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bespangled
01-04-18, 08:39 AM
I can disapprove of what a character does and not dislike them. I can see why they made the wrong choice even if I don't approve of the choice. I can enjoy a relationship even though I strongly disapprove of certain aspects.

Lately, in fandom it seems that the two reactions are conflated even more than they used to be. It's as if shipping should be uncritical, or else it's attacking

On the Cangel thread I said this about Bangel - A 27 year old should not have sex with a 16 year old. The fact that he is immature is part of the problem - not the excuse. He knew it was wrong - he kept telling her it was wrong. But he also told her that he couldn't stop loving her, that she was special, that he couldn't resist. Part of loving is actually resisting. Angel literally lost his soul because he didn't resist the temptation to sleep with Buffy when he knew he shouldn't. The tragedy is that even with a soul Angel couldn't resist what the demon wanted.

I say this loving both Buffy and Angel, believing they loved each other, and believing they were pivotal in each others lives.... What they had could never be duplicated. Buffy was rain in the desert, She flat-out created Angel - turned him into someone with a mission and a purpose. I don't think Angel had ever loved anyone before Buffy. And I believe he will love Buffy until he dusts.


I see this a lot in ships, where things are romanticized and rationalized. Maybe that's just part of shipping. It's easier to be tolerant when you've built a context for faults.

Stoney
01-04-18, 10:16 AM
I agree with you that there are issues in Bangel with the age difference and I think it is outright pointed at repeatedly in the text that the age difference is marked and could/should be of concern. I do tend to give some leniency to Angel as he's at a starting block in trying to work out who he can be that there is an immaturity I see in him at that point that belies his years of existence, and not just as a vampire but as a human too. I don't think giving in to sleeping with Buffy was what the demon wanted and his soul failed to prevent, as he says it's the man in him that is weak and I think there is a lot of Liam in the issues Angel had in not being able to resist Buffy and this is directly raised in Amends. Angel is so isolated and uncertain of the path he can walk as he is trying to deal with the difficulties of being souled and his purpose when he meets her. I see him as quite needy of acceptance and Buffy's innocence and goodness are a huge draw for him to believe in himself and wash himself free of his own past sins. So I don't have a huge problem with it even though I think it is definitely questionable and it would look very different if Buffy was just a few years older. So sure, I can see that I am rationalising beyond it from wanting to accept and enjoy the ship for what it is being presented to be at the stages they are both at. But then I'm not brushing the age issue aside but looking for in-story acceptance. If it was real life I'd certainly struggle to be understanding of a relationship between a 16 year old and a 27 year old. But there is an aspect of context when things are set in a supernatural world that can/does draw it outside of the normal parameters we would apply to real life I think.

I do agree with you that shippers rationalise their ships an awful lot and try to brush aside issues, but I don't think that has to come with romanticising it too (although obviously it can and does for many). Bangel's age gap is an obvious one, as is the negative abuse that exists within their relationship during S6 that both Spike and Buffy engage in. But I don't think ignoring these problems and negative sides of the relationship, the negative things it says about one or both of them is necessarily the same as seeing the problems but finding contextual understanding for it. Personally I think seeing the problems in the relationships, how their individual weaknesses are exposed, the negative aspects within their dynamics, as well as the good is about appreciating the relationships complexity and depth fully. For me I still think that falls within what you are saying, that I can disapprove and not dislike. I don't ship Bangel, but I liked the story for them both for where they were at that point and appreciated it narratively. I think it worked, but part of that is how the age gap brought in layers from both characters which played its part in why they both made the choice they did. But the verse context does somewhat separate it from real life which probably reduces my disapproval and that is rationalising it but I'm not, I don't think, romanticising it. :s

I certainly don't think that ships should be above criticism and not being able to see these issues and consider them just strips layers out of the stories. You're completely right that shippers are touchy as heck and criticism is pushed into the realm of being considered attacking all too readily.

bespangled
01-04-18, 11:26 AM
I think I am saying that the demon wanted to be with Buffy, and the soul wanted did as well. But it was the soul that knew taking action was wrong - the urging of the soul that Angel voiced when he repeatedly said he should back away but he couldn't. I completely understand why he couldn't - it was a tsunami, too much for the soul to control. Darla opened a door into the incredible darkness Liam had inside. Buffy opened a door to something that was just as blinding bright inside Angel.

