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Frances H.Early Case

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Frances H.Early article titled, "Staking Her Claim: Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Transgressive Woman Warrior" discusses the woman warrior theme present in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as well as the impact the show had on North American society. The article makes a variety of points which were all backed up with legitimate proof from the television series. The article points out that in the early 90's woman were marginalized or in most cases banished from the screen, which led to the birth of, "tough guy films or the "new war culture" which essentially promoted the idea of the, "violent and misogynous male warrior that ignored or denigrated women." However, over the past few years popular culture has welcomed woman warriors through characters such as Xena the Warrior Princess, La Femme Nikita, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These woman warriors have paved the road for future female characters in power. One character in particular is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She exemplifies a character that challenges the patriarchal values and institutions present in society. Buffy is a marginalized new student at Sunnydale High school. Her two friends at the school are Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris; this mixed gender trio are known as the, "slayerettes." Buffy is also a rebellious female and plays a key role in what Sharon Macdonald has dubbed, "open image" meaning that she opposes the symbols, ideals and stereotypes that are fixed in public consciousness, she is not meant to reflect society itself. Furthermore, the historical example of Celtic Queen Boadicea was used to illustrate the struggle women went through in order to gain a tradition of their own, stating that they were considered "patriarchal to the social order." Buffy is essentially this, as her character attempts to challenge the institutions in control, she constantly questions the male dominated authority structure. Furthermore two writers attempt to denote Buffy. Michel Foucault's ideas are used to prove the faultiness of the character by arguing that, "marginalized people are drawn to the power of reverse discourse whereby they find themselves seeking legitimacy." Marina Warner claim is that, "women in contemporary society are drawn to and therefore trapped in a phallocentric" warriors' world." As a result they are prisoners in the fantasy of the male warrior hero. Frances Early attempts to counter these claims by stating that Buffy, "offers a subversive open image of a just warrior" she and her friends partake in what can be deemed a female and male-gendered way of thinking which counter argue Warner's and Foucalt's claims.

There are a certain points within the article that I agree and disagree with. The first point that I do believe holds merit is, "Buffy is a role model, but the show also attempts to reach young men, if it can make teenage boys comfortable with a girl who takes charge of a situation without their knowing, it is better than sitting them down and selling them on feminism." I agree that this approach to introducing young men to a female in power can help them foster the idea that woman can be in power, and that this is okay. Especially by using a medium such as television which is a common form of entertainment for today's youth, it can get the message across without sounding preachy and boring. Young people in general want to be entertained, and if a show like Buffy can entertain them while at the same time delivering such a powerful message to young people everywhere



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