Every girl who could have the power, will have the power.
Who can stand up, will stand up.
Every one of you, and girls we’ve never known, and generations to come…they will have strength they never dreamed of, and more than that, they will have each other.
Every one of us.
Make your choice.
Are you ready to be strong?
Which leads me into the final day recap of that nerdvana that is San Diego Comic Con:
Day 4.5 – Girl Power
My only goals for the final day of SDCC were to get into the panel for the Buffy 20th anniversary lineup and to get Peter S. Beagle to sign a copy of The Last Unicorn. I accomplished both, still with no Fringe hat damnit, and finished the day happy. The Peter S. Beagle story surrounding getting to his booth is a great one but deserves its own post and so I will wait to discuss that later. Anyway Sunday is usually a wrap up day and so the most important moment was probably the last supper that night with my friends before we parted ways. Everyone met up at “The Strip Club” which is a steak spot with a rather clever business model: they provide the steaks but you grill them yourself. Talk about making money for doing almost nothing. I’m not complaining though, it was the best meal I had all weekend and that’s because it was me and my Sith friend Chris manning the grills. Ending comic con in a star trek uniform, friends and grilling steaks? I can live with that…except for the part where now my friends are far away again.
But back to the big Con event of my final day: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. People still mock this show without knowing what it was. I usually want to slap them. This show is no fang-banger, overly fetishized vampiric paranormal romance that set female rights back under some religious agenda and has destroyed Comic Con. Yes I’m looking at you Twilight and fans. Buffy was one of the greatest, most female empowering episodic achievements to ever grace primetime network television. I still have yet to see anything come close on a major network that touches the level of thoughtful feminism this show had. I grew up with it and to say that it is important to me is akin to simply describing the universe as big—hence the focus on getting to see the 20 year lineup. The panel itself was slightly disappointing especially compared to the Firefly reunion, it was a bit empty and would have been nice to see more of the cast assembled but I’m still glad I went. Nicholas Brendan did the snoopy dance so I call it a win.
This show is still to me the first to really showcase a strong female lead that didn’t need men to succeed. True she has men helping her but key to the plot was always that it was one girl alone who could save the world—no man. True there have been female superpower shows in the past like Charlie’s Angels but do you notice that even within the title the women are grammatically possessed by a male leader? Exactly. When I talk about the “girl power” aspect of Buffy I always think of the last episode. The speech from the finale of Buffy always gets to me. SPOILER ALERT: if you want to watch this show at any time I’m about to basically ruin the conclusion of the arc for the final season for you. Just be forewarned.
In the finale of BTVS Buffy decides she’s had enough of being the only strong woman in the world just because a bunch of men decided to set it up that way thousands of years ago. In order to create an army that can fight off the advances of a very imposing ancient vampire army, Buffy gets Willow (a wicca more powerful than all of those men combined) to release Buffy’s power. The intent: activate all the women who have the potential for strength and greatness. I always get chills when I hear the speech. Buffy did awaken an entire generation of viewers to the idea that they could be strong. This moment in the show serves a plot point but it was a pretty obvious reference to the significance of the series in popculture: Buffy inspired a new world of modern, strong females through a television set week after week.
From those who’ve never seen BtVS I still hear mockery, even of the title. After all who names their superhero Buffy? It’s such a funny name. They say: wouldn’t it be better if she were “Hunter” or “Joan” or something that sounds a little less country club and a little more masculine. I always have to explain that was the whole point. Confront someone with an image that upsets their preset conclusions. Most people see a blonde, waifish cheerleader with a silly name and discount her as anything more than a moppet. People don’t want to have to look below the surface; that gets complicated and time consuming and worst it’s confusing. Confusion makes people scared and angry but it’s important. We need to take a bite out of something comforting and simple to discover complexity below the surface in order to grow.
In short this show probably irrevocably changed my life, inspired me and certain episodes still bring tears to my eyes. Keeping with this theme of something both incredibly corny and unassuming that packs a punch below the surface…here are some jalapeño peppered corn muffins. These are the most flavorful, earth changing corn muffins I have ever had. I definitely prefer them to the sweeter variety and the moistness! Oh my gosh. The corn and additions help the muffin retain moisture during baking. It’s amazing. 4 days later and they had still not dried out. Serve this up alongside some steaks and fried swiss chard and you have the sassiest southern meal imaginable.
Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins