The two series have very different heroines—and critics overwhelmingly prefer one
Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate
If Bella fought Katniss, who would win?
This isn't a Superman-vs.-Hulk stumper or anything; if you have even a passing acquaintance with Stephanie Meyer's Twilight or Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, you know that, unless Edward or Jacob came to her rescue as they are wont to do, Bella is going to get stomped. Bella's main distinguishing characteristic is her clumsiness; she can't get out of gym class without getting injured, much less survive a fight. Over the course of the series' four books, I'm pretty sure Bella never kills, or even injures, anyone. When she does resort to violence, it's always ineffectual and comical, as when she hits Jacob and injures her fist. Katniss, on the other hand, is an extremely competent hunter and archer, a born survivor who is deadly when cornered. Through the Hunger Games series, she racks up a body count that would impress Dirty Harry. Thumb-fingered Bella wouldn't stand a chance.
Critics have expressed the Katniss-would-beat-the-tar-out-of-Bella dynamic in various ways. Tina Jordan at EW.com says that "compared to Katniss, Bella is simply the more passive character." Meghan Lewitt here at The Atlantic compared the "swoony Bella" to the "tough-as-nails Katniss," and enthusiastically welcomes the latter as a return to heroines like Nancy Drew and Buffy: "the tomboys and the rule-breakers, resourceful, whip-smart girls who were doing it for themselves with minimal parental supervision." Alyssa Rosenberg laments, "Bella's overriding passivity," while Yvonne Zip at Christian Science Monitor enthuses that "Katniss is too much of a fighter to go serenely to her death." Bella, on the other hand, is stereotypically girly, and as Melinda Beasi argues, even women and feminists (especially women and feminists?) are neverous about being "associated with anything 'girly.'" Thus the appeal of Katniss, who is a badass. Because whether it's in a fist fight or in the hearts of critics, butch beats girly every time.
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The relative discomfort with Bella, then, can be seen as reflecting a larger discomfort with femininity. That discomfort is prevalent not just among men, but (as Melinda Beasi says) among women as well. In fact, feminists have long struggled with how to think about and value femininity. Second-wave feminists (to generalize wildly) tended to be down on the feminine; they saw frills and pink and bows and childishness (or even, in the case of radicals like Shulamith Firestone, pregnancy itself) as part of the patriarchy's effort to infantilize and denigrate women. Third-wave feminists, on the other hand, have been (in general) more interested in reclaiming the feminine. For writers like Julia Serrano in Whipping Girl, the negative association with femininity is just another way through which the patriarchy devalues women.