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No Means No – A Look At Victim Blaming In the Buffyverse Fandom

E

EffyStonem

Guest
Trigger warnings for rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence

Since I keep hijacking threads in regards to this very pertinent issue, I thought I’d stay off the main forums, and collect all my thoughts together in one post/article, where I can articulate my theories on why such victim blaming exists in the fandom, why I have such issues with the rampant victim blaming within the fandom, and my counter-arguments for this mind frame, and why I believe it’s too damaging and dangerous to remain silent about.

There is honestly no other fandom I have come across which indulges in victim blaming as much as the Buffyverse fandom does, and I don’t say this lightly. I have been in many fandoms for many years, and I have been in the BtVS fandom for over fifteen years, so I know the fandom well, and the sheer level of victim blaming aimed at Buffy – all of it in regards to her relationship with Spike – is ridiculous. It’s really quite misogynistic, especially in a fandom which tends to consider itself quite feminist. So the question is, why is there such a level of victim blaming, and why do fans insist on laying the blame for Spike’s actions at Buffy’s feet. My belief is that it comes down to two main factors – the narrative of the show and the way it frames the relationship, and the popularity of Spike as a character and the fandom’s readiness to excuse his actions because of this.

Season 6 of BtVS is, quite frankly, an absolute mess. The inertia of Buffy’s depression makes it an incredibly slow and heavy season and when her horrendous relationship with Spike is added into the mix, it become almost unbearable to watch. What makes this even worse, is the rampant victim blaming laid at Buffy’s feet, which can (somewhat) be blamed on the narrative. The show makes it very clear that we are supposed to believe – in some part – that Buffy is responsible for Spike’s treatment of her, which is just ridiculously vile, not to mention irresponsible. The show constantly has Spike telling Buffy off for coming to him, using him, etc., and Season 7 even has Buffy agreeing with Spike.

It’s bad enough how much Spike victimises Buffy, but to then have her accept blame for said victimisation, when she literally did nothing to warrant it, sends a ridiculously messed up message which, unfortunately, parts of the fandom gobble up. The narrative tells us Buffy is responsible for her abuse at Spike’s hands and, instead of questioning why a show which prides itself on its feminist values is engaging in such blatant victim blaming, fans turn on Buffy, blame her for Spike’s abuse, and literally seem to believe that Buffy using Spike for sex warrants him beating her, raping her and emotionally abusing and manipulating her. It begs the question, why does a fandom which supposedly loves its main character so much, view her so badly. Well, in my mind, the answer is obvious. Because they love the male character more.

Spike has always been one of the most popular Buffyverse characters, and this popularity appears to blind the fandom to his faults and mistreatment of Buffy or, at the very least, convinces them that what Spike did wasn’t actually all that bad and that Buffy probably deserved it. Trust me, I get it, when your favourite character eff’s up so badly, it’s very easy to get defensive over their actions or try to justify them in some way. But if doing so involves victim blaming, engaging in rape culture and displaying such a deep level of misogyny, I can’t help but feel that maybe fans should be reassessing their defence of Spike, especially since what Spike puts Buffy through in Season 6 is plainly and inarguably domestic violence, for which there is no excuse. At some point in time, the audience needs to look at the narrative we’re being told to believe, and the one actually unfolding onscreen.

Over the course of Season 6, Spike emotionally abuses, physically beats and sexually assaults Buffy (including raping her on at least one occasion) and, contrary to popular belief, she literally does nothing to warrant it. Does she go to Spike for sex? Yes. But if you want to use this as an argument for why she holds responsibility for any of the abuse Spike put her through, you might as well argue that any woman who is raped by a man she has previously consented to have sex with is asking for it, because, hey, she’s said yes before! This is the kind of thinking which kept marital rape from being recognised until the 80s.

The other frequent argument I see is that Buffy had previously said “no” when she actually meant “yes”, which is gross and shows a vast misunderstanding of how consent works. If Buffy says no, then that means no. If she verbally tells Spike to stop, then Spike should stop. If she in any way indicates that she is not one hundred per cent consenting, then whatever happens afterwards is sexual assault. Now, I can’t fully blame the fandom for this, as it’s really the writers fault that Buffy’s “no’s” are viewed as “yes’s”. They wrote it as such, but we don’t have to buy into it. The fandom needs to educate themselves on issues of consent, on what constitutes rape and sexual assault, and realise that Buffy’s “no’s” are just that – no’s. Again, this kind of thinking is what leads to real-life rapes and sexual assaults.

