd
of soclologlcal learnlng experlence. WhaL would
cause grown women Lo Lhrow Lhelr panues
aL 18-year-old boys, as LauLner had reporLed
Lo uavld Leuerman? 8uL belng ln LhaL movle
LheaLer as women (several relaLed Lo me)
screamed wlLh ecsLasy when LauLner dlsrobed
senL me lnLo some klnd of sepuc shock-lnduced
blackouL, one LhaL LhaL prevenLed me from
recalllng Lhe experlence when slmng down Lo
wrlLe abouL Lcllpse lasL week.
Pere ls my favorlLe of Lhe many emalls l re!
celved ln response Lo ºurlvlng wlLh vamplres,"
clarlfylng Lhe appeal of Lhe boys ln Lhe ñlm Lo
maLure women, noL [usL Leenaged glrls. lL's
wrluen by Sarah lleckner, a happlly marrled
moLher and former auorney:
Ob, to be 16 oqolo. l om olJ ooJ joJeJ. lt ls so
olce of yoo, 1om, to osk yoot Jooqbtet wbot sbe
tbooqbt of ícllpse, bot lf yoo boJ oskeJ o mot-
tleJ womoo-soy, me fot exomple-yoo woolJ
bove qoueo completely Jl[eteot ooswets.
(1) l tblok o boqe Jtow ls tbot íJwotJ ls o
tomoouc ooJ be ls cblvoltoos, wblcb ls olmost
oooexlsteot tbese Joys. l om oll fot womeo´s
tlqbts ooJ epoollty, bot l tblok wltb tbem, o
qooJ Jeol of cblvolty weot Jowo tbe Jtolo. (l
om oot blomloq meo fot lt, l tblok 8euy ltleJoo
ooJ Clotlo 5teloem woolJ ptobobly bove beeo
oppolleJ by o moo opeoloq tbe Joot fot tbem
wbeo tbey wete petfectly copoble of Joloq lt
fot tbemselves, tbook yoo vety mocb, ooJ so lt
weot by tbe woyslJe.)
5loce tbe womeo´s tlqbts movemeot, bow mooy
meo (oslJe ftom my wooJetfol bosbooJ Iomle)
poll oot o womoo´s cbolt, stooJ op wbeo sbe
leoves tbe toble ooJ wbeo sbe comes bock, ot
qlves bet bls jocket becoose sbe ls colJ-eveo
lf be ls colJ too? íJwotJ woolJ pot bls boJy
jlo ftoot of o speeJloq] cot fot 8ello. ne woolJ
tbtow blmself ooto o wetewolf ot vomplte fot
bet. ne woolJ toto blmself lo to tbe voltotl ooJ
ceose to exlst.
AoJ, wblle lt ls o blt sttooqe tbot be wotcbes
bet sleep-ooJ lo o ootmol sltoouoo tbot woolJ
be completely stolkloq, ttespossloq, bteokloq
ooJ eotetloq, o wbole bost of otbet tbloqs, ooJ
sbe woolJ Jefoltely qet o testtololoq otJet
oqolost blm-lo tbls stoty, be Joes lt to ptotect
ooJ wotcb ovet bet. l tblok oll of tbose ote tbloqs
tbot womeo foJ so outocuve.
(2) l tblok tbete ls olso o boqe teosloo fot
íJwotJ lo tbot be so cleotly bos tbe oppet booJ
lo tbe telouoosblp bot Joeso´t woot lt to be tbot
woy. ne Joeso´t woot tbem to be oo ltem becoose
be koows lt pots bet ot tlsk ooJ lt coo´t lost. ne
keeps obooJooloq bet becoose be koows tbe
telouoosblp ls wtooq, sott of llke 8lll cllotoo ooJ
Moolco lewlosky, bot oo o sopetoototol level.
l Joo´t tblok tbot íJwotJ eojoys bovloq powets
tbot 8ello Joeso´t bove, l tblok tbot ls o boqe teo-
soo wby be Joeso´t woot to be loumote wltb bet.
AoJ lo tespoose to tbe poesuoo, tbeo wby Joeso´t
be moke bet loto o vomplte so tbey coo be epools,
l woolJ soy lt´s becoose be Joeso´t woot to toke
owoy bet bomoolty, bet sool, bet oblllty to qtow
olJ ooJ beot cbllJteo. wblcb oqolo qoes bock to
my cblvolty otqomeot. íJwotJ ls ooe sexy beost,
becoose be ls so cblvoltoos.
So Lhere lL ls, guys: Men, even Lhose who come ln
vamplre and werewolf varleues, should proLecL
Lhelr women. vlolence, lL seems, ls qulLe accepL!
able-ln facL, a Lurn-on-lf lL's done ln Lhe name
of chlvalry.
1hls remlnds me of a conversauon l had recenLly
whlle on a book Lour for an anLhology of ñrsL-
person sLorles by men. A guy ln a ponyLall sLood
up and sald LhaL he llked our book because lL
ºallowed men Lo embrace Lhelr female slde."
l sldesLepped Lhe quesuon, buL one of my parL!
ners on Lhe book was much more dlrecL ln mak!
lng Lhe same polnL 1wlllghL does on Lhls score:
Women are noL looklng for Lhelr men Lo ñnd Lhelr
vulnerable and emouonal slde. 1he women of
Amerlca are looklng for Lhelr men Lo allow Lhe
women Lo have Lhelr emouons and for Lhe men
Lo be sLrong enough Lo proLecL Lhose emouons-
wlLh force, lf need be.
1hen Lhere's Lhe old-fashloned power of fanLasy
LhaL, lL Lurns ouL, ls a Lwo-way sLreeL. ºuld you
nouce Ldward's nlpples were dlñerenL slzes?" my
slsLer-ln-law asked me on Lhe way home from Lhe
l had noL, l was snorlng by LhaL polnL. 8uL lL
broughL Lo mlnd Lhe facL LhaL Lhe boy-gods were
noL even human. Where men mlghL be accused of
supporung a pornography Lrade bullL on expllclL
sexual fanLasy, Lhe facL LhaL Ldward and !ake are
noL human seems Lo helghLen Lhelr appeal Lo
WlLh all LhaL longlng and ñghung and runnlng and
leavlng and reunlung, Lhese guys rlse above Lhe
mundane, day-Lo-day sLuñ llke dolng Lhe dlshes
and Laklng ouL Lhe Lrash.
kead the or|g|na| arnc|e, "Dr|v|ng |n Cars w|th Vamp|res" -./.0
1!%2) $%& '()*(+,
1om MaLlack ls [usL foollsh enough Lo belleve he ls a
decenL man. Pe has a 16-year-old daughLer and 14- and
3-year-old sons. Pls wlfe, Llena, ls Lhe love of hls llfe.
At 1be CooJ Meo ltoject Moqozloe, we wtlte, Jlscoss,
ooJ lovlte commeototy oo o wbole slew of toplcs fot
meo ooJ oboot meo lo toJoy´s wotlJ. keol, booest,
complex, ooJ tbooqbt-ptovokloq.

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