annwfyn: (Character - Venice Parrot)
[personal profile] annwfyn
One of the things I like about Buffy, which I only realized today, was just how many different flavours of women there were in it.

First of all, let me be clear. I don't think Joss Whedon is a god of feminism. Dollhouse was skeevy as fuck, both Buffy and Firefly occasionally tended towards taking pretty fragile traditional female characters and calling them 'strong' because they had super strength, and let us not talk too much about what he did to Cordelia on Buffy. The man isn't perfect.

But he did get something right. He gave us a cast of different, flawed, interesting women on Buffy. And I think most of us can identify with them all in different ways.

I mean, my favourite, of course, is Anya. Anya is totally me about 80% of the time. She means well, but she always says the wrong thing, she clearly goes way over the top when she does snap and get angry, and I can totally identify with turning into a demon of vengeance for 1000 years over a really bad break up. But she is loyal, brave, smart and takes no shit. Xander - she was too good for you.

Of course, I wanted to grow up to be Willow, who was beautiful, quirky, smart and wore interesting clothes, despite loving chemistry and books. Plus...witch! I liked books too and I wanted to be a witch and save the day by the power of research.There are so few shows in which a thorough understanding of how an index system works really matters.

And Faith was a disturbing early revelation for me; I have a theory about how many girls were first brought to confusing same-sex attraction by the power of Faith alone. I also found her inspirational - apologetically independent, secure in her sexuality, and let's face it, far more interesting than Buffy.

Cordelia, of course, was like Anya, but with added self awareness and wit. She was probably me on a good day, when I said some of that shit on purpose because I thought it was funny. Plus, season one Angel, she kicked off at the evil ghost because she was motherfucking Cordelia Chase and she was going to own that evil and make it work for her. She was gloriously unapologetic about who she was and I'm still gutted they killed her off on Angel because she and Angel were actually my OTP.

(People always kill those. See Tara and Willow and Xander and Anya. Basically, all three couples I really liked. Fuck you, Joss Whedon. Why am I being nice about you?)

I loved Tara for being gentle and wise and strong even when she felt beaten down, and Dawn for being an excellent dancer. I didn't identify with Dawn. But she did dance well. Drusilla was kooky and weird and cool. Even Darla had some good lines. And Joyce Summers must have been a genius at processing house insurance claims.

All those women, in just one show, with complex lives and big picture goals and objectives and charisma and wit and charm.

Thank you, Joss Whedon.
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