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Never Mind the Neilsens – The Final Vote

We’ve seen 200+ women narrowed down to 64, and now we’re down to the final two. Which Whedon woman will you pick? Choose your choice after the cut.

This poll will be open until Thursday at around 11 p.m., EST, so you have plenty of time to make a decision. The winner will be announced on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Happy voting!

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

11 replies on “Never Mind the Neilsens – The Final Vote”

It’s like Sophie’s Choice up in here. However, just like Spike being better than Angel, I had to go with Willow over Buffy. Willow, like Spike, had to work for the power she had. She didn’t have a gypsy curse, and she wasn’t born with preternatural strength and healing. Just good old fashioned studying and work. Plus, Buffy was such a whiner sometimes.

Willow was born with a natural ability for witchcraft and a power level that places her above the average witch — its both alluded to and stated outright over the course of the series. Yes, she studies and works at it, but so does Buffy, with her training and patrolling. I think its sort of an easy point to over look since we meet Willow as a nerdy computer geek, but there’s tons of examples of this — replicating the gypsy curse, the resurrection spell, Tara’s comments about Willow’s natural gifts, pretty much everything that happens at the end of seasons 6 and 7.

I totally get why Willow is the more relate-able of the pair, but to me, the sacrifices that Buffy makes, consistently over the course of the series when it would be just so easy to give in, to take advantage of her powers and position to make life easy for herself, and later, to be the ‘liked’ leader instead of the hard and cold one, is what sells me on Buffy. I mean, she dies twice. Twice!

This definitely a close race, but my girl Buffy is going to always get my vote. (She saved the world. A lot.)

 

I know, I know, I went back and forth on this for awhile this morning while walking the pup. Buffy is super kick ass, sacrifices so much (how could I even think of giving my nod to Willow if I picture Buffy jumping to her death in The Gift?), and she makes the unpopular decisions when nobody else will. She fought the forces of evil and high school at the same time! She took a job slinging greasy fried foods to pay for a FULL. COPPER. REPIPE. Chick is hardcore, no doubt.

But then I think of Willow; sweet, dorky Willow who falls in love with computer demons and pines after her very best friend in vain; she of the horrible outfits and constant Cordelia derision, little sweet Willow. Little sweet Willow, who, yes, had a natural ability for the magic, but put in many a sleepless night fortifying that knowledge with intense study and practice. Sweet Willow who grew from the meek little wallflower into the big bad ass Wiccan, then into the actual Big Bad, only to be brought back to reality and her grief by that same best friend who loved her enough to bring her back from the edge, in the face of mortal peril. The Willow who makes me cry with the slightest tremble of her lip, who was part of one of the only lesbian couples on TV at the time, who would sometimes go on rambling, true-blue bleeding heart tirades fueled by growing up with a super feminist mom. And while Buffy eventually starts to focus on the foundation of her power in season 6, Willow seemed to always have this intense curiosity that fueled her from the very beginning.

Plus, I will never forgive SMG for quitting the way she did. I know SMG is not Buffy, but that shit was not cool.

I just now realized that it may be problematic for me to have put this much thought and turmoil into a show that has been off the air for years. I take comfort, dear Slay Belle, in knowing I am not the only one. Was this our first fight? I don’t like it one bit! =)

 

As a total aside, I still think its significant that the Watcher’s council did not provide a stipend to their Slayers. All the Watchers get paid — Giles gets a full backpay reinstatement at the end of season 5 — but none of the Slayers do. They’re just expected to fight and die and apparently pick up minimum wage jobs to keep themselves in stakes and mystical orb paperweights.

Obviously, I don’t think its problematic to still be talking about the show after so long, given what I write about here. We can have this disagreement (our first! Let’s never fight again!) because the show is so richly layered. There’s just a lot to talk about.

I thought a lot about what dellbot said last week and I think she’s right — I think the pick comes down on who you identify with. Maybe not in the ‘I’m totally a Willow!’ way, but in their struggles and developments. For me, its Buffy and the weight of responsibility, and the way she has to fight, all the time, even when she just wants to lay down her arms. That resonates for me. Its not to take away from Willow, who has a really amazing story arc of her own and who I love in her own right, but when it comes down to it, B is always going to be my girl.

Now that’s everything, huh? No weapons… No friends…No hope. Take all that away… and what’s left?”


Me.”

I think a good amount of it does come down to who you identify with, because for me it’s Willow – I love Buffy, and if she were up against almost anybody else I’d vote for her in a heartbeat, but there were so many times during the show (I just watched it all for the first time over the past year) that things Willow experienced or did or even the things she said and the way she said them that made me go, “That’s me!” that I didn’t even consider not voting for her.

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