And this brings me to my final point, what a lot of fans seem to overlook constantly - that the Spuffy ship and their defense of it actually has real-world connotations. Every time a Spuffy fan defends the relationship by blaming Buffy, they are basically blaming any woman trapped in an abusive relationship. They are undermining what these women go through, what they endure, all for the sake of ship. Not only is it insulting to abuse survivors everywhere, it could potentially produce more victims. If young girls and women genuinely believe that Buffy is asking for the abuse that Spike doles out, if they genuinely believe that she is in any way responsible, what will happen if they themselves get trapped in abusive relationships. How will they extract themselves from such a relationship, if they believe that women bring abuse on themselves. And if men genuinely believe that Buffy is to blame, what’s to stop them from beating or raping women in the future, and hiding behind victim blaming. It’s a terrifying thought.

The victim blaming of Buffy really needs to stop but, unfortunately, it never will. Fans will keep buying into the narrative, falling in love with Spike, and treating Buffy like she’s the perpetrator. It’s really disheartening, and all we can do is hope that someday things will change. In the meantime, we should refuse to keep quiet on the subject, because despite fans claiming it’s just a television show, the truth is, media shapes, molds and guides us, and a relationship such as Spuffy is incredibly dangerous to current and future viewers.
 
thetopher
thetopher
Rightly said

thetopher

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Sineya
My 15 year old niece had exactly the same reaction when she saw Season 6 for the first time this year. An abusive relationship is an abusive relationship, no means no, etc.

Imo Season 7 is far worse because it glosses over Buffy's pain, has her articulate her blaming herself (CWDP), Spike blaming her (Never Leave Me) and focuses on Spike's journey of 'forgiveness'.
 
E
EffyStonem
Completely agree re Season 7

Priceless

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As a Spuffy fan I think I must put my point of view. There is a very important thing, vital to any form of storytelling ; context. These characters are not strangers to us. I adored Spike from S2, and I saw him grow and change over the seasons.

When the writers showed us that Spike thought he was in love with Buffy, I loved it and couldn't wait to see where their story was going. This was great story telling with interesting characters who actually achieved growth and change, which was actually quite unusual in such shows at the time.

S6 saw Buffy undermined by her friends, with no one to turn to but Spike, the only one she could be honest with. Their relationship became sexual and I enjoyed this new layer to their relationship. Though I don't think the sex was the most important part of their connection, for me it was the emotional honesty and vulnerability Buffy allowed herself to feel with Spike

So I loved Spike. I loved Buffy. Then came the attempted rape. It was vile, cowardly, stupid. It was not Buffy's fault, it was all on Spike. You'll get no argument on that from me. But within context of the show and Spikes character something so awful had to happen to force him into introspection and paychologically force him make the choice to change.

As a Spuffy fan I cannot hate Spike, although I hate what he did. He fell as low as he could get and from that came redemption. Everything he did, he did of his own volition. (Most characters fell as low as they could get in S6 and it's that intensity that makes me love this season)

I blame Spike, and only Spike for the attempted rape of Buffy. I blame Faith, and only Faith for the attempted rape of Xander and the actual rape of Riley. I blame Willow and only Willow for the rape of Tara. But all the actions taken by all the characters have to be seen within context, and the hatred heaped on Spike seems incredibly vitriolic when compared to what Faith and Willow did, and their actions should be seen as equally vile.
 
Spanish Flame
Spanish Flame
I complete agree on this. It was all Spike ' si fault3 and all issues should be treated within context.
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
I agree 100%, the show was all about character growth and forgiveness. I don't hold Jenny Calendar against Angel.

Give Us A Kiss

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The AR and continuous abuse was Spike's fault and his fault only, Buffy was a victim who clearly needed help that she didn't get (and this is coming from a Spike fan).

Yes, Buffy choose to sleep with Spike because it made her 'feel', but she should not be blamed for the AR as being raped/molested/etc is never the victim's falut, and Buffy's no different in that regard.

