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Old March 26 2009, 01:22 PM   #78
Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Riley was an unrepentant drug abuser who joked about punching Willow across the room, who while dating Buffy isolated her from her friends and family and wanted to indoctrinate her into his own group. When Buffy's mother was in the hospital after a heart attack, he criticises Buffy for not paying enough attention to him. That's just a short list. He was the classic controlling boyfriend. Angel and Spike also fit neatly into misogynist stereotypes. I got bored with pointing out all the details over and over and over while the show was on it's first run.

Buffy's father completely abandoned his children and apparently lived this cool skiing lifestyle in Europe while his daughter was supporting Dawn, a minor, alone, and about to lose the family house.

Giles,meanwhile, berates Buffy for whining about her financial problems, despite the fact that he and his patronising, controlling organisation is pushing her to focus on staying up all night and ignoring useless things like an education and career. Buffy was at her wit's end with Dawn and her financial problems, and then Giles tells her off and walks off and abandons her to her problems.

Let's not forget Wesley, sticking an abused, problem teenager in shitty motel and letting her do nothing but watch TV all day, then wondering why she went criminal.

Sorry if that wasn't chronological, it's all just off the top of my head. The show was, from start to finish, a series of Straw Man arguements set up to show patronizing, controlling men who oppressed the poor little girls, so that Whedon could then show the poor little girls kicking the men's asses.

There's nothing wrong with that. In TV and movies we have never had a bullshit pseudo-femist male-bashing adventure show to display the opposite of the male dominating adventure shows filled with helpless females. So it was a kick in the head, and it was funny.

But it wasn't feminist, and it was male bashing. It poked fun at mainstream action shows, it was deconstructionist, it had it's place, but don't hold it up as some icon of feminism because it wasn't.
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