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Discussion of 1.12 "Expecting" - Aired 1/25/00 (WB-US)

Mr Trick

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It maybe in character, but then if you are going to grow how as a character then it might be something to move away from. Also, I'm not convinced that she did sleep around too much in high school. I think a lot of it was talk on her part.
 

Bluebird

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It maybe in character, but then if you are going to grow how as a character then it might be something to move away from. Also, I'm not convinced that she did sleep around too much in high school. I think a lot of it was talk on her part.
I think her decision to sleep with a guy she's been on three dates with, doesn't constitute a characteristic that needs growth. o_O What is wrong with what she's doing that the writers 'need to move away from'? To me, that sounds more sexist than the episode. I see no issue with Cordelia's sexuality or her choices.
 

Antho

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I'm sure Mr. Joss Whedon has to live his "first time" as a traumatic experience :D. Look how he takes revenge on his characters. As soon as two characters sleep together for the first time there is always an element to come to disrupt this happiness :
- The union of Buffy and Angel leads to the loss of the soul of this one and therefore to the return of Angelus,
- Xander gets thrown by Faith like a messy,
- Maggie Walsh spies Buffy and Riley in action,
- Spike and Buffy destroy a building by making love,
- And finally we have Cordelia who gets pregnant (it is not said explicitly that it is her first time but I am almost certain because she isn't very serene).

In the end the only one who escapes is Willow ! Actually in Buffy and Angel, it's better to make war than love :p.

"Expecting", as "Reptile Boy" on Buffy, focus on humans who are part of a cult that venerates demons in exchange for wealth, eternity, success. It is a bit a criticism of fanaticism, sometimes people are so desesperate or passionate about a subject, something they believe in, a way of living, that leads them to do the unthinkable ! Poor Cordelia, she has already fallen into a sect and it's for her yet.. She really chooses well her men. But she is not the first girl to have been asleep by a beautiful speaker and she won't the last. Moreover Christopher Wilson, the beautiful speaker in question, is interpreted by Ken Morino and it is an actor that I know for his role on "Veronica Mars".

The lesson of morality, the metaphor, we can only notice it. The adventures of a night can bring more trouble than pleasure. What is interesting to me is that we don't concentrate on the sexual act itself, but rather on the consequences that it can engender. I just want to say that we don't judge Cordelia on what she has done, which tends to be a little too common reaction in everyday life. She slept with someone pretty quickly, she got pregnant, she is not blamed, they try to help her. I appreciated that ! Another crucial point is the observation of the evolution of the personality of Cordelia, which is changing and which, despite the demonic influence, seems to me quite real. Pregnancy mystical or not, the fright she feels at the very beginning when she is discovering she is pregnant is normal. I think it is a reaction that all girls have, even more when it happens accidentally. I think all the girls feel this uncertainty, but this is just my opinion and I'm not a girl :D ! In the beginning, she does not want any of these children but the more time goes the more she attaches to them. Yes for her it is not natural, she is controlled telepathically but Isn't it also a change that woman takes in our reality ? they go from indifference to love, from rejection to acceptance ! Of course it's not the case for everyone but maybe for the majority.

Humor was perfectly used to counterbalance the dark side. Everything was well dosed ! With Alexis performing very well in the comic registry on one side and Charisma in the dramatic register, it makes an interesting balance. And this : Angel : "You will have to see what is inside her" Wesley :"I beg you pardon" Angel : "Wesley can you shoot straight" Wesley : Beg you pardon" :D




The ties between Angel, Cordelia and Wesley deepen. The boys have no desire to see Cordelia suffer and it's touching the way they take care of her. Some keywords, like the word family, escape from the mouths of certain people and we understand that this is what they are becoming. Angel really plays the protector when he wants to know more about Wilson and I was glad when he hit him, it was completely deserved !
They are a team and each one of them plays his part, as there Angel swung the big carboy on the monster, Wesley shot on it, and Cordelia destroyed the sculpture of the monster. Everyone brings a participation ! Everyone has confidence in others.
Cordy: "I learned something, too. I learned, uhm, - men are evil ? Oh, wait, I know that. I learned that LA is full of self-serving phonies. No, - had that one down, too. Uh ... sex is bad ? "
Angel with a smile: "We all knew that."
Cordy: "Okay. I learned that I have two people I trust absolutely with my life. - And that part's new. "
Wesley takes a deep breath, then looks away. "Uh, some, uh - allergy."
 

