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

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EffyStonem

Guest
Would it be considered ironic how many members are victim-blaming Buffy in a thread which condemns victim blaming of Buffy?
 
E

EffyStonem

Guest
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.
No, it's not. Spike was the abuser. I don't care how redundant I sound, Spike was the abuser, Buffy was the abused.

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.
Oh please, let's not start pretending that Spike was anything other than what he was, a vampire who loved violence, loved the rush, the crunch, the brutality, and who was absolutely, without doubt, a freakin' rapist.

"You wanna know what I've done to girls Dawn's age? This is me Buffy." - Never Leave Me

To suggest otherwise is just blind and naive and wildly incorrect. Then there's the fact that he actually does rape Buffy in Dead Things, not to mention the amount of times he sexually assaults her over the season.

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.
So, Buffy not wanting to talk about their relationship or tell her friends about it warrants Spike abusing her, emotionally manipulating her, raping her, stalking her and sexually assaulting her? Good to know. I'll let all abused women out there that if they refuse to talk about their relationship with their partner, they've brought their abuse on themselves. They'll be so thrilled.

Season 6 was OOC for Spike IMO but I have a theory as to why that was.
Hmmm, stalking, violence, self-involved whining, blaming the woman for his actions ... nah, that sounds like Spike to me. Let's not forget that in Season 5 he literally chained Buffy to a wall and demanded she love him, or he would kill her, not to mention stalking her, stealing her underwear and building the BuffyBot, all of which grossly violated Buffy. Honestly, Season 6 simply escalated what was already there.
 

thrasherpix

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I can agree about season 6 (and 7) being a complete and utter mess (personally, I wish Buffy ended with season 5 and that Angel ran to season 7), and not just the Spuffy angle. (Btw, even James Marsters didn't like the direction where it was going, and outright balked at the AR scene at the end.) There were some interesting ideas in both seasons, but I think they should've waited another year to hammer them out better, and that's just over the plot and story itself, let alone any social messages intentionally or unintentionally applied. Now that I think about it, where they really dropped the ball on that was when Buffy opened up to Tara. She tried, but I'd think she could've handled that better, if not right away then later. (I also think s6 got Spike wrong when he didn't try to kill anyone once he got amnesia, forgetting about his chip, while he remembered how he hated Giles.)

That said, acknowledging that Buffy was acting in self-destructive ways isn't the same as saying "Spike should therefore abuse her." (Also worth noting that "perfect characters" who never make mistakes aren't entertaining, and about all the characters in the Buffyverse were stupid and made horrible choices at times, sometimes over a long period of time.) And I'm pretty sure that season 6 Spuffy was intended to be shown as dysfunctional (and draws a parallel between Buffy & Spike with Willow and the magicks) rather than desirable (season 7 is something else which goes into the ill-advised redemption arc, at least how it was handled).

But I say that as someone who is not a Spuffy fan, and who thought Spike's interesting arc should've been ended in dust by season 4 at the latest. I suppose had I been raised on the romance genre (which is plagued by the "beauty and the beast" motif which Spuffy is a variant of, one that is both unhealthy and unrealistic, but is taken to heart by readers who put themselves into the story over and over again until they seem to look for it subconsciously in other media, and sometimes even real life) then I might find Spuffy more appealing, and perhaps then it could reinforce the message already gained from much more insidious sources, but as it was it certainly didn't make me sigh wistfully at how romantic the story was or want something like that for myself. Since Buffy was shown as messing up, I don't think it encourages people to stay with abusers or feeling they deserve abuse, and even many Spuffy fans acknowledge how twisted it got in season 6.

(Worth noting that some just love drama. I had to break it off with someone as my partner simply couldn't enjoy a relationship without a lot of messed up drama, but to people like that it's not real without that roller coaster ride, and I expect people like that would love season 6 Spuffy, even more than season 7.)

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.
Buffy struck me as pitying Debbie, but she also had lives to saved. Buffy expressed distressed when she sees Debbie dead. At the end Cordelia asks what Pete was under the influence of and Buffy says, "Just himself." For that reason I don't agree that the narrative blamed Debbie. (And who broke Debbie? The narrative probably meant Pete broke her, though I'd bet some child abuse prepped her for that to teach her that abuse is what love is.)

Though I'm now thinking it's too bad Debbie didn't survive and join the Scoobies, it would've been good to see her rise from her own ashes like a phoenix. 'Course she'd end up doing horrible things herself like the rest of the Scoobies (and main characters).

