Susan Douglas writes, in her chapter entitled ‘Castration Anxiety’ “The adamant insistence that women constantly perform femininity suggests that somehow the world as we know it would come crashing down if we all stopped marking and announcing these sex distinctions between men and women”, on page 73, referring to Janet Reno. I think that exactly what we need to happen in order for the world to see a change is somewhat of a ‘world crashing down’ situation. Throughout the novel, we can see that through powerful warrior women like Buffy, women who defy ‘femininity’ like Janet Reno, and ‘sex goddesses’ like Cindy Crawford, we still haven’t come to a point where feminism reigns, or at the very least, sexism is not so incredibly prevalent.
Douglas also writes on page 84, “… [Xena] was powerful and could actually kick butt in her miniskirt. If you made the mistake of thinking that Xena even remotely wanted your attentions because of what she wore, you would be Hamburger Helper, instantly. What woman doesn’t want to pretend for an hour that the world is like this?” It is not hard to understand the point that the author is trying to make here- of course these kind of shows would be popular for all audiences, from men who enjoy watching women dressed provocatively, to hardcore feminists who see women fighting crime, to lesbian women enjoying a potential female-female relationship, these television shows can be appealing to all. Even for young girls, I could understand how seeing a powerful female like this can be inspirational, and allow girls to feel like they can some day hold influential positions/jobs.