Apparently it’s not Harry Potter’s fault any more. It’s Buffy’s fault. Yes, 50,000 women have stopped going to church and it’s all the faulty of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, according to a recent study published in Women and Religion in the West. The study's author Dr. Kristin Aune, a sociologist at the University of Derby, is quoted saying:
"Because of its focus on female empowerment, young women are attracted by Wicca, popularized by the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In short, women are abandoning the church."
Well, somehow I’m not convinced of this. First, Willow, not Buffy, was the witch. The report doesn’t mention 50,000 women patrolling graveyards at night with wooden stakes. Perhaps if women are abandoning the church, it’s because of some other reason.
Second, neither the summary of the actual study nor its index mention Buffy at all. Wicca is mentioned (it just says “see spirituality"), but it doesn’t seem to be a major part of the study. So I wonder if bringing Buffy into it isn’t just a way to drum up publicity for this otherwise distinct minority interest $100 book. (If so, it seems to have worked.)
Anyway, I won’t be convinced until I hear of 50,000 boys leaving the church to get into construction so they can emulate Xander. Now that would be surprising, if not exactly empowering.
Hey, Jesus was a carpenter you know.