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Defending Spike's Actions in Seeing Red

Faded90

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I don't disagree but, without making light of, or trivializing, or condoning what happened in SR, you could make a similar comment about Buffy in OMWF, Smashed and Gone. She was also desperate to "connect", to feel" and wasn't going to let anything stop her. Spike didn't say no but what do you suppose would have happened if he had?

And it wasn't the only way they had to "connect". They connected through shared experience in Bargaining (until the Scoobies intruded and made it all about them). Initially, he wants to share his world with her (he even shares his booze) but she won't share hers with him. The AR is on him...he should have left. However, he asks her to leave him alone in OMWF and she doesn't. He says he's vulnerable because of his feelings for her but she ignores them. I'm not making a direct comparison - just saying the structures are similar.

I don't think it's an *abusive relationship...I think it's a selfish one. The difference is he's selfish partly because he feels self-less (neither man nor monster - he has no identity); she's selfish because she's fearful of becoming self-less (of losing hers).

Dead Things is - odd. IIRC, she's about to leave but changes her mind and climbs the stairs to the balcony. Before that, there's an exchange between the Scoobies which is almost like a Greek chorus...and it's full of sexual imagery (references to lubricating, in the groove, nectar (birds&bees) and glasses that need filling 🙄 )There's a certain inevitability to it all and she seems to be in a liminal state...not fully present. I think perhaps it's suggesting she's drawn there by something innate but not under her control...as though she's submitted to a "Cerebral Dampener" of her own making (does she know he's there...can she sense him?) I actually think the text's suggesting her "don't" is an after-thought (she doesn't really mean it...which would be a problem for me in real life but less so in a text) and she's shown enjoying what happens. I think she's gone "Beyond the Pleasure Principle." What we're seeing is a struggle between the two opposing drives - Eros, the life drive which is to do with self preservation ("don't") and Thanatos - the death drive or self-destruction. I think she's succumbing to Thanatos - you could make the same argument of her handing herself into the police. In both cases, imprisonment or expulsion by her friends (nice - locked away or set free) there'd be some relief from being the Slayer.

So...I can't actually defend Spike in SR because the AR is on him...at the same time, I think they're both victims...not of each other but of Western Philosophy. It's a text...what happens in a text won't always stand up in a court of law.

*Looking at it objectively. He's a vampire who murders humans; she's a human who murders vampires...can it get much nastier...or physical?
But Buffy DOES leave him alone in OMWF, we see her leave. She leaves his crypt immediately after he says it, he then follows her out and then eventually she runs away. She doesn’t go to him again, he comes to her at the Magic Box and then the Bronze. She goes out to see him after the song and then they move towards each other for the kiss. In Tabula Rasa he’s the one that approaches her both at the beginning and end of the episode, he comes to her home in Gone. His ‘leave me alone’ has been totally nullified at this point

Gone she also leaves. We hear her complaining about being kicked out

All of these things show that if Spike had absolutely refused she would have accepted it. Probably stomped out in a huff yes but nothing to suggest she’d have refused tk
Take no for answer
 
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thetopher
thetopher
Thank you for pointing this out. I thought I was going mad.

Wezza Wozza

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Read the definition of implied consent. I’m bored of this one now to be honest
I'm not disagreeing with the idea of "implied consent" I am just saying that because the consent is not explicitly stated, it can be misinterpreted or someone can make an inference which is not correct just like Spike may have misinterpreted Buffy's aggression in the bathroom scene for her previous sexual aggression which was consensual.
 

AstridDante

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I don't disagree but, without making light of, or trivializing, or condoning what happened in SR, you could make a similar comment about Buffy in OMWF, Smashed and Gone. She was also desperate to "connect", to feel" and wasn't going to let anything stop her. Spike didn't say no but what do you suppose would have happened if he had?

And it wasn't the only way they had to "connect". They connected through shared experience in Bargaining (until the Scoobies intruded and made it all about them). Initially, he wants to share his world with her (he even shares his booze) but she won't share hers with him. The AR is on him...he should have left. However, he asks her to leave him alone in OMWF and she doesn't. He says he's vulnerable because of his feelings for her but she ignores them. I'm not making a direct comparison - just saying the structures are similar.

I don't think it's an *abusive relationship...I think it's a selfish one. The difference is he's selfish partly because he feels self-less (neither man nor monster - he has no identity); she's selfish because she's fearful of becoming self-less (of losing hers).

Dead Things is - odd. IIRC, she's about to leave but changes her mind and climbs the stairs to the balcony. Before that, there's an exchange between the Scoobies which is almost like a Greek chorus...and it's full of sexual imagery (references to lubricating, in the groove, nectar (birds&bees) and glasses that need filling 🙄 )There's a certain inevitability to it all and she seems to be in a liminal state...not fully present. I think perhaps it's suggesting she's drawn there by something innate but not under her control...as though she's submitted to a "Cerebral Dampener" of her own making (does she know he's there...can she sense him?) I actually think the text's suggesting her "don't" is an after-thought (she doesn't really mean it...which would be a problem for me in real life but less so in a text) and she's shown enjoying what happens. I think she's gone "Beyond the Pleasure Principle." What we're seeing is a struggle between the two opposing drives - Eros, the life drive which is to do with self preservation ("don't") and Thanatos - the death drive or self-destruction. I think she's succumbing to Thanatos - you could make the same argument of her handing herself into the police. In both cases, imprisonment or expulsion by her friends (nice - locked away or set free) there'd be some relief from being the Slayer.

So...I can't actually defend Spike in SR because the AR is on him...at the same time, I think they're both victims...not of each other but of Western Philosophy. It's a text...what happens in a text won't always stand up in a court of law.

*Looking at it objectively. He's a vampire who murders humans; she's a human who murders vampires...can it get much nastier...or physical?
OMWF she initiated the kiss when Spike was walking away but this was when earlier in the episode he sang for to stop visiting his grave unless she ‘decided to misbehave’. He made his desires clear. In Smashed Spike taunts Buffy about ‘getting a fella’s motor running and then crowning herself the ice queen’, in the same scene he talks about there been ‘other ways’ to ‘get his rocks off’ to which Buffy quickly shut him down. He clearly is making his desire for sex with Buffy known. In end of Smashed Buffy ‘gives in’ to her own desires and takes the initiative. It wasn’t like she came on to him out of nowhere. He had been hounding her pushing for the physical connection. To answer the main crux if during OMWF Spike had said no I dont want this, I don’t believe Buffy would have tried to force it. I think she was out of line trying to use her wiles on him in Gone that way, unacceptable but like Faded said she clearly left when Spike made it clear. Not akin in anyway to SR. Also I agree they did have a connection in late season 5/early season 6 but once they started sleeping together, they primarily communicated through sex,
 

AstridDante

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But Buffy DOES leave him alone in OMWF, we see her leave. She leaves his crypt immediately after he says it, he then follows her out and then eventually she runs away. She doesn’t go to him again, he comes to her at the Magic Box and then the Bronze. She goes out to see him after the song and then they move towards each other for the kiss

Gone she also leaves. We hear her complaining about being kicked out

All of these things show that if Spike had absolutely refused she would have accepted it. Probably stomped out in a huff yes but nothing to suggest she’d have refused tk
Take no for answer
Exactly. Yes to all of this
 
Faded90
Faded90
Thank you!

Wezza Wozza

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Exactly. Yes to all of this
Just because you don't believe or think that she would not have forced the situation doesn't mean it could not have happened. No one expected Spike to do it in the bathroom scene but he still did it just like she may have or rather did when she was invisible and undressed him aggressively.
 

AstridDante

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I'm not disagreeing with the idea of "implied consent" I am just saying that because the consent is not explicitly stated, it can be misinterpreted or someone can make an inference which is not correct just like Spike may have misinterpreted Buffy's aggression in the bathroom scene for her previous sexual aggression which was consensual.
I don’t see how when she was hurt, crying, they had been broken up for weeks. I think you are tying yourself in knots trying to justify Spike’s ‘confusion’. He wasn’t confused, he was desperate.Two different things
 
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Wezza Wozza

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I don’t see how when she was hurt, crying, they had been broken up for weeks. I think you are tying yourself in knots trying to not justify Spike’s confusion. He wasn’t confused, he was desperate.Two different things
My point exactly. He was desperate and as a result confused, not knowing what her signals of refusal meant because he didn't give it any time to think.
 

Wezza Wozza

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This is getting quite circular. I don’t agree he was confused.
He was confused. He was disgusted with himself when Buffy threw him off and he realised he had truly hurt her meaning he didn't intend to hurt her. As a result, he didn't realise that this act of sexual aggression was not recipricated.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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But how are you supposed to know if you are having consensual sex if consent is not given?

Before sex, I've NEVER had to say, "You have my consent, let's do it," beforehand. I just can't wrap my head around that. 😆 I think if two people have their clothes off, it's obvious that it's party time.
 