For me the age difference is the perfect metaphor. It's the real word reason why Angel was right when he said that sleeping with Buffy would be wrong. Losing your soul a metaphor for what happens when an adult gives into temptation to sleep with a teenager - just a Buffy's pain at what Angel does and says is a metaphor for sleeping with the guy who then turns into a monster.

Acknowledging all of this actually gives me more of an insight into the ship. Bangel made me uncomfortable when I first watched the show because of the obvious age difference, and the fact that Buffy was a junior in high school. I deconstructed because of that - and acknowledged how much he and Buffy did for each other in the years they were together. I finally realized that what was bothering me was the idea that Angel didn't know about losing his soul removed his culpability. Because he did know - he just didn't know the details, the exact result.

I've gone through the same process with Xander - Sosa Lola and I talked extensively as I tried to fgure out why what Xander did pissed me off far more than it should. I'm still working on it with Spuffy. I see how toxic the relationship was in season 6 - what I am looking for is another choice Spike could have made given that he had no moral compass. The obvious one is to not assault Buffy - but I am talking about earlier than that.

My ship is Spangel, and I don't have a huge problem with the probability that Spike and Angel did horrible things to each other. It's part of what made them who they became. Yes they tortured each other in whatever ways they could. Given that Dru used to pester Angel to hurt her, I am sure that pain was part of their lives. Angelus love torture and having his own way - Spike loved proving that Angeus couldn't break him. But there were other facets of their relationship that we see as well. There were reasons why Spike saw Angel as his sire, his Yoda. Vampires lair - they protect each others back or they don't survive for long.

In season 5 AtS - in the first two episodes they are in together - Angel trusts Spike with his body and his entire life Two episodes later Angel turns around and spends a huge sum of money to bring Spike back and save him from hell. So I can accept the demonic facets as part of their dynamic because it's only one part of a who they are together. Maybe because I see Angel as a demon - pretty much as he sees himself - I have less of a problem with the fact that this affects his other relationships.

Shipping is an emotionally vulnerable pastime, especially when you talk about your ship with other fans. You're revealing a part of you that most people don't share. For a long time I spent more energy on defending my choice of ship than I spent on examining the dynamics of the ship itself. Spangel isn't easy to romanticize because there's nothing romantic between them. I do fly into defense mode when another fan insists the ship doesn't even exist. That also often seems to be a matter of erasing their history and demonic nature. What they have doesn't translate into human terms because they aren't human, even with souls. No humans could have anything like it - which is probably for the best.

TimeTravellingBunny
01-04-18, 02:11 PM
I consider Bangel to be a very problematic relationship and far from the perfect tru wuw many fans and media are trying to present it as (and I've stopped shipping them long time ago, though I still enjoy their story in the early seasons). However, when people judge their relationship by real world standards and treat Buffy as a regular 16/17 year old (getting involved with a 27 year old....actually a 250 year old), it doesn't make sense to simultaneously be OK with one other, even bigger part of Buffy's life and the show: Slaying. By real world standards, ignoring the fact that Buffy is a Slayer rather than a regular teenager, Buffy is a child soldier, what Giles is asking of her to do at age 16 is terrible, and he could be considered her abuser.
Heck, she's not just a child soldier - she's a child one-person-army, with the Council as the government sending her to fight a war.

betta
01-04-18, 05:36 PM
I consider Bangel to be a very problematic relationship and far from the perfect tru wuw many fans and media are trying to present it as (and I've stopped shipping them long time ago, though I still enjoy their story in the early seasons). However, when people judge their relationship by real world standards and treat Buffy as a regular 16/17 year old (getting involved with a 27 year old....actually a 250 year old), it doesn't make sense to simultaneously be OK with one other, even bigger part of Buffy's life and the show: Slaying. By real world standards, ignoring the fact that Buffy is a Slayer rather than a regular teenager, Buffy is a child soldier, what Giles is asking of her to do at age 16 is terrible, and he could be considered her abuser.
Heck, she's not just a child soldier - she's a child one-person-army, with the Council as the government sending her to fight a war.

