The release of Breaking Dawn Part 2, the final movie in the Twilight series, has brought with it what I suspect is the last flurry of Christian reaction to the popularity of the books and films. Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll, in a recent blog post titled "A Father's Fright of Twilight," describes the series as "for teenage girls what porn is to teenage boys: sick, twisted, evil, dangerous, deceptive, and popular." Driscoll goes on to highlight news stories about Twilight-crazed teenagers participating in real-life vampirism. He calls for discernment and regrets that Christian parents "naively" allow "this filth" into their children's lives.
I share Driscoll's concern about Twilight. But I diagnose the problem with the series very differently. The differences in our diagnoses are intertwined with the very different ways that Driscoll and I think about gender. Twilight is aimed at girls, and because it appeals so deeply to so many ...1