Exposing Flaws of Affirmative Consent through Contemporary American Teen Films

in Girlhood Studies
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  • 1 Bridgewater State University, USA mm@michelemeek.com
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The discursive shift during the twenty-first century from “no means no” to “yes means yes” clearly had an impact on contemporary American teen films. While teen films of the 1970s and 1980s often epitomized rape culture, teen films of the 2010s and later adopted consent culture actively. Such films now routinely highlight how obtaining a girl's “yes” is equally important to respecting her “no.” However, the framework of affirmative consent is not without its flaws. In this article, I highlight how recent teen movies expose some of these shortcomings, in particular how affirmative consent remains a highly gendered discourse that prioritizes verbal consent over desire.

Contributor Notes

Michele Meek (ORCID: 0000-0002-9147-3270) is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies department at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. In 2019, she published Independent Female Filmmakers: A Chronicle Through Interviews, Profiles, and Manifestos, which highlights 15 legendary North American female filmmakers. Her TEDx talk, “Why We're Confused About Consent—Rewriting Our Stories of Seduction,” is available on YouTube. She has published scholarly articles in Literature/Film Quarterly and Girlhood Studies:An Interdisciplinary Journal. Email: mm@michelemeek.com

Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal


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