I see a great difference between The Slayer and the girl; Buffy was The Chosen One, she was given weapons to do her Calling, while the girl was totally immature at that point, as we see after her first time: I mean, the

I, I don't understand. Was it m-me? Was I not good?

is one of the most cringe-worthy, pitiful words Buffy has ever said, and it had consequences throughout her whole love life:

And the guy thing— I always feared there was something wrong with me, you know, because I couldn't make it work. But maybe I'm not supposed to.

But :focus:


I can disapprove of what a character does and not dislike them.

About Angel: I've always liked Angel – as I like Illyria, Fred, Gunn, Cordy etc. I like the show, I like the character, I like his comics; but I think his crimes should not be forgotten that easy (like Spike's aren't, even the damn coat is made into a BIG deal).

Should Angel have been dusted (by Xander or Buffy) in S8? Yes, but it would have totally messed up with the Buffyverse. Would have I liked Angel gone for good? NO way in hell. I love Angel & Faith S9 (despite the whitewashing), I love Angel in the story, I love Faith in the story (which was a miracle delivered by Christos Gage), and I totally understand Faith's reasons for helping Angel throughout the whole season. I like Angel & Faith S10, too.

I think, however, that the Scoobies's love fest in S10 concerning Angel was a little bit too much (although as a Spuffy fan, it was better that way, because we saw that Buffy was done with Angel: no hate, but no love either, anymore. If she refused to meet him, we would have been kept in the dark about her feelings).

It's contradictory? Maybe, but that's the way it is.

TimeTravellingBunny
01-04-18, 06:16 PM
I see a great difference between The Slayer and the girl; Buffy was The Chosen One, she was given weapons to do her Calling, while the girl was totally immature at that point, as we see after her first time: I mean, the

I, I don't understand. Was it m-me? Was I not good?

is one of the most cringe-worthy, pitiful words Buffy has ever said, and it had consequences throughout her whole love life:

And the guy thing— I always feared there was something wrong with me, you know, because I couldn't make it work. But maybe I'm not supposed to.

But the Slayer and the girl are one and the same person. It's impossible to separate the two. The Buffy who was crying because she doesn't want to die at the age of 16 is also a girl, and the Buffy who tried to deny her calling so she can have a normal life, Buffy who got expelled from school twice and thrown out of the house by her own mother for being a Slayer, Buffy who's risking her life every night. There is no invulnerable "Slayer" that's separate from the girl, and being a Slayer permeates her entire life and personality.

It's also one of the main reasons why she was drawn to Angel (just as it was one of the main reasons she was later drawn to Spike) - because she could never really connect with "normal boys" who were not a part of her world (even her most important human boyfriend was a superpowered demon hunter), and/or she realized that a relationship like that wouldn't work, while Angel was always a loner who was a part of the shadowy world of her calling. Even at the beginning, when she didn't know who and what he was and believed he was human, he was a lonely, mysterious figure who came to give her info about vampires (like a hot 20-something occasional Watcher); she started to really fall for him in 1.7 when she thought he was an experienced loner vampire-hunter whose family was killed by vampires, and then she found out he was a vampire with a soul: in a way, the only man who could possibly match her at that point, as an outcast who belonged to both worlds and neither (human and demon) and was "the only one in the world" (and who could also match her in terms of physical strength, unlike any of the humans).

HardlyThere
01-04-18, 06:32 PM
Disapprove isn't really a thing for me. No one disapproves of Xander/Anya based on an age difference, do they? Or Spike/Buffy or human B/A in IWRY. Or Buffy/Riley or even Buffy/Wood. A human/demon thing could be cause for disapproval. TA/Student, employer/employee, live person/dead body. Nearly every ship on the show has reasons to disapprove depending on where you're coming from. To me, it's fiction so any real world issues, because we're dealing with a fantasy world, don't really enter into it at the Watsonian level. If this were real life I'd take issue with a lot more than ships. Regarding shipping and B/A specifically, I get the age thing being an issue, but age is an issue across the board. We look at the actions of this 16 year old group and we cheer when they spur authority, kick ass and save the world. They have all this responsibility, determining the lives of millions and the world itself, yet we're supposed to look down on them in the specific area of relationships? Why?

