My favourite BtVS female character is ... *everybody already knows* Buffy Summers herself!
I don't think that I need to explain why too much. I suck in metas and so many people in my f-list have already said things ten times more intelligent than something I could actually think myself. The fandom is full of gorgeous and insightful metas about the girl, especially the English-speaking fandom, and I'm glad for that.
I love Buffy mostly because she's a person, a *real* person. Yes, I know that she doesn't actually exist ... but she's written as a flawed and human - so desperately, profoundly human - being. She's stoic, she doesn't like to talk about her feelings or feel that she's good in expressing her emotions. She messes up. She gets ill. She gets tired. She feels rage, betrayal, self-hate. And that would be totally good if we were talking about a male character, but with the female characters is so rare that they could actually be that wrong. If we compare S6 Buffy and S5 Angel we can see some common points in the narrative (For very different reasons they are both in the middle of a huge existencial crisis) Except that Angel is a male. We already know that male characters can suffer intimately, can struggle to see the reason for their existance. We accepted, as a culture, the idea of the lonely depressed male hero. Especially when his depression is just a tool to show how he's truly heroic, because he's so tired of that shit and he still keeps fighting.
When I was younger I used to love all the male characters much more than female characters. Because when I get the opportunity to read or watch a story I want to see all the darkest aspects of reality. I want to fight, kill, die, explore infinite universes, struggle to return to Ithaca, fall in love and still being not defined by that, punch the monster, create a dream. Honestly who cares about falling for some Heathcliff or Darcy when you can be a Roman emperor?
That was, for me, the point. Of course, at some point in my life I found myself very involved with love stories too. I read many love stories. I started shipping. I quietly and with some form of distrust embraced the beauty of Romance as a genre. (And fanfics became *a thing*) And distrust because I still thought that romance was for girly-girls.
My first approach with Buffy happened when I was fourteen and totally about the male characters because I found them much more interesting and complex. Of course, I didn't like her at first. She was mooning over Angel and while I understood that - because I was almost the same age as her and Angel was beautiful - but still not her - because she was whiny - I didn't get the school stuff and other aspects of her. I was so much more like Willow. But I loved to see her kicking butts.
Later, in my life, I discovered Buffy again, but the Italian fandom was so much about Spike, this time, and she was described as an horrible person, because she was using him and she wasn't loving and comforting. I though: she must be awful. I truly believed that. She was closing herself to the possibility of love and happiness but ... if she wasn't a female character would that be so important?
The female characters are supposed to always know how to be good. That's what makes them the heroines. They are supposed to know shit about love, much better and deeply than men, because they are professional on that matter. And if they don't, some guy with a deep but still very masculine connection to the emotional side of life will teach them and make them whole. In the end they are programmed to end up with a guy holding their hand. BtVS ends with the Slayer standing in front of a crater where she buried someone she said she loved (But that she had also punched in the face many more times that you can count) smiling. That stuff pissed people. Buffy became the "harsh bitch" for some and she clearly should have stayed dead - it was so much better, she was so much better.
I'm telling you now that I love Buffy Summers for all the wrong reasons.
Because she was depressed - and it wasn't your cute "I'm staring at the rainy window looking wise" depression. It was the stuff that makes people want to cut their skin, take pills, never get up from the bed. Because she gets to survive, to stand in front of a crater where the man who loved her more than anything died, and she wants to smile. Because she punches people when she gets pissed or scared. Because she fucks without loving. Because she's a bitch in charge. Because she doesn't know how to handle her younger and adolescent sister. Because she can't tell anymore what's real. Because she doesn't know how to live in this world. Because she fails.
I love that she represents something so strong for all the people who suffered/are suffering for mental illness. Today I read another proof, because when don't talk too much about this stuff and female heroines don't do that.
Buffy Summers has all the flaws and does all the mistakes we so generously condone to male characters and her journey is about power and love but not. only. love. Ultimately her goal isn't to choose between Spike and Angel but to embrace an axe and start changing the world and making people stronger.
I heartly support the possibilty for Buffy to act like a male hero and to do twisted shit as one.
I also love all the right stuff: her bravery, her kindness, the fact that she cries a lot like a girly-girl, the fact that she died to save her sister, the fact that she forgave so much, the fact that she doesn't want to turn into stone.
Here you have a complex human being. Someone who changes through the years, sometimes better and sometimes not. Someone who tries.
- Current Mood: thirsty