Cordy_Chase

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Although this episode was the first instance of about three in this series which turned the issue of reproductive abuse into a cheap gimmick that Cordelia was demeaningly made the subject of, it had its strong points.

There's a touching sense of familial support in Angel's defense of Cordelia's honor against Wes's scrutiny and both men's nonjudgemental tenderness towards her predicament. Angel's doting and protectiveness of her just melt my heart and Charisma beautifully delivers the impact of the abuse before the demon baby daddy intercepts. Cordelia's emotional distress, her fear of Karma which I believe was instilled by either Xander, Maude or a combination of both, was raw and authentic. Charisma is a severely underrated actress.

Really? I think going on three dates before sleeping with someone you're interested in, is completely in character for Cordelia.
I disagree. Very little was established on screen about her sex life including just two partners, Wilson and Groo (arguably two and a quarter if one counts the couch stuff with Angel in the Prima Ballerina's dressing room).

Although I recall reading once in a fan discussion post (perhaps it was here even) that David Greenwalt told Nicholas Brendan that Cordelia wasn't a virgin while instructing him for a kiss scene, her virginal status is not established on-screen bur we do know that she never had sex with Xander and she gave up her high social status for him so it's safe to assess that she was interested in him. The latter in itself when one recalls and factors in her admission to Buffy in 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight' that she tries so hard to be popular to distract herself from loneliness suggests that she was never as shallow as she acted.

I doubt she was considering a serious partner at this point after her heartbreak with Xander and arguably Doyle and it's entirely plausible for someone who doesn't want a serious relationship to still seek out sex partners and even maintain one sex partner for a prolonged period of time. The latter is called a **** buddy.
So three dates don't indicate a desire to commit.

There is no specification that this was her third date with Wilson. In fact, their conversation at La Brea which progresses to him commenting that he wants to give Serena (Cordelia's friend) flowers for introducing them implies that this was a first, blind date and a one night stand but that doesn't portray Cordelia as a slut.
She was clearly interested in him(or rather his cheesy sob story; "I’m the guy behind the camera, watching and recording life, not – living it - each and every moment – like you." :p) not just sex at first physical evaluation.
Groo was much the same. She'd talked with him for hours just getting to know him before considering having sex with him (and then being turned off when he held a magnifying glass to the fine print).

Her history would suggest that Xander was the first partner she'd had serious feelings for and she doesn't go there again until Angel in 'Tomorrow', though one could argue it would have been Doyle as early as the 'Parting Gifts' equivalent had he not died (I hesitate to count Groo in this case since he was essentially Splenda!Angel).

The bit of humor made of Angel watching someone else, Cordelia, guzzling his pig's blood was well placed and as immortal as he is.
Come on, really Angel?

My biggest issue with this episode is one shared by at least one other, 'Lonely Hearts' that the concept, in this case, the method of reproductive abuse that was committed wasn't explained.

Reproductive abuse is the act of one partner forcing the other to reproduce and/or forcing a female partner to keep or terminate an unwanted pregnancy via either birth control sabotage (i.e poking holes in condoms) or emotional rape that instills pressure or guilt about reproducing or pregnancy.
In this case, it was committed using artificial insemination through natural penetration but Wilson was human so the only method making the deposit that I can come up with is that he used a condom coated with the demon's sperm or embryos.

For that matter I don't believe the reason the demon needed human females to carry his spawn was explained either.

Overall, I find this an enjoyable episode.
 
