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kana
13-03-15, 08:27 PM
Introduction

Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a show with many facets, encompassing action, comedy, drama, horror etc, however one of the themes that drives the show forward is the relationships between the characters, in particular the romantic ones.

Despite one's shipping preferences, one has to admit that Buffy and Angel's relationship has been and has possibly remained one of the most iconic on the televised series and one might argue, beyond that. This isn't to undermine any other relationship on the show, but these two are going to attract some attention as Buffy and Angel are arguably two of the most important (meaning prominent regardless of whether you like them or not!) characters in the Buffyverse.

One of the things I wanted to discuss was the relationship between Buffy and Angel. Most importantly, Buffy's age, the issue of consent and of course the issue of Buffy's agency and choice in the relationship.

Now this was brought up in another thread (or forum) I believe. The subject of statutory rape came up and I was going to comment but I think it deserves it's own thread. In any event I wanted to discuss this in a rational and calm way. I think I may have posted about this subject before, but I wanted to revisit it. So while the legality or, indeed, illegality is somewhat relevant, I also wanted to focus or the moral aspect of the subject. So, again, I wanted look at Buffy's possible victim hood but also Angel's intentions.

Statutory Rape

First of all, I wanted to discuss the somewhat controversial topic of whether or not Angel raped Buffy. Based on my experience, there are two basic view points on this. For some, the issue is black and white: Statutory rape is statutory rape. Others however, argue that it's merely a technicality. In other words there is a difference between consensual sex where one of the parties happens to be underage and someone completely coercing another to have sex against their will.

I think this distinction is important. I think someone on one of the forums said that the idea of Angel raping Buffy is "silly", which I completely disagree with, as there is nothing silly about statutory rape, but as no action happens out of context we need to look at the distinction between the types of rape especially if we are to understand the morality of it.

So let's look this closely. First of all, yes, Angel did commit statutory rape. Buffy was 17 and in the State of California the legal age of consent is 18. Now, this is problematic. Why is it problematic? Well we're trying to argue whether or not Angel committed any moral transgression in the objective sense. The age of consent in California is 18 but in other countries or even other states, the age of consent can be as young as 16. So how can we, based purely on legality, objectively say that Angel did the wrong thing? Are we saying that Angel didn't have the good sense to have sex with a 17 year old girl in the 'correct state'? Or at the risk of sounding facetious, are saying that those in California take longer to make a rational choice regarding their sexual behaviour? So this is why I find it problematic to base Angel's moral judgement on geography rather than Buffy's sense of agency and Angel's intentions. So this raises the important question: at what age is someone psychologically ready to give their consent to have sex? I'm sure many of you would be disgusted at the idea of Spike returning Dawn's feelings in Season 5, the two of them dating in Season 6 and eventually having sex in Season 7. So where do we draw the line? 15? 16? etc

So in regards to Buffy and Angel. Was Angel specifically not regarding Buffy's choice in the matter? Did he coerce her or manipulate her?
Statutory rape laws are there to protect children from abuse and from the consequences both in terms of health and psychological well being. So, again, let's look at Buffy perspective. For simplicity's sake, let us push aside the health aspect, which is difficult to determine with vampires and Slayers and focus on the emotional aspect of it. When we look at the consequences of what happened, we have two aspects of it: the metaphor and the metaphysics. The metaphor seems quite clear: You meet a guy, he seems great and you sleep with him and he changes for the worst, which plays into the fear most people have when they first have sex. Some defend this by saying that Angel isn't Angelus. Without getting too bogged down on the Angel vs Angelus debate, we can at least argue that he behaves differently when he hasn't got a soul, particularly towards Buffy. So we must state the consequences of Angel losing his soul is something he didn't know and it was something that Buffy couldn't have reasonably known. So this consequence doesn't seem to be dependent on age. Had Buffy been 18, would she have been much more equipped to deal with the consequences? If you took a typical 18, perhaps even 21 year old girl who had sex with someone and they turned out to be a homicidal maniac, I'm not sure if they or anyone would be particularly equipped for that. One could argue that although she was 17 and naive when it came to love, she possessed a maturity and self reliance that came from being a Slayer that perhaps helped deal with the consequences, perhaps a lot better than many older than her might have. Again, we've seen these arguments being batted around. Some say she was naive and virginal, but others argue that this does not take away her sense of agency as a woman and as a person and to argue against that is patronizing and even sexist in itself. Some even say that although Buffy has arguably made some rash choices when it comes to relationships, it's no more ill -advised than the choices she makes when she's older.

So it brings us back, full circle to arguing that while we most likely would all agree these laws are put in place for a reason, a good reason, we must also look at Buffy as a rational human being with agency, who is psychologically able to make rational decisions about her body regardless of the eventualities of the relationship of which, it's fair to say few people could foresee. It's not a black and white issue, which is why, when we are judging it morally, we need to look at each individual scenario. In this scenario, in moral terms, is Buffy a victim devoid of all agency? For all those who argue there is an element of maturity to Buffy, even back then, others argue that she is still a young girl when it comes to love and lacks the maturity to make that decision and most importantly, Angel should have realized that.

Looking the consequences, had Angel been an ordinary guy, who simply loved Buffy who was an ordinary girl, would the emotional fallout be as severe as it was? If Angel didn't have a curse and lose his soul and Buffy didn't have to deal with sending him to hell, would they just have been an ordinary couple? Maybe they stayed together or broke up for different reasons. Maybe we can't separate these things from the context of the story and perhaps that we have difficulty sometimes judging it in real life terms. This may also become relevant when scrutinizing Angel, who's lived a long time, whereby the laws of consent have changed. So again to close this portion of the post, we need to look beyond the argument of "it's wrong because it's illegal" as if living in California would magically rob Buffy of psychological agency somehow as opposed to her living in a different state.

Angel's Intentions

This may be the most pivotal part of the debate. We've talked about consent and Buffy's agency. Hopefully so far you agree with me that it's not a black and white issue. First all I need to be clear on something, Angel's not a paedophile! I'm not saying that anyone here is saying that, I wanted to us to be clear on that. Buffy is an adolescent, but prepubescent, so this is simply the incorrect term. Ephebophilia also wouldn't be accurate because there is little evidence that he has a preference for teenagers. We see he's been attracted to typically older women, for example Rebecca Lowell, Cordelia or Nina. I'm not sure how old Darla is meant to be, but she doesn't come across as a virginal teenager.

When I first watched Buffy, I very much saw the relationship from Buffy's perspective. In fact, I wasn't even aware of the statutory rape laws in California at the time. For me, it was played out as very romantic and tragic, and not at all creepy. I certainly didn't view Angel as being particularly predatory. Looking back now as an adult, the idea of even seeing a teenager as a romantic prospect seems troubling to say the least. However I must move past the "Ewww" argument and look at why I find it troubling. Some argue that an attraction to a girl in her late teens is perhaps subject to moral scrutiny rather than it being totally unnatural for a adult to be attracted to them. However regardless of one's view on this, we are more than our base desires. We have our moral sensibilities and these are important when making decisions about our relationships and certainly when it comes to the issue of consent.
There are many reasons why one wouldn't be attracted to an adolescent but the context of inexperience and naivety would be enough to turn many away. As well it should! Amongst other arguments, the "ewww" argument perhaps keeps us from transgressing these well placed societal barriers, which can help protect innocent victims from predators. This, and well, the law.

However, going to Angel, we need to ask the question: Were his intentions predatory? Some defend him by saying his original intention was to help Buffy and he simply fell in love with her on the job.
Another question needs to be asked: How does Angel see Buffy?
He refers to Xander as a kid and Buffy understandably responds with "What am I?" He also refers to Faith as little more than a child. Is Faith much younger than Buffy? So I'd say she is right to question how he really does see her.
Some people say "But it's transcendent and goes beyond the labels of adolescent and adult". However issues of maturity and consent shouldn't be something we should gloss over with the typical "age ain't nothing but a number". However many may argue that each situation is different and while there are some lines that should never be crossed, the issue of age and consent is not a "one size fits all" kind of deal and we have to look at the intentions and understanding of both parties. So while we can say that teenagers are by their very nature immature (Buffy admitted this of herself at age 16), maturity isn't light switch and it can develop in different ways at different rates.

