Stalking: It’s only okay when he’s hot

They're always watching.
They’re always watching.

In real life, when I hear about a guy following a girl home, I get scared. I hope she calls the cops. I hope they stop him.

In fiction, I’m more likely to get attacked by the warm and fuzzies. YA HAS BRAINWASHED ME, IT’S NOT MY FAULT I SWEAR. I’m just a victim of this misogynist culture. Okay, fine, it kind of is my fault, since I decided to fill my brain with a steady diet of the stuff. Ya know, no one forced me to do that.

But now that I’ve been programmed into wanting to cuddle Edward Cullen instead of braining him with a rusty shovel, where do I go from here? Do I accept YA’s stalkerish ways, do I rationalize it all away, or do I start on the long, trainwreck-free road to recovery?

I don't want to recover.
I don’t want to recover. I like my trainwrecks.

Now that I think about it, I wasn’t entirely honest about the warm and fuzzies. I mean, sure, I was reading Teardrop (instead of vampire stalkers, we have Atlantean stalkers. It’s a change, I guess) the other day, and I thought it was somewhat aww-worthy, but my main reaction was crippling laughter. I especially liked the part when she went to the cops about Ander, the lovable stalker in question. That was awesome. Judging from my varied reactions, I don’t always mind stalking, but I’m aware that it’s over the top dysfunctional. Hence

my usual reaction.

my usual response.

I don’t think YA is fluff–just look at my Twilight analysis posts–but some elements are unmistakably fantasy. Fantasy often influences what to expect and desire, but I am 95% sure that I do not want Edward, Ander, or any of these guys for a boyfriend. Bella and Eureka (seriously, what is up with that name?) can have them all to themselves.

Sure, maybe some readers fantasize about Edward breaking into their rooms, but as long as they know real life doesn’t work that way, I have no problem with it. Edward breaking into my room isn’t really my fantasy–actually, if I had to pick one, it would be girls getting what they want–but if that’s what Bella likes, I can read along too.

I just have to rationalize a lot. It took me a long time, but I finally hit on what I consider a rather genius theory (no, it’s actually stupid).

Okay, so vampires are like cats, right? They’re aloof, they’re cute parasites, and they’re agile. They also follow you around, but no one minds when cats watch you. In fact, Midnight used to loom over me like a vulture at 7:00 AM and lick my ear without fail, which tickled me awake. I’d say Bella’s pretty lucky.

Edward is just a kitty in vampire form, or that’s what I tell myself when he’s bad.

So, in conclusion, no, I’m not okay with stalking; I am deeply conflicted about it. I’m so conflicted I have to turn all the characters in Twilight into cats to enjoy it. However, it does help when they don’t try to isolate the heroine. Edward has no problem with Bella’s friends or family, and I don’t think he’d try to stop her from leaving him (but that’s a scenario I always wanted to happen in the books).

Not so sure about Ander, though. That boy is

obsessed.

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8 thoughts on “Stalking: It’s only okay when he’s hot

    1. I know! As soon as I see a summary that mentions the evil other woman/girl, I am so not reading. The guy getting stalked is never even dealt with seriously, it’s just treated as an obstacle to the heroine’s true love.

      Also, if you read through all that confused, Twilight-justifying nonsense, I’m very touched.

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      1. Twilight is my benchmark for nonsensical creeperness! Sure I didn’t read it (so I guess I don’t know the in’s to eat at the cool-kids-vampy-table) but I have seen some of the films. So I’m not completely blind to rate things as 4 Edward Cullens out of 5. I ain’t even going to get started with the Bella metrics. Haaaaaaaaaa.

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      2. Um, can I use that rating system? 1 Edward Cullen denoting minor misbehavior, 5 Edward Cullens meaning off the wall obsession.

        Twilight is my mental limit. If a book gets any weirder than that series, I’m probably going to throw it at something.

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  1. Have you seen the Northern Irish series The Fall? It takes this stalker-as-romantic-icon trope to its limit by having as its hero a stalker who is an actual serial killer but also a handsome and irresistible object of desire. The second series is currently showing in Ireland and the UK (He’s played by Jamie Dornan, who got the role in 50 Shades of Grey on the back of this series).

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      1. “What time period is it?”

        I’m not sure if you mean when it is set or when it was produced. But the answer to both questions is Now. The second series has just been made and it’s set in contemporary Belfast. Gillian Anderson plays the detective out to capture him. He’s a serial killer, she’s a detective, so they’re basically stalking each other throughout the series. It’s not really YA, admittedly, but the themes are similar.

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      2. Okay, yes, I have heard of it; I meant when it was set. There was actually a blog post debating whether the serial killer was meant to be seen as a romantic antihero or a plain old scumbag. It sounded interesting.

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