buffy summers is my hero

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who run the world?
buffy summers

“Looks good, doesn’t it? They’re trapped in here. Terrified. Meat for the beast. And there’s nothin’ they can do but wait. That’s all they’ve been doing for days, waiting to be picked off, having nightmares about monsters that can’t be killed. But I don’t believe in that. I always find a way. I am the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now you and me are gonna show ‘em why. It’s time. Welcome to Thunderdome.”

You know what I got to thinking about today? Buffy Summers and the episode Go Fish aka 2.20.

Why? Because Buffy was a victim of attempted assault / sexual harassment (on more than one occasion actually but I’m just focusing on this specific episode) by a swim team member. She was placed on the pedestal of women should act a certain way or dress a certain way. If they don’t, they’ve asked for whatever happens to them and that men are truly still the superior…. until she broke his nose on his steering wheel. This breaks the mold of defenseless. Buffy is that personification of strength that every girl is looking for and one of the reasons why people relate to her so much and love her even more as it gives some women the feeling of empowerment because it’s actually a scary thought that if she didn’t harbor slayer powers, she possibly would’ve fell victim (though knowing Buffy, she wouldn’t just accept it anyway). 

Buffy is that physical symbolism of strength and feminism. After this incident where Principal Snyder caught Buffy solely during the altercation, he proceeds to tell her it’s essentially her fault for the whole thing because she, “shouldn’t dress so provocatively.” This is a line I have heard so much in day to day life that it’s so realistic, you want to be angry and I think that was the point in this specific piece of writing that hey, this shit can still happen no matter who you are. Not to mention, he believed her assaulter when he lied that she led him on ( although one could argue that was a personal judgement call on snyder’s behalf but anyway, I don’t want to discuss that worm ). The writing of this scene(s) is one of the best in my opinion because it shows that while she is this super hero that we all genuinely look up to and root for to win in the end, she is also a woman. a woman who faces the reality of this awful society. She is a girl living in a world where women are still not as respected as men or viewed as the weaker species evident in 5.22 The Gift when the boy she rescued in the opening scene is stunned at her abilities and basically asks how could she do all that shes, “just a girl.” 

That’s what makes this show so special. Buffy The Vampire Slayer is not just about supernatural elements of vampires, demons, mystical keys and hell gods that she and the gang are supposed to defeat and call a day. In moments like these, you forget she is supposed to be one of the most powerful beings on this earth. A defender of humanity, a warrior of the people. It takes you back because you realize she is a human. She is a woman.

And as a woman who has been called a slut before and given the same speech of if you hadn’t dressed like that, nothing would’ve happened. You asked for it, I can say this is why Buffy Summers will always be my number one hero.

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                                                          5x14 // 5x22
       —   “We have something, Buffy. It’s not pretty, but it’s real, and there’s nothing either one of us can do about it. Like it or not, I’m in your life, you can’t just shut me out.” 

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S: As daft a notion as “Soulful Spike the Killer” is, it is nothing compared to the idea that another girl could mean anything to me. This chip—they did to me. I couldn’t help it. But the soul, I got on my own—for you.

B: I know.

S: So, yeah. I go and pass the time… with someone. But that’s all it is is time, ‘cause—God, help me, Buffy—it’s still all about you.

Sleeper S7E08

In my opinion, Buffy Summers stopped being the “hero” of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and started merely being the “protagonist” of the show the moment she decided to feed Faith Lehane to Angel at the end of Season Three.  Buffy’s reason for doing so wasn’t to save lives or prevent Faith from hatching some evil scheme; it was merely “I want my boyfriend back”.  It caused Buffy to completely lose all of the moral high ground she had been granted in response to all the evil Faith had done.

Yes, Faith had done wrong, but she had done nothing that made “render her helpless and feed her to a vampire” a reciprocal and appropriate punishment, especially when the reason for doing so was something as shallow as “I want my boyfriend back”. If Buffy’s intent had been merely to put a stop to Faith’s evil, she could have done it any time prior to Angel’s poisoning. But no, she waits until she needs Slayer blood to cure her boyfriend, and goes, “Well, I know where to get some of that!” and goes Faith-hunting.  That was the turning point.  That was the point at which she stopped being a hero and started merely being the protagonist.

One of the strangest most infuriating experiences of my life was my initial encounter with internet discouse about Buffy. It didn’t take long before I discovered that there was a sizable amount of fans who genuinely loathed the main character. Like, I watched the show completely isolated from anyone else who had ever seen it, and I could not comprehend why anyone would hate my new hero and role model, Buffy Summers. It was particularly confusing because the reasons for hating her completely negated one another. She was either boring because she didn’t have any flaws, or she was an evil bitch who made everyone around her miserable.

In other words, this was the day I discovered fandom.