So, why do you write these strong female characters?
Because you’re still asking me that question.
- Joss Whedon [x]
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an incredibly clever, complex and extraordinary show, contributing to the birth of female empowerment portrayed in television and constructing positive role models for young women in particular. The show was born in a still very traditional patriarchal society, and has since created characters such as Buffy and her fellow friends and allies for female audiences to idolise and adore - “these stories give people strength”. Along with the establishment of the first long-term lesbian relationship to be seen on network television, Joss Whedon and Buffy have taken an enormous step towards equality, a necessity enabling survival in the modern day world.
Yes it’s about empowerment and role models, but it’s so much about not regurgitating the same characters out from other shows. It was about changing dynamics and having a variety of people on the show. It was avoiding the Mary Jane character, not just of the women, but of the men as well. Joss did a very good job of creating an environment full of regular people. these are characters with the same flaws as people in the real world.
“I think she didn’t know why she was there, except she wanted to be with someone… who wasn’t demanding anything of her… and wasn’t expecting anything. And someone who could understand.” - Jane Espenson
The Gift - 5x22 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles… tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I’m okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world… is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.