Spanky
Spanky
won't comment... "I just can't wrap my head around that" that's low hanging fruit that's what that is.
thetopher
thetopher
I think if I actually said out loud 'it's party time' in that situation they'd gather their clothes and leave.

Wezza Wozza

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Hey, before sex, I've NEVER had to say, "You have my consent, let's do it," beforehand. I just can't wrap my head around that. 😆
And that is your decision, I can't argue with that. But in the context of the show when the relationship is abusive and sexually aggressive, the line between assault and consent is a lot more grey.
 

Dora

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1. Buffy aggressively ripped off Spike's clothes and actually succeeded so they both did very similar things here. 2. Someone can still be a victim of sexual assault even if they do not scream out loud as they may feel threatened or nervous to do so. 3. When Buffy was "teasing" Spike, he did not know it was her so could not consent to it even if he consented after she had already done it.

Someone can be a victim of sexual assault even if they do not scream out load , so very true, hence Buffy's anal rape in the bronze when Spike said stop me , Buffy had said don't , there was no consent .
Cannot believe anybody would compare Buffy mischief in gone compared with Spikes obvious intention of forcibly Raping Buffy in SR , that's if he did not rape her , she was badly bruised on her inner thighs , rape doesn't have to be penis rape but anything ( fingers ) forced into somebody against their will , although penis rape would have happened if Buffy had not been able and fought him off
Buffy and Spikes rough sex was abusive on both sides , Buffy using Spike for self harming and could not understand why she was doing it and Spike taking advantage of Buffy's state of mind and manipulating her , Spikes attack on Buffy in SR came long after Buffy apologised for using him and telling him it was over
There is no evidence that Spike went to get his soul for Buffy, nothing in the writing , only later Joss whedon said he went to get his sole for Buffy who then rewrote the church scene in S7, where Spike says he got his soul for Buffy ,
At the end of S6 , spikes last words to the demon was make me the man I was , he was never a souled vampire, the demon tricked Spike by giving him a soul ,
The look of realisation on Spikes face in the bathroom I believe, was the fact Buffy was mentally on the mend and it dawned on him it would go back to how it was and he would almost certainly never get into her pants again
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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And that is your decision, I can't argue with that. But in the context of the show when the relationship is abusive and sexually aggressive, the line between assault and consent is a lot more grey.

When its MUTUALLY abusive and sexually aggressive, where is the line drawn? Yes, Spike got a bit grabby, but he and Buffy were already involved. Its like those "morality" stories where a girl and a guy are messing around, and the girl suddenly gets coy. She might even have her hand in his pants, but then decides everything needs to stop. That's a bit unfair for the guy, don't you think?
 
Ethan Reigns
Ethan Reigns
Especially a guy with no soul.

Stake fodder

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I do not believe that what Spike did, he did it because he wanted to harm Buffy. This is where the defence of Spike enters. Throughout season 6 (season 6 is my least favourite season from any Whedon show) Buffy and Spike have a very destructive sexual relationship. Both Buffy and Spike initiate sex by hitting one another (as equals) So I have always wondered if Spike thought that Buffy resisting him in the bathroom was the same situation as before when one of them would attack the other and thereby initiating the sex. These others occurrences were abusive but nonetheless were consensual.

When Buffy kicks Spike off of her, Spike looks absolutely devastated straight away. He now realises that this is not like those other times, he has truly hurt Buffy but did not realise what impact his actions had beforehand which supports my opinion that he did not go there with the intention of assaulting her.
I would tend to agree with a lot of this. The way I have seen that scene is that Spike's experience has been that he couldn't force Buffy if he wanted to. He doesn't know she's injured, and I think part of his frenzy is that he thinks she could throw him off anytime if she wanted to, and she's not.

I know it's network TV, and they can't make it that graphic, but I note that he never fumbles at his pants, nor tries to open her bathrobe or spread her legs. (He does reach his hand in the top at the end, but not in a way of trying to open the robe.) I think when she does violently kick him away that he only then realizes that what he was doing was rape, and that's why he's so shocked and saying, "I didn't mean...."

It is not the same as those other occasions at all. Spike knew she wasn’t consenting. She was hurt, crying begging him to stop, they had been split up for weeks and she had been consistent about not sleeping with him.
And yet, I agree with this, too. The begging him to stop and crying out in pain is surely different from their usual encounter, and Spike ignores it. So, the fact that it is assault proceeds more even from the verbal cues than the physical. I don't mean that physically, it is not also assault, but that if Buffy were not saying "stop" and crying out, the scene would be more ambiguous, due to their previous violent relationship. And whether it's what Spike means or not, it is attempted rape. We don't take intent into consideration in such cases, only behavior.