Unlike the majority of fandom sites, BB is usually one of the friendliest places on the internet, as long as some of Spuffy's problematic aspects aren't brought up.
After a bad experience a couple of years ago, I tend to avoid 95% of Spuffy related threads and some non-Spuffy Spike threads as well.
 

Mylie

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As a Spuffy fan I think I must put my point of view. There is a very important thing, vital to any form of storytelling ; context. These characters are not strangers to us. I adored Spike from S2, and I saw him grow and change over the seasons.

When the writers showed us that Spike thought he was in love with Buffy, I loved it and couldn't wait to see where their story was going. This was great story telling with interesting characters who actually achieved growth and change, which was actually quite unusual in such shows at the time.

S6 saw Buffy undermined by her friends, with no one to turn to but Spike, the only one she could be honest with. Their relationship became sexual and I enjoyed this new layer to their relationship. Though I don't think the sex was the most important part of their connection, for me it was the emotional honesty and vulnerability Buffy allowed herself to feel with Spike

So I loved Spike. I loved Buffy. Then came the attempted rape. It was vile, cowardly, stupid. It was not Buffy's fault, it was all on Spike. You'll get no argument on that from me. But within context of the show and Spikes character something so awful had to happen to force him into introspection and paychologically force him make the choice to change.

As a Spuffy fan I cannot hate Spike, although I hate what he did. He fell as low as he could get and from that came redemption. Everything he did, he did of his own volition. (Most characters fell as low as they could get in S6 and it's that intensity that makes me love this season)

I blame Spike, and only Spike for the attempted rape of Buffy. I blame Faith, and only Faith for the attempted rape of Xander and the actual rape of Riley. I blame Willow and only Willow for the rape of Tara. But all the actions taken by all the characters have to be seen within context, and the hatred heaped on Spike seems incredibly vitriolic when compared to what Faith and Willow did, and their actions should be seen as equally vile.
The bolded : this is not the good that resulted out of this relationship though, it's the reason she kept going back to him and stay in that abusive relationship. She felt like her friends wouldn't understand so she turned to Spike, he isolated her from her friends even more and so the vicious circle continued.

I really want to say I hope I'm not making anyone uncomfortable. Everyone's allowed to ship/love whatever they want but the reasoning/justifying of what Spike did and what Spuffy was in season 6 is making me really uncomfortable.
 
P
Priceless
I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable either, and I really do apologise if I have

white avenger

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The victim blaming of Buffy really needs to stop but, unfortunately, it never will. Fans will keep buying into the narrative, falling in love with Spike, and treating Buffy like she’s the perpetrator.
Yes, Buffy choose to sleep with Spike because it made her 'feel', but she should not be blamed for the AR as being raped/molested/etc is never the victim's falut, and Buffy's no different in that regard.
I don't think that trying to understand why the attempted rape happened in the first place is the same thing as putting all, or any, of the blame on Buffy. What Spike did was wrong by any definition of the word. His actions were deplorable. "Seeing Red" was the writers' way of providing a catalyst that would inspire Spike to do what, for a vampire, was unimaginable and almost impossible :Willingly undertake the task of regaining his soul. I sincerely wish that they had come up with a better way to do it, but that is the way that Joss decided that it should be done.

I also don't think that Buffy being willing to not only forgive, but totally dismiss the entire thing the next year is in any way a weakness in her character. Whether we choose to accept the fact or not, it has been clearly established that ensouled Spike is a totally different person than soulless Spike, and is not responsible for his actions, any more than Angel is in any way responsible for the actions of Angelus. The fact that Spike doesn't change his name or assume guilt for those actions in the same way that Angel feels guilt for the actions of Angelus might seen distasteful to some fans, just as it was to Giles and the Scoobies, but the point was that Buffy made that differentiation. How could she not do so, and still have forgiven, and even loved, Angel in Season 3, though I have never heard anywhere near the objections for her actions then as I do for her doing exactly the same thing in Season 7.

