"The rabid fans that take [Twilight] much too seriously": The construction and rejection of excess in Twilight antifandom

  • Jacqueline Marie Pinkowitz
Keywords: Cultural hierarchy, Fan, Girl, Literary critique, Popular culture, Scholar


The group of Twilight antifans known as the Anti-Twilight Movement has constructed themselves as a safe "us" in relation to the threatening and inappropriate Other that they have defined through their characterization of "rabid" Twilight fans and antifans' "them." Fearful of a low ranking on the cultural hierarchy, they have created their own internal fan hierarchy that, according to cultural notions about the superiority of class, education, and the elite over the uneducated and the popular, as well as of the dismissability of girl culture, ensures the dominance and safety of their own affected rationality over the characterized emotional and excessive behavior of rabid Twilight fans and antifans. Part of the performance of such scholarly affectation involves appropriating discourses of academia into their literary criticism of Twilight, so as to overcome any negative connotations of excess or susceptibility to the mass media. Their often feminine-gendered constructions of rabid emotionality and irrationality, while also perhaps revealing some element of self-hatred, showcases a group of antifans attempting to assign the same policing and consequential narratives and discourses that have traditionally been assigned to fanatics by the dominant culture to certain "threatening" fans and antifans within their own community, the ultimate means of identity construction and self-preservation.