And while Buffy did grab her, which in an intervention for herself is not the best course of action, Buffy was trying to save lives which goes beyond Debbie. Technically, Debbie was legally viable for the crimes Pete did when she willfully refused to turn him in (even as he was killing those who had contact with her, presumably those she liked), even aiding aiding him outright (as when she caused Giles to be shot by pushing the dart gun as she was afraid her brutal beloved would be sent to prison). She was what you'd call an accomplice, and could be convicted along with Pete for his crimes in her willful silence and even aiding him. And even if the police and system was fair and honorable, they'd do worse to Debbie than Buffy did when they arrested and held her. And that's because the law assumes women (including older teens), like men, have the ability to act rationally and with common sense, unlike say a small child, and are thus accountable for the decisions they (like men) make. And I agree with that assessment of our abilities to act like a rational adult (as much as anyone can anyway).
 

Icarium

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Messages
1,621
Then Debbie is unceremoniously murdered by Pete, and the narrative portrays it as if she deserved it, because she was protecting him from Buffy.
I am pretty sure the episode was positively full of "men are beasts" anvils, so the narrative most certainly did not portray Debbie as someone who deserved to die. Also, expecting Buffy to treat Debbie the same way a professional with experience in dealing with domestic violence is expecting too much of Buffy whose priority, as mentioned, was to prevent more murders. She was also rattled by Angel's unexpected return - she was rather rude to Willow at one point too. It is a rather sub-par episode, if you ask me, but of all the examples of sweeping abuse under the rug in the Buffyverse, why pick the one episode that is so preachy against abuse? I have even heard a rumour that Marti Noxon was pressured into writing an episode like that to make up for the "forgive your abuser" message of I Only Have Eyes For You and that's why Beauty and the Beasts feels so forced. :)

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.
Except that animals (domestic cats and some other cute but murderous bastards excluded :)) kill only to feed. They don't torture for fun (domestic cats excluded once again). There is nothing subjective about the Buffyverse vampires' evil, it is as objective as it can be. That's the whole tragedy of turning people into vampires, even heroic individuals like Xander and Willow become psychopaths who murder, torture and rape just for fun.
 

DeadlyDuo

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No, it's not. Spike was the abuser. I don't care how redundant I sound, Spike was the abuser, Buffy was the abused.
Aside from the AR which was not Buffy's fault whatsoever, Buffy knew what she was doing. She might not have liked what she was doing but she continued to do it. She went to Spike of her own volition for sex, @GoSpuffy gave examples that clearly show Buffy initiating sexual contact between her and Spike on several occasions because Buffy CHOSE to do that. You seem to be trying to whitewash Buffy's role in Spuffy which in turn takes away her agency. Why? Is it because Buffy's a woman and therefore must always be a victim in an unhealthy relationship rather than a participant? Is Buffy incapable of taking responsibility for her own actions and therefore can not be held accountable for what she does. I guess this must extend to Faith too because she's a woman. It can't be her fault that she murdered the mayor's assistant or tortured Wesley because Wesley was a bad watcher therefore it's his fault that Faith doesn't take responsibility for her actions. When Faith does actually acknowledge her wrong doing, she must've bowed to the pressure of victim blaming because how dare a woman take accountability for her own actions of her own volition.

In fact, why are you even watching Buffy? Being a slayer was FORCED on Buffy. she didn't ask for it nor choose it. Therefore, all throughout the show she is pressured and forced into doing something she doesn't want to do, she is being abused! She didn't consent to being a slayer, she is being made to fight vampires and demons because if she doesn't she'll be blamed for the world ending, all because she doesn't let herself get used! How can you watch a show that glorifies the victimisation of a young woman?

Interpretation works both ways.

Oh please, let's not start pretending that Spike was anything other than what he was, a vampire who loved violence, loved the rush, the crunch, the brutality, and who was absolutely, without doubt, a freakin' rapist.

"You wanna know what I've done to girls Dawn's age? This is me Buffy." - Never Leave Me

To suggest otherwise is just blind and naive and wildly incorrect. Then there's the fact that he actually does rape Buffy in Dead Things, not to mention the amount of times he sexually assaults her over the season.
Where exactly does it say Spike raped? That line could refer to him torturing, killing, even siring girls Dawn's age. Considering that's what he was doing whilst under the control of the first, it would make sense for him to relate his current actions back to something he used to do. Or are you assuming that just because he mentions the victims were female that he automatically raped them because females can't be victims of any other crime than rape?


So, Buffy not wanting to talk about their relationship or tell her friends about it warrants Spike abusing her, emotionally manipulating her, raping her, stalking her and sexually assaulting her? Good to know. I'll let all abused women out there that if they refuse to talk about their relationship with their partner, they've brought their abuse on themselves. They'll be so thrilled.
Get off your high horse. You are trying to twist anything that anyone says which doesn't fall into your line of view into something which is not what the person is saying. Your whole "I'll let all abused women out there that if they refuse to talk about their relationship with their partner, they've brought their abuse on themselves. They'll be so thrilled" is so over the top, it's ridiculous because that is not what anyone saying at all. Let me ask you this, if a woman comes up to you and tells you that she knowingly got involved in an unhealthy relationship because it made her feel better for a little while and she acknowledges her part in that and the fact that she didn't want to talk about it because she didn't want to admit what she was actually doing to her self, would you literally turn around and say to her "I'll let all abused women out there that if they refuse to talk about their relationship with their partner, they've brought their abuse on themselves. They'll be so thrilled"?

