"Date and shop and hang out and go to school and save the world from unspeakable demons. You know, I want to do girlie stuff."
Among Buffy's list of priorities, being a bitch to other girls is nowhere to be seen — yet real-life slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar was called out this week for apparently throwing shade at Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman online. According to Metro, the Chosen One supposedly criticized the positive attention that the latest DCEU movie has received, showing "disapproval" at the release of Wonder Woman for "being a moment of significance in Hollywood for women."
In reality, this couldn't be further from the truth. After all, it doesn't take the wisdom of the Watchers Council to see how Sarah Michelle Gellar has championed feminist rights ever since Buffy The Vampire Slayer first aired 20 years ago. Time and time again, the iconic actress has proved that her superpowers aren't just limited to her time onscreen, reminding us exactly why we should all band together in times of need.
So Why Did Sarah Michelle Gellar Share This Image Of Buffy & Wonder Woman?
Most assumed that Sarah Michelle Gellar wasn't taking aim at Wonder Woman in her Tweet. Instead, this tweet was construed as Gellar making a light-hearted dig at those who celebrated the success of Wonder Woman without acknowledging the legacy of female heroes who came before her. Without the likes of Buffy, Alien's Ripley and a certain warrior princess named Xena, it may have taken another 75 years for Wonder Woman to step out of the trenches and into our cinemas, so we should certainly be thankful for Diana Prince's predecessors.
Discussing the legacy of Buffy on the show's 20th anniversary, Sarah Michelle Gellar described the Slayer as "one of the greatest female characters ever created," discussing how she became a "a feminist challenge to gender hierarchy" on her Instagram. Her Instagram post for the 20th anniversary continued in this vein, with Gellar thanking co-star Alyson Hannigan (Willow) by saying "you are nothing without the love and support of great female friends." Does this sound like someone who would shoot down the groundbreaking progress of Wonder Woman and the film's progressive portrayal of women?
Gellar's celebration of sisterhood and the way in which this helped shape Buffy's feminist ideals stands in stark contrast to the interpretation of her Twitter activity by Metro. Simply titled, "Sarah Michelle Gellar shades Wonder Woman," the article they wrote about Gellar needlessly pits two of our most powerful female heroes against one another in a bid to grab attention. What's even worse is that the article in question was written by a woman, one who doesn't seem to have internalised the feminist message that was so integral to Buffy in the first place.
Buffy Vs Wonder Woman Isn't The First Time That Feuds Have Been Created By The Media
Ever since Betty and Veronica first fought for the affection of Archie, the media has pitted women against one another time and time again. Just recently, an entire show was dedicated to chronicling the real life rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis that Hollywood created to keep them both in their place.
While #Feud's dramatization of this conflict was deliciously enjoyable to watch, the reality is that little has improved in the years since two of cinema's most powerful women traded venomous barbs with each other. From movies such as Dream Girls and The Devil Wears Prada to genuine rivalries between the likes of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, Hollywood continues to perpetuate the idea that only one woman can come out on top, leaving the others behind as fallen enemies — or, even worse, humble minions.
Why It's Dangerous To Pit Women Against Each Other In The Media
Most disturbing of all is how the media tries to create feuds and rivalries where none exist. Back in 2013, Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence supposedly fought after they were both nominated for the title of Best Actress at the Oscars. In reality, any bad blood between the two stars was entirely fabricated.
Speaking to Haute Living, Chastain had only encouraging words for Lawrence, explaining to the publication that:
"There has been a stigma out there that women don’t work well together. I’ve never seen women like this. I remember growing up hearing this myth, that women fight when they’re together and it’s completely inaccurate. I’ve never seen it."
Just recently, Modern Family star Sarah Hyland experienced something similar when she revealed that journalists actively encouraged her to trash talk her co-star Ariel Winter in a desperate bid to generate headlines. Fortunately, both actresses are nothing but totally supportive of each other in the media, but that's not always how things goes down.
Giving the gossip columnists something to talk about may seem harmless enough, but the truth is that fabricated rivalries such as these are far more damaging than they may first appear. By forcing the actresses involved to waste time defending themselves against these kinds of accusations, attention is drawn away from their actual talent, distracting both us and the media from discussing more important problems that are faced by women every day. Who wants to talk about the gender wage gap or the lack of female gaze in movies when we can talk about whether Katy Perry's latest song is a diss track aimed at Taylor Swift or not?
As the backlash against the women-only Wonder Woman screenings recently proved, there's something rather disconcerting about female empowerment for some men, which goes a long way towards explaining why these rivalries are created in the first place.
As Buffy once said:
"Power. I have it. They don't. This bothers them."
While the Slayer may have been talking about the Watchers Council, the patriarchy that they represent is sadly all too real. Instead of manufacturing beef where there is none, the media should instead take a page or two from the portrayals of #WonderWoman and Buffy, banding women together against this kind of oppression, rather than trying to pit them against each other.
As Buffy famously said, "the hardest thing in this world is to live in it." This turns out to be especially true if you're a woman who's being put down by other women. If this particular case is anything to go by, then reports that female bullies target other women 70% of the time in the workplace sadly holds true still, even if they were printed by Time Magazine back in 2012. Clearly then, The Hellmouth may have been closed way back in the Season 7 finale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but that doesn't mean that there's no more fights to be won. As if we didn't already need another reason to champion a potential Buffy revival...
How do you feel about the picture that Sarah Michelle Gellar tweeted? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!