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March 09 2004

Guardian Readers on Buffy as a Role Model. Guardian readers point out that David Bell's promotion of Buffy as a good role model for girls might be a bit wide of the mark :)

Save the world, don't blow up the high school, save the world, don't blow up the high school...

I think I'll be a good role model and choose not blowing up the high school.

ETA- These people frighten me. Seriously. :P [rollseyes]

[ edited by forcorreo on 2004-03-09 12:58 ]
Good thing they didn't mention what happened to the two principals, the umpteen student deaths and the various misfortunes that happened to the teachers. Jenny why did you have to die *sobs*.
Yeah, that was scary.
I think, if these people actually watched the show, that they totally missed the point. Yes, Buffy might've been a bit sarcastic and disrespectful to people like the Mayor and Snyder but, hey, the Mayor was evil and Snyder clearly wasn't working on the side of good. Also, when her boyfriend killed the teacher, it was the demon part of him and not the part with a soul. And yes she was guilty of destroying the school a couple of times but to save the lives of thousands. And it wasn't actually her fault that Sunnydale was destroyed, we can actually blame that one on Angel, he is the one who brought the amulet that Spike wore that destroyed the town (of course, again, it was to save the world).

It just really pisses me off to read stuff like this. These people are obviously deliberatly not telling the whole story when they nitpick about what happened on Buffy or they don't really know the story at all, or they are just brainless, witless, idiots!!
I'm a little confused. Were these people not being tongue-in-cheek? Am I to understand they were serious?? I mean we can joke like that on these boards. And anyone who knows Buffy's history this well is a reglar viewer right? Weren't they just joking around?
Why doesn't anyone celebrate Willow as a role model? Everyone's talking about homosexuals these days. Why shouldn't the way they portrayed Willow's homosexuality be featured in the media debate? I'm a full-fledged heterosexual man, and even I consider Willow a role model.

[ edited by Simon on 2004-03-09 19:31 ]
True, wasnt Tara-Willow the first full-fledged lesbian tv couple? Of regular characters at least. (I consider Tara a regular anyway).

Although I still maintain Tara was fully gay and Willow was bi. Sorry, but she lusted after Xander for years, had a long (and sexual) relationship with Oz and even while with Tara, she thought Dracula was hot. I know Joss has said he was wishy-washy on that issue and in the end decided to go with the 'just gay' but to me, her whole history spells 'a shade of bi'. And I always thought they should've done more with that. Like when Tara's a bit jealous when Willow says Drac is sexy. Those could've been a lot more fun moments.
Those are the kind of people that could watch all the Buffy there is and not like it, simply because they would not get it. I have several friends that I've tried to introduce Buffy to, and for some reason the underlying elements and the read-between-the-lines-iness of it doesn't really sink in, and they have an almost allergic reaction to it.

Ce' la vi' some people need stuff where everything is spelled out for them.
I agree with you EdDantes - I also thought Willow should've been described as Bi-sexual and not "just Gay". There was no indication in her relationship with Oz that she felt something was lacking or wasn't right, she loved him deeply and mourned when he left her. I thought she was a perfect candidate for someone who was bi-sexual. And I do think they could've delved more deeply into that with her and Tara. Even in Tabula Rosa, she momentarily seemed attracted to Xander again when she woke up next to him, wearing his coat and they thought they were a couple. She then felt drawn to Tara as well.
I think that these letter writers are missing one of the main points of BtVS and the Buffyverse which is how complicated people and life are in general.

What I and my friends who are Buffy fans appreciate the most about her character and all of the others, in terms of female representation, is their multifacetedness. The characters are multi-layered and so no one is perfect, no one is ideal. Because life isn't fair, even when you are on the side of the good, bad things will happen to you.

