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March 15 2008

(SPOILER) "I knew it would create not a ripple, but a wave". Georges Jeanty, Scott Allie and others comment on the reaction to Buffy #12.

I think this needs a spoiler tag, since it mentions Willow's future response.
Thanks for the warning, Pointy. I would love to read this, but I'd also rather read Willow's response as it happens. Torn.
The sad thing is...I'm in the camp that thinks it was all for publicity.

Not the revelation itself.But Dark Horse's handling of it giving those pages and the story to the New York Times.

*"Allie blames media coverage for some of the furor. The initial negative reaction was based on the New York Times article, he says. “But then people read the comic book and … moved on.”*

Oh rubbish. If Dark Horse (specifically Allie I presume but please correct me if I am wrong), hadnt given those pages to drum up publicity and notoriety to the event, it wouldnt have been as bad. If they had done the classy thing and just let the fans find out when they read the comic (like the whole Willow/Tara story) then I would have a lot more respect for them. As it happened a lot of fans got the wrong idea of what was going on, and reacted badly,instead of being let make up their own minds reading the comic.

As it is it came across as cheap advertising.
I think Dark Horse were damned if they did, damned if they didn't. Here's what would have happened had nothing been said to the press. We would have been reacting to early posts on LJ and message boards saying Buffy had slept with Satsu. Course with nothing official being said and cause a lot of people wouldn't have got a hold of the issue yet and able to judge for themselves, we would have had an hysterical fandom wondering what exactly what was going on with cries of "where's Joss? Are Dark Horse too scared to say anything?".
I'm one of those rare people who doesn't judge anything until I've read/seen/heard it for myself and in this case I thought that early reactions were pretty harsh. After reading it, it didn't really phase me one bit, except for the fact that I got a stomach cramp from not being able to stop laughing. I thought it was the funniest/best issue so far and that it really captured the humor AND the characters of the show, ALL of the characters of the show.
Simon is spot on. There would have been - I suspect - even more inner fandom wank had it gone out with no proper information or commentary from Joss and friends.

I do think, though, it was odd seeing the story in the mainstream media. As I said elsewhere, it got more column inches that day than the ongoing genocide in Darfur... Well, probably.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-03-15 21:07 ]
So they blame the negative reaction on the press coverage they went and courted because they felt they needed it to explain the story to the fandom to stop it freaking out? Who couldn't have predicted this.
Talking to the press is a choice. How the press reports on what you tell them largely isn't.
And yet I still cannot fathom why this was such a big deal. News to the fans, yes. Surprising, perhaps. But worthy of the reaction it got, in the 21st century? Really?

Basically it's a girl who experimented sexually with another girl. Making Buffy like half of the girls I've known or dated in my life. Except way stronger.

I'd have had a stronger reaction if she had jumped into bed with Clem.
angeliclestat: Of course the articles were done for the publicity. DH is also a business, and as such will exploit a story to boost sales, as would any other business. I wouldn't consider it wrong, in fact it's what any well run business should do. How many extra issues were sold due to the stories? Classy doesn't always translate to sales, which like it or not is the bottom line.

Buffy Season 8 is a limited series, and being as successful as it is, DH will try and get everything out of it they can. I have no doubt, knowing Joss' MO, there are more surprizes in store.

[ edited by kmb99 on 2008-03-15 21:35 ]
It looks like the Willow spoiler is within two lines of text that's between the lines starting with "But, as Whedon told him" and "Oscar Ramirez." It can be avoided if you scroll and read selectively.
I thought it was (A) a fun issue that I enjoyed front to back (B) a development with tons of storytelling potential for all chracters involved that and thus (C) entirely satisfying.

I saw nothing controversial or worthy of controversy.

I find the debate on whether it was a commercial decision is hard to follow, because the two extremes (Extreme A: It was a purely artistic decision without thought for how it might affect the book's popularity or sales and Extreme B: It was purely a crass marketing ploy without thought for how it might affect story) strike me as equally ridiculous suggestions given both the quality of the issue and the people involved. Buffy on TV was a commercial success because of its high quality, and this issue is, I hope, a commercial success because it demonstrates that same high quality. I think it's exactly as commercial (and exactly as artistic) as all other things Buffy: good sales through good stories. Which is a rare and lovely thing in an entertainment industry where the norm is good sales through inane repetition and pandering.
Let's face it, Buffy's experiment would have been MAJOR news for all media if this happened when the show was still on the air. The WB/UPN would've milked it for all it's worth. It's their job (and now Dark Horse')to attract an audience. The coverage has nothing to do with the story's motives or Joss' motivation for Buffy/Satsu, especially when Season 8 and Joss' work in general is one of the least liable comics to be fanboy-pleasing material. Ever read a random DC/Marvel series ? I do, and you can't compare the oft-pointed at scenes of Faith/Gigi with an Amazon depiction or Power Girl's cleavage. They got nothing in common.
My objection to the article is how they title it "Buffy joins ranks of lesbian/bi characters," then go on to tell us straight out that Joss has stated she's not lesbian, she's experimenting. If they'd said she's now bi/curious, I'd be happier.
"All of Joss' fans were freaking out," he (Scott Allie) says.

Beg to differ. I wasn't and a whole lot of other people weren't freaking out either. "Some of Joss' fans were freaking out," would be more accurate.
I didn't, either and I think that "All of Joss' fans were freaking out" is a bit of an exaggerated statement. Plus, there are a lot of fans who aren't following the comics at all.
I still say that if you really want "fan freak out" then you need to have Buffy and Clem get horizontal. Now THAT is experimenting!
I felt the NY Times article meant to try and head off the "OMG Buffy is gay now" interpretation and the negative response that would recieve. Because some people do need it explained to them that sleeping with someone of the same sex doesn't automatically make them gay.

Had less insightful people started blogging and posting that Buffy "turned gay", people who hadn't read it yet would be reacting to something that wasn't actually true. The negative reaction to "Buffy is Gay", however inaccurate, would've been far worse than any negative reaction to Buffy just slept with someone she's not in love with.

And, sad as it is, Joss needed to assure people that Buffy wasn't turning gay. He didn't want to do it within the story, so he did it in an article....which I think is much better. This isn't the issue you think it is, so please put your guard down and enjoy the farce. This is one of the funniest books I've ever read, yet I find mostly serious discussion about it. Strange.

AfterEllen, which spends more time hunting and picking apart negative portrayals of lesbians than I really care to read, reacted with amusement and really, little analysis or explanation needed.

Is it possible for a straight woman to sleep with a woman and NOT come off as a publicity stunt? If not, then does that imply it's not something that ever happens and therefore should never be portrayed? It's just done because it's titilating and taboo, not because it's actually an artistic reflection of real life?

[ edited by GrrrlRomeo on 2008-03-15 22:55 ]
When I went into my comic book store to pick up the Serenity comic this week, I asked the owner if he had seen much difference in how Buffy sold the week before. He said he hadn't - it was already the best selling comic in the store and he didn't think he's seen anyone new coming in just to buy it.
But at a Buffy meetup last night, I was talking to an 18 year old male who hadn't read it yet and he said "Oh yeah, that's the one where Buffy is now a lesbian, right?" Sigh.
I did like the point made in the article about Buffy having had experimental sex before - in the Bronze. I hadn't thought of that point before.
Thats fair enough GrrrlRomeo, but why not do it after the comic was out? Address it then?
angeliclestat, didn't they wait for the day the comic was out to address it? Where exactly were they addressing it before the comic's release?
Thats fair enough GrrrlRomeo, but why not do it after the comic was out? Address it then?


Well one reason is Because these days the big press stories come out on the day the comic book comes out. Marvel started this trend with the New York Post covering Peter Parker unmasking and the death of Captain America and it looks like the rest of the industry is following suit.
Thats fair enough GrrrlRomeo, but why not do it after the comic was out? Address it then?

