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October 06 2007

(SPOILER) Buffy Season Eight #8 Preview. Even more Season 8 news. Dark Horse has the preview up for Season Eight #8.

There is an error on the cover page.It says,No Future For You Part II.This issue is No Future For You Part III.Brian Lynch caught it over at the IDW board.Hopfully it's corrected when the issue comes out next month.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2007-10-06 04:13 ]
You kind of knew this was coming with how #7 started. This is going to be another journey about who to ally with for Faith. The sad thing is the 'good guys' seem to always misunderstand she's just looking to belong and the 'bad guys' are willing to embrace her with open arms.
Not loving the nonsensical, gratuitous bubble bath scene.
I don't really see the bubble bath as nonsensical or gratuitous. Faith is letting Gigi become completely comfortable with her, and it's also a way of letting BKV toy with us about whether or not Faith will again get truly chummy with the enemy.

And it's great to see Giles visibly upset about the fact that Faith might be dead.

This preview is super short, only three pages...aren't they usually longer than this?
Faith is letting Gigi become completely comfortable with her.

Intriguing. No. Bullshit.

Don't mean to pick on you, Unplugged. It's the writer and executive producer I'm mad at. I hope to later be wowed by some brilliance that makes it make sense. But I can't imagine what the hell.
I thought the bath scene worked well. There was a fair bit of exposition but it seemed to flow organically.(Plus how could you not love a Stone Roses shout out?)
I did notice that even with a woman standing starkers before her, Faith continued to make eye contact. So no,I didn't find it sexual at all- just 2 girls having a chat, albeit about killing a 'slag'.
I just wonder if Joss/Brian added the 'no gratuity' clause to the artist notes as they have done in the past?
I do hope, Dreamlogic, that the rest of the issue is more up your alley!
I'm not a particularly social person, and may have missed something. Are two-person bubble baths the norm for recent friendly acquaintances?

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2007-10-06 08:33 ]
Are two-person bubble baths the norm for recent friendly acquaintances?


If only.
I really don't think I'm being a prude, here. I don't think that scene is consistent with the social and psychological realism, and character integrity, that I expect in the Buffyverse, and that makes the erotic so powerful when it appears there. Just seems kinda porn-y.


Still hoping for some kind of twisty thing.
I take your point dreamlogic although don’t think of the Buffyverse as going for social realism particularly. I mean the idea of Buffy maintaining her S6 wardrobe on Doublemeat wages wasn’t realistic in that sense.

I thought the shared hot tub (with complimentary towels already laid out) had an expensive private health club/sauna type vibe, which fit Gigi’s inbred aristocrat characterisation. Glory had a bubble bath scene in Tough Love which worked in a similar way as a suitable setting for the insanely entitled. Maybe it should trigger my feminisdar but it doesn’t, I think because the focus is all on the faces and the conversation they’re having, they’re subjects not objects.

[ edited by hayes62 on 2007-10-06 12:39 ]
That's not a hot tub.
It is with Faith in it ;-).

I think the idea is to show a pampered life, so Faith knows what's "on offer" (ahem, so to speak ;), to show how she might be tempted to "go native" (lovely old colonial expression, ah, such happy, deeply arrogant, offensive days ;) and so, because it serves the story, not gratuitous (there're also two or three important character moments in there for both women - not that these couldn't have been arrived at in some other way of course).

Personally I think there is also probably an element of titillation, or else why not just have two baths side by side ? Or a massage or similar ? Although, presumably that wouldn't really fit in with Gigi not having much in the way of companionship (why have two baths/massage tables in a house where she's mostly alone ?).

All that said, there's definitely always been a sexual element between e.g. Faith and Buffy IMO, partly because Faith is such a highly sexualised character so it's not entirely out of left field as far as the Buffyverse is concerned.

If only.

Yep, important point Simon. Save water people, share baths. S'what you meant yeah ? ;)
*groan* Fanboy alert, faboy alert! Thats all that scene is there for, and no I don't think it's a realistic thing to have happened.

I doubt that a 'supposed' upper class girl like that would just hop into a bath with a relative stranger.

But then so far I've found the whole British aristo element to this story to be really 'off'.
Trains, tunnels and nurses outfits are still OK though, right ? Ah, the carte blanche that apparently comes with being a fangirl ;).

In fairness, re: the upper-class stuff, BKV's a Yank so may not have the instinctive feel for it but is it really more "off" than e.g. "To the Manor Born" or than "The Good Life" was about the middle classes, "The Vicar of Dibley" about village life or "Local Hero" the highlands ? It's surely not there to be a realistic depiction of a set of people - anymore than Giles is necessarily the epitome of a realistic modern Englishman - it's there to convey an impression. That said, i've caught parts of TV programmes about debutante balls and so on and it doesn't actually seem all that far removed from the sort of thing that might go on (not the shared bath, the party). All just IMO, course ;)
Hmmm, so Gigi is, in terms of this story, a wog. Point taken.

Bu exactly why the 7734 should Buffy do any popping in? Are they trying for a braindead "Marvel House Style" misunderstanding? Joss laready did that in "The Yoko Factor" so why revisit that, if they are? If not, well there's still good and bad ways they can go with it.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2007-10-06 15:42 ]
Err, I think 'wog' means something different (and not nice, it's a derogatory term for people of dark skinned "races") over here DCA, what does it mean in the US ?

[ edited by Saje on 2007-10-06 15:47 ]
The tub's been an important locale for Faith's character development. In "Who Are You?" (Who-ooh, who-ooh dammit Joss you knew that was gonna go through everyone's head) Faith's bath-as-Buffy is the first step on her arc from villain to hero, as she "tries on" not just a new body, but a new identity -- as the "good slayer." At first she does it for camouflage, but later in the episode she partly internalizes the heroic identity while rescuing people from vampires and (less healthily) beating herself/Buffy-in-Faith's-body up.

Once again in this latest arc, Faith has to decide who to be, hero or villain, good slayer or bad, so it makes sense to re-entub her.

Harder time making story sense of Lady G's bottom.

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-10-06 16:21 ]
Trains, tunnels and nurses outfits are still OK though, right ? Ah, the carte blanche that apparently comes with being a fangirl ;)

Nope, that was pretty pathetic too.
I just wonder if Joss/Brian added the 'no gratuity' clause to the artist notes as they have done in the past?

Brian did.

The bath scene was only gratuitous in the sense that it took place in a bath. There wasn't any gratuitous nudity (except for a brief look at GiGi's backside, which is hardly any gratuitouser [?] than naked Mal... or naked/shirtless Spike for that matter). There wasn't any overt sexualization of the two, by which I mean they weren't flirting with each other or commenting in any way on the fact that they were two hot, naked chicks in a bubble bath together. The gratuity was brought to it by the reader(s), not the writer.

I wasn't particularly bothered by it. On a scale of 1 to 100 I'd say it has a gratuity rating of 25.

There. Very scientific and thourough. ;)
I like Pointy's insight about water and rebirth. Buffy was drowned and came back stronger. Faith's trying to drown her on the cover.

The bath scene doesn't seem gratuitous to me. I see they've decided to crank the subtext up, though. Just a little. Little like Dawn.

So, we've seen the unnamed slayer talk to faeries, and now Giles has hired a dwarf. A dwarf who says "arse-fire!" and has a hammer with a funny name.

This new comic and new preview in the same week pattern is kind of aggravating. It was nicer when the preview came out a week or so before the actual comic, when I was starting to count down to the next issue.
Saje :Really "wog" isn't an American term too much; I've kinda-sorta appropriated it as a term for anyone who's been soemplace all their life or at least for a very long time compared to some second person.

Odd that they censor Dawn 's language in one issue and then show "full nudal backity" in a later one....

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2007-10-06 20:42 ]

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2007-10-06 20:48 ]
I meant "water and rebirth," Sunfire. I just typed "tub." Yup.
Trains, tunnels and nurses outfits are still OK though, right ? Ah, the carte blanche that apparently comes with being a fangirl ;)

That was a dream sequence.
And so can't be gratuitous ? News to me ;). I give the bath a gratuitousness rating of 31.41. If we get a third we can take an average and then it's virtually statistics, that'll settle the issue in an entirely objective manner upon which i'm sure we can all agree. Ahem ;).

Ah, yeah, the "Hammer of Hamner". The only Hamner that springs to mind is Earl Hamner, who created 'The Waltons'. Anyone that can come up with a plausible connection wins the biggest No-Prize in the history of not giving anything at all as a prize ;).
I was thinking more about the difference in how much we expect it to make sense.
Um, wow. When I replied to you earlier, dreamlogic, I had no idea you were talking about sexual gratuity, and as such, was very confused with your complaints.

So obviously, to me, a 17-year-old male, it didn't ring any sexual bells at all and I don't even remember the look at Gigi's backside.

So, no. It's not gratuitous because there's barely anything sexual about it, as far as I'm concerned. I just got the pampered/wealth connotations mentioned by someone else earlier.
Dude, thinking about linoleum is meant to make you think of sex ;). 17 year olds just ain't what they used to be (they now seem a bit more mature and sensible ;).

Yeah, fair point dreamlogic. I know it is technically just a (very big ;) bath, but if we stretch a little and see it as a quasi-jacuzzi then it's not totally unreasonable (though them being completely naked probably is).

And as Haunt says, it's only a sexual thing to people looking on (because it's two attractive, naked women) not to Faith and G themselves as it's presented, so in that light more the pampered spa type of thing (never been to one but do people normally take e.g. mud-baths with bikinis or similar on or go au naturale ?). And I guess it also speaks to their mutual desperation to make a connection in that they're happy to share something you only normally would with someone you know well - it feels sort of like two lonely people rushing past the early "getting to know you" stage straight into the "please be my emotional crutch" stage.

(it's also true of course that different people are more or less modest about their naked bodies and neither character particularly strikes me as the shy type so unrealistic for one may be less of a reach for others - and even normally modest people are more open in certain contexts e.g. a locker-room or similar)

[ edited by Saje on 2007-10-06 23:00 ]
Well, now, don't get me started on linoleum, Saje...
I'm guessing that if Faith ever had any discomfort about being naked with other women, her stint in the California State Penal system probably helped her get over it.
I feel like a non-geek talking to geeks, which can't be right. Nevertheless, I may have more relevant life experience than some. After close to twenty years in the military, I've spent plenty of time in group showers. The discomfort is because you can never get the water temperature to stay right, they're almost always drafty, and it's hard keep your towel and clothes dry with all that slop and steam. Everybody hates them. It has nothing to do with nudity. Or gender. Males use the same facilities (separately) and hate them, too. There's really nothing there that steers you either toward or away from bubble baths.

Now, you're a male soldier who meets another male soldier. After bonding over a little small talk, your new friend suggests taking a bubble bath together. Do you think that, if you decline, it means that you're uncomfortable with nudity?
Faith yes, but does that really work when it comes to English aristocrats though. *g*
Oh God why are there people being uncomfortably intimate it makes me uncomfortable even though I'm reading a comic that at its root is an exploration of these weird things called female sexuality and empowerment and this isn't erotic subtext but rather an explicit seduction scene but I still don't get why this fanboy freak has to be so, um, seductive about it...

C'mon, people. You do realize, do you not, that BKV is the writer of one of the most dangerous gender-experimentation bombs ever tossed into the comics party, Y: The Last Man? And this issue was (very heavily, according to BKV) edited by that Whedon hack who's kind of obsessed with the whole non-objectification thing whatever that means, right? Atop which, each is among the finer writers in his favourite medium. They know what they're doing; as yet, you don't.

The real answer to all these questions about 'gratuity' is, DON'T READ PREVIEWS. There, problem solved: wait until you've got the whole thing before calling it out. e.g. Maybe, dreamlogic, the scene seems 'porny' because it's playing on tropes from pornography? Not new to BtVS of course...
I haven't read Y: The Last Man. I've been thinking about getting it. Can't say that you're encouraging me to.

I'd be happy to expand on any part of my arguments, if you could tell me which one.
Well I guess I should keep my narrow, opinionated ass out of this one since it seems to be getting serious. I will say waxbanks has some valid points, if no particularly subtle ones. ;-)

And Y: The Last Man really should be required reading. Particularly among this crowd.
No please, Haunt, fill me in on the relevant parts, if you don't have other plans.

DON'T READ PREVIEWS

Especially that.
Well, I can't tell if you're being snarky and/or sarcastic to me when you ask for my opinions... but here goes.

