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Chattering Mind

Joss Whedon. I love him. He is one to be loved. If you don’t know who he is, you owe it to yourself to become familiar with one of the most creative, intelligent, and pro-female writer/directors floating around Hollywood today. Whedon is the genius creator/writer/director of such cult TV classics as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly,” as well as the movie “Serenity” and the upcoming, big-budget “Wonder Woman.” I avoided watching “Buffy” for years because the title just seemed so cheesy, so, well, Buffy, but started tuning in during a particularly stressful time in grad school, and my harsh judgments vanished immediately as I found myself enthralled by the metaphysical and spiritual elements layering the smart, self-deprecatingly campy show, the quirky humor and whip-smart cast, and, of course, the young, empowered, kick-ass vampire slayer who struggles relentlessly with her classic personal archetype: the Hero (Joseph Campbell would eat this show up with a chocolate spoon).

Don’t believe it? Try religious scholar Jana Reiss’ book, “What Would Buffy Do: The Vampire Slayer as Spiritual Guide” which beautifully details the more spiritual elements of the show. Hey, if you can’t trust a scholar, who can you trust?

But back to my boy Joss. He was just given an award by Equality Now, honoring “men on the front lines,” for his contributions to the notion of the empowered female. This link takes to straight to a YouTube video of his speech (he’s introduced by none other than she-goddess Meryl Streep). It’s worth every minute. Whedon is humble and funny and deeply articulate, and in the speech he answers the question he is asked in every interview he’s ever given: “ Why do you create such strong female characters?” His answers are absolutely priceless.

Do you think Hollywood offers us enough relatable strong female characters?

(posted by Sera Beak, substituting this week for Amy)

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