Monday, November 24, 2008

"Buffy Says"

Today we talk about she who is formerly the one girl in all the world who can have bad bangs and still slay the dust out of any vamp: Buffy. Her romantic and sexual entanglements with a card carrying member of Team Lady came as a huge surprise to fans of the series and the reactions ran the gamut from thrilled to irate. In a post Prop 8 world now is an excellent time to revisit this watershed moment in recent Buffy history.Continue Reading...

First let's make a real life comparison. In their most recent issue, Out Magazine released their annual list of 100 people who were important to the LGBTQ community be they members of the community or allies of it. The most controversial name that appeared was Katy Perry whose pop hit "I Kissed a Girl" made waves this year. Perry, a heterosexual woman, singing about kissing another woman elicited many to question the message she was getting across and whether it is a benefit or detriment to the community. Is it exploitation or is it a challenge to puritanical views?

In many ways Buffy faces the same judgment. The difference, of course, is that Buffy is fictional hence it's easier to debate and interpret her actions. She's also Buffy: the general to a slayer army. She's still the one girl in all the world. Everyone is relying on her to make all the right decisions. If the whole planet gets swallowed into apocalyptic, hell dimensiony woe the proverbial buck will stop with her. No pressure though, right?

Divorce yourself for the moment of the idea that she is a creation of this man, Joss Whedon. Don't think about his motivations. Treat her like you would any flesh and bone human and really ask yourself why this hetero normative girl would have sex with another woman.

Faith would say that slaying gets her sexually revved up. It gives you that itch that only sexy time can scratch. Willow would remind us that Buffy always feels alone, vulnerable and that an ill advised one night stand could always come out of that. Xander would tell us that Buffy has had one night stands before that were far more naive and ill advised than this one. Still, we don't get the answer from Buffy herself. All the world is a buzz but the only voice that matters remains silent and rightly so.

Buffy owes an explanation to no one but Satsu. Buffy may not be a "daughter of Sappho" but it doesn't matter. We readily accept that she boinked the undead but suddenly chicks are out of bounds? She can save the world on a day to day basis but the girl can't get a craving? Whether she is the one girl or every girl (and I would argue that she is both) all that matters is that who she takes to bed with her is her business and her's alone.

Why did Buffy sleep with Satsu? She wanted to. Period. Why judge her? Why judge anyone? By what authority was anyone ever given to decide what constitutes acceptable love, sex, and the wedding of souls?

Buffy is the Slayer. When asked the big questions she answers not in words but in deeds and we should do the same. She had fantastic sex with a woman named Satsu. She might do it again or she might not. Right now though there's a world needs saving. While she fights vampires and demons, we fight an ailing economy, a rapidly diminishing primary energy source, severe and dangerous environmental changes of our own making, poverty, homelessness, and starvation. These are the issues of our time, the issues throughout time and in every corner of the world. Why did we spend countless millions over what or whom lays betwixt the sheets? Why would we ever consider denying any one group of people their basic civil liberties when the whole of human civilization is falling down around our ears?

What does Buffy say? Nothing. She acts and it's high time we all stood up and did the same.


Anonymous said...

From this room in the far right wing of things, all I can do is quote Felix the Cat, "Righty-O!"

Altho I've never been comfy with criticizing how any group spends its own money.

Anonymous said...

Myself, I'm quite comfortable criticizing groups that spend money to quash the civil rights of a minority by amending the constitution that's there in part to protect the rights of that same minority.

I'm not saying I should have any rights whatsoever in how they do spend it. But I'm as comfortable criticizing how money was spent to pass CA's Prop 8 as I am any other aspect of that un-civil push to deprive gays and lesbians of their recently-won right to marry in CA. Fortunately, the judiciary is there to prevent the majority from oppressing a minority & I sincerely hope they do.

Meanwhile a Florida circuit has just ruled, lifting a 30-year ban on gays' adoption of children. Sometimes a state does get it right, eventually.

Tara said...

That comment was perfection and I wholeheartedly concur, quotergal.

Jayunderscorezero said...

Are we still talking about Buffy, or is this discussion wholly American politics now?

I know some people get uptight when people compare the gay rights movement to the civil rights movement, but honestly, one day we will look back on the homophobic attitudes of today with the same disgust we view attitudes towards "miscegenation" of yesteryear. Sidenote: it wasn't until 2000 that laws in the US banning interracial marriage were officially universally repealed(!). Way to go, Alabama!

Still, my point is, positive change does happen. Stupid people may slow it down - seemingly intolerably so, sometimes - and they may do so for the worst of reasons, but it does happen, and we'll all be better off when it does.

Oh yeah, and the whole Batsu thing? Like you said, really it doesn't even compare when you consider the fact that she's boinked the frickin' undead! What would the Christian right have to say about that, I wonder.

Michelle said...


You're contribution to our comments section is so much appreciated. You have such an amazing way with words.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Jayunderscorezero said...


You're too kind, Michelle.