Is the pop-cultural success of Twilight and its vampiric ilk down to the fallout of the sexual revolution? Are vampires making the world's straight women fall in love with gay men? Esquire Magazine seems to think so.
Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men. Not all young straight women, of course, but many, if not most, of them.
That's the argument put forward by Esquire's Stephen Marche in his subtly-titled essay "Vampires as Gay Men," and he's brought True Blood, Twilight and MaryJanice Davidson's Undead series of novels as evidence. As he puts it, the success of the vampire genre comes directly as a consequence of society using it as a metaphor for the sexual "other," making the unknown more comfortable:
Adam and Steve who live on your corner with their adorable little son and run a bakery? The transgendered man who gave birth to a healthy baby? The teenage girl who wishes that all boys could be vampires? All part of the luscious and terrifying magic of today's sexual revolution. The political consequences are sweeping - Iowa's Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage is further proof of an old wise man's dictum that the United States invariably does the right thing, after first exhausting all the other alternatives - and the cultural impact is just beginning to be felt... Neil Gaiman should take some comfort, though: Vampires will eventually go away. They always do. But only when they've sucked our fear and our longing dry.
Our favorite response to this may be from Entertainment Weekly's Mandi Bierly:
When I first read the essay, I wanted to flat-out shoot it down. But then I remembered that I'm someone who's said "I'd like a man who's just to the left of gay" and "I know I'm really into a guy when I fantasize about watching Golden Girls with him." (It's a turn on to watch him appreciate vocal, funny women and their friends.) So maybe I can't call total bulls-.
But what do you think? Consider this an open thread to discuss.