When I wrote “Great Girls Your Daughter Should Know… Before Reading Twilight” I expected a little controversy. I expected a lot of “Don’t hate on Twilight” and debate about the books I’d picked – mainly because many of the books I chose contain multiple adult situations. I did not expect the Kate Hate.
I’m not a Shakespearean scholar, but spent a good amount of my college and post college years reading, writing about and working on Shakespearean shows so it’s safe to say I’m at best a well read enthusiast. Today I want to take a few minutes to defend my inclusion of Kate on a list of “Great Girls”.
If you need to “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”, I’ll direct to the Wikipedia page for now, simply because I want to keep this short and simple.
Here’s the thing folks, I know in today’s society a work like “Shrew” doesn’t really fit into our ideas of what marriage or relationships should look like. Having “Shrew” on my lists doesn’t mean I’m advocating that wives should be beaten, starved or submissive and I know from a modern point of view that is what it seems like the play is advocating – a strong woman beaten down into humble docility. So, if that’s the case why is she on the list?
The most important reason I included her on my list is that the play has no one single interpretation and it opens up these topics in the classroom giving male and female students the chance to discuss issues like submissive behavior, changing yourself for a husband/boyfriend, etc. You can interpret the play as an antiquated piece of misogyny, a simple farce or a complex statement on expected behavior in society.
It remains on the list because this is a list of books and plays that I would want someone to read before “tackling” Twilight, which (let’s remember) is all about someone changing their behavior, social circle and appearance for the sake of “love” while in a rather abusive relationship. If you want your daughters to look horrified at all things Edward does to Bella and the way Bella meekly accepts it (when she’s not contemplating suicide) then give them Kate before hand. Reading a work like “Shrew” and having those discussions about those themes and behaviors will only help make your point about why the Twilight relationship is so unhealthy.
So folks, that’s it in a nutshell. Kate is not going to be stricken from the list. She remains on the list with a number of flawed characters because there is something in her story which I believe helps shine light on the faults of the Twilight Series for a young and impressionable audience. She is on the list for a reason; case closed.