Is murder, torture, and even attempting, and almost succeeding at, destroying the world, somehow less heinous than attempted rape? Forgiveness is forgiveness, and it should be impartial, as long as the person asking for it is sincere, as both Angel and Spike were. It is completely in character to unquestionably forgive both Angel and Spike, even in the face of her friends' objections. The major flaw in her character in this regard, in my opinion, is that she couldn't show the same level of forgiveness to Faith, a fellow Slayer, that she did to two formerly soulless murdering monsters.
 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
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The Bronze

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I think you're missing the main point here. Spike is a soulless vampire. He kills, he rapes and has a century of destruction under his belt. It's a bit redundant trying to understand why he's unpleasant. None of that is news to Buffy either. So the only real thing worth looking at is Buffy's decisions and reasoning.
 

RomanticSoul

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I think you're missing the main point here. Spike is a soulless vampire. He kills, he rapes and has a century of destruction under his belt. It's a bit redundant trying to understand why he's unpleasant. None of that is news to Buffy either. So the only real thing worth looking at is Buffy's decisions and reasoning.
If this were Angelus I would agree with you. The problem with Spike (and generally vampires as the show went on) is the conflicting writing of the later Seasons. Vampires were largely de-demonized and made to be just different looking people. You will see many Spike fans argue that he had morality since they insist he went to get the soul out of guilt for what he did to Buffy. If he is soulles how can he possibly feel guilt? Well apparently he is that special. Some writers of the show think so too. So the 'soulles' argument doesn't work for me in Spike's case.

When it comes to Buffy. You won't find me arguing that she shouldn't have given a soulles vampire an all access pass to her house. Or that she shouldn't have gotten involved with one knowing exactly what they are. Or that she should have killed Spike 100 times over before S6 even started. And that she should have seen this coming when just a Season before this guy abducted her and chained her to a wall to get her to say she loved him. But that's just Buffy being sacrificed for a man's story.
 

thrasherpix

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I might go into the points brought up here later as I've been thinking about it. But for now, I just wanted to ask (from another thread), how did Beauty and the Beast blame Debbie for what happened?

I thought the show depicted Debbie as a victim, but you seem to think she is somehow blamed by either the show and/or the viewers.
 

white avenger

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I think you're missing the main point here. Spike is a soulless vampire. He kills, he rapes and has a century of destruction under his belt. It's a bit redundant trying to understand why he's unpleasant. None of that is news to Buffy either. So the only real thing worth looking at is Buffy's decisions and reasoning.
I think that Buffy's reasoning, as I said previously, was that, in Season 7, if she forgave Angel in Season 3 for everything that Angelus did in Season 2, then she should, an all fairness, forgive Spike in Season 7 for everything that he did in Season 6. I do think that Buffy felt some guilt and shame about what happened in Season 6, but only to the point that she allowed her depression to get her into the situation in the first place, which isn't any sort of excuse or justification of what Spike did.
 

GoSpuffy

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I think that often times when people want to blame Spike for his bad behaviour of Buffy it is because they don't want Buffy to own her actions. Sometimes it is okay for women to want sex. I don't mind that Buffy wanted rough sex from Spike. It's not something I personally would choose, however I'm not mad at Buffy for participating in the relationship. I am very definitely a womans libber, and that means different things to different people. But blaming Buffy's decisions and actions on the man in her life to me is mysogenistic as it gets. Buffy is responsible for her actions. Buffy has the freedom to make what ever choices she chooses. As unhealthy as I view parts of S6 I also feel that as an adult woman Buffy, and Buffy alone, is allowed to choose her relationships and what happens within them. There are many times when Buffy clearly goes to Spike, when she is invisible, in As You Were when she says "tell me you love me", in Dead Things when they are chatting about redecorating her room. Buffy's sexulality is hers to choose and hers to enjoy or regret. The A/R is just that, an attempt that is thwarted by Buffy, she chose to stop it and she did. Willow killed but we forgive her. Giles killed Ben and we forgive him. Angelus killed and we forgive Angel. Faith killed and we forgive her. I will never understand why it is okay to forgive everyone for actual successful murders yet an unsuccessful attempt at rape is somehow the breaking point where we say, that is it, that is the thing that is unforgivable. I can only assume that it is because some people view rape as worse than murder.
 
The Ferg
The Ferg
It took you one paragraph to get right to the point of what I was trying to do with a whole page. Kudos.

