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I Heart Joss Whedon: Or How Buffy Saved Planned Parenthood

February 11, 2012

I‘m a geek. This will come as a surprise to… well no one who regularly reads this blog. Due to that personal quirk the newest issue of the Dark Horse series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a particularly anticipated read. Released just last week the issue, finds Ms. Summers dealing with a personal issue that for once has little to do with the supernatural—what to do about an unwanted pregnancy.

The ninth season continues after a cliffhanger that found the Chosen One pregnant, the result of a drunken blackout at a party, and unsure of who the father might be. Buffy spends much of the issue working through what to do and ultimately makes a decision that’s right for her. She is going to have an abortion.

It’s a plot that’s made for controversy and honestly it just may have been. Series creator Joss Whedon told USA Today that he hopes the issue allows for a more honest discussion of the abortion. He does admit that it’s also a bit of a political jab due to the current political climate, Whedon has been anything but shy when discussing the apparent ‘war’ on Planned Parenthood.

While Buffy’s life is never normal—she does slay vampires for a living—the considerations she makes during the issue are realistic.  For better or worse, (I’m looking at you season 4) the series is appealing because it includes personal struggles and metaphorical demons alongside the supernatural ones. Sure we got to see a girl—and later a woman—stake demons and take down enemies with her super-strength, but fans also saw her have fights with roommates and breakdown when a boyfriend left her. Whedon has always allowed the character to be strong while remaining imperfect, to make mistakes and miscalculations and still be a hero. Buffy was always most relatable when she was indulging in what made her human, not what made her superhuman.

Throughout the show and the comic, we’ve watched her gain friends (and lose a few), grow estranged from her family, fall in love, lose her virginity, get her heart broken, survive her mother’s death, support her family, be party to a vaguely abusive relationship, and drop out of school due to financial hardship. Buffy has never steered away from the less neat aspects of life—it embraces life’s greyness—which is why despite the soapbox Buffy’s decision feels like exactly what it is—an honest look at a situation with no simple answers.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 29, 2012 2:58 PM

    Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, thanks . “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” by Archilocus.

  2. March 12, 2012 7:46 PM

    Much appreciation for this post. Very engrossing and accurately penned blog post. Thank you once again – I will come again.

  3. March 13, 2012 5:24 AM

    Interesting blog – thank you. You always write a interesting blog. I hope to read even more soon.

  4. March 23, 2012 9:59 PM

    Hello, I think your web site might be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Apart from that, wonderful site!

    • Brittani Haywood permalink*
      March 24, 2012 1:11 AM

      Thanks, I’ll look into it!

  5. March 27, 2012 9:44 AM

    I would like to give many thanks to you personally for this wonderful go through!! I without a doubt loved each small little bit of it. I’ve you bookmarked your website to take a look at the newest things you post.

    • Brittani Haywood permalink*
      March 30, 2012 12:07 AM

      Thanks so much!

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