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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"People were fighting on me"
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November 30 2009

Buffy mentioned in Philosophy Now. John Shelton Lawrence thinks along the lines of Danny Fingeroth about "what makes a superhero, philosophically speaking", with Buffy being an example of the "Amazon"-category of superheros.

Very interesting article, bit thin connection wise but interesting (and with a lot of wish-list fodder just in time for Christmas ;). Haven't read Fingeroth's book so I don't know enough about the "Amazon" definition to judge but to me the name connotes loss of opportunity as much as empowerment (no male/female love, rigid, stoic discipline etc. Even before we get to the myth about chopping boobs off to use a bow ;) whereas Buffy was all about refusing to accept that as her lot - she wanted love and friendship in her life and her discipline was, well, bendy ;). Guess "Amazon" is an easy short-hand for "strong woman" but it seems more applicable to the earlier part of the development spectrum he mentions rather than the more modern Buffy-esque end.

Also sceptical about Lara Croft - sure she was an "actor" in her own life (rather than a reactor) but the character was clearly designed to appeal to males IMO, not sure if her heroism and autonomy are enough to balance out the pretty blatant T&A.
... “every decent villain thinks of himself as the hero… the superhero… has to represent the values of the society that produces him.” Also, “the hero does the right thing” because “he knows what the right thing is.”...

is very true though IMO. One of the things that I like in 'Dollhouse' is the way Ballard's role as traditional hero that never says die is being subverted and questioned as we (and increasingly he) wonder whether he's doing the right thing or not.

(the Hulk/Hercules comparison is also interesting. With Hercules it seems we have handy analogues for both his "aspects" - The Hulk as his id-iotic rage and wants and Superman as his nobler, more heroic side though still blessed/cursed with demi-godhood)

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