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May 22 2007

"Let's watch a girl get beaten to death" writ large? Joss's essay/rant/brilliant polemic treatise about the honour killing death of Dua Khalil and the trailer for Captivity is looked at in the Arts & Entertainment section of the May 22nd edition of The Toronto Star.

The Star's Pop Culture writer, Malene Arpe, takes some column space to discuss Our Man Whedon's May 20th posting about how the story of stoning of 17-year old Dua Khalil and the release of the trailer for the gornographic flick Captivity caused him to snap and post at this fair site.

I take no credit for coining "gornographic" (adjective version of the contraction of "gore pornography"), since I read it recently in either Empire or Maxim magazine.

Ha - gornographic. Brilliant!

Kudos to Malene Arpe for writing about this. Hopefully this will help us gather more support for Equality Now and the "I Am Dua Khalil" shirt/blog/campaign.
It's also been written about on the New York Magazine Web site.
And on the Dorothy Snarker blog on
I just did a Google for 'Dua Khalil whedon', which is currently at 349 web pages.
I created a thread and link at, which is an excellent general geek message board for those who haven't heard about it. I posted it yesterday, but so far 64 people have looked at it, but no one has responded.
So apparently, the news media reads Whedonesque. Cool.
This an off-topic but still Joss-verse related question. I have always been curious as to why in one of the episodes of Angel they had the character Lindsey McDonald punch a female lawyer in the face. It always bothered me a little. It's one thing to see Buffy knocked around (we know she can fight back) but another to see a 'normal' character attacked. Did the writers do this for a reason? Did it have some meaning? It dissapointed me because Lindsey was one of my favorite characters and had never shown any physical violence towards women in the past. Did the writers just think it would be funny?
Kerfuffle--wasn't that in the episode where all the guys were possessed by the weird misogyny guy?
Maybe because Lindsey was a schmuck?
I have to agree with ProphecyGirl16 and say Lindsay's actions were due to effects of Billy Blim's powers in the season 3 episode Billy. Though the episode does raise the uncomfortable question of "Was it Billy simply possessing any guy he touches...or is the power a lot more sinister?"
Wasn't Lindsey gone by the episode Billy, and it was Gavin who punched Lilah?
Nope. Not the Billy episode. That particular episode had Lilah standing up for herself at the end.

This was the episode where Darla shows up at Wolfram & Hart and steals some kind of magical glove/ring thing (I can't remember exactly).

"Maybe because Lindsey was a schmuck?"
- Yes, maybe later in the series when he returned. But not in the first couple of seasons.
Malene Arpe is a Joss fan, I think she wrote a Buffy-related book. Good to see her using her position at The Star to spread the word.
Violence against women and other fucked up things like that don't really bother me when I see them in TV shows, as long as it's basically meant to show that the person doing it is a scumbag. (Although stupid shit like that movie Joss is angry about are something entirely different, in my opinion.)

I tend to believe the reverse of the "violence in media causes violence in reality" position, for the most part.

We've been living in a violent patriarchy for four thousand years. Maybe showing stuff like that in the proper context will help get the message across to the glazed-eyed masses that it's the wrong thing to do. Look at the near rape thing with Spike and Buffy, for example.
""whose strong, capable female characters have fought vampires, Reavers (homicidal entities in Whedon's Firefly) and negative stereotypes for years""

Ha-ha! I love Asymmetrically Descriptive Terminology!
I meant to do it earlier, but I just made a small post about it at my blog. Nothing new, just pointing over here and giving major props to Joss.
Rather disappointed by the misleading headline: Violent videos made me `snap': Whedon
Err, "misleading" as in how-so?
IIRC, Lindsey hit Lilah because she had been exhorting W&H guards to kill Darla. (Or, was she more of an active threat to Darla at that point?) So, it was part of his "lovefool" trip at the time.

And look at the exposure Joss' post has gotten - ! Your voice crying out into the darkness is echoing, sir; and growing; and bringing more exposure to the "honor" slaughter of Dua Khalil, as well as to the disturbing misogyny of the Captivity ad campaign. I can understand your expression of lack of faith in humanity after being exposed to such things, but we are greatful that you keep on keeping on. As attested to both on this site and by this media coverage, you are making a difference.
I posted the link to Joss' blog on our website as well and not one person responded either. But it sure changed the tone of the conversations on there. It got a lot nicer.
It's kind of amazing that someone you sort of know at a website, for years even, comes up with a statement that absolutely floors you. I've done my bit posting the link to Joss' piece at the few places I frequent online where it can be shared, including my own movie forum. After a statement he made saying the only way to make Dua's murder right was to basically form a task force, go in, and kill everyone involved, I wrote: "I understand your anger about Dua's murder but I'd rather not lower myself to their level by killing them. Rather, it is consciousness raising that really needs to keep being pushed to the forefront."

