An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Wednesday, April 02, 2003  

Is Buffy a feminist?

There's a thesis in this. Some argue, no; because while she is a superhero, she has to be presented in the guise of a skinny, attractive, blonde with nice clothes. Others argue, yes; because she is a skinny, attractive, blonde who instead of being helpless or accompanied by suits of armour and gimmicks, is still a superhero. I'm with the latter.

Furthermore, the way men are presented in the programme is very important. Xander has no special powers but his caring, feminine side helps him (e.g. persuading Willow to stop being evil). Giles, whilst assuming the role of the teacher, has on more than one occasion admitted that Buffy doesn't really need him. He is a supporter rather than a teacher.

Furthermore, sex is presented in a negative way. Usually sex is presented in the media as being the saviour of women. e.g. "Well, they can be as successful as they want, but at the end of the day, all a woman really wants is the love of a good man." See previous posting on Sex and the City.

However, Angel turned nasty as soon as he had sex with Buffy due to an ancient curse. Riley left her because he couldn't stand the fact that she was stronger than him. This is presented as his weakness rather than her loss. And poor Spike. He confesses his love for Buffy but altho' she does use him for sex, ultimately, he tries to rape her. Instead of presenting her as some victim, he is rather dispatched to undergo a tortuous penance in his attempt to redeem himself and acquire a soul. In other words, sex is presented as a complex act in which men's motives are suspect. A far cry from Ally McBeal hanging around waiting to be rescued by love.

In addition, Buffy works in a typical womanly way...with the help of her supporters rather unlike the traditional male superhero who works alone (Batman, Superman etc).
Even the best evil characters are women.

New favourite programme. (Even if did take 6 series to get me involved).

posted by Sarah | 17:03 0 comments
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