The Geek Legacy

qGyI97g I’ve always been kind of a lit and television nerd, even before the connotation became a positive one. I graduated with a degree in Writing and an MA in Literature, because reasons. I used to go to the library in the summer with my grandmother and check out the maximum number of books (12) and get everything from Stephen King to Choose Your Own Adventure books. I was the child you might find in the corner of the football field with a book in hand while the other kids played softball all around me. My mom raised me on Star Trek, Batman and Indiana Jones, she always encouraged me to be passionate about the things that interested me, and still reminds me to be proud of who I am and what I love, regardless of what others have to say.

Geek Parenting

geek_parenting_fb As a parent of a pre-teen girl, I do my best to encourage my daughter to find joy in all types of activities–from reading books to shooting a bow and arrow. She is my roll dog; we go everywhere together. I want to go watch Classic Who at NerdMelt? She’s coming. There is an Dr. Seuss inspired art opening at the museum near our house? We head out together. I want my daughter to know that I am passionate about the things that I love, and she can be too. I try damn hard to make her feel accepted and loved regardless of how I feel about her hobbies. As long as it’s age appropriate I could give a damn if she likes Minecraft, the Ninth Doctor or baton throwing (none are my “thing”). In fact, I encourage her to take up her own activities and to think independently so as not to get bogged down by that “crowd” mentality that comes heavy in high school (oh gawd my baby’s going to high school in 3 years) and so that she starts to figure out what she likes and who she is NOW, because it gets harder before it gets better.

Katniss is already a hero in District 12.
Katniss is already a hero in District 12.

Grrl Power

According to Lee Edwards in his book, Psyche as Hero (1984) “By the beginning of the twentieth century, novelists seem readier to abandon the project of entrapping the female heroic character and begin the task of inventing maneuvers whereby she can break out of familial, sexual, and social bondage into an altered and appropriate world” (16). Suzanne Collins’ “Girl on Fire” is a heroic alternative to limited female archetypes bound inextricably to traditionally assigned gender roles. Katniss is not tied to a matriarchal role, in fact, she cannot and will not bare children until social change is achieved in Panem. Readers encounter a love triangle of sorts, yet it is not central to the action. Katniss cannot settle into any role comfortably until she achieves social and spiritual growth and her journey is over. On her quest, the female hero must risk violating social norms regarding gender roles to fully realize her heroic qualities. Katniss must “incorporate change into [her] private life [and then] move with confidence into a newly constituted world” (Edwards 16).