Stephenie Meyer explicitly pointed out that "feminism" is "being able to choose." I agree with this entirely; the right to choose is important.
But the right to choose is only part of the question. When given the chance to choose, which path do we choose? Do we choose to let men into our lives and still maintain our independence, or do we choose to allow men to dominate our lives, both physically and psychologically?
In the case of Bella Swan, she chose the second path.
In my opinion, choosing that road is no different from choosing at all. Choices, as we all know, split into right and wrong. What is the point of choosing if the choices one makes are the wrong choices?
In Twilight, Bella supposedly "chooses" to be with Edward. But to choose to be with someone also means that when you are forced to be separated from them, you have the willpower to endure it. Also, Meyer's descriptions contradict with the idea that Bella "chooses" to be with Edward. Her consistant use of quotes such as "I didn’t know if there ever was a choice, really. I was already in too deep. Now that I knew — if I knew — I could do nothing about my frightening secret. Because when I thought of him, of his voice, his hypnotic eyes, the magnetic force of his personality, I wanted nothing more than to be with him right now.” (Meyer, 139) or describing Edward as "hynotic" gives readers the impression that Edward has a control over Bella, which prevents her from being able to refuse him. THIS is not a CHOICE; it's CONTROL!
Even if Bella does have a choice, what does she choose? She chose to abandon her college education for a "person" who constantly abuses her. She chose to listen to all his suggestions and command without so much as a thought of "Why should I listen to him?" She chose to revolve her life around men, respecting her man more than herself, which, if you check any dictionary, is the exact OPPOSITE of feminism. In other words, Bella is making a choice which, according to Meyer, is "feminism". However, her choices reflect nearly everything feminism is against. In that case it would mean she's a "feminist" by choosing to be "non-feminist". Sounds to me as though Meyer is contradicting herself!
There are plenty of books out there that depict anti-feminism in a far more severe manner than Twilight, so why is Twilight getting more attention? The answer is simple: it appeals mostly to young girls. Teenage girls are at the time of their lives where they dream about love but have had little experience. As a result, when they read Twilight, they get the impression that "this" is "true love". I do not mind if people enjoy Twilight; it's a form of entertainment. However, when I hear girls saying, "Oh, I wanna be just like Bella! I want a guy just like Edward!", that's when I get angry. A book that glorifies spousal abuse, domestic violence, and stalking is being idolized. Plus, girls are being encouraged to give more to their man than to themselves, to listen to them in a manner no less than an obedient slave. These "feminist" choices are encouraging us to discard everything that past feminists worked so hard to win for us and present feminists are working so hard to protect: our rights, our independence, and our individualism.
We have come a long way since the days where women were not even considered citizens. However, we still have a long way to go. Don't let the foundations crumble beneath us before we are even finished with the building.