Same song, different chorus: "Dark Horse and Whedon deny that Buffy is now gay after lesbian issue received strong reactions from fans and media."

"OMG," says critic. "We had no idea this was coming and now they're saying this is just a plot development, not a change of her sexual orientation. I mean, funny how they say that after all the headlines and reactions from people. If she isn't gay now, why didn't they make that clearer before all the angry letters?"

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-03-15 23:12 ]
"Is it possible for a straight woman to sleep with a woman and NOT come off as a publicity stunt?"

In this day and age, it really should be.

I guess a lot depends on the type of person you happen to be and the circles you hang around in but over the years and in the various groups of friends I've had there have been examples of pretty much every legal sexual preference you could imagine. I'm about as straight as you get for a guy (my loss, no doubt) but my life has made certain that I'm totally able to accept that sexuality is limitless in it's variation. I know many girls that have had sex with members of the same gender and yet still see themselves as straight. If it's happening in real life every single day then why can't a fictional character experiment in the same way without it causing a fuss or raising questions about her sexuality?

I'm not going to lie. As a straight guy I absolutely love girl/girl action. I've been lucky enough to be in situations where I've had the pleasure of girl/girl company, myself, so I'm certainly not someone who is going to be judging Buffy's actions in a negative way. In fact, I simply don't see any reason to judge them at all.

These things happen. Buffy. Satsu. Right place. Right time. Enjoyable experience for both. End of story.
Thats fair enough GrrrlRomeo, but why not do it after the comic was out? Address it then?


An object in motion wants to stay in motion. An object in place wants to stay in place.

It's harder to stop a train when it's already in motion then it is to stop it from leaving the station.
When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.
If a girl sleeps with another girl in a forest and there is no one around to hear them, will the media still give a crap?
I have to say I enjoyed this issue tremendously, definitely the most enjoyable since the Faith arc. Having said that all the build up about a major twist/revelation whatever had me primed for something different that what it turned out to be. In that way, it was a bit of a disappointment as I was expecting something else entirely.

As it stands, I don't think it was such a big deal, given the hype that was out before this issue hit the stands/media.
If i stop buying the comic....will anyone give a crap?

:)

PS Ive stopped buying Buffy
GrrlRomeo:
Had less insightful people started blogging and posting that Buffy "turned gay", people who hadn't read it yet would be reacting to something that wasn't actually true.

I think that's a fair point. When the show was actually on the air, I had seemingly endless discussions on-line with a few hand-wringing fans who admitted up-front that they weren't even watching the show, they were getting all their information second- or third-hand from others - who, apparently, were also not watching the show, because they were usually so far off the mark they may have been talking about some other show, and in some cases, they were upset about things that not only didn't happen the way they'd been told, some of those things hadn't even happened at all.

angeliclestat:
If i stop buying the comic....will anyone give a crap?

:)

PS Ive stopped buying Buffy

I don't give a crap. (Well, you asked...)
I think I'd rather not have Joss or Drew tell me whether Buffy is gay, or straight, or bi. I think I'd rather just read the comic and see what happens.
I guess I'm awfully limited in my fandom connections, because I really didn't notice any fans being upset about this development, in the sense that they responded by saying or thinking, "Oh no- now Buffy's gay, how dire".

Some fans (like) me were not upset at all, others felt there were character inconsistencies involved, or issues of ethics because of the power imbalance between Buffy and Satsu, or because they felt Buffy, not being a lesbian, was somehow trifling with Satsu, or she with Buffy.

It seems unlikely that any actual Whedon/Buffy fan, at this point, would have remained a fan, yet still be dismayed just because a woman slept with another woman. A person who felt this way would surely have stopped following long before you had to go buy a comic book? So it is vaguely annoying to have the fuss, to the extent that there is one, described as plain old homophobia by fans.

I do see why they thought it would be a good idea to do the press thing, but it does have its downside, including some patronizing remarks by S. A. about the fans. No biggie, I guess.

[ edited by toast on 2008-03-16 01:07 ]
redeem147:
I think I'd rather not have Joss or Drew tell me whether Buffy is gay, or straight, or bi. I think I'd rather just read the comic and see what happens.

So would I. But then, there's that side of the fandom that's upset because the comic is, essentially, following a similar storytelling format as the show: toss the "viewers" into deep water and gradually fill in the pieces. Which is okay by me; I do understand the frustration over it taking so long to get those pieces filled in, but, with a once-a-month schedule, the only way to get those pieces any faster would be to drop half the story. I'd rather not do that, even if it means taking four times as long to get the story told.

toast:
I guess I'm awfully limited in my fandom connections, because I really didn't notice any fans being upset about this development, in the sense that they responded by saying or thinking, "Oh no- now Buffy's gay, how dire".

I certainly have, but - for most of those fans - I don't know as I'd classify it as homophobia so much as simply being upset with Joss & Drew for shaking up what those fans see as the definitive picture of Buffy's persona.
I do wonder how many people outside of the fandom ARE actually that concerned about this development, really?

I mentioned Buffy and Satsu to a few friends and their reactions were either "Buffy's gay? So what." or "Buffy is a comic? But that's not a real story." (Yeah, I had responses to the latter!)

It certainly didn't inspire any of the non/casual fans that *I* know to go out and pick up the issue.

I'm quite sure your average NYT reader would have read the article and then moved onto something else. The fact that 'Buffy's Gay!' is still being (incorrectly) rehashed is a pretty sad fact. Buffy herself conceded that she hadn't done enough stuff to Satsu and we have Joss's word that she's not gay. I am concerned at Willow being 'jealous' as there is no cause for her to feel that way towards her best friend just because she had a fun night.
Unless she's jealous of Satsu. In which case... ohhhh.

I agree with toast about the REASONS for the fans being up in arms, especially the power imbalance. I hope the editors and writers recognise this as a problem and deal with it in future issues.

By the by, Spike was not 'formerly evil' when he and Buffy got it on in the Bronze.

And “Where’s my naked guy with only a tiny puff of smoke covering his naughty bits?” is a question that I ask myself ALL the time! ;-)
Spike was quite currently evil at the time he and Buffy did it on the balcony. I'm not quite sure I get the logic of appealing to the least common denominator of Buffy's sexual experience.

Something I've gotta ask -- if Allie and others quoted here are rather satisfied to point out that people "moved on" after reading the issue... why keep flogging this story by agreeing to interviews about it? We're going to prove how great it is to not think it's something to talk about by continuing to talk about it? Really?
I know some LGBT people are picking up the issue because we like fiction that we can relate to (just like everyone else). Though I realize we're not viewed as a particularly important demographic for comics.

And from what I've gathered, some don't think LGBT should be considered part of the target audience because that would be lowering the standard (pandering).
And from what I've gathered, some don't think LGBT should be considered part of the target audience because that would be lowering the standard (pandering).

I haven't seen that said. Well, at least not here, anyway. Rather I've seen people comment that they think it's pandering because of shock factor and sex appeal to men. I don't agree with that view, but I think it's different from what you've stated here. Buffy as sex object more than Buffy as someone a LGBT audience can relate to.
malformed, I'm with you. I was expecting something of the caliber of the recent Angel plot twist. That Buffy had sex with Satsu in the context of what's gone on so far seemed so unremarkable to me that I read through the entire comic waiting for something shocking, then sat there, like Faith, asking, "But, what's the surprise?"
Sunfire: I've seen both...that it's pandering to straight boys and pandering to the gay community, but when it comes to women with women it's more of a paradox than different. You can't appeal to lesbians and not to men. Not anymore anyway.
Ok, that news article was a little ridiculous, they didn't even mention Drew- who wrote the darn thing anyways. Personally I've filed issue 12 into the folder of classic Buffy, hilarious, insightful and highly entertaining. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you oppose to this "transgression" you need to get over it. If you didn't see this coming from the moment the cinnamon chap stick hit her lips well then you need to work on your foreshadowing spidey sense... If you've gone all high and mighty and tossed Buffy to the curb well then you must not have been that big of a fan to begin with so have a nice life and let the rest of us get back to ours.
Nicely said, drvmyslfcrzy. Nicely said.
Just finished #12 and got to say...been there, done that. Lots of straight women have experimented with lesbian sex (though most won't admit it,) and find it phsically pleasurable but emotionally unfulfilling.
This gives me hope for an interesting follow through.

