Buffy, Feminism and… the Pope?

No, I’m not kidding. This article from Commonweal magazine, which appeared in November 2003, examines the “new feminism” championed by Pope John Paul II and the ways in which the author believes it falls short. In what I think is a terrific example of the theory that a fan can make anything relate to the fandom, Notre Dame professor Cathleen Kaveny argues that the pope’s conception of the role of women could benefit from a few Buffy viewings:

Why is Buffy an important interlocutor for the “new feminism” inspired by John Paul II? Because the two have enough in common for the discussion to be fruitful. The pope rejects sexism, as well as both “sameness” and “separatist” feminism, for the same basic reason: they undermine the dignity of women because they are untrue to the complex reality of the nature and situation of women. So does Buffy, but with snappier dialogue and better clothes.

Agree or disagree, it’s food for thought.