I especially take issue with the writers who criticized the portrayal of Willow as anti-intellectual. They are completely ignoring how Willow's intelligence and research skills were integral to Buffy and the Scoobies' work everyday all of the time and they ways that her intellect was integral in "saving the day" time after time. As someone else mentioned they also totally ignore the character development.
the type of people who write in to the guardian are the type of people who believe they are the voices of the elite upperclass factor of the uk, sadly all the rest of Great britian percieves them as snobs, it doesnt surprise me they frowned upon the lesbianism issues in the show and overlooked the deeper meaning of love rooted in the relationship.If these people actually attended a public school in the uk they would see why buffy is a freakin saint compared to the deviants i encountered in my stint at school believe me Buffy has nothing on the real life students of schools in the uk. and when the hell did buffy cheat on a test!?!
Speaking as a regular Guardian reader, I always believed the people who read it were left-wing, open minded and socially aware. It is the paper of the public sector and a lot of teachers in public and private schools read the Guardian. The people who tend to think they are the voice of the elite upperclass usually read the Daily Telegraph.

And G Thing, Caroline told you not to use your signature, it is against the rules. Thats why I've edited your post.
First of all, I'm a heterosexual, married mother of two. I remember just being blown away by the relationship of Willow and Tara. I felt it was the most believable love story of all of Buffy and I really felt it. I didn't notice that they were two women, just that they were two people in love. One of my favorite scenes with Willow and Tara is in "The Body" when Willow is unconsolable and just keeps crying and Tara gently takes her head and her hands and first kisses her on the forehead and then gently on the lips. Willow immediately calms down. I have yet to see another presentation of a Gay couple on TV that is believable to me and makes you see the couple as real people. Unfortunately, I can't say I felt the same way about Kennedy and Willow.

And Willow was a great role model. Willow started off as a very insecure, yet intelligent girl who grew up into a beautiful, confident woman. Yes, she made some horrible mistakes in her life, but she over came them and and was triumphant. Everyone makes mistakes but it's how you chose to deal with them that show what kind of person you really are. Joss Whedon is brilliant at showing just how human we all really are (including the Vampires) and how they take bad situations and make them better. That's why I love these shows. These are heroes you can relate to and feel compassion for.
The Guardian started out as a socialist newspaper. I still think of it as very left-wing. I certainly find its coverage superior to our mainstream press here in the US. Though I have no explanation for those bizarre letters. I'm assuming not all of them were serious. I feel compelled to write them myself.
EdDantes - The first full fledged out in the open gay person on network tv was Jodie Dallas on Soap in the late 70's early 80's. Willow and Tara had the first Gay kiss on network tv.
Also, Willow & Kennedy had the first lesbian sex scene on network television.

There is also supposedly a lesbian couple on ER, but apparantly they don't get a lot of screen time.
Although Willow and Tara may not have been the first lesbian couple on TV or the first lesbian couple who kissed, I think they were the first lesbian couple that had a real, believable relationship. I watch ER, and that couple doesn't compare to Tara and Willow. It seems that most television shows that have had lesbian couples have added them for ratings and really don't show them as a real loving couple like Joss Whedon did with Tara and Willow. The couple on Friends (Ross' ex and her "wife") also just seemed to be a couple put together to show how much Ross' life sucked and they never really delved into any of their personal relationship. The kiss between a gay character and a straight character has also been done many times as mentioned, but again it seemed more of trying to grab ratings. Even on Ellen, they played everything up for laughs.

I think that is why the relationship on Buffy got so much attention. They were portrayed as two people in love who happened to be gay and not just two stereotypical gay characters to grab attention. Joss never played it that way, he gave us a beautiful relationship that broke the hearts of millions when Tara was killed.
Forcorreo - thanks for those links, I found them very interesting and fun to read. I remembered quite a few of the earlier television ones like the LA Law ones, Ellen and Roseanne.
meh, I hope those people are being sarcastic or tongue in cheek, otherwise they suck. We love Buffy not because of her grades or prettiness or butt-kicking moves (well we do love those but it's not the whole reason) we love her because she's like us, she has problems which she overcomes and she has heart and she laughs and cries and oh, well I can't explain well enough, I'm sure one of you clever writers could have said it better but you know what I mean, I hope.
I think that a number of you are missing the point here. These letters are all obviously ironic.
Thanks for clearing that up, davorg. I wasn't perfectly sure, but those letters seemed kinda tongue-in-cheekish to me, and irritatingly well-informed, too, and what with those British beeing big with the irony and all...

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