That is what I am saying! Buffy was in the wrong and so was Spike. Couple or not, the act is still assault on both sides.
I also agree that some of what happened in Gone was assault by Buffy. She assaults Spike by throwing him against the wall and tearing his shirt open. She also disrespects his 'no' by starting oral sex after he tells her to leave. However, that just makes both of them wrong, not one justifying the other. Which I don't think anyone else is saying, but I got a little lost in the discussion, and so I'm just reiterating it.
 

Wezza Wozza

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Someone can be a victim of sexual assault even if they do not scream out load , so very true, hence Buffy's anal rape in the bronze when Spike said stop me , Buffy had said don't , there was no consent .
Cannot believe anybody would compare Buffy mischief in gone compared with Spikes obvious intention of forcibly Raping Buffy in SR , that's if he did not rape her , she was badly bruised on her inner thighs , rape doesn't have to be penis rape but anything ( fingers ) forced into somebody against their will , although penis rape would have happened if Buffy had not been able and fought him off
Buffy and Spikes rough sex was abusive on both sides , Buffy using Spike for self harming and could not understand why she was doing it and Spike taking advantage of Buffy's state of mind and manipulating her , Spikes attack on Buffy in SR came long after Buffy apologised for using him and telling him it was over
There is no evidence that Spike went to get his soul for Buffy, nothing in the writing , only later Joss whedon said he went to get his sole for Buffy who then rewrote the church scene in S7, where Spike says he got his soul for Buffy ,
At the end of S6 , spikes last words to the demon was make me the man I was , he was never a souled vampire, the demon tricked Spike by giving him a soul ,
The look of realisation on Spikes face in the bathroom I believe, was the fact Buffy was mentally on the mend and it dawned on him it would go back to how it was and he would almost certainly never get into her pants again
Spike said "Make me what I was so Buffy can get what she deserves" and in the church scene he says "I wanted to give you what you deserve. And I got it. They put the flame in me" That confirms he wanted to get a soul for Buffy.
 

Wezza Wozza

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I would tend to agree with a lot of this. The way I have seen that scene is that Spike's experience has been that he couldn't force Buffy if he wanted to. He doesn't know she's injured, and I think part of his frenzy is that he thinks she could throw him off anytime if she wanted to, and she's not.

I know it's network TV, and they can't make it that graphic, but I note that he never fumbles at his pants, nor tries to open her bathrobe or spread her legs. (He does reach his hand in the top at the end, but not in a way of trying to open the robe.) I think when she does violently kick him away that he only then realizes that what he was doing was rape, and that's why he's so shocked and saying, "I didn't mean...."


And yet, I agree with this, too. The begging him to stop and crying out in pain is surely different from their usual encounter, and Spike ignores it. So, the fact that it is assault proceeds more even from the verbal cues than the physical. I don't mean that physically, it is not also assault, but that if Buffy were not saying "stop" and crying out, the scene would be more ambiguous, due to their previous violent relationship. And whether it's what Spike means or not, it is attempted rape. We don't take intent into consideration in such cases, only behavior.


I also agree that some of what happened in Gone was assault by Buffy. She assaults Spike by throwing him against the wall and tearing his shirt open. She also disrespects his 'no' by starting oral sex after he tells her to leave. However, that just makes both of them wrong, not one justifying the other. Which I don't think anyone else is saying, but I got a little lost in the discussion, and so I'm just reiterating it.
I completely agree with you. Spike was absolutely wrong for doing what he did to Buffy. Buffy also assaulted him, although not as aggressive or extreme.
 

Wezza Wozza

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When its MUTUALLY abusive and sexually aggressive, where is the line drawn? Yes, Spike got a bit grabby, but he and Buffy were already involved. Its like those "morality" stories where a girl and a guy are messing around, and the girl suddenly gets coy. She might even have her hand in his pants, but then decides everything needs to stop. That's a bit unfair for the guy, don't you think?
That is what I am saying, one person of either gender doing it is wrong because it is not about who is doing it but rather what they are doing.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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That is what I am saying, one person of either gender doing it is wrong because it is not about who is doing it but rather what they are doing.

True. If two adults are involved sexually, it's just plain wrong for one of them to suddenly decide they're being victimized...I mean, I know that's the trendy/Twitter thing to do these days, but it's silly, unnecessary, and can RUIN someone's life.
 
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