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Sarina says 'third times the charm' in the office - indicating this is the third date.
I imagine Cordelia slept with Devon - she is dating him in Inca Mummy Girl - and he has stood her up by Halloween. Possibly also Mitch from 'out of sight out of mind' - after all - 'it's not her arm I'm looking to be on.' Whoever the guy was, she definitely appears to have had sex by bad eggs - in her car - and knocked the handbrake off. 'I have a friend - not me...' is universal code for 'this happened to me.'
They may not have been especially good or gratifying experiences, which may explain why she doesn't jump straight into a sexual relationship with Xander, despite having had sex before. She has decided that she wasn't actually ready - so isn't ready with him.
However by 'expecting' - she is 19, she's moved away from home and has her own place, she's working - she's an adult. She had been moving forward into a potential adult relationship with Doyle, but then he went all away and it didn't happen - but that left her still prepared for a proper relationship. And this is the third time she has been out with Wilson. It's perfectly reasonable she might want to sleep with him. She tells Dennis she really likes this guy. And Wilson isn't going to take no for an answer - although he is coming off as all charm, he is going to keep wearing her down until she capitulates.

I don't like this episode. I don't like the way it uses mystical pregnancy (which the show goes to way to often). I don't like the pregnancy as parasite and I don't like the way it takes control over Cordy. The whole pregnant women can't think for themselves and are all irrational trope. When written and directed by men (which it was) that becomes another level of problematic. I also don't like the punishment for sex thing, Cordelia being used as a (increasingly irrational) damsel whilst the men rush about and rescue her or Wesley's misogyny. The way he treats the women in the office as if they're alien beings - and then when he refers to them as 'doxies' - only to backtrack when Angel says they liked him. He's happy to slur their sexual promiscuity (which he has absolutely no evidence for) ... until he thinks it might benefit him. And up until he finds Cordy pregnant he keeps on having a go at her, shirking her responsibilities - not working hard enough - criticising her for wanting to go out and have fun. F*ck of Wesley - you're not her boss. And even if you were, judging her for having a night out, after hours, would still be outside your remit.
 

Mr Trick

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Sarina says 'third times the charm' in the office - indicating this is the third date.
I imagine Cordelia slept with Devon - she is dating him in Inca Mummy Girl - and he has stood her up by Halloween. Possibly also Mitch from 'out of sight out of mind' - after all - 'it's not her arm I'm looking to be on.' Whoever the guy was, she definitely appears to have had sex by bad eggs - in her car - and knocked the handbrake off. 'I have a friend - not me...' is universal code for 'this happened to me.'
They may not have been especially good or gratifying experiences, which may explain why she doesn't jump straight into a sexual relationship with Xander, despite having had sex before. She has decided that she wasn't actually ready - so isn't ready with him.
However by 'expecting' - she is 19, she's moved away from home and has her own place, she's working - she's an adult. She had been moving forward into a potential adult relationship with Doyle, but then he went all away and it didn't happen - but that left her still prepared for a proper relationship. And this is the third time she has been out with Wilson. It's perfectly reasonable she might want to sleep with him.
She tells Dennis she really likes this guy. And Wilson isn't going to take no for an answer - although he is coming off as all charm, he is going to keep wearing her down until she capitulates.

I don't like this episode. I don't like the way it uses mystical pregnancy (which the show goes to way to often). I don't like the pregnancy as parasite and I don't like the way it takes control over Cordy. The whole pregnant women can't think for themselves and are all irrational trope. When written and directed by men (which it was) that becomes another level of problematic. I also don't like the punishment for sex thing, Cordelia being used as a (increasingly irrational) damsel whilst the men rush about and rescue her or Wesley's misogyny. The way he treats the women in the office as if they're alien beings - and then when he refers to them as 'doxies' - only to backtrack when Angel says they liked him. He's happy to slur their sexual promiscuity (which he has absolutely no evidence for) ... until he thinks it might benefit him. And up until he finds Cordy pregnant he keeps on having a go at her, shirking her responsibilities - not working hard enough - criticising her for wanting to go out and have fun. F*ck of Wesley - you're not her boss. And even if you were, judging her for having a night out, after hours, would still be outside your remit.
It might be me being just a bit old fashioned:eek: I still think 3 dates is a little too soon to be sleeping with someone. Then again it depends how serious Cordy saw the relationship as being. Another problem is that Wilson is written and played so flat I couldn't see him appealing that much to Cordy. But for the sake of the storyline they needed to hook up I get that.

