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.

  • Current Mood: aggravated aggravated
That is such appalling crap -- I don't know how people get away with it. Probably because other academics haven't watched the show and wouldn't know whether it was right or wrong.

Why don't you write to this person, pointing out what you pointed out to us? Might give you a buzz and blast out some of that high blood pressure angst!

You must write a ``gender in Buffy'' essay -- you must. Just pretend you're writing it for us! You have a very strong idea and you have all the facts at your finger tips and you can write. Those are all the things you need.
Why don't you write to this person, pointing out what you pointed out to us?

I have been very seriously tempted to do just that, but have no real idea of how to contact her.
In a book titled "Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture" 2004, Palgrave Macmillan: New York - the bit I quoted was from a chapter titled “Female Heroes Snapped into Sacrificial Heroines” by Sara Crosby, who is listed as getting her PhD at the university of Notre Dame, but nothing about what she is doing now. All the other contributors seem to be lecturers/professors. It really is an annoying piece - “The show consists of an ensemble cast of powerful women: Willow, Tara, Anya, Dawn”, no mention of Spike or Angel or Giles - Xander apparently is “Willow’s male buddy” - even the parts about “Dark Angel” and “Xena” are just as horrendous, and they’re shows that I don’t know as well as “Buffy”. Ooops, there goes the blood pressure again …