• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Empower all the girls of the world!

FeministMedia

Townie
Joined
Nov 8, 2019
Messages
4
Age
36
Empower all the girls of the world! Make them all become Strong Independent Feminists!

GIRL POWER!
 

Myheadsgonenumb

Potential
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
237
Age
34
Location
Leeds, England
Yes the ending of Buffy is not the feminist fist bump Joss thought it was. All those hundreds of girls suddenly with lives irrevocably altered (and probably shortened) so they could endanger themselves fighting evil for free for a regenerated watcher's council. Wanted to be a ballerina? sorry you're a slayer. wanted to be a astronaut? sorry you're a slayer. Hoped to get married and have a family? ... yeah probably not gonna happen - slayer.

Yay girl power!

female empowerment is not about giving women the ability to hit as hard as men. It's about them giving them the opportunities and choices to decide and control their own lives and make their own decisions, and not holding them back purely because of their biology.

Which is the exact opposite of what happens at the end of s7.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
7,159
Age
29
Empower all the girls of the world! Make them all become Strong Independent Feminists!

GIRL POWER!
Except it's not all the girls of the world, it's a select few. @Myheadsgonenumb is right about the ending not being the "feminist fist bump Joss thought it was". The whole wording "are you ready to be strong?" is terrible because of the implication that all non-potential women/girls don't get to be "strong" because they're not special enough to be "chosen".

A self-entitled bullying brat like Kennedy gets to be "strong", whilst someone like Tara (if she lived) doesn't get to be "strong" despite surviving an abusive family.
 

Ethan Reigns

Scooby
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Messages
6,278
Location
Canada
Sineya
Yes the ending of Buffy is not the feminist fist bump Joss thought it was. All those hundreds of girls suddenly with lives irrevocably altered (and probably shortened) so they could endanger themselves fighting evil for free for a regenerated watcher's council. Wanted to be a ballerina? sorry you're a slayer. wanted to be a astronaut? sorry you're a slayer. Hoped to get married and have a family? ... yeah probably not gonna happen - slayer.

Yay girl power!

female empowerment is not about giving women the ability to hit as hard as men. It's about them giving them the opportunities and choices to decide and control their own lives and make their own decisions, and not holding them back purely because of their biology.

Which is the exact opposite of what happens at the end of s7.
If you follow what is going on into the comics, there are about 1800 slayers who have been activated all around the world but for the first time, they are being given the choice of whether they want to become active slayers or pursue a normal life and less than half choose to become slayers. The activation was unilateral but for the first time, the girls have the option to refuse to function as slayers even though they get to keep the powers. As you say, having the option is the important thing and they can go on to become astronauts or housewives.

Also, as we see at the beginning of Season 7, all around the world, bringers are attacking potentials and killing them off. I doubt any of the potentials would object to a boost in power to enable them to overcome their attackers.

At the point where all potentials are activated, the Watchers' Council no longer exists. Their headquarters was blown up so technically, the new slayers are not reporting to anyone so there is no Cruciamentum and no control from these people. There is a slayer school in operation in the comics in Scotland but they train slayers and coordinate missions - they do not exercise the kind of control the watchers did.
 

WillowFromBuffy

Buffering...
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
477
Age
31
The slayer spell ensures that what happened to Buffy and Faith won't happen again. And the potentials are essentially already slayers. The power lies latant within them. Willow's spell doesn't fill them up with any more demon sauce.
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
20,004
Black Thorn
And the potentials are essentially already slayers. The power lies latant within them. Willow's spell doesn't fill them up with any more demon sauce.
They are not essentially slayers. You either are, or you're not; you can't be a little bit pregnant. Yes, the demon essence was latent in them, but that is all it was. Once Willow did the spell the "demon sauce" was activated thus they became less (or more) than human. Their demon essence came alive - for want of a better word. If Willow had never done the spell they could have went their entire lives without being affected by their latent demon essense without anyone, or themselves, knowing the difference. They could have lived a normal life- the very thing Buffy strived for through the seven seasons.
 