I like to read it as Cordy was a virgin for at least most of her time in Sunnydale maybe even when arriving in L.A. Think it adds to the idea of the "mean girl" persona being a front and her actually being more sensitive than she often let on. It's quite cool to think of her stepping foot into L.A. with still many adult experiences facing her.
 
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I like to read it as Cordy was a virgin for at least most of her time in Sunnydale maybe even when arriving in L.A. Think it adds to the idea of the "mean girl" persona being a front and her actually being more sensitive than she often let on. It's quite cool to think of her stepping foot into L.A. with still many adult experiences facing her
Virginity is a patriarchal social construction. Cordelia is not a fundamentally different person depending on whether Devon stuck his dick in her for an ungratifying two minutes or not. Bad teenage sex doesn't make her sexually experienced in any meaningful sense of the word. Though she probably wouldn't have realised that at the time.
We know - going into L.A - that she thought she might have been in love with Xander, but she never had a sexual relationship with him. So we know she has never had a proper adult relationship, and probably not any good sexual experiences. Which is what actually counts. The whole adult world is still brand new to her, and a proper and full relationship something she has never experienced when she arrives in L.A.

It's actually pretty tragic that, despite being interested in men romantically and sexually, she doesn't get any decent sexual experiences - beyond a bit of quick PIV one time, which immediately resulted in pregnancy - until the end of season 3, with the groosalug. Even Angel is getting some more often than she is - and she describes him as 'practically a eunuch'. Though, I suppose, she is only 21 in season 3 - she just seems a lot older. And I guess a few high school boyfriends, a one night stand and then a proper sexual relationship isn't that below average for real life people of that age. Especially when you throw in a relationship that never started because one of you DIED and then the visions killing you slowly.
 

Mr Trick

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Virginity is a patriarchal social construction. Cordelia is not a fundamentally different person depending on whether Devon stuck his dick in her for an ungratifying two minutes or not. Bad teenage sex doesn't make her sexually experienced in any meaningful sense of the word. Though she probably wouldn't have realised that at the time.
We know - going into L.A - that she thought she might have been in love with Xander, but she never had a sexual relationship with him. So we know she has never had a proper adult relationship, and probably not any good sexual experiences. Which is what actually counts. The whole adult world is still brand new to her, and a proper and full relationship something she has never experienced when she arrives in L.A.

It's actually pretty tragic that, despite being interested in men romantically and sexually, she doesn't get any decent sexual experiences - beyond a bit of quick PIV one time, which immediately resulted in pregnancy - until the end of season 3, with the groosalug. Even Angel is getting some more often than she is - and she describes him as 'practically a eunuch'. Though, I suppose, she is only 21 in season 3 - she just seems a lot older. And I guess a few high school boyfriends, a one night stand and then a proper sexual relationship isn't that below average for real life people of that age. Especially when you throw in a relationship that never started because one of you DIED and then the visions killing you slowly.
I wasn't commenting on good or bad sexual experiences. Simply that losing your virginity is seen as a big step to growing up. Or at least that to most people its a note worthy thing. To me I don't actually think Buffy S2 Cordy is that much different from Angel S1 Cordy. It's just that there was more of a facade to her in Sunnydale. If you buy into Sunnydale Cordy being as shallow as she comes off at times then you could make a case for sex not being a big deal to her.
 
