This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Vampire cowboy? Vampire fireman? Oh! Vampire ballerina!"
11943 members | you are not logged in | 17 April 2014












August 14 2008

Batsu - a reflection of open-minded sexual ambiguity. After Ellen's Malinda Lo writes about Buffy's relationship with Satsu and the new trend in society where people want to be "open minded" without necessarily being called a lesbian.

the new trend in society where people want to be "open minded" without necessarily being called a lesbian.


I dunno, I don't think that's a new trend... And I'll assume the meaning here is a woman being "open minded" sexually (and by "open minded" meaning open to sex with women which is the euphemism the article uses), because I don't think there was ever a time when simply being open minded (say, about equal rights) made one a lesbian. Plus as a tangent there are several acronyms in the Gay and Lesbian communities (community?) for this sort of experimentation. LUG (Lesbian Until Graduation), anyone? Okay, taking the joke too far :). Stopping now! Though I don't particularly love the terminology open minded in this instance as it implies that anyone without same sex tendencies is a bigot or homophobe.

But as sexual orientation becomes more like a space of fluid and changing experiences, rather than a series of boxes marked "gay," "straight" or "bisexual," sexual orientation loses its power as an organizing force.


Again, I'm not sure it hasn't always been this way, but that folks with agendas of any kind used it as a rallying point (either for straight or gay or those selfish bisexual types - yes, that was another joke, do I need to use a ;)?). Looking forward to people organizing along the lines of we're all people and we should be decent to one another regardless of our differences. Some day...

ETA - the author does hit on a concern I have about identity politics and any strong 'pride' movement be it racial, sexual, socio-economic, or even something like a fandom.

That's what identity politics sometimes is reduced to: policing the borders and keeping out those who don't fit in.


I do love the conclusion of the article :).

If those markers are peeled away, what is left? Everything.


Right on. All in all I dug the article and where it led. Lots of things to think about it in one fairly short well written package.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-08-14 18:25 ]
Considering that ships generally get compound names like that, I understand where that comes from. But on the other hand, knowing Japanese, I can tell you that's a very negative name. "Batsu" means X, as in incorrect.

A pretty interesting article. And I generally agree with that idea, that sexual identity is really the soundest notion. Personally, I never totally bought that Willow was 100% lesbian. Yes, she's continued to have homosexual relationships, but she's an "open-minded" woman, and I think she wouldn't be surprised to find herself having feelings for a man again in the future. (Psst, Willow. Oz should be coming back. Dump Kennedy.)

Also, for some reason, that links to the second page of the article.
Corrected the link.
Batsu?


I know. What was wrong with Saffy?
I just plain old don't understand the need to combine these two names...
I think you can be open-minded without being one way or the other, or associating yourself with one or the other. It's simply a state of being, either firm in that you are NOT one or the other, or confirming that you are in the process of figuring that out.
Saffy is rather appropriate, methinks, given what we are talking about. I don't love the name mashup celebrity couple nonse, either.
Batsu also has the connotation of "punishment" or "penalty". Which isn't the cutest mashup ever, but could be interesting from a fanfic view, if you're into that.
I didn't know Batsu had a meaning in any language. Saffy's nice, like Saffron, the most precious of spices.
I like saffy as well...sounds like a great new slang waiting to happen: as in, "That girl was totally putting the saffy moves on me last night...but I know for a fact she's got a steady boyfriend. Whatupwitdat?"

;)

(Saffy...Sappho...get it everyone?)
Spike: Xander said you were just being trendy.

Willow: Trendy?


Yeah, no new trend there, except that it's a new generation now. My generation did it first (we were the very first, surely).
Indeed, Saffy is highly appropriate since it's not only Buffy and Satsu, but also, you know, sapphic (though that might be against the whole point of the article, actually...).
Sorry guys...I'm posting from a mobile...OOPS
Its ok I fixed it :) - so now no one knows what you are talking about/thinks you are crazy.
What is ProGrrl talking about? Is she crazy? ;)

I love "saffy" as slang for an ostensibly "straight" girl putting the moves on another girl--I'm going to start using it! (And then no one will know what I'm talking about.) "We all get a little saffy sometimes." Wonderful coinage.
There is no way Willow goes back to guyville. Anyone want to make odds on this?
I love "saffy" as slang for an ostensibly "straight" girl putting the moves on another girl


Go me and my trendsetting.
Yes! Let's make "saffy" happen!

"OMG...that Katee Sackhoff. She makes me go saffy. Just a little."

[ edited by ProgGrrl on 2008-08-14 19:18 ]
I always thought ProgGrrl was crazy.

I also enjoyed this article. Since I'm young, I don't recognize the change, but I have at times felt frustrated when people would ask if I'm "gay" or "straight". I've never felt connected to one sex or another. If anything, I consider myself asexual (except that I can't split myself into two).

I always thought it was better to focus on who you love, not what sex you're having sex with. People should be free to be in love with both male and female.

I did find it a little ironic that the author (at one time) found it "invading" (my term, not hers) when the men would enter a lesbian bar. Didn't the same feelings apply when lesbians would enter a "straight" locker room? Or when blacks would enter a "white" store? Or white would enter a "black" jazz club?

And I'll echo zeitgeist on really agreeing with her last phrase. I don't believe in lines. There's more opportunity, enrichment, and life waiting when we don't close ourselves off and "make labels".
I am really, really crazy.

About saffability.

Saffistication.

And...saffistry.

Heh.
Actually, I really sympathize with the author's mixed feelings about identity politics (possibly, slowly, eventually) becoming obsolete. When a group that's been marginalized finds a kind of strength in solidarity and carves out a safe place for themselves... well, when do you know that it's right / safe to open that space up? On the one hand, it seems positive to say, "we are who are and we don't need to split off into little groups with often-ill-fitting labels; race, sexuality, gender, these are meaningless divisions in the grand diversity of humankind, tra la." On the other hand, I think there's something that gets lost, too, when identity politics is abandoned... sort of like the mosaic versus the melting pot? I like the sound of the conclusion the author comes to, but I find it difficult to come to any solid conclusions myself.

And yeah, Katee Sackhoff, I become a totally saff when I watch BSG.
There is no way Willow goes back to guyville. Anyone want to make odds on this?


I hope she is with whoever she loves, male or female. I imagine that it would result in massive freakouts/outrage and a traffic spike here that will make Dr. Horrible traffic look small :).
Yeah, and that's too bad. Willow should be with whomever she loves. If she can be with a snakelady, why can't she be with a guy?
Yeah, I mean snakelady? guy? Its practically the same thing. Wait; it must just be that its very phallic imagery :). I'm not sure that's allowed on the saffy thread.
LoL z! Why must you make me laugh so early in the morning? Haven't mustered the energy for it. :p

Wanted to add my "saffy" like-age to this thread.
We should all be with who we love (heh heh, I really do have to remind myself that these people don't exist sometimes) but given how much Willow being gay meant / means to so many people, I think it would be ... I don't want to say "wrong" because that's way too harsh, but not a great idea... to have her be with a guy again. Normally I come down on the side of "story is king of all" but this is one thing I don't think they should play around with.

And I haven't read the comics yet, so: snakelady wha...?
I understand what you are saying, but I would still prefer that her story go where it goes without external concerns swaying it either way. This just takes us right back into a huge Tara discussion (paging Dana5140!). Was it some kind of slight to specific groups of fans to do what was done to Tara or the ultimate in equality? Etc., etc., etc. As the article mentions, its a different time already. It may be sad sometimes to move beyond the identity/sexual/gender politics argument(s) underlying this, but this way lies real freedom. There are pockets of different tastes even in the melting pot, I say; it doesn't need to mean homogeneity. If that doesn't strain the metaphor to its breaking point :).

I still say "be with the one you love" regardless of gender is a stronger and maybe more important message to a wider group of people than "Willow needs to remain saffy". Not that its all about everything applying to the lowest common denominator/largest group of people ;). Just my opinion and I'm sure folks will line up to disagree.
Not me. I just want my Willow happy. Not that angsty Willow isn't good! Great, even! :P
*buys a latte, brings a book, and gets in line to disagree with zeitgeist*

Well, actually I do agree. And disagree. It's a thing I do, and it makes decisions horribly difficult ;). I like the idea of lining up to disagree with somebody though. I think you're probably right that "this way lies real freedom" but some stodgy part of me isn't quite ready, or maybe cynically thinks that the world isn't quite ready... and by that I mean that if everybody was sweet and accepting that would be just fine, but since there are a lot of people who would like the gay community to be less visible, visibility is still a huge priority, and that comes, maybe unfortunately, with stressing difference and with embracing particular labels and so on, not with melting into a mainstream that isn't actually the mainstream yet.

That may be the least coherent thing I've ever written in my life. Did it make any kind of sense at all?
It made perfect sense and I am totally with you (and yet not at the same time. Isn't it awesome?). I absolutely see what you are saying, but part of me feels that we can't wait for everyone to be sweet and accepting. We have to BE sweet and accepting, brazenly and unafraid. We have to force the world to be what we want it to be, by demonstrating what we wish for it, day in and day out (yes, my optimism even annoys me sometimes as does my likewise out of control cynicism). I just think that maybe allowing for things that reinforce the other-ness of minority groups keeps them other and minority, while also understanding the undeniable comfort of an explicit erm, what's the word?, nod to that otherness and the comfort that comes with a close-knit group of like-self minority type people and the defending of the aforementioned borders of your otherness. Just some thoughts.
We have to BE sweet and accepting, brazenly and unafraid.

I want this on a shirt.
It made perfect sense and I am totally with you (and yet not at the same time. Isn't it awesome?)


So we can agree to disagree and also agree? :)

It's an unsettlingly common experience for me, to listen to what somebody's saying and to think that they are probably absolutely right, and yet my gut keeps pulling in the other direction. And in a way I think that's what the article was about... not letting her gut reaction (ie. the defensive over seeing guys in her local lesbian bar) guide her, and deciding to be more open herself. No doubt that is the more positive approach, but I do sympathize with that sense of something maybe being lost at the same time.
We are contradictory folks and we won't let anyone take that from us, though we would give it away freely ;). I agree with you on that heart and mind dichotomy being absolutely what the article is about. Its a bittersweet moment to find that some of the change you were striving for has come, leaving you nostalgic for last year when things weren't as good. Weird :) and very human.
I agree with you on that heart and mind dichotomy being absolutely what the article is about.

I totally disagree! That's not what the article is about at all!

OK... is that joke getting old now? ;)
No! Wait, was that a continuation of the agree/disagree joke?
I'm not sure, but either way you're wrong and also right. IMO.
We'll just have to agree to disagree (and agree)*.

*Okay, I think the horse has been properly beaten. Bad horse! Wait... wrong thread for that.
Actually, I really sympathize with the author's mixed feelings about identity politics (possibly, slowly, eventually) becoming obsolete. When a group that's been marginalized finds a kind of strength in solidarity and carves out a safe place for themselves... well, when do you know that it's right / safe to open that space up?

I think we're in a transition period now, just as you're describing. It's tricky to know when to open the space up or work outside a label, and it always comes with risk, but it's encouraging that it's happening. I don't dismiss the labels as entirely outdated, but I also think reality is more complex that the labels account for.
I also think reality is more complex that the labels account for.


That does always seem to be the way of things. Labels are never complex enough to embody what we are or what we feel we are.
Well no, I think we tend to grab at labels to make sense of the world. An awful lot of people label themselves as something that isn't entirely accurate. I think we all do. Categories are easy to work with. Sort of like our tendency to see faces in things that don't have faces-- our brains are wired to recognize faces because it's extremely important to be able to do that. I think understanding categories is also extremely important, but I think we tend to overdo it. The Virgin Mary in the grilled cheese of information management, if you will.
Yeah, I don't think that we are actually disagreeing. Just sloppy exposition on my part.
This thread is confusing in that way. But it's not just you.
I'm not sure what to make of this article but I agree with Sunfire about a transition period going on, which to my mind is a good thing. I dislike labels and I always have, especially the way networks handle same-sex issues. I was always annoyed when Willow pronounced herself "Gay now." It's like the word 'bisexual' doesn't exist on television.
Yeah, Katee Sackhoff makes me feel... funny

Wait, what were we talking about?
Cutting back to the chase. Regarding Willow and her sexuality, let me make a couple of points. First, I believe personally that Willow should be with who she loves, period. So her sexuality in that matter is not important in that regard. But in the comic and in canon, to make that change would be fraught with real danger, of the psychic kind. And I am sure most of you can reason why. Keeping the outcry over Tara in mind, please recall that in interviews with Joss and Marti Noxon regarding S7 and the decision to add Kennedy, they argued back and forth over whether or not to keep Willow gay. They ultimately decided, correctly in my estimation, to do just that; I think they knew that to make that change after the outcry about Tara would be seen as a further betrayal by those who felt betrayed and had been hurt (which of course also puts lie to the idea that Joss will always tell the story he wishes to tell without any "interference" or influence from fans- but that is a debate for a different day. :-)). I still think this is operational in the comic now. Part of the reason for Saffy actually allows Joss to play around with the fluidity of sexuality without having to use Willow to make that point by somehow bringing her back to a heterenormative relation. He has firmly made the point with Buffy and Satsu. For hat reason, and a few others, I cannot see him making Willow "not gay" again. She is still quite firmly the only really long-time gay person in the tale (as Kennedy has such a minor role she is nearly absent and Satsu is the focal point of our discussion). So, as I said, if we were bookmaking this, I would give it long odds at best, and in fact, I do not believe that will happen.
*coughs*SAFFY*coughs*

I think I've already ranted about this subject before.

menomegirl,

It's like the word 'bisexual' doesn't exist on television.