Jeanty promises fallout for the Buffy character will play out in future issues


For a one off event however funny, the 'stunt' label applies, but if it comes with an interesting storyline it sounds a lot better, pity the fallout will take 6-12 months to be seen, the speed of the internet commentary doesn't match the comic book speed very well.

I'm thinking there where two things foreshadowed in #11, the other one was that sleeping with Buffy carries a steep price tag.

[ edited by jpr on 2008-03-16 09:55 ]
drvmyslfcrzy:

Not sure if what you wrote above was anything to do with what I posted above re:not buying Buffy anymore-but just to clarify:It has NOTHING to do with Buffy/Satsu.It has everything to do with the fact that I am not enjoying the comic.I havnt been happy wit it for a while.

Issue 12 bored me so I decided not to buy anymore.
If i stop buying the comic....will anyone give a crap?

:)

PS Ive stopped buying Buffy


Nah, that's your prerogative angeliclestat ... wait a minute, you weren't buying, like, 100,000 issues a month or anything, right ? Cos then come back, we need you ;).

For a one off event however funny, the 'stunt' label applies, but if it comes with an interesting storyline it sounds a lot better ...

Reckon this is the key thing. I was initially worried that it took Buffy in an unlikely direction for let's just say "meta-textual" reasons BUT when you actually read the comic, it's so clearly "just another development" in the life of the Buffster, so clearly the start of something they're all going to have to deal with (even if it is just a one off) that I personally felt a bit sheepish for having worried so much.

Plus, the issue brought the funny, big style IMO.

Someone (KingofCretins ?) also said that maybe some fans thought the comic was just going to be a sort of coda on the end of the show and when it actually started to really disturb Buffy's universe, just like the show used to, they weren't prepared for it. Very true IMO.
Although I found the post-sex Scoobie discovery part of this issue to be a bit silly, it's more than made up for any possible weaknesses by creating hundreds of entertainingly laughable posts from the more extreme overreacting fans, whose reactions to the issue, on a scale of 1 to 10, are more in the 13-15 range. It's actually very entertaining, as long as you're able to point and laugh at venomous hatred towards the guy who *sob* OMG turned Buffy GAY!!!111 *sob*

*sits back and munches popcorn*
*sneaks a handful of deanna b's popcorn*

My only negative thought on this - well, two thoughts, really:

1. Again, there's the time thingy - it just takes so long in comics time to tell the story, while knee-jerk reactions only take a moment, and

2. I've been enjoying the comics, but OMG, what the cast could have done with some of these issues. *Sigh...*
That fans want more of what they became fans of shouldn't be a surprise really, after all thats the whole dreamcasting the Dollhouse thing in a nutshell, fans of X wants X to be in all Whedon shows, change is baaad for you.

Considering that we spend 30 mins reading the comic and hours upon hours on the internet reading comments on the same, clearly the larger part of the entertainment experience these days comes from the commentary :)

*brings peanuts*
Very well said, drvmyslfcrzy.

the larger part of the entertainment experience these days comes from the commentary

Heck, that's always been the best part.
That was actually jpr, but I concur with the sentiment, and I have some junior mints and m&m's if anyone wants.

singing softly to angeliclestat... "Your so vain, you probably think this song is about you. Don't you? Don't you?"

I'm really interested to see what happens now between Willow and Buffy. And of course how this will all end for Satsu.. and also I was very excited when this arc was called Wolves at the Gate, it made me think of Oz and I wonder if he will show up anytime soon.
Well, if nothing else issue 12 has certainly allowed some of us to act smugly superior towards the rest.

So much for the tolerance and open-mindedness we're supposedly known for, presumably that only applies to people that agree with us.
When exactly was our fandom known for tolerance and open-mindness?
Buffy fans are generally tolerant and open-minded.

We saw Season 6. We watched Buffy willingly have sex with a vampire in the middle of a crowded club. Buffy sleeping with Satsu is consistent with where she is right now, just as what she did with Spike (pre-soul) was at that time. Buffy has never been perfect, but that's why we love her. She's human. She isn't some cardboard cutout super hero who we can't possibly relate to. She's us, flawed and imperfect as we are.

By the way, please don't let the "bible thumpers" get the rest of us tolerant folk in a snit. Their dark-ages inspired diatribe has grown stale, especially when you realize the words they thump were penned by a bunch of sheep herders who thought the world was FLAT and the stars were holes in the firmament, letting in the light of heaven. A lot has changed since then.
The disagreement and different reactions to all of this, I get. I mean, I wouldn't have anticipated some of them, and I disagree with many of them, but I get that people have all these different viewpoints and sometimes very emotional investments in the material. What jars me though is the judgment. Toward Buffy, toward the writers, toward Dark Horse. Criticism, I get. Judgment, not so much. It's been sad to see that part of the reactions.

That's judgement for the British English folks.
Well, criticism is judgement, the two go hand in hand.

Personally I think there's been a fair amount of judging on both "sides" as typified by drvmyslfcrzy's comments to the effect that people that have chosen to jump off the Buffy train weren't "that big of a fan" in the first place or need to "get over" their disagreement with the way the comic's gone. There's also been the whiff in a few posts of the implication that the folks that disagreed with the choice are homophobic, which to me is kinda like calling Clinton supporters racist.

Then we have this "let's sit in the gallery and laugh at the little people" attitude as if we're such hot shit.

I consider myself to be a pretty liberal person but I must confess, sometimes the amount of superior self-congratulatory back-patting on our "side" kinda sticks in my craw a bit.
I agree that the judgment has been on all sides, Saje. I do think there's a difference between criticism and judgment, though. I may be critical of some people's reasoning on things, but to my mind that's different from thinking they're not "real" fans for thinking it.
Saje, If you are referring to my post above, from the cheap seats in the gallery I'd like to add that my enjoyment of comments on the internet in no way implies a "looking down on" anyone it's actually more of a - I'm really impressed by the well reasoned arguments, really wish I could be that passionate about this or any other issue. Believe me I've never thought of myself as "hot shit", I frequently feel like crap though, does that count? :)

[ edited by jpr on 2008-03-16 22:09 ]
Is it at least warm crap ? ;) Naw, I got what you meant from your post jpr.

I do think there's a difference between criticism and judgment, though.

S'probably just me being too damn literal again because, to me, in order to criticise something you have to judge it but I think I get what you mean Sunfire (the old Whedonesque refrain of playing the ball and not the person, right ? ;).

I'm just a bit tired of the idea that the "other side" has to be deficient in some way cos, y'know, they're the other side. Anyway [/pseudo rant] and as you were ;).
Bible thumpers don't worry me as much as people who are intelligent enough to rationalize their intolerance and obscure it with other unrelated issues....because I know I can never be certain exactly when and where it occurs. Intolerance rarely presents itself in black and white...and it's often in small doses. I'm powerless because I can't point it out specifically, I'm the one that's intolerant or paranoid if I try.

There's also been the whiff in a few posts of the implication that the folks that disagreed with the choice are homophobic


Some people who disagreed with the choice are homophobic. Some people who disagreed with the choice are not. If you can accurately make the distinction between the two 100% of the time, you're a wiser person than I.

It's very unsettling to me when people say no one is homophobic or there's no homophobia here. At all. Because if people really believe that, they'll be even less inclined to see it when it is. "We're so open-minded and tolerant, we can't possibly be even a little homophobic."

No racist has ever pointed to pigmentation levels in a person's skin as the cause for their contempt. That is always incidental. They always point to behavioral differences, and sometimes percieved special treatment of the oppressed.

