[TW: Sexual Assault]
His lips crushed mine, stopping my protest. He kissed me angrily, roughly, his other hand gripping tight around the back of my neck, making escape impossible. I shoved against his chest with all my strength, but he didn’t even seem to notice. His mouth was soft, despite the anger, his lips molding to mine in a warm, unfamiliar way.
I grabbed at his face, trying to push it away, failing again. He seemed to notice this time, though, and it aggravated him. His lips forced mine open, and I could feel his hot breath in my mouth.
Acting on instinct, I let my hands drop to my side, and shut down. I opened my eyes and didn’t fight, didn’t feel… just waited for him to stop."
Twilight: Eclipse p. 331 (Bella and Jacob’s first kiss)
This is rape culture.
Young women are taught to think of this passage - which describes sexual assault - as erotic. Young men are taught to force their will on young women, regardless of any (non)verbal cues, because sex is conquest and women are objects - not something to be done between two consenting individuals because it’s pleasurable for both people.
The most frightening thing about this excerpt is that many survivors of sexual assault who have disclosed to me describe stories that sound exactly like this one.
tumblr user clockward submitted this to us. read at your leisure.
The lines before that:
He still had my chin—his fingers holding too tight, till it hurt—and I saw the resolve form abruptly in his eyes.
“N—-” I started to object, but it was too late.
And after he assaulted her she punched him in the face but due to his “super human strength” she broke her hand, said “Don’t touche me!” and then:
“Just let me drive you home,” Jacob insisted. Unbelievably, he had the nerve to wrap his arm around my waist.
I jerked away from him.
When he got in the driver’s side, he was whistling.
AND THEN while he was driving:
“…There is so much I can give you that he can’t. I’ll bet he couldn’t even kiss you like that—-because he would hurt you. I would never, never hurt you, Bella.”
I held up my injured hand.
He sighed. “That wasn’t my fault. You should have known better.”
He grinned over at me. “You kissed me back.”
I gasped, unthinkingly balling my hands up into fists again, hissing when my broken hand reacted.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“I did not.”
“I think I can tell the difference.”
“Obviously you can’t——that was not kissing back, that was trying to get you the hell off me, you idiot.”
He laughed a low, throaty laugh. “Touchy. Almost overly defensive, I would say.
I took a deep breath. There was no point in arguing with him; he would twist anything I said.
Then when she gets home, to where her father, Charlie, the police officer, is:
“Why did she hit you?”
“Because I kissed her,” Jacob said, unashamed.
“Good for you, kid,” Charlie congratulated him.
I didn’t read the citation first. I read the quote. I thought I was reading a woman’s account of how she was about to be raped, not a fucking passage from a romance novel.
Don’t forget the second kiss scene later on too - where Jacob manipulates Bella with threats of committing suicide to get her to submit to him:
“I don’t have to do anything deliberate—I could just do my best for my pack and let what happens happen.” He shrugged. “If you could convince me you really did want me to come back—more than you wanted to do the selfless thing.”
I knew he would take advantage of the situation. I expected it. I held very still my eyes closed, my fingers curled into fists at my sides- as his hands caught my face and his lips found mine with an eagerness that was not far from violence.
I could feel his anger as his mouth discovered my passive resistance. One hand moved to the nape of my neck, twisting into a fist around the roots of my hair. The other hand grabbed roughly at my shoulder, shaking me, then dragging me to him. His hand continued down my arm, finding my wrist and pulling my arm up around his neck. I left it there, my hand still tightly balled up, unsure how far I could go in my desperation to keep him alive. All the while his lips, disconcertingly soft and warm, tried to force a response out of mine.
Oh, and after she mentally breaks and kisses him back? Yeah – then we start in on the victim blaming:
It stunned me when Edward chuckled reluctantly.
“And I thought I fought dirty,” he said with grudging admiration. “He makes me look like the patron saint of ethics.” His hand brushed against the part of my cheek that was exposed. “I’m not mad at you, love. Jacob’s more cunning than I gave him credit for. I do wish you hadn’t asked him, though.”
“Why aren’t you angry with me?” I whispered. “Why don’t you hate me? Or haven’t you heard the whole story yet?”
“I think I got a fairly comprehensive look,” he said in a light, easy voice. “Jacob makes vivid mental pictures. I feel almost as bad for his pack as I do for myself. Poor Seth was getting nauseated. But Sam is making Jacob focus now.”
I closed my eyes and shook my head in agony. The sharp nylon fibers of the tent floor scraped against my skin.
“You’re only human,” he whispered, stroking my hair again.
IT’S OKAY BELLA. YOU’RE ONLY HUMAN. IT’S YOUR FAULT BUT EDWARD FUCKING FORGIVES YOU.
I have no words, NO FUCKING WORDS for how GODDAMN ANGRY these books make me.