The Bronze

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The problem with Spike (and generally vampires as the show went on) is the conflicting writing of the later Seasons. Vampires were largely de-demonized and made to be just different looking people. You will see many Spike fans argue that he had morality since they insist he went to get the soul out of guilt for what he did to Buffy. If he is soulles how can he possibly feel guilt? Well apparently he is that special. Some writers of the show think so too. So the 'soulles' argument doesn't work for me in Spike's case.
I think you're letting your dislike of the later seasons cloud your memory of what we were shown right from the beginning. Vampires have always been portrayed as individuals and therefore similar to humans. The Order of Aurelius in Season 1 was a vampire cult/religion, just like in our society. The Three sacrificed themselves for their honour. The Master was shown to be upset by the loss of Darla. Spike and Dru showed more interest in each other and having fun rather than sticking to tradition. Dalton loved to read. Mr Trick wanted to modernise the vampire way of life. Spike was never special. Vampires were all shown to have emotions, they were just evil as well.

The way I see it is like this: If you see someone standing out in the middle of an horrendous thunderstorm do you question why the rain is wet or do you wonder what on earth that person is doing standing there?
 

Taake

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I think you're missing the main point here. Spike is a soulless vampire. He kills, he rapes and has a century of destruction under his belt. It's a bit redundant trying to understand why he's unpleasant. None of that is news to Buffy either. So the only real thing worth looking at is Buffy's decisions and reasoning.
If he's human enough to be "in love" with Buffy, then he's human enough to understand why not to rape her. The soulless excuse only works as long as he's always considered as such, but he's not.

I think that often times when people want to blame Spike for his bad behaviour of Buffy it is because they don't want Buffy to own her actions. Sometimes it is okay for women to want sex. I don't mind that Buffy wanted rough sex from Spike.

The A/R is just that, an attempt that is thwarted by Buffy, she chose to stop it and she did. Willow killed but we forgive her. Giles killed Ben and we forgive him. Angelus killed and we forgive Angel. Faith killed and we forgive her. I will never understand why it is okay to forgive everyone for actual successful murders yet an unsuccessful attempt at rape is somehow the breaking point where we say, that is it, that is the thing that is unforgivable. I can only assume that it is because some people view rape as worse than murder.
For me it's more that, maybe not now, but in the past there has been a definite claim that because Buffy wanted rough sex once, Spike couldn't understand her no in the A/R. Which to me basically says "once you say yes to rough sex you get what's coming to you", which is just wrong. Or that Spike would have stopped himself. Which I think is ridiculous.

As for rape being worse then murder, it might be the living victims who color that perspective, i.e. thinking it's worse that someone has to live with what has been done to them.

Either way, I don't necessarily disagree with the main post because a lot of it is exactly what triggers me about the Spuffy pairing, however, one could also argue that Bangel has real life connotations by supporting young girls to get involved with older men. It's not victim blaming so it's not wholly on point, but it shows that the show's track record with healthy relationships is spotty at best.
 

RomanticSoul

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I think you're letting your dislike of the later seasons cloud your memory of what we were shown right from the beginning. Vampires have always been portrayed as individuals and therefore similar to humans. The Order of Aurelius in Season 1 was a vampire cult/religion, just like in our society. The Three sacrificed themselves for their honour. The Master was shown to be upset by the loss of Darla. Spike and Dru showed more interest in each other and having fun rather than sticking to tradition. Dalton loved to read. Mr Trick wanted to modernise the vampire way of life. Spike was never special. Vampires were all shown to have emotions, they were just evil as well.
I think the difference is simple. While vampires can have feelings similar to humans, have social structure etc. most of them are still portrayed as 100% evil. There is no illusion about Angelus' evil. The show never misses an opportunity to remind us of the things he has done and is capable of. We are also aware of the fact that vampires don't form close bonds with humans for any stretch of time.

Post S3 we have the problem of increasingly powerful bad guys so vampires become almost non-threatening as a result. And it's not just Spike. Harmony as well who is treated like nothing but a joke and that seems to be enough to warrant her eternal survival. Spike who they rarely have in vamp face or acting much like a vampire so that you sometimes forget he is one. Storylines specifically designed to attribute more humanity to Spike with only the occassional reminder that he is evil. And of course Spike's 'close' relationship to certain Scoobies. The total lack of control Marti Noxon had as executive producer where each individual writer was allowed to write Spike however they saw them. Whedon and Espenson being two who utterly romanticized the character while Fury (before he was send to brainwash camp) and Noxon were more true to what Spike actually was. Petrie seemed to waffle between both extremes. It's why the audience is so divided when it comes to Spike in the first place. And of course if you believe for example Fury's later comments, Spike was always in possession of a partial soul, whatever that means. And if that's true then Spike has to be looked at differently.
 