I dislike Bangel because I find it boring. It could be interesting later on as the core differences between the two are shown, but no one ever seems to write that stuff. Gimme some of that Buffy has Dana taken from LA because she doesn't trust Angel juiciness. Being boring is enough of a reason for me to dislike it, no need to extrapolate things out to a justified social cause.

Looking at it from an intended-to-be-a-female-led progressive show standpoint, I find anti-BA or anti-BS rhetoric a bigger issue, strangely but maybe that's another topic.

bespangled
02-04-18, 01:17 AM
I consider Bangel to be a very problematic relationship and far from the perfect tru wuw many fans and media are trying to present it as (and I've stopped shipping them long time ago, though I still enjoy their story in the early seasons). However, when people judge their relationship by real world standards and treat Buffy as a regular 16/17 year old (getting involved with a 27 year old....actually a 250 year old), it doesn't make sense to simultaneously be OK with one other, even bigger part of Buffy's life and the show: Slaying. By real world standards, ignoring the fact that Buffy is a Slayer rather than a regular teenager, Buffy is a child soldier, what Giles is asking of her to do at age 16 is terrible, and he could be considered her abuser.
Heck, she's not just a child soldier - she's a child one-person-army, with the Council as the government sending her to fight a war.

Buffy did nothing wrong at all. I completely understand every choice she made. Yes - she s the slayer, and not a normal girl. It puts her in a situation that's difficult. That's the point of the show - dealing with the baggage that cme from being the slayer.

My problem is strictly Angel.

Angel: I did a lot of thinking today. I really can't be around you. Because when I am... When I am all I can ever think about is how badly I want to kiss you. I'm older than you, and this can't ever... I better go.

This is one of their first real conversations - in Angel. He repeats this more than once. He knows exactly what is happening, and what he should do. But he keeps telling her how he can't resist her. No wonder Buffy thinks it's all her fault.

Also - can you come up with a line more designed to appeal to a romantic teenage girl than what Angel says? I can just imagine Angelus using that one back in the day.

HardlyThere
02-04-18, 03:34 AM
But does he have nefarious intent with it or is he just an idiot?

I think a case could be made for both, though one relies on the meta of Parker who you could say runs a similar game. Personally, I think he's simply a fool when it comes to that sort of thing.

Fool for Buffy
02-04-18, 04:28 AM
Technically Buffy didn't sleep with Angel until she was 17. That is the age of consent in some areas. Then again the age of consent in California is 18. So there is a problem. Anyway I choose to avoid the whole "disapproval" thing in general because it's not my place to judge. (Especially fictional characters) There are many things I dislike obviously, but to contribute to the debate, I couldn't care less about the Buffy Angel age difference.

bespangled
02-04-18, 07:11 AM
But does he have nefarious intent with it or is he just an idiot?

I think a case could be made for both, though one relies on the meta of Parker who you could say runs a similar game. Personally, I think he's simply a fool when it comes to that sort of thing.

He's definitely not a Parker - he clearly loves Buffy. I don't think there's nefarious intent, or idiocy. I think that we all sometimes try to put one over on ourselves. Like if I have diabetes I can sneak candy without the doctor knowing - but obviously the damage is to me whether or not the doctor knows. It's a way of closing my eyes to reality.

Angel knows what he is doing is wrong, but he thinks he can still do it without consequence. The trouble is that the consequence is already there waiting to be triggered. As for what he said being like Angelus - I just appreciate the irony.

HardlyThere
02-04-18, 05:12 PM
He's definitely not a Parker - he clearly loves Buffy. I don't think there's nefarious intent, or idiocy. I think that we all sometimes try to put one over on ourselves. Like if I have diabetes I can sneak candy without the doctor knowing - but obviously the damage is to me whether or not the doctor knows. It's a way of closing my eyes to reality.

Angel knows what he is doing is wrong, but he thinks he can still do it without consequence. The trouble is that the consequence is already there waiting to be triggered. As for what he said being like Angelus - I just appreciate the irony.