In the case of Angel, as we've established, he doesn't go stalking the school gates looking for teenage girls, so even if we argue that Buffy is immature and naive in some ways, this certainly isn't a prerequisite for Angel as far as dating is concerned. So Buffy being more of an exception than the rule, would possibly be what Bangels mean when they say it transcends age. The question is, did Angel really see Buffy as girl who lacks agency? To me it doesn't appear so, but I could be wrong.

Some people argue that in a way, Buffy and Angel are on equal footing because he is somewhat immature. While he has infinitely greater sexual experience, it's arguable that Buffy is his first love, which places him in certain position of naivety that could parallel hers. Under this defense, if we argue that Angel isn't simply seeking sex with naive girls, that there is nothing predatory about their relationship and Buffy should not be automatically seen as the victim and Angel the predator.

When Willow and Buffy talk about Buffy's possible sexual encounter with Angel, it's stated that Angel is not pressuring her into sex. As it's often been said, she was the instigator and this isn't something we should brush aside when looking at her agency. I mean, we could say that by merely being around Buffy he's causing her not to think straight because of his charm, good-looks and great hair. Again, are we really going to rob Buffy of any responsibility and agency when it comes to her feelings for Angel? Short of Angel not being around Buffy at all, he is not responsible for her falling in love with him and her falling in love with him does not automatically make her a victim. I mean, even though she didn't know he was vampire straight away, it doesn't mean that his vampirism is the only thing that defines his sense of personal identity. Yes Angel is quite secretive, and this does affect his relationships in general, however did Buffy know enough about Angel's past to make a decision about losing her virginity and if not, why not?

So I'll say that Angel wasn't predatory in his nature. One could say that main consequence of their relationship was the happiness clause, but he didn't know about that either, so it's not as if we can say he hid that from her. So one could argue that when she had sex with him, she knew enough to make a rational decision and there is not much more that could have been done.

While I'm open to persuasion, I'm of the opinion that Angel intentions were not predatory. Was the relationship inappropriate? I think if Buffy were any younger I'd have issues with it, despite her growing maturity. She still was still yet to mature and while Angel seemed mindful of this, it make me wonder if Buffy was even younger when he saw her, whether he would have pursued a relationship with her. I sincerely hope not, but because of how young she was, we should ask this question.

Angel is still a person with 200+ years of emotional baggage, so is it right to subject that to a girl who is still in the stage of emotionally maturing. Due to her age, the relationship is going to have a huge impact on her life, assuming she survives. That said, being a Slayer means she cannot afford all the capricious frivolities that normally come with youth, so maybe she was more suited to Angel than one might think.

In any event, even before they have sex, Angel says "maybe we shouldn't". Should he have been more insistent? Was it wrong? If so why was it wrong? Because he's older? Because she's 17? Because it's illegal? My point is, we need to be precise in terms of why it's permissible or immoral. We also need to think about Angel's intentions as well and whether or not he considered her sense of choice and agency as a person. We also need to look at the foreseeable consequences from both sides? Did Angel consider that having sex with Buffy would be emotionally damaging at 17? Is there any evidence that it would be emotionally damaging for a 17 year old to lose her virginity to an older man?

I'll rambled on to be fair so I'll put this main question in bold:

Do you think Angel being in a relationship with Buffy is morally wrong or morally permissible, based upon her age and what are the reasons for your answer?

Happy posting :).

MikeB
21-04-15, 01:37 AM
REGARDING THE OVERALL MORALITY OF ANGEL’S PRE-BTVS S8 RELATIONSHIP WITH BUFFY

* If Buffy never found out that Angel was a vampire and if she never found out that he was cursed and was cursed because he was such a vile vampire, it doesn’t seem Angel would have ever told Buffy any of his history.


* Angel’s kissing Buffy resulted in his vamping out. That is a very troubling sign.


* Buffy ‘fell for’ Angel when she thought he was human. It seems clear throughout Buffy’s relationship with Angel that she would prefer he be human. Angel seems to recognize that Buffy wanted him to be human.


* Given the above things, not even counting that Angel statutorily raped Buffy and that he was making out with 16-year-old Buffy before that, his relationship with Buffy is morally wrong.

- It’s perhaps very telling that the Master – albeit he couldn’t exactly hide his identity other than doing a glamour on himself or covering his face – was upfront with Darla – she considered he could be the Devil – before beginning a ‘relationship’ with her. It’s telling that Drusilla showed William Pratt her demon face before siring him. It’s telling that Angel wasn’t upfront with Buffy about who he is.


* Post-“Graduation Day Part II” (B 3.22), there’s the major problem of how Angel reacted to Buffy’s ‘being with’ other people. After the Uncursed Angel thing of BtVS S2, Angel’s dumping Buffy in “The Prom” (B 3.20), and Angel’s leaving town after “Graduation Day Part II”, Angel’s reaction to Spike’s informing him in “In the Dark” (B 4.03) that Buffy’s had sex with someone else was Angel’s seeming to feel personally betrayed and perhaps even that he considered that Buffy ‘cheated on’ him. After “I Will Remember You” (A 1.08), clearly Angel has no ‘claim’ on Buffy. He chose to be a vampire so that he could beat up people and demons rather than remain human. That decision meant that he couldn’t be with Buffy. Yet in “Sanctuary” (A 1.19) Angel yells at Buffy for ‘moving on’ even though that’s what Angel in “The Prom” (B 3.20) told her to do. Then in “The Yoko Factor” (B 4.20), he beats on Riley largely to mostly because Riley is Buffy’s boyfriend. Angel’s treatment of Spike in AtS s5 until post-“Destiny” (A 5.08) is simply disgusting and stake-worthy.


REGARDING ANGEL’S ‘INTENTIONS’:

* Regarding Angel’s intentions: Angel in “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (B 1.01) and after is flirting with Buffy, he gives her his jacket, in “Never Kill a Boy on the First Date” (B 1.05) acts almost as if Buffy is ‘cheating on’ him, in “Angel” (B 1.07) tells 16-year-old Buffy that he wants to kiss her, and in “Surprise” (B 1.13) clearly informs the just-turned 17-year-old Buffy that he wants to be having sex with her.


REGARDING ANGEL’S STATUTORILY RAPING BUFFY

* That age of consent is lower in certain places is irrelevant to what the laws of California are. [Edit: If Angel were reported to the authorities, Angel would have been thrown into prison and been a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.]


* Beyond Buffy’s being underage, she’s a naive inexperienced virgin in “Surprise” (B 2.13). Beyond even that, in “Surprise” she’s faced with Angel’s almost leaving for months, and Buffy’s decision in “Surprise” to have sex with Angel is clearly mostly about her not knowing if she’ll ever again ‘feel this way’ before her death. Even her ‘carpe diem’ attitude, and after her death, and after Spike’s at least 3 times almost killing her (“School Hard” (B 2.03), “Halloween” (B 2.06), and “Lie to Me” (B 2.07)), Buffy has to convince herself that she wants to have sex with Angel. The events of “Surprise” ‘seal the deal’ for her regarding whether she’s going to have sex with Angel.

Buffy’s still naive in “The Harsh Light of Day” (B 4.03).


* It’s very telling that Angel gains a moment of perfect happiness after taking the ‘innocence’ of the naive inexperienced virgin Buffy. Buffy is essentially Drusilla 2.0 for Angel.


* It’s also important that Angel ‘prevents’ Buffy from dating fellow high schoolers. He’s very against hers being with Owen Thurman. He’s very against the idea of Buffy/Xander. He’s very against Billy Fordam (which he admits was partly jealously). Buffy was able to date people who wouldn’t be committing a crime by having sex with her.


Some say she was naive and virginal, but others argue that this does not take away her sense of agency as a woman The following are facts: she was naive, a virgin, and a girl not a woman.


* Again, pretty much the entire audience would be against that old man in “Carpe Noctem” (A 3.04) going into a young man’s body and having sex with minors. It’s doubtful that if Buffy never found out that Angel was a vampire that Angel wouldn’t have had sex with her in “Angel” (A 1.07).