I have noticed this too.

However, I also agree that Willow should not be with a man now. It means a lot to people, and I understand why.

[ edited by ShanshuBugaboo on 2008-08-14 22:34 ]
WOW, z! It's like we're the same person inhabiting 2 bodies over a stretch of water! WSS WZS! :)

We have to force the world to be what we want it to be, by demonstrating what we wish for it, day in and day out

Very inspiring, and reminds me of Buffy, for some reason. I may be pulling from the wrong show, but isn't there a quote that's something like "a hero shows the world what it can be..." or some such like that? *claps*

I've always felt this way. Maybe I'm so open-minded that my brain has fallen out, and this is all that's left, but I think it's purposeful. Homosexual men & women have been "coming out", leading by example, to others that are similar, to show them what life could be like to live as intended. To show the world that we are all the same, human beings.

Over the past couple of years, the "camps" have been built, with walls around them. Undoubtedly for protection and comfort, for sure, but as the mainstream rage subsides, the walls should come down. What's the point of breaking down prejudice and segregation just to build up different walls? We may not be there yet, but we should live as if we are all free & equal.

It's like the word 'bisexual' doesn't exist on television.

I've noticed this too, and I think "bisexual" got a lot of flack as if they were fence-setters when the divisions started up. You were either "gay" or "straight"; no middle ground. And, as already mentioned, there is a fluidity to life; nothing is always one thing or the other- there are transitions.

I'm not even sure the term "bisexual" would apply to the type of love and openness we're discussing. To me, it's the fact that sex isn't equated into this. It doesn't matter who you're having sex with, as long as that's the person you want to have sex with. What matters is the choice of person you choose to love, and that only matters to you.

Dana5140, I know you're apprehensions for the hypothetical-slightest-touch-of-a-possibility-that-Willow-might-be-more-than-just-gay, but she is. When Oz came back, she clearly loved both Oz & Tara. When she chose Tara, she chose Tara, not all of womanhood. Your arguments are with Kennedy, but again she chose Kennedy. There was no one in Willow's life that provided that spark that there could be more; Willow fell in love with Kennedy (debatable, I know, but go with it).

But that doesn't mean she still doesn't love Oz. When she said good-bye to him, and mentioned when she has blue-hair and turns a corner, and he's there, she wouldn't be surprised. A part of her will always love him, and if they do meet again and there is that spark, then there it is.

I won't argue that Joss & Marti might have gauged the audience to see what to do with Willow for Season 7, but I wouldn't rule anything out. Joss' shows aren't static, they change & grow just like people. Back then, it was important for the world to see that a woman could be in love another woman, and claim herself as a lesbian. Now, it's just as important to see that a woman can love another woman, and not necessarily "be in love"; that there are no boundaries to cross because love knows no boundaries.

Mis cinco pesos. (Too long winded for 2 cents.)
It's not even a question of gay/straight/bi for me in regards to one scenario surrounding Willow. Given the choice between Kennedy or Oz...not that Willow's relationships are a major drawing point of the series for me, haven't been since Tara...but if she absolutely has to be coupled off, I'd want her to take back Oz in a heartbeat. I assume he has his lycanthropy under control at this point, it was the main reason they broke up (the only, really?), and although they've both grown and changed, they're still fundamentally the same good people and would probably find getting back together not too hard (assuming Willow hasn't firmly decided beyond a shadow of a doubt or is still able to find dudes lust-worthy or however the writers decide to paint that picture, should they ever touch on it again).

I don't wish death on Kennedy, I don't hate the character, but I'm not a fan either. So unless they try to do something even further groundbreaking (for TV) and have a respectful portrayal of a three-way relationship (might be interesting to see Oz get to know Kennedy, although it wouldn't work unless Kennedy's bi or they could set up some sort of extremely challenging jealousy-free sharing scenario), I don't need to see more of her.

menomegirl said:

"Hello!--Gay now!" annoyed a lot of people. On the one hand it's awesome that the character can proclaim that and joke about it ("I'm a breast girl myself"--that one kinda funny, kinda groan-worthy, IMO), but Season 5 (I can't remember if there were as many or any of those sorts of remarks in Season 6) was just kinda jarring in how loud they were about it (hey I can deal with loud and proud, I've seen a ton of "queer cinema" and TV shows, but for a show like Buffy I could've done with a gentler transition). A couple of the writers almost seemed defensive about the development at the time, plus I remember them sorta disregarding where we were at the end of Season 4 with Willow and her apparent bisexuality...to be honest, I thought Oz's exit and Willow's commitment to Tara in "New Moon Rising" was perfect, so it was always and still is kinda hard for me to let go of that given what we were told/shown later.

I get that people can redefine themselves throughout their lives, that there are many people who go through the straight-then-bi-then-gay process because bi is a safe spot until they're comfortable enough to be recognized as gay, and that Willow could just as easily stop considering herself a lesbian, go no-label or whatever...I just think it was a bit of a missed opportunity while the show was on TV, if we'd had the character go and continue to identify as bi. I completely respect what Willow as a lesbian accomplished, how good and proud it made lots of people feel to have that on screen (it did me), but I don't think its impact would have been lessened any if Willow had been portrayed as bi the same way she was explicitly stated to be a lesbian. She still would've been with Tara those three seasons, Kennedy still would've come along, her arc would've probably been unchanged, despite a difference in label. You still would've seen her in a relationship with and loving women from Seasons 4 to 8.

They arguably left things ambiguous for Andrew and Lorne, the same could've been done for Willow (only with actual on-screen relationships for her still).

Even given the wealth of fictional TV shows, they'll never please everyone, and I've gotten used to that as a viewer. You're not gonna see a whole lotta bi characters on TV, they're proportionately smaller (visibility-wise, people-admitting-it-wise) in North America's population so it follows that they're gonna be barely seen on TV (there have been and are bi folk on TV though, they're not invisible...just that you usually gotta go for HBO and the like to see 'em).

[ edited by Kris on 2008-08-14 23:31 ]
I quite like people being different, it enriches our culture and adds to our spiritual well being. If we all sang with the same voice, well that would be incredibly dull. Can you imagine if our fandom was united? I'd leave within minutes.

Though I do have to say, I'm bored with "bisexual" people being seen as exotic and mysterious on the telly. It's bad writing and panders to the gallery.
"Saffy" ends up transmuting in my head to "Yosaffybridge," and, well, what the hell, if you toss her into the mix....

*gets distracted by mental imagery, despite alleged status as straight girl*

...and maybe that's a nicely concise summary of my position on the issue right there? :)
Point. I don't want to ignite the "Is Willow gay or bi" debate. Little question that technically she is bi; she has in fact had sex with both men and women and been in love with both. But now she is gay. Once, she was not gay. Obviously, her sexuality has changed over time, and admittedly it may again, but I am not sure this comic is the place to make that subtle distinction; I really think that making that change would be extremely problematic, and it would not just upset but offend some readers. It would "take back" what has happened, and in this climate, in this divided America, I don't want that. I don't. I hate the right for what it has done in regard to gay rights, and I cannot see Joss bringing Willow back from that just to show us you can love either sex. He has made that point with Saffy. Yes, we know Willow loves Oz, but for sure, she does not love him now like she loved him then. This is the kind of angst I see over on the CSI boards regarding the return of Lady Heather, with all the GSR shippers going nuts over this because LH is a threat to the relation between Grissom and Sara. And so some see a threat from Oz to Willow's relation with Kennedy. I don't see that threat, and for both pragmatic and story reasons.
I cannot see Joss bringing Willow back from that just to show us you can love either sex. He has made that point with Saffy.


I think he's making quite different points with Saffy and I don't think that (m)any of them have to do with love or really sex.
We may not be there yet, but we should live as if we are all free & equal.

I wish this was true, but it's very problematic in practice. The reality is that not everyone can. Living as if you're equal when you're not often puts people at risk, and the level of that risk varies with surrounding context. Everyone must judge for themselves when to live that vision and when not to. There are still a disturbing number of hate crimes going on. I'm not saying people should live in fear, but an awareness of context and some caution are called for. We all have a responsibility to work toward the dream, but steps that are easy in one context may be difficult or even very risky in another.

Point. I don't want to ignite the "Is Willow gay or bi" debate. Little question that technically she is bi; she has in fact had sex with both men and women and been in love with both. But now she is gay. Once, she was not gay.

There are an awful lot of lesbians who'd disagree with you on this. Quite a few married and had kids with a man before realizing they really wanted to be with a woman instead. So maybe she was always gay and just didn't realize it until she met Tara. The point is, we don't know because we're not her. We just know she identifies as lesbian now and she dated guys before that.
What Sunfire said re: "Is Willow gay or bi".
Didn't Joss make a lot of people upset with Willow & Tara's relationship at first? How about Satsu & Buffy?

After the initial shock/dismay/anger/whatever... when things came apart for both relationships, some of those same people who resisted the change were sad to see the relationship end.

Change is never easy, and I'm not saying to throw caution to the wind, but think about those people who first "came out". Don't you think for them to be the first was dangerous? Some were even killed. But because they spoke up, we're living in a more accepting/indifferent society. People are afraid of change.
Sunfire- yes, but that is obvious. I have argued in the past that Willow was always gay, but did not really understand that. I was making a point in my post. And we cannot ask Willow, since she is not real. :-)
Hee-hee-hee; I'm a guy who loves labels but hates applying them to people so I kinda drop my needle in the same groove as the article, barring a few *coughpolticalcoughdifferencescough* details.

And I have my own theories about Willow but unless I run into her at the Old Phoenix Tavern (and I haven't been invited there yet) I won't get to ask her. (I mean, is affinity about the sexual attractions a person feels or is it about the type of relationships they pursue?)

I do enjoy a good name crunching session tho.

"It's alright. I know it feels a little different, but it isn't, not really." (when I wrote that line, it was Harmony to Xander but hey, thigns apply where they fal, or not, as it ahppens)
Dana said:
I really think that making that change would be extremely problematic, and it would not just upset but offend some readers.

If for some reason the story called for going there and letting Willow be in a relationship or even just a fling with a guy, I hope Joss would not worry about offending people. I can't predict, but if I were to guess I would say that Willow will probably remain with women (or a woman) throughout the rest of the series, or otherwise be single or widowed, but if the story called for it...too bad for the overly sensitive people out there who can't handle it. It's just a story, at the end of the day, albeit one that means a lot to most of us here and many others out there, so I don't think people would have any justification for getting so up in arms should Willow be with a dude again. I really don't like the idea that creators can/should/might let their pure creative intentions be bound by the fear of upsetting a portion of their audience.

It would "take back" what has happened, and in this climate, in this divided America.

No, it wouldn't. Any half-intelligent person like you or me who's stayed with the series into comic book form, who didn't quit the show over Willow's change in gender preferral, will not view it that way.

I don't want that. I don't. I hate the right for what it has done in regard to gay rights, and I cannot see Joss bringing Willow back from that just to show us you can love either sex.

We're all just speaking hypothetically here, we don't know that that would be the point of a Willow/dude relationship were Joss to go in that direction. There could be any number of quality storylines that require that kind of pairing (although I imagine it would more than likely involve Oz...there would be much more backlash if it was a new man, but if she was simply picking up where she left off with a character we had already seen her with, I don't think there would be as much of an issue with most readers).

I'm not insensitive to where you're coming from, it helps to have more visible minorities, I know there's still a ton of progress to be made, but I don't think this one character will make a ton of difference politically. I love that it allowed/helped/enabled a lot of people to feel comfortable with themselves or their gay relatives and "normalized" homosexuality (or at least women/women pairings) for a great many others, but I personally don't believe the positive influence the TV series had (and continues to have via DVD and repeats) could be undone so easily by Willow going after a guy again in the comic.

Yes, we know Willow loves Oz, but for sure, she does not love him now like she loved him then.

In your opinion, or you believe that beyond a shadow of a doubt ? Because she hasn't seen him since Season 4 (I think that's about 5 or 6 years as of the comic's current issue) and we haven't seen her talk about him. She might not even have considered the possibility of hooking up with him again, either because she's been too busy with events and being in relationships with Tara and Kennedy and/or because she's so sure of her current definition of herself she hasn't considered it a possibility to go back to.

