Feminist icon? Buffy the Vampire Slayer and postfeminist television

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Abstract

The female action hero has become a popular phenomenon and a subject of academic attention in recent years, with work by Yvonne Tasker in Britain and Lynda Hart in the United States leading the field. Much of this work has focused on the representation of violent women in popular film. This essay addresses the representation of female action heroes on television - specifically, the case of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In particular, this piece examines how Buffy compares with her predecessors, such as Emma Peel in The Avengers, Wonder Woman, Charlie’s Angels and the Bionic Woman, and considers what Buffy offers in relation to popular media accounts of feminist politics. Reading Buffy in relation to debates around postfeminism, this piece argues that she represents an active femininity in a medium that most often represents femininity as passive and girlish. Such contradictions are explored within the series itself, making Buffy a compelling figure for feminist analysis
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMillennial visions : feminisms into the 21st century
EditorsAlison Assiter, Carolyn Britton, Carolyn Brina
Place of PublicationCardiff
PublisherCardiff Academic Press
ISBN (Print)9781899025299
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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