Hmmm, stalking, violence, self-involved whining, blaming the woman for his actions ... nah, that sounds like Spike to me. Let's not forget that in Season 5 he literally chained Buffy to a wall and demanded she love him, or he would kill her, not to mention stalking her, stealing her underwear and building the BuffyBot, all of which grossly violated Buffy. Honestly, Season 6 simply escalated what was already there.
Spuffy was one of the worst things to happen to the show IMO because of what they had to do to the characters to make it happen. Both characters were dragged down because of it.

Why don't you bring up and discuss in length what Faith did to Buffy when she stole her body, or how she raped Riley and by extension Buffy because it's her body she used. Maybe how she forced the body swap on Buffy, you know the things Buffy didn't have any say in?

You seem to keep bringing up the balcony scene as the main point of your argument. Putting that scene aside, I challenge you to discuss the rest of Spuffy's scenes in the way you have as one sided (Spike abuser/Buffy victim) and see if it still stands up to scrutiny.
 
Except that animals (domestic cats and some other cute but murderous bastards excluded :)) kill only to feed. They don't torture for fun (domestic cats excluded once again).
So you're saying domestic cats are evil?

 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
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The Ferg
The Ferg
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Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
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Sineya
I don't care how redundant I sound, Spike was the abuser, Buffy was the abused.
Can I put this quote in my signature ? I'll give you credit.

It's the relationship beforehand that is more open to debate.
Their relationship before the AR was toxic in every way you look at it.
Before they started sleeping together, they had a stalker/stalkee relationship, which was already toxic in itself, the sex just made it worse.

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
Very good point about Buffy being a hypocrite.
It upsets me how she can easily forgive a vampire who caused her a lot of grief yet can't forgive someone who just wanted to be close to her and has worked really hard to redeem herself after going evil as a result of neglect.

P.S:Angel is not a murdering monster, Angelus is...
 

DeadlyDuo

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Their relationship before the AR was toxic in every way you look at it.
Before they started sleeping together, they had a stalker/stalkee relationship, which was already toxic in itself, the sex just made it worse.
I agree Spuffy was completely unhealthy for both characters. My point is though that Buffy was a participant in season 6, not a victim. She knew what she was doing and, although she didn't like herself for what she was doing, she continued to participate of her own volition. You are right though that season 5 was a stalker/stalkee relationship.
 
Give Us A Kiss
Give Us A Kiss
She absolutely was a participant in everything, except the AR.

Mylie

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You can choose to do stuff and make your own mistakes while still being the victim of an abusive relationship.

Buffy was suffering depression with self-destruct tendencies. Spike took advantage of her feeling weak, not right and isolated from her friends and kept the vicious circle going, even reinforcing that she didn't come back «right».

I'm all for agency but a person while suffering depression will not have the same agency as when she isn't. I think we can all agree that season was when Buffy was at her lowest. Certainly it's no wonder she won't make the best decisions. It wouldn't have been that bad if someone had not taken advantage of the situation but someone did. So she was part of an abusive relationship and she was a victim.
 

DeadlyDuo

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You can choose to do stuff and make your own mistakes while still being the victim of an abusive relationship.

Buffy was suffering depression with self-destruct tendencies. Spike took advantage of her feeling weak, not right and isolated from her friends and kept the vicious circle going, even reinforcing that she didn't come back «right».

I'm all for agency but a person while suffering depression will not have the same agency as when she isn't. I think we can all agree that season was when Buffy was at her lowest. Certainly it's no wonder she won't make the best decisions. It wouldn't have been that bad if someone had not taken advantage of the situation but someone did. So she was part of an abusive relationship and she was a victim.
I think you make some interesting points here and everyone will probably agree that Spuffy wasn't healthy. This is what caught my attention the most:
You can choose to do stuff and make your own mistakes while still being the victim of an abusive relationship.
I agree with this because it's not downplaying Buffy's involvement in Spuffy. Yes she made mistakes and she acknowledges those mistakes but the relationship is still unhealthy. Her actions aren't being whitewashed as if she had no idea what she was doing. That's not victim blaming. Buffy recognising her own mistakes actually makes her stronger.
 

