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By Jill Arnold

This post originally appeared on The Unnecesarean in October 2010. Sadly, that discussion of Twilight remains one of the more passionate discussions in the history of the blog.

SPOILER ALERT (and salty language)

I finally saw Twilight. I finally understand the widespread appeal of the storyline to teenage girls and young women. I would like to call it a thinly-veiled, metaphorical cautionary tale of the dangers of teenage female sexual desire and activity, except that there was no veil. It wasn’t even subtle. A sexually mature female learns that people are lusting for her blood and fighting off the urge to attack her for it, which will forever change her as a person, pulling her out of the light and into a dark subculture of people with lusty urges. It’s up to a male to police her passion so that they don’t make a life changing mistake they’ll regret forever.

Okee dokee.

About a year ago, someone sent me a link to a blog post on Chud.com about the birth scene in Breaking Dawn, suggesting that I write about it. We laughed, exchanged cordial ewwws and WTF’s and forgot about it.

Since then, the Twilight franchise did its pre-production media blitz for Breaking Dawn and Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, told MTV News this summer that she can’t wait to see the birth scene on the big screen.

When MTV News chatted with the best-selling author at the Los Angeles premiere of “Eclipse” last week, Meyer revealed that she is most excited to see the very descriptive and messy “birth scene” on the big screen.

“I’d love to have the birth scene be every bit as awful — I know it freaked people out, but for those of us who have been through childbirth a couple times, it is a scary, terrifying experience,” she said. “This is just taking that to an exponential power, and I love going there.”

The exponentially terrifying birth to which she’s referring is an emergency cesarean performed by Edward with his teeth. Judging by the public’s fascination with the so-called shark cesarean last year, animalistic surgery by mouth is all the rage.

The author of the post that my friend sent me, Why Breaking Dawn Must Be Made Into a Movie, provided a salty commentary on the controversial vampire cesarean.

In a moment that demands to be shown on the silver screen, Edward gives Bella an emergency C-section with his fucking teeth. It’s like something out of XTro, for the love of God. It’s so horrible it’s brilliant, and this scene alone is why I remain firm in declaring that David Cronenberg must direct Breaking Dawn. This is surely his movie.

Once the baby is out, Bella gets vamped by Edward, as she’s about to die at any moment. Then comes the most astonishing turn of events in 21st century literature, and possibly in the entire history of awful fiction aimed at tweens: Jacob the werewolf, who has been madly in love with Bella, sees the new baby girl and immediately imprints on her. What this means, in layman’s terms, is that he falls in love with the baby.

I want to pull this out on its own: Jacob falls in love with a baby.

The book makes no bones about this; while Jacob doesn’t want to fuck the baby right off the bat, he can’t stand to be away from it and visits everyday. His love has been transferred from Bella to the baby (who has the tongue shattering name Renesmee), and because of the science behind imprinting he’ll love her forever. So one day he’s going to stick his wolf dick in this girl that he sees as a bloody newborn.

Prior to all of the birth drama, Bella and Edward got married. Edward didn’t want to consummate the marriage because he was worried that his powerful, uncontrollable vampire sex skills would leave her battered and bruised. He was right— Bella was beaten unconscious during sex. [Edit: Twilight readers say she was not actually unconscious, just battered and bruised.] Wanting to be with him so badly, she told him that she was alright, went back for more and got pregnant.

The plot summary on the 1.2 million strong Breaking Dawn Facebook page reveals why her pregnancy is bound to be problematic.

Two weeks into their honeymoon, Bella realizes that she is pregnant with a half-vampire child and that her condition is progressing at an unnaturally accelerated rate. After contacting Carlisle, who confirms her pregnancy, she and Edward immediately return home to Forks, Washington. Edward, concerned for Bella’s life and convinced that the fetus is a monster as it continues to develop with unnatural rapidity, urges her to have an abortion. However, Bella feels a connection with her unborn baby and refuses.

Bella’s willingness to sacrifice her life for the sake of the unborn vampire fetus that is literally beating her to death from the inside goes part and parcel with the attitude toward women that steered the plot of the original Twilight movie. In this case, total maternal self-sacrifice, producing a child at all costs to demonstrate love and wanting someone so badly that you will tolerate violent sex (since, you see, he biologically can’t control himself) send quite a message to send to girls and young women about both womanhood and tolerating violent domestic situations.

Twihards, feel free to correct any inaccuracies. I haven’t read the book, but as of July, neither had actor Robert Pattinson, who told MTV News:

Even though he hasn’t yet read the novel, Pattinson still knows a thing or two about the more talked-about “Breaking Dawn” moments. MTV News’ Josh Horowitz commented that some of the story’s big surprises have already been announced — like the fact that Bella Swan is going to be having a baby — and asked Pattinson what he felt about what “Breaking Dawn” had in store.

“I think that’s going to be very funny,” he said about the birthing scene. “The only thing I know about it is the famous scene: the kind of cesarean scene … I do not envy Bill Condon to have to think of some way to do that.”






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Reader Comments (18)

Wow, what a great perspective on this. I knew I had problems with this series but couldn't quite articulate why.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCassie Moore

Maybe you shouldn't talk about something if you haven't actually read the entire book. Cause there is a lot more to the story than what you're writing about.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Best. Movie. Review. Ever.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElle

If I were going to publish an article, I'd make sure that I was fully informed about the subject first. Perhaps a cursory read of the subject matter might prevent such cheap assumptions in the future.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am continually surprised by how unfazed people are by the idea of VAMPIRE CESAREAN (not to mention the utterly wack gender message of the entire series, and the pregnancy in particular). I think it has something to do with the epidural culture normalizing the idea that birth should be pain-free, and so naturally young women who don't educate themselves are going to think that becoming a vampire is a good way to avoid that pain.

Also, you have incurred the wrath of the Twilight fans. Good luck with that career...

November 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterCourtroom Mama

I have read all of the books and that is pretty accurate. I love the books for being completely fiction, but I can see how these themes would be troubling in a growing impressionable young mind. I did not pick these themes up when reading (not saying that they are not there) only because it was my escape from my 3 children every couple months for a couple hours… lol.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralisha

I've read all the books, and I think you are off on this. I don't find Edward comparable to an abusive spouse, because Edward is a creature that does not exist in this world. Anyone who can't differentiate between the behavior of a vampire and the behavior of a male human should not read these books, because they will get false ideas - but in my experience, most teenage girls can actually tell the difference, just like most people can tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

I think Bella's great love for her child is admirable, and I don't think it sends a bad message. That is what mother love is like.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHannah C.

Can't believe I'm commenting on this one.. but yeah.. lol

Not a vampire cesarean... he had to use his "vampire teeth" to break through the amniotic sac. that is all.


November 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermommymichael

It saddens me that the author of Twilight was motivated in part to create the scene by this:

"I know it freaked people out, but for those of us who have been through childbirth a couple times, it is a scary, terrifying experience,” she said.

A scary, terrifying experience in the non-fictional human realm, for the average mother? There is something very wrong with the climate of birth if essentially all of us who have been through it are assumed to have found it scary and terrifying.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKK

I read the book a long while ago but I'm pretty sure it was a c-section, in that the baby came through her abdomen and not her vagina.
It actually pissed me off when I read it because it seemed to send the message "Having a baby will kill you unless some nice man comes along and cuts (or tears with their teeth, in this case) it out of you." Great message.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMolly
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