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Defending Spike's Actions in Seeing Red

Wezza Wozza

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May 31, 2021
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107
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True. If two adults are involved sexually, it's just plain wrong to suddenly say you'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.
I totally agree with you. As long as both are happy with doing it, it is fine. I do myself get personally annoyed with people falsely calling themselves victims when they are not. I just believe in the context of the show that on both sides, the consent involved is a little unclear.
 

Ethan Reigns

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Sineya
The real turning point that happened before this was not the sex that wrecked the house or Spike humping her leg like a dog in the loft at the Bronze (it was obviously not anal rape or even doggy-style sex, their relative angles would have been entirely different). The real turning point was in "As You Were" where Riley returns with his perfect wife, doing the black ops work he was seemingly born to do, and catches Buffy in bed with Spike, who is branded a terrorist for keeping dangerous demon eggs. At this point, Buffy appears ashamed of what she has done and she immediately breaks up with "William", a name she has never used for him before. Spike might think, she broke up with William but I'm Spike, she still wants the rough-and-tumble with me.

Later on, when Spike brings a date in "Hell's Bells" and Buffy says that it hurts her, he could easily believe that her breakup was just a reaction to Riley's seemingly perfect life in comparison to something that might look sordid from Riley's point of view. But after a few days or weeks, he had every reason to believe that she would be back to her usual self because soldier boy was gone, his arrival with another date had been painful to her and she had no one to make excuses to except her judgemental friends. And she completely fooled Xander, the most judgemental one of all, in Gone. Looking back on sex with Riley in "Where the Wild Things Are", just what kind of movement was that? Was he having sex with her or ironing her like a shirt? Given the choice, I would certainly rather have the house-wrecking sex of Season 6 and Buffy would too.

Spike would have had every reason to believe that Buffy's breakup was only temporary and it only lasted as long as she had been ashamed of being caught with Spike. With a few weeks behind the "breakup", everything was in all probability going to go back to normal.

And what was Buffy's responsibility for this? Spike is a blood-sucking fiend from beyond the grave with no soul. Mess with the bull, get the horns. Yes, it was an inexcusable attempted rape. But her actions were just as questionable.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Whilst the AR can't be defended, it's easy to see how Buffy's choices and actions in regards to Spike inevitably contributed to that outcome. That's not victim blaming her, Spike is capable of taking responsibility for his own actions, but neither is it ignoring the part she played in Spuffy. What Buffy said and what she did often contradicted each other, one minute she tells Spike she's never going to sleep with him again, the next she's seeking him out for sex. That repetitive inconsistency means that Buffy can't be taken at her word eg she says one thing but her actions show she doesn't mean it. Unfortunately this inevitably leads to the AR scene where she says no and actually means it this time, but she's had Spike on that merry go round too many times before. It's only when she kicks Spike away and he realises that she actually meant no this time that he comprehends the magnitude of what he almost did.
 

Dneifrenid

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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.
But Buffy wasn't aggressive in that scene. She was defensive, defending herself from his forcing himself on her. Dead Things she says "no" but isn't aggressive (not that someone has to become aggressive for an unwanted sex act to be rape).

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.
We don't have to speculate whether she would have forced the situation. We see that she didn't force anything that happened on camera. What she may have or would have done is irrelevant.

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.
Desperation doesn't give someone the right to assault someone.
 

Nearwild

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Fundementally, you can't defend this action. I have tried, because I love the Spike character, but it really is just indefensible. The only thing you can do is think of explanatory reasons; he was confused, he was hurting, he was desperate, he was reverting to the monster side of his character, ("tie her up, torture her, until she likes me again", and in S7 it's made pretty clear he'd done this kinda thing before) he didn't mean it. But none of these reasons make it ok. Even he knows that, both in the moment Buffy kicks him off, and once he gets his soul ("can't say sorry, can't use forgive me.") It is an utter betrayal of the idea of a man he was playing up until things got sticky, even after in Entrophy when Buffy asks him about the camera and he says, "I don't hurt you." I don't think he went there looking to attack or hurt her, but he did and nothing can defend that action. The only thing in his favour is that he genuinely sought to change after that and be better.
 

Wezza Wozza

Potential
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May 31, 2021
Messages
107
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The Motherland
The real turning point that happened before this was not the sex that wrecked the house or Spike humping her leg like a dog in the loft at the Bronze (it was obviously not anal rape or even doggy-style sex, their relative angles would have been entirely different). The real turning point was in "As You Were" where Riley returns with his perfect wife, doing the black ops work he was seemingly born to do, and catches Buffy in bed with Spike, who is branded a terrorist for keeping dangerous demon eggs. At this point, Buffy appears ashamed of what she has done and she immediately breaks up with "William", a name she has never used for him before. Spike might think, she broke up with William but I'm Spike, she still wants the rough-and-tumble with me.

Later on, when Spike brings a date in "Hell's Bells" and Buffy says that it hurts her, he could easily believe that her breakup was just a reaction to Riley's seemingly perfect life in comparison to something that might look sordid from Riley's point of view. But after a few days or weeks, he had every reason to believe that she would be back to her usual self because soldier boy was gone, his arrival with another date had been painful to her and she had no one to make excuses to except her judgemental friends. And she completely fooled Xander, the most judgemental one of all, in Gone. Looking back on sex with Riley in "Where the Wild Things Are", just what kind of movement was that? Was he having sex with her or ironing her like a shirt? Given the choice, I would certainly rather have the house-wrecking sex of Season 6 and Buffy would too.

Spike would have had every reason to believe that Buffy's breakup was only temporary and it only lasted as long as she had been ashamed of being caught with Spike. With a few weeks behind the "breakup", everything was in all probability going to go back to normal.

And what was Buffy's responsibility for this? Spike is a blood-sucking fiend from beyond the grave with no soul. Mess with the bull, get the horns. Yes, it was an inexcusable attempted rape. But her actions were just as questionable.
100% agree

Whilst the AR can't be defended, it's easy to see how Buffy's choices and actions in regards to Spike inevitably contributed to that outcome. That's not victim blaming her, Spike is capable of taking responsibility for his own actions, but neither is it ignoring the part she played in Spuffy. What Buffy said and what she did often contradicted each other, one minute she tells Spike she's never going to sleep with him again, the next she's seeking him out for sex. That repetitive inconsistency means that Buffy can't be taken at her word eg she says one thing but her actions show she doesn't mean it. Unfortunately this inevitably leads to the AR scene where she says no and actually means it this time, but she's had Spike on that merry go round too many times before. It's only when she kicks Spike away and he realises that she actually meant no this time that he comprehends the magnitude of what he almost did.
100% agree
 

Wezza Wozza

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But Buffy wasn't aggressive in that scene. She was defensive, defending herself from his forcing himself on her. Dead Things she says "no" but isn't aggressive (not that someone has to become aggressive for an unwanted sex act to be rape).


We don't have to speculate whether she would have forced the situation. We see that she didn't force anything that happened on camera. What she may have or would have done is irrelevant.


Desperation doesn't give someone the right to assault someone.
I didn't say that Spike's act of assault was right because it is most definitely not, all that I am saying is that there are moments when Buffy does similar things but no one seems to really talk about them as an act of assault so I am just sharing some light on that.
 
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Spike and Buffy's relationship in season 6 was very passionate, but often had fluctuations of either destructive or tender moments, from both sides. So it had both its good sides and bad sides.

I was certainly shocked when I saw the AR for the first time, and felt a bit confused and heartbroken, since Spike is my favorite character and I really didn't want him to have done what he did. But seeing how it was all handled in season 7 made me start liking him again and I was quite touched by how Spike and Buffy were there for each other in a more mature way and helped each other grow into better people.

And when looking back on Seeing Red, I see it now with the whole context of season 6 and how it had all been building up to that moment, alongside the buildup of Willow going dark.

The way I see their relationship this season is this:
They are both drawn to each other in a very strong way, on both a physical and emotional level (albeit stronger on Spikes side, although it could be argued that it was in a way mutual, since Buffy in S7 said "why does everybody think I'm still in love with Spike?"), but part of it also being that Buffy finds comfort in him because of how empty and lonely she feels after being torn down from heaven (and in that way she uses him), and part of it also being that he knows she's lonely and this is his chance to get closer to her (and in that way he uses her). They both lift each other up and tear each other down, and often there was physical violence and hurtful words intertwined with their passionate and consensual/ambiguously consensual sex. Mixed messages are thrown around all the time. Yes, no, yes, no. It is very, very messy.

