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Old March 26 2009, 11:30 AM   #76
Hermiod
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Bishbot wrote: View Post
What about Giles? I know he has a terrible past, but he's clearly fully on the side of good by the time we meet him, and he never puts a foot wrong, does he?
Murdered Ben because he felt Buffy wouldn't be able to and then there's "Helpless".

Or Xander - ok, kind of a wuss, but he is surrounded by people with superpowers and he still does his best - barring a couple of unfortunate incidents.
He's portrayed as a useless appendage that nobody truly appreciates. I will give them the fact that he was the one who stopped Dark Willow, at least.

Then there's the fact that he walked out on his wedding for no apparent reason other than Joss' bizarre obsession with father-bashing. The only good father I can think of in anything Joss has written was Fred's.
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Old March 26 2009, 01:05 PM   #77
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

I was annoyed with Xander for walking out on his wedding. It's one of my least favourite parts of Buffy and I don't actually think that it was in character for Xander. I think he's far likely to go ahead, with doubts, then have it fall apart later than just walk out like that - one of the reasons Season 6 is my least favourite.

I don't think Giles murdering Ben is a particularly bad example. Buffy slays Demons all over the place in every episode. I know Ben was an innocent, and it was a difficult situation, but it doesn't reflect badly on Giles.

"Helpless" does reflect badly on him, but it reflects badly mostly on the whole organisation of Watchers - who are portrayed as useless and corrupt. At least he feels guilt over it, and gets dismissed from his post because of it.

I never said that Giles hasn't made mistakes, but he hasn't done anything selfish or evil in the course of the show - lapses in judgement are a different matter.
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Old March 26 2009, 01:22 PM   #78
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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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Old March 26 2009, 02:00 PM   #79
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

^It entirely depends on how negatively you want to go.

I'd rather just have a show where all the characters, male and female, are a mixture of good and bad. Realistic people who fuck up sometimes.
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Old March 26 2009, 02:10 PM   #80
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Like Angel?
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Old March 26 2009, 02:36 PM   #81
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Lindley wrote: View Post
Like Angel?
What did Cordelia or Fred ever really do wrong ? I mean the visiting Vampire prostitutes, leaving a room full of laywers to die, keeping a person prisoner for months kind of wrong.
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Old March 26 2009, 09:13 PM   #82
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Hermiod wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Yes, that's right, Joss Whedon hates men, and all male characters on his show are either monsters or wusses. That's why the characters that came closest to destroying the world, Willow and Glory, were female, and why the character who betrayed Buffy and her friends to try to destroy the world was female -- and why the character who stopped her was male. That's also why Anya was portrayed as a character with a horrific past whose choice to try to go back to that past was an evil choice she'd have to recover from, and that's why sympathetic characters like Riley and Angel (not Angelus) were male.

Because Joss Whedon hates men.



Whedon's characters are complex moral actors with flaws and virtues, and not a one of 'em, male or female, hasn't shifted from monster to hero to wuss at some point or other.
You really want to hold up Riley and Angel as examples of Joss Whedon writing positive male characters?
They're about as positive as any Whedon character gets.

You seem to be arguing that women are portrayed more positively than men, but they're really not. As I said before, pretty much every Whedon character is a complex moral actor with both good and bad points to them.

Riley ? We are talking about the guy who was letting vampires feed off of him behind his girlfriends' back. As for Angel, he freely admitted that having a soul did not make him good or what he did okay.
Sure. And you could argue that Buffy is a selfish, arrogant girl who simultaneously thinks she's better than all her friends and thinks she's inferior to them. And Willow is a needy, co-dependent goody-two-shoes who went psycho the first time she faced real trauma in her life. And Anya's guilty of countless murders. And Dawn's just frickin' irritating. And Fred reacted to her capture in Pylea by manipulating all the men around her to be protective of her instead of being sensible and being protective of herself. And Cordelia, goodness knows, was arrogant and had a shallow streak in her until the day she died (white light automatically means "good?" and how arrogant are you for assuming they're telling you the truth in saying they want to elevate you to a higher plane?) And Harmony was always shallow and selfish, and later a multi-murderer. And...

You see what I'm saying? All of Whedon's characters, male and female, have good and bad traits, and it's inaccurate to imply that he only gives bad traits to male characters.

The principle difference between the male and female characters, especially in Buffy, is that there was always an excuse when the women did something wrong and very often it's because of something a man did.

Anya was betrayed by a man,
Part of the point of the episode "Selfless" is that that's no excuse at all.

Angelus drove Drusilla insane,
I'll concede that, but you could just as easily argue that Liam of Galway losing his soul constitutes the same thing.

Willow went insane because Warren murdered Tara,
A huge part of the point of that arc was that, 1. Willow was not insane; she was knowingly making immoral choices because of her grief, but she still knew what she was doing was wrong, and 2. that Tara's death was not a valid excuse.

Anya murdered a room full of men, that might have been undone afterwards but she still chose to do it. What were the consequences? She was forgiven almost immediately and accepted back in to the Scooby Gang.
You must have watched a different series than I did, because:

1. Her best friend died in payment for those victims' resurrection.

2. She was lost and in pain and guilt the rest of the series.

3. I don't think she was ever really forgiven. She was accepted into the group because of a need for allies, but there was a huge emotional gulf between her and the other Scoobies for the rest of the series.