I admit that I read the contempt, and sometimes possibly jealousy, that this development is getting more attention just because Satsu is a woman as mildly homophobic. Because the irony is, if there were no homophobia to speak of, it wouldn't get the attention it is. Is it as bad as saying "Gays are sinners and they're going to hell"? No. But I do sense fear that this is taking something away from Buffy just because Satsu is a woman. It's getting more attention than Buffy sleeping with Angel, Spike, Riley...just because Satsu is a woman. Some people's disagreement with this development that has nothing to do with Satsu being a woman is being overshadowed...just because Satsu is a woman.

which to me is kinda like calling Clinton supporters racist.


To me it's more like calling everyone opposed to Affirmative Action a racist. Some people have perfectly rational non-racist reasons.
Saje, I think there has been more than a whiff -- across the fandom, not just here but other boards as well, I think it's pervasive. If you didn't like Buffy and Satsu sleeping together, you're a homophobe. I've been wearing that accusation around for a couple weeks. It's BS and ever was.

If anything, I've seen a disturbing trend whereby I think a lot of people are anxious to voice their approval of them sleeping together, even if there is no relationship, just to make sure they don't get the label, too. I've actually seen someone argue that Satsu is a better match for Buffy than any other relationship or putative love interest in the series (Angel, Spike, Riley, Xander, etc) -- despite the fact that we know almost *nothing* about her, nothing that couldn't be found in those other characters around. It's as if the sole qualifying thing about her were her girl parts.
KoC, I said earlier that I think most of the objections stem from some people's feelings that this somehow damages what they see as the definitive picture of Buffy's persona (for whatever reason, and as if there actually was any such thing.) And you're right, there is a percentage of the fans whose approval is based solely on the fact that Satsu is female; but, if you're saying that there isn't a small but vocal contingent who are upset for no other reason than that Satsu has "girl parts", I think you know better than that, too.
I don't like to reference other boards...but, if I must. I have read other boards, but haven't posted. From what I've read it's becoming something like "bystander effect". This "homophobia doesn't exist here" (homophobia denier?) is being pushed to the point where people are unwilling to point it out...even when it's fairly blatant. You don't have to be the homophobe to be the fertilizer.

I just feel like it's becoming more socially unacceptable to address homophobia than it is to actually be homophobic.
Well, the thing itself is a rhetorical term of art, not a clinical term anyway. So where it goes, arguments over social acceptability of speech will always follow.

But I do get the sense that there are far, far more people who support Buffy/Satsu *only* because it's same sex than there are people who oppose it *only* because it's same sex.

Press the people in favor of it for the "why" that doesn't refer to Satsu being a girl, and they will only be able to speak in vague generalities, because all there *are* are vague generalities. Press the person who opposes it because Satsu's a girl, no matter what you think of that attitude, they'll be able to articulate some other pretty good reasons, too.

I didn't approve of it, and yet Buffy/Faith is one of my top 4 or 5 favorite 'ship notions. I think Buffy used the girl, no matter how benevolently she acts about it, and that she should have outgrown that by now -- she's had so many ephipanies about behaving in such ways in the past, one should have taken.
So Buffy acted badly by using the girl, KoC. At least that seems to be your opinion. How is it out of character for Buffy to be flawed and to act badly? It isn't. She's like that.

So if it isn't out of character then how is it a bad story? Why is it wrong?
Imagine if Buffy were a real person, and she somehow learned we were all looking in on her life and judging her by every little thing she did, including arguing if sleeping with Satsu was consistent with her overall personality.

After being grossed out, I think she'd think we were nuts.
Tamara, you're ignoring a good chunk of what I said... she should have outgrown that particularly quirk, having been both the user and the used before. I mean, I get that real people tend to just be screwed up in certain ways more or less consistently, but I don't think it's *completely* unfair for us to idealize a *hero* character for a bit of growth on such matters.

I mean, what *was* the point of her speech to Spike about how using him was killing her, or to Holden about how she treated Spike?
Question: Why did Joss go and publicly state that Buffy was not going to become a lesbian? Why didn't he just let the story unfold and let the fans wonder until whatever happened happened? Why did he effectively spoil his own story?

Question: what evidence is there, in science and sociology, that young adults experiment with sexuality at this particular age? It is spoken as a truism, but I have not seen the studies cited. I just ask not because it is something I wish to argue, but because others will.

I've been away for 4 days, and am just back to see this and other interesting news.
Press the people in favor of it for the "why" that doesn't refer to Satsu being a girl, and they will only be able to speak in vague generalities, because all there *are* are vague generalities.


To the extent I understand this comment, I find it to be, with respect, nonsense. I'm "in favor" of this particular piece of the S8 storyline because it is an interesting, slightly unexpected, dramatically exciting, emotionally coherent development, and because it continues to show that these characters are humans, with human feelings, not idealized fan-fodder, and that even the slayer of all slayers can make wrong decisions (if that's what it turns out to be . . . again, I reserve judgment). I've no idea if what I just wrote is a vague generality or not; I just happen to really dig the storyline. And it's more to do with these two characters - Buffy and Satsu, - then with the reduction of the two to both being women, although that fact obviously cannot be disregarded. People continue to make the same, or similar, mistakes their entire lives with respect to relationships and patterns thereof. That's why therapists make so much damn money.
Yeah, what SNT said. Also, I'm beginning to get the distinct feeling at this point that if someone were to say "XXXXX is just upset because Buffy slept with Satsu instead of Faith," they'd still somehow be guilty of calling XXXXX a homophobe.
Question: what evidence is there, in science and sociology, that young adults experiment with sexuality at this particular age? It is spoken as a truism, but I have not seen the studies cited. I just ask not because it is something I wish to argue, but because others will.


Anecdotal and/or the representativeness heuristic, almost certainly.

SNT, I might not have articulated this well. People can't give articulate reasons why *those two people* should be together -- you've given articulate reasons for Buffy/Female Partner, and most of those are tied to the narrative value, the interest for the audience, and not really to the Buffy character.

What I can't find is anyone who can give me a concrete reason why it's for Buffy and Satsu to be together, from the entire field of dating options. For instance, you'll get "well, she loves Buffy"... but so do and have many others. "She has a great sense of humor"... again, nothing she doesn't share with many other dating options. But nothing unique to her. It'd be like a Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Spike fan using "he's a vampire" as a reason that it had to be *their* vampire.

Satsu is basically a blank slate -- she doesn't have a distinctive persona at this point, just an interesting start. I think she's said about as much as Darth Maul and the T-1000 combined. There's no "there" there, other than what people attribute to her. And yet there are plenty of people who are OTP-ing them left and right... because Satsu's a woman.

For me, I think of this as a mistake on Buffy's part pretty much by definition, based on what we already know from the characters and interviews. But I do hope that it's not a relationship, because I really would love to see this turn into how Satsu really grows and gets her character defined -- we've never seen Buffy's loved and lost staying in the game at her side for an extended period of time. And I want to see how it affects her standing with her teammates, since the entire BHC probably knew by the time that meeting broke up.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-17 04:15 ]

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-17 04:16 ]
Okay, I have to ask - what's OTP? I don't recognize that acronym.
One True Pairing... as in, people treating Buffy/Satsu with the instant reverence of true love that you find people treating the great multi-season relationships on popular shows with.
KoC, I can't tell if you would be having the same issues if Buffy slept with anyone (Xander, Willow, Dracula) or if this is really about Satsu.

I know I'm no hero, but I have been consistently screwing up adult romantic relationships and delving into destructive behavior for the better part of three decades. Why does Buffy get to be all grown up after one or two bad relationships? That is completely unrealistic. People get into relationships that follow a pattern. Buffy isn't beyond her issues obviously. Nor should she be. She is what? 25?