WillowFromBuffy

Buffering...
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
477
Age
31
They are not essentially slayers. You either are, or you're not; you can't be a little bit pregnant. Yes, the demon essence was latent in them, but that is all it was. Once Willow did the spell the "demon sauce" was activated thus they became less (or more) than human. Their demon essence came alive - for want of a better word. If Willow had never done the spell they could have went their entire lives without being affected by their latent demon essense without anyone, or themselves, knowing the difference. They could have lived a normal life- the very thing Buffy strived for through the seven seasons.
They are free to live normal lives. The spell saves them from the bringers, ubervamps and the remnants of the wc, and it gives them ownership of their birthright.

They will not have to endure what Buffy has endured, but some of them would have, if not for Buffy. She ended centuries of subjugation of anyone in the slayer line.
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
20,004
Black Thorn
They are free to live normal lives.
It depends on how you view a normal life. I would argue that what they were given would prohibit that as they were turned into superpowered beings; that is not normal as far as I am concerned.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
7,159
Age
29
Also, as we see at the beginning of Season 7, all around the world, bringers are attacking potentials and killing them off. I doubt any of the potentials would object to a boost in power to enable them to overcome their attackers.
The potentials activated at the end of Season 7 clearly weren't being hunted by Bringers. One was playing baseball rather than hiding out to avoid an attack.
 
B
Btvs fan
While Faith was left in the dark over with her attenpted murder on S4 Ats

Btvs fan

Scooby
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
664
Age
38
If you follow what is going on into the comics, there are about 1800 slayers who have been activated all around the world but for the first time, they are being given the choice of whether they want to become active slayers or pursue a normal life and less than half choose to become slayers. The activation was unilateral but for the first time, the girls have the option to refuse to function as slayers even though they get to keep the powers. As you say, having the option is the important thing and they can go on to become astronauts or housewives.

Also, as we see at the beginning of Season 7, all around the world, bringers are attacking potentials and killing them off. I doubt any of the potentials would object to a boost in power to enable them to overcome their attackers.

At the point where all potentials are activated, the Watchers' Council no longer exists. Their headquarters was blown up so technically, the new slayers are not reporting to anyone so there is no Cruciamentum and no control from these people. There is a slayer school in operation in the comics in Scotland but they train slayers and coordinate missions - they do not exercise the kind of control the watchers did.
Iv read those comics. At the end of it Buffy abandons them all to go live in San Francisco. While before that she sleeps with one of her students and had the others robbing banks or using them as Human decoys. Not exactly great stuff that.
 

Myheadsgonenumb

Potential
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
237
Age
34
Location
Leeds, England
Plus - the show has to stand on it's own feet. If a defence of the show starts 'in the comics ...' then you're a hiding to nothing. If - twenty years after the fact - the comics are including some element of choice into these girl's lives then that is because in the modern era people in the real world are making comments about how anti-feminist the slayer spell was and it is being put right in order to answer those criticisms. But that does not change either what happens in the show (which must stand up to scrutiny completely alone as a separate medium) or the intent (and how ill thought through it is) of the original writers. And altering in one medium does not make criticism of the original work invalid.

We know full well that Giles and Andrew are running the watcher's council because that is hard canon in Angel. So these slayers are answering to someone. Their answering to fricking Andrew! What the comics has to say about how this is organised does not impact on the show, or it's original intent. At the end, Willow states she can feel the girls waking up all over the world and that they have to find them. In Angel there is a new watcher's council. The council might not be what it was, the burden of slayerhood might be vastly improved ... but it still is a council and these girls have still had their lives, their destiny and their abilities massively altered without their consent.