I've already said that I don't consider the scene particularly gratuitous. My extremely professional, deeply considered, completely accurate and relevant rating of the gratuity of the scene was 25 out of 100... which pretty much says everything right there. [Note: That was sarcasm.]

But as for the valid points I believe waxbanks made, I agree with him (her?) that the scene in question is a deliberate play on "porny" tropes, that it's meant to play out as a metaphorical seduction rather than an overt titilation of fanboys. I agree that both Joss Whedon and Brian K. Vaughan have made pretty lucrative careers on subverting gender cliches. In fact (bearing in mind that I apparently don't have the first frakking clue what "feminism" means) I'd go so far as to say that Y: The Last Man is in many ways a more powerful "feminist" text than Buffy, at least in Buffy's latter years. I agree that both Joss and Brian absolutely know what they're doing with this. [Note, Pt. II: Doesn't mean by any stretch of the imagination that I don't think they both make mistakes from time to time... just that in this instance I think I understand what the intent of the scene was.]

Now I mentioned that 25 out of 100 rating? Most of that 25 gratuity rating comes from the exact same playbook as naked Mal, naked Spike, shirtless Angel, etc. There are plenty of examples of "gratuity" within Joss' worlds. Just because this example is in a comic book doesn't make it inherently more juvenile or prurient. Hormone-driven, basement-dwelling fanboys are not the only people reading comics, and thus not the only audience comics are written for. Now if you're not implying that it's a comic and therefore the scene is part of the stereotypical "funny book titilation trope", than I apologize. It's difficult to read inflection and tone on the internet, I think we'd all agree.

Sadly, I don't really know what the "DON'T READ PREVIEWS" meant. I guess maybe just don't judge the story till you've read the whole thing? Maybe? *shrug*
Yeah, that's what I got out of what waxbanks said.
No I wasn't asking in sarcasm, though I can see how it might have sounded that way. Nor am I yet accepting the scene as not displaying basement-dwelling fanboyism, 'cause I'm waiting for the creators to show it's not that. These are great creators. But in the absence of woman writing collaborators, I aim to be a squeaky wheel.
So, because there weren't any women around to vet this preview, we should assume the worst? i.e. These are great creators -- but they're still men.

Aha! I caught you! You're just like all the other men!
In S7's Him, we get a shot of Dawn's very sexy rear-end gyrating seductively as she dances in a club, and both Xander and Willow ogling it, before being shocked over who they were lusting after. Since I was lusting after her there too and she's young enough to be my grand-daughter, I was as implicated as they were, but was it gratuitous? I could fanwank that there was a meta point about the problematic voyeuristic nature of the audience's involvement with these characters being made, and there probably was. But I was still enjoying looking at her, just as female fans have enjoyed looking at the male actors in Joss's shows stripped barer than anything we saw in Gigi's tub. And so what? We can cry with these characters, laugh with and at them, grieve for them, but not desire them?

There have been a lot of scenes in these comics that could be accused of gratuity. Naked Dawn bathing in front of Xander, Xander boxing shirtless, the anonymous slayer stripped naked and slimed by the slug-beast, Buffy's dream, and slayer strip-poker all come to mind. All of the scenes also had other things going on in them, with dramatic or comic points being made. They could have been made with the sexuality taken out, but these characters have been so complexly realized for me that even if gratuitousness is there, it's never only there.

In the bath scene, I definitely picked up on the sexual vibe, thought it was a call-back to the sexual undertones of Faith and Buffy's relationship, but with the subtext having completely become text. And I thought it was sexy. Does the fact that I related the scene to S3 Buffy and Faith make it okay that I thought it was sexy? Is it only non-gratuitous that way?

As to the plausibility of Faith hopping into a bath with Gigi, waxbanks' point that this is a seduction is well-taken. It's one on both sides. Faith is both trying to ingratiate herself (and so likely to go along with whatever Gigi suggests) and being tempted by both her wealth and her psychological similarity. We've been shown Faith's instability, dangerousness and loneliness and we've been shown Gigi's. I could definitely see her offering the shared bath. A normal aristocrat, no. But this girl? Not big on boundaries. She has issues, as Clem might say and she's drawn to Faith and wants to draw Faith to her. Add in possible arrogant contempt for ordinary bourgeois norms of modesty, which Faith probably shares, and maybe self-unacknowledged sexual attraction on one or both sides, and it seems plausible enough to me. And I get to see Gigi's bottom;)

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-10-07 17:01 ]

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-10-07 17:07 ]
Yay? I think the main thing here is still Faith's problem with murdering again. And I don't think it's pretty at all.
A month from now when I get the issue, I'll completely forget that I already read the preview.

