The Gaze for Girls/Raccoons/Porn

by on Jan.05, 2011

I am absolutely NOT reading any of Johannes’s posts on Black Swan until the film opens in my little eddy in time and space otherwise known as Wyoming.  BUT, in the meantime, I love to yak about the gaze.  And I love Tiger Beatdown. One of my fave posts “The Edward Cullen Underpants Conundrum” does some excellent tangling with what becomes of male gaze when we start applying it to the male body, and digs into the well-known-though-rarely-spoken fact of the matter: Twilight (books, films, swag) is porn for teenage girls.  It’s the ultimate perversion.  We’ve made porn for porn itself.  It’s sparkly so that dumbshows like girls and raccoons will be able to see it.  It’s got ever so much to do with cuteness and violence on which Lara and I and Dodie Bellamy and  Sianne Ngai and gobs others have ever so much to say.  But not in this post.  This post is about a post about Edward Robert Cullen Pattinson’s face on the dirty schoolgirl panties that come out of the vending machine.

Because Edward Cullen is porn. Weird, pre-sexual, socially conservative, deeply repressed and fucked-up porn, but in a world where ladies’ sexy feelings are fenced in with shame and warnings of danger from Day 1, is it any wonder that porn which consistently ties sex to death and fear and the urgent need for repression is selling to the girls? I mean, consider: Edward Cullen has no characteristics, as a person, other than wanting to “protect” Bella and being beautiful and gorgeous and perfect all the time. (And also an insufferable asshole, but that seems more like a mistake than a purposeful effort to give him a personality.) He has no goals in life other than being with Bella. He is over a hundred years old, and he’s never had sex with another person. He’s never wanted to have sex with another person. There is not and will never be a person or a thing or an event that is more important to him than (eventually) having sex with Bella. He is an object designed for the gratification of female desire. He’s the most ridiculous person who’s so amazing at everything, and he’s so beautiful you creamed yourself. And that’s it. And we’re used to dudes writing ladies this way, we’re even used to dudes writing ladies this way and passing it off as “literature,” but the idea of a female author writing a male character in this way, for the pleasure of other ladies, is profoundly disconcerting. Even to me! Because it’s backwards.


11 comments for this entry:
  1. Lara Glenum

    Porn for straight girls with no cock in sight? Not even a glimpse of a shy vampire shaft? That seems like a/the problem.

    There are countless ways in which women are serially divorced from their own sexual pleasure. All girls should be given a vibrator on their 16th birthday! Seriously.

    “Ladies’ sexy feelings are fenced in with shame and warnings danger from Day 1.” Absolutely.

    P.S. Danielle, I’m rolling with laughter over the phrase “ladies’ sexy feelings!” It reminds me of that weirdo lady who euphemistically called her vagina her “Lady’s front bottom!”

  2. Lara Glenum

    Also, what is the logic of those panties? Some guy’s gonna unzip yr britches and find Edward Cullen’s already there? Defending yr snatchly honor? Do the panties bite?

  3. Danielle

    Snicker. Maybe one’s supposed to wear the panties inside out? There’s also a shower curtain that has Edward’s face on the outside and a boyfriend pillow that requires leaning back against his face… there’s maybe something off in all these arrangements.

    I don’t mean this is porn for real humans hetero or queer, with actual bodies, but that it’s porn for the subjectivity we produce when we culture teenage girls. It’s sparkleporn. I’m not sure where the cock should/would fit in that scenario (maybe Edward turns out to have more mystical or Let The Right One In style junk??)… But, as Tiger Beatdown tells us, there is a sparkly purple Twilight dildo on the market.

  4. Nick Demske

    oh no. that’s my tattoo. and those are my undergarments.

    i think anyone, of any age, orientation or gender wearing someone’s (cloth, not real) face on their special purpose deserves at least…well…let’s just say it throws me off some.

    I would definitely rock a pair of those, though, if that were, say, Strom Thurmond’s.

  5. Danielle

    Oh, excellent! Via my savvy partner, I’ve just learned that in fact the panties do have Edward Cullen’s nose, mouth, and chin imprinted on the inside crotch. http://io9.com/5396405/twilight-crotch-facing-panties-to-help-you-celebrate-my-vampire-book Scroll down to check it!

    Bonus: Bella’s felted womb: http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/8/2009/11/500x_bellawomb2.jpg

  6. Lara Glenum

    Double snicker! Mystical junk! Ha! I’d like to plug some mystical junk into my mystical facehole!

  7. Lara Glenum

    I would like Strom Thurmond on my ass, personally. I would shit myself every day!

  8. Danielle

    Oh my goodness, Nick! “special purpose!” Favorite euphemism of 2011.

  9. Nick Demske

    man, i wish i could take full credit for “special purpose,” but I’m ripping it from Steve Martin in “the jerk” (or, really, his mother, I guess).
    It’s amazing how the inside crotch aspect exponentially multiplies how disturbed I am by all of this. But then I read Lara’s last comment and the world all feels ok again.

  10. Danielle

    That’s right! The Jerk, <3. I found my special purpose!

    I'm particularly troubled/intrigued/put off by the placement of the nose in those panties. But Lara's probably on to the real money maker–days of the week panties with reviled public figures on the behind.