In honor of the 15th anniversary of the premiere of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” a week or so ago, Glinda and I ordered a pizza and sat down to watch a few random episodes of the series. Whenever I go back to it, I’m reminded of how much I love this universe and all the characters in it. I’ve written about Buffy before, most notably in my post about how “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Saved My Life.” Since that night, I’ve been dropping into the seasons, watching some favorite ones, or ones where Buffy doesn’t just kick demon ass, she delivers some serious smackdowns to the bullies of the series. The other night I watched the ep where she finally and quite comprehensively put the Watchers in their place.
I just finished watching “Chosen” which is the last episode of the series. I know there are people out there who hated the way it ended. to them I say, “Did you not understand what this series was really about? Did you not understand that it was about having the crap kicked out of you emotionally, spiritually and sometimes even physically?” And did you not see that the inevitable ending of the series was the empowerment of every woman who has made the choice to rise above that? Think of the scene when the potentials all feel their power. Think of the moment when that sad-looking woman stands up, grasps the arm of the man who has been beating her, looks him in the eye and without a word lets him and us know that no one will ever knock her down again. She has found her power, her tipping point. How can that not move you? It always makes me cry. Always.
I’ve been thinking (and saying) a lot these days about the far right‘s war on women. You don’t have to go very far to see evidence of it. They’ve moved from fighting the right to choose how a woman deals with personal issues like pregnancy, to fighting even her right to use contraception. From being called sluts by national celebrities, to being told that our employers can refuse to pay for contraception if they cite religious scruples against it, we are under attack in a way that’s no less real than anything Buffy suffered.
Everything they do proves that it’s not just about abortion, it’s about putting us in our place, about taking us out of the work force and putting us back in the home raising children which we won’t even be able to care for because there will be no social safety net when they get through with us. How many families can exist on only one paycheck, particularly if they keep having children? What’s the message here? We don’t deserve equal pay, we don’t deserve equal rights, we don’t deserve to hold a job at all, we don’t even deserve to have sex unless we’re married to a man who makes enough money to support a large family?
I’m not even going to comment on the idiocy of some of that because I pretty much figure you can imagine a world where only the rich get to have sex. But I am going to point out what should already be sinking in if you have any working brain cells: They are the Big Bad. They are the thing that is coming after us in the night, the thing that wants to beat us down, to keep us from ever even knowing what power we have.
We can’t let them do that.
Look, I don’t have a horse in this race anymore so in all honesty, there’s no real reason for me to worry about reproductive rights except for one thing: It fucking pisses me off to watch a group of rich white guys and their mindless drones doing everything they can to set the cause of women’s rights back 100 years or more. None of the legislation that’s been passed or proposed can ever affect me, but I am not about to let it affect any of you if I can help it. I’m telling you that you have got to stand up and shout. You have GOT to vote them down in this coming election and every election for the rest of your lives because it’s that important to you, to your daughters, your granddaughters, and on down the generations to come.
We cannot let them make us slaves. We are all potentials, we all have the power. Take it, fight with it. If we don’t, we can’t ever save the world. We can’t even save ourselves. Think of Buffy, and come out swinging.
- The war on women might be settled at the ballot box (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Happy Birthday, Buffy! We miss you. . . (bizzam.wordpress.com)
- She Saved the World A Lot (emmiemears.com)