Looking the consequences, had Angel been an ordinary guy, who simply loved Buffy who was an ordinary girl, would the emotional fallout be as severe as it was? That’s completely irrelevant to the discussion. If Buffy were never the Slayer, she’d have never come to Sunnydale. Buffy would have likely remained with her jock boyfriend and would have eventually had sex whenever she felt ready. Angel is only able to ‘introduce himself’ to Buffy because of the slaying.


* When Angel first sees Buffy, she’s possibly 14 years old, she’s sucking a lollipop, she’s in pigtails, and she acts like an immature Valley Girl. In addition, unlike Cordelia, there’s no reference that Buffy ‘looks older’ than she actually is.


* Angel throughout BtVS S1-S3 does see Buffy as a child and often treats her as such.


* It’s simply silly – to say the least – to consider that Angel was similarly ‘immature’ and ‘naive’ as Buffy in terms of sexual experience and relationships. Angel in general is more mature than Giles, Angel’s relationship with Darla lasted around 150 years, Angel’s relationship with Drusilla lasted around 38 years, 18 of those years without Spike.


DID ANGEL ‘PREY’ ON BUFFY?

* Yes. Angel was already flirting with her in “Angel” (B 1.07). He’s charming and mysterious. He knows he’s a great-looking guy. He tries to sabotage her date with Owen Thurman. Etc.

KingofCretins
21-04-15, 04:06 PM
Clearly he should have just married her. In California that would have required parental consent and judicial approval for Buffy's part having been under 18, but then they could have had sex morning noon and night with no legal problems or moral posing. And you can't try "vampires can't marry because vampires" because you forfeited that argument by refusing to accuse Buffy of necrophilia. Besides, marriage equality?

TimeTravellingBunny
22-04-15, 03:07 PM
The OP lays it all out very well. I will just add that IMO it's ludicrous to argue that Buffy was adult and mature enough to fight the forces of darkness, risk her life every night, have the responsibility to save the world, and even make the decision to sacrifice her life, but that somehow she was a "child" only when it came to sex, and that she was not mature enough to choose to have sex.

It's normally the other way round. The age of consent (which ranges between 14 and 16 in most European countries) is typically lower by a few years than the age of maturity which allows you, among other things, to vote and be nominated for office, and we all know that 18-year olds (or 21-year olds) never actually get nominated for any political offices, or are given any leadership positions; in fact, even 30-somethings are usually considered too young for top political positions. It's considered normal for a person to be having sex, if they choose so, for some 20+ years before anyone is willing to give them a position of top power and responsibility.

Of course, it's also possible to look at it in a different way, and see Slayers as just soldiers and unthinking tools in the hands of the Watchers. But, even if that were the case, while it's true that many countries and leaders sent/send teenage boys to fight their wars, to the best of my knowledge, they never officially considered those boys too young to choose to have sex.

Either you're a child, or you're not. You can't be an adult when it comes to everything else, and a child only when it comes to your sexual agency.


Introduction

In any event, even before they have sex, Angel says "maybe we shouldn't". Should he have been more insistent? Was it wrong? If so why was it wrong? Because he's older? Because she's 17? Because it's illegal? My point is, we need to be precise in terms of why it's permissible or immoral. We also need to think about Angel's intentions as well and whether or not he considered her sense of choice and agency as a person. We also need to look at the foreseeable consequences from both sides? Did Angel consider that having sex with Buffy would be emotionally damaging at 17? Is there any evidence that it would be emotionally damaging for a 17 year old to lose her virginity to an older man?

It's extremely unlikely that Angel, of all people, would find it wrong to have sex with a 17-year old, considering the fact that he was a man born and brought up in the 18th century, when girls normally married around that age, often younger, and many were already mothers by the age of 17.

It's far more likely that Angel's misgivings about this, as most of his misgivings in general, had to do with the fact that he was a vampire, and she was not.




* Beyond Buffy’s being underage, she’s a naive inexperienced virgin in “Surprise” (B 2.13).
So what? You're not supposed to ever have sex because you're an inexperienced virgin? How is anyone ever supposed to lose their virginity, then?!

And for "naive", she's less naive than many other people her age, and older. If we went around checking out how "naive" this or that person is, many would never be allowed to have sex, no matter how old they are.


* It’s also important that Angel ‘prevents’ Buffy from dating fellow high schoolers. He’s very against hers being with Owen Thurman. He’s very against the idea of Buffy/Xander. He’s very against Billy Fordam (which he admits was partly jealously).

Angel doesn't "prevent" Buffy from doing anything. Angel is not her dad or her guardian and did not have any power to prevent Buffy from doing anything. The only one who could have tried to prevent Buffy from dating someone is her mother, and she was not able to prevent Buffy from dating who she wanted to date, either.

What the hell do Angel's feelings about Buffy and other people have to do with "preventing" her from doing anything?! He was in love with her, he was jealous. Duh. So was Xander. Xander was very much against her dating Owen, or Billy, or Angel. Did he also "prevent" Buffy from dating others? Willow was against Xander dating others, until she hooked up with Oz, I guess she also prevented Xander from dating. Except people's feelings of jealousy are not a crime and do not entail power and control over what someone else would do.

Buffy tried dating Owen, and it didn't work. Buffy was not interested in Xander that way - the reason why she didn't date him is because she didn't want to. Buffy did not even express any wish to date Billy, nor did he express any wish to date her - and he turned out to be trying to get her killed, anyway.


Buffy was able to date people who wouldn’t be committing a crime by having sex with her.
What? Either Buffy having sex is illegal, or it's not. Make up your mind. For you, it seems it's just illegal if it's with Angel.

MikeB
21-05-15, 04:52 AM
KingofCretins


Clearly [Angel] should have just married [Buffy]. I assume that’s facetious or whatever. If not:

Joyce Summers disapproved of Buffy’s being in a relationship with Angel. Hank Summers wasn’t going to consent to the idea of Buffy’s marrying Angel. Hank likely would have reported to the authorities regarding Angel’s having sex with Buffy.



TimeTravellingBunny

*Re-read my “REGARDING ANGEL’S STATUTORILY RAPING BUFFY” section.

- Angel statutorily raped Buffy. That is fact. We aren’t discussing a situation such as if Buffy and Xander had sex with each other in BtVS S2.


* Mostly, re-read the entire post. I only address things in your post that I didn’t already address.


It's extremely unlikely that Angel, of all people, would find it wrong to have sex with a 17-year old, considering the fact that he was a man born and brought up in the 18th century, when girls normally married around that age, often younger, and many were already mothers by the age of 17. In none of the flashbacks and nothing we know of Liam suggests that Liam had sex with pre-18 year olds.

Moreover, Angel’s been alive this entire time. Blacks aren’t slaves. Women can vote. Statutory rape is illegal and wrong.


It's far more likely that Angel's misgivings about this, as most of his misgivings in general, had to do with the fact that he was a vampire, and she was not. What misgivings? Angel ‘fell for’ Buffy when she was perhaps 14 years old. Angel was making out with her when she was 16 years old. Almost nothing suggests that Angel wouldn’t have had sex with Buffy in “Angel” (B 1.07) if that were possible.


And for "naive", [Buffy]'s less naive than many other people her age, and older. “Many”? Really? Again, Buffy was still naive when she was a college Freshman.


Angel doesn't "prevent" Buffy from doing anything. That prevent was in quotes for a reason. Angel tried to prevent her from dating other people.


For you, it seems it's just illegal if it's with Angel. Um, statutory rape is illegal. It is also illegal for Tom Warner to have sex with an underage Buffy. I noticed you didn’t respond to this: “* Again, pretty much the entire audience would be against that old man in “Carpe Noctem” (A 3.04) going into a young man’s body and having sex with minors.”

KingofCretins
21-05-15, 04:08 PM
KingofCretins

I assume that’s facetious or whatever.