We can't see inside the character's head, so I can't make any assumptions re: Oz/Willow.
I think Willow would lay down her life for Oz, but I don't get that she's all swoony for him still. She's moved on romantically, physically... but there's no doubt to me that she'd turn the world inside out for him if need be.
Love makes you do the Saffy.
"If for some reason the story called for going there and letting Willow be in a relationship or even just a fling with a guy, I hope Joss would not worry about offending people. I can't predict, but if I were to guess I would say that Willow will probably remain with women (or a woman) throughout the rest of the series, or otherwise be single or widowed, but if the story called for it...too bad for the overly sensitive people out there who can't handle it. It's just a story, at the end of the day, albeit one that means a lot to most of us here and many others out there, so I don't think people would have any justification for getting so up in arms should Willow be with a dude again. I really don't like the idea that creators can/should/might let their pure creative intentions be bound by the fear of upsetting a portion of their audience."
This is naive, I am sorry to say. I think we need to get away from this "creator is God" routine that so often gets brought up. Commercial considerations are part and parcel of what Joss does, period. He may fight the fight a bit more than others, but at the end of the day, he still has to consider his audience and his financial backers- as he did with kissing between Willow and Tara until The Body, when finally he made it an issue. And you know, do you really want to say "screw you" to the people who view this issue differently than you do and who invest heavily in the character and forge some identification with that character? We don't all watch the same show when the show comes on, you know?

"It would "take back" what has happened, and in this climate, in this divided America.

No, it wouldn't. Any half-intelligent person like you or me who's stayed with the series into comic book form, who didn't quit the show over Willow's change in gender preferral, will not view it that way."
We are cognoscenti. I guarantee you there will be people who will note the change and use it to make every political point they can. You know this will happen, I know this will happen. We are not the people I worry about.

"I'm not insensitive to where you're coming from, it helps to have more visible minorities, I know there's still a ton of progress to be made, but I don't think this one character will make a ton of difference politically. I love that it allowed/helped/enabled a lot of people to feel comfortable with themselves or their gay relatives and "normalized" homosexuality (or at least women/women pairings) for a great many others, but I personally don't believe the positive influence the TV series had (and continues to have via DVD and repeats) could be undone so easily by Willow going after a guy again in the comic."
Categorically, I disagree. Fortunately, I will never need to test this because I do not believe it will ever happen. :-)

"In your opinion, or you believe that beyond a shadow of a doubt ? Because she hasn't seen him since Season 4 (I think that's about 5 or 6 years as of the comic's current issue) and we haven't seen her talk about him. She might not even have considered the possibility of hooking up with him again, either because she's been too busy with events and being in relationships with Tara and Kennedy and/or because she's so sure of her current definition of herself she hasn't considered it a possibility to go back to."
All we have here is opinion. But you knew that when you asked the question. :-)

I'm not being disputatious here, but I do feel very strongly about certain issues and how they pervade modern political debate and how they are used in those debates. And unfortunately, as we have seen with Saffy (why do I keep thinking of AbFab?), just the one (really, two)-off hook-up here has created a significant amount of discussion.
There are an awful lot of lesbians who'd disagree with you on this. Quite a few married and had kids with a man before realizing they really wanted to be with a woman instead. So maybe she was always gay and just didn't realize it until she met Tara. The point is, we don't know because we're not her. We just know she identifies as lesbian now and she dated guys before that.


Thank you for this, Sunfire. I can't count how many times this "Willow can't really be gay because she loved Xander...Oz..." thing has come up and I've wanted to jump in with a counterpoint, but just was exhausted after reading all the posts in agreement. It always kind of seemed like it was safer for Willow to be simply "loving the person" instead of actually, maybe, (gasp) being lesbian!

As a gay divorcee (heh) myself, I can tell you back in the distant past of my high school years, I had crushes on boys (as well as girls, but that was a scary prospect and had to be a secret.) I didn't figure out or admit who I was until a long time later.

I guess the long story short is: We all fall somewhere along the sexual-affectional spectrum. The end.
I actually think its less safe as far as people's acceptance of her to love the individual person. Its perfectly safe for her to claim a sexual identity and stick to it. What makes people of all stripes uncomfortable is someone whose sexual identity is fluid in my experience - see above discussion of bisexuality (which is certainly sometimes a stopover on the road to admitting to being gay). That makes them an outcast in all camps. Although as I said above its totally possible that she is completely lesbian. I know of very few lesbians who haven't at one time had a boyfriend. People sometimes experiment to find out who they are, especially if who they are is someone who might get them outcast from their family or friends. I would love for it to be true that Willow has found herself and is comfortable in her own skin. Geek solidarity and all :)

I guess the long story short is: We all fall somewhere along the sexual-affectional spectrum. The end.


Word, m'cokies actual, word.
Werd. I'm exhausted from typing. Really, zeitgeist are you and GVH sharing my brains?
Yeah, we should all have some tea and put on our Murder Rubicon T(ea)-shirts and relax.
Dana, I really don't mean to seem like I'm always picking fights with you, but I have a couple of serious disputations myself with this.

This is naive, I am sorry to say. I think we need to get away from this "creator is God" routine that so often gets brought up.

I don't think that's the viewpoint that's naive. If the creator - any creator - isn't god of his own creation, then who is? Granted, there are authors who create with no eye on anything except sales, who cater and pander and constantly tailer their work to the lowest common denominator and take no pride in their work (or interest, either, from all appearances) beyond the dollars they can show at the end of the day. And their work is pretty much crap. I'm sure most artists want their work to be seen and appreciated, but anyone who stops pursuing the end result they want because of the fear that they're not going to please the entire world is not only deluding themselves, they've already lost the game. "You can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourself." Anything else is just gravy.

I guarantee you there will be people who will note the change and use it to make every political point they can. You know this will happen, I know this will happen. We are not the people I worry about.

So... should everyone who has a story to write start censoring themselves for fear of the knock on their door some dark night, or just Joss? And, in that case, why bother to write at all? We could all be good children and just keep our subversive thoughts to ourselves, but I can tell you from experience that giving in to bullies - political, social, or otherwise - doesn't fix the problem. It just gives them more incentive.
Hehe, since I never ever do the name mash-up thing, I thought it was just a typo. ;)
cabri, that's all you have to say? Well, that's refreshing to see on a thread like this. ;)

zeitgeist, you know I'm not allowed to have tea. It leads to babies. :(
Dana said:

This is naive, I am sorry to say. I think we need to get away from this "creator is God" routine that so often gets brought up.

I don't have the creator-is-god mentality. I know they can make mistakes, sometimes the directions they take their shows/book series/film franchises in are poor ones. But I also believe, despite how much we love to speculate and give our opinions on the directions things should head in the stories yet to come from them, that they should trust their instincts more than listen all that much to the internet chatter. By all means, take note of significant criticisms when it comes to things like continuity screw-ups and the like (ie Warren in the first Season 8 arc) but when it comes to character arcs and plotlines, just do your thing.

Commercial considerations are part and parcel of what Joss does, period. He may fight the fight a bit more than others, but at the end of the day, he still has to consider his audience and his financial backers- as he did with kissing between Willow and Tara until The Body, when finally he made it an issue.

For all I know he pretty much made Buffy exactly the way he wanted to, within network TV constraints (budgets, characters couldn't swear, etc), aside from not being able to show Willow and Tara kissing until "The Body". So, yeah, he has commercial considerations to keep in mind (I'd say he's got a lot more freedom in comic book format to do whatever the heck he likes as far as content goes), but do we know of many other instances where his hand was forced to churn out an episode of Buffy that wasn't how he wanted it ?

His audience is an open-minded one. On this particular issue, I don't believe the majority of fans would turn on him if Willow got back together with Oz or was outright re-stated to be bi (just to keep things in perspective, I'm not saying this should happen, but I don't believe it would be disasterous if it did).

I just don't believe he has as much to worry about, risk-wise, with the comic. Fans who are buying this stuck with the series, are the more-than-just-casually-devoted types, and continue to like what he's doing in Season 8 (I know there've been some who aren't happy with Season 8 and may've dropped it earlier on or more recently, but overall it seems to be well-received). The majority of them would not drop the book all of a sudden over this one issue. And if the show were still running and this was an issue ? No offense, but I honestly don't think the loss of a portion of the viewership mad over changes to Willow's orientation would sink the show and its DVD sales.

And you know, do you really want to say "screw you" to the people who view this issue differently than you do and who invest heavily in the character and forge some identification with that character? We don't all watch the same show when the show comes on, you know?

Willow would no longer be identifiable if she was bi ?

I'm not saying screw you to fans of Willow and Willow being a lesbian and continually dating girls only. I simply expect that they'd be patient and open minded enough to see where Joss goes with something like what we've talked about, should it happen. Whatever way he presented it, I'm sure he would not set out to screw over Willow's lesbian fanbase...but I also think that those fans should not worry so much about what the public will think. Like the public at large is really paying so much attention to this--worst case scenario, we get a few extreme religious and/or homophobic nutjobs who rejoice in Willow going back to boys for a bit but would have nothing intelligent to say on the matter and Buffy fans would go on ignoring them. I sincerely doubt anyone would be able to springboard a whole agenda off of Willow no longer being strictly gay. I didn't worry about what the public would think about Buffy experimenting with Satsu. It was interesting to read some of the reactions online, and talk about it with my friend Lisa who I lend the Buffy comics to and isn't all that keen on the fact that it happened (surprise to me), but otherwise I don't care what the reactions of all the online pro and semi-pro (and delusions-of-granduer-type) critics were.

I guarantee you there will be people who will note the change and use it to make every political point they can. You know this will happen, I know this will happen. We are not the people I worry about.

I still maintain that Joss cannot let the risk of that effect his decisions. On the off chance that someone does use a plot point like Willow-still-likes-boys in the BtVS comic book to construct a rant that makes waves, we counter it with stronger replies. It's not impossible to drown out the ignorant with reason.

I guess when it comes down to it, I just don't see as much of a distinction between the value of Willow-as-gay-icon/quality-lesbian-character and Willow-as-bi-icon/quality-bi-character.
I think Joss is gonna keep Willow gay 'cause he wants to. Frankly, I think he digs writing it. And that's my assumption which...I'm just saying because it's different than assuming that Willow is still gay because he's avoiding pissing off/hurting gay fans.

I don't think that because Willow was with Oz it means she can't be gay. Because love is relative. So is sexual attraction. I'm not talking fluidity here, I'm talking relative experiences. The keywords when Willow came out to Buffy, for me anyway, were "totally different" and "powerful". And that is key because Willow coming out as lesbian is based on comparing her feelings she'd had for guys and feelings she was having for a girl. And that's often how it happens.

When Willow was with Oz, she had never loved anyone more...up to that point. When Willow met Tara, it reset the scale. Willow's sexual orientation didn't change, her point of reference changed. Willow didn't flip a coin when choosing Tara. She made the choice based on who she loved.

My coming out was much the same. I dated guys, and there were boys that I thought were cute. But I was looking for it because that's what I was taught to look for. And I looked really freakin' hard. It's not like I didn't feel anything for them at all. They were good friends, good guys and good looking. I can't say a bad thing about them. And I thought that was romantic love because I had no other point of reference since I was a teenager and those were my first relationships.

It's not like I just suddenly realized I was gay, and then became attracted to girls. I fell in love with a girl without looking for it and it reset the scale...or crashed and demolished the scale.

I realized I was attracted to girls in a more...hmm...substantiative way, and there's a name for that, and it's gay. Even if I took away the label it wouldn't change anything. Clearly, it does matter when I fall in love that the person be female...and I have no explanation for that. And I don't see why I should avoid the word that describes that.

I just don't think the quality of Buffy's attraction is signficant enough for her to not call herself straight. And the quality of Willow's attraction to women is such that she calls herself gay.

There are people who feel 0 attraction to the same sex, or opposite sex. And for everyone else who falls somewhere else on the spectrum there is some choice in the label that's based on a personal line. How attracted do you need to be to one or the other to call yourself gay, bisexual or straight? Enough for the descriptor to feel comfortable. I don't think it's fair to dictate the label to other people...that if they're even attracted to the same sex or opposite sex 2% of the time then they must be bisexual as if gay and straight are reserved categories for the pure. And that causes all sorts of bad stuff. Perhaps it forces people to go with the "no-label" because elitists have made the labels too restrictive and uncomfortable.

Of course, if Buffy and Willow were real people this wouldn't be a debate. As an audience, we project our own line onto the characters. But in real world Willow saying she's gay and Buffy saying she's straight would be the end of the debate...or at least it should be.

Everyone I have ever known has described my eye color as brown. So, I figured they were brown. But then my eye doctor called them hazel. Now I'm not sure. I know I'm gay, but I'm not really sure about my eye color. Funny that.
I can only imagine that heated discussion similar to this one occured when Willow was suddenly no longer "straight". Isn't it a bit ironic to see the reverse of that?