Wesley, on the other hand, was nearly killed while trying to do the right thing because he honestly believed that Connor was in danger and what did he get for it ? Angel tried to kill him and then he was left out in the cold.
And then accepted back into the group. How exactly does this differ from Anya's arc (except that Wes didn't actually kill anyone)?

I'm not saying Joss hates men, I'm saying he could write his characters a little bit more equally.
His characters are plenty equal, and you're completely exaggerating the extent to which his female characters have "excuses" and his male characters do not.
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Old March 26 2009, 09:40 PM   #83
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Sci wrote: View Post
You seem to be arguing that women are portrayed more positively than men, but they're really not. As I said before, pretty much every Whedon character is a complex moral actor with both good and bad points to them.
The two things are not mutually exclusive.

Sure. And you could argue that Buffy is a selfish, arrogant girl who simultaneously thinks she's better than all her friends and thinks she's inferior to them. And Willow is a needy, co-dependent goody-two-shoes who went psycho the first time she faced real trauma in her life. And Anya's guilty of countless murders. And Dawn's just frickin' irritating. And Fred reacted to her capture in Pylea by manipulating all the men around her to be protective of her instead of being sensible and being protective of herself. And Cordelia, goodness knows, was arrogant and had a shallow streak in her until the day she died (white light automatically means "good?" and how arrogant are you for assuming they're telling you the truth in saying they want to elevate you to a higher plane?) And Harmony was always shallow and selfish, and later a multi-murderer. And...

You see what I'm saying? All of Whedon's characters, male and female, have good and bad traits, and it's inaccurate to imply that he only gives bad traits to male characters.
I never said that, I said the bad traits he gives to female characters are all too often easily excused and quickly forgotten about. Sure, there's Glory or Darla (and even she had her little redemption arc), I'm not saying he can't write truly bad women, it's just that he and the writers working for him try very hard to excuse what they do.

Part of the point of the episode "Selfless" is that that's no excuse at all.
She spent a thousand years killing men because one cheated on her, but that's okay, she said sorry. At least Angel had his curse.

I'll concede that, but you could just as easily argue that Liam of Galway losing his soul constitutes the same thing.
Not even slightly the same. Liam was a useless, lazy drunk. Angelus was not the monster he was purely because of Darla, but Drusilla was the monster she was because of Angelus. She has a built in excuse.

And as I said, even Darla had a whole big deal redemption storyline. When they did the same thing with Spike they just swapped a monster for the other problem - he became a spineless wimp.

1. Her best friend died in payment for those victims' resurrection.

2. She was lost and in pain and guilt the rest of the series.
Her "best friend" was a Vengeance Demon who enjoyed her job. As for her "pain and guilt", you really must have been watching a different show.

And then accepted back into the group. How exactly does this differ from Anya's arc (except that Wes didn't actually kill anyone)?
The fact that he didn't kill anyone!!! Angel tried to kill him and kicked him out of the group for trying to protect Connor and nearly getting killed for it.
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Old March 26 2009, 10:42 PM   #84
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Hermiod wrote: View Post
I never said that, I said the bad traits he gives to female characters are all too often easily excused and quickly forgotten about.
I don't know what shows you were watching, because I never found that female characters' immoralities were easily excused or quickly forgotten. From where I stand, the degree to which the various characters' evil choices would be forgiven or forgotten was directly related to whether or not the primary characters regarded that perpetrator as a friend, not the gender of the perpetrator.

And, hell, this person thinks Whedon is a misogynist and a rapist.
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Old March 26 2009, 10:51 PM   #85
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Sci wrote: View Post

And, hell, this person thinks Whedon is a misogynist and a rapist.
I stopped reading after:
The first scene opens in a war with Mal and Zoe. Zoe runs around calling Mal ‘sir’ and taking orders off him. I roll my eyes. Not a good start.
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Old March 26 2009, 10:57 PM   #86
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Ayelbourne wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post

And, hell, this person thinks Whedon is a misogynist and a rapist.
I stopped reading after:
The first scene opens in a war with Mal and Zoe. Zoe runs around calling Mal ‘sir’ and taking orders off him. I roll my eyes. Not a good start.
She's pretty frickin' crazy. She honestly believes that Joss Whedon is a rapist because of how he depicts women in his shows.
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Old March 26 2009, 11:12 PM   #87
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Someone send Jayne over there, so that he can explain to this person what the chain of command is.
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Old March 26 2009, 11:37 PM   #88
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Ayelbourne wrote: View Post
Someone send Jayne over there, so that he can explain to this person what the chain of command is.
Erm, see, now, threatening male-perpetuated violence against her is not exactly going to disprove her theory that all men are violent oppressors of women...
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Old March 27 2009, 03:36 AM   #89
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Ah, but Jayne is a girlsname, you see.
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Old March 27 2009, 07:49 AM   #90
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Sci wrote: View Post
And, hell, this person thinks Whedon is a misogynist and a rapist.
We've been around the block on TrekBBS more than a few times discussing that particular individual's views.
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