Femininity and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.

Essay by lostmemoryUniversity, Bachelor'sB, January 2004

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The specific slant found within the program formula for "Buffy the Vampire

Slayer" (BTVS) is unique in both film and television: the lead character is a

female world-saver who belongs to no government organization, who seldom

relies on men for help, who is not an androgyne and who has a curfew. The series

was created and continues to be meticulously overseen by Academy Award

winning writer Joss Whedon. Whedon writes for his female characters with

particular care to maintain the validation of the feminist viewpoint. Until feminists

quit taking pot shots at each other and arrive at a mutually agreed upon

definition of feminism, and for the purposes of this paper, "feminism" will be

considered the empowering of the female who takes control of her life to the

extent that such control directly affects her well-being and future. Ignoring the

psychological and mythological doublespeak used by many feminists, this paper

will discuss the manner in which Whedon and his cadre of carefully chosen writers

deal with feminist issues vis-Ã -vis character development.

Buffy has another side, however - she is a good girl (more or less) who minds her

mother (unless a house rule conflicts with her slaying duties) and keeps her

amazingly frilly and feminine room neat. Buffy misses her father, to the extent

that a rejection by her father was manifested as her worst nightmare coming

true. She turns to Giles, her Watcher, for guidance and sometimes regrets it. He

lectures her on her slayer duties - "Buffy, when I said you could slay vampires

and have a social life, I didn't mean at the same time" - until she must resort to

slyness just to get a night off. Feminists decry feminine-wile manipulation but

several female characters on BTVS are guilty of just such guile; Buffy uses...