RomanticSoul

Frell Me
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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.
I don't agree with Whedon. Because Spike asking for the soul has never made sense in the context as to how it was set up. Did Whedon want Spike to get a soul? Apparently. Did Spike want a soul? Not from what I could see. The set up (aka the supposed misdirect) makes no sense. Spike before he left to Africa kept going on and about the chip. Even more importantly how the chip has made it so Spike is neither man nor monster and how that was frustrating to him. A soul was never mentioned. So what is the solution to Spike's problem? It can't be vampire with a soul because that's the definition of neither man nor monster. It's also not what Spike asked for as a reward. He asked to be what he was. And he was never a vampire with a soul. Never mind the fact that all his blubbering about the chip prior to Africa and then he deliberately keeps the chip in? That makes even less sense.

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.
To deny that Spike has raped before attempting it on Buffy would be to deny the very canon of this show. We have had 2 scenes with Willow prior that implicated rape intentions. One was deliberately set up as a college rape scene to begin with. And Spike has also confirmed it himself that he did that and worse to girls of Dawn's age. Lets call a spade a spade, please.
 

Mylie

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I think you make some interesting points here and everyone will probably agree that Spuffy wasn't healthy. This is what caught my attention the most:


I agree with this because it's not downplaying Buffy's involvement in Spuffy. Yes she made mistakes and she acknowledges those mistakes but the relationship is still unhealthy. Her actions aren't being whitewashed as if she had no idea what she was doing. That's not victim blaming. Buffy recognising her own mistakes actually makes her stronger.
That wasn't really what I was trying to say though... (but maybe I didn't express myself well... I'm not an english native speaker)

Her suffering depression makes her less aware (and in my eyes) less responsible for what she's doing. Basically, her mistakes can be attributed to her being sick. Buffy should have seen a therapist during season 6 but it might have went against the writers plans which was to really bring her at the lowest she's ever been. That way they showed what can happen with untreated depression. I love Grave but I find it really sad that she «magically» felt better, without any real introspection or help from specialists, etc. Anyway, that wasn't the point I was trying to make. For me, Buffy can chose to do things but her depression is weakening her agency and thus her responsibility in what she does. But that's me and the experience I have with depression and the people around me who suffer(ed) from it. But all of this is only talking about Buffy herself, alone. The victim of an abusive relationship has even less agency as the abuse is preventing her from being her own person, and making the best decisions for herself.

At best, I will give you this : Buffy, with her depression and self-destruct tendencies (but I don't know how much weight that has...) made the choice to enter into a relationship with Spike. After that (or even before that, depending on when you consider the relationship started), the circle of abuse began.

I don't think there's anything wrong with Buffy being «weak» for a season. She's strong now because she overcome depression, that's how I see it. But a female character doesn't always have to be strong and responsible. That's asking too much, in my opinion.
 
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DeadlyDuo

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I don't agree with Whedon. Because Spike asking for the soul has never made sense in the context as to how it was set up. Did Whedon want Spike to get a soul? Apparently. Did Spike want a soul? Not from what I could see. The set up (aka the supposed misdirect) makes no sense. Spike before he left to Africa kept going on and about the chip. Even more importantly how the chip has made it so Spike is neither man nor monster and how that was frustrating to him. A soul was never mentioned. So what is the solution to Spike's problem? It can't be vampire with a soul because that's the definition of neither man nor monster. It's also not what Spike asked for as a reward. He asked to be what he was. And he was never a vampire with a soul. Never mind the fact that all his blubbering about the chip prior to Africa and then he deliberately keeps the chip in? That makes even less sense.
I disagree. Spike said he couldn't be a man (because of the lack of a soul) and he can't be a monster (because of the chip). Spike made the choice to get a soul to be a man. The misdirect was meant to be so the audience would think he was going for the chip when in fact he was going for the soul.


To deny that Spike has raped before attempting it on Buffy would be to deny the very canon of this show. We have had 2 scenes with Willow prior that implicated rape intentions. One was deliberately set up as a college rape scene to begin with. And Spike has also confirmed it himself that he did that and worse to girls of Dawn's age. Lets call a spade a spade, please.
Where exactly did Spike say that he'd raped girls of Dawn's age? His line was "You wanna know what I've done to girls Dawn's age? This is me Buffy." Considering Spike was killing and siring under the control of the First, it would make sense that he was relating his current actions to past ones, including the fact that he'd murdered girls Dawn's age. We see Sheila get killed and sired in Season 2 (albeit by Dru) and she would've been the same age as Dawn was in season 7.

The scene in Willow's dorm was set up to look like a college rape, you're right, but Spike's intention in that scene was not to rape Willow, it was to kill her and possibly turn her. It hardly makes it better but the point is, that scene wasn't about rape.
 