Would potentials object to extra power to help protect themselves from the bringers? probably not. But that is quite a narrow perspective on the problem. I think what they WOULD object to is that they have been born a certain way, different to other girls - and a way only girls can be born (does not affect men) so that they can be chosen at random from this group to fight and die (very young) in an ongoing battle against evil. They would object to the fact that the shadow men created a slayer and this is now put on their shoulders. They would object to the fact that the watcher's council continue this tradition. They would object to their own objectification by the watcher's council (Quentin Traver's literally refers to the slayer as a 'weapon') and they would object that these men have put them in a position whereby they are of interest to the bringer's in the first place.
Giving them powers to help fight all the things that want to kill them is a consolation prize. But having been born into a special subsection of female humanity, there to do the fighting and dying that men don't want to do (because the shadow men did not have to pick a girl to be the slayer - it could have been one boy in all the world) and being chased down by bringers whilst they are still vulnerable because of belonging to this subsection, is definitely something any right thinking woman would object to.

Their situation is unfair, it has been forced on them without their consent, there is no way of undoing it, it happened to many of them when they were still minors - and therefore technically unable to consent, it puts them in danger that they were not in otherwise, takes away their abilities to make choices free from the constraint of 'destiny' and means - even if they never slay a vampire in their lives - that they have to be forever wary of the fact that they are much stronger and more powerful than everybody else and adapt their behaviour and actions to account for the damage and harm they can unwittingly commit because of their strength.
It's a terrible thing that Buffy does to all of those girls. It was cruel and unfair when it was done to Buffy (and Faith and Kendra) and it's cruel and unfair when she spreads it around. And having had it done to her, and knowing what it has done to her life - the sacrifices she has had to make, she should have known better. But the world needed saving - and these girls' autonomy and freedom was the price to pay for that.

Not feminist.
 

Btvs fan

Scooby
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
664
Age
38
Plus - the show has to stand on it's own feet. If a defence of the show starts 'in the comics ...' then you're a hiding to nothing. If - twenty years after the fact - the comics are including some element of choice into these girl's lives then that is because in the modern era people in the real world are making comments about how anti-feminist the slayer spell was and it is being put right in order to answer those criticisms. But that does not change either what happens in the show (which must stand up to scrutiny completely alone as a separate medium) or the intent (and how ill thought through it is) of the original writers. And altering in one medium does not make criticism of the original work invalid.

We know full well that Giles and Andrew are running the watcher's council because that is hard canon in Angel. So these slayers are answering to someone. Their answering to fricking Andrew! What the comics has to say about how this is organised does not impact on the show, or it's original intent. At the end, Willow states she can feel the girls waking up all over the world and that they have to find them. In Angel there is a new watcher's council. The council might not be what it was, the burden of slayerhood might be vastly improved ... but it still is a council and these girls have still had their lives, their destiny and their abilities massively altered without their consent.

Would potentials object to extra power to help protect themselves from the bringers? probably not. But that is quite a narrow perspective on the problem. I think what they WOULD object to is that they have been born a certain way, different to other girls - and a way only girls can be born (does not affect men) so that they can be chosen at random from this group to fight and die (very young) in an ongoing battle against evil. They would object to the fact that the shadow men created a slayer and this is now put on their shoulders. They would object to the fact that the watcher's council continue this tradition. They would object to their own objectification by the watcher's council (Quentin Traver's literally refers to the slayer as a 'weapon') and they would object that these men have put them in a position whereby they are of interest to the bringer's in the first place.
Giving them powers to help fight all the things that want to kill them is a consolation prize. But having been born into a special subsection of female humanity, there to do the fighting and dying that men don't want to do (because the shadow men did not have to pick a girl to be the slayer - it could have been one boy in all the world) and being chased down by bringers whilst they are still vulnerable because of belonging to this subsection, is definitely something any right thinking woman would object to.