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I'm not saying sex wasn't a big deal for her ... I'm saying the sex she had as a teenager was crap, probably only a couple of minutes long, and almost certainly PIV and nothing else (which is what all 16 year olds do because they don't know any better but from a female perspective is barely sex at all, let's be honest.). She rushed into it to be the cool girl dating older guys and then repented at her leisure.
There's a lot of growing up to be done from 'oh I had sex I'm not a virgin anymore' to 'that sex was rubbish, it did nothing for me so I don't even count it - and sex is just one of many experiences, that we even have a word to denote having never had this experience is patriarchal bullshit of the worst order'.
Rushing into sex in order to be cool - and then realising that was a mistake - is totally different to just not thinking sex is a big deal. Cordy likes to tick off the boxes of cooldom ... but she's also very smart. Having had sex to tick the box and realising she didn't like it, wasn't ready and had only done it to be cool - then she would back off and wait until she was properly ready for the next time. Hence her decision to not sleep with Xander.

I also think how we see sex as a 'big deal' can change as we get older. As a teenager it is a big deal in that it is a huge part of being a grownup. Tick this box and you are an adult (even though a couple of sweaty minutes behind a shed actually changes nothing.) As you get older you look back on that mindset - and laugh about how crap it was. If sex is going to remain a big deal to an adult then it is because it is just one part of the relationship you are in. Or just something you really like doing and are very particular about making sure it is good. The 'I'm an adult now' aspect dies away - because you are an actual adult now, regardless of how much sex you are or aren't having. There is nothing more childish than the 'x makes me a grownup' mindset, but it is a mindset I totally buy early Cordelia having - until she grows up a bit. Growing out of that mindset is a far bigger step in maturity than just doing the physical act of sex for the first time. It's the mental maturity, not the physical experiences, where I see Cordelia growing up - or not being quite there yet - when she arrives in L.A.

By 'expecting' Cordelia is an adult - and sex doesn't have to be a big thing for her anymore unless she wants it to be. It's a part of her life that she is ready to have and is old enough to handle. Whether she wants long term relationships or one night stands in neither here nor there. She is old enough to make those choices for herself.
But even with the fact that who she sleeps with and when is her business and nobody else's firmly in mind - the show does try to go out of it's way to show that Cordy does like Wilson and has hopes this is going somewhere. She seems to think this is a first time with Wilson, specifically, but that there will be many other times to follow.
 

Cordy_Chase

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Sarina says 'third times the charm' in the office - indicating this is the third date.
I'm rewatching it now and I just caught this, contrary to when I went over the transcript as I composed my review.
No matter, as I'd still expressed my third date views.
 

Mr Trick

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This episode isn't a favourite of mine still, but I do love the end scene with Cordy, Wes and Angel. That is delightful.
 

Oromous

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Hoo boy, this episode is so heavy with its inappropriate sexual triggers I don't even know where to begin. Thankfully, TPN has laid it out nicely, as usual:
Passion of the Nerd said:
"Before we get into this one, I'd like to quickly run down the Mystical Pregnancy trope. It's a trope that stands out to me like the Wilhelm scream and feels equally boring and unnecessary. Strictly speaking, the trope refers to when a character in a story conceives a baby supernaturally or the baby is in some way supernatural, or both. And the trope, while overused, is not specifically sexist in and of itself, but man, is it INCREDIBLY easy for it to traipse into that territory, depending on how the episode is written."
"Expecting" unfortunately traipse into that inappropriate sexist territory, and then some with demonizing pregnancies.

It certainly doesn't help that we've got ANOTHER Parker 2.0/creepy demanding for sex guy whom Riley is just a few short ranks off of only because he didn't actually come out and directly ask for sex (just a forced relationship). It gets kinda tiring after a while, but the real problem with this episode remains with Cordy's lack of consent towards the pregnancy - and then blaming herself for it even though it's a pretty rapey act.

So yeah, this episode didn't age well and is seven levels of yucky. Rape has rarely been written well in fiction because of how such a serious subject is used for the trivial sake of furthering character development that doesn't contribute to the conversation about rape, and as can be seen here, mystical (forced) pregnancy hasn't been doing that well either. Cordy being reduced to a baby-making carrier who's forced to reflect on her past transgressions because of a rapey act that's nowhere her fault isn't good television. Rumor has it that the writers of Angel didn't learn from this mistake. My condolences.
 