The Bronze

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While vampires can have feelings similar to humans, have social structure etc. most of them are still portrayed as 100% evil. There is no illusion about Angelus' evil. The show never misses an opportunity to remind us of the things he has done and is capable of.
I think you're taking the portrayal of the evil of Angelus and using it to cover the majority of vampires when what was actually highlighted was how he stood out from the crowd. Yes we were repeatedly told and shown how bad he was but crucially we were told this alongside his title of the worst on record. If he's the worst and most evil then it stands to reason that other vampires then fall in behind him somewhere on the scale. Still evil but not to the same extreme. This idea is there from early Season 2, maybe even Season 1.
We are also aware of the fact that vampires don't form close bonds with humans for any stretch of time.
Spike who they rarely have in vamp face or acting much like a vampire so that you sometimes forget he is one.
I'd attribute both of these to Spikes cunning nature and survival instincts. We don't see vampires with humans before hand because they have no need for them. If they like the look of one, they turn them. If they're hungry they eat them. Spike can't do either and learns they're now his best option and adjusts. He's no need for the vamp face most of the time because firstly you wouldn't want to push your luck and secondly he's not able to feed on people anyway.
And of course if you believe for example Fury's later comments, Spike was always in possession of a partial soul, whatever that means. And if that's true then Spike has to be looked at differently.
If it's not in the show then it doesn't count for me. Chalk it up to a fan theory. Some of them can help to make sense of ideas or open questions and some seem quite out there. There's no mention of bits of soul in the show so I can't get behind this idea at all.
 

Icarium

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I think you're taking the portrayal of the evil of Angelus and using it to cover the majority of vampires when what was actually highlighted was how he stood out from the crowd. Yes we were repeatedly told and shown how bad he was but crucially we were told this alongside his title of the worst on record. If he's the worst and most evil then it stands to reason that other vampires then fall in behind him somewhere on the scale. Still evil but not to the same extreme. This idea is there from early Season 2, maybe even Season 1.
They also heavily implied that Spike was almost as bad as Angel, if not worse, back when he was introduced. One preferred quality of murder and torture, the other quantity. All vampires are evil, some are just more cowardly, some are lazier, some are more creative in their murder and torture but they are all fully evil. Or at least that was the case initially, until the writers made the (incredibly dumb) decision to turn Spike into a romantic hero, to introduce nonsense like vampire brothels where humans pay to have their blood sucked and vampires refrain from killing. Let's not even get started about the vampires in public plot in season 8.

If he's human enough to be "in love" with Buffy, then he's human enough to understand why not to rape her. The soulless excuse only works as long as he's always considered as such, but he's not.
Yes, ironically, the more control over his actions one ascribes to soulless Spike, the more he should be blamed for these actions. I mean, if he craves murder so much that he is willing to kill himself over his inability to extend his killing spree that's one thing. If he can suppress his murderous impulses but decides not to bother because murder if fun, then he is no more deserving of a second chance with a soul than he is without it, that is to say not at all.
 

RomanticSoul

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If it's not in the show then it doesn't count for me. Chalk it up to a fan theory. Some of them can help to make sense of ideas or open questions and some seem quite out there. There's no mention of bits of soul in the show so I can't get behind this idea at all.
But you subscribe to Whedon's statement that Spike went to get a soul at the end of S6 right? Because whether that's on screen or not is actually a matter of interpretation and not fact.
 

The Bronze

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But you subscribe to Whedon's statement that Spike went to get a soul at the end of S6 right? Because whether that's on screen or not is actually a matter of interpretation and not fact.
For me Whedon determines what material is canon. However he can't determine the interpretation of that material once it's out there. The story has to speak for itself. Sure I'll listen to his interpretation, same as I enjoy reading peoples take on things here, but that's it.

With regards to Spike going to get the soul I agree with Whedon. As far as I can see that's the only thing that makes sense. I posted about it on another thread somewhere, I'll see if I can find it again.
 