That goes back to the question of IS it. Buffy thinks it's wrong as well, with Angel and Spike, even when she's older. Buffy/Wood was kind of icky. He's older, he's her boss. It's wrong. Suppose things progress, they sleep together... and her foot falls off. Obviously they should have seen that coming. They knew it was wrong, after all. See what I mean?

The problem I have with the consequence is it's directly unrelated to anything foreseeable. Whether there was an age difference, a human, a loved one or if he was just a random person, there is no way of seeing that event happening. So what is he trying to put over? He loves her/she loves him. There are certain things you can expect from any decision. You sleep with someone, there are potential consequences like an STD, pregnancy, etc. The narrative deals with those things right away and instead installs a trap door.

flow
02-04-18, 06:58 PM
Technically Buffy didn't sleep with Angel until she was 17. That is the age of consent in some areas.

This might be a bit off topic. If you think, I should start a new thread, please just tell me so, and I will.

I am from Germany and the general Age of consent here is 16. We also have a Romeo and Juliet clause, that covers sex between someone, who is fourteen and someone, wo is fifteen or sixteen. That would be legal too. But there is absolutely no doubt, that a sixteen year old can have sex with someone, who is 18 or 28 or 240 years old. It has been the general age of consenst for a long time now and therefore no one would think it even weird, let alone icky or morally ambigious, if a 17 year old girl has sex with a 28 year old guy.

The age of consent is the same in most European countries and it is actually the same in more than 50 % of the federal states in the US.

California is one of the few states, that has set the age of consent at 18. It hasn`t always been at 18 in California. It actually used to be at 10 or 12 once, but that was a long time ago.

I would like to know, what people from the US really do think about the age difference, apart from Buffy and Angel. If you are from the US, do you think it is icky or against moral standards for an 17 year old, to have conensual sex with a 28 year old ? Do you think, it should be illegal ?

By the way, do we know, how old Parker is ? How old is Willow, when she has sex with Oz, for the first time ? How old is Oz ? How old are Faith and Xander, when they have sex ?

To me, not to allow consensual sex between a 17 year old and a 18 year old means to take their agency away from them. I cannot disapprove of Angel and Buffy having sex on her 17th birthday. It was consensual sex between two people, who were both able and (under my countries law) allowed to have sex with each other.

I am clearly not a Bangel shipper. But I neither dislike nor disapprove of their relationship. I just don`t see any chemistry. But that doesn`t mean, the chemistry isn`t there.


flow

HardlyThere
02-04-18, 09:51 PM
This might be a bit off topic. If you think, I should start a new thread, please just tell me so, and I will.

I am from Germany and the general Age of consent here is 16. We also have a Romeo and Juliet clause, that covers sex between someone, who is fourteen and someone, wo is fifteen or sixteen. That would be legal too. But there is absolutely no doubt, that a sixteen year old can have sex with someone, who is 18 or 28 or 240 years old. It has been the general age of consenst for a long time now and therefore no one would think it even weird, let alone icky or morally ambigious, if a 17 year old girl has sex with a 28 year old guy.

The age of consent is the same in most European countries and it is actually the same in more than 50 % of the federal states in the US.

California is one of the few states, that has set the age of consent at 18. It hasn`t always been at 18 in California. It actually used to be at 10 or 12 once, but that was a long time ago.

I would like to know, what people from the US really do think about the age difference, apart from Buffy and Angel. If you are from the US, do you think it is icky or against moral standards for an 17 year old, to have conensual sex with a 28 year old ? Do you think, it should be illegal ?

By the way, do we know, how old Parker is ? How old is Willow, when she has sex with Oz, for the first time ? How old is Oz ? How old are Faith and Xander, when they have sex ?

To me, not to allow consensual sex between a 17 year old and a 18 year old means to take their agency away from them. I cannot disapprove of Angel and Buffy having sex on her 17th birthday. It was consensual sex between two people, who were both able and (under my countries law) allowed to have sex with each other.

I am clearly not a Bangel shipper. But I neither dislike nor disapprove of their relationship. I just don`t see any chemistry. But that doesn`t mean, the chemistry isn`t there.


flow

That's where you get into the legality =/= morality argument. Consent laws, California especially, are less about ability so much as liability. It's preventing underage and teen pregnancy and are a response to that. Two 17yos having sex is legally stat rape on both parties. In the real world, I do think it should be illegal for the example you give.

