Saturday, 12 August 2000

From "'Love’s Bitch but Man Enough to Admit It': Spike’s Hybridized Gender"

By Arwen Spicer.

[...] when Spike is feminized by others, such as Angelus and Drusilla, he loses power. When he codes himself as feminine in his battles with Slayers, he typically gains power. The message, as one would expect from Buffy, is that self-authorization is vital to personal empowerment. To be constrained to enact any given set of gender constructs is to be reduced to a readily manipulable stereotype. To reject or claim such constructs according to one’s own proclivities, however, is to establish an identity that cannot be categorized, and therefore readily controlled, by external ideological forces. Like every enduring character on Buffy, Spike slips through the fingers of definition [...] This ability to claim the prerogatives of both masculine and feminine conventions allows him to adapt and persist in the Buffyverse, where the characters’ performance of their individual gender identities is constantly challenging the validity of reductive gender roles.

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