I love Buffy
I love Angel
They have feminist aspects to them
But look at this trend:
Buffy, granted power, and routinely punished for it. Every relationship she has ends in utter tragedy, and she is left blaming herself for it because there is something “wrong” with her, that being the Slayer means she’s wrong somehow and she can never attain happiness. Having sex means her boyfriend turns evil- her fault! It’s her fault Riley left! And she also must be punished for being in a relationship with Spike!
Cordelia is going to tell Angel she loves him! She chose to get these powers to be a good helpful hero. Oh but wait now because of her powers and goodness she is now ascending as a powerful superbeing or sumthin- oh no, silly Cordy, did you actually think you were rewarded for being powerful and good and liked by boys? Nope, it was a ruse to have your body hijacked so you would be forced to screw your crush’s son and give birth to a DemonGod! THIS WAS YOUR FAULT. and then you can be in a coma, and like, help “your guy” out one last time, but then you have to shuffle off go his manpain. THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR THINKING YOU COULD CHANGE THE WORLD!
Fred! You like Science and are admired by many men for your nerdy hotness, right? WELL SCIENCE AND BEING LIKED BY GUYS IS YOUR DOWNFALL. The very second you get together with a new guy direct cause of your death is looking at a science object that was sent by two guys who liked you alot but you rejected. THAT’S JUST WHAT YOU GET FOR TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD WITH SCIENCE AND BEING LIKED BY GUYS. Slow agonizing death while all the guys around you manpain about it.
Willow! You thought you could be powerful through magic, right! And have a relationship with another girl. WELL POWER CORRUPTS AND IT CORRUPTS YOU and YOUR GIRLFRIEND DIES and then you go on an evil rampage BECAUSE THAT IS THE RESULT OF A WOMAN HAVING POWER AND BEING IN LOVE. The show as it ended could have sort of been a subversion with Willow empowering herself and everyone and still being in a good relationship with Kennedy- but Season 8 comics have her lose her power and break up with Kennedy.
Tara! You are happy and have finally found peaceDIEGETSHOTBYAMISOGYNIST
Anya! You like Xander right? HE LEAVES YOU AT THE ALTAR. Oh, you want to fight right? YOU CAN DIE THEN AND THE GUYS CAN ANGST ABOUT IT IN THE ONE SECOND LEFT IN THE FINALE!
These are shows full of awesome female characters with an ostensibly feminist message. So it’s a pity every one of them gets screwed over the second they try to have power and love someone. And the women are the ones who tend to die to break up the relationship that needs to be ruined in the most tragic way poss.
It’s ludicrously predictable
Shows can be good while people are still allowed to maintain relationships and have people not be constantly killed off. I can argue that Sailor Moon is more feminist than Buffy because the women are actually rewarded for their power, and are shown as able to maintain a happy, healthy relationships with guys and girls alike - allowed to be feminine, in love, and powerful. Shows like Fullmetal Alchemist, only one major good guy has died so far, but his death had such a huge impact, and so many conflicts are introduced that the stakes are just as high. (Spoilers) Lan Fan doesn’t have to be fridged to cause Lin angst, it’s just as dramatic if she loses her arm, but then keeps fighting cuz she’s such a bamf and Lin can still angst while Lan Fan’s own story is furthered… I guess these are thoughts that go through my head when I’m upset about the gaping flaw in such good shows (and just naturally compare them to anime/manga for some reason?)
Holy shit; this is good stuff. I was trying to explain to someone why I wasn’t a big fan of Joss Whedon, and I should have just shown them this instead, really.
The bolded is a big thing for me. A lot of times in stories, women with power are punished for having too much power (Phoenix and Scarlet Witch), and while yes, it happens with male characters too, it never seems to happen with the same frequency. I’m trying to think of a super powerful female character in the Marvel universe who doesn’t become ultimately destructive and all I’m getting is Ororo, maybe Sue Storm?
This definitely gives me a lot to think about when writing my own stories. I never could articulate it before, but yes, it’s something writers rarely do: reward women for their power.
When I was reading up on Storm the other day I was super impressed with her storylines, because unlike almost every other female character out there she’s allowed to be
- incredibly strong in terms of powers
- incredibly strong in terms of character
- a leader - and a good leader
- capable of defining her life in her own terms
The one thing which is done fairly terribly is her romantic relationships - originally she had no long-term love interest, although this didn’t necessary set her apart from the other X-Men; then she was given an on-off relationship with Forge, which was directly tied to her losing and then regaining her powers. But it’s the writing behind her relationship with Black Panther which I find really problematic - in order to have the two marry, Marvel not only retconned their relationship to have Storm lose her virginity to T’Challa, but also had him saving her life rather than the other way around, as it was originally written. I know, comics love people who are “fated” to be together, “fated” apparently meaning “were childhood sweethearts”, but you can have a strong relationship with someone without them having to have been your first fuck. And why couldn’t Storm have saved T’Challa? Why does she have to be a damsel in distress in order for their relationship to work? Ugh.
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