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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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June 03 2013

'Dealing with the F-Word' - a Whedonverse essay. This examination of feminism in Joss' work first appeared in "The Psychology of Joss Whedon" anthology.

Interesting essay. I do wish it was a bit more nuanced as I do believe it overlooks characters that don't really fit the overall gender roles point such as Boyd, Ballard (who are not generally mocked in world), Jayne (who is), and Angel who may be miscast a bit in this article since he generally doesn't get help until after he's hit rock bottom. Fred often had aspects that remained indirect. Angel also doesn't generally seem to seek it out, rather people seem to be attracted to his orbit for their own reasons. Cordy, Doyle, Wesley, Fred, and Lorne all seemed to be characters he "let stay" rather than he sought them out. Gunn you could make the case Angel actively built a bridge to have that relationship himself.

I do wonder if when you lay the characters out especially with early Whedon, is that the reason his later work seems more mixed up and less feminist to someone looking for simple cues. He used so many character types and scenarios that were obvious flips in what is considered gender that if he continued to do it without mixing it up he was going to get bored and the audience was going to start getting antsy.
The phrase "men in skirts," evry now and then, could be applied to Buffy, Willow, and Kennedy as well.

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