Program Highlights

Program Highlight: Buffy the Patriarchy Slayer

Each month, we feature a stand-out program sponsored by a college or university women’s/gender equity center. If you’d like to highlight your program for consideration, you can submit more information about it online!

Today, we’re highlighting Buffy the Patriarchy Slayer, an annual program sponsored by the Southern Oregon University Women’s Resource CenterWant more information about this program? Contact Mary Vest at Vestm@sou.edu

About the Program

A very Buffy spin on the classic Rosie the Riveter "We Can Do It!" poster.
A very Buffy spin on the classic Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It!” poster.

Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been heralded as a groundbreaking icon for feminist TV. Join us as we watch and critically celebrate the 90’s cult classic through an intersectional feminist lens. As true Buffy fans our mission is to deconstruct the show we love and understand the messages it continues to give us.

This program has been recurring successfully since September 2013. Two student facilitators organize the event each week and navigate discussions about the show, both critiquing and praising what they see within each week’s episode. The program has also started to use monthly themes to use as a platform for more discussion of power, privilege, oppression, representation, and more. April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so April’s episodes focused on sexual violence and healthy sexual relationships, October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month so the episodes focused on abusive relationships.

In Fall of 2014, the program expanded and began creating a Buffy the Patriarchy Slayer Zine to accompany the program.

How This Program Makes an Impact

This program was much more successfully than we initially envisioned. It is an accessible way to introduce students to social justice issues, feminisms, and different oppressions in general. Since the facilitators provide background, no previous knowledge of Buffy is required.

One first-year student at SOU told the facilitators that seeing a Buffy flyer was what made them decide to attend the school [because] they realized that the WRC had programs that would facilitate meaningful discussion and deconstruction using popular media. Buffy is often included in our quarterly “Tradition Weeks.”

One of the best things about Buffy The Patriarchy Slayer* is that it is accessible for anyone to put on or attend. We get a lot of people in who are maybe not really familiar with social justice/feminism/what the resource centers do because they love TV, love Buffy, or feel like it’s a less intense way to start getting involved. It can be done with literally any show people care about.It’s easy to replicate. You could do this at a high school, with a youth group, with a women’s group, at a summer camp. It’s a great way to get people thinking about really important stuff in a way that isn’t threatening. It sets people up to start doing more, questioning more, thinking more about what they’re saying and seeing.

*See the Facebook event listing of Buffy the Patriarchy Slayer!

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