Intertextuality and Women

Focusing on Women in the Media

Don’t Speak- The Simpsons and Buffy the Vampire Slayer April 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paige @ 8:28 pm

Women’s words have never really been valued as much as the words of men. For a while women weren’t even allowed to write or read. People just didn’t really see the point because women weren’t as smart as men. This has been especially evident throughout the history of television. However, it is also evident that women have started to gain of level of respect in the industry throughout recent years. Women have been given a voice, or rather our voice has just been recognized. Women’s voice has also gained a level of respect and is no longer shot down as mindless drivel. This change in how women are perceived and listened to is evident in two episodes recently viewed in class.

In the episode of The Simpsons titled, Lisa vs Malibu Stacy, the whole family is given money by their grandfather. They take a trip to the mall and there Lisa spots the newest speaking version of Malibu Stacy, she must have it. When Lisa brings it home and pulls her string she realizes Stacy is sending out horrible messages to little girls. For example, when Lisa pulls her string we hear, “thinking too much gives you wrinkles” or “don’t ask me, I’m just a girl.” Lisa is appalled at these messages and decides she must speak directly to the source and stop the sexist messages. In response to Lisa’s determination, Marge tells her to stop standing up for what she believes in so much. Marge is the prime example of a sitcom mom; she has the pearls, and no back bone. I would like to use this scene in my final screening post. It is the perfect example of how the moms portrayed in the 50s never told their daughters to go after what they wanted, they only told them to follow their predetermined paths. However, Lisa is the perfect example of the modern day woman. She stands up for her beliefs and challenges social norms and big corporations, and builds her own doll named ‘Lisa Lionheart.’  Lisa has something to say, and when she has something to say it isn’t just mindless drivel, but worthwhile lessons that all women can learn from.

In the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer titled, Hush, the whole town is stripped of their voices. It is up to Buffy and her team to save the day, and get back everyone’s voice. Buffy is not only blonde and beautiful, she kicks ass too. In this episode when her prospective man is in danger, she comes in to save the day, not the other way around. Voice is a strong theme in this episode and is portrayed in several different ways. In the beginning we are introduced to Buffy’s love interest, and we are aware that they both have feelings for each other. However, when it comes to making the move both become tongue tied and their babbling ruins the moment. Later in the episode, Buffy’s roommate is at a wicken meeting. She speaks up and inquires that they start working on the real stuff like spells. Most of them laugh at her but one girl tries to speak up. The girl is too nervous to speak up and misses the mark. Then the whole town’s voice is stolen by a group of fairy tale ghouls called, “the gentlemen.” They steal people’s voices so they can’t scream when the gentlemen are stealing their hearts. In the end Buffy saves the day and screams, killing the gentlemen. In turn, the townspeople have gotten their voices back and all normalcy is returned. This episode proves that sometimes words aren’t even necessary, but nonetheless shouldn’t be taken advantage of.


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