Does this come out the same day at After the Fall Issue One?
Buffy seems to come out on the first Wednesday (in the US) of the month, "After the Fall" is due out on November 28th, so all being well it should be the week before Buffy "S8" issue 9 (i.e. the one after this one).

Just because this example is in a comic book doesn't make it inherently more juvenile or prurient.

Exactly Haunt though that's kinda the impression i'm getting in this discussion. Comics aren't serious so it can't possibly be making some character point or have a deeper subtext (and shambleau makes good points about what I was trying to say re: catering to fangirls. Or maybe Xander just couldn't find a t-shirt and thought it'd be better for his health to go topless in a draughty old castle ? In Scotland ;).

The realism issue I can sympathise with, the "just catering to fanboys", not so much (or at least no more than fangirls have also been catered to). Or are women just too mature to ever be seen as fangirls ? Maybe that's something that only applies to men ?

These are great creators. But in the absence of woman writing collaborators, I aim to be a squeaky wheel.

Bit insulting, no ? So Joss who has more or less made feminism and the positive portrayal of women his life's work and BKV who's spent the last 5 years writing a multi-award winning comic exploring gender are somehow "trumped" by your extra X chromosome dreamlogic ? C'mon ;).

(i'm now imagining Joss with his finger constantly hovering over the "Buffy Does Dallas" button, only to be held back by Marti Noxon, Jane E etc. Doesn't quite jibe with the little I know about him ;)
While “DON’T READ PREVIEWS” is probably good advice in general (forgive us for we have sinned) I think it is possible to make some judgement of their content independent of context. I also think that this particular content passes the non-gratuity test on its own merits. The argument seems to be about the justification for using the bathroom setting rather than the portrayal of the characters within that setting – unless fanboys can be pandered to by drawings of soap bubbles, these pages make pretty poor linoleum substitutes. So the question is whether that setting helps tell the story or reveal/emphasise aspects of the two characters.

It begins with a panel of Faith clearly luxuriating, in bubbles up to her neck and thinking heavenly thoughts before panning back to reveal more to it than a Slayer relaxing after a big fight. The bath is roman-style decadent (in so far as British plumbing can approximate to decadence) and she’s sharing it with the enemy, apparently going native as Giles’s companion suspected. On the next page, however, doubts begin to enter paradise and while Faith remains under cover of bubbles Gigi reveals both herself and more about her plans. Other people have pointed out the metaphors previously associated with Faith and bathing and the seduction aspect is also very clear, the sexual seduction connotations of the setting reinforcing the moral/political seduction taking place in the dialogue. It is unorthodox to invite new acquaintances to bathe with you but less taboo the higher up the class system you go –for example in the original My Fair Lady Higgins despises Eliza’s working class prudery about taking her clothes off to be bathed by his servants. That was written some years ago though, so that fact that Gigi seems to believe such behaviour is still normal fits tellingly with her equally anachronistic beliefs about class privilege and isolated upbringing by pervy tutors.
The 'pervy tutor' aspect is relevant to realism here; an advantage of the bathromm setting is that Roden can be more easily excluded than if this scene took place elsewhere. I suppose we might later find out that he is listening in/looking on but on the face of things Gigi and Faith are free to suss each other out without fear of being interrupted by him or others.
Bit insulting, no ? So Joss who has more or less made feminism and the positive portrayal of women his life's work and BKV who's spent the last 5 years writing a multi-award winning comic exploring gender are somehow "trumped" by your extra X chromosome dreamlogic ? C'mon ;).

It's not the chromosome, it's the life experience. And I've really only felt that way since I saw this preview, and read the comments on this thread.
On the last page of the letters section in Buffy #7, it says that #8 goes on sale November 11th, one week later than normal.
shambleau, Saje and hayes62... My hat's off to ya. Very well said.
It's not the chromosome, it's the life experience. And I've really only felt that way since I saw this preview, and read the comments on this thread.