25 is a grown-up now? That is frakkin' hysterical.
It didn't even have to be that she slept with Satsu, but more the manner in which she did. The snap reversal in attitude from 8.11, and then right back to ambivalence. Eh.

And, yeah, 25 is a grown-up. Or, 23 verging on 24, from what the timeline indicates. At least, it was starting 50 years back and at every 50 year intervals back through recorded history.

My earlier question stands... was there a point to scenes like Buffy realizing being with Spike was "killing her" or admitting to Holden that she was a monster in relationships sometimes?
Oh. I don't think I've seen that one, then - but, I don't frequent a whole lot of sites. I have seen:

Those who object because they think it's completely OOC for Buffy to sleep with another woman;
Those who think it isn't OOC at all;
Those who think it might be in character, but it's probably as much of a surprise to Buffy as anyone;
Those whose approval is based solely on the fact that Satsu is female;
Those whose disapproval is based solely on the fact that Satsu is female;
Those who object because Buffy slept with anybody instead of whoever that person's particular 'shipper fixation might be;
Those who think that this might be the worst mistake Buffy could make;
Those who think a Buffy/Satsu relationship might be a good thing, but it has the potential to create serious problems and was therefore a bad move on Buffy's part, at least at the present time (I'm kinda in this camp);
And of COURSE the newly minted Batsu (Bufsu?) 'shippers - hell, that would have started ten minutes after the issue came out, no matter who she slept with.
Is she even 25?

People are declaring Buffy/Satsu to be their OTP? I've seen various posts saying many different things but not that.
Considering some of the other 'ships and OTPs (heh - now that I know what it stands for) out there, I don't know why this one even rates more than a yawn...
Buffy's birthday referred to in 8.11 will be her 24th.
So what points to the fact that she wouldn't find comfort in someone who likes her? I'm confused. Has Buffy ever been thoughtful and discriminating in who she sleeps with? When was there mature thought and weight given to her decisions? She is a kid. A kid with a lot of responsibility. Still just a kid looking for acceptance and love. And obviously taking it wherever it is given.
Ah. *sighs*

Well, I've missed things in these comics and have had to re-read them. It's way different than the series and sometimes, I get frustrated with it.

Still though, I'd call Buffy a young adult and not a very mature one at that.
Press the people in favor of it for the "why" that doesn't refer to Satsu being a girl, and they will only be able to speak in vague generalities, because all there *are* are vague generalities.


Why shouldn't people be in favor of it if it refers to Satsu being a girl? I mean, I don't really understand what you're saying. I don't understand the need to neutralize Satsu's gender in order for arguments to be rational. I don't understand the need to replace Satsu with hypothetical male characters. Actually...I'm not really sure why I need a rational reason.

B: Because I'm flying blind here. It's not like they make instruction manuals for these sorts of things.

S: Actually they do.

B: Okay I haven't read them.

B: I didn't get a lot of prep time here and I think that should be taken into consideration before final grades are given.

This exchange made me laugh out loud! I was nearly in tears. Because it's a lesbian joke. (See...there are actually manuals. One of them is called "The Joy of Lesbian Sex".) And I relate to it because, well, frankly I've had sex with women. Everyone gets the sex talk...the straight version of the sex talk with the boy and the girl. I'm sure you know it. (Or some see it on daytime soaps, or wherever, but you get my point.)

It would not have been nearly as funny if she'd been with a man, because I think Buffy knows how to have sex with men. This dialogue wouldn't have even happen if it'd been with man. Plus, it's brilliant and funny and sounds just like Buffy.

Xander's reaction is priceless.

X: Oh, thank god this is a dream.

R: I don't think it's a dream.

X: No, I've had this one before. You're here. They're here. I'm just gonna go sit in the corner and wait for Willow to arrive.

Haha...Xander's had this dream? Buffy in bed with Satsu? Of course, he's a guy. If he'd been having dreams of Buffy in bed with a dude...that'd be...I'm not sure. Do guys normally dream about girls with other guys?

A Beautiful Sunset: Yes, beautiful, sweet and sad. I've been in Satsu's shoes. I've fallen in love with a straight girl...way back when I was 19/20. Is it different from other kinds of unrequitedly love? Maybe, maybe not. It's not like I can't, or never have, related to heterosexual relationships. (See my username) But when I do, it is actually in vague generalties. I relate to practically every character played by John Cusack (love him!). But I don't identify as male and I'm rather fond of being female, so there is a different level of relating then when I can relate to a female character who is in love with another female character. And I can't experience that very often, so I cherish it when I can.

And for the sake of specificity, no I haven't related to every same-sex relationship portrayed in fiction. (I still don't get Willow/Kennedy) Some of them have come off as "just stick two women together". Some of them have been outright f'ed up. So it's not just because Satsu is a woman, it is something more than that. And it has zero to do with anything rational. It's intuitive and emotional.

Is that specific enough? 'Cause I'm not drawing pictures.

I don't support Buffy sleeping with Satsu because I think it was a good thing for her to do. I'm not making a moral judgement on her. I'm not considering the ethics. I support it because I'm enjoying the story both in general and in specifics. I support it because it reflects real life and real human emotions. I support it because it has created a dilemma and I'm eager to see how it plays out. Buffy never in a dilemma would be a boring Buffy.

What I can't find is anyone who can give me a concrete reason why it's for Buffy and Satsu to be together, from the entire field of dating options.


When does Buffy ever need a concrete reason? When do relationships ever need a concrete reason? When do people ever need a concrete reason to have sex? It was the right place, at the right time. Buffy was in the right emotional space for her to do this (longing for connection). Satsu was in the right emotional space to do this (longing to connect with Buffy). And they were together. Buffy isn't looking to date Satsu. This isn't a dating thing. She wasn't making a list of dating options and Satsu was on it. It wasn't a rational choice, it was an emotional choice. They're star-crossed.

k, think I covered every specific thing from my POV.
KingofCretins, here are some specific reasons why it's reasonable for Buffy to sleep with Satsu.
1. Buffy misses "the sex," as she says in Issue 1.
2. Buffy and Satsu have something fairly huge in common -- being a Slayer.
3. Satsu does what Buffy seems to need all her partners to do so far -- express interest first.
4. Even if Buffy were willing to have sex with Xander or Willow, the upshot of that could be really catastrophic, organizationally and personally. She'd risk losing them in their stategic function and risk losing them as friends. She's got few enough people in her life that she probably doesn't want to shake those relationships up if she can avoid it. If things do not proceed or even go bad with Satsu, she's not risking losing something she's previously relied on.
Why Satsu? Well, we don't know what Buffy's reaction would be if a different Slayer had approached her, because so far as we know, Satsu is the only one. We don't often see Buffy turning down people who are interested in her -- non-superpowered Xander, Owen the poet and Ben (right after Joyce's death) are the only ones that spring to mind, and she was willing to at least consider dating Owen and Ben. Again, though, no superpowers.

From my vantage point, I'm far more exasperated with Buffy for not learning the lesson that Faith deep down is on her side and Giles deep down and way up is on her side. Could Buffy just stop not speaking to people and going into long-term huffs already? To me, that's more of an issue than, "Buffy has been approached by an attractive, supernaturally-endowed person while she is in a state of sexual deprivation/need for affirmation. Hmm, what will she do, if history is any guide ...?" :)
GrrlRomeo: If you can accurately make the distinction between the two 100% of the time, you're a wiser person than I.

Nope, I totally can't. Which means, surely, that it shouldn't be the first assumption when someone argues against Buffy/Satsu, right ? Because we don't know.

It's very unsettling to me when people say no one is homophobic or there's no homophobia here.

It'd be very unsettling to me too. We're both lucky no-one has actually said that then, yes ? ;)

My point isn't that none of the responses are due to homophobia, my point is that - like "racist" or "sexist" or "paedophile" - "homophobe" is a huge bomb of a word, it wipes out all rational arguments precisely because you can't tell whether someone is or not and they can't prove it either. Human nature, however, is "there's no smoke without fire" i.e. all you need to do is accuse someone of homophobia (even implicitly) and they're tarred with the brush, reasons apparently become "rationalisations", discussion becomes a (futile) exercise in defending one's character.