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and then blaming herself for it even though it's a pretty rapey act.
I think it's more than just a pretty rapey act. It's rape. The only reason it is not much more clearly so is because it is magical and obviously the law doesn't cover magic. But in real terms, if a woman consents to sex with a condom and a man then doesn't use one, without letting her know, that is legally classed as rape. You can go to prison for that act. So - as Cordelia points out it was 'safe' but he knew it was sex specifically to get her pregnant so was not safe at all, that's a mystical version of secretly not wearing a condom.

And yet Cordelia never deals with this or seems to even notice. Once her life is saved it's like no big deal.

Also - a bit that really bugs me is when she wakes up and doesn't discover she is pregnant until she pulls down the covers and sees the bump. I mean, I've never had a baby, I don't ever want one but I'm going to go out on a limb and say a woman who is 9 months pregnant does not have to see the bump to know it is there. She knows it's there. It's heavy, it's squishing her internal organs, it's cumbersome ... even if Cordelia only assumed she was unusually bloated that morning :rolleyes: , she knew there was something physically wrong with her before she pulled down those covers. And the fact that they write her as being perfectly cheery until the big reveal (she even stretches across to get the alarm clock - she moves and apparently doesn't feel it!) shows such a lack of imagination and understanding for what pregnancy must feel like. And if you can't even imagine that ... you should probably steer away from writing pregnancy story lines.
 
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It may legally be 'rape' but I very much doubt that Cordelia sees it so, since she consented to the sexual act itself. Imo.

Oromous

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I think it's more than just a pretty rapey act. It's rape. The only reason it is not much more clearly so is because it is magical and obviously the law doesn't cover magic. But in real terms, if a woman consents to sex with a condom and a man then doesn't use one, without letting her know, that is legally classed as rape. You can go to prison for that act. So - as Cordelia points out it was 'safe' but he knew it was sex specifically to get her pregnant so was not safe at all, that's a mystical version of secretly not wearing a condom.

And yet Cordelia never deals with this or seems to even notice. Once her life is saved it's like no big deal.

Also - a bit that really bugs me is when she wakes up and doesn't discover she is pregnant until she pulls down the covers and sees the bump. I mean, I've never had a baby, I don't ever want one but I'm going to go out on a limb and say a woman who is 9 months pregnant does not have to see the bump to know it is there. She knows it's there. It's heavy, it's squishing her internal organs, it's cumbersome ... even if Cordelia only assumed she was unusually bloated that morning :rolleyes: , she knew there was something physically wrong with her before she pulled down those covers. And the fact that they write her as being perfectly cheery until the big reveal (she even stretches across to get the alarm clock - she moves and apparently doesn't feel it!) shows such a lack of imagination and understanding for what pregnancy must feel like. And if you can't even imagine that ... you should probably steer away from writing pregnancy story lines.
Yeah, I agree. Thanks for correcting me; I was trying to hold back just calling it an act of rape, but you're right about the act being rape.

I think, looking back, Angel season 1 had quite a number of problematic episodes that tried too hard to be dark and edgy in tackling serious issues. Criticize Buffy season 1 all you want, but I don't remember it having as many controversial issues as Angel S1. Campy and stupid, yes, but not as yucky as rape pregnancy. Pleughk.

I'm at episode 15 of the season, so hopefully I'm done with all the nasty episodes for now. Things will surely improve from here... right? 🤣

@Myheadsgonenumb: No worries. :) I was glad you wrote the post regardless.

And yes, I've made it past 'She', and yes, similarly, I've written a similar response to how the writers clumsily implement the Oden Tal's sexual powers making all men uncontrollably rape them. I believe my exact words were: "Jesus Christ, who wrote this shit?!"
 
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Myheadsgonenumb
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I didn't mean it in a correcty way! Certainly the writers didn't seem to stop to consider the implications. Have you been past 'she' yet? - that's another big writiers trying and failing to tackle female issues episode.
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[B]Puppet[/B] It may legally be 'rape' but I very much doubt that Cordelia sees it so, since she consented to the sexual act itself. Imo.

