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October 21 2015

(SPOILER) Discuss Buffy Season 10 #20. Tell us what you thought of 'Triggers'.

I was actually surprised to see them deal with the AR issue so directly. I thought it was handled really well. The last few panels were quite the curveball!
Good issue. Glad they haven't forgotten the past but can also look towards the future. WTH is with Anya?
It's a good issue and seemed like a natural successor to the Angel episode "Billy".
I thought it was really good, and explained trauma and triggers very effectively without detriment to the storytelling. Buffy confronting Spike at the end was a really strong moment. It really brought home the idea of demon-Spike as a semi-metaphorical ex and made a great point about how he shouldn't make her trauma about him and take it as blaming him for the actions of what's essentially her ex, and instead understand that it's about her experience and respecting her space. This Spike, whose soul we're still only getting to know, appears to be a pretty good listener once he puts in the effort, judging by his reaction.

And I'm really curious as to where the Anya subplot is going and how it ties into the bigger story.

[ edited by GreatMuppetyOdin on 2015-10-23 18:46 ]
I'm still w orried that Tara's soul didn't escape form that giant earlier this season, and they might do something with it related, because, Anya's best friend.
I have Buffy # 20,Triggers."

I got my copy yesterday.

The Xander stff is what really interested me in this issue.The fact Anya isn't really Anya I love and intrigued me at the same time.I've long felt that too many characters die and come back so the reveal that this isn't really Anya is great IMO and I assume ties into the larger story of the season.

Thought the adventure with Xander,Giles and Dowling was a fun.

As for the other plotline with Buffy/Spike and the incubus and it bringing up the AR.As usual,the B/S aspects aren't my cup of tea.I get why it was brought up again in this issue but that aspect is really a non issue to me.
I think the way the Buffy/Spike relationship has been treated in this series is pretty misogynistic and irritating. The producers' unwillingness to write out Spike as a character, as well as the fandom's willingness to leap to his defense is pretty indicative of American society's apologist attitude towards rape and sexual assault in general, especially when the perpetuators are white men. I've never really understood Buffy's (or the fandom's popular) opinion toward Spike. She should have staked him in season four.
Insistondoubt, I'm a big fan of Spike and I also have a master's degree in women's studies. Here's why I think your critique of society doesn't apply to Spike/Buffy: They were involved in a violent relationship with no safe words in which one or the other routinely initiated sex with force. Viewers were manipulated in this episode, with Buffy acting out of character. She had had much worse fights in the past and still remained strong. Of course, Spike had tried to kill her in the past, and she was able to get past that without flashbacks. There are various reasons why rape is so horrible for women. 1. Raped women are often not believed, and they may be seen as spoiled goods or sluts. That was not an issue for Buffy. In fact, Spike's actions helped the Scoobies focus their anger and disgust on Spike, instead of Buffy for seeking sex with him beforehand. 2. Male rapists are often motivated to dominate and degrade women. But Buffy is stronger than almost all men who aren't demony or using magic. I would hope that she wouldn't feel as vulnerable as the rest of us. 3. Unlike most men who attempt rape, Spike went through tortures so that he would never do anything like that again. He differs from Angel, who tortured and killed many women -- and it's suggested probably raped some -- before his soul was forced upon him. I'd prefer to have a man who was willing to be tortured so that he would never try to rape a woman again than one who can't be around me because he's worried that he can't control his desires and might end up torturing and killing me. Of course, the ideal would be a Buffy boyfriend who had never hurt her and would team with her without being threatened by her power. But I don't know if the writers will ever create such a character.
Thanks for your response Suzie - I'm a little confused by some of the finer points of your argument, and maybe you could clarify for me.

(1) I don't understand how Buffy and Spike's prior mutually violent and non-consensual relationship has any baring on the bathroom scene in 'Seeing Red,' which took place after Buffy had clearly ended their relationship and explicitly stated that she wanted no further sexual or romantic contact with Spike. It seems to be that you're implying that prior non-consensual or violent sex somehow justifies later instances of abuse, which I don't think is the case.

(2) You cite an incongruity in Buffy's character as a way in which "viewers were manipulated," yet even if this was the case (which I would contend), Buffy's physical strength and ability to fight off a potentially abusive assailant isn't really relevant in this context either.

(3) You suggest that Spike's rape of Buffy actually 'helped' the scoobies, which, again, even if this was the case, doesn't really seem relevant in terms of justifying an apologist attitude to an attempted rape in this circumstance.

(4) You seem to suggest that torture (or at least being "willing to be tortured") can be an appropriate rehabilitation method for assailants of sexual assault. I see little or no evidence for this, nor am I convinced of this point in relation to a comparison between Spike and Angel - clearly each relationship was highly problematic, violent, and irresponsible in its own way, yet I still do not see the basis or relevance of comparison here.

Overall, I feel like you're merely reproducing the (albeit brief) critique of the fandom I state in my first post - that their willingness to forgive Spike for his attempted rape of Buffy is indicative of society's apologist attitude toward sexual abuse perpetrated by white men.
I'm coming from reader-response world. Buffy & Spike are fiction and I reject what the writers tried to portray, just as some Angel fans want to reject Twilight.

1. I agree that prior consensual sex does not justify nonconsensual sex. But in B&S relationship, consent was sometimes unclear until the one demurring became an enthusiastic participant. Each tells the other one that they are done, but then get back together again. In "Seeing Red," Dawn tells S that B really cares for him. In the bathroom, there is only a minute or less when it's clear that Buffy really doesn't want to have sex this time. She kicks him away and he leaves horrified that he almost raped her. I don't apologize for rapists in real life. But I choose not to believe that Buffy, a fictional superpower, would have considered herself almost raped.

2. I agree that a person's physical ability to ward off a rapist doesn't make them less of a victim. But I cited B's ability because it makes the scene less believable. I also think B would have a different mindset than normal women who may feel vulnerable and a great loss of control over their bodies.

3. I'm not justifying S's behavior because it helped the Scoobies hate him more. I was talking about why I would imagine B's mindset might be different.

4. I'm not suggesting that we torture rapists in order to rehabilitate them. But I do think that people can change. A vampire who undergoes torture to regain his soul, in hopes that he will never hurt B again, seems to be on the road to redemption.

We may have to agree to disagree. This essay expresses much of what I think.

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