Their situation is unfair, it has been forced on them without their consent, there is no way of undoing it, it happened to many of them when they were still minors - and therefore technically unable to consent, it puts them in danger that they were not in otherwise, takes away their abilities to make choices free from the constraint of 'destiny' and means - even if they never slay a vampire in their lives - that they have to be forever wary of the fact that they are much stronger and more powerful than everybody else and adapt their behaviour and actions to account for the damage and harm they can unwittingly commit because of their strength.
It's a terrible thing that Buffy does to all of those girls. It was cruel and unfair when it was done to Buffy (and Faith and Kendra) and it's cruel and unfair when she spreads it around. And having had it done to her, and knowing what it has done to her life - the sacrifices she has had to make, she should have known better. But the world needed saving - and these girls' autonomy and freedom was the price to pay for that.

Not feminist.
What's worse is only a few episodes previously. The Slayer spell had been shown as a rape and racist metaphor with the evil black men chaining white blond Buffy up and infecting her with there black demon mist. It was awful stuff. But I guess if Buffy does it then it's ok. She's always been given outs by Joss, way back in Ted killing Robot Ted (it doesn't matter that she didn't know that at the time) or trying to murder Faith, Joss said he didnt have Faith die because he didn't want Buffy to be a murderer, well news flash being an attempted murderer is not cool either!
While the Gift has Giles not Buffy do the hard choice there
 

thrasherpix

Scooby
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
2,806
Age
37
When it comes down to it, handing a relatively few girls powers (and saying they'd be screwed otherwise) is not only lacking feminism but also implying that females are inferior on their own without powers. All the other females (including those being abused, in sports, and all the like) would not be given that left handed lottery prize, nor would those who do help them. So not feminism.

Making a choice under death threats or other threats of violence doesn't really count as empowering either. Surely this is a topic feminism has addressed before.


I can't help but notice that Joss does seem to assume (subconsciously at least) that females without powers aren't crap, at least physically speaking (they'll be more like Debbie in his mind, and needing a man to save them). Even Buffy without her powers (and often with powers) is saved by a man (even after Buffy defeats Kralik through trickery, Giles has to save her from another despite that I bet as normal humans Buffy and Giles were relatively equal in strength and physical sturdiness given their respective ages). And what happens when Joss gets hold of a female character (one I'd say fights monster that not even Buffy would survive, unless she was warned well beforehand of all its qualities) that actually shows herself strong and able to handle monsters (with the bonus of not constantly whining about not having a man or other romantic interest) without any super powers? Turns her into a mutant (Alien IV) and the only other woman to survive is an android who'd have obviously died if human.


For it to be feminist they'd actually have to make a choice. It sounds as if it does because of Buffy's speech and yet the only ones present are the only ones able to give it. And did they have a choice? I'd say no more than someone else had a choice of whether or not to use a gun (say a pacifist who abhors guns and violence told the world is going to be destroyed unless they shoot someone and someone offers them a gun and says "make a choice"), and thinking about it at all (that is thinking about it more than the writers of season 7) and you realize there was never a choice anyway. What would've happened if one raised her hand and said no thanks, she'd rather die human and fled screaming into the night? Even if she survived it she'd still be changed. Therefore, no choice, not even for them.

And then to make it truly feminist, they'd have to help women, not just themselves, or even just the world in general. (And from what I saw of the comics they were still taking orders in a life they were drafted into. While not necessarily oppression, it hardly seems like liberation to me. And to be feminists they'd have to help other females, not just themselves. Even saving the world is fine and all, but technically humanist rather than feminist, though even that isn't necessarily so since Wolfram & Hart also saved the world at times, including more or less in season 7 Buffy.)

Take Margaret Thatcher. Though she fought for her own power and won, she made no effort to help other women to overcome those same hurdles, and as a result some feminists even labelled her an enemy to feminism (though not just for this reason, she also thought mothers shouldn't be working, and generally seemed to consider men more competent, herself excepted). She made a choice and took power from the patriarchy, but she can't be said to be a feminist. Even so, it's more of a feminist story than Buffy season 7 because unlike Potentials at least she got to make a choice.

