Vampires are everywhere at the moment and they are trying to cater to every taste. We get it, vampires are undoubtedly cool and hot but where have all the strong heroines gone? We’ve been left with teenage naivety and the sexual dalliances of waitresses. Our leading ladies are all lied to and misled by men, men who want to eat them. Seriously, some gal needs to kick some ass, somewhere.
It seems that the days of Buffy the Vampire Slayers are long gone. Yes. The woman born to dust vamps fell in love with her share of pointy-teethed fellas and their washboard abs but she also killed them, including the one she loved. Not to mention her powerful “sidekick” Willow who hunted down a murderer and ripped off his skin using magic. They were strong women.
It seems that the only women who are allowed to be strong and self-sufficient around vampires nowadays are the ones who are inherently evil themselves. We’ll begin with the most obvious treachery, The Twilight Saga. Like all good vampire love stories, he saves her life and she finds out he’s a vampire. Though, for some reason this doe-eyed girl is more than willing to fall into his arms, even when he tries to warn her away.
The problem with Twilight is that the “heroine” Bella has a death wish. She puts herself and others in harm’s way, without a second thought because she fell in love with some dude she has known for five minutes. If you know the story, it seems obvious that she was relieved: the pretty boy didn’t hate her and when she finds out he just wanted to eat her, she blindly risks everything.
As a woman the image of Bella seems incredibly juvenile and unfortunately has spawned lots of young adoring girls who would be sycophantic over any pointy haired, sunshine-shy moody dude. This is teaching young women that a man who is bad for you, pushes you away and is harmful to you is worth it because he pweetty.
Teen vampire heartthrobs on TV are not much better, like the smouldering Salvatore brothers, who are in a love triangle with the innocent and selfless Elena Gilbert in The Vampire Diaries. Similarly to Bella, Elena is constantly putting herself in harm’s way and falls in love with a vampire or two along the way. What these girls don’t seem to get is that vampires lie sometimes, it’s true … ask them, well don’t ask them, they’ll lie. The Salvatore’s are more “realistic”, with a darker edge yet Elena won’t give them up, even letting her boyfriend drink her blood.
My problem with Elena is, like her contemporaries, she is stubborn and doesn’t see the consequences of her actions. Plus it would help if she staked a few once in a while, just to show she’s learning. Her vampires are still killers and drink human blood because they like it and need it. Worst of all, like Bella, she is portrayed as intelligent but she can’t even give one the silent treatment when they kill a person.
Sookie Stackhouse of True Blood is an actual grown woman and her character does show some progress. As an adult Sookie does learn the hard way that vampires are liars and that they want her blood. Sookie even becomes more willing to kill and does kill, particularly in the books.
Sookie often thinks about how her life has become dark, disturbing and dangerous. Though she continues to choose vampire lovers even with nice other supernatural suitors. Sookie continues to trust her undead men, even when she’s aware they’re hiding things but there probably wouldn’t be a show without it. The consequences to her actions are more gruesome and it becomes harder to believe that bloodsuckers are still worth the drama. But it must be hard for Sookie if there are more viable vampire lovers than regular men in a small American town.
Supernatural on the other hand, follows the Winchester brothers as they hunt darkness dwellers of every kind, they recently came up against the fallout of teen vampire dramas. Vampires began using pretty boys and emo poetry to lure young girls, creating their own army of adoring teenage vampire fangirls. Maybe this is the real plan, easy bate for grooming, it seems likely at this point.
Women need some strong and independent female role models, some Winchester sisters if you will. Let’s save the rant about pretty young vampire boys for another time, we’ll just say a small thank you for Colin Farrell.