That wasn't really what I was trying to say though... (but maybe I didn't express myself well... I'm not an english native speaker)

Her suffering depression makes her less aware (and in my eyes) less responsible for what she's doing. Basically, her mistakes can be attributed to her being sick. Buffy should have seen a therapist during season 6 but it might have went against the writers plans which was to really bring her at the lowest she's ever been. That way they showed what can happen with untreated depression. I love Grave but I find it really sad that she «magically» felt better, without any real introspection or help from specialists, etc. Anyway, that wasn't the point I was trying to make. For me, Buffy can chose to do things but her depression is weakening her agency and thus her responsibility in what she does. But that's me and the experience I have with depression and the people around me who suffer(ed) from it. But all of this is only talking about Buffy herself, alone. The victim of an abusive relationship has even less agency as the abuse is preventing her from being her own person, and making the best decisions for herself.

At best, I will give you this : Buffy, with her depression and self-destruct tendencies (but I don't know how much weight that has...) made the choice to enter into a relationship with Spike. After that (or even before that, depending on when you consider the relationship started), the circle of abuse began.

I don't think there's anything wrong with Buffy being «weak» for a season. She's strong now because she overcome depression, that's how I see it. But a female character doesn't always have to be strong and responsible. That's asking too much, in my opinion.
I consider the relationship started in season 6 when Buffy and Spike had sex for the first time and knocked the house down.

I agree Buffy should've seen a therapist. Giles sticking around would've definitely helped too. I do think Buffy's depression coloured her choices, and sometimes in an emotional state, those choices aren't going to be the most rational or best choices you could make even though they seem like they make sense at the time.

Would it be a fair assessment to say that, because of her depression influencing her decision-making, Buffy chose to get involved with Spike. However, as the "relationship" progressed, she found herself in more and more over her head?
 

Mylie

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I disagree. Spike said he couldn't be a man (because of the lack of a soul) and he can't be a monster (because of the chip). Spike made the choice to get a soul to be a man. The misdirect was meant to be so the audience would think he was going for the chip when in fact he was going for the soul.




Where exactly did Spike say that he'd raped girls of Dawn's age? His line was "You wanna know what I've done to girls Dawn's age? This is me Buffy." Considering Spike was killing and siring under the control of the First, it would make sense that he was relating his current actions to past ones, including the fact that he'd murdered girls Dawn's age. We see Sheila get killed and sired in Season 2 (albeit by Dru) and she would've been the same age as Dawn was in season 7.

The scene in Willow's dorm was set up to look like a college rape, you're right, but Spike's intention in that scene was not to rape Willow, it was to kill her and possibly turn her. It hardly makes it better but the point is, that scene wasn't about rape.
 


I consider the relationship started in season 6 when Buffy and Spike had sex for the first time and knocked the house down.

I agree Buffy should've seen a therapist. Giles sticking around would've definitely helped too. I do think Buffy's depression coloured her choices, and sometimes in an emotional state, those choices aren't going to be the most rational or best choices you could make even though they seem like they make sense at the time.

Would it be a fair assessment to say that, because of her depression influencing her decision-making, Buffy chose to get involved with Spike. However, as the "relationship" progressed, she found herself in more and more over her head?
I think yes, as long as there's no blaming her for staying in that unhealthy relationship and she doesn't have to share the blame with Spike for what the relationship turned out to be.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I think yes, as long as there's no blaming her for staying in that unhealthy relationship and she doesn't have to share the blame with Spike for what the relationship turned out to be.
I still think Buffy's actions within the relationship are her own, albeit coloured by her depression.
 
E

EffyStonem

Guest
Aside from the AR which was not Buffy's fault whatsoever, Buffy knew what she was doing. She might not have liked what she was doing but she continued to do it. She went to Spike of her own volition for sex, @GoSpuffy gave examples that clearly show Buffy initiating sexual contact between her and Spike on several occasions because Buffy CHOSE to do that.
Victims of domestic violence CHOOSE to have sex with their partners. It doesn't change their relationship or what's being done to them, nor does it make them deserving of their treatment.

You seem to be trying to whitewash Buffy's role in Spuffy which in turn takes away her agency.
What role? Where is the whitewashing?! Buffy doesn't abuse Spike. Buffy doesn't rape Spike. Buffy doesn't emotionally abuse Spike. Her "role" is that she used Spike for sex. That is nothing compared to what he did to her.

Why? Is it because Buffy's a woman and therefore must always be a victim in an unhealthy relationship rather than a participant? Is Buffy incapable of taking responsibility for her own actions and therefore can not be held accountable for what she does. I guess this must extend to Faith too because she's a woman. It can't be her fault that she murdered the mayor's assistant or tortured Wesley because Wesley was a bad watcher therefore it's his fault that Faith doesn't take responsibility for her actions. When Faith does actually acknowledge her wrong doing, she must've bowed to the pressure of victim blaming because how dare a woman take accountability for her own actions of her own volition.
It's got nothing to do with Buffy gender. It's about the fact that Spuffy is an abusive relationship and Buffy is the victim.

