The XX Factor

Sensitive Vampires Are Worse for Girls Than the Bloodsucking Kind

Or so argues Grady Hendrix in Slate today . Hendrix hates emo-boy vampires , with their all-swoon, no-suck brand of human relations. Latoya Peterson argued here in Double X that Twilight and True Blood are bad for women because they’re all about pigeonholing female characters into a virgin/slut binary. Hendrix thinks that the sensitive vamps of the last 15 years-descended from Buffy ‘s valiant, tortured Angel -give young women a whole ‘nother kind of mixed message.

Just as America’s young men are being given deeply erroneous ideas about sex by what they watch on the Web, so, too, are America’s young women receiving troubling misinformation about the male of the species from Twilight . These women are going to be shocked when the sensitive, emotionally available, poetry-writing boys of their dreams expect a bit more from a sleepover than dew-eyed gazes and chaste hugs. The young man, having been schooled in love online, will be expecting extreme bondage and a lesbian three-way.

Remember, though, that when Angel famously went from “sensitive” and “emotionally available” to loutish, blood-sucking cad-a change triggered by a steamy “sleepover”-Buffy was shocked, but then she ended up impaling him on a sword and shoving him into a hell vortex. Just saying.

Photograph of Robert Pattison, who plays Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies, by Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images.