He went to get his soul. It was a go big or go home attempt to impress Buffy / turn his unlife around. It makes no sense that he would go to get the chip removed for these reasons:

1. If he wanted to kill Buffy he could already.

2. He wanted the chip gone for what the best part of 2-3 years? Why would he suddenly remember that he can get it done in Africa? If he knew about it he'd have headed straight there after he bodged the first attempt to get it removed. He went to Africa because he had a different idea that had just come to him.

3. Why would he say that Angel should have warned him? If Angel had warned him about a soul he wouldn't have tried to get the chip removed? Makes no sense.

4. What are the odds of a cave demon with ancient trials specialising in military technology over souls?

There are probably more as well but it just wouldn't make sense if the chip was his motivation.
 
E

EffyStonem

Guest
I might go into the points brought up here later as I've been thinking about it. But for now, I just wanted to ask (from another thread), how did Beauty and the Beast blame Debbie for what happened?

I thought the show depicted Debbie as a victim, but you seem to think she is somehow blamed by either the show and/or the viewers.
Buffy: It's tricky, covering a fresh shiner like that. You know what works?
Debbie: What?
Buffy: Don't get hit.

Buffy: You have to talk to us. (Debbie shakes her head) We can't help you until you do.
Debbie: I didn't ask for your help!
Willow: Well, when are you going to? I mean, if Pete kills you, it'll pretty much be too late.

Both of these are classic examples of victim blaming, and show pretty much no empathy to Debbie. Then there's the fact that Buffy physically manhandles Debbie (someone who is already suffering through physical abuse) and forces her to look at her black eye in the mirror, both of which could be extremely triggering to Debbie. Basically, Buffy (and Willow) show no sympathy towards Debbie (later on Willow mentions that they "broke her", to which Buffy replies, with absolutely no sympathy or empathy "she was already broken before this". Then Debbie is unceremoniously murdered by Pete, and the narrative portrays it as if she deserved it, because she was protecting him from Buffy. It's pretty vile, honestly, and just one of the many instances of victim-blaming in the Whedonverse.

I think that often times when people want to blame Spike for his bad behaviour of Buffy it is because they don't want Buffy to own her actions. Sometimes it is okay for women to want sex. I don't mind that Buffy wanted rough sex from Spike. It's not something I personally would choose, however I'm not mad at Buffy for participating in the relationship.
I never said it wasn't okay for a woman to want sex, even rough sex. But wanting rough sex does not equal asking for or being responsible for abuse.

I am very definitely a womans libber, and that means different things to different people. But blaming Buffy's decisions and actions on the man in her life to me is mysogenistic as it gets.
Misogyny is the hatred of women, so blaming the actions of a woman on a man is actually the opposite of misogyny. The word you're looking for is misandry (hatred of men) but even that doesn't apply here. Also, I really question whether or not you are a true woman's libber, considering you insist on blaming Spike's abuse of Buffy on Buffy herself.

Buffy is responsible for her actions.
But she's not responsible for Spike's actions, or his abuse of her, or anything he inflicts on her over the course of Season 6.

Buffy has the freedom to make what ever choices she chooses. As unhealthy as I view parts of S6 I also feel that as an adult woman Buffy, and Buffy alone, is allowed to choose her relationships and what happens within them. There are many times when Buffy clearly goes to Spike, when she is invisible, in As You Were when she says "tell me you love me", in Dead Things when they are chatting about redecorating her room. Buffy's sexulality is hers to choose and hers to enjoy or regret.
Again, Buffy going to Spike, Buffy consenting to sex with Spike, doesn't give Spike the right to abuse, rape or sexually assault her. Honestly, you're just proving my original point, that fans continue to blame Buffy for her own abuse, despite the fact that it's gross and unwarranted,

The A/R is just that, an attempt that is thwarted by Buffy, she chose to stop it and she did.
This sentence is vile, you talk as if Buffy stopping the AR was a given outcome. She stopped it through sheer luck and force of will, not because it was her choice to stop it. She had no choice in the matter. Spike was going to rape her, she just happened to get lucky and manage to fight him off.

Also, you talk as if the attempted rape is the only thing Spike put Buffy through, when in reality, he put her through an entire season of abuse, starting with Smashed and going all the way through to Seeing Red. He emotionally abuses her, attempts to isolate her from her friends, beats her, sexually assaults her and rapes her. The AR is just the final blow.