Well, it's taking the piss out of this silly fixation you have on the subject. But it's also legally accurate about the nature of statutory rape, or public policy rape if you will -- just find a way to be on the right side of public policy where all that matters is actual consent. For a just-turned-17 Buffy, that means to be a married woman consenting to sex with her husband. Her age would no longer legally be relevant, just her consent.

cil_domney
21-05-15, 08:43 PM
Speaking for myself - I always look at their relationship from the consequences it had on Buffy and my perspective is that the consequences were devastating and haunted Buffy well beyond the time she was in a relationship with him. Perhaps the most telling of all the morally, ethical, and damming of all is laid out in her decision to sacrifice Faith - an exchange of one life for another. Buffy makes the free will choice to attack Faith, to bring her back and feed her to Angel - she thrust that dagger into Faith and for what reason? She does it to save the life of her boy friend, she is motivated by self-centered Personal Goals and this is not something that can be over looked or glossed over - this was an attempted sacrifice with the outcome of death by draining.

The series tries to circumvent this horrific event and total moral and ethical failure of Buffy by eventually having her sacrifice her own life to save Angel - BUT and it's a great big huge BUT - this happens only after her failure to bring in Faith as the life sacrifice. Ethical, Moral, Mature, Heroic could have been applied to Buffy had she made the choice to offer herself as the sacrifice - she had the right to offer her own life but she never had the right, morally and ethically to offer an exchange of Faith's life. This is the Iron Clad ultimate No Crossing of Line for how I perceived the Buffy-Angel relationship and if Angel was good for Buffy. We can't even say that MAYBE this would be a Good Moral/Ethical Choice because her motivation was totally personal agenda - it's not like she was saving Angel because he was this individual who was going to be vital to the future of this world - NO she was overwhelmed by her love and emotional state and she chose to go after Faith.

Buffy's love for Angel also kept her from destroying Angelus and people died and the consequences from her inability to put aside her love have, IMO, haunted her ever since. Buffy's life was a horrendous combination of being a teenage girl who had the burdens of a world guardian and of people who should have the most profound appreciation of human life and human society but Angel/Angelus and LOVE was something that she could not deal with. I think that we can all appreciate that Giles would have destroyed Angel because it was needed - even Joyce would have done the deed because they could have and would have put aside any considerations of love in the face of Angelus killing innocent people. But Buffy, she could not do it and it took a heck of a long time before she could over come her emotional attachment. And we say YES she did eventually prove her quality but it comes at a great price.

Now we go into the comic book seasons which Joss Whedon help to create and approved - here we are again with Buffy and Angel and LOVE and CONSEQUENCES - again, hell of a lot of innocent people and great destruction was caused because Buffy was still having to deal with the consequences of her love, emotional attachment and vulnerability from their relationship. Moral and Ethic question are once again vital elements - Angel and Whistler and the Twilight Prophecy Players all used Buffy to fulfill their own personal agendas and Buffy is once again overwhelmed by her vulnerabilities to love and Angel.

Regarding the legality of Age of Consent as a way of judging Angel's giving in to his emotional needs that led them to their sexual encounter - while I think 17 years old was still too young it is not only their age differences but the huge differences in their life experiences. I am not one who consider's that Liam never loved another woman or that Angelus was incapable of love therefore Angel is also experiencing his First Love - Angel had vast experiences of life and humanity he is not like a newly emerged man without a past life. What I do think about Angel, and it's vital to how I see him in this relationship, is that he saw Buffy as a way to atone even in a small way for his sins against Drusilla. Buffy is his chance to do something good instead of destroying a beautiful young woman - he can help Buffy, help her save people and connect with a side of life and humanity that he did not have as a human and as a vampire. So YEAH - great big joy and peace when they join in the most intimate expression of love between two people.

It's absolutely not an easy question this love and relationship between Buffy and Angel but ultimately for me I can't see my way to seeing is a something Good for Buffy - I still think that a person's age has a lot to do with how viewers responded to the Angel-Buffy relationship and I think most parents would have taken the same perspective as Joyce did - that it was not good for Buffy to be involved with Angel.

kana
27-05-15, 11:54 AM
Thank you for all your responses. It is a difficult subject but I felt I wanted to address it because I've seen many arguments both in favour and defense of the relationship based upon Buffy's age. On that note, I'll focus on the responses that pertain to the issue of consent rather than the general pitfalls of the relationship.


* That age of consent is lower in certain places is irrelevant to what the laws of California are. [Edit: If Angel were reported to the authorities, Angel would have been thrown into prison and been a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.]


As I said, we have to careful with that line of reasoning. What anti-gay laws in certain countries? Just because something is illegal, doesn't make it morally wrong. So no, it's completely relevant so look at differing laws because it shows that much matters are not view universally. What you basically could argue that Angel's crime wasn't having with a 17 year old girl, but having sex with a 17 year old girl in California. Are we really saying that Angel's moral judgement hinges on geography?


* Beyond Buffy’s being underage, she’s a naive inexperienced virgin in “Surprise” (B 2.13).

As TTB said, everyone at some point is an inexperienced virgin. Again, we also need to look at Buffy's choice and agency. The conversation between Willow and Buffy at the beginning of surprise seems to imply that Buffy wanted to have sex with Angel and made it clear that it was her decision and he wasn't pressuring her. I completely agree that her age isn't something we should overlook, but at the same time we cannot overlook her agency either.


Beyond even that, in “Surprise” she’s faced with Angel’s almost leaving for months, and Buffy’s decision in “Surprise” to have sex with Angel is clearly mostly about her not knowing if she’ll ever again ‘feel this way’ before her death. Even her ‘carpe diem’ attitude, and after her death, and after Spike’s at least 3 times almost killing her (“School Hard” (B 2.03), “Halloween” (B 2.06), and “Lie to Me” (B 2.07)), Buffy has to convince herself that she wants to have sex with Angel. The events of “Surprise” ‘seal the deal’ for her regarding whether she’s going to have sex with Angel.

This is a very good point. It's important to note that young people don't feel as though they are in a rush to lose their virginity, but at the same time we cannot ignore Buffy's desire in the situation.


Buffy’s still naive in “The Harsh Light of Day” (B 4.03).

Yes, but Buffy's 18 at that point, so to a degree there has to be an element of responsibility that rests upon Buffy. At 18 you're old enough to vote. If that's the case you should be old enough to make decision about your own body.



* It’s very telling that Angel gains a moment of perfect happiness after taking the ‘innocence’ of the naive inexperienced virgin Buffy.

As I said in my original post, there is little evidence that Angel has a 'thing' for virginal girls. He's been with a variety of different girls with different experience levels both prior to and after Buffy, so I don't think that's what did it for Angel.


Buffy is essentially Drusilla 2.0 for Angel.

I disagree with this simply because the circumstances are so different. Drusilla actually was a victim of Angelus. He deliberately pursued her because of her innocence, but it was clear he cared about a lot less than the far from virginal Darla, so it doesn't really fit. If anything, Angel seems to have an attraction to strong minded girls/women.


* It’s also important that Angel ‘prevents’ Buffy from dating fellow high schoolers. He’s very against hers being with Owen Thurman. He’s very against the idea of Buffy/Xander. He’s very against Billy Fordam (which he admits was partly jealously). Buffy was able to date people who wouldn’t be committing a crime by having sex with her.

I don't even know what you mean by 'prevents'. He never prevented Buffy from dating anyone literally or figuratively. Was he jealous? Yes. Why wouldn't he be if he had feelings for her. The only person who Angel acted against in the scenarios you presented was Ford, but he was absolutely right about him.


The following are facts: she was naive, a virgin, and a girl not a woman.

My question is, though, does this take away her psychological ability to make a choice about her body?


* Again, pretty much the entire audience would be against that old man in “Carpe Noctem” (A 3.04) going into a young man’s body and having sex with minors.

I'm not sure what your point is. Don't get me wrong. As I've said, there is something troubling about seeing a teenager as a love interest if you're a lot older, but it's not as if Angel makes a habit of stalking the school gates for dates with 15 year old girls. On this issue we walk the fine line of seeing Angel as someone who took advantage of a young girl who has little to no frame of reference when it comes to romantic relationships. I mean, simply due to his experience, Angel already has the advantage. Does this mean that Buffy was incapable of knowing what she was doing? Did Angel manipulate her or guilt her into having sex with him? Despite it being a little impulsive, she did think about it before it happened. She didn't believe that Angel was pressuring her.


