Feminism | Posted by Robin S on 07/24/2009

Joss Whedon’s Equality Now Speech

Joss Whedon is the creator of such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer,  Firefly and Dollhouse. He’s also awesome. I’m not too familiar with his work, but I’ve always admired him as a feminist icon, as I know that he publically identifies as a feminist and tries to make a point of having strong female characters in his writing. His female characters are not strong because he’s pandering to female audiences; they’re strong because, like some men, some women can absolutely kick ass, yet you so rarely see female characters who kick ass and are still genuine. 

Whedon made a speech at for Equality Now in 2006 after receiving an award from them. While his speech is a little over two years old now, it’s definitely still relevant. Watch and see why.

Let’s look at the kind of female characters we see on TV now. Are there more strong female characters now than there were in 2006? If there are, I definitely don’t see them. If anything has changed, it’s that there’s less strong female characters. Most women I’ve seen on TV nowadays seem to be written to be superficial, nagging or weak–the personification of stereotypes. And I can guarantee you that the writers for any shows who do have strong female characters are still being asked why they write women like that.

I have to hand it to Joss. As long as strong female characters are still seen as strange, we need people like him to make those characters exist.

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  • Laura @ at 11:36 am, July 24th, 2009

    I love Joss Whedon. Buffy is probably one of my favorite shows. A must-see for feminists interested in pop culture. It still has it’s anti-feminist moments (like every tv show), but it’s all about strong women who can take care of themselves!

    I write about Buffy (and vampires) a lot, because I love the show. Here is my take on this same video (the video just adds to the reasons why I love Joss): http://youngfeministadventures.blogspot.com/2009/06/joss-strong-women.html

  • Karen @ at 1:46 pm, July 24th, 2009

    I like Joss Whedon, but I’m not really feeling Dollhouse. You know, with most of the female characters being repeatedly raped while brainwashed and such. And as the story develops, it seems more clear that Echo was blackmailed into becoming an active, too, so all the doll raping is even more against her consent. Fun!

    Can’t wait till she wakes up and takes them all down.

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