Which (trying to tie back into the actual topic here) would show that there needs to be a 4th option besides "gay, straight, or bi". I.e, the "open-minded"-ness of sexuality. I would probably even say indifference. With every splash into the mainstream pool, there are waves of disruption, chaos, and resistance. Eventually, those waves become ripples, the splash is absorbed and the water becomes calm once more. I wouln't say we're at that "calm" state, but I can see us leaning towards "ripples".

The reason I want the 4th option is because there is no true progress if we cannot adapt and grow. These labels, these categories, may excel our understanding on one end, but inhibit it in the other. (Note the author's apprehension with men being in a lesbian bar.) I don't see equality here; I see cliques that form in high school. It may be easier to form the comfort zones with people who are just like you, but it may not be better.

Nothing in our history books is noted with regard because it was "safe". The legends we read and learn about are legends because they disrupt the "norm", give a fresh view, & confuse the hell out of their peers. Some were stoned to death, beaten, killed, marked a loon... but that doesn't mean they were wrong. In fact, our history books mark that they were right, ahead of their time, and because of their courage to be truthful about their views on life, we live a better life for it.
GrrrlRomeo, I appreciate your take on the label situation. Your story was insightful, but I do have a couple of questions/comments regarding it:

1) I agree that Willow can't know she was gay until she fell in love with a woman, and that that reset the scale. But I would argue that she still loves Oz as well. Probably because she says it in her good-byes with him. Granted, it's not the same love as Tara's but it is still love. There's just a lot to go around.

2) Now that Willow was in love with a woman (Tara), and she is in a relationship (not sure how strong) with Kennedy, she classifies herself as gay. Completely hypothetical question: if somewhere down the line, after Tara & Kennedy, and Willow met a person who stole her heart, reset the scales again in a brand new way, and was head-over-heels in love with a man, would that be problematic? Is she still gay even though she's truly in love with a man? Or is she straight now? Or can it be that she found love in 2 men and 2 women in her life? Every experience is different, and I think there is a delicate, beautiful balance that makes love appear in all forms. Why couldn't it be both?

Regarding eye color, I too, always had brown eyes. Even was classified with "Brown-Eyed Girl" by friends & family. So imagine my shock that someone thought my eyes were green. Offended, I checked out my peepers for myself. Sure enough, they had developed some green near the pupil. I say "developed" because that green wasn't there when I was a child. But the green hasn't dominated my brown eyes either. It's a mixture, and depending on the day, my eyes may be brown, green, or both. It doesn't really matter to me what others see when they look at my eyes because I know that it's me that looking back at them. Brown, green, mix... it's still all me. Why pick a color, when I can have them all? See what I did there? How this ties in to the point I'm trying to make? :) Clever for so late at night. May really be nutty, but clever to me. ;)
Off topic but I had an ex who used to think my eyes changed from brown to green depending on my mood...
And my son was born with blond hair but it changed to brown when he turned about 2. :-)

Good conversation all. If I may sort of boil this all down: I do not think any of us dispute that people should love who they want to (within reason, ie, not have physical relations with a child, for example) no matter the sex. There is some discussion about whether Willow was gay or bi- the gist of this is (1) she had sex with Oz and then fell in love with Tara, so for sure she is at least technically bisexual. (2) But we wonder if this was part of her voyage in finding out she was truly gay, along the lines of the wonderful post above grrrlromeo. So, based on the little fictional evidence we have, we can make strong arguments either way. As a result, we do not know if her sexuality remains fluid or is fixed, and that is why we argue about the implications of Oz's return, and what it means for her to love him.

And all this is in the fictional realm. I then shifted to a discussion of what happens outside that realm, in the world of decision-making, screenwriting, etc. I know I am on the margins of arguing about how commercial considerations enter into TV writing, This is, after all, whedonesque, and people lionize and appreciate Joss' work. I would say, with some certainty, that most people here believe that Joss is not influenced by these considerations, or at least not to the the degree I might argue he is. We do know he made a silk purse out of a sow's ear with the Willow Tara kissing- he wanted them to kiss much earlier, but in the presence of fierce network opposition, he used magic as his metaphor for kissing and sex. It took The Body to force the issue, and it took a change to a new network to get to Seeing Red bed scene and Entropy kiss. So those considerations really are there; he may use them creatively, but he is not immune to them.

Personally, I move all of this into the realm of politics. This is not something I'll talk about here on this board, but I am so beyond tired of the divisiveness that pervades this country, and the willingness to use marginalized groups to advance politicial agendas that I find it hard to spearate the personal from the political. Joss'll do what he wants. I hope to hell he does not go this route, because it cannot help. The point is already made with Buffy and Satsu; the story is fluid and can go lots of ways. It is all choice. I hope he chooses wisely and considers the implications of the story outside of the story. Many of you will no doubt argue otherwise, but this is how I feel. :-)
Personally, I've always seen Willow's sexuality as "whoevershe'sinlovewithsexual". Subject to change, based on the - er - subject of her affections. But she's also a determined classifier who doesn't seem comfortable with things that don't easily classify, and really conflicted about herself in lots of ways. I could easily see her defining herself as gay (or straight, depending on her partner,) when it seems to me that she's pretty clearly attracted to both sexes to one degree or another - even though, she currently appears to lean heavily to the "I like girls" side of the scale. Understandable: as a guy, I'm pretty much of a lesbian, myself (and I used that line before Riley ever did, so there...)
That was really well put re. "resetting the scale," GrrrlRomeo.

The discussion on the fluidity of sexuality and labels and all is interesting, and alas I don't have time today to plunge in, but as for Willow, since she calls herself gay, why wouldn't we "believe" her? Of course we can debate it all we want, since she doesn't exist, but as GrrrlRomeo said:
As an audience, we project our own line onto the characters. But in real world Willow saying she's gay and Buffy saying she's straight would be the end of the debate...or at least it should be.
.
Or should I just do that thing that people do with Saje all the time and write What GrrrlRomeo said.
No, no, you should write "What Dana5140 said." ;-) 'Cept nobody ever says that. :-)
Which (trying to tie back into the actual topic here) would show that there needs to be a 4th option besides "gay, straight, or bi". I.e, the "open-minded"-ness of sexuality.


The word is queer. And I realize that there is a stigma attached to that word for some earlier generation folks. But give it time and I think it will eventually be the umbrella term for all the acronyms as well as the term for people who don't feel that specific.

But I would argue that she still loves Oz as well. Probably because she says it in her good-byes with him. Granted, it's not the same love as Tara's but it is still love. There's just a lot to go around.


No need to argue. I would imagine it's a given that everyone knows that there's different kinds of love. And I absolute believe Willow loved/loves Oz, but as she said, it's different.

Completely hypothetical question: if somewhere down the line, after Tara & Kennedy, and Willow met a person who stole her heart, reset the scales again in a brand new way, and was head-over-heels in love with a man, would that be problematic?


Problematic for who? Willow or certain people in the audience? For me personally...it would sting. And the reason for that is I suppose that, as most gay people, coming out entailed having to cut through the notion that I could be straight if I simply met the right man...to degrees that I don't even feel comfortable with. And I would feel that portraying that in a fictional story would enforce this idea that gay people can "turn" straight with the right person.

It means a lot to me that I can relate to Willow in a particular way that I rarely get to, and I can't make it mean less. You're question is why can't she fall in love with both, and my question is why can't she just be gay. Both happen, but both can't be simultaneously true for one person/character. I get that it can be both for some people to varying degrees. But I know it's not both for me...and I don't know what makes it that way. Or IOW, I know it can be both, and I know it can be one or the other...but I don't actually know why and I don't think anyone knows why.
What GrrrlRomeo said. (And what I often have wished I could articulate when this topic comes 'round.)

BTW, how many of you are still madly in love with your first "love-crush-sexual experience" from high school? (Oz) I'm just sayin'.
What GrrrlRomeo said, redux.

M'CA, I could give you a really long response to your last question, but it would be way too personal in the telling...
Thank you for this, Sunfire. I can't count how many times this "Willow can't really be gay because she loved Xander...Oz..." thing has come up and I've wanted to jump in with a counterpoint, but just was exhausted after reading all the posts in agreement.

Yeah, me too. It's maddening but I get that windmill-tilting feeling and very often just don't comment. At least maybe sometimes it benefits someone else's peace of mind when I do jump in.

(Note the author's apprehension with men being in a lesbian bar.) I don't see equality here; I see cliques that form in high school. It may be easier to form the comfort zones with people who are just like you, but it may not be better.

I think you are judging too quickly here.
Just got through this thread, and I have to join the chorus of "What GrrrlRomeo said."
It would be very hard for me to buy Willow "head over heels in love with a man," not because people don't fall in love with both sexes but because Willow has clearly and unequivocally self-identified as gay. I don't see any reason to doubt her.
Batsu?


Could have been "Butsu". That would have been just so much worse.
Just popping my head into the room quickly once more to say "what GrrrlRomeo said" again, re. this:
Problematic for who? Willow or certain people in the audience? For me personally...it would sting. And the reason for that is I suppose that, as most gay people, coming out entailed having to cut through the notion that I could be straight if I simply met the right man...to degrees that I don't even feel comfortable with. And I would feel that portraying that in a fictional story would enforce this idea that gay people can "turn" straight with the right person.

That's much clearer than what I was trying to say, about what I see as the "negative" in having her, now, fall in love with a man. It's not something I think Joss and co. intend at all, they're far too sensitive and savvy for that and I think very much aware of what her being gay means to a lot of people. But it's interesting to hear people's thoughts on it. Partly because I understand that the "General Idea" of the story coming before any agenda, (or, rather separate issue, the idea that we should all abandon our "cliques" and hang out at the same bars) sound more positive, more open... but I think the specific reality muddies the waters and makes things more complicated, and you can't always apply a pleasant-sounding worldview to every situation.

Typing (and thinking) too fast and a student is going to knock on my door at any moment so I'll leave at that and peek back in later!
What Catherine said! :-)
:) I think its just because people are so interested in the topic in the abstract and the concrete. And some of us have known folks who said they were straight and we believed them, then they said they were gay and we believed them and then they said they were straight again and we believed them. So its not so much that we don't agree that whatever they say is for all intents and purposes the "end of the debate", but that we are interested in not only the fluidity, but in laying out the various possibilities and looking at them from all angles. I love that we can do that here.

And I would feel that portraying that in a fictional story would enforce this idea that gay people can "turn" straight with the right person.


It also enforces the idea that a person can "turn" gay by meeting the right person or just the idea that sexuality is more fluid than these labels accomodate. At least, that's the read by a lot of straight folk, so there is some perspective at work as always. I'm perfectly happy for Willow to stay a lesbian, I just liked the potential for discussion that all of her potentialities brought about. I want to take a moment to say cheers to GrrlRomeo and Sunfire and m'cookies actual for their personal insight on this topic and to everyone else from every side of the discussion for keeping it civil and interesting and enlightening.

I think that there will always be the tendency to group based on parts of our identities and I don't think that there is anything wrong with that. Its what brings us all here, for example. All things in balance, I say.
It was minor point in the article but it really only (not surprising considering the website it's on) addressed female sexuality. Which ties in to a belief I have that male and female sexuality are two different things regardless of the object of affection involved.So open-mindedness" in guys will be different from in gals as well, I'd imagine. Which could itself lead to as many posts as already above.


__________________________________________

"Story of my life, I finally get a full-body hug fromt he sweeetest girl I know and it's only after she's to quote the late great Hattie McDaniel, 't'rough wit' de menfolk.'"

"Don't ever repeat this, Jared, but I'm stilla s attracted to guys as I ever was, I just have absolutely no reason toa ct on it ever again."
_____________________________________________

Cordelia:Willow's the kind who falls in love with souls, not bodies.

Anya:I guess tara's lucky their cats can't talk.

Xander: Whoa, bad image in my mind.
DCA - are you quoting your own fic again?
Here is a real concern: The right has argued that gay people try to convert others to their "lifestyle." I say this in reference to this comment: "It also enforces the idea that a person can turn gay by meeting the right person or just the idea that sexuality is more fluid than these labels accomodate" And we have the converse as well, that a gay person can go straight by meeting the right person. And both of these are fraught with real danger. And there there is that phony psychological movement of conversion therapy, making gay people undergo therapy to make them believe they are really "straight." So when we look at Willow going back to men, the subtext is more profound that what the simple dictates of "the story" might portend. I know I am not saying this well, but I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

Yes, sexuality might be fluid. For some people, partiuclarly for young adults and teens. But for others, it is who they are. I cannot see this comic delving into that issue as part of the story. Gay Willow is, and gay she should remain. I don't even want to consider what it means for her to have lived for hundreds of years.
I agree that I don't think Willow will be sexually involved with anyone but a woman anytime soon for various reasons and that seems fine.