In fact, why are you even watching Buffy? Being a slayer was FORCED on Buffy. she didn't ask for it nor choose it. Therefore, all throughout the show she is pressured and forced into doing something she doesn't want to do, she is being abused! She didn't consent to being a slayer, she is being made to fight vampires and demons because if she doesn't she'll be blamed for the world ending, all because she doesn't let herself get used! How can you watch a show that glorifies the victimisation of a young woman?
Um ... yeah? And the show acnowledges this. Being forced into a destiny isn't the same as someone forcing themselves on you. Jesus.

Where exactly does it say Spike raped? That line could refer to him torturing, killing, even siring girls Dawn's age. Considering that's what he was doing whilst under the control of the first, it would make sense for him to relate his current actions back to something he used to do. Or are you assuming that just because he mentions the victims were female that he automatically raped them because females can't be victims of any other crime than rape?
Oh, jesus. The quote, in the context, is clearly meant to indicate rape. You want to whitewash Spike (ironic, since you keep accusing me of whitewashing) fine.

Get off your high horse. You are trying to twist anything that anyone says which doesn't fall into your line of view into something which is not what the person is saying. Your whole "I'll let all abused women out there that if they refuse to talk about their relationship with their partner, they've brought their abuse on themselves. They'll be so thrilled" is so over the top, it's ridiculous because that is not what anyone saying at all. Let me ask you this, if a woman comes up to you and tells you that she knowingly got involved in an unhealthy relationship because it made her feel better for a little while and she acknowledges her part in that and the fact that she didn't want to talk about it because she didn't want to admit what she was actually doing to her self, would you literally turn around and say to her "I'll let all abused women out there that if they refuse to talk about their relationship with their partner, they've brought their abuse on themselves. They'll be so thrilled"?
There is a huge difference between an unhealthy relationship and an abusive relationship. For god's sake.

Why don't you bring up and discuss in length what Faith did to Buffy when she stole her body, or how she raped Riley and by extension Buffy because it's her body she used. Maybe how she forced the body swap on Buffy, you know the things Buffy didn't have any say in?
Why would I bring this up in a thread about Spuffy?

You seem to keep bringing up the balcony scene as the main point of your argument. Putting that scene aside, I challenge you to discuss the rest of Spuffy's scenes in the way you have as one sided (Spike abuser/Buffy victim) and see if it still stands up to scrutiny.
Alright, I will.

First, we have all of Season 5, in which we see Spike stalk Buffy, actually steal into her house and steal her underwear and her clothes, and then there's the Buffybot, which completely robs Buffy of her agency and autonomy.

The in Season 6, there's the morning after they sex, where Spike roughly grabs Buffy, puts his hand up her skirt without her permission while she's telling him to stop, verbally manipulates her, and physically attempts to prevent her from leaving.

In Gone, he once puts his hands on her when she says no, physically intimidates her by invading her personal space while she's leaning against a closed door, put his hands down her pants again without permission, and once again, attempts to verbally manipulate her.

In Dead Things there's the god-awful balcony scene, which I've obviously mentioned several times.

He is constantly threatening to tell her friends about their relationship, which plays on her emotions and vulnerability, and can be viewed as emotional abuse. In Normal Again his lovely speech about how she belongs in the dark basically pushes her into pouring out the antidote.

Over the whole course of Season he manipulates her, preys on her vulnerability and weakness and PTSD and makes her feel like she isn't worth anything. That's emotional abuse.

Anyway, this is the last I'm going to say. I cannot be on Forums, because I get too angry and venomous and nasty, and I don't like myself like this. I've actually asked the Mods to delete my account, so soon, you won't be seeing me, and you can live in your little victim-blaming bubble happily. I just hope and pray you never end up in an abusive relationship, because if this is your attitude, you'll never escape. So, please, stay safe.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Victims of domestic violence CHOOSE to have sex with their partners. It doesn't change their relationship or what's being done to them, nor does it make them deserving of their treatment.
That's a completely different situation. Victims of domestic violence are normally living with the partners. Buffy chose to keep visiting Spike specifically to have sex with him.

What role? Where is the whitewashing?! Buffy doesn't abuse Spike. Buffy doesn't rape Spike. Buffy doesn't emotionally abuse Spike. Her "role" is that she used Spike for sex. That is nothing compared to what he did to her.
So using someone just for sex is perfectly okay? Buffy doesn't need to take responsibility for her own actions of picking Spike up and dropping him when the mood suits her? Buffy herself even acknowledges her own actions, why can't you?

Um ... yeah? And the show acnowledges this. Being forced into a destiny isn't the same as someone forcing themselves on you. Jesus.
Buffy acknowledges her part in Spuffy. You don't have to like Spuffy and you very clearly don't but you need to stop twisting people's words just because they don't share your view.

Oh, jesus. The quote, in the context, is clearly meant to indicate rape. You want to whitewash Spike (ironic, since you keep accusing me of whitewashing) fine.
That quote was left open to interpretation. You interpret it your way, I'll interpret it my way. Until Joss Whedon comes out and says one way or the other, neither of us is wrong.