It’s doubtful that if Buffy never found out that Angel was a vampire that Angel wouldn’t have had sex with her in “Angel” (A 1.07).

That's actually making a huge assumption there. We still live in a society that assumes men are constantly full of sexual desire and women are the passive recipients of said desire which is inherently sexist.

Oz was older than Willow in Amends (although only by a year) but he wasn't ready to have sex with her. We cannot assume that just because Angel's an older guy that he automatically wants to have sex instantly or at any time. Angel never indicated he wanted a sexual encounter to happen anymore than Buffy did.


That’s completely irrelevant to the discussion. If Buffy were never the Slayer, she’d have never come to Sunnydale. Buffy would have likely remained with her jock boyfriend and would have eventually had sex whenever she felt ready. Angel is only able to ‘introduce himself’ to Buffy because of the slaying.

I think you've missed the point here. I accept that it's difficult to seperate all the components of the situation, but my point was that the emotional fallout may not be contingent to Buffy age.


* When Angel first sees Buffy, she’s possibly 14 years old, she’s sucking a lollipop, she’s in pigtails, and she acts like an immature Valley Girl. In addition, unlike Cordelia, there’s no reference that Buffy ‘looks older’ than she actually is.

If Buffy's birthday was in January, it's likely she was 15 at the time he saw her, but yes it's a disturbing scene, regardless of how it was intended. Many Bangel defenders say his love transcended age, but frankly this isn't good enough because love still relates to the intended individual and if the individual is not yet an adult, that love does not transcend, but is subject to that fact. As I said, our instincts are there for a reason. That scene in itself actually bothers me more than their sexual encounter.


* Angel throughout BtVS S1-S3 does see Buffy as a child and often treats her as such.

That could be argued, but then Angel can behave in a paternalistic manner. Not exactly a defence, but there you go.


* It’s simply silly – to say the least – to consider that Angel was similarly ‘immature’ and ‘naive’ as Buffy in terms of sexual experience and relationships. Angel in general is more mature than Giles, Angel’s relationship with Darla lasted around 150 years, Angel’s relationship with Drusilla lasted around 38 years, 18 of those years without Spike.

Yeah, I mean some people argue that although he's more sexually experienced, he, like Buffy is falling in love for the first time. This isn't an argument I'd use in defence of Angel, but I don't believe he was particularly predatory in his intentions. If that were the case, we'd see Angel targeting other teenage girls, and clearly he doesn't.


* Yes. Angel was already flirting with her in “Angel” (B 1.07). He’s charming and mysterious. He knows he’s a great-looking guy. He tries to sabotage her date with Owen Thurman. Etc.

Being flirtacious and charming in itself isn't necessarily predatory, but I suppose one would argue that it depends with whom one is flirting.



Either you're a child, or you're not. You can't be an adult when it comes to everything else, and a child only when it comes to your sexual agency.

This is one of the strongest arguments in Angel's defense. Can we trust Buffy to make life and death decisions if we cannot trust her to make a decision about her own body.


Regarding the legality of Age of Consent as a way of judging Angel's giving in to his emotional needs that led them to their sexual encounter - while I think 17 years old was still too young it is not only their age differences but the huge differences in their life experiences. I am not one who consider's that Liam never loved another woman or that Angelus was incapable of love therefore Angel is also experiencing his First Love - Angel had vast experiences of life and humanity he is not like a newly emerged man without a past life.

I think that's a fair point. I never really bought the "Angel is also a 'virgin' when it comes to relationships" argument, but it doesn't necessarily make him predatory in his intentions. While he's certainly not a new person he was carving out an new identity for himself when meeting Buffy. It's not just about the person he was but also the person who he's become. Being a champion and trying to be a good person was new to him and both he and Buffy started their iniation into heroism around the same time.


It's absolutely not an easy question this love and relationship between Buffy and Angel but ultimately for me I can't see my way to seeing is a something Good for Buffy - I still think that a person's age has a lot to do with how viewers responded to the Angel-Buffy relationship and I think most parents would have taken the same perspective as Joyce did - that it was not good for Buffy to be involved with Angel.

Absolutely. As I got older, I certainly saw the relationship in a more negative light. I mean, I could see the unfortunate implications but I can understand, that even in a situation with a 16/17 year old girl and older guy, psychologically speaking it isn't always a victim/perp dichotomy. It is possible to for a 17 year old to make a choice about her sexual without being a victim.

MikeB
18-03-16, 02:44 AM
KingofCretins


Well, it's taking the piss out of this silly fixation you have on the subject. The Buffyverse itself comments that statutory rape is wrong. In “Passion” (B 2.17), Joyce tells Buffy that Angel is “too old” for Buffy. “I Only Have Eyes for You” (B 2.19). Dawn in “Once More With Feeling” (B 6.07) mentions she’s only 16 years old and uses that as a reason she can’t marry Sweet.

Buffy in “Chosen” (B 7.22) told Angel she wasn’t ready to ‘settle down’. Buffy in “Surprise” (B 2.13) wasn’t certain she wanted to have sex with Angel. Your discussing hers marrying Angel in BtVS S2 is your using a straw man argument.



cil_domney

* Regarding “Graduation Day Part I” (B 3.21), killing Faith to save Angel is reasonable.

- Buffy doesn’t sacrifice herself to save Angel; at-most, she risked herself to save Angel.


* Regarding BtVS S8, Buffy was “controlled” into having sex with Angel-Twilight.


* Overall, Buffy greatly won the loyalty of Angel, Riley, and Spike respectively by offering the possibility of a romantic and sexual relationship and then being in a romantic and sexual relationship with each respectively.

Angel is very useful to Buffy in BtVS S1-BtVS S3 and at least in “Pangs” (B 4.08) afterward.



kana

* Comparing any-gay laws to statutory rape laws is wrongheaded to say the least.

Again, Angel actively was against Buffy’s dating those her own age.


* Again, “Surprise” (B 2.13) has Buffy’s essentially deciding to have sex with Angel because she might very well die before being able to have sex with someone she has strong feelings for.

It’s not as if she was enthusiastic about the idea. She even says something like, ‘at some point in a relationship, sex is the next step’.

Again, that Buffy was an inexperienced naive virgin is a factor in the wrongness of Angel’s statutorily raping her.


* It seems you completely missed the point of this: “Buffy’s still naive in “The Harsh Light of Day” (B 4.03).”


there is little evidence that Angel has a 'thing' for virginal girls. Post-being sired, the two women Angel ‘chooses’ are Drusilla and Buffy. It seems you also missed the point of “Lie to Me” (B 7.07) and “Passion” (B 2.17).


* Angel “cared about [Drusilla] a lot less than the far from virginal Darla” after around 20 years. Then after Dru sires William, the interest is renewed. Moreover, Angel never tried to kill Drusilla. In contrast, Angel dusted Darla in “Angel” (B 1.07) and didn’t have any emotional reaction to doing that.


* Buffy in “Surprise” (B 2.13) didn’t know much about Angel outside of he’s only ‘good’ because of a Gypsy curse, is considered one of the most evil vampires in history, and Angel’s ‘daughter’ (who Angel had a lot of sex with and likely still loves) and Angel’s ‘grandson’ is in town causing havoc.

It’s possible Buffy didn’t even know Angel’s Irish (she later probably does).

It seems Buffy never learns of “Liam” including that’s Angel’s human name.

If Angel weren’t so good-looking, Buffy likely would have dusted him in “Angel” (B 1.07).


* Angel certainly ‘manipulated’ her into having sex with him. The manipulation begins in “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (B 1.01).

I actually consider it’s almost certain he did read her diary; nonetheless, he kisses her before informing her of his being a vampire. In BtVS S2, he doesn’t tell her about his connections to Spike and Drusilla until she forces it out of him.


* In “Angel” (B 1.07), Angel and Buffy are in her bedroom and he tells her he wants to kiss her. Angel’s wanted Buffy for perhaps around 1.5 years by then. Buffy gets Angel’s ‘blood going’ to the extent that he literally can’t stop himself from vamping out when kissing her.

The point is that Angel probably would have had sex with 14-year-old Buffy if she were willing.