The whole "open-minded" being redefined as bi-sexual bugs me, though. It implies that the reason that some people are only attracted to one sex, especially if that sex is the opposite one, is that they are close-minded. As far as I'm concerned, open-minded is being open to new and different ideas. Indicating that if you are open to new ideas you will realize you are bi-sexual, is something that dismisses the personal experiences of mono-sexual people, whether straight or gay. As I have said, bi-sexuals may be the majority in life, and should get more air time, but the rest of us do exist. There is no reason to be inclusive of an under represented group, by negating others. It really bugs me that Joss seems to be pushing that agenda through his "open-minded" comments and his storyline.
jcs: "It would be very hard for me to buy Willow "head over heels in love with a man," not because people don't fall in love with both sexes but because Willow has clearly and unequivocally self-identified as gay. I don't see any reason to doubt her.

That's exactly what I wanted to say every time I have attempted a response to this thread particularly the part in bold.

So many people are way more articulate than me but GrrrlRomeo hit the nail on the head for me with this point "But I was looking for it because that's what I was taught to look for."
Good morning! :)

Time for Round 2 discussions, then? Yes, let's get started.

Personally, I've always seen Willow's sexuality as "whoevershe'sinlovewithsexual". Subject to change, based on the - er - subject of her affections. But she's also a determined classifier who doesn't seem comfortable with things that don't easily classify, and really conflicted about herself in lots of ways. I could easily see her defining herself as gay (or straight, depending on her partner,) when it seems to me that she's pretty clearly attracted to both sexes to one degree or another - even though, she currently appears to lean heavily to the "I like girls" side of the scale.

You make a good point, Rowan. Willow (and the rest of the real world) seems to always be in an identity discovery, in one form or another. Whether it be gay or straight, nerd or witch, evil or good, sidekick or hero... she (as well as the rest of the show) is always trying to determine "what/who she is". As we all are. I can see how those in the pursuit of discovering one's true self would find comfort in the labels, but from my POV the discovery cycle is continuous- one you find out "what/who" you are, in whatever context, the moment has passed, the clarity is gone, and the cycle continues onto the next "identity crisis". Am I a success/failure? Shy/love attention? Attractive/ugly? Confident/nervous? Passionate/apathetic? Every issue, every situation, provokes questions that relate to your "self", so we're always asking the question "who am I"?

Willow is gay, has known she's gay since Tara, may have always been gay... alright, so we know she loves women. A resetting the scale of love & connection, as pointed out by those who know. But can we agree that her love towards Tara is different than her love towards Kennedy? Is that a different level of gay love? Being gay sets her in the spectrum of truly loving women, but is it the same for all women? Or does that change as well? To the point where it can't be classified?

When I think about the labels of "gay" & "straight", the classification system reminds me of "animal" & "plant". Alright, let's say we're looking at a "plant". Which plant? Oh, uh, a rose. What color? Red? How many petals? Does it have thorns? Is it a small flower or a large one? What type of leaves does the rose have? Why are you asking these questions?!? Because I need to know what type of plant. It's a crude comparison, but I'm trying to let you understand my confusion on classification. Sometimes it works for people (a rose is just a rose). For me, who's never fit into any of these categories, it doesn't. And while I accept and try to understand others' needs for the labels, I feel pressured to do the same. Because I can't contain my whole "self" into a notch, there is not true acceptance.

And the reason for that is I suppose that, as most gay people, coming out entailed having to cut through the notion that I could be straight if I simply met the right man...to degrees that I don't even feel comfortable with. And I would feel that portraying that in a fictional story would enforce this idea that gay people can "turn" straight with the right person.

I completely understand and wouldn't want to encourage this potential mainstream thinking GrrrlRomeo. As mentioned already, there's a spectrum & varying degrees. I thought Kinsey had a good, rough attempt at trying to understand it. Some people may just be gay or straight, but there's also the gray in the middle. Probably, in most cases, there is the "either/or". What I thought the author was taking note on was that the younger generations held an open-mindedness an indifference about gay/straight. It doesn't seem to bother them either way, externally or internally. My hypothetical question was to address this new emergence, not take back the beautiful pride that was created.

BTW, how many of you are still madly in love with your first "love-crush-sexual experience" from high school? (Oz) I'm just sayin'.
m'cookies actual | August 15, 15:29 CET


Alright, I'll take a stab at this. I fell deeply, madly in love with a red-headed boy 5th grade. His name was Luke, we were playing soccer and he lent me his jean jacket. Our teacher called us "love birds". Unrequited love, mind you, but that's the only experiences I've had. Here's another one. College, second-semester freshman year. My friend Sondra went with me to my scuba diving test. Stayed the weekend for the tests. Best friends, laying in bed... I looked at her and I got that same feeling I had back in 5th grade with Luke. Not better, just different, yet the same. Completely different people, yet I felt so much for both of them. Again, unrequited, so I can't tell you anything more than that. But, does that make me "bi"? I don't think so. Why, you ask? Well, I wasn't attracted to them physically. Even though their bodies were very different (besides the obvious)- Luke was lean & scrawny & Sondra was full-figured- I would say I was in love with them, their spirit, their heart, their character. How can you classify that?

korkster:(Note the author's apprehension with men being in a lesbian bar.) I don't see equality here; I see cliques that form in high school. It may be easier to form the comfort zones with people who are just like you, but it may not be better./korkster

I think you are judging too quickly here.
Sunfire | August 15, 16:05 CET


My goal wasn't to judge, Sunfire, and I apologize if I came off that way. I was trying to express what I saw, from an outsider's POV. Since I revoke the labels, I'm not in either category. By nature, nothing has been able to classify anything about me, to sum it all up in one or two words. Nothing I've accepted, at least. Even my real name is odd, and doesn't fit the norm. So, from an outsider looking in, I see grouping (which makes sense), but in my mind, there should be one big group & none at all, all at once.

The whole "open-minded" being redefined as bi-sexual bugs me, though. It implies that the reason that some people are only attracted to one sex, especially if that sex is the opposite one, is that they are close-minded. As far as I'm concerned, open-minded is being open to new and different ideas. Indicating that if you are open to new ideas you will realize you are bi-sexual, is something that dismisses the personal experiences of mono-sexual people, whether straight or gay. As I have said, bi-sexuals may be the majority in life, and should get more air time, but the rest of us do exist. There is no reason to be inclusive of an under represented group, by negating others. It really bugs me that Joss seems to be pushing that agenda through his "open-minded" comments and his storyline.
newcj | August 15, 18:15 CET


I'm sorry, newcj, but I don't think I fully understand your comment. Could you please explain further, maybe with a "fire bad, tree pretty" approach to help my simple mind this early in the morning? (Alright, it's afternoon, but I was up til 4AM and the coffee didn't help.) Thanks. :)
Y'know, I think you have to be careful here. We are treading very close to "being gay is a choice" and that is the argument used by the right to deny gay rights. In fact, if all we are is on some spectrum, why, there is no need for gay rights. We're all just varying degrees of a "straight-bi-gay" on some line of sexuality. Nothing is fixed; everything is fluid, and it is all choice. Do you see the problem here? What about evidence to suggest that being gay may be genetic? Everyone wants to say Willow should love who she wants. But who IS Willow? What DOES she want?
I never said that "being gay is a choice". In fact, my previous post points to the fact that you can't control who you fall if love with, whether it's same sex or not. My only issue is why must it be classified? So you like men/women/turtles... who cares?- That is the feeling that I've seem emerge in younger generations, acceptance/indifference. If you pulled that "being gay is a choice" out of my previous post, I don't think you read it right. :(

Dana5140, the spectrum I refer to does have definite gay & straight areas (0 & 6 on the Kinsey scale). Willow could be mixed, but genetically, she could have dominant gay genes. Just as genetically, a rose is a rose.

My argument is how far down the rabbit hole are we going to have to classify ourselves, especially if the categories do not yet exist?

My point is that while we may be who we have always been, and our encounters in life help shed further light on who that self is, the categories are the fluid ones, for they do not completely define one's self accurately.

But who IS Willow? What DOES she want?


That's exactly my point, on many levels. Our whole point in life is to figure out who we are, and while most may do that with classification, my argument is that there may be another way.

me:
Willow (and the rest of the real world) seems to always be in an identity discovery, in one form or another. Whether it be gay or straight, nerd or witch, evil or good, sidekick or hero... she (as well as the rest of the show) is always trying to determine "what/who she is". As we all are.


Although classification may help that self discovery along the way, no one or two-worded phrase is going to sum us all up. Take the black, for example: Whedonesquers

We're all more or less here because we really enjoyed/fell in love with one of Joss Whedon's works. We come here to discuss and anticipate his shows, and reflect those shows on our own life experiences and personality. So, by calling ourselves "Whedonesquers", does that mean we all think the same way? Do we all equally love Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dr. Horrible? Do we all view the comics in the same light? Do we all cherish the same relationships, episodes, character deaths?

No, we don't. Yet others (outsiders) refer to us as "Whedonesquers", and take our view points all to be the same. Which is just not the case. Even though we all enjoy Joss Whedon's work, we enjoy it for different reasons, some more severe than others. Even if you identified yourself as a "Browncoat", you're not going to agree with every other "Browncoat" that you meet.

So, instead of classifying yourself as a "Browncoat" or a "Whedonesquer", why not just say you're a person who loves that particular work? And that we all gather in interest to discuss things that we love? People ("normal"/mainstream) already view us as a "rabid fanbase"... is it because we're so centralized and categorized that they can no longer understand/relate to us? If we remove the label, are we more approachable, more acceptable? Becoming just two people sharing a particular interest?

Of course, that example may de-rail this thread, but I'm trying to express that is not the gay/straight label in particular I have a problem with; it's all labels. By categorizing yourself, (to me) you're cutting yourself off from other POVs, other experiences, in whatever other categories there could be. It may be argued that this is idealistic and naive, but I think it's more naive to believe that certain labels/words/categories can sum up our whole being; that's impossible to do, when we don't even always understand ourselves.

ETA for clarity.

[ edited by korkster on 2008-08-15 22:22 ]
Dana5140; That movement has been known to have, by their own definition of the term, success stories, so I think "phony" isn't the most accurate word to use.

(It's also the reason I often call Willow an ex-straight, since I see a similar dynamic inr everse, but that's just me.)
Let's not conflate our choices with regard to what we watch on TV with the fundamental humanity of our sexuality. I sort of get where you are going, Korkster, but I think this analogy is sort of off the rails. You are still bringing choice into the debate, and I am saying that the entire idea of choice in queer theory is highly controversial. I don't want to devolve into Judith Butlerisms on this, about gender construction and queerness, but I do feel that sexuality is not a matter of choice; who you sleep with might be. If you follow.

And you can aruge that the entire idea of classifying is suspect. But that is only putting words to reality. The issue still remains despite how we attempt to define it. And yes, sure, all humans are different. But so?
Please be careful with spoilers...many of us still haven't read Buffy Season 8 yet! I didn't know there was a relationship with someone named Satsu until this post. I learned about a lesbian angle the same way, and I really don't want anything else revealed until I can afford to buy the series. Thanks!
but I do feel that sexuality is not a matter of choice; who you sleep with might be. If you follow.

Dana5140, that is EXACTLY what I said may be the case:

I never said that "being gay is a choice". In fact, my previous post points to the fact that you can't control who you fall if love with, whether it's same sex or not. My only issue is why must it be classified? So you like men/women/turtles... who cares?- That is the feeling that I've seem emerge in younger generations, acceptance/indifference. If you pulled that "being gay is a choice" out of my previous post, I don't think you read it right. :(


I'm beginning to wonder if you're even reading my comments.

And you can aruge that the entire idea of classifying is suspect. But that is only putting words to reality. The issue still remains despite how we attempt to define it. And yes, sure, all humans are different. But so?

Again, you're not reading me clear. And I don't think I can make myself more clear than by spilling out my brains and letting you poke around. The REALITY of this article is that the situation has shifted- people are leaning towards indifference about your sexual orientation. And if that's the case, must you still need to pursue the perfect label/category/centralization to identify yourself if no one cares?

And yes, sure, all humans are different. But so?

Isn't the whole point that "all humans are different"? And the "But so?" plays perfectly- it's expressing your indifference/lack of caring to the "new mood" the author sensed in the coming of ages.

You saw how on the other "rabid fan" thread how ambiguous people are to identify themselves with a certain TV show/character... whether to be Whedonites, Jossians, or Browncoats... and THAT is just television! Can't you see the complexity of the situation that you're trying to group in the words gay or straight?
In fact, if all we are is on some spectrum, why, there is no need for gay rights. We're all just varying degrees of a "straight-bi-gay" on some line of sexuality. Nothing is fixed; everything is fluid, and it is all choice. Do you see the problem here?


