In the Buffyverse there are no male slayers. There are male watchers, but no slayers. I am curious as to why all the slayers are women? Is there an explanation that the show,angel, comic or movie gave? I would realy like sourced material if it is ever explained

  • From Family Guy : "Violence in Movies & Sex on TV". In this case, they merged =)
    – Oak
    May 12, 2014 at 17:44
  • 4
    In Season 7, Andrew asks the same question, and Dawn answers "Because girls are cooler." Boom, canon answer.
    – Nerrolken
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


In-universe, there has been no full explanation of exactly why the Slayer Line only runs through women.

The Shadow Men were the group of male African Shamans whose descendents would become The Watchers Council.

The Shadow Men chained down and forcibly embued Sineya with the power of The Shadow Demon - turning Sineya into the first Slayer.

The spell used to create The Slayer and the Slayer Line also created the first group of Potentials - possible replacements for the Slayer. All of the Potentials were also all young girls. It is never explained if this was a conscious choice by the Shadow Men, something intrinsic to the spell itself, or a choice/preference of the Shadow Demon.

When Sineya later died, the powers of the Slayer were passed onto a random Potential.

Out-of-universe, Joss Whedon likes writing strong women.

*Note that all information is culled from the Buffy wiki. Some sections of the wiki are not properly cited, but the information is generally considered reliable.

  • 31
    Reporter: “So, why do you write these strong female characters?" --- Joss Whedon: "Because you’re still asking me that question." Equality Now speech, May 15, 2006
    – SeanC
    May 12, 2014 at 15:48
  • 12
    For Buffy, specifically, it's more than just writing "strong women". It's deliberately inverting the damsel in distress trope in horror movies. Before Buffy, beautiful, attractive women in horror movies tend to be either completely helpless unless rescued by the hero or killed by the monster. This trope is again deliberately inverted in Cabin in the Woods
    – slebetman
    May 19, 2014 at 15:22
  • 7
    @slebetman And in Buffy, if there is a damsel in distress, it's usually Xander.
    – KSmarts
    Jul 3, 2015 at 2:19

For the same reason that the Shadow Men only made one Slayer at at time...if you are going to give great strength to one person, and you want to control that person, pick the gender that is strongly conditioned to obey. Doesn't mean that every Slayer will be a doormat, but it means they are less likely to go rogue, more likely to obey orders.

Buffy realizes this when she learns the origins of the Slayer line.

  • 9
    "pick the gender that is strongly conditioned to obey" holy rampant sexism Batman. Got any canon support for that wild assertion?
    – user20155
    May 13, 2014 at 1:47
  • 6
    History. Women are told that their life will consist of a narrow set of choices, and nothing else. Women are punished for taking risks outside of that narrow scope, men are told they have many more options, and are encouraged to take risks. Have you not heard of this thing called the patriarchy?
    – swbarnes2
    May 13, 2014 at 4:09
  • 5
    @LegoStormtroopr - While swbarnes2 is being absolutely rampantly sexist with his comment about women being "the gender that is strongly conditioned to obey", there's a strong implication in the series that the Shadow Men themselves were sexist in this way. They created the Slayers as young women because they felt young women would more easily serve them, being older men. Jun 2, 2014 at 9:38
  • 11
    You don't seem to understand what sexism is. How on earth is it sexist to say that men and women are treated differently by society? You just asserted what I said, without adding any explanation at all. Why did they think that women would more easily serve them? Because women are trained by society to think that the needs of men are more important than their own.
    – swbarnes2
    Jun 2, 2014 at 16:15
  • 7
    @LegoStormtroopr He wasn't being sexist, he was saying that sexism exists. It's not sexist to claim that women have often been controlled by men, that's simply a historical fact. SWBarnes2 didn't say "the gender that is more naturally obedient," he said "the gender that is strongly conditioned to obey." That's not a commentary on women, it's a commentary on how society treats women, which is what BtVS is all about.
    – Nerrolken
    Sep 9, 2015 at 20:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.