My general point being, because people don't agree with your viewpoint doesn't (necessarily) mean they're stupid or bigoted, it may just mean they disagree and they deserve the benefit of that doubt IMO.
Intersting. No comment on why Joss spoiled the story. That is what I find most fascinating sociologically here. Joss told the public that this relation does not turn Buffy gay. Why did he do that? What is the message (and the meta-message) he is sending out?

To me, it is simply that this was done for the story. Nothing more. But I actually find that troubling, for it then seems an attempt to head off controversy, just after creating that very controversy by having a press release. Something seems off kilter to me in all this.
I'm not sure I'm communicating, but, yes, the instruction manual bit was funny. As was Xander copping to having had dreams that involve Buffy, Satsu, Renee, and Willow :)

"homophobe" is a huge bomb of a word, it wipes out all rational arguments...


This is precisely what makes it, as I said, a rhetorical term of art. What you describe is the purpose and function of the word -- it's an "I win" button, because it removes the obligation to address any argument that preceded its use.

Intersting. No comment on why Joss spoiled the story. That is what I find most fascinating sociologically here. Joss told the public that this relation does not turn Buffy gay. Why did he do that? What is the message (and the meta-message) he is sending out?


Best I can figure is that, in the months since this story was devised, after Satsu was revealed as the kisser and speculation about this began, Joss has seen what people have been saying about it. Specifically, seen the concern raised that Buffy becoming a lesbian is tantamount to saying that no strong woman, no feminist icon, can be completely realized until she has no use for men *at all*, even sexually. In short, to saying that all powerful women are lesbians by default. Because... that's actually already an intensely negative stereotype anyway, isn't it?

I would think that Joss has a compelling interest in steering people away from that conclusion, even if it means pseudo-spoiling that Buffy was just "young and experimenting and... open-minded".
Without being Joss it's hard to say but yep, he's taken pains in the past to make it clear that feminism doesn't mean derogating men or showing that women are better off without them (OK, full disclosure: 'us' ;). This could be more of the same.

Or it could be it was to head off not controversy but complaints that he was retreading old ground (since we'd already seen Willow "turn gay").

I'm not sure it's really fair to say they created the controversy either, anticipated or maybe "managed" is more accurate IMO.
Which means, surely, that it shouldn't be the first assumption when someone argues against Buffy/Satsu, right ?


Right. That's why I held off commenting numerous times. I even said I had previously refrained from addressing it. Whatever was going on elsewhere was brought here. Because some people were accused of being a homophobe somewhere else and decided to bring the complaint here. And along with it, the implication that there is no homophobia. Personally, I see the belief that there is no homophobia as a bigger bomb than a tarnished reputation.

King: In addendum to what I said earlier. Why Buffy and Satsu specifically? When only someone who was truly in love with Buffy could wake her up, Satsu was the only person in the room that could. The room was filled with Slayers, Willow and Xander. But it was only Satsu that woke her.

At first, I thought it was strange that Willow had described specifically what type of love....like Joss went out of his way to make it clear. And now I see why. To provide a concrete reason why it's Buffy and Satsu and not Buffy and someone else.
And along with it, the implication that there is no homophobia. Personally, I see the belief that there is no homophobia as a bigger bomb than a tarnished reputation.

Sorry GrrlRomeo, can I just ask who brought it here and who implied homophobia didn't exist so that I can read the posts myself ? Ta (I get confused when we enter the realm of "some people" ;).

(and just to be clear, it's not the "tarnished reputation" aspect that's the "bomb", it's using a blanket term to just discount any reasons someone might offer. To flip it around for example's sake, it's every bit as annoying as someone discounting what you have to say by claiming you're "just an angry lesbian")

If the second half of this thread has just been about stuff happening elsewhere (which, as far as i'm concerned, is nothing to do with us) then i'm not sure why any of us are even discussing it (my comments were about the tenor of some of the posts on here).
Grrrl, it was only Satsu who tried. Which I actually think is a bit of a character issue for Xander -- he knows at the very least how he *has* felt about Buffy, he knows she's in danger, why wouldn't he, as Amy proposed, "give it a whirl"? I fanwank it by saying that's how he saw Satsu kiss her, not because he was peeking, but because his eyes were open since he was going to try it.

And even with Satsu loving Buffy, that explains Satsu, not Buffy. If anything, if Buffy really is just lonely and wanted to get laid, the fact that Satsu is in love with her is a reason *not* to sleep with her specifically; it's unfair to her Satsu. Regardless, unless Joss was piling it high and deep, that's what we'll get read about -- the reactions of Buffy, Satsu, and everyone else to a fling, not the start of an ongoing relationship.

Also still grumbling at the failure of Joss and/or Georges and/or the colorer to clearly establish Satsu in the room in that key panel where Willow lays it out for them. The closest anyone can come is a girl with non-descript facial features and different color and style hair. It *still* feels like a cheat, and *still* feels vaguely insulting that Scott Allie was all "well, duh" about it a couple months later. The only reason so many of us thought the lip gloss was a red herring is because we can't see Satsu in the room.

Saje, I suspect that's me -- my reference to "homophobia" being a rhetorical term of art, and not a clinical term. But, hey, the DSM agrees, there is no recognized clinical diagnosis of such a thing. In a light most favorable to someone who disapproves of homosexuality, it's no different than disapproving of double-parking. In a light least favorable to them, it's the same as racism; a prejudice and dislike, rationality notwithstanding, but not a "fear". That's why I consider it a term of art -- it has a fixed and immutable meaning and usage, and that is to define and marginalize dissent on any subject matter where sexuality comes into play.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-03-17 14:55 ]
Ah, wasn't sure what "rhetorical term of art" meant, ta KingofCretins ;). I get what you mean about it not actually being a formal clinical diagnosis but I think there's more to it than just a rhetorical term - I think it's a very real prejudice, though possibly badly named, and writing it off as only a debating tactic isn't particularly useful (explain your position to the families of gay men and women that have been beaten to death owing to homophobia and I doubt they'd see it the same way).

Also, People Formerly Known as Homophobes sometimes do actually exhibit what you could describe as a disgust reaction, an actual physical aversion (and, as with actual phobias, it's something that can be unlearned).

Also also, some of 'em sure do seem angry and my experience (not reliable, granted ;) indicates that when people get that mad, there's usually an element of fear in there somewhere, the two are pretty closely linked a lot of the time (Yoda - and Xander ;) - were right about that).
Ah, wasn't sure what "rhetorical term of art" meant, ta KingofCretins ;). I get what you mean about it not actually being a formal clinical diagnosis but I think there's more to it than just a rhetorical term - I think it's a very real prejudice, though possibly badly named, and writing it off as only a debating tactic isn't particularly useful (explain your position to the families of gay men and women that have been beaten to death owing to homophobia and I doubt they'd see it the same way).


A very real prejudice does not a phobia make. A bona fide phobia is so much more than dislike, disapproval, or hatred. I don't morally condemn or irrationally hate snakes -- I'm *terrified* of them. And those beaten to death were beaten to death by antipathy as pure as racism -- which is also not a clinical condition. Sometimes people just suck. Casting it as a "phobia" *is* a rhetorical device, because it casts any such contrary opinion as mental illness, basically. Generally speaking, if you want to shout down a racist, you do so empirically, and you can. You can point to the old Jimmy the Greek stuff about black people being better athletes because they hunted leopards or whatever and say "no, and here's why". You don't just say "ah, you're just afraid of black people."