Willow killed but we forgive her. Giles killed Ben and we forgive him. Angelus killed and we forgive Angel. Faith killed and we forgive her. I will never understand why it is okay to forgive everyone for actual successful murders yet an unsuccessful attempt at rape is somehow the breaking point where we say, that is it, that is the thing that is unforgivable. I can only assume that it is because some people view rape as worse than murder.
The article was not about forgiveness and whether or not it's warranted. It was about victim blaming within the fandom re the Spuffy relationship. You have completely missed the point (and yet, ironically, also kind of proven the point with all your victim blaming. So thank you, I guess).
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
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Messages
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Age
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Yes, Buffy choose to sleep with Spike because it made her 'feel', but she should not be blamed for the AR as being raped/molested/etc is never the victim's falut, and Buffy's no different in that regard.
I don't think anyone is blaming Buffy for the AR, that's all on Spike. It's the relationship beforehand that is more open to debate.

I think you're missing the main point here. Spike is a soulless vampire. He kills, he rapes and has a century of destruction under his belt. It's a bit redundant trying to understand why he's unpleasant. None of that is news to Buffy either. So the only real thing worth looking at is Buffy's decisions and reasoning.
I don't think Spike did rape prior to the AR hence why he was so shocked by his actions, most of all towards the woman he supposedly "loved". Spike was too devoted to Dru from the moment he was sired so I don't think he would want to have sex with someone else. Yes, I do know rape is not about sex, it's about power, but from Spike's pov he'd see it as cheating on Dru by sleeping with someone else which is something he wouldn't do. Rape was more Angelus' forte.

I think that often times when people want to blame Spike for his bad behaviour of Buffy it is because they don't want Buffy to own her actions. Sometimes it is okay for women to want sex. I don't mind that Buffy wanted rough sex from Spike. It's not something I personally would choose, however I'm not mad at Buffy for participating in the relationship. I am very definitely a womans libber, and that means different things to different people. But blaming Buffy's decisions and actions on the man in her life to me is mysogenistic as it gets. Buffy is responsible for her actions. Buffy has the freedom to make what ever choices she chooses. As unhealthy as I view parts of S6 I also feel that as an adult woman Buffy, and Buffy alone, is allowed to choose her relationships and what happens within them. There are many times when Buffy clearly goes to Spike, when she is invisible, in As You Were when she says "tell me you love me", in Dead Things when they are chatting about redecorating her room. Buffy's sexulality is hers to choose and hers to enjoy or regret.
Agreed. To take away Buffy's responsibility for her own actions is to take away her agency. There is examples as you listed where Buffy CHOSE to go to Spike. There are times where Spike wants to talk about their relationship or come clean to the scoobies about it and Buffy CHOOSES not to listen. Was season 6 Spuffy healthy for either party? Absolutely not. Did they both choose to engage in such a relationship? Yes they did.

The A/R is just that, an attempt that is thwarted by Buffy, she chose to stop it and she did.
The AR shouldn't have happened. That did cross the line, regardless of whether Buffy stopped it or not because she didn't really have much of a choice, it was literally be raped or not be raped. That is the worst scene in the entire Buffy series for me, especially because I don't think Spike would've done that to the woman he "loved". Season 6 was OOC for Spike IMO but I have a theory as to why that was.

JM was also affected by that scene, he had it specifically written in to his contract that he was never doing a scene like that ever again.

I think the difference is simple. While vampires can have feelings similar to humans, have social structure etc. most of them are still portrayed as 100% evil. There is no illusion about Angelus' evil. The show never misses an opportunity to remind us of the things he has done and is capable of. We are also aware of the fact that vampires don't form close bonds with humans for any stretch of time.
I think evil is subjective when it comes to Buffyverse vampires. We're looking at them through the filter of humans ie prey. A lion probably looks evil to a gazelle. The vampires have got to eat and blood packs are probably a more modern development, vampire nature can not be overcome in a short amount of time. I really wish we got a Whirlwind spinoff instead of Angel. Buffy explores the Slayer/human side of things whilst the Whirlwind spinoff would explore the Vampire/demon side of things.
 
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