The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Friday Nerd Blogging

December 16, 2011

I think I did a reasonable job restraining myself while suffering through Breaking Dawn this past weekend with my daughter and her friend. I didn’t vomit once!

And fortunately I didn’t have to. The pathetically destructive and sexist representations of romantic love, family, marriage and motherhood in the Twilight series were all the girls talked about on the way home. And they didn’t even need the HP/SW allegories to notice it. The same night we saw the film my daughter sat me down unprompted to hear her guffaw loudly at this series of satirical YouTube videos making fun of all things Collins.

Young people get it. They do. And actually, as long as there are strong feminist role models for teen girls (and boys) out there, it’s probably OK if there are also some godawful ones, if nothing else to incite discussion. But also for the satirical possibilities. Archetypal portrayals of bad relationships should be out there to be made fun of. And grrls just wanna have fun.

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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.