Err, because you've shared showers with other people dreamlogic ? Or because you're a woman ? And because we don't have the same life experiences as you we're somehow inherently less able to judge ? Do you know what everyone on here's life experiences are ? Isn't it possible that different life experiences to yours might make someone even better suited to judge ? Or if they disagree with you are they automatically less suited ? Inquiring minds ... ;).

Dunno how it works in the US, BTW, but over here nearly all male showers in schools, gyms, swimming pools etc. are communal so as a guy i've also had plenty of experience of showering with a group (and didn't have to join the army/TA to get it - good thing, not much of a mornings person ;). Puzzled by the relevance though (or lack thereof, as I see it).

(clearly I don't have much experience being a woman - i'd go so far as to say "none whatsoever" in fact ;) - but i'm assuming other people on this thread, some of whom may even disagree with you, do)
Double X (with lots of life experience), weighing in with shambleau, Saje, Haunt, and hayes62. There are games of seduction and power going on here, and it's certainly not unusual for Faith's relationships to have (not so under) sexual undertones. That's part of who she is.

I would consider myself to be pretty sensitive to objectification of women--for example, I found the recent cover showing Spike with a bevy of buxom demonesses rather offputting, but this scene didn't spark that reaction in me at all. I would think Willow's cute red butt on #3 would be more fanboy-fantasy inspiring.

However, I do think bubble baths are lot sexier than linoleum. That Unplugged Crazy is a funny kid.
I'm telling you. Stand in the linoleum section at Wal-Mart. You don't know what you're missing.
Unfortunately, with the characters currently kickin it old school in Scotland and posh-style in England, we're probably in for a linoleum-free arc, UnpluggedCrazy. I wouldn't set a scene in a kitchen with all the other options those provide, anyway. There was that scene in Faith's apartment, though. Georges probably didn't want to distract from Faith and Giles's conversation with such a gratuitous detail.
Err, because you've shared showers with other people dreamlogic? Or because you're a woman? And because we don't have the same life experiences as you we're somehow inherently less able to judge?


I am coming in late and I don’t wish to fan any dying embers of acrimony that might possibly be smouldering, but I do want to step forward to say I very much agree with the argument dreamlogic has been putting forward.

I would be inclined to describe myself as a feminist. I consider myself to be reasonably well read on the subject over the course of my life (I am now on the cusp of entering my fifth decade). As I get older I seem to become more radicalised, whereas in some other areas of my life I am probably more conservative than I was in my youth (with a small “c”).

I see sexism and inequality and the objectification of women all around me every single day. I have a rather pessimistic outlook at the moment. While great steps forward have been taken since the dark days of the 1970s, I do think we are going backwards again now, with insidious sexism seeping in everywhere.

Having said all of this, while I like to think of myself as a feminist, it would be more accurate to say I am a man who believes in feminist ideology and supports feminist causes. I can empathise, but I will never actually know what it is to be part of the female experience. Therefore, I will never know what it is to be discriminated against because of my gender, any more than I will know what it is like to be the victim of racism (as one other example).

As to the preview, I don’t read comics, including Buffy S8. I took a look at the link. I didn’t find it “pervy” so much as just uninteresting.
I will never know what it is to be discriminated against because of my gender...

[Note: This is where Haunt goes all out in his continuing mission to make himself a complete and utter outcast. Brace for it...]

I disagree. I mean of course I agree that we men will never fully understand what real sexual discrimination over prolonged periods feels like. But one of the (relatively few) problems I usually have with the various equality movements is that they often feel like reverse discrimination. Now before any jumps on me I acknowledge that I'm reacting to a small percentage of the more vocal and radical groups/movements, and that they do not represent the entire ideal. But having said that I still cannot help reacting emotionally to certain "feminist" phenomena.

I consider myself a feminist only in the sense that I honestly believe men and women should be treated equally. But unfortunately I think it's all to common for people to interpret that as meaning MEN should tret WOMEN as equals, and not necessarily vice versa. And while I again admit that it's the minority of feminists that behave that way, it sometimes feels that it's the very, very VOCAL mimority. Hence my kneejerk reaction to the word "feminist".