I'm a highly textual person, so I am automatically biased in favor of calling things what they are and not what they aren't.
Which is fine if there's an actual better word to use. People who hate "foreigners" (which could translate as widely as "anybody outside my living room" in some locales) don't necessarily, in the Real World, hate "foreigners" because they're afraid of those "foreigners", but more because they fear or simply dislike what those who "ain't us" stand for - i.e., different cultures, different mores, different ideals, different skin, different whatever-they-got-that-ain't-what-we-got. And yet, the word is "xenophobia." For better or worse.
Yep, i'd still contend that, though not clinically a phobia, most prejudice has fear at its root (fear of the unknown, of the stranger, the "not us").

Casting it as a "phobia" *is* a rhetorical device, because it casts any such contrary opinion as mental illness, basically.

Ah, seems like I didn't actually understand what you meant. I don't think anyone here is doing that (and know i'm not), I think they're using the term (without examining it too closely) to refer to the prejudice i.e. rather than claiming "You're mental so your opinion's worthless" they're claiming "You're biased, so your opinion is also biased". Casting homophobes as mentally ill would allow them to dodge responsibility for their actions (and i'm sure most people here wouldn't want to do that) so in that sense I don't think your distinction is particularly meaningful (though I admire your attempt at precision ;).

And absolutely no offence meant but, given that we're not inside your head and don't know what you mean but only what you say, i'm not certain the actual distinction you're making really came across - as evidenced by my and (possibly) GrrlRomeo's misapprehension ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2008-03-17 16:07 ]
Boy, some of this is sort of scary. I was aware that homosexuality was defined as a paraphilia in the DSM II, making it a treatable condition; this was, of course, later changed. I found this link to one of the people who fought that change. When I read it, I shuddered, as you can see- this man led a major commission on the issue. Link: http://www.narth.com/docs/annals.html
For me, the conception of the word "homophobia" is as scientifically void as the original inclusion of homosexuality in DSM-II. It's social policy as pseudo-science on either side.

And, as ever was, it's the side show in this whole thing about 8.12.

I don't see a substantial difference in liking or not liking Buffy/Satsu from liking or not liking Buffy sleeping with Parker, liking or not liking her sleeping with Spike, from liking or not liking her turning down Xander in "Prophecy Girl", and liking or not liking that she kissed Angel in "End of Days". It's about her choices and our preferences.
Is anybody else curious as to how Dawn is going to react to this? Much of the talk is about Willow and that impending fallout; what about the little (giant) sister who sees her big sis in bed with another slayer--after her own indiscretion leads to her being giant Dawn? After all, it's only just in the past few issues that she learned about Buffy's own Parker one night stand.
Xander's reaction: priceless and perfect. Willow's: TBA. Still, I think that once again the little sister is being ignored for the full fledged Scoobies.
Here, I thought the almost completely random Season 4 Buffy mentions in "Anywhere But Here" were set-up to Riley being Twilight -- maybe it was to set up exactly this, the Buffy/Satsu - Buffy/Parker - Dawn/Rick parallels.
KoC
I don't see a substantial difference in liking or not liking Buffy/Satsu from liking or not liking Buffy sleeping with Parker, liking or not liking her sleeping with Spike, from liking or not liking her turning down Xander in "Prophecy Girl", and liking or not liking that she kissed Angel in "End of Days".
Neither do I. And, as a previous poster pointed out, one doesn't need to justify one's likes or dislikes to others, anyway. So... why can't one disagree - for any reason whatsoever - with the people who object to this issue - for any reason whatsoever - without being accused of using the "H-bomb" as an "I win" button? I'm beginning to think maybe that tactic is in use on both sides of the question. And as far as the word is concerned, the language is what it is. It makes no difference whether you or I or anyone else considers it "scientifically void" or not; it's what we've got to work with, unless you figure you can coin a better term and get it into common usage in time for it to make a dent in the discussion.
BandOfBuggered:
Is anybody else curious as to how Dawn is going to react to this?

Yes; I suspect she's going to see it as just one more time being left out of the loop (never mind that everyone else was, too...)
So... why can't one disagree - for any reason whatsoever - with the people who object to this issue - for any reason whatsoever ...

The short answer is, you can. And as you say none of us need to justify our likes and dislikes. And wouldn't that make for a simply splendid "discussion".

Poster1: "I like Batsu"
Poster2: "I don't like Batsu"
Poster1: "Why ?"
Poster2: "Cos."
Poster1: "Oh, OK"

Lather, rinse, repeat. That'd be a thread worth participating in. Or, y'know, not ;).

Rather than too-ing and fro-ing, how about we all just assume we're none of us homophobes unless there's actual evidence to the contrary and instead argue against the reasons people give ? That way neither side has an H bomb, it's like Mutually Assured non-Destruction ;).

I agree about the terminology though - terms that are scientifically inaccurate are used all the time in common usage, I don't see how it matters for the purposes of this discussion (though there's nothing wrong with pointing it out I guess) so long as everyone knows what's meant.
(shrug) Works for me. I like... *scribbles acronym on pad* ...MAnD.
Saje:Most of the reasons I've come across are:

1:Buffy wouldn't do that because she's in love with Angel
2:Buffy wouldn't do that because she's in love with Spike.
3:If Buffy was gonna do that, it would've been with Faith.
4:If Buffy was gonna do that, it should have been with Willow.
5.Buffy wouldn't do that because it's totally out of character.
6:Buffy shouldn't have done that because she's Satsu's superior.

The first four are 'shippery related:hard to argue with. The fifth? Well, that's a personal point of view:either you see it as in character or out of it.

The last one is the only one that I'd even attempt to address and not to argue against because I pretty much agree with that.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2008-03-17 19:41 ]
Ok, I caught up reading this. And I think I can say with 95% confidence that I agree with everything Saje has said. So thanks to Saje for saying it. I do think we just have different understanding of the words for what we were discussing earlier, as you suggested.

The 5% uncertainty is due to my reading comprehension skills and an inherent inability to be certain on anything other than what I want to eat at a given point in time. And sometimes not even that.
I also wonder how Dawn will react. It was interesting that she was the one Buffy freaked out about the most. Of course, she is a giant. And she was the last of several. I do wonder if Kenny's roommate will come up.

I think Dawn will probably be cool, but feel left out. So maybe not so cool about that part. I think it probably helps their relationship for her to see Buffy be unsure of things though. Buffy has a strong track record for seeking confession and conversation with people who will understand her current emotional vulnerability but who are not in her inner circle at the time. This is like Round 4 of "Buffy unexpectedly vents her real and rather messy/painful feelings to a non-Scooby; Scoobies later find out and feel left out."
I think Dawn will be fine with the fact it was with a woman; after all, she loved Tara, who was Willow's partner. I think Dawn will be upset with Buffy for sleeping with "one of the troops." Every now and again, Dawn shows surprising maturity.

Sunfire, so you are saying you have a p value of >.05? With what confidence interval? :-) Did you accept the null hypothesis? *grin*
I was always taught to say that I fail to reject the null. I haven't done a power analysis of my comments and Saje's, but we both post a lot here, so I think the sample size is probably sufficient to say that we really do pretty much agree on this.
So does that mean you think every 20th character is total nonsense Sunfire ? Bloody 'o' ;).

... *scribbles acronym on pad* ...MAnD.

In honour of Angel, when I posted that I actually spent an unhealthy amount of time trying to come up with a 'Y' for the end but my work addled brain failed miserably ;).

(curse of the IT worker - to try to turn every name or phrase into an acronym. Sisyphus had nothing on us, telling ya ;)

menomegirl: The fifth? Well, that's a personal point of view:either you see it as in character or out of it.

Actually, i've seen some pretty convincing arguments for that one (or rather, against it). People list things in the text (of the show and comic) that would indicate that it's actually not that out of character. Comments by SNT and others made me realise that because I (apparently) hadn't known as many hetero women that had admitted to same-sex experiences, it seemed like a bigger jump to me than it might to others. As others have said, if you look at Buffy's past relationships, Buffy/Satsu is only really different because Satsu's female (not saying that's inconsequential, just that its size is arbitrary and dependent on individual experience).

