Now, let’s talk Joss and the whole infidelity issue. Does it change your opinion of him? Does it do anything to tarnish his legacy as a feminist? Is he even really one? What female characters did he do right, and which ones did he do wrong?
Shana: Oh, Joss. Basically, the allegations simply confirmed something I’d suspected deep down: Joss Whedon fashions himself something that he can never be. He pats himself on the back for creating so-called “strong female characters,” but then he does awful things that are far more anti-feminist than his decision to write halfway decent characters is feminist.
I guess Joss’ inability to control his impulses around all those beautiful, wicked women certainly explains why he’s not just defended the Spuffy relationship all these years but also listed it as his favorite. Any ‘ship that involves a male character’s attempted rape of a woman, especially when called out by female viewers, shouldn’t be a showrunner’s favorite.
And you can fight me on that. Ship whatever problematic garbage you want; but when, even after hearing real concerns of women, a man wants to explain the problematic part away? Nope. Hard pass.
I guess Spike just couldn’t control himself around that beautiful woman, though. Or maybe he was just trying to provide for women while sexually conquering them or wtfever, because that’s totally something a feminist would talk about and use as an excuse for not being faithful. Wtf, Joss?
A lot of Joss’ “strong female characters” were unnecessarily punished for their sexuality — blaming those wicked women for our infidelity again, are we, Joss? — so at this point, I’m not even sure which I’d say he actually wrote well. The constant slut-shaming of Inara, Buffy’s inability to have a real relationship while also being the hero, slut-shaming Faith…What was the point? While all of those characters also had some really great aspects, too, it’s interesting to look back, knowing what I know now, and be like “wow, Joss is fucked.”
Let’s all take a moment of silence for what Black Widow may have been with a true feminist behind the camera…
Lizzie: Shana and I have actually ranted about this subject before, though the new allegations present a different perspective, perhaps, on what we already suspected: Simply, Joss Whedon likes the publicity of being a “good feminist” and he can talk the talk, but he can’t really walk the walk. I mean, he does a decent enough job, mostly because at times in his career he’s surrounded himself with strong female writers and just let them do their thing, but that doesn’t mean he’s truly a feminist icon. It just means he benefitted from other people to gain a reputation he clearly didn’t deserve.
Look, I’m not going to play the is he better than others game, because that’s not the point. The point is Joss doesn’t get it, he never did, and the new allegations about his ex-wife kinda just prove the point Shana and I made all those months ago. Oh, he couldn’t control himself, just like Spike when he tried to rape Buffy, I guess. BUT IT’S ALL FINE CAUSE HE TRIED AND HE BECAME GOOD AFTER AND HE LEARNED HIS LESSON.
Did you puke a little in your mouth? I did.
Also, regarding the specific allegations, I just want to say that the problem isn’t even that he cheated and still claimed he was a feminist — though, if you can’t see how his lack of respect for his wife makes his claim of feminism iffy, then, perhaps, everything I’m saying is going over your head — but that he took advantage of his label as “feminist” to get close to the women he cheated with and that he then tried to justify his cheating by claiming it was part of the “culture,” like he, Joss, hadn’t made a decision. Like he wasn’t responsible.
So, yeah, no thanks. I’m out, Joss. Have fun tricking others.
Sarah: I’d be lying if I said it didn’t change my opinion of the man, even though I’ve held a respect for many years, solely due to his involvement in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I realize now that even though he’s had a hand in some other female heroes and feminists I’ve seen on screen, it doesn’t mean he gets to claim he’s automatically a feminist himself.
You have to follow that claim up with actions, and all of this only exposed how much he isn’t willing to back up what he says. It’s easy to preach feminism to the media; it’s harder to actually follow it.
So, Joss maybe go find that backbone you’ve been missing for all these years.
As for the female characters he’s created, frankly I’m not really convinced the best of those ladies actually had anything to do with him and more to do with the writer. So, all in all, no I don’t have respect left for the man, and frankly good riddance.
Laura: My grandma used to say to me, “you have to be responsible for your actions according to your beliefs. If you say something and then go the opposite way, you just lose your credibility.”
Or something like that.
Usually, she was angry and talking very fast in Spanish. My grandma sounds a bit like Yoda, yes. Also, does she have a point? Of course. And sadly, Joss Whedon just proved her right. Whedon can preach all he wants, but if his actions don’t reflect what he says, if it’s not coherent, the plausibility of any story he might tell from now on is ruined.
Not only because of what his ex-wife’s claims, but if you think of Inara, for example? Her past, how she was shamed, and her future…What Joss said in panels wasn’t what he put in practice.