All a very long and unfocused way of saying that women are not the only omes that will ever experience sexual discrimination. Sadly some people espousing equality seem more imterested im turning the tables rather than leveling the playing field. Nobody HERE, of course. I'm not trying to rile anyone up. I just feel the need to voice that oponion every once in a great while.
... while I like to think of myself as a feminist, it would be more accurate to say I am a man who believes in feminist ideology and supports feminist causes.

Believing in feminist ideology and supporting feminist causes is feminism, men can be feminists just the same as white people can be anti-racism (though it's true we can never truly know how women or people of other "races" feel). Someone can be a Marxist without being Karl Marx (or even having been particularly poor or down-trodden as quite a few Marxists seemingly haven't IMO) or a monarchist without being royalty and I can almost always tell when something's unfair, even when i'm not the victim.

(and isn't telling someone they can't do something or that their opinions are less valid on the basis of gender alone the very core of sexism ?)

In general, i'm suspicious of "arguments from authority" and saying "I know better just because i'm an X or because i've experienced Y", whatever X or Y are, is just that - it excludes other opinions, no matter how reasonable, on the sole basis that their holder isn't an X or has never undergone Y (which doesn't mean experiences are worthless, only that they should inform reasoned debate, not trump it - in an ideal world obviously ;).

That said, while I agree that men also experience sexism I don't, personally, consider it comparable. On an individual level i'm sure it's upsetting but it doesn't have the same social consequences and so shouldn't be treated the same. Yet.

(besides, though overcompensation is one of the key things feminism has to be careful of IMO, we - men - have had it all our own way for, like, ever so I think a little bit of our own medicine won't kill us. Look at it this way, if things were reversed right now and for the next hundred years, I think we'd still be in pretty bad shape karmically speaking ;)
Well said as always, Saje. But to your closing remarks I have to say that my feelings on the karmic theory of equality... poppycock. I'm of Scottish descent (or so I'm told), but that in no way entitles me to be pissed off at the English for any of the wars fought between the two peoples. *I* personally have not been particularly sexist, or knowingly or willingly participated in any overt racism or prejudice (except against cheese haters... but them people got it coming). I live my life everyday with the intention of treating each and every person with the same level of disgust and contempt, regardless of sex or color. So I don't accept the notion that I get to suffer for the sins of my gender simply by virtue of a chromosomal accident of birth.

Me and the idea of Karma...? Well, we're still working some things out between us. But the notion that I am karmically implicated in the misogyny of men as a whole just doesn't sit well with me. I don't cotton to it, you might say.

[ edited by Haunt on 2007-10-08 16:51 ]
I stand by my contention that because I can never truly be a part of the female experience and can never truly know first-hand what it is like to be constantly prejudiced against because of my gender, I am more accurate to describe myself as a supporter of feminism rather than as a feminist per-se, although I do use that word to describe myself. This does not in any way diminish my support for the cause or my understanding of it.

I disagree vehemently with any suggestion that feminism is about turning the tables, although I do think we men need a good bloody kick up the backsides. It’s long overdue.
See, I maintain that the men that degrade, belittle and abuse women need a good kick up the backside. Since *I* don't do those things, *I* don't need a kick up my backside.
Yep, karma can be a funny thing ;).

I agree with what you're saying Haunt, I guess i'm saying more, not that we all deserve it but that I can understand it when it happens and also that, though it may hurt a bit on a personal level, we basically still rule the world. IMO, we can take a little short-term abuse if that's what's required to achieve balance in the long-term. And in my experience it's very rare anyway, except in the aforementioned straw-man arguments (i'm sure there are feminists that actually believe stuff like "all men are rapists" but IMO they're just irrational extremists, like you find in any ideology, and not worth anyone's time).

That said, by far the best outcome is for everyone to just treat everyone as an equal, and not to carry resentment over from a bunch of guys that deserve it to a bunch of guys that (largely) don't. Human nature's a tough thing to overcome though and inequality leads to resentment and anger like day night.
Karmic equality? I come from a mixture of Scottish Protestants and Irish Catholics. Would karmic equality mean I have to kill myself?
Sorry--back to the discussion.