Speaking of which would a teen Ann Coulter or Ayn Rand or Michelle Bachmann have accepted such powers if given the choice, with or without the condition that they are now targets of demons? I bet they'd at least be tempted. But even accepting it they would not be feminists. Feminism is about a belief in the equality (or at worse, supremacy, but even then it's supposed to be the supremacy of all women, not just a chosen few), and having the same OPPORTUNITIES as others, not about having others order their lives. Being a princess because of an accident of birth doesn't make one a feminist. Even seizing power for yourself while ignoring other women also does not make you a feminist.

Glory was one of the most powerful women in the Buffyverse, and I don't see anything feminist about her. Hell, one could argue that she objectified herself out of vanity despite considering mere mortals to be like insects.

Something a lot of more low quality MRAs AND feminists get wrong is that feminism isn't gender. It's about gender, sure, but it's a political and social belief regarding gender as opposed to the genitals between one's legs. The man who altered his daughter's video game so that the princess saved Mario is not (necessarily) a feminist, he's just a man who loved his little girl. Yet MRA types were accusing the little girl (I think age 3) of being a feminist. Sheesh. If there was a feminist it would be her father, not the little girl, and it would only be feminist if he was acting on feminists belief as opposed to indulging the whimsy of his little girl.

Lots of men are feminist, and lots of women--including women with power whether they were born with it or had it fight for their own personal power--are not, and may even be actively opposed to feminist ideals (IIRC, Ann Coulter even said women shouldn't vote, despite that she's known to vote herself, though she does believe women should be armed against physically stronger men and can thus be assumed to have chosen to take Slayer strength if she got the chance).
 
Last edited:

Ethan Reigns

Scooby
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Messages
6,278
Location
Canada
Sineya
Joss is not a feminist, he is an opportunist. His original thought on the Buffy story was that most movies have a blonde girl running away from some demonic entity and getting killed. So he thought it would be great if the little blonde girl killed the demon instead. The opening scene in BtVS is of Darla being led into the school by her boyfriend who we assume is the standard demon. Then as a reversal of normal form, the little blonde girl is a vampire and kills the boy. After that, his idea of "the one girl in all the world to stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness" took form, but he was not feminist. Sensing the spirit of the times, he figured out which way the feminist parade was heading and jumped to the front of the line so he could appear to be leading it.

His treatment of Sarah and Charisma was certainly not feminist. SMG was forced to reduce her weight from a healthy 115 pounds to the point (94 pounds) where she looked scrawny and emaciated and only stopped there because her stunt double had to lose weight as well to the point where she could no longer do the stunts. Charisma's character, Cordelia, went through a character assassination because she got pregnant. Rather than writing the story around that (which happened seamlessly on most shows), her character became evil just to punish her. This is not the action of a feminist. I thought this kind of thinking had gone away in the 1950's with the I Love Lucy show when there were people who considered it scandalous that a pregnant woman would be shown on TV and that show ran from 1953 to 1957.
 

Btvs fan

Scooby
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
664
Age
38
Joss is not a feminist, he is an opportunist. His original thought on the Buffy story was that most movies have a blonde girl running away from some demonic entity and getting killed. So he thought it would be great if the little blonde girl killed the demon instead. The opening scene in BtVS is of Darla being led into the school by her boyfriend who we assume is the standard demon. Then as a reversal of normal form, the little blonde girl is a vampire and kills the boy. After that, his idea of "the one girl in all the world to stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness" took form, but he was not feminist. Sensing the spirit of the times, he figured out which way the feminist parade was heading and jumped to the front of the line so he could appear to be leading it.

His treatment of Sarah and Charisma was certainly not feminist. SMG was forced to reduce her weight from a healthy 115 pounds to the point (94 pounds) where she looked scrawny and emaciated and only stopped there because her stunt double had to lose weight as well to the point where she could no longer do the stunts. Charisma's character, Cordelia, went through a character assassination because she got pregnant. Rather than writing the story around that (which happened seamlessly on most shows), her character became evil just to punish her. This is not the action of a feminist. I thought this kind of thinking had gone away in the 1950's with the I Love Lucy show when there were people who considered it scandalous that a pregnant woman would be shown on TV and that show ran from 1953 to 1957.
The Angel spin off was the direct opposite of that with Angel saving girls in Alleys. Joss even admits it on the commentary. Yeah he says it's bad but he carrys on and does it anyway ...

