I didn’t pay much attention to Mark Driscoll until I became a feminist writer, and then every other Christian feminist had to just go and draw my attention to what a misogynist tool he is. Thanks a lot, everyone.
Today Driscoll engaged in some doomsaying about the state of teen culture as exemplified by Twilight fandom. Nearly every paragraph contains something awful. Here are some examples:
This weekend, millions will flock to movie theaters for the final installment of the teen vampire saga. Tragically, many will be driven by their parents, including some cougar moms encouraging and joining their daughters’ obsession with handsome young males.
Impressive. Already he’s managed to denigrate women, and we’re only two sentences in.
Our family car won’t be driving to the theater for Twilight—or over a cliff for that matter.
Because no one would possibly go to see a Twilight movie unless they were some mindless lemming following the rest of our depraved culture to its metaphorical death.
NBC News: “Teenagers obsessed with the Twilight vampire saga, or those simply fascinated with fangs, reportedly have been biting each other—hard—and then licking or sucking the blood. ‘These are kids who think they are real vampires,’ said Dr. Orly Avitzur. […] ‘Having that thick, warm copper-tasting blood in my mouth is the best thing I can think of!’ wrote a teenager identified as ‘GothicGirl10’ this year. ‘Sometimes my boyfriend lets me feed off him. I let him feed off me as well.’”
Let me tell you something, Mark Driscoll. Anyone calling herself “GothicGirl10” did not need the Twilight series to push her into melodramatic and pseudo-vampiric behavior.
Another support page for Real Vampires appeals to outsiders with “a few words for anyone who has ever been bullied, picked on, teased or harassed because you’re different. What you have suffered is wrong. It is wrong for anyone to hit you or harass you, or to make you hate yourself for being different, whether or not you consider yourself a vampire.”
But just so we’re clear, would Driscoll be okay with non-vampire sites encouraging teens not to give in to depression or despair?
The Week: “Lyle Monroe Bensley, 19, was arrested in his boxer shorts after he allegedly broke into the Galveston, Texas, home of a randomly chosen single woman, growled and hissed at her, dragged her down the hall, and tried to bite her on her neck… When the police arrested Bensley a short time later, he told them he was a 500-year-old vampire. ‘He was begging us to restrain him because he didn’t want to kill us,’ says Galveston officer Daniel Erickson. ‘He said he needed to feed.’”
This young man is obviously suffering from mental illness. If it hadn’t been vampires it would have been something else. This is the problem with anti-intellectuals like Driscoll: they can twist any negative behavior or event into evidence against whatever phenomenon they happen to be decrying at the moment.
I’m sure that the popularity of the Twilight series has pushed some impressionable young people over the edge into unhealthy behavior; it would be silly to pretend otherwise. But assuming that before Twilight came along these teens were completely healthy, wholesome, sunny-dispositioned Girl and Boy Scouts is equally silly. Blaming Twilight is focusing on the symptom, not the disease.