* Buffy in “Graduation Day Part I” (B 3.21) says she’s been a Slayer “four years running”. http://buffyworld.com/buffy/transcripts/055_tran.html Buffy was 14 when Angel first saw her as it’s impossible she was 15.


* I’m one of the few on Boards (possibly the only one still on Boards) who maintains that Angel/Darla of AtS s2-AtS s3 is because of Jasmine. Even still, it’s clear Angel loved Drusilla.

kana
19-03-16, 02:51 PM
KingofCretins

kana

Comparing any-gay laws to statutory rape laws is wrongheaded to say the least.

Why? You see, you haven't qualified why it's "wrong-headed". The point of this thread was not simply to say whether or not Buffy and Angel having sex was wrong, it's to reason why. The reason I used anti-gay laws as an example, was because I knew most people wouldn't agree with them. So it demonstrates that we can argue whether or not something is right or wrong, outside the confines of whether or not it's legal.


Again, Angel actively was against Buffy’s dating those her own age.

There is little evidence for that. Angel is romantically interested in Buffy, so he's not going to happy about anyone she's dating. He was against the idea of her dating the immortal, who was definitely not Buffy's age.


* Again, “Surprise” (B 2.13) has Buffy’s essentially deciding to have sex with Angel because she might very well die before being able to have sex with someone she has strong feelings for.

Again, does this deny her agency? People deciding to sleep with each other based upon a life or death situation isn't something that is age based, nor does it imply that Angel was pressuring her into it.


It’s not as if she was enthusiastic about the idea. She even says something like, ‘at some point in a relationship, sex is the next step’.

Again, this doesn't deny her agency. I don't believe consent has to always be super dupa enthusiastic. The fact is that Buffy didn't feel obligated to sleep with Angel. Whatever her reasons, she chose to do so.


Again, that Buffy was an inexperienced naive virgin is a factor in the wrongness of Angel’s statutorily raping her.

Right, your instincts here are well placed, as I discussed before, but I don't necessarily think that it's wrong itself. If it's wrong, why is it wrong? Buffy at 17 was able to make a rational decision regarding her body.


* It seems you completely missed the point of this: “Buffy’s still naive in “The Harsh Light of Day” (B 4.03).”

Buffy was 18 at the point. Somewhere along the line, Buffy's naivity has to be her responsibility.


Post-being sired, the two women Angel ‘chooses’ are Drusilla and Buffy. It seems you also missed the point of “Lie to Me” (B 7.07) and “Passion” (B 2.17).

This doesn't detract from the fact that he actually had a longer relationship with Darla. Even if Darla was the one who pursued him, he still stayed with her and was more preoccupied with her to Dru. As Wes and Fred said: statisically two points make a line not a pattern.


* Angel “cared about [Drusilla] a lot less than the far from virginal Darla” after around 20 years. Then after Dru sires William, the interest is renewed.

I know we different opinions on this, so I'll refrain from delving to deeply into this. In any respect, at the time William is sired, Dru is by no means virginal. She's a sexually aggressive womanpire, who enjoys a kink or two in her carnal activity. By your reasoning, Angel(us) should have lost total romantic interest in her at that point.


Moreover, Angel never tried to kill Drusilla. In contrast, Angel dusted Darla in “Angel” (B 1.07) and didn’t have any emotional reaction to doing that.

Dru wasn't threatening Buffy's life directly. As for no emotional reaction, that could be separate thread topic. Angel keeps a lot to himself. It's uncertain how much of an effect killing Darla had on him. They were under the impression Dru might be dead at the end of "What's My Line" and Angel wasn't affected by that. In fact he seemed more concerned that she might be still alive.


* Buffy in “Surprise” (B 2.13) didn’t know much about Angel outside of he’s only ‘good’ because of a Gypsy curse, is considered one of the most evil vampires in history, and Angel’s ‘daughter’ (who Angel had a lot of sex with and likely still loves) and Angel’s ‘grandson’ is in town causing havoc.

This could be true of anyone getting into a relationship with Angel. He has a long history and it frankly wouldn't be practical to go through everything. The things you mentioned, are perhaps the most import things to consider. Angel being a 'Cursed Vampire' is pretty much his big secret. Buffy understood this and made the decision anyway and to be fair neither of them knew the consequences.


It’s possible Buffy didn’t even know Angel’s Irish (she later probably does).

Which is important when it comes to consent, why?


It seems Buffy never learns of “Liam” including that’s Angel’s human name.

That doesn't really affect Angel's sense of personal identity. Buffy could have asked if she wanted to know. This is her responsibility if it's important factor to her.


If Angel weren’t so good-looking, Buffy likely would have dusted him in “Angel” (B 1.07).

Your point being?


* Angel certainly ‘manipulated’ her into having sex with him. The manipulation begins in “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (B 1.01).

We all influence others with our behaviour. It's the reason some of us dress the way we do or speak the way we do. The most we can accuse Angel of really, is not being upfront about who he was straight away, but we understand this motivation better when we consider his not being upfront with Cordy in Season 4 of Ats. He hoped that Buffy would get to know who he is, rather than what he is. I'm not saying that's right, but certainly by the time they slept together, Buffy had enough information to make a choice.


I actually consider it’s almost certain he did read her diary;

Speculation.


nonetheless, he kisses her before informing her of his being a vampire. In BtVS S2, he doesn’t tell her about his connections to Spike and Drusilla until she forces it out of him.

I don't consider these issues in terms of Buffy's age, but also don't see it wilful deception on Angel's part. Telling someone who kills vampires that you are a vampire strikes me a difficult conversation to have. Yes Angel didn't tell her about Spike and Dru, but we're not discussing the general pitfalls of dating Angel, we're talking about consent. As far as I'm concerned, not disclosing everything about your past doesn't make sex any less consensual unless it's specifically relevant. She knew Angel had a dark past and that he was a vampire.


* In “Angel” (B 1.07), Angel and Buffy are in her bedroom and he tells her he wants to kiss her. Angel’s wanted Buffy for perhaps around 1.5 years by then. Buffy gets Angel’s ‘blood going’ to the extent that he literally can’t stop himself from vamping out when kissing her.

No one is denying Angel's attracted to her, but at 16 girls can reach a certain level sexual maturity.


The point is that Angel probably would have had sex with 14-year-old Buffy if she were willing.

We don't know that.


* Buffy in “Graduation Day Part I” (B 3.21) says she’s been a Slayer “four years running”. http://buffyworld.com/buffy/transcripts/055_tran.html Buffy was 14 when Angel first saw her as it’s impossible she was 15.

Well Buffy was clearly exaggerating here as she was called in 1996 and Graduation aired in 1999, so that's three years. Her official date of birth is 19 January 1981, which makes it more likely that Buffy was 15 when Angel first saw her called. Not much less creepy, but just so we're clear on the facts.


* I’m one of the few on Boards (possibly the only one still on Boards) who maintains that Angel/Darla of AtS s2-AtS s3 is because of Jasmine.

This is your theory, so I'm not going to base any arguments on that assumption.


Even still, it’s clear Angel loved Drusilla.

Again, I'm not going to go into this debate, we'll agree to disagree on this.

MikeB
22-07-16, 11:40 AM
kana


The point of this thread was not simply to say whether or not Buffy and Angel having sex was wrong, it's to reason why. I have already done that in my first post in this thread: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?20081-Bangel-Morally-Permissable-Or-Morally-Wrong&p=704498&viewfull=1#post704498 (post #2)


* My quote: “Comparing any-gay laws to statutory rape laws is wrongheaded to say the least.”

Anti-gay laws are bigoted. No one is a bigot for being against 240-plus years olds having sex with just-turned 17 year olds.

Again, I’ve never seen a single person who would argue that it would be okay for that one guy from “Carpe Noctem” (A 3.04) to have sex with Buffy or any other underage girl.


* My quote: “Angel actively was against Buffy’s dating those her own age.”

That is canon.


People deciding to sleep with each other based upon a life or death situation isn't something that is age based, nor does it imply that Angel was pressuring her into it. That’s a straw man argument (SMA) or you simply did not comprehend my words. The ‘pressuring’ happens at the beginning of “Surprise” (B 2.13) albeit it happens after Buffy possibly has a Freudian slip.