Couple of thoughts in reply to this. The libertarian in me says - You're absolutely right. There is no need for gay rights, just as there is no need for specifically stating anyone's rights due to who or what they are or their gender or beliefs. They are human and therefore have the same rights as anyone else. In a perfect world. You know, that place we don't live :). So sometimes we need to codify the truths that we hold to be self-evident, because some of us aren't as far along the wheel as others.

Fluidity doesn't necessarily mean choice, at least in the way that I am talking about it, so none of the implications of that matter. Personally, it doesn't matter to me whether someone's sexuality is the result of nature or nurture, they are a human being and are born to and deserve the same rights as anyone else.
That was nicely put, zeitgeist. I think I'll take a break and let you take over. :)
What Dana5140 said (see, it can happen).
I was going to do it upthread, but I didn't want to give him a heart attack :)
OMG, I can die happy! I lurve you, sunfire! :-)

Kork- no, I read you, of course, but it may be I am not getting the sense you want. Couple o'comments:

"And if that's the case, must you still need to pursue the perfect label/category/centralization to identify yourself if no one cares?"
Does that mean that you yourself don't care? Just because others don't, it does not mean that it is not important to me (a generic me, okay?).

"And the "But so?" plays perfectly- it's expressing your indifference/lack of caring to the "new mood" the author sensed in the coming of ages."
And here you read me wrong. I was not expressing indifference to the new mood, I was saying, what import are you placing on the idea that we are all different? Because, we all are. But what is the point? You are still trying to say that categorizing people as gay or straight no longer matters. You are, to a degree, right. To SOME people, it no longer matters. To others, it matters very much. Certainly, younger people seem to attach less significance to this, at least so it seems. I have not seen any data to suggest this, but in truth I believe it. But this is, I think, in the sense of at the general level. When it becomes personal, that shifts things. Then it may matter a lot. The hypothetical becomes personalized and real.

zg, sure, I agree. And I am by no means libertarian. In a perfect worl, it would not matter and we would not need special rights. But this is not a perfect world, the gay communtiy remains marginalized, they have become the right-wing's personal devil of choice for inciting the base, and if you are truly libertarian, then you should be advocating for marriage between any two consenting adults, regardless of sex. Fact is, gay folk are not getting the same rights as hetero folk are, not when it comes to marriage, adoption, parenting, etc. Things, y'know, we straight folk take for granted.

Off topic, I want to say how much I like debating on this board. I frequent 3 message boards- this, letsrun.com, and progressiveears.com. The latter two are for elite distance runners (my son finished 62nd overall in this last year's Chicago marathon, with a time of 2.41- which is 6 min slower than his best, but it was 88 degrees that day- out of 24000 runners), and for fans of progressive music. The level of incivility on PE is fairly high; the level on letsrun is so bad now I cannot go there any more, since it is no longer possible to have a discussion without racial and religious epithets being thrown around. Those baords do lack moderators, and the ones here work hard to keep it good. I appreciate it.
if you are truly libertarian, then you should be advocating for marriage between any two consenting adults, regardless of sex

Or for the government to get out of the marriage business altogether.
Does that mean that you yourself don't care? Just because others don't, it does not mean that it is not important to me (a generic me, okay?).

You are correct, I do not care about the perfect label/category/centralization. Hence my statement that I revoke labels.

I choose to identify my self, my being in other ways. For example, if I were sexually attracted towards women, I would say "I like women", not "I'm gay". As I've mentioned before, I've felt that "degree" of love for both men & women, but not for their physical qualities. I love them for them, their personality, their soul, their humanity.

I understand that a label can aide in the discovery of an identity, but those labels are incomplete, and do not describe the whole "you". They're not applicable, and it doesn't make sense to me to force yourself into a category that may not completely agree with you. (Like calling someone a "Browncoat" if they are a fan of Joss Whedon; it's not complete, or accurate.)

I think categories also carry an excuse for other, non-accepting people to segregate & fractionize our population.

I was not expressing indifference to the new mood, I was saying, what import are you placing on the idea that we are all different? Because, we all are. But what is the point? You are still trying to say that categorizing people as gay or straight no longer matters. You are, to a degree, right.

That is my point. We are all different, and we are too complex to be placed into categories. That IS my point. And it's not that it "no longer matters", but that it SHOULD not matter... and the future generations seem to be heading in this direction (in my mind, the right direction). As you state:

To SOME people, it no longer matters. To others, it matters very much. Certainly, younger people seem to attach less significance to this, at least so it seems. I have not seen any data to suggest this, but in truth I believe it. But this is, I think, in the sense of at the general level. When it becomes personal, that shifts things. Then it may matter a lot. The hypothetical becomes personalized and real.


When the hypothetical becomes personalized & real, it should be realized that categories are incomplete, and do not fully state what person you are. I didn't say we're at that "golden" state yet, but I think we're finally moving in the right direction. People will finally be able to look in on themselves and not place labels on something so complex & beautiful. We have to start somewhere. If we start with ourselves, it will not matter what labels others try to place on us- for we will know what we are without their "help".

and if you are truly libertarian, then you should be advocating for marriage between any two consenting adults, regardless of sex.

I do advocate towards this. It was never a question in my mind that two human beings have a right to find happiness in whatever form possible.

And, what bix said.
Yeah, I think when we talk about "fluidity", most people don't mean to imply "it's a choice you can make based on a whim or purely loving the person despite their gender" or whatever. When I was 18 and realized I was also attracted to dudes in addition to always being aware that I liked women, it wasn't a conscious decision I made or even really anything I'd been considering for a long period of time (a few hints in the months leading up to the realization though). Have since continued to date both and fitting most comfortably into the "bi" slot hasn't changed in the eight years since.** Currently in a relationship with a guy, have been for five months, but I still look at girls like that. Speaking from personal experience, there's nothing about sexuality that's a choice, beyond who you choose (hopefully wisely) to hook up with within the scope of who you find attractive/appealing. It's all hormones and emotional highs and maybe something that's as yet undefinable in your brain that makes you attracted to one gender or both (sometimes neither too, though talk about something even rarer than what we're discussing, wow), and yeah, probably right down to genetics. Personally I think the nurture/environment angle only determines how quickly someone realizes what they're into, whether they ever do, whether they're able to or are willing to risk experimenting, etc.

**If we must label, and I believe they're still useful tools in the current climate in which we live (plus they're not going anywhere any time soon or probably in our lifetimes). Not all areas of North America--the region most referred to in this thread--are as culturally progressive as others, there's still a long way to go, nevermind some of the worse places in the world. We might love to give up on the whole labels thing and caring whether any of this matters too much, but we'll have to stick with 'em for now until the remainder of society catches up. I just see a lot of opinions floating around in this thread about not being so concerned with labels/group identifiers and while that's a beautiful sentiment, it just isn't realistic yet (sorry, I think Dana already made this point, just wanted to put it in my own words though).

I know this part probably has nothing to do with Willow's sexuality or sexuality in general, but I can't resist...

Dana said:
I don't even want to consider what it means for her to have lived for hundreds of years.

We'll all probably talk about this more in the coming comic book issues, but...do you simply mean that you don't want to think about/talk about Willow's apparent immortality in this thread specifically, or does the idea that she lived so long disturb you on some level ? Or is it a black mark on her character arc, potentially ? Does it potentially risk her status as a...political hot potato too ?

re: references to gay marriage some have made in this thread

The whole problem with the government-should-get-out-of-marriage-business idea is that the transition period is gonna be so vicious-debate-filled that it'll be hard to pull off. Many of the folks married in non-church ceremonies would gripe that their union is suddenly being attacked as not meaning as much as a religious one or whatever. And then of course there's the issue of...well I mean you can get rid of governments-involved-in-marriage on paper, but marriage comes with so much legal baggage (and benefits--spousal and all that), how do you get the government out of it while still maintaining a fairness and lawfulness about it when it comes to the part of common law or marriage that benefits families ? (and the individuals when divorces happen). I get the need for equality, but add to this the vocal minority who make a good point about non-straight folk trying to define themselves by what's the norm in the rest of society and almost seeming desperate for approval by wanting to do the same things straight folks have traditionally done (kinda where I am, don't care about marriage one iota, though I do think it's important to maybe keep the spousal benefits and all that....that legal stuff should be equal among the orientations). I agree every adult should be entitled to the option of engaging in everything that's legal for straight folks, but I question whether we should be championing marriage as this attainable goal that will "win" it all (I'm not saying anyone in this thread has expressed that viewpoint, but it's one I see a lot of). Obviously a lotta folks want it though, otherwise it wouldn't be so sought after and so huge in debates...I just can't help questioning if most of them have hyped themselves up for it beyond really having picked it apart and coming to an understanding of why it's so important to them.

Add to all that the fact that religions don't have a monopoly on the word "marriage"...A lotta folks out there like that they can get married and still properly call it a marriage without a church involved. I'm not saying the get-state-away-from-marriage sentiment isn't worth looking at, but it's just so goddamn messy it's almost headache-inducing to imagine the prospect.

I shouldn't have touched the "gay marriage" subject, there's an insane amount of things to be said about it and my pondering is all over the place. Badly/barely organized.
and if you are truly libertarian, then you should be advocating for marriage between any two consenting adults, regardless of sex. Fact is, gay folk are not getting the same rights as hetero folk are, not when it comes to marriage, adoption, parenting, etc. Things, y'know, we straight folk take for granted.


I could swear that that's what I was doing :). As far as the government getting/staying out of it, there are varying degrees of that. Where I think they should get out of it is defining which sexual orientations are allowed to benefit from it. Marriage is in the states interest as it promotoes stability and often the raising of children (aka young citizens who are potential workers/tax revenue generators), so the state divorced of any religious agenda should be in favor of any marriage between any people of any orientation.
As the system is currently set up, there are no government-regulated procedures that look upon gay marriage~straight marriage. My mom works for them, and even though she's an advocate for gay marriage, she's told me that it's going to be a huge mess working out the legal parameters for such a thing.

The mess does need to work itself out, and it will (eventually). But if the government hadn't had stepped in and gaves rules for how to distribute benefits (insurance, retirement, custody of children after a divorce) for spouses in such a detailed man/woman viewpoint, this would be a smoother transition.

Of course, I also know that if people could live peacefully and not meddle with other people's affairs, the government wouldn't have needed to step in to begin with.

I just see a lot of opinions floating around in this thread about not being so concerned with labels/group identifiers and while that's a beautiful sentiment, it just isn't realistic yet

*blushes*

I guess most of those you're referring to are mine. I did get quite long-winded on this, didn't I?

I guess you could call me an ideal cynic. It's depressing at times to look at the world and know where it should be, yet recognize that it's not. I've had a lot of hardships & short-comings in my life, but it was because I held onto that "beautiful sentiment" of life that my life, and the lives of those around me, is better for it.

God, I wish I could remember that quote. It was something along the lines of "live life as it should be lived, to remind people of what they can be, to make the world a better place" or some crap like that. Basically- live by example, rise above the tide, and show the world that there's another way.

Is it difficult for me to live this sort of life? Hell yes! Am I perfect? Uh, no. Am I disappointed when the lives I affect don't transfer on the message of "good will"? Sometimes, but when I was with those people, it helped them out of tough situations, opened their eyes a little, and even I got to grow a bit. Every experience I encounter is worth it. Especially the bad ones.

Sorry if I got preachy. I broke the rules and had a cup of tea. Plus my "click"-y sound is all wonky and I can't shake it.
Please be careful with spoilers...many of us still haven't read Buffy Season 8 yet! I didn't know there was a relationship with someone named Satsu until this post. I learned about a lesbian angle the same way, and I really don't want anything else revealed until I can afford to buy the series. Thanks!

Volo | August 15, 23:12 CET


This has been out for months. People are going to discuss it...like in this post for instance. I think you are just going to have to be careful what you read.


I know this part probably has nothing to do with Willow's sexuality or sexuality in general, but I can't resist...

I thought the article referred to Buffy's sexuality. ;-)


The whole "open-minded" being redefined as bi-sexual bugs me, though. It implies that the reason that some people are only attracted to one sex, especially if that sex is the opposite one, is that they are close-minded. As far as I'm concerned, open-minded is being open to new and different ideas. Indicating that if you are open to new ideas you will realize you are bi-sexual, is something that dismisses the personal experiences of mono-sexual people, whether straight or gay. As I have said, bi-sexuals may be the majority in life, and should get more air time, but the rest of us do exist. There is no reason to be inclusive of an under represented group, by negating others. It really bugs me that Joss seems to be pushing that agenda through his "open-minded" comments and his storyline.
newcj | August 15, 18:15 CET


I'm sorry, newcj, but I don't think I fully understand your comment. Could you please explain further, maybe with a "fire bad, tree pretty" approach to help my simple mind this early in the morning? (Alright, it's afternoon, but I was up til 4AM and the coffee didn't help.) Thanks. :)

korkster | August 15, 20:36 CET


Fair enough. I'll try.