I think the whole empowerment reputation was just something Joss jumped on. Theres a great YouTube clip of Joss at a convention signing being cocky and boasting how it gets him laid with lots of chicks.

The show itself is full of lots of attractive people in there 20's pretending to be teenagers.

We know from his wife about the multiple affairs and his gas lighting letter that he was/is a typical Hollywood producer with a casting couch.
 

Ethan Reigns

Scooby
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Messages
6,278
Location
Canada
Sineya
The Angel spin off was the direct opposite of that with Angel saving girls in Alleys. Joss even admits it on the commentary. Yeah he says it's bad but he carrys on and does it anyway ...

I think the whole empowerment reputation was just something Joss jumped on. Theres a great YouTube clip of Joss at a convention signing being cocky and boasting how it gets him laid with lots of chicks.

The show itself is full of lots of attractive people in there 20's pretending to be teenagers.

We know from his wife about the multiple affairs and his gas lighting letter that he was/is a typical Hollywood producer with a casting couch.
I don't think the affairs and the casting couch were known at the time. When it came time to add Dawn to the story, Michelle Trachtenberg was recruited by her friend, Sarah and I doubt she would have done that if a casting couch was involved. Similarly, once Alison and Alexis were married, they agreed to be godparents to Joss' children and I doubt they would have been on such friendly terms if the casting couch was used on Alison. In one of the DVD commentaries, Joss mentions that his organization had 257 people and it was not likely that any of the major players were the subject of his affairs. After all, an actress might reveal details but if the person involved was not on screen or present at the filming, (say, a location scout), he could get away with it without any of the main players ever coming into contact with her at all.
 

Btvs fan

Scooby
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
664
Age
38
I don't think the affairs and the casting couch were known at the time. When it came time to add Dawn to the story, Michelle Trachtenberg was recruited by her friend, Sarah and I doubt she would have done that if a casting couch was involved. Similarly, once Alison and Alexis were married, they agreed to be godparents to Joss' children and I doubt they would have been on such friendly terms if the casting couch was used on Alison. In one of the DVD commentaries, Joss mentions that his organization had 257 people and it was not likely that any of the major players were the subject of his affairs. After all, an actress might reveal details but if the person involved was not on screen or present at the filming, (say, a location scout), he could get away with it without any of the main players ever coming into contact with her at all.
Yeah but MT was 14 at the time. Theres a world of difference between her and legal adults like Sarah or Alyson or Amy or Eliza who would've consented and that was reciprocated. Its also possible to remain friends after a relationship is over. SMG and DB are still close even though they broke up by S4 time. Mercedes McNabb still seems to get on with James Marsters even though they were dating.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
7,159
Age
29
Its also possible to remain friends after a relationship is over. SMG and DB are still close even though they broke up by S4 time. Mercedes McNabb still seems to get on with James Marsters even though they were dating.
The actors never dated each other (with the exception of AH and AD). Their characters dated but the actors didn't (JM's girlfriend during Season 2 thought there was something going on between him and JL but they were just friends). Why do you think that SMG and DB, plus JM and MM dated in real life?
 

Btvs fan

Scooby
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
664
Age
38
The actors never dated each other (with the exception of AH and AD). Their characters dated but the actors didn't (JM's girlfriend during Season 2 thought there was something going on between him and JL but they were just friends). Why do you think that SMG and DB, plus JM and MM dated in real life?
Mercedes and James both confirmed it at different times in the past though he didnt realise she was 19 at the time.

For DB and SMG there is that cast photo from S3 of her sitting in his lap and the rumours at the time of his divorce with his then wife and SMG being a reason.
 
Top Bottom