And they both end up hurting each other badly. Buffy likes/somewhat loves Spike, but hates herself for it and takes it out on him, which reaches its destructive peak when she severly beats him up and calls him horrible things in Dead Things, and she's horrified by what she had done (we see it in her eyes as she backs away from him). And on the other end, Spike ended up severely hurting Buffy in Seeing Red, even though he didn't really intend to do so (I honestly think he severely misjudged the situation and was being desperate and was trying to connect with her in the only way he knows how to), hence why he's horrified with himself and says "Buffy, my god, I didn't.." when he realized that she genuinely meant no and that he had made an unforgivable mistake.

They both at certain points also say "You always hurt the one you love". I definitely think the show was exploring that theme, also when it comes to Tara and Willow (Willow took advantage of Tara with mind control magic, AKA mind rape).

I'm not excusing any of their behaviours in any way. But I understand everybody's motivations and I think I can sympathise with all characters involved, with them being both aggressors and victims at the same time, and all at the end finding a sense of peace and healing in season 7, which I find to be beautiful.

One more thing I would l like to mention however is how I really don't like that sexual aggression/assault against men wasn't treated as seriously by the show as sexual aggression/assault towards women.

For instance, what Faith did to Riley or what Faith did to Xander. It's absolutely horrific. But the effect the assault had on them was barely explored at all after it had happened.

And Buffy's sexual aggression towards Spike was handled as a joke, even though it clearly is non consensual at times during their encounter. - Yes, I know it's not nearly as horrifying or serious as Seeing Red (It being more serious because it was obviously more violent and Buffy tried to clearly say no and Spike kept on going until she kicked him. And the experience also ended up being traumatizing to her). However, disrespecting someone's boundaries (saying or demonstrating "no", or being unaware of what's going on) is still disrespecting someone's boundaries, so it's still wrong.

And the place it originally came from might actually not be that different from the place Spike was coming from in Seeing Red. What I mean is, both were very determined to have sex and really pushed for it. The only difference really being that Buffy did it in a more playful way (doesn't excuse anything though, because it's still possible to rape someone in that way) and Spike did it in more of a sad and crazy state of mind (which tends to happen to him whenever he feels heartbroken, he makes irrational decisions), and Spike ended up consenting to some of it (but not all) whilst Buffy didn't consent to any of it.

So here comes the big question. In the beginning of the scene with Spike and Buffy in Gone, would Buffy have continued if Spike would have resisted more and said no the whole time?

And it's interesting to take into account that Buffy is the one that has a soul here, not Spike. It doesn't excuse anything of course, but it's a bit more understandable that Spike can become morally confused at times because of his lack of a soul. And therefore has a higher risk of making a mistake.

My gut feeling tells me that she would have kept on pushing for it even if he resisted. And that would then turn into full on assault, unfortunately.

But we did see that at the end he did manage to kick her out, although we did not get to see it happen on screen, so we don't know if there was any struggle involved or not.

So I think it maybe would have turned into assault, but after some time Spike would be able get her off him/kick her out.

So yeah, I guess this is kind of an interesting thought to consider. In a way, they were both very bad for each other in season 6, but at the same time they also cared for each other (which again fits the theme of "You always hurt the one you love"). But I think the point also was though that it was the time when they brought out the worst in each other and it demonstrates that it's not possible for them to have anything healthy between each other whilst he remains soulless, which is probably why their dynamic changes so dramatically after he gets his soul back. Because having a soul is a pretty big deal.

P.S. I know some of these views are controversial, but I want everybody to know I'm not here to try to argue with anyone and I respect different opinions. I just want to contribute my thoughts to this interesting conversation :)
 

Wezza Wozza

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May 31, 2021
Messages
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Spike and Buffy's relationship in season 6 was very passionate, but often had fluctuations of either destructive or tender moments, from both sides. So it had both its good sides and bad sides.

I was certainly shocked when I saw the AR for the first time, and felt a bit confused and heartbroken, since Spike is my favorite character and I really didn't want him to have done what he did. But seeing how it was all handled in season 7 made me start liking him again and I was quite touched by how Spike and Buffy were there for each other in a more mature way and helped each other grow into better people.

And when looking back on Seeing Red, I see it now with the whole context of season 6 and how it had all been building up to that moment, alongside the buildup of Willow going dark.