The fact is that Buffy didn't feel obligated to sleep with Angel. I would argue that Buffy did partly feel obligated to have sex with Angel; otherwise, she would not have told Willow something like, ‘at some point in a relationship, sex is the next step’. In addition, “School Hard” (B 2.03) has Willow mentioning that Angel’s possibly had sex with over 400 women and “Lie to Me” (B 2.07) gives Buffy the impression that Angel may still have feelings for Drusilla (which means he could still have feelings for other possibly alive exes).


Buffy at 17 was able to make a rational decision regarding her body. Actually, there was nothing rational about Buffy’s having sex with Angel in “Surprise” (B 2.13). If anything, that was perhaps the most irrational thing she could have done. Beyond who Angel is and beyond the only reason Angel is ‘good’ is because he was cursed, Drusilla and Spike’s vampires were currently after Buffy and Angel. Buffy already knew Spike was able to find the cure for Drusilla. Buffy already knows Spike was able to find and get the Judge together. She would consider it wouldn’t be too difficult for Spike to know where Angel’s apartment is (if Spike doesn’t already know). Yet Buffy decides to have sex with Angel and then go to sleep the entire night after.


Buffy was 18 at the point. Somewhere along the line, Buffy's naivity has to be her responsibility. That argument supports that Angel should have been thrown in prison for committing statutory rape.


* I’m curious regarding if you consider Angel/Darla wasn’t because of Jasmine or anything other magical (or whatever) thing. Because, in BtVS, Angel dusts Darla moments after she’s actually a threat to Buffy. Angel in A&F S9 still loves Drusilla.


* For Angel, Buffy is Drusilla 2.0. Again, either you are doing a SMA or you simply do not comprehend what I write. Angel in “End of Days” (B 7.21) and “Chosen” (B 7.22) was kissing Buffy even though she smelled like Spike. Angel in BtVS S8 remains in love with Buffy even after knowing she’s had a ton of sex with Spike and even after ‘knowing’ she was with the Immortal for many months.


Dru wasn't threatening Buffy's life directly. That’s directly opposed to canon. Regarding post-“What’s My Line Part II” (B 2.10), Angel didn’t try to kill Drusilla. Angel’s concern was he didn’t want Drusilla to still be able to kill Buffy.


* It is weird that you don’t seem to have any problem with Buffy’s not knowing much about Angel after having been ‘in a relationship’ with him for over a year by the end of “Surprise” (B 2.13).


* I reason Angel/Cordy in AtS is because of Jasmine. Anyway, Angel/Cordy is not comparable to Buffy/Angel S1 and Buffy/Angel S2.


* You actually consider Angel’s not telling Buffy about Spike and Drusilla is a very trivial matter?

- Angel in “School Hard” (B 2.03) doesn’t even bother to mention that Spike’s killed a Slayer (it’s not certain whether Angel in “School Hard” knew about Spike’s killing another Slayer).


* I’m curious: how young would Buffy have to be before you consider it morally wrong for Angel to have sex with her? You didn’t argue against the probability that Angel would have had sex with 14-year-old Buffy if he could have.


Well Buffy was clearly exaggerating here as she was called in 1996 Um, no. Buffy doesn’t turn 19 during BtVS S3. Buffy didn’t skip a grade of high school. BtVS S1 doesn’t have a ‘Buffy’s birthday’ episode. Buffy arrives in Sunnydale as a sophomore well into the school year. The only odd timeline thing is cheerleading tryouts happen in 1.03, but “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (B 1.01) aired on March 10, 1997 and “Prophecy Girl” (B 1.12) happens during Prom on aired June 02, 1997. Buffy had been the Slayer more than a year before she arrives in Sunnydale. If 1996 C.E. is accurate, she was called around the time of Winter Formal or some other very early 1996 C.E. dance. Anyway, she was already certainly 14 years old when Angel first sees her.

kana
22-07-16, 02:24 PM
kana



* My quote: “Comparing any-gay laws to statutory rape laws is wrongheaded to say the least.”

Anti-gay laws are bigoted. No one is a bigot for being against 240-plus years olds having sex with just-turned 17 year olds.

I think you've missed my point. I was deliberately using an example of a law that we'd likely both disagree with, to illustrate that legality doesn't always equate to morality. In other words, we are able to discuss the morality of such issues independent of whether or not it's against a particular law or not.


Again, I’ve never seen a single person who would argue that it would be okay for that one guy from “Carpe Noctem” (A 3.04) to have sex with Buffy or any other underage girl.

Well if Buffy or anyone else thought they were having sex with someone else other the person they were having sex with, then the moral transgression would go beyond statutory rape and would fall under "Rape By Deception". So considering Buffy knew she was having sex with a vampire who is over 200 years old, there is a kind of false equivalency here.


* My quote: “Angel actively was against Buffy’s dating those her own age.”

That is canon.

OK, so you're going to revert to ignoring my inconvenient counter arguments? Anyway, here's a friendly reminder:


There is little evidence for that. Angel is romantically interested in Buffy, so he's not going to happy about anyone she's dating. He was against the idea of her dating the immortal, who was definitely not Buffy's age.



That’s a straw man argument (SMA) or you simply did not comprehend my words. The ‘pressuring’ happens at the beginning of “Surprise” (B 2.13) albeit it happens after Buffy possibly has a Freudian slip.

How is it a straw man argument? I think you need to present your argument more clearly. What exactly does Angel do to pressure Buffy and how does a life and death situation diminish Buffy's consent?




I would argue that Buffy did partly feel obligated to have sex with Angel; otherwise, she would not have told Willow something like, ‘at some point in a relationship, sex is the next step’.

I'd agree that sometimes, young people can give into what they perceive as social pressures, but that's not something I'd lay solely at Angel's feet. The only possible transgression would be if she felt that she should sleep with Angel specifically because he implied, he'd break up with her or something along those lines, but you seems to miss the fact that Buffy specifically felt that Angel wasn't pressuring her, as per her conversation with Willow. It astounds me that you'd theorize and speculate rather than actually look at what the characters say.


In addition, “School Hard” (B 2.03) has Willow mentioning that Angel’s possibly had sex with over 400 women and “Lie to Me” (B 2.07) gives Buffy the impression that Angel may still have feelings for Drusilla (which means he could still have feelings for other possibly alive exes).

Her conversation with Willow about Angel being 'cool' trumps that. The most important thing is that she didn't feel as though Angel was pressuring her. If you think she exercised poor judgement, then some responsibility must lie on Buffy.



Actually, there was nothing rational about Buffy’s having sex with Angel in “Surprise” (B 2.13). If anything, that was perhaps the most irrational thing she could have done. Beyond who Angel is and beyond the only reason Angel is ‘good’ is because he was cursed, Drusilla and Spike’s vampires were currently after Buffy and Angel.
Buffy already knew Spike was able to find the cure for Drusilla. Buffy already knows Spike was able to find and get the Judge together. She would consider it wouldn’t be too difficult for Spike to know where Angel’s apartment is (if Spike doesn’t already know). Yet Buffy decides to have sex with Angel and then go to sleep the entire night after.

See my argument, directly above.



That argument supports that Angel should have been thrown in prison for committing statutory rape.


How? You talked about Buffy still being naive at aged 18. My argument was that by that time she should at least be responsible for her own actions. It doesn't argue that at age 17 she lacks all agency.


* I’m curious regarding if you consider Angel/Darla wasn’t because of Jasmine or anything other magical (or whatever) thing. Because, in BtVS, Angel dusts Darla moments after she’s actually a threat to Buffy.

I've already argued why I don't want to go into this. In any respect, he was still with Darla prior to the Jasmine arc for 150 odd years.


Angel in A&F S9 still loves Drusilla.

Yeah, I'm not going to go into this again. Yes he says something about her being 'beautiful' or something but I was under the impression he was talking about her innocence before she met him.



* For Angel, Buffy is Drusilla 2.0. Again, either you are doing a SMA or you simply do not comprehend what I write.