There is a huge difference between an unhealthy relationship and an abusive relationship. For god's sake.
And what Spuffy had was an unhealthy relationship. The woman in the example was Buffy.

Why would I bring this up in a thread about Spuffy?
Because the title of your thread is about "victim blaming in the buffyverse fandom" not specifically Spuffy therefore why not bring up the stuff Faith did?

Alright, I will.

First, we have all of Season 5, in which we see Spike stalk Buffy, actually steal into her house and steal her underwear and her clothes, and then there's the Buffybot, which completely robs Buffy of her agency and autonomy.

The in Season 6, there's the morning after they sex, where Spike roughly grabs Buffy, puts his hand up her skirt without her permission while she's telling him to stop, verbally manipulates her, and physically attempts to prevent her from leaving.

In Gone, he once puts his hands on her when she says no, physically intimidates her by invading her personal space while she's leaning against a closed door, put his hands down her pants again without permission, and once again, attempts to verbally manipulate her.

In Dead Things there's the god-awful balcony scene, which I've obviously mentioned several times.

He is constantly threatening to tell her friends about their relationship, which plays on her emotions and vulnerability, and can be viewed as emotional abuse. In Normal Again his lovely speech about how she belongs in the dark basically pushes her into pouring out the antidote.

Over the whole course of Season he manipulates her, preys on her vulnerability and weakness and PTSD and makes her feel like she isn't worth anything. That's emotional abuse.
You seem to have forgotten the episode where Buffy turns invisible and goes to Spike for sex. You forget the part where Xander walks in on them and whilst Spike is trying to lie about naked exercising (since Buffy has wanted to keep all their trysts secret), Buffy comes up behind him and is nibbling his ear and doing something that Spike tries to move her away, all when Xander is stood right there because Buffy is invisible and knows she can't get caught. @GoSpuffy can probably give you even more examples.

Anyway, this is the last I'm going to say. I cannot be on Forums, because I get too angry and venomous and nasty, and I don't like myself like this. I've actually asked the Mods to delete my account, so soon, you won't be seeing me, and you can live in your little victim-blaming bubble happily. I just hope and pray you never end up in an abusive relationship, because if this is your attitude, you'll never escape. So, please, stay safe.
You do what you feel you have to do, the patronising tone won't be missed.
 

Nix

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Sineya
I will just add to this, I love Btvs and Ats, I love the characters and "most" of the storylines. I don't believe the AR was needed to develop the storylines that followed, but I see why the writers went there. However, they handled it so poorly and so offensively it saddens me and makes me feel sick sometimes to think about it. I rarely watch that episode to be honest as it is a tough one to watch for various reasons. I think the AR was a sick storyline, but, sometimes this happens in real life too. Sometimes rape and abuse is not handled correctly and sometimes the relationships are not clean cut and clear as they should be. Sometimes people do not believe it exists and sometimes people do not get punished for what they do. Sometimes people don't believe what has happened to them and don't process it when others can. It is a messed up world we live in and tough subjects on tv are handled every day, some shows deal with it better than others if we like it or not. But, subjects like these are triggers for some people. For some they are strong triggers so some people will react strongly to those storylines and/or characters. Personally I find this one and Joyce's death the biggest triggers. Because of my experiences I do believe in my opinion that it should have been researched a bit more and definitely handled much better as by then the show was clearly popular with all age groups and a Buffy was a strong female character that many people looked up to and were inspired by. Just my opinion.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
I don't think Spike did rape prior to the AR
What else could he really be talking about though? He's not talking about siring because he says something about leaving them (young girls) with just enough life in them to cry out. Doesn't sound like siring/torture, it sounds like rape tbh.

He's a soulless demon- the do whatever they like/feels good. That's what they all do.

Spike's reaction to the AR can simply be explained by the fact that he was doing horrible things to somebody he cared about. He saw the look on Buffy's face right after, realized her pain and felt bad about it because he loves Buffy. He didn't love any of those other victims and Drusilla no doubt enjoyed such treatment (being a crazy demon lady)

Victims of domestic violence CHOOSE to have sex with their partners. It doesn't change their relationship or what's being done to them, nor does it make them deserving of their treatment.
I agree. Season 6 is a textbook abusive relationship.

But the real tragedy is that in S7 its treated like Spike was the abused. He says to Buffy in 'Never Leave Me' 'You used me.'....' You hated yourself and took it out on me.' and there are Buffy's own words of recrimination during CWDP.
To top it off Spike's speech in 'Beneath Me' was re-written by Joss himself to emphasize the fact that Buffy used Spike ( 'service the girl, Am I just flesh to you?', etc)
I mean, just horrible.


