deb (downunderdeb) wrote,

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Asinine academic authors

My delving back into academia is not doing much for my blood pressure.  I have no idea what the author of the following extract thought she was watching, but it sure as hell isn’t the same Buffy the Vampire Slayer show that I watched. 


Buffy and her friends ask, “Where do we go from here?” as part of their acknowledgement of a communal heroism.  They formulate Buffy’s embrace of suicidal guilt and sacrifice as everyone’s problem.  They respond by bemoaning that the “path … home” to a feminist community appears “unclear” and uncharted, but they strive to walk it “hand in hand”.  As long as they maintain their grip, externalize patriarchal ideology, and justify their tough female hero, they open up space for an alternative to America’s compromised identity.  The series finale in 2003 sees them succeed as the episode creates this space for a permanent feminist community and heroic female identity.  Using her renewed magic, Willow extends Buffy’s power to all the potential slayers everywhere.  With their help, Buffy finally annihilates the forces of the apocalypse, and the town of Sunnydale sinks into the shattered Hellmouth.  As metaphysical evil collapses, so does the banal patriarchal community it supported.  Freed of its burden, Buffy ends the series smiling over dreams  she can now pursue in an America transformed by newly empowered girls.  The tough female hero’s transformation into sacrificial heroine endorsed patriarchal oppression.  Yet, her resurrection suggests possibilities for a feminist-democratic social order that recovers a repressed republican individualism.


Apart from the prolix language, two salient points seem to have been missed - the saving of the world by Xander in S6 (let us speak of yellow crayons no more), and the sacrifice of Spike to save the world in S7 - somehow for this writer the males have become invisible.  I really loathe academics who pick and choose aspects of a show to fit into their theses with apparent lack of disregard and understanding of the show itself.   God, I once attended a Buffy symposium where one presenter continually referred to the musical as One More Time With Feeling!  The writer of the above quote does not GET BtVS at all, it's such lazy writing - "oh I only have one thesis, I need to update it, I'll just pick and choose from a popular show, and wrap it around the thesis I wrote 20 years ago".  Reminds me a bit of my first 'meeting' with the grandmother of Buffy academic studies, Rhonda Wilcox, and the flagrant display of plagiarism of her writing and incorrect facts in an article in The Guardian newspaper by an incredibly lazy journalist.  Rant over, feel much better now.

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