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22 02 2018

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Response: Un(safe) sex: Romancing the Vampire by Karen Backstein
The article introduces the readers to a new dimension of sexuality in the transitioning vampire
stories. A noble and passive role once occupied by the women in vampire sex stories has now
transitioned into a more active one, not being the same chaste role, but exhibiting the woman’s
sexuality in a new way. Describing the contemporary texts, Backstein (p.212) argues that “they
are female-centered narratives that strive for audience identification with the heroine-with her
strength, her extra-ordinary capabilities, her status as an object of desire, or a combination of all
these traits”. This is quite true if one reviews the modern vampire literature, it is easily observed
that the women in such stories are no longer the same passive creatures once they used to be.
Backstein (p.212) further ads “She is the focus of the story, whether she’s narrating it (Twilight)
or the active visual character of the screen image (Buffy the Vampire, Slayer, True Blood)”. In
all of the texts mentioned above, the focus of the literature has significantly shifted towards the
female counterpart from the vampires, as used to be in the earlier narratives of the sort.
An excellent example of the phenomenon being talked about is provided by Backstein (p. 215) in
the case of Twilight, where-in she compares the human and vampire alternatives available to
Bella, the female in the story. “On the human side are Bella’s schoolmates almost all with a
crush on her, and all boyish and immature in contrast to Edward (who off course is many years
older than them). Sweet and welcoming, into sports and the porn, the represent a normalcy
Edward can never have; they also are roundly rejected as boyfriend material by Bella, who
gently guides them instead to more appropriate girls”. In this example, Backstein truly depicts
the power Bella has as a female character of the vampire story and the shift or transition from the
typical passive female characters in such narratives.

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Response: Un(safe) sex: Romancing the Vampire by Karen Backstein The article introduces the readers to a new dimension of sexuality in the transitioning vampire stories. A noble and passive role once occupied by the women in vampire sex stories has now transitioned into a more active one, not being ...
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