I can't ethically share his verbatim reply, but he compared consciousness raising to reducing us to the standers-by and killers' level. He went on to say that consciousness raising is nothing more than emotional catharsis.

I equate consciousness raising with nothing more than gaining knowledge and awareness. It really is an odd experience to see that certain thoughts and words just set people off.

I could do no more than state that I disagreed and said that with a certainty there are people who read blogs and websites online who may not have been aware that honor killings even existed, or the extent of suffering caused by misogyny and violence. For me, Joss has just raised the consciousness of thousands upon thousands of people in the world.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2007-05-23 02:17 ]
Err, "misleading" as in how-so?

Well, it's a bit sensationalistic.

I guess technically it's right, but it's playing on the whole "do violent movies make people violent" debate - which is totally not what Joss' post was about. If he was, he'd have a lot to answer for - I totally know a young blonde girl who killed the mayor of her town after he turned into a giant snake!
kerfuffle:LKW is right. Lindsey hit Lilah because she order the security guards to kill Darla. It was the one and only time Lindsey directed violence at a woman and you have to remember that Lindsey might have hit Lilah but he also saved her life the day he quit Wolfram & Hart.

Frankly, it was more disturbing to me seeing Angel throw Darla through that glass door before he threw her onto the bed.

And the episode Seeing Red was even worse than that.
I've also seen the link to Joss's post making the rounds at different places I frequent online, which is wonderful. As Tonya J said, it's definitely raising the consciousness of many.

As for me, I posted at my forum, encouraging others to act, and I know several who are (for example, an author friend is going to write a short story that she'll be freely distributing with a link to Equality Now and suggestion to donate). And I'm making mention of it in my monthly newsletter along with the challenge to do something. Every little bit will hopefully help while I ponder specifically what I'd like to do to make a statement...

ETA: I did do my pondering and suggested what I'd like to do.

[ edited by Skyla Dawn on 2007-05-23 10:28 ]
Wait, Lindsay wasn't a schmuck in the first 2 seasons? What?
Amazing so worked up people can be over fictive events.
And the episode Seeing Red was even worse than that.

It was very disturbing to see the trio make that shift from being funny losers to serious criminals. They had been stealing and freezraying security guards and such, but when Katrina snaps out of her hypnosis and starts screaming rape, it's a real wake up call. So quickly things go from fun and games to something that is Just Wrong.

Blast from the past ...

In real life, a lot of people have a hard time taking a stand in cases like this. Was it violence or was it sexy? Was it humiliation or just a joke? I think it was very brave to take things to that limit, in Season 6, (both with Buffy and Spike, and with Katrina's murder) and make a very clear statement of when things are past acceptable. It's damn hard to do.
Pandagon has an interesting thread/debate about Joss' post that's been going on for quite awhile.
There are some excellent points made over there, a lot by men which I was gratified to see, but reading the Joss criticism is tough. I loved the guy who said he bet if the critics had read the piece without having any knowledge of who wrote it, they would have been moved. In any case, it seemed most of the critics have an axe of some type to grind with regard to the shows, thus rendering anything Joss might write as a citizen of the world, inseparable from Joss the artist.
Hey, all, finally got the "I am Dua Khalil" blog up and running for us:

It's at

It's fairly rudimentary at the moment - Joss's post, a little descriptive copy, some links, and lexi's (thanks, lexi) artwork. Not much else, yet. Pictures seemed a little inappropriate - or something like that - just now.

You can post as comments any actions you've taken, or suggestions for action - although if you've got great links, you can email 'em to me either at the email address in my whedonesque profile, or through the blog/site. Suggestions are good - do let me know if I've left something obvious out - and action is best. No action is too "small" to post - really. If you've already mentioned something in the thread(s), do post it again on the blog - it'd be altogether nifty to get the ball rollin' on there and keep the momentum going....

Thanks, everyone, for your help in getting me to set this up, and the help I know you'all will be in the future. Spread this around, if you can...

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction... The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation." - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his "I Have A Dream" speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963

"Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?" - Edward Lorenz

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-05-24 20:47 ]
Just to further underline the technological... challenges I've had in setting up this blog, I managed to delete my first post - with Joss' post contained therein - and consequently the comments went poof, as well. I've managed to retrieve three of 'em while re-posting - but Skyla Dawn's, and one other unknown comment are gone for good-and-all...

Feel free to re-post them to the blog And hoping for folks action-comments and hopeful links, as well...

C'mon, scoobs, let's do a thing..

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