I lack QuoterGal's skills, so I have to paraphrase, but I once read of a conversation between a white feminist and black lesbian feminist. It went something like this:
WF: I feel that because you are black and lesbian, you speak with a moral authority that I don't have.
BLF: What you hear in my voice is not moral authority. It's anger.
Wow, a lot happened while I was avoiding this thread because it was making me too upset. I'm not going to go back to my arguments because I think I made them as well as I can. On the new stuff:

1) Karma applies to souls. I'm not sure if I believe in it, but being born as a male wouldn't subject you to the karma of all males, unless that was a specific significant part of your past life experience. In which case it seems that you would be more likely born female.

2)I'm very suspicious of identity politics myself. It's been made to lead to all kinds of separatist rancor and a lot of nonsense. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that while its basis is sound, its critics are usually locked into rejecting that basis, against reason, rather than admitting the truth and repudiating the exotic outgrowths. You guys seem to be doing OK.
Yeah, I was kinda being figurative with the karma thing (hey, it makes a change from facetious, right ? ;). I don't believe in souls as most people think of them, certainly don't believe in eternal souls or re-incarnation (must've been a radical sceptic in a past life ;). For me "karma" is just a short-hand for "attempting to leave this world having done at least as much good as you have harm" and since I can't really be responsible for the actions of others I can't share their "karma" either, even if I do share one of their chromosomes.

Re: identity politics, anything that sticks billions of separate people with all their myriad hopes, desires and attitudes into the same box because of their DNA has to be a bit suspect (despite the fact that i've done just that in this thread by "we"-ing all over the place ;). That said, my own personal feeling is that there are innate differences between men and women resulting from our respective biologies, the key thing being not seeing one or the other as necessarily superior or using difference as an excuse to deny opportunities and especially not seeing "innate" as "inevitable" or "immutable".

(sorry you got upset, BTW, dreamlogic, wasn't my intent ;)
While you have seemed to be in some somewhat bad moods lately, Saje, and not reading as carefully as usual, it wasn't you that made me upset. It was the lack of support that I doofishly expected from my sex/gender/karmic cohort/whatever. My own silly identity politics. Still don't take a word back.
double post

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2007-10-09 13:01 ]
Might be i've been slightly less diplomatic than I could've been at some points (RL stuff causing some minor stress ;) but I also don't take a word back. OK, maybe "karma", that led folk up the garden path a bit - wish i'd gone with "genderal nice-osity" or something now ;).

And to paraphrase Mal, "Everybody debates alone", sorry if you've felt a bit embattled though ;).

(if I misunderstand you though you should really let me know dl, pretty frustrating i'm sure to have to read responses to stuff you either haven't said or didn't mean to come across as they did)
Wow. I consider myself a woman pretty sensitive to to objectification type gratuitous sex in media generally, and checking out this preview did not ring one single solitary bell for me that way. I just can't see the problem with this, at all.

It does seem like an ambiguous seduction scene, and we can't yet be sure exactly what's going on- I guess that will develop later. Surely the writers here have earned some kind of trust, so that we don't assume anything sexy is going to turn out to be pointlessly lurid and exploitative?
Saje, I've also got some RL stress. Nothing life-threatening, just career stuff, but it may have contributed to being both over-emphatic and closed off. And sleep-deprived, which leads to all kinds of bad.

toast, I've respected every comment I can remember you making. I still disagree with you here. As I've said I hope they make it right. However, if you look into what little we know about the development of the proposed Faith spin-off series usually referred to as "Kung-Fu Faith" - I didn't like that idea. Faith on a motorcycle, roaming the country alone, or with Spike for a mentor. There's no balance in that, and it's fetish-y to me. Thus the seeds of lack of trust where that character is concerned.
"Kung-Fu Faith" was fetish-y? Really? Cliche maybe, and not the most inspired thing to do with her character development. But fetish-y?

Okay. *shrug*
dreamlogic: Thank you for your kind words. It will be interesting to see how this all develops, for sure.
Don't know if anyone is checking out this thread anymore, but on re-reading the preview, a line by Giles struck me. It was regarding Faith. "My operative was born for this mission." Although it can be read less damningly, it certainly lends itself to the interpretation that Giles considers Faith a born killer. Does his attitude (if I'm interpreting the comment correctly) seem consistent with Giles' Season 7 praise of her?

[ edited by shambleau on 2007-10-16 19:22 ]

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