The way I see their relationship this season is this:
They are both drawn to each other in a very strong way, on both a physical and emotional level (albeit stronger on Spikes side, although it could be argued that it was in a way mutual, since Buffy in S7 said "why does everybody think I'm still in love with Spike?"), but part of it also being that Buffy finds comfort in him because of how empty and lonely she feels after being torn down from heaven (and in that way she uses him), and part of it also being that he knows she's lonely and this is his chance to get closer to her (and in that way he uses her). They both lift each other up and tear each other down, and often there was physical violence and hurtful words intertwined with their passionate and consensual/ambiguously consensual sex. Mixed messages are thrown around all the time. Yes, no, yes, no. It is very, very messy.

And they both end up hurting each other badly. Buffy likes/somewhat loves Spike, but hates herself for it and takes it out on him, which reaches its destructive peak when she severly beats him up and calls him horrible things in Dead Things, and she's horrified by what she had done (we see it in her eyes as she backs away from him). And on the other end, Spike ended up severely hurting Buffy in Seeing Red, even though he didn't really intend to do so (I honestly think he severely misjudged the situation and was being desperate and was trying to connect with her in the only way he knows how to), hence why he's horrified with himself and says "Buffy, my god, I didn't.." when he realized that she genuinely meant no and that he had made an unforgivable mistake.

They both at certain points also say "You always hurt the one you love". I definitely think the show was exploring that theme, also when it comes to Tara and Willow (Willow took advantage of Tara with mind control magic, AKA mind rape).

I'm not excusing any of their behaviours in any way. But I understand everybody's motivations and I think I can sympathise with all characters involved, with them being both aggressors and victims at the same time, and all at the end finding a sense of peace and healing in season 7, which I find to be beautiful.

One more thing I would l like to mention however is how I really don't like that sexual aggression/assault against men wasn't treated as seriously by the show as sexual aggression/assault towards women.

For instance, what Faith did to Riley or what Faith did to Xander. It's absolutely horrific. But the effect the assault had on them was barely explored at all after it had happened.

And Buffy's sexual aggression towards Spike was handled as a joke, even though it clearly is non consensual at times during their encounter. - Yes, I know it's not nearly as horrifying or serious as Seeing Red (It being more serious because it was obviously more violent and Buffy tried to clearly say no and Spike kept on going until she kicked him. And the experience also ended up being traumatizing to her). However, disrespecting someone's boundaries (saying or demonstrating "no", or being unaware of what's going on) is still disrespecting someone's boundaries, so it's still wrong.

And the place it originally came from might actually not be that different from the place Spike was coming from in Seeing Red. What I mean is, both were very determined to have sex and really pushed for it. The only difference really being that Buffy did it in a more playful way (doesn't excuse anything though, because it's still possible to rape someone in that way) and Spike did it in more of a sad and crazy state of mind (which tends to happen to him whenever he feels heartbroken, he makes irrational decisions), and Spike ended up consenting to some of it (but not all) whilst Buffy didn't consent to any of it.

So here comes the big question. In the beginning of the scene with Spike and Buffy in Gone, would Buffy have continued if Spike would have resisted more and said no the whole time?

And it's interesting to take into account that Buffy is the one that has a soul here, not Spike. It doesn't excuse anything of course, but it's a bit more understandable that Spike can become morally confused at times because of his lack of a soul. And therefore has a higher risk of making a mistake.

My gut feeling tells me that she would have kept on pushing for it even if he resisted. And that would then turn into full on assault, unfortunately.

But we did see that at the end he did manage to kick her out, although we did not get to see it happen on screen, so we don't know if there was any struggle involved or not.

So I think it maybe would have turned into assault, but after some time Spike would be able get her off him/kick her out.

So yeah, I guess this is kind of an interesting thought to consider. In a way, they were both very bad for each other in season 6, but at the same time they also cared for each other (which again fits the theme of "You always hurt the one you love"). But I think the point also was though that it was the time when they brought out the worst in each other and it demonstrates that it's not possible for them to have anything healthy between each other whilst he remains soulless, which is probably why their dynamic changes so dramatically after he gets his soul back. Because having a soul is a pretty big deal.

P.S. I know some of these views are controversial, but I want everybody to know I'm not here to try to argue with anyone and I respect different opinions. I just want to contribute my thoughts to this interesting conversation :)
You have explained my thought pattern better than I could.
 
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