Friday, November 25, 2011
Would you let a vampire date your daughter?
I like vampires. I think they make a rich background for a whole variety of stories about human strengths and weaknesses. They can serve as a foil to display our savagery, kindness, ability to transcend personal tragedy, or capacity to wallow in selfish lusts. Like anything inhuman, the thematic merits of the vampire result from casting them in a role traditionally occupied by ourselves or something we struggle against. The vampire striving to be human (really, “humane”) is a constant motif in vamp TV, movies, and books. There are dozens of other versions as well, both protagonist and antagonist. Whatever the case, I think the vampire concept has a lot of potential, and like any potential, much of it is wasted.
Today we’re going to touch on the idea of vampire pedophiles. To most people, “pedophile” is an emotionally-charged word. It should be. The idea of an adult abusing a child is repugnant, and the sexual overlay of the term make it even worse. If there were a hierarchy of sins in society, “pedophile” is going to rank Top 5, if not number one.
So of course a vampire pedophile would be cast as a villain. Ah, not so! Most vampire pedophiles are the protagonists of their particular tales. If not the hero, they are at the very least often interpreted as a sympathetic character. When their evil nature is derided, the fact that they are pedophiles is rarely brought up. Why? Because they aren’t written as pedophiles. Oh, no. They are “in love.” They see the purity in the soul of the person they’re lusting after, somehow looking beyond the years between them to form some true, deep, spiritual connection. Horse apples, I say!
Can you truly fall in love with someone a tenth your age? Not ten years younger, mind you, but a TENTH. Anyone in their 40s who has had an extended conversation with someone in their teen years is quickly bored, and that’s only a gulf of a couple decades. There’s just too vast a generational gap. The things you remember aren’t the things they know. In a way, they’re almost like alien species to each other.
Yet we’re supposed to believe that Twilight’s Eddy thinks Bella is all that? He’s over a hundred, born with all the baggage of an early 20th century upbringing, but she’s 17. Other than moony-eyes, what do they have in common? The same goes for Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, only worse. He’s from the mid-18th century, and she’s fifteen or sixteen when they start canoodling. Yeah, a vampire can adapt to the present era, in theory. But very few humans are capable of staying with current trends over an 80 year lifespan. You think we can manage it for 200?
We all know the classic dating range formula, where you divide your age in half and add 7 for your minimum. For your maximum, you go (your age-7) x 2. If we apply the classic “acceptable dating range formula” to Eddy we find that he can date woman who are anywhere between 57 (the youngest) and 186 (the oldest), based on his age being 100. Bella’s a little below his target group. Like 40 years below.
By any standards, these vampires are generations older than their love interests. There’s no way there isn’t a gross imbalance of power, which is pretty much the case with pedophiles. Like pedophiles, these vampires claim something about their victims “calls to them.” They “can’t resist.” Sounds like a sickness to me.
Boycott Twilight (if you weren’t already). It’s nothing more than a sad tale of a creepy pedophile vampire. Go ahead and watch Buffy, though. At least there’s something to it beyond “vampire/child relations.”
Ick, Eddy. Ick.