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October 17 2004

Furore over Buffy in California museum. A report on efforts made by Gov. Schwarzenegger's wife to have the state's history museum turned into a celebration of women. This has caused much controversy amongst the museum board who do not like the idea of role models such as Buffy being included.

Unfortunately this can only be read for free by UK posters, overseas readers have to subscribe.

But here's some relevant quotes:

"Shriver is said to have been frustrated that she lacked the space to include other role models nominated by young visitors, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, heroine of the eponymous television series."

"One board member said: “We have to save the museum but what has it come to (when) serious historical curators have to seek protection from Buffy the Vampire Slayer?”"

Snobbery about Buffy won't go away, apparently. What a bunch of fogeys. "Serious historical curators" should not ignore the power and influence of television. I despise as much about tv as the next person, but no medium can or should be completely dismissed. Good for Maria Shriver to see past snobbery over the name and the medium and know excellence - and positive influence - where it exists.
If Buffy was even considered, then what are some of the other fictional depictions of women that were included?
No mention of fictional characters in the article but those who were in the exhibition ranged from:

"Dolores Huerta, a farmworkers’ union organiser arrested 22 times during the 1960s, to Elizabeth Taylor and the teenage actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen."
Ummmmm.....the Olsen twins = Worthy of Celebration, but Buffy = Big Bad?


The Olsen twins are arguably fictional depictions of women.
If they only wanted real women to be included then I understand why Buffy wasn't. Although maybe they tried to include Gellar for her portrayal of Buffy but some snob balked at that.

As for the Olsen twins, they do have a large corporation which is pretty admirable and at least the anorexic one got help which sends a positive message.
Whoops. I guess I get caught up in my own brand of snobbery about the Olsen twins :)
I didn't catch an 'anti Buffy' vibe but more an anti 'one theme museum' vibe. Surely a 'California State Museum' should be about the whole state? The early settlers, the gold rush, Hollywood and so on?

I'm from california, I live in the Capital City, and I'll tell you the last thing we need is ANOTHER museum on the entire state. There are pleanty of one-themes museums such as the Indian Museum next to Sutter's Fort, and the Railroad Museum.
Not being from Cali, though I have visited a couple of times, I only know what I've read in this report. I thought tiw was already a musuem about the state, and Mrs Governator wants to change it.

But either way I still didn't read an anti Buffy feeling, just anti the whole idea.
There should perhaps be an exhibit in a museum somewhere that depicts the historical significance of women in television and film, how it has changed over time, and towards the end of said exhibit there might be one brief mention of Buffy. Whedon has often said that Buffy is his retaliation of the recent classic "scream girl" phenomenon. Where a movie shows a helpless girl walk down a dark alley or hallway with the (usually male) killer lurking in the shadows. Whedon decided that helpless girl should be empowered, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was born. He took the classic horror plotline and turned it on its ear. Quite an historical turn for story writing certainly, but not something that should singularly upset historical curators. And has been surmised before me, this sounds more like curators being upset that the mayor's wife is telling them how to do their job than anything else.

There should be a "women in tv & film" exhibit in a museum somewhere, but I'd imagine it would fit better in a museum focusing on tv and film rather than "California." I'd also like to see where Mrs. Cleaver, Ripley from the Alien series, Wonder Woman, Charlie's Angels, and the Bionic Woman would fit in such an exhibit, sometimes to the benefit of women and sometimes not.
phelbotinin, I don't think you were engaging in snobbery. Discrimination, perhaps, as in having discriminating taste.

Nothing wrong with that at all. A good thing, actually.

Zachsmind, there have been gutsy heroines throughout literature (and history, and myth and legend as well), including those that you mention. The girl as hero has been around a long, long time.

Joss didn't necessarily plow brand new ground, but he did bring his unique genuius to it. Not a historical moment in that the girl was the hero, instead of the victim, but historical in that the writing, directing, and every other aspect involved in producing a TV show resulted in a new level of excellence for the medium.

In short, Buffy is historical not because she was a schoolgirl, but because she was Buffy.
Sorry, these are all eloquent, intelligent posts....and I want to join in.....but my mind just stays stuck on..."No Buffy....but bring in the Olsen Twins!"

Reality.....crumbling.....mind...fading.....pltz glrb.....

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