But to put that into real world context, women who consent to sex with a condom consent to the sexual act itself - it is only afterwards when they discover they have been deceived that they would realise they had been raped ... and those unfamiliar with the law may not even realise they could call it such.
Meaningful consent is such a huge and important thing and if someone is deceiving you, or actively trying to harm you then you cannot give meaningful consent. Because you don't have all the information. Cordelia does not know he is intending to impregnate her with demon spawn therefore she does not give meaningful consent to the sexual act itself.
I believe that Cordelia may not know enough about the law (or that the law at the time was not forward thinking enough) to dare to name it as rape - but the violation is still real and massive. Having her just wave that off as 'well I consented to have sex so whatever comes from that is just reasonable fall out I have no right to be angry or hurt or feel violated by it' is troubling to say the least. It skirts very close to 'well you shouldn't have had sex if you didn't want the bad thing to happen' - and considering one of her take home lessons is 'sex is bad' that is pretty much what they go with.
I understand that they don't want to have to deal with that kind of trauma in the show, or make it an experience that has a lasting effect on Cordelia or influences her character going forward but ... in that case they shouldn't have done the episode full stop. It shows an incredibly cavalier attitude towards women's bodies and boundaries, if they're not willing to explore the depth of the fall out, then they shouldn't do the cheap body horror.
 

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[B]Puppet[/B] It may legally be 'rape' but I very much doubt that Cordelia sees it so, since she consented to the sexual act itself. Imo.

But to put that into real world context, women who consent to sex with a condom consent to the sexual act itself - it is only afterwards when they discover they have been deceived that they would realise they had been raped ... and those unfamiliar with the law may not even realise they could call it such.
Meaningful consent is such a huge and important thing and if someone is deceiving you, or actively trying to harm you then you cannot give meaningful consent. Because you don't have all the information. Cordelia does not know he is intending to impregnate her with demon spawn therefore she does not give meaningful consent to the sexual act itself.
I believe that Cordelia may not know enough about the law (or that the law at the time was not forward thinking enough) to dare to name it as rape - but the violation is still real and massive. Having her just wave that off as 'well I consented to have sex so whatever comes from that is just reasonable fall out I have no right to be angry or hurt or feel violated by it' is troubling to say the least. It skirts very close to 'well you shouldn't have had sex if you didn't want the bad thing to happen' - and considering one of her take home lessons is 'sex is bad' that is pretty much what they go with.
I understand that they don't want to have to deal with that kind of trauma in the show, or make it an experience that has a lasting effect on Cordelia or influences her character going forward but ... in that case they shouldn't have done the episode full stop. It shows an incredibly cavalier attitude towards women's bodies and boundaries, if they're not willing to explore the depth of the fall out, then they shouldn't do the cheap body horror.
I guess I'm just not comfortable with this thing modern day does, where it throws the word 'rape' around like it can just fit into a million different boxes. To me, rape is one thing; sexually forcing yourself on someone - now, it can happen a ton of different ways, from drugging, to physical force, to trickery, and so on, but rape itself it just one thing. It's part of why I hate that sex with a minor is called statutory rape, because most of the time both parties are consenting. This is just my own personal issues, though, which is why my comment included the 'imo'.
 

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Black Thorn
@Puppet Out of curiosity - would you agree or disagree that Faith raped Riley in season 4?
It's a very muddy situation and my first instinct is to disagree, but I definitely understand that it's tricky; technically, Riley didn't have all the information needed to fully consent. Here's where my issue lies; I always take it by how the 'victim' takes it. Since Riley clearly doesn't consider it rape, I won't either. I know that's problematic, since one of the only reasons, probably, that he doesn't think of himself as a victim, is the time it was written in, more than anything else. That's how I feel.

Veronica thinks she was raped. She discovers that her and her ex, Duncan, were both drugged and then 'chose' to have sex with each other. One can call this muddy, but at the end of the day, if Veronica (and Duncan) don't consider it rape, then I won't either.
 
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