The 90’s was undoubtedly an era where females dominated television. The ‘SFC’ exploded onto screens, showing herself as not just kick-ass, but, who really could (and would) kick every ass regardless of gender and age, or whether those asses were human or not.
Still, masses and masses were conditioned for too long to believe girls needed to wait to be “rescued” by the hero, or be one of several ‘victims’ the serial killer goes after because his Kindergarten teacher punished him once for eating cookies in class, and looked sexy doing it in her pleated flannel skirt.
However, Joss Whedon (bless his feminist heart) was so sick of the same old, same old, he was all like ‘Fuck that tripe.’
Soon, we were graced with a little blond waif appearing on our television screens, who at first, second and even third sight appeared to be quite frivolous, cutsey and 100% killer bait. The next instant though, she was kick boxing her way through ‘Big Bads,’ drawing out her stake, stabbing the blood thirsty vampires and turning the poor suckers into dust.
A generation of females roared their approval, and her male friend Xander represented many males who just sat there, mouths agape, while Giles represented the other side who went “Why are you people so SHOCKED? Girls kick ass too. Have you met Buffy?”
I’m putting my life on the line, battling the undead. Look, I broke a nail, ok? I’m wearing a press-on. The least you could do is exhibit some casual interest; you can go hmm.”
Buffy aka The (Vampire) Slayer was one in a long line of young women chosen by fate to battle evil forces on earth. This “calling” graced her with super intuition, endurance, heightened physical strength, agility and the ability to rapidly self-heal.
Mom, I’m a Vampire Slayer.
Once we understood she was a genuine bad ass, it was nothing but pure pleasure watching her in every episode, season after season. A cute, sixteen year old girl growing up and doing all sorts of crazy, wonderful things, and managing to not just hold onto a stereotype, but simultaneously kicking its ass was awesome. One minute we saw Buffy at cheerleader tryouts complete with pom poms, and the next she was out stabbing bloodthirsty vampires or beating up demons to a pulp.
A vampire with a soul? Oh my God, how lame is that?
She was also just a regular teenager, with friends, a life (albeit a double one) and normal problems like everyone else… Almost.
“It’s my first day! I was afraid that I was gonna be behind in all my classes, that I wouldn’t make any friends, that I would have last month’s hair. I didn’t think there’d be vampires on campus”
I’m sixteen years old. I don’t wanna die.”
She had a temper.
“I’m going to give you all a nice, fun, normal evening, if I have to kill every single person on the face of the earth to do it”
She stuck her foot in her mouth.
My diary? You read my diary? That is not okay! A diary is like a person’s most private place! You don’t even know what I was writing about! ‘Hunk’ can mean a lot of things, bad things. And, and when it says that your eyes are’penetrating’, I meant to write’bulging’. And’A’doesn’t even stand for’Angel’for that matter, it stands for…’Achmed’, a charming foreign exchange student, so that whole fantasy part has nothing to even do with you at all…”
She fell madly in love… with a vampire.
But, stayed dedicated to her calling.
So I told him that I loved him… and I kissed him… and I killed him”
OK, two vampires.
“Darn your sinister attraction.””
She fell many times, and cried, and bled, just like everyone does.
I’m beyond tired. I’m beyond scared. I’m standing on the mouth of hell, and it’s going to swallow me whole.
But, she always got back up.
Okay, I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming whatever the hell it is I’m gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and… maybe one day I turn around and realize I’m ready. I’m cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat— or enjoy warm, delicious cookie me, then, that’s fine. That’ll be then. When I’m done.”
And, always finished the fight.
“You know. No kick-o, no fight-o.”
She was true girl power.
Kid: “How’d you do that?”
Buffy: “It’s what I do.”
Kid: “But, you’re just a girl.”
Buffy :”That’s what I keep saying.”
Stay tuned for more kick-ass 90’s TV Femmes every Thursday!