The Feminist Perspective of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Essay

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The Feminist Perspective of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In her feminist critique of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Anne Millard Daughtey described Buffy as a show which "obviously promotes female strength and power" (159). Buffy herself is a "symbol of female empowerment" (149); as feminists we can all take comfort in the fact that Buffy "kicks butt and so can we all" (164). Sherryl Vint agrees that Buffy is a "positive role model for young women, one which feminism should celebrate" (para. 3). I find this understanding of Buffy, both the character and the series, to be very problematic, and with this paper I aim to undertake a revised feminist critique of the show, and expose the Buffyverse as the product of a very traditional patriarchal
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Before Buffy and her friends discover this, Dawn has a number of unnerving experiences, in which people walk up to her staring, saying "There's nothing there, you're not real, there's nothing there". Truly, in the Buffyverse, there is "no such thing as woman".

Prior to embarking upon my own analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it this pertinent to consider Joss Whedon's envisioning of his series, and in particular, his heroine, Buffy. In interviews he has often explained his desire to create an alternative ending for the horror movie:

It was pretty much the blond girl in the alley in the horror movie who keeps getting killed ... I felt bad for her, but she was always much more interesting to me than the other women. She was fun, she had sex, she was vivacious. But then she would get punished for it. Literally, I just had that image, that scene, in my mind, like the trailer for a movie what if the girl goes into that dark alley. And the monster follows her. And she destroys him. (Quoted in Vint, para. 6)

Whilst we see here that Whedon's intention is to subvert the conventional horror movie/slasher genre, I'm not sure that he is successful. He is running the considerable risk of merely replacing the fetishised female victim with a fetishised female hero; she is still a pretty blond girl, she is still fun, she is still sexual, she is still "Barbie with
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