Joss has used the term "open-minded" to explain why Buffy had sex with Satsu. Buffy says various things in the comic that indicate that Buffy is attracted to Satsu over a long term and that she enjoyed sex with her. By calling this open-minded, it implies that people who are not acting as she is are closed-minded.

An analogy: If I say someone took part in an orgy because they were not a prude, it would imply that anyone who is not interested in orgies *is* a prude.

It is a lot like peer pressure, which annoys me.

To continue the implication, if all open-minded people will be attracted to people of both sexes, than there is no such thing as straight or gay people, just bisexual people and closed-minded people. Therefore people who claim to have sexual interest in only one of the sexes are either so closed minded that they have not allowed themselves to know their true nature, or they are lying. These are not implications I care for. Let all of us, both those who know what our sexual preferences are, and have never had any need to experiment, as well as those who have need to experiment, just be ourselves without labeling one group open-minded and implying that the other is not.

Not tree pretty, but I hope it is clearer.

As far as labels, I am not into them either, unless I am trying to discuss something. Then labels or terminology in general becomes very handy. You can say why use a term like Whedonists or Browncoats, use fan of Joss Whedon's work instead, but that is still a label. People naturally group together and label those groups. Personally, I have a difficult time with groups and find that the more group dynamics and group mentality stuff starts kicking in, the more I get creeped out and want to fade into the shadows. Other (more normal) people take strength from it and as long as it is used for good, all is well.

People who choose to call themselves Browncoats are purposely categorizing themselves as strong fans of Serenity and/or Firely. They may not like or may not have tried out Joss's other work. A man who is exclusively sexually attracted to men but has a woman showing sexual interest in him, may find it simpler to tell her that he is gay, than it would be to refuse to label himself. A man who has just been seen kissing an old boyfriend goodbye by a woman that he may have a sexual interest in, might find it convenient to let *her* know that he is bi-sexual rather than refuse a label. It is to be hoped that this would not be the same man, in the same night, though I have known some that would put labels to use for them in that way too. ;-)

I think each of us decides what labels we will use to identify ourselves. For some of us the labels are very strong anchors for our identity and for others they are something we have to do to make other people feel they understand something about us. When I realized that someone I knew had hinged her whole identity and sense of self on being "intelligent" since at least the age of 7, I tried to think if I had a similar trait or label that I held onto as defining me. it is an interesting exercise to do every so often.

People labeling others is much more difficult and dangerous. The thing is, we are talking about fictional characters who are not real people. We can discuss what categories they might be part of because they were written to express ideas about ourselves and our society.
korkster:
Of course, I also know that if people could live peacefully and not meddle with other people's affairs

Unfortunately, though, that's the addiction of choice for a huge chunk of the human race...
Labels. If you don't label yourself, someone else will.

When I was in high school my friends and I were called "freaks" collectively. We were all quite different from each other, but our commonality was in being different from some sort of norm. Why were we called freaks? I believe the point was to make us feel ashamed of being an artist, a musician, a nerd, a gamer and all around bad dressers.

Shame is the primary weapon of oppression. If you can make someone feel ashamed of who they are, you've got power...or at least the illusion of power. The way to combat that is to take the shame out of the label. You do that by taking the label with pride.

So, we started calling ourselves freaks with pride. Yeah, we're proud to be different, so screw you. And that is the birth of a clique...the freak clique. Are the Scoobies not a clique? One could argue that it's not because it wasn't created with the intention of being exclusive. But cliques are actually borne out of the desire to belong--to be included. And people with shared experiences and interests just naturally gravitate towards each other.

Around my junior year, the names got a little more sinister. In addition to "freak", "geek", and "band fag" (as all people in band were called), there was "f***ing dyke", "lezzie" and other various terms too colorful for black and white.

When those names started I didn't know I was gay, but it was swimming around in my subconscious. Maybe something about my behavior gave it away. But having been called other names before, I could to some extent blow it off. That is until I realized that I was in fact attracted to the same sex and not so much the opposite.

It was no longer stupid high school name calling, but shame applied to something I didn't choose--something I had no control over to change. When I was called a freak, I could say I choose to be a freak, a geek and to be in band. I'm not popular because I choose not to be popular, not because I can't be. I also choose to be a liar. ;)

The question is, how do you be proud of something you didn't choose. The answer is necessity. Because pride is the opposite of shame--the anti-shame. And if you invoke pride within yourself, it becomes a shield against shame, not only within yourself but outside as well.

So, if someone calls you a "f***ing dyke" and you know you fit the definition and they're trying to make you feel ashamed for it, "Don't label me!" is not an effective response. You might as well say "Don't call me names!" or "Sticks and stones..." That might work when the label is actually false, but not so much when it's true. The truth hurts...if you're ashamed of it. So, don't be ashamed of it, and it won't hurt.

Every generation likes to think they're more evolved than the generation before. But how much are they really? If you've never been made to feel ashamed of who you are, you're mighty lucky. And just maybe there will be a day when shame is not attached to labels having to do with sexuality or shame attached to non-heteronormative behaviour. When that day comes, there will no longer be a necessity for pride in it.

That day is not here. Not when a gay kid can get shot in a classroom. Not when gay is an insult, a synonym for "stupid", which is the current trend for the "evolved" younger generation. Did it not occur to anyone that the younger generation of gays is abandoning the label because gay now means stupid?

There's a reason why my generation prefers "gay" and "lesbian" as opposed to "fag", "dyke" and "homosexual". Labelessness is just the current strategy against shame. Possibly, and ironically, because the gay community has a attached shame in not being 100% statically gay and bisexuality even though it's supposedly part of the LGBT.

When I came out, it wasn't kosher to admit feeling anything at all for the opposite-sex. It was intended to combat or disprove the theory that gay is a choice and one could be straight if they tried hard enough.

Somewhere along the line I decided that was absurd and that I could admit that I think John Cusack is cute and Spike is sexy. And I had a geek crush on Doogie Howser and Wesley Crusher when I was a kid. But, I'm still gay because I don't really want to actually have sex with them. It is what it is--an insignificant amount of heterosexuality. No big. No need to drop the label. The rainbow in the sky isn't falling. I'm not a traitor.

Obviously I'm attracted to some non-gender specific qualities, otherwise I'd be attracted to every woman on the planet. Those qualities can be found in men. However, for reasons I cannot explain, the combination with female specific qualities result in a stronger attraction which translates to more fufilling and complete romantic relationships. This is not shallow or closed minded, it's simply the truth that I cannot deny. If my girlfriend were male, he would be my best friend and I would love him...but not romantically. Also, we met online so physical attraction actually occurred last.

I've long held the belief that the bisexual label had a dual meaning. The first is that it's someone who is attracted to qualities of both genders. The second is that it's someone who is not attracted to any gender specific qualities. And also a combination where someone might find certain gender specific qualities attractive in one gender, but it's not heavily weighted against other non-gender specific qualities.

I'm a little surprised that's not a more commonly held belief. I don't know why it's not... thus I don't see the need to ditch the label for being poor fit. All labels need to be stretchy, and to hell with those who try to make them confining. But seeing as how both straight and gay people have attached shame to it I can understand how it would be more difficult to overcome it and easier to just go labeless.

I'd be surprised if anyone reads this whole thing. Geezus...sorry my brain just spilled out.
How is frickin' possible I have more thoughts?

Re: Open-minded sexuality.

It doesn't mean being open to any old sexuality. But being open to you're own sexuality. Buffy was attracted to Satsu just enough for Buffy to consider sex with Satsu. And because she is open-minded, she was not repulsed by the idea and chose to act on it. If she wasn't open-minded, she wouldn't have acted on it.

Buffy being open-minded does not mean having sex with Satsu was actually the right thing to do in an ethical sense. Nor does it mean that had she not had sex with Satsu she'd be closed-minded. It just means she wasn't turned off by being turned on. The art of storytelling is about presenting ideas via the story and it was more dramatic that she actually had sex with Satsu instead of it just being a thought bubble.

That doesn't mean that people who don't have sex with people they aren't attracted to are closed-minded. That doesn't even make sense.

[ edited by GrrrlRomeo on 2008-08-16 11:11 ]
Many good posts. I think I am sensitive to the issue on this because next week my son gets married. This is the first of my three kids to do so. In fact,. take a look: http://weddings.theknot.com/pwp/view/co_main.aspx?coupleid=6139400026184687&MsdVisit=1

Anyway. With regard to Willow and my comment about not thinking about her being alive for so long, it was not immortality I was considering; it was the fact that she would have outlived all of her lovers, whoever they are. SO over that course of hundreds of years, who did she fall in love with? If indeed, she really lived that long over that period- I can come up with a lot of ways she did not (for example, she got projected into the future in some way, just like Buffy). But boy, the mind boggles there, because if you immortal, you might live differently than if you were mortal. SO, I did not want to go there.

And taking GrrrlRomeo's point, the fact that my kids, who are Jewish, do not see themselves as Jewish (because they do not practice the religion) sure does not mean the people they meet won't see them as Jewish. This is a point I have hammered into them- how they see themselves and how the world may see them and label them are not related. And newcj's argument makes much sense as well.
Dana5140:
Anyway. With regard to Willow and my comment about not thinking about her being alive for so long, it was not immortality I was considering; it was the fact that she would have outlived all of her lovers, whoever they are.

Unlike some others, I do fanfic only in my head. This was one I thought of quite some time ago, because it occurred to me that filtering all that massive energy through her body would have to have some permanent effect.
Buffy says various things in the comic that indicate that Buffy is attracted to Satsu over a long term


I never really saw that. The build up was somewhat minimal. If Joss wanted to show that there was chemistry between Buffy and Satsu (not the other way round) he needed he'd be a little less subtle in my case or write better. But it was no where near as blindsiding as Ianto and Captain Jack and the stopwatch in the first series of Torchwood. No foreshadowing there and so it fell flat.
Again, again, what GrrrlRomeo said. You are so articulate about this! Yay!

And also:

For some of us the labels are very strong anchors for our identity and for others they are something we have to do to make other people feel they understand something about us.


That's a nicely put point newcj. It isn't always "I identify myself as X" so much as, "OK, maybe you'll understand if I call myself X." Well, I'm basically just repeating what you said less eloquently, aren't I? ;) I actually felt a little that way about getting married. I've never personally been interested in marriage and the reasons for "making it legal" were complicated (well, not so complicated--I'm Canadian living in the US and he's American) but after many many years together I found it simplified matters to call him my husband. That "label" doesn't mean anything to me but I do feel like I'm conveying more accurately to other people where our relationship is at than when I called him my boyfriend. By the same token, while I sympathize with all the people to whom labels like "gay" or "bi" or "straight" don't comfortably apply, they are useful labels--sometimes to help somebody come to terms with a difficult self-realization (there is a word for these feelings, there are a lot of people who feel this way, who are like me), sometimes to seize the power of the name from others who would use it against you, as GrrrlRomeo said, and often just to express something to others without using way too many words and being incoherent. "I'm gay" or "I'm straight" can give people the exact information you want to give them, whether the label is meaningful to you or not.

It's sort of like using the word "love." Obviously it means something different to each person. We all may define it slightly differently, and certainly experience it differently, but it's still a useful word.

And what lovely pic of your son and his fiancee, Dana5140!

ETA an F in IdentiFy

[ edited by catherine on 2008-08-16 16:51 ]
Buffy says various things in the comic that indicate that Buffy is attracted to Satsu over a long term


I never really saw that. The build up was somewhat minimal. If Joss wanted to show that there was chemistry between Buffy and Satsu (not the other way round) he needed he'd be a little less subtle in my case or write better. But it was no where near as blindsiding as Ianto and Captain Jack and the stopwatch in the first series of Torchwood. No foreshadowing there and so it fell flat.

Simon | August 16, 14:49 CET


Trying to cut down on the length made me unclear. I did not see the attraction before the fact but after the fact. Although I did not see a lead up to it, once they had done the deed, Buffy made a couple comments about finding Satsu sexy. My point was that it was not presented as a one night momentary aberration, but as a continuing attraction.
The build up was somewhat minimal. If Joss wanted to show that there was chemistry between Buffy and Satsu (not the other way round) he needed he'd be a little less subtle in my case or write better. -Simon

I did not see the attraction before the fact but after the fact. -newcj

Simon, newcj...didn't people say that about Willow and Tara in New Moon Rising?

I saw the subtext with Buffy and Satsu because I'm always on the lookout for lesbian subtext. I was only surprised that Joss let Buffy actually go there. I was anticipating some long drawn out subtext with lots of (square) thought bubbles from a questioning Buffy, followed by a less than climactic answer (or worse, annoying unaddressed subtext). Instead I got a laugh-out-loud issue. What a delightful mislead!

Comics do require a certain amount of action so something can be illustrated. That Buffy fights while carrying on conversations lends itself to the medium quite well. How do you draw sexual attraction without any action? Actors can pull it off with subtle expressions, and dialogue can pull it off. But comics can't just be dialogue with panel after panel of two people talking nor can it convey too subtle expressions.

