But I don’t think you’re the friend to feminism you’re seen as, and there’s only so far that post of yours will take me.
* Buffy sleeps with Angel…and he loses his soul. Sure, it’s because he’s “happy.” But as yet another instance of a teenage girl’s sexuality turning a boy into a monster, well, it’s narrative ground that’s been tread before.
* Just like the equation drawn in a few episodes of Faith’s aggressive sexuality (Xander, anyone?) being a component of her moral ambiguity and ease of shaking off murder.
* Mal calls Inara a whore, several times, in overt and covert ways…in a society where Companions are supposed to be so “respectable” that the ship wouldn’t be allowed to land without one on board.
* River Tam is so powerful…that her “neurons are stripped,” she’s “crazy” and uncontrollable, and her brother–and Mal–have to save her, over and over and over again.
* Zoe’s physically satisfactory (one presumes) relationship with Wash is cut short by his death, but her (second fiddle and faithful lieutenant) relationship with Mal is kept intact.
And don’t even get me started on the titillation factor of Willow and Tara. This is by no means an exhaustive list of questionable narrative choices when it comes to portraying women, and Whedon’s by no means the only one who does it. I suppose one could blame Hollywood at large–after all, it’s holy writ that any woman who possesses actual sexuality in a studio film must either be horribly disfigured/dead in some fashion (if unrepentant) or brought/remain under the control of a male figure by the end of the film (if properly repentant). (The one exception I’ve seen was The Last Seduction, and that wasn’t a box-office success despite being an incredible movie.) I understand that when one is soaking in a misogynist culture, it’s hard not to obey the tropes and assumptions coded into the very base of said culture.
All culminating in being “proud” of basically calling a woman a cunt. In a PG-13 film. Proud.
My ambivalence just ratcheted up a notch. Not to mention my disappointment.