By Casey Ryan Kelly
From the point of view of cultural conservatives, Hollywood video clips are cesspools of vice, exposing impressionable audience to pernicious sexually-permissive messages. delivering a groundbreaking research of Hollywood movies produced because 2000, Abstinence Cinema involves a truly assorted end, discovering echoes of the evangelical movement’s abstinence-only rhetoric in every thing from effortless A to Taken.
Casey Ryan Kelly tracks the fantastic sex-negative flip that Hollywood movies have taken, associating premarital intercourse with disgrace and degradation, whereas romanticizing conventional nuclear households, courtship rituals, and gender roles. As he demonstrates, those video clips are really disempowering for younger women, concocting plots within which the choice to chorus from intercourse till marriage is the younger woman’s fundamental resource of employer and arbiter of ethical worthy. finding those regressive sexual politics not just in anticipated websites, just like the Twilight motion pictures, yet staggering ones, just like the raunchy comedies of Judd Apatow, Kelly makes a compelling case that Hollywood movies have taken an important step backward in recent times.
Abstinence Cinema deals shut readings of flicks from a large spectrum of genres, and it places those motion pictures into dialog with rhetoric that has emerged in different arenas of yank tradition. difficult assumptions that we live in a extra liberated period, the booklet sounds a caution bell in regards to the strong cultural forces that search to demonize sexuality and curtail woman sexual supplier.
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Additional resources for Abstinence Cinema: Virginity and the Rhetoric of Sexual Purity in Contemporary Film
She explains, “I never meant for [Bella’s] fictional choices to be a model for anyone else’s real life choices. She is a character in a story, nothing more or less. ”22 Despite Meyer’s best efforts to depoliticize the series, popular culture inevitably draws from other discursive fields to make its messages salient to audiences. While it is easy to dismiss the Twilight saga as low-culture popular entertainment for young adults, it is significantly more productive to analyze and explain how its message makes sense of our social context.
14 Despite deviating from its Gothic roots, the vampire genre, now in a newly wholesome and conservative guise, has never been more popular. In addition 30 A bstinence C inema to breaking box office records, the Twilight saga has cultivated an extensive and devoted fan base. 16 But the popularity of the Twilight saga goes well beyond young adults. 19 At the same time, the vehemence of the pushback against the series almost matches the intensity of the self- described Twi- hards. In addition to countless anti- Twilight blogs, websites, and Tumblr pages, the saga is panned in parody films such as Vampires Suck (2010) and Breaking Wind (2012).
Whereas sexual abstinence and traditional marriage offer romance, true love, family, economic mobility, protection against illicit desires, and perpetual youth, feminism is portrayed as moribund. Put differently, sex outside marriage, careerism, independence, and personal autonomy are all associated with atrophy, death, and dystopianism. At the same time, the film’s conflation of choice with empowerment elevates Bella’s embrace of purity and traditionalism to a more successful and fulfilling model of feminist politics.