I think the goal was to not make it seem as though it came out of nowhere (at least in hindsight), and at the same time show that it's not a deeply rooted attraction on Buffy's end...not enough to make her bisexual anyway. The longer subtext is drawn out, the harder it is to put it back in the box. So I think, all and all, the arch was well executed for the comic medium. Perhaps it could've been executed as a dream or fantasy, but subconsious stuff implies something more deeply rooted.

Also time is wonky when a month to us is days to the characters in the story. The way I read it, less than 24 hours had passed between #12 and #13 and maybe a couple weeks between #12 and #15...but not more than a month.
Build-up is a tricky thing, and really just because some viewers didn't see the build-up between Willow and Tara doesn't mean those who didn't see much build-up between Buffy and Satsu were missing the same things. The build-ups were very different. And time is always wonky, in a series as much as in a comic, but in a different way.

As for my theory that gay and straight aren't part of a spectrum but two separate dimensions of person's sexuality with different intensities, I'll leave that one alone *grin.
Thankee, Catherine. He is in now visiting me, with his twin brother, younger brother (all 3 of my kids here at the same time!) and with girlfriends, to boot, so 6 people in total. Life is good. He hads back to my ex-wife tomorrow, and then on Th next week I drive to Minnesota.

I picked up the subtext immediately but dismissed it as too obvious. Dumb me. I know Jossian tactics, so should have foreseen it. But truth is, this has no resonance like Willow and Tara did, where there was a slow burn for a long time while we understood that a relation was potentially building but simply did not know if Joss was going to go there or not. By the time Willow came out, we were hooked. This is much different, is good for debate, bu right now seems headed for nowhere in terms of a major life changer for Buffy. It is, in a way, just a relation that we have but know is not going to last. A step along the way.
Heh, maybe Satsu/Buffy is Joss getting to show the toe-in-the-water, preliminary stage of a girl/girl attraction that he wasn't really able to portray in a detailed obvious fashion with Willow/Tara in Season 4. Probably not, but the fact that there's way more freedom (near-unlimited?) for him to do what he likes with the characters at Dark Horse got me thinking along those lines. But nah, that wouldn't be the only reason for it (or maybe there is no reason, like someone else suggested in this thread--it's just something that happens with people in real life and he felt it worthwhile to show on page as just another color on Buffy's palette).

I thought Joss might be going there with Willow and this new witch we'd just been introduced to in "Hush" when they joined hands to combine their power to defend themselves. I wasn't sure, there was no way to be certain, but I figured, "looks like Oz is gone for good or at least for a good long while, so..."

I can't remember where I knew what was happening...it's not like it was invisible or everything with Willow and Tara pre-"New Moon Rising" was devoid of hints. Probably once I realized Tara was sticking around for longer than just a multi-episode friend arc (Scott Hope was temporary in Season 3, Principal Flutie, a ton of recurring villains don't make it to the end of the season, there was a lot of precedent), I clicked in permanently. But I definitely knew before "New Moon Rising" and I kinda feel sorry for the folks who didn't and felt it came out of left field back then (or on the DVDs, heh). Then again, it subverted expectations and maybe inspired some folks to look harder at what's going on on their screen, so, cool.

This would be an even more tragic take on the character than I feel like we're about to get, but maybe Willow didn't date much beyond whatever betrayal (or perceived betrayal) happened/happens soon. Maybe she eventually does the whole giving-up-on-love-for-fear-of-getting-more-killed.
There is a difference between seeing an attraction and seeing a set-up. I saw the set-up for both the Satsu/Buffy and Buffy/Xander possibilities before Satsu and Buffy jumped into bed, and hoped Joss would not go for either one. Oh well.

With Tara and Willow, there is a real sense of connection, deep feeling and intimacy between them before the relationship is put into words. I did not find that with Buffy/Satsu. Satsu apparently loves Buffy and Buffy likes Satsu's hair style. Then they have sex. Then, to make sure we understand that Buffy was not just in an any warm body in a storm mode that night, Buffy finds it sexy when Satsu, a subordinate who is in love with her and she has had sex with, calls her Ma'm (or something, it is fading from my memory) which I found fairly sleazy.

No, I'm not going any further. We all know I don't like season 8.
Well, me neither. But here is a question: WHY does Satsu love Buffy?
Well, me neither. But here is a question: WHY does Satsu love Buffy?

Dana5140 | August 17, 20:37 CET


I don't think we know enough about Satsu to know that, though hero worship always seemed like a disturbing possibility.
But that is not really love. The whole idea that Buffy could get free from a kiss from someone who truly loves her begs the question.
"Why" is a pretty slippery question when applied to love. "Why" does anyone love anyone else? People fall in love because they're carbon copies of each other, because they're mirror images, or because they have absolutely nothing in common in a completely random fashion. Because they like his car, or they like her hair, or because they simply have nothing better to do at the time. Even in the Real World, "Why do you love X?" is a question that, as often as not, has nothing but non sequiturs as the answer. I don't know why fictional universes should be any different.
I don't miss what we got with Willow/Tara when it comes to Satsu/Buffy 'cause it's not even close to the same thing. We weren't getting a slow-build relationship development and I won't be disappointed if we don't get one for them in the future. They had fun and have some affection for one another (with Satsu possibly loving Buffy, though if it weren't for that spell we wouldn't be wondering how or why Satsu does...maybe it's just semantics and it could be anyone-who-has-deep-affection for Buffy, magic can be wonky and I'd have to go back and re-read that issue to be sure). Buffy's affection apparently came about more recently.

Sleazy, I dunno, debateable I guess. Yeah, it's a boss/employee sort of relationship...sort of...hard to compare, they're in a crazy extreme situation where they're more at risk of dying at any time than your average working class joe. I couldn't fault two soldiers in real life, of vastly differing ranks, if they did the same thing, however against the rules it might be. Life scary, people comforting. It's not illegal or anything and I'm not about to take some extreme [to me] "Buffy should know better/Satsu looks up to her" sort of viewpoint. They had fun.

The "Ma'am" thing is just surprisingly kinky (for Buffy), I thought. Not that kinky compared to what's out there, but for Buffy, yeah (I guess that's saying something considering Spike in Season 6, but that didn't faze me all that much).
I ask the question because I think it is important, not because I do not understand that people love each other for whatever reason. Here, we See that Satsu loves Buffy, because of the information we are given; what we do not understand is WHY she loves Buffy- we saw NO interactions between them that led us to understand why Satsu feels as she does. So it is hard for me to believe that it is really love that is at play here- they barely know each other, they've had sex (which does not require love to be involved at all), but we see no other data that demonstrates love. It is not like Willow and Tara, or even Xander and Anya- there is no real interaction between Satsu and Buffy that shows their internal lives when they are together, or how being apart affects them. So, Ron, I think it is important, because we have NO information at all, nothing.
GrrrlRomeo, I did read all of your comments. Do I get a cookie? ;)

Good points all, and I thank you for your input, but I'm going to retire from this thread.
Dana, This is where I have to point out that Buffy and Satsu were together (and not even as an actual couple, despite their - er - coupling,) for a sum total of four issues: the equivalent of one, maybe two episodes (perhaps a total of a week or two?) although we found out that Satsu was in love with Buffy some time prior to that. So, since you bring up Willow and Tara once more as the yardstick, let's do a little comparison.

Buffy/Satsu: They do have some interests in common - being Slayers (which does not require love to be involved at all.)
Willow/Tara: They do have some interests in common - the magic (which does not require love to be involved at all.)

Buffy/Satsu: despite the fact that we have no idea how long they've been working together, they don't, as you point out, know each other very well.
Willow/Tara: We first see the "zing" between them in "Hush". And while we don't know exactly how long they'd been in the Wicca group together, it's obvious that they don't know each other very well.

Willow barely noticed Tara prior to the night they moved the soft drink machine.
Buffy definitely noticed Satsu (whether it meant anything or not.)

Satsu makes the first move on Buffy, even while trying to conceal the fact, and when Buffy reveals that she knows Satsu was the one who woke her, Satsu admits to being in love with Buffy.
All of Willow's lovers have demonstrated interest in her first, too, Oz, Tara, Kennedy. One might suspect that's a big factor in Willow's "Why": I love Willow, but she's just a little needy.

In terms of explicit "Why"s, both Willow and Tara express their love for each other, but neither of them ever really says Why. Willow tells Buffy that there's something powerful between her and Tara, and tells Tara (rather obliquely) that she loves her - some two months after they began seeing each other. Tara tells Willow that "Even when I'm at my worst, you always make me feel special." But by that time, they'd been together nearly a year.

So, why does Willow love Tara? Why does Tara love Willow? Why does Satsu love Buffy? And why doesn't Buffy love Satsu back? (She certainly likes her, but that's a different thing from "love".) We don't actually have a definite Why? for any of those. Unless it's a key point for the story plotline, why do we need to? I don't know of very many other stories where "Why" the characters are in love matters as much as the fact that they are (mostly, the "Why" doesn't matter at all, although quite often "Why they shouldn't be" does.) I see no particular reason this story should be any different, and certainly no reason why it should be demanded to reveal all so much sooner than any of the other storylines did (if they ever even did reveal the same information that's being demanded of this one at all, which is questionable at best.)

And I've just exhausted my month's quota of parentheses, so unless someone knows a cheap supplier...?
Well, the why here is part of understanding the nature of their attraction, which we can only speculate about because we have seen nothing of their interior life. With Tara, we could see early on her signal to Willow her interest, from that first, "No, you're special" to her bringing the Doll's Eye crystal and so on- that is, while we might not have understood Willow's feelings toward Tara, we were certainly getting signals about Tara's toward Willow. Which was essentially made real with "I am, you know" "Yours." There was a build we could follow- yes, we could read it two ways, one simply as two people interested in magic, and one with two people interested in each other. And of course you raise one of my criticisms about Kennedy- that the relation ahppened too quickly, as it did here as well. Y'know, the Saffy is there, but it really does not resonate because we were not privy to how it built. So it is much harder to care about and invest in.
Dana5140:
And of course you raise one of my criticisms about Kennedy- that the relation ahppened too quickly, as it did here as well.


Oh, dear, you knew I was gonna have to disagree with this, too, didn't you? Let's look at that relationship against Willow & Tara.

"Hush": Willow meets Tara. Barely notices her until the "zing" when they clasp hands.
"The I In Team": Three weeks later. Willow spends the night, although we don't really know in what sense. Maybe they really were just staying up all night doing magick; maybe they were already in the "heavy petting" stage; maybe more. Who knows? It's pretty easy to make a convincing case either way.
"New Moon Rising": Willow tells Buffy about Tara, and tells Tara she loves her. Even if they didn't previously "go all the way", I don't think there's any reasonable doubt about the end of this episode.

Time from first meeting to "for sure" intimacy: Nine weeks.

Sidebar: It's interesting to notice that all of Willow's lovers make the first move (discounting Willow's overture to Oz, which he rightly pegged as nothing more than an attempt to make Xander jealous.) And all of them - Oz, Tara, Kennedy - were flirting with her in their own way right from the start. It's just that Oz and Tara were subtle, while Kennedy was more "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Willow showed little interest in any of them until they showed an interest in her first.
I love Willow, but she's a li'l bit needy...(end sidebar)

"Bring On The Night": Willow meets Kennedy. And is completely taken aback with Kennedy's directness.
"Showtime": A week later. Willow & Kennedy are still sharing a room, but not a bed - and Willow is uncomfortable even at that.
"The Killer In Me": Three weeks later. Their first date. First kiss. Willow begins to respond to Kennedy's advances, but that's about it.
"Touched": We don't even have to guess about this, we know it's their first time. Anyone who has doubts about that just wasn't paying attention.

Time from first meeting to intimacy: Ten weeks. How about that. Almost exactly the same span of time as with Tara. A little more, actually, as some episodes of Season Seven appear to be spaced farther apart than in other seasons. Willow may be needy, but she's not easy. Also, Tara's been dead a year - I've seen people marry again in less time than that, after being with their spouse for thirty or forty years.

In my opinion, not only does "too soon" usually translate to nothing more nor less than "too soon to suit me", there's a whole boatload of "fans" that would prefer Willow to stay alone and celibate for the rest of her life. Me, I like Willow too much for that. As far as "Why" does Willow like Kennedy, well, that's probably easier to answer than the other way around: Kennedy clearly thinks Willow's the bee's knees, she sticks up for her anytime she's put on the spot, and she stuck by her even after Willow nearly killed her - not once, mind you, but twice. The girl's got backbone, and she's easy on the eyes. I'd say that's a lot of pluses from the POV of someone who's not long been accustomed to having people think she's wonderful when she doesn't even believe it herself.

(ETA a missed apostrophe. Making up for all the parentheses, I guess...)

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2008-08-20 01:23 ]

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home