This article was originally published in December, 2009.
Last week I pointed out the rather disgusting sexual appetites of certain fantasy heroines, namely Buffy Summers, Sookie Stackhouse, and Bella Swan.
But when you take a second look at these vampire/human couples, there’s another disturbing trend: an age gap.
Specifically, an age gap that in some cases spans several centuries.
And these are couples that in some cases involve a teenage girl. So why are we okay with this?
(Bill Compton of True Blood, you get a pass this week. Sure, you’re scandalously older than you’re girlfriend Sookie — you were in the Civil War, after all — but at least Sookie’s an adult.)
Let’s start with you, Edward Cullen, with your big dreamy eyes and your dirty, dirty hair. Sure, you may have that young, boy-next-door, Cedric Diggory-kind of appeal, but lurking behind that underdeveloped chest is the cold, dead heart of an old geezer. Does anyone else think it’s insanely creepy that an old man just keeps going back to high school?
It reminds me of that moment in Dazed and Confused when Matthew McConaughey says, “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” That was unsettling to hear from him, and he was a hot dude in his 20s!
And then you not only go after this girl, you fill her head with nonsense about how all you want to do is kill her, but you’re such a gentleman that you’ll behave and let her live. And somehow you get her to love you for it!
Do they not have Megan’s Law in Forks, Washington?
But of course, that’s merely Twilight, which came well after the couple that started it all: Buffy and Angel. Before they got all freaky with each other, it was relatively unheard of for humans to sleep with vampires. What did you unleash, Joss Whedon?
He was 247. She was 16. He kept telling her how much he loved her, and waited, patiently, until finally having sex with her on the night of her 17th birthday. You got that? He slept with her the moment she became legal. That’s just as creepy as all of those websites counting down to the day the Olsen twins turned 17.
And sure, she was technically legal when she started having crazy house-shattering sex with the punky Spike, but he was still over the hundred year mark, while she was a mere 21. And furthermore, he had been in her life since she was 16 — albeit as a mortal enemy — so he had known her in the context of being a child. What’s the deal, William the Bloody?
Aside from the fact that these are beautiful girls, one has to wonder just what someone who’s been alive that long would really have to talk about with a 16-year-old girl. Here’s a sample conversation:
Vampire: Hey, you.
Girl: Hey, you. You know what I was just thinking about? The ’90s. Man, the ’90s were kick-ass.
Vampire: The ’90s? Oh, please. They had nothing on the Roaring ’20s. Man, those days were the tops.
Girl: The top of what?
Vampire: No, the tops. The cat’s meow.
Girl: You have a cat? Aw, I love cats!
Vampire: Why don’t you listen to your i-Plod?
Vampire: I miss speakeasies.
Yeah, not a lot in common. And yet in story after emo story, we see girls getting suckered in by these debonair vamps (and interestingly, almost never do we see these stories with the genders reversed).
So let this be a cautionary tale to concerned parents out there: if you see your daughter hanging around a boy with pale skin, an anguished expression, and an unusually vast knowledge of antiquated colloquialisms, get those crucifixes and garlic ready pronto. You’ll thank me when you don’t have any unexpected grandchildren with fangs.
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