Joss Whedon loves strong women because his dad loved strong women.
I’m not gonna lie, I have a thing for Joss Whedon. Because, BRAINS. I am almost zombie-like in my quest for brains, and he’s got ’em. I’ve also got a thing for bald men, but that’s really neither here nor there. But throw in a love of comic books, adventure, silliness and smarty-pants inside jokes, with a hint of shyness and I am down for the count. I’ve been a fangirl of the Joss since Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Like many people who loved Buffy, I loved it because she kicked ass. I didn’t intellectually realize that what I was watching was something of a feminist manifesto. It was just awesome. Then Firefly came around, and I became suspicious that this guy might intentionally be writing incredibly strong female characters, but in a much more fleshed-out way than we’d seen before. His strong female characters were also funny, and sexy and inviting. They were fully-fleshed.
Fast forward to now, we all know that Whedon does, in fact, write these women on purpose. And he gets asked about it over and over and over again. In this great speech for Equality Now, Whedon answers that question, over and over and over again.
He has many great answers, but this is my favorite, because it’s something we can all do, so easily:
“Because of my father. My father and step father prized wit and resolve in the women they were with, above all things. They were among the rare men who understood that recognizing someone else’s power does not diminish your own. … When I created Buffy, I wanted to create a female icon, but I also wanted to be very careful surround her with men who not only had no problem with a female leader, but were engaged and attracted to the idea.”
The whole speech is great, it is totally worth 7 minutes of your time to get a great look at an awesome male feminist who doesn’t pull any punches.
So tell me, what do you think about Joss, the women he writes, and how clear it is that our parents really do shape how we look at gender roles, and gender equality?