Friday, July 24, 2009

Joss Whedon is My Hero

Hello feminists of the blogosphere! I have been a very strong supporter of cyber-activsm and blogging as tools for the feminist movement. Yes, I guess that makes me sort of a computer nerd, but I've come to terms with that. Anyways, I regularly keep my own personal blog for self-reflection, journaling, and general musings on the world. I wrote a post this morning for my blog, Writing With Lipstick, on a really great video and post that I saw on a fellow feminist bloggers blog, the fbomb. I think the rest of my original post explains why this video is so awesome.

For any of you who know me personally, I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. Always will, always have. Even though True Blood comes in a close second in the "favorite TV show about vampires" category, nothing will top Buffy.

While perusing the feminist blogs this morning looking for new blog post to feature on Majority Speaks, I came across a speech given my the creator of Buffy and several other TV shows, Joss Whedon. He gave this speech back in 2006 an an Equality Now banquet in which he was honored for his excellence in writing and promoting equality among men and women.

This article and video were originally posted on the fbomb, which is quickly becoming one of my most favorite blogs to read.

Joss Whedon is the creator of such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse. He’s also awesome. I’m not too familiar with his work, but I’ve always admired him as a feminist icon, as I know that he publically identifies as a feminist and tries to make a point of having strong female characters in his writing. His female characters are not strong because he’s pandering to female audiences; they’re strong because, like some men, some women can absolutely kick ass, yet you so rarely see female characters who kick ass and are still genuine.

Whedon made a speech at for Equality Now in 2006 after receiving an award from them. While his speech is a little over two years old now, it’s definitely still relevant. Watch and see why.

Let’s look at the kind of female characters we see on TV now. Are there more strong female characters now than there were in 2006? If there are, I definitely don’t see them. If anything has changed, it’s that there’s less strong female characters. Most women I’ve seen on TV nowadays seem to be written to be superficial, nagging or weak–the personification of stereotypes. And I can guarantee you that the writers for any shows who do have strong female characters are still being asked why they write women like that.

I have to hand it to Joss. As long as strong female characters are still seen as strange, we need people like him to make those characters exist.

While I do not go out at night and slay vampires and have super-human strength, I still find Buffy very identifiable. She is a strong, confident, independent woman who, despite all of that, still has human flaws and qualities that make her unique and beautiful, just like every woman. Joss eloquently explains why I have always been enthralled in watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I wish more people saw it this way.


jacsun said...

Amazing speech! <3 jw

Sierra Mary said...

I am a huge Buffy fan too! True Blood and obviously Twilight do not come close. I love Joss and I love the video.

Sarah H. said...

I really wish more people appreciated him ability to write and make great television that is more than entertaining. He writes these amazing shows and then no one watches them so they go off the air.