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August 31 2011

We're All Mad Here: Institutionalization in the Whedon-verse. An examination of how Joss explores the idea of institutionalization as a form of controlling and punishing women. It's a good read.

Heavily flawed article. Faith is included in the "crazy" discussion (clue: she's not), but Fred isn't? Also missing Glory & Buffy's own catatonia in Weight of the World (and her depression in s6).
This article, like so many others, reflects a persons personal thoughts and opinions more than anything. Interesting but I'd much rather read what Joss had in mind by writing X,Y and Z.
Joyce also deserves a mention for her temporary... um, crap, can't think of the proper word... "disconnect" from the real world during her brain tumor experience. She was allowed to stay at home. And maybe Marcie, the invisible girl, should be mentioned. She was never really punished, but was instead taken away to be groomed - which would be more like River's experience, I guess.

Hmm, I'm trying to think of any times when the men were crazy and institutionalized... and the only one that I can think of is Andrew and Jonathon's brief incarceration in "Two to Go." They never seemed to be playing with a full sack of hammers, but I guess they weren't "crazy" crazy.

Maybe... Angelus getting sent to a hell dimension could be considered "institutionalized?" And he was pretty crazy. I mean, bringing hell to earth and potentially decimating your food supply? Not exactly an idea of the sane type. But I guess hell's probably not really an institution because it wasn't an organization run by "the man." (Okay, upon rereading, that sentence came out with too many potential funnies just dangling in wait.) By "the man" of course, I mean some form of governmental agency. Now if he had been sent to The Deeper Well, that would have undoubtedly qualified as an institution.

Now Spike was undoubtedly crazy in S7, but he never came to the attention of any outside authorities. Not sure how that fact would figure into any exploration of controlling and punishing. The only thing I can think of is that he was way too useful running around (metaphorically) to the various plot lines. ...Clearly I suck at this analytical thing.
Hmm, I'm trying to think of any times when the men were crazy and institutionalized..

You could make a case for alternate-Angel in 'Birthday'.
Hmm, I'm trying to think of any times when the men were crazy and institutionalized..

Wesley after Fred's death?
Sorry, must disagree with this article. In fact, think it took an exact 180 degree turn from what Joss meant. First, all these examples of,"women acting insane" were taken out of text, there was no lead-in, nor no follow through of the story.

Like trying to read a book with half the pages torn away.
I'm especially not impressed with the view of Sierra's treatment and Topher's response to it:

"Topher's guilt isn't that he imprinted a new personality on her, it's that she wasn't crazy enough to make that okay—an attitude one can see replicated in reading lists of unethical human experimentation in the US."

Topher is already seen as a person with questionable morals from the very start. Why should what he sees as right or wrong reflect any sort of lesson in the episode as a whole? That part of the episode is growth for him because he's not as amoral as people thought, but that still doesn't mean he's suddenly the most ethical man on the show, or that we're meant to believe anything as he does.

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