The "position of authority" argument is solid BUT, as a reason for her not doing it (rather than one for her to regret it/suffer the consequences afterwards), depends on the assumptions that a) Buffy carefully thought the act and all its consequences and repercussions through and b) doesn't make mistakes, especially mistakes relating to a role that's relatively new to her (neither of which seem safe). That said, if the authority argument isn't addressed in upcoming issues i'd be pretty surprised - someone's bound to make the point to her I reckon (possibly Willow) - and also feel like it'd be letting Buffy off the hook much too easily.

(then there're the meta-textual reasons e.g. "Buffy shouldn't have done it because it's a step backwards from what we saw of her character at the end of S7 - especially the 'cookie dough' speech" i.e. she seemed to have attained a degree of self-awareness which she now seems to have lost, as some see it for purely meta-textual reasons - which is to say, to give her character room to move forwards, she's been moved backwards in the comics. To me that also has some merit but, like the rest of the reasons, really depends on what we see next. I mistakenly jumped to that conclusion about Spike for instance in 'Angel: After the Fall', then issues 3 and 4 show us that he's actually just playing "the long con" - though admittedly with benefits ;)
So does that mean you think every 20th character is total nonsense Sunfire ? Bloody 'o' ;).

Well there's our 5%. I knew you must've said something crazy I missed in this thread. It's unlike you to be entirely serious for so many words in a row.
I'm personally not going to wade too far into the discussion over the "big event" - I was a little surprised, but had a much harder time reconciling Buffy robbing banks (Richards drawing such an evil look on her face in the vault probably didn't help), and understanding how she could be dumb enough to think that Faith tried to kill her again.

But there is one little thing about the issue I've noticed which appears to have been overlooked. Everybody I've seen talking about Xander's "it's just a dream" seems to describe it as a dream about Buffy, Satsu, Renee, and Willow. But... when does he finally decide "Oh, okay, it's just a dream"? ...When Dawn shows up. I think there's (at least?) five women in his dream.

Overall, I'm quite enjoying season 8; not that fussed about these "authority issues", personally; a bit concerned about what the mighty morphing power vamps are going to do with the Scythe; and cautiously optimistic that Xander really is done being Dracula's "butt monkey". (And have a new theory brewing on Twilight's identity - I'll have to do a little back-reading of threads, see if anyone else has had [most likely] and/or disproved it....)
Odd how the Buffy critics on the Right are bothering to raies new objections to a property they condemned so long ago; sort of Department of Redundancy Department for them, I'd say. (I think that's one reason I'd enjoy seeing Amber starring opposite Billy Ray Cyrus in a musical,just for the irony, since he was on the PTC) Well, this particualr white straight Christian Republican would approve, if I had an opinion at all. And i haven't ceased to be somewhat amused by these mags, so I'm not dropping it yet. (Angel S-6 is on a thread tho.)

I wonder about the details of Willow's reaction, and how fastw e'll get the details. I guess Joss is throwing an accolade to the Buffillow 'shippers, and you know who you are.

I could launch into another speech on how thsi si ebing palyed but it's been said. And of course Joss is using this as part of story development. The guy doesn't know what "gratuitous" means, even tho he should.

I will say, charity whocka whocka with limited meaning has been standard in the B'verse since "Entropy." (plenty of exmaples, both shows) So why not maintain it?
LKW:
I'm personally not going to wade too far into the discussion over the "big event" - I was a little surprised, but had a much harder time reconciling Buffy robbing banks (Richards drawing such an evil look on her face in the vault probably didn't help), and understanding how she could be dumb enough to think that Faith tried to kill her again.

By an amazing coincidence, I posted this on another board just this evening on that very subject (edited slightly:)
She had just been jerked out of place without warning by Roden's teleportation spell. She was disoriented and sick and immediately under attack by a strange woman with Slayer powers who attempted to kill her. She put Genevieve down and was immediately body-blocked out the freakin' window by Faith. What would you expect her to think, and how much time do you think she had to actually think about anything? Even in the real world, if somebody jumps your ass without warning, you don't stand around trying to figure out what their deal is. You worry about that when they're on the ground and no longer a threat.

Very well-said, Rowan Hawthorn.

Saje, I've seen some convincing arguments for both sides as well, which is why I said it was a personal point of view. I think it was completely in character for Buffy.

I'm hoping the position of authority thing comes up in the comic because I think that's the more important issue for me, especially since Satsu was calling Buffy Ma'am in the first issue.

As for the step backwards thing, I'm torn on that. It does seem like it but in the bedroom scene between Buffy and Satsu, Buffy seemed to be more compassionate and understanding with Satsu than she was with Spike (for the most part). So I think it was a mix of the two-a step forward and a step back, if that makes sense? And yes, it really does depend on what we see next.
Just to clarify what I mean. "Homophobe" is a term I reserve for people that exhibit extreme homophobia, like Rep. Sally Kern, "homosexuals are a bigger threat than terrorists". Murders have used "homophobic rage" or "gay panic" as a temporary insanity defense.

When I use the terms homophobia or homophobic, it is neither rhetorical nor clincical. It is, very literally, fear of homosexuality or fear of homosexuals. It can be the fear that oneself is gay or could be gay; the fear that gay people are pedophiles; the fear that same-sex marriage will destroy the institution of marriage; the fear that gay people have an agenda; the fear that gay people are trying to turn straight people gay; more specifically, the fear that lesbians are trying to turn women away from men and might actually be successful at it or the fear that women will turn lesbian if they start feeling they have no use for men.

These are irrational fears having no basis in fact. They don't always translate into direct hate, but sometimes into opposition to certain behavior. It can be mild or extreme. I honestly don't think of people who are mildly homophobic as complete jerks, 'cause I think it's just human. It's just when someone states they're not being even a little homophobic, and I think that they are, I feel more compelled to point it out.

KoC: Back to the Buffy and Satsu. Actually...cut. I'm not sure if I can honestly answer you without it being read as a shipper feud. I *think* I know what you're thinking... and I think it's a fair question...and I think I have a fair answer. I know, could I be anymore vague right?
Being a hopeless romantic I "dislike" any buffy character development which is not going down the route to a buffy/angel reunion.

Hopefully no-one sees me as a homophobic...
... which is why I said it was a personal point of view.

Ah, sorry menomegirl, I thought the point you were making when you said:

The first four are 'shippery related:hard to argue with. The fifth? Well, that's a personal point of view:either you see it as in character or out of it.

was that there wasn't any point in arguing about it because it was purely one of those "personal lines" issues (and I agree that it is). I was just saying that, as someone who started out on the "It's very out of character" side I was convinced to come closer to the "It's not that out of character" point of view by some well put arguments - my point being, even "arbitrary lines" issues can be argued for or against (or rather, in justifying your position, you might convince someone else) though ultimately of course, none of them are "correct" (except in the sense of a consensus of opinion, which still isn't strictly correct).

Murders have used "homophobic rage" or "gay panic" as a temporary insanity defense.

Successfully ? Jesus, what a world (if so).

It's just when someone states they're not being even a little homophobic, and I think that they are, I feel more compelled to point it out.

But what (if anything) are you actually saying about their argument when you point it out GrrlRomeo ? Because it seems like you're saying their argument is less valid because in your - self-confessedly flawed - estimation they're homophobic. Why "play that card", why "go nuclear" ? It's only relevant if we know it's true, otherwise it's just a specific example of one of the oldest logical fallacies of all, an "ad hominem" argument (which, to put it basely, goes: "John's argument is worthless because [I think] John is a dick").
Saje-Ah. Thanks for the clarifaction. No, I've enjoyed reading the discussions that have been had on whether or not this was within Buffy's character. In fact, I've found those debates to be more well thought out and reasoned than the shippery ones.

And yes, unfortunetly, there is such a thing as the gay panic defense.

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