Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bloodsucking and Chastity

Another gaffe by McCain. This guy just can't keep his stories straight. This one is particularly funny though, which team do you really prefer: Packers or Steelers?

On another note, the NYTimes has an interesting op-ed today about a series of teen books that are sweeping the nation like Harry Potter did. These are the Twilight series, about a girl who falls in love with a vampire boy in Washington state.
The heroine is Bella, who gets sent off to finish high school in a really, really rainy part of the state of Washington. She catches the eye of a gorgeous boy in her biology class named Edward. He turns out to be a member of a commune of vampires, who have banded together to fight their inclination to drink human blood.

Edward, who has never been attracted to a woman, mortal or immortal, in more than a century of postdeath existence, falls for Bella at first sniff. (It’s all about the smell.) And he is going to be faithful to her forever, even when she gets old and dies. But as much as he adores her, he won’t have sex with her because he worries he might kill her with his superstrength in the heat of the moment.

So, they are forced to spend all their time kissing and cuddling and talking about their feelings.

“Only a vampire, ladies,” said Jessica Valenti, the author of “Full Frontal Feminism.” She worries that in the real world, young men are spending so much time watching pornography on the Internet that they will never be satisfied with normal women and normal relationships.

This sure sounds like trouble to me: A generation of guys who will settle for nothing less than a porn star meets a generation of women who expect their boyfriend to crawl through their bedroom window at night and just nuzzle gently until they fall asleep.
Is this pure trouble? That is an interesting question. In a culture of men saturated from early age by pornography, can they be expected to behave when it comes to a serious relationship? The author seems to hope that there is a possibility of some new training. The article later points out the possible secret of success:
Maybe the secret to her success is that in her books, it’s the guy who’s in charge of setting the sexual boundaries. Edward is a version of that legendary, seldom-seen male who won’t take advantage of his date even if she rips off her clothes and begs him to take her to bed.
In a culture that is increasingly torn between complete unattached hooking up and monogamy, these novels are apparently not looking for the middle ground that the Times desires, but rather is advocating monogamy. Hence the title of the article, "A Virginal Goth Girl." I particularly like the line in the article: "He turns out to be a member of a commune of vampires, who have banded together to fight their inclination to drink human blood." Yes, there is a place for mortification of desire in regards to sexuality, as surprised as the author of the Times seems to be to this. What a great image of chastity and lust: sucking someone's blood. I haven't (yet?) read these, but if you have, your feedback would be welcome.

Markel, SJ

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