Yet, you don't make any effort to clarify your point. You're arguing that Angel has a predilection for innocent naive, girls, right or wrong? My argument is that the situation is more nuanced than that and explained why, an argument you conveniently ignored. Your argument further fell apart when Drusilla stopped being an innocent girl and Angelus continued to have sex with her. Also, that logic can apply to Buffy as well, seen as he was still interested in her despite her being reasonably less naive and virginal.


Angel in “End of Days” (B 7.21) and “Chosen” (B 7.22) was kissing Buffy even though she smelled like Spike. Angel in BtVS S8 remains in love with Buffy even after knowing she’s had a ton of sex with Spike and even after ‘knowing’ she was with the Immortal for many months.

Thank you for proving my point! Unless you have a different point? Oh, God, what is your point again?


That’s directly opposed to canon.

Please tell me when Dru was threatening Buffy and Angel was in a position to stop her, one on one. I'm not saying this didn't happen, but I'm honestly struggling to remember.


Regarding post-“What’s My Line Part II” (B 2.10), Angel didn’t try to kill Drusilla. Angel’s concern was he didn’t want Drusilla to still be able to kill Buffy.

Yet, he still didn't seem upset by her apparently death.



* It is weird that you don’t seem to have any problem with Buffy’s not knowing much about Angel after having been ‘in a relationship’ with him for over a year by the end of “Surprise” (B 2.13).

I've already said, that's not to do with age and consent, that's a general pitfall with dating someone like Angel.



* I reason Angel/Cordy in AtS is because of Jasmine.

Angel had feelings to Cordy in Season 5, or have you got another fanwank for that?


Anyway, Angel/Cordy is not comparable to Buffy/Angel S1 and Buffy/Angel S2.

It's proof that Angel hasn't necessarily got the predilection that you think he has. Nina might be further proof of that.



* You actually consider Angel’s not telling Buffy about Spike and Drusilla is a very trivial matter?

As far as this topic is concerned, yes! Anyway, she knew about them when she slept with Angel.


- Angel in “School Hard” (B 2.03) doesn’t even bother to mention that Spike’s killed a Slayer (it’s not certain whether Angel in “School Hard” knew about Spike’s killing another Slayer).

General pitfalls of dating Angel, blah, blah, blah, I'm not going to repeat myself.



* I’m curious: how young would Buffy have to be before you consider it morally wrong for Angel to have sex with her?

The problem with this is the slippery slope of this argument. I agree that Angel finding Buffy attractive at 15 is troubling at least but we cannot assume that Angel has no lower limit. Again, I admitted straight away in this thread, we should scrutinize this, but be careful not to make too many assumptions.


You didn’t argue against the probability that Angel would have had sex with 14-year-old Buffy if he could have.


I said, we don't know if he would do that. Nothing more needs to be said.



Um, no. Buffy doesn’t turn 19 during BtVS S3.

I didn't say she did. She turned 18 during Season 3 in the episode Helpless to be exact, which is consistent with Buffy's DOB being in January 1981, as is Buffy's 17 birthday airing January 1998.


Buffy didn’t skip a grade of high school.

Didn't say she did.


BtVS S1 doesn’t have a ‘Buffy’s birthday’ episode.

Agreed. Buffy's 16 birthday would have happened before Buffy S1 aired, which is still consistent with what I said, given that it aired March 1997.


Buffy arrives in Sunnydale as a sophomore well into the school year.

Yes, March 1997 if the air dates are anything to go by.


The only odd timeline thing is cheerleading tryouts happen in 1.03, but “Welcome to the Hellmouth” (B 1.01) aired on March 10, 1997 and “Prophecy Girl” (B 1.12) happens during Prom on aired June 02, 1997.

I don't know about US High School traditions, so I'm going to have to trust you on that one.


Buffy had been the Slayer more than a year before she arrives in Sunnydale.

This would still make sense. If she was, say called Feb 1996, for example then it would be consistent as Btvs aired March 1997, which is technically more than a year.


If 1996 C.E. is accurate, she was called around the time of Winter Formal or some other very early 1996 C.E. dance.

Still consistent. I did a quick search and Winter formal dances can be anytime from December and March, which would surprise surprise include Buffy's birthday. It clearly says on the title card 1996, considering it's canon that Buffy's birthday is in January, it's more likely that she was 15. Again, I'm not defending Angel being attracted to a 15 year old, but I just wanted us to be clear.


Anyway, she was already certainly 14 years old when Angel first sees her.

Look above to see how wrong you are.

NightLady
19-08-16, 09:21 PM
My stance is not so different from that of MikeB and cil_domney: morally wrong. Reasons:Buffy's young age (15 yo) when Angel first sets eyes on her - the HUGE age difference - the fact that he acts as a predator all through season 1 and part of season 2 - and finally because he lies to her repeatedly

MikeB
02-09-17, 06:36 PM
kana

* In my opinion, it seems your argument is simply it’s okay that Angel statutorily raped Buffy and that it’s okay that he was making out with her when she was 16 years old.


* From Buffy’s side, her knowledge is that Angel is only ‘good’ because he was cursed by Gypsies. The ‘moral’ thing would be to dust him in "Angel" (B 1.07); cost-benefit analysis concludes he shouldn't be dusted because he's helping in the fight against evil.


* Overall, the Buffy/Angel relationship was beneficial to the world in BtVS S1 but its arguable whether it was morally permissible at any time after “What’s My Line Part II” (B 2.10).

TimeTravellingBunny
02-09-17, 06:58 PM
I've said it before and I've said it again: if you're going to be discussing Buffy's age, the first question should be "It is morally permissible for Buffy to be the Slayer?" If we're going to judge the story by real world standards, Buffy, and pretty much every other Slayer, is a child soldier.

If you're going to be arguing that the Buffy/Angel relationship is wrong because of her age and a statutory rape, then you're a massive hypocrite if you're simultaneously OK with Buffy fighting monsters and risking her life every night at the age as early as 15.


The OP lays it all out very well. I will just add that IMO it's ludicrous to argue that Buffy was adult and mature enough to fight the forces of darkness, risk her life every night, have the responsibility to save the world, and even make the decision to sacrifice her life, but that somehow she was a "child" only when it came to sex, and that she was not mature enough to choose to have sex.

It's normally the other way round. The age of consent (which ranges between 14 and 16 in most European countries) is typically lower by a few years than the age of maturity which allows you, among other things, to vote and be nominated for office, and we all know that 18-year olds (or 21-year olds) never actually get nominated for any political offices, or are given any leadership positions; in fact, even 30-somethings are usually considered too young for top political positions. It's considered normal for a person to be having sex, if they choose so, for some 20+ years before anyone is willing to give them a position of top power and responsibility.

Of course, it's also possible to look at it in a different way, and see Slayers as just soldiers and unthinking tools in the hands of the Watchers. But, even if that were the case, while it's true that many countries and leaders sent/send teenage boys to fight their wars, to the best of my knowledge, they never officially considered those boys too young to choose to have sex.

Either you're a child, or you're not. You can't be an adult when it comes to everything else, and a child only when it comes to your sexual agency.

MikeB
06-02-18, 03:57 PM
TimeTravellingBunny

* Buffy is the Slayer and has been since she was 14 years old. Whether it is morally permissible for Potentials Slayer to be Chosen and whether it is morally permissible for Potentials Slayer to be Chosen before their 18th birthday is a separate issue.


* Buffy dusted Lothos. Buffy arrives in Sunnydale and during her first day sees vampires are killing Sunnydale residents. Buffy is told she's the only thing standing between the forces of darkness taking over the world.

Buffy continuing to be an active Slayer is the right thing to do.

Angel is a vampire who is over 240 years old. Buffy learns in "Angel" (B 1.07) that he's only ensouled because of how evil and rotten a vampire he was. Buffy somehow already loved Angel before finding out about his vampire status and that's probably the only reason Angel isn't dusted in "Angel" (B 1.07).


* Buffy is mature enough to actively be the Slayer. Buffy isn't even mature regarding relationships until sometime post-"Beer Bad" (B 4.05). As-is, Buffy decides to have sex with Angel when she does largely because she simply wants to have sex with someone she loves before she dies. In "Surprise" (B 2.13), Angel almost goes away for months and both Buffy and Angel are almost killed by Spike and Drusilla.