Um ... yeah? And the show acnowledges this. Being forced into a destiny isn't the same as someone forcing themselves on you.
Exactly. 'Get It Done' is fairly explicit in its interpretation of the creation of slayer as pretty much rape. Bunch of guys chain a terrified young girl to a rock and magically force a demon 'spirit' in her against her will. That's some stark symbolism in a series full of it.

But metaphor is not, in any way, comparable to graphic depiction of sexual assault. That scene was meant to shock...and yet it was brushed away almost immediately the next season.


Also I'll add all the 'you came back wrong' talk that Spike used to further traumatize, isolate and torment Buffy in their S6 relationship.


2 things I'd like to add:

Somebody brought up Faith's violation of Buffy (it wasn't rape. If body swap is rape that Amy Madison got 'raped' by her Mom in S1 Episode 3 and Angel got raped by an old man)- but it that example Buffy was acknowledged as a victim (in two episodes), the consequences were dealt with in the next episode (and over on Angel) and (most importantly) Buffy was allowed to confront her attacker and gain a semblance of closure with that very confrontation. She even got an attempt at an apology from a miserable Faith. In short- the consequences are seen, the aftermath is explored and the perpetrator gets punished (goes to jail).
(If

Not like Buffy and Spike at all then, Spike is allowed a (glorified) quest to better himself whilst poor Buffy's feelings are simply ignored (startlingly she's shown to be disappointment that Spike has left town whilst in the process of leaving her teen sister with the guy who had tried to rape her).
And then the next season Buffy never gets a chance to confront what was done to her, she is simply expected to take care of poor little Spike who- lest we ever forget- 'loves her and got his soul for her'. :rolleyes:


Secondly for those who compare Angelus and soulless Spike- I must've missed all the times Angelus sincerely declared his love for Buffy and tried to win her affections. Because otherwise the comparison doesn't really work. Spike loved Buffy with and without his soul- which makes his treatment of her so toxic on that intimate level and why their treatment of the aftermath of the AR is so problematic.

And in S3 of Buffy the aftermath of Angelus rampage IS EXPLORED entirely from Buffy's point of view. We see her struggle with Angel's return, her complex feelings for him and (finally) we get a little bit from Angel's own perspective ('Amends') but only an episode because hey, the show is about Buffy, not her romantic interest (back when the show remembered that).
 
crazysoulless
crazysoulless
Buffy's body was stripped naked, sexually explored, penetrated, and made to orgasm without her consent. That is why WAY is rape.

RomanticSoul

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I disagree. Spike said he couldn't be a man (because of the lack of a soul) and he can't be a monster (because of the chip). Spike made the choice to get a soul to be a man. The misdirect was meant to be so the audience would think he was going for the chip when in fact he was going for the soul
Where was it said that Spike can't be a man because he has no soul? Where was it mentioned in all his ramblings when he wasn't talking about the chip? Besides if he went there to get a soul, for Buffy as he insists in S7, why did he sound so vengeful when he said 'bitch is gonna see a change'?

Where exactly did Spike say that he'd raped girls of Dawn's age? His line was "You wanna know what I've done to girls Dawn's age? This is me Buffy." Considering Spike was killing and siring under the control of the First, it would make sense that he was relating his current actions to past ones, including the fact that he'd murdered girls Dawn's age. We see Sheila get killed and sired in Season 2 (albeit by Dru) and she would've been the same age as Dawn was in season 7.
I don't need things to be plainly stated to understand. It's called subtext for a reason.

The scene in Willow's dorm was set up to look like a college rape, you're right, but Spike's intention in that scene was not to rape Willow, it was to kill her and possibly turn her. It hardly makes it better but the point is, that scene wasn't about rape.
You know what a metaphor is right? The scene was a metaphor for a college rape (since vampire biting is sometimes associated with sex) where eventually the attacker can't perform. Even if I leave that scene aside why are you ignoring 'Lover's Walk' where the rape implications were made clear by Spike. When you are holding a woman hostage, start stroking her hair and tell her it's been a while since you had a woman...well even an idiot would get the meaning.

Quite frankly I don't see why there would be a vampire who doesn't rape. What would hold them back? They don't have a soul so they have no conscience which is what would hold back most humans from ever committing such a crime. If they want something they take it. Barring consequences that would get them killed there is nothing holding them back.

Because of my experiences I do believe in my opinion that it should have been researched a bit more and definitely handled much better as by then the show was clearly popular with all age groups and a Buffy was a strong female character that many people looked up to and were inspired by. Just my opinion.
One of my biggest peeves with this storyline (and there are plenty) was Whedon saying people shouldn't demonize rapists, as if that excuses the way they told the story. But who is Whedon to tell people how they should feel about those who commit such crimes, especially victims of it? If Whedon had been standing in front of me when he said that I would have kicked him in his massive balls that he thinks he has.
 
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