One More Reason to Love Buffy

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According to a study discussed in a story published last week in The Telegraph, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is inspiring women to leave conventional organized religion "because they feel the church is not relevant to their lives."

Wow.

Go figure.

Buffy didn't start this phenomenon--according to the author of the study, Dr Kristin Aune, a sociologist at the University of Derby, it began two decades ago, before Buffy was on the air. One million women, or 50,000 a year, have left their churches over the past 20 years. But Buffy helped show women an attractive alternative to religions that afford them little sense of the egalitarianism they value: wicca. Buffy celebrated female power, connection to the larger world of nature and spirit, and a disdain of hierarchies--all things inimical to traditional western religion. So they're bailing on it.

Referring to developments in the Church of England, Dr. Aune states, "Women's ordination, as priests and now bishops, has dominated debate and headlines – but while looking at women in the pulpit we have taken our eyes off the pews, where a shift with more consequences for the church's survival is underway." The news story goes on to say that

Dr Aune says the church must adapt to the needs of modern women if it is to stop them leaving in their droves.

She believes many women have been put off going to church in recent years because of the influence of feminism, which challenged the traditional Christian view of women's roles and raised their aspirations.

Her report claims they feel forced out of the church because of its "silence" about sexual desire and activity, and because of its hostility to single-parent families and unmarried couples which are now a reality for many women.

But it also says changes in women's working lives, with many more now pursuing careers as well as raising children, mean they have less time to attend church.

Dr Aune believes churches must now introduce services and activities that fit in better with modern's women's schedules, such as Saturday morning breakfast clubs.

Dr. Aune's study is published in a really expensive, recently published book I bet my library hasn't bought yet and won't have available for a while: Women and Religion in the West. I hope to read it as soon as possible.

5 Comments

This is great! I only feel better and better about loving Buffy.

This has nothing to do with anything but, for the Emmys, people can vote for tv's most memorable moments. Buffy's death in season 5 is one of the options in drama. Just in case you want to vote (which I did!):

http://abc.go.com/primetime/emmys/index?pn=comedyvoting_2008

Hi Rebecca--

Like you, I see every reason to be proud of my ability to recognize and appreciate Buffy's genius. And thanks for the link to the Emmy ballot--I cast my vote for Buffy.

Hi Holly. I'm here visiting your blog again! I think you might remember me from leaving you a comment before, but in case you didn't know, I wanted to tell you that Joss Whedon has a fantastic new show out called Dollhouse with Eliza Dushku as the main lead. Only six episodes have aired on television so far, and tomorrow they're airing episode seven. You can watch the previous episodes on hulu.com, and here's the FOX website as well: http://www.fox.com/dollhouse/

Just thought you should know if you didn't already. I'd also be interested to read anything you blog about Dollhouse, if you ever do, that is.

Hi Khatani--

I'm honestly quite touched that you would take the time and effort to tell me about Dollhouse! I haven't seen it yet--I get terrible antenna reception, and am too cheap to get cable--but I have read some reviews. I admit, I'm pretty curious. It hadn't occurred to me to try to see the episodes on Hulu--I don't know why not, since that's where I watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog, which I thought was great. Anyway, I'll check out what aired so far and give it some thought.

Thanks again for taking the trouble to make sure I know about another one of Joss's efforts. It's very kind.

No problem. It wasn't troubling at all. I'm a huge Joss Whedon/Buffy fan, so I'm always happy to share anything new and awesome that Joss has going on with others who I know also love him and his work.

As for people's Dollhouse reviews, I've read a few of them myself, and some of them I just found to be very negative and critical of the show, which I don't like, taking into account the fact that so far only six episodes have aired. Plus, sometimes it seems to me that some people just want to find any reason to try and bash Joss Whedon and/or his new show. Although, the only real issue I had with Dollhouse that angered me was when Topher (the person who programs the "Actives" or "dolls") remarked: "I'm scared like a little girl"
I hated it. First time I heard it, immediately my jaw dropped `cause I thought Joss Whedon wouldn't have allowed such an expression to be used. I don't know if anybody else recognized that statement being offensive and insulting to females since I do know how prevalent these incidents are in the American culture that a lot of people don't notice it. It also reinforces the false belief that females are somehow inferior to males, and I think both boys and girls grow up convinced of that.

Anyhow, here are several marvelous and more reliable Joss interviews and articles regarding Dollhouse that I've saved and think you'll love if you want to know more about the concepts and philosophies behind Dollhouse (yeah you can tell I love what Dollhouse is all about, it's the only tv show I actually watch):
http://io9.com/5031309/exclusive-joss-whedon-tackles-darwin

http://io9.com/5150302/weve-seen-3-episodes-of-joss-whedons-dollhouse

http://www.collider.com/entertainment/interviews/article.asp/aid/10819/tcid/1

http://nymag.com/arts/tv/features/54047/?imw=Y&f=most-emailed-24h10

http://watchingdollhouse.com/nycc-09-dollhouse-panel-report/

http://www.dwscifi.com/interviews/2847-joss-whedon-welcome-to-the-dollhouse

http://www.craveonline.com/articles/filmtv/04653105/joss_whedon_sheds_some_light_on_dollhouse.html

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on August 28, 2008 11:16 AM.

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