Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 43711
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Harris , Carissa M.,
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Teen Moms: Violence, Consent, and Embodied Subjectivity in Middle English Pregnancy Laments
  • Source: Review of English Studies 71, 298 ( 2020): Pages 1 - 18. Available open access from Cambridge Core: https://doi.org/10.1093/res/hgz092
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Lament, Literary Genre Masculinity in Literature Pregnancy in Literature Sexuality Violence in Literature
  • Award Note: Feminae Article of the Month, October 2021
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 3- 14- 15- 16
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: This article examines power and coercion in five Middle English and Middle Scots lyrics voiced by pregnant, abandoned singlewomen. It focuses on the language of consent and embodiment in these pregnancy laments, arguing that they both protest and normalize masculine violence in heterosexual erotic relations, highlight the various factors that undermine young singlewomen’s consent, articulate acute dissatisfaction with gendered power inequalities, and demonstrate the devastating consequences of sexual ignorance. It explores the different ways that we can read these lyrics when considering issues of voice, audience, performance, and manuscript context. The essay closes by linking the popularity of medieval unplanned pregnancy narratives to modern-day reality television programming, arguing that the trans-historical popularity of these stories merits further exploration. [Reproduced from the journal page on the Oxford Academic website: https://doi.org/10.1093/res/hgz092]
  • Author's Affiliation: Temple University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2020.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00346551 (print) ; 14716968 (online)