I enjoyed Gina Arnold’s Salon article about “Badass girls on film”, but I thought that the comment about “latent lesbianism” on Buffy showed her ignorance a bit. There’s actually explicit lesbianism in the show in the form of Willow, but she was never the ass-kicker that the article describes. Arnold wants to claim that by labelling tough girls like Xena and Gabrielle “dykes”, it makes their feats seem less threatening to men. But she includes Buffy in that group, who (while SMG might well be attractive to women) has always been 100% boy crazy. In fact, I think Buffy (the character) is so popular because she’s this tiny little heterosexual waif that defies convention and kicks ass. Willow’s relationship with Tara is completely different, though, and neither of them look anything like the stereotypical “dyke” that Arnold presents. It’s like she read an article somewhere linking “Buffy” and “lesbian” and just threw that little comment in without bothering to check with anyone who actually watches the show.

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