Within our show's verse however, it doesn't really apply, does it? Buffy's not a normal girl. On that topic, the show did bother me in that respect. We're told in S1 that she's not allowed to date normies. So who is she supposed to date? Obviously the Council's view is no one, but it's a question the show never answers.

Parker is described in the script as a few years older, so I'm guessing around 21 or so. Both Will and Oz were over 18, Oz probably 19.

Faith and Xander, the script tells use she's probably 18 or more when she shows up. Xander is older than Buffy and Zeppo takes places after Helpless, so he's over 18.

bespangled
02-04-18, 11:06 PM
That goes back to the question of IS it. Buffy thinks it's wrong as well, with Angel and Spike, even when she's older. Buffy/Wood was kind of icky. He's older, he's her boss. It's wrong. Suppose things progress, they sleep together... and her foot falls off. Obviously they should have seen that coming. They knew it was wrong, after all. See what I mean?

The problem I have with the consequence is it's directly unrelated to anything foreseeable. Whether there was an age difference, a human, a loved one or if he was just a random person, there is no way of seeing that event happening. So what is he trying to put over? He loves her/she loves him. There are certain things you can expect from any decision. You sleep with someone, there are potential consequences like an STD, pregnancy, etc. The narrative deals with those things right away and instead installs a trap door.

My issue is simply that she is a teenager, and he is an adult. Can anyone here remember what is was like to be in high school? How an older guy showing an interest was so exciting? This isn't about the age of consent - if Buffy slept with Xander I would have no problem. It's about the relative maturity of a kid still in that hothouse environment where being cool is important - and an adult who knows the real world. She was a kid who wanted to be Homecoming queen, a teen who roped an adult into going to prom with her - and this was when she was a full year older.

Giles is considerably younger than Angel, and he has a lot in common with Willow - but if they had spun their relationship as a romance with him sleeping with her when she was a high school junior it would have been appalling.If Joyce had fallen for a high school student - even one from a different high school than Buffy attended - it would have greatly affected how I viewed her. If Spike had slept with Dawn, I would have hated it. Kids and adults should not be having sex. The power difference is too great.

I have no problem with age differences between adults. A high school graduate in college, or out there in the real world with a job is in a completely different stage of life. A sexual relationship may well be a disaster, but adult life can lead to disasters. In fact, if it doesn't you aren't taking enough risks. I have no problem with consensual sex between teens - both are in the same stage of life.

Just take a look at the young Buffy from early season two, and the adult in college two years later and you can see the difference. Hell, Riley was a TA, and shouldn't have been sleeping with a student he was grading - but I have little problem with that simply because Buffy was now an adult and free to make her own decisions. Parker was an ass - and I hate what Buffy ended up feeling - but again, she was an adult who went into a relationship with a different expectation than her partner.

Angel was an adult who had been turned at 27. He had never learned respect for women, and he had never been in love. What he and Darla had was powerful, but they both agreed it wasn't love. I can see why he made the choice to have sex with Buffy - my problem is that he knew he was wrong. In real life, when a 27 year old sleeps with a high school student they in essence lose their soul. In the B-verse, where metaphor is king, Angel literally lost his soul.

The irony here is that fans excuse him, but Angel doesn't excuse himself. The corollary is that Spike was an unsouled demon who had been having rough sex with Buffy. I can understand the context of his assault, but it in no way excuses him for attempting to rape her. He knows this, even if some fans are willing to wave it away. Much as I love both vampires, what they did was inexcusable. I can still love them - I can still love the relationships - but I strongly disapprove of the choices they made.



I would like to know, what people from the US really do think about the age difference, apart from Buffy and Angel. If you are from the US, do you think it is icky or against moral standards for an 17 year old, to have conensual sex with a 28 year old ? Do you think, it should be illegal ?

By the way, do we know, how old Parker is ? How old is Willow, when she has sex with Oz, for the first time ? How old is Oz ? How old are Faith and Xander, when they have sex ?

To me, not to allow consensual sex between a 17 year old and a 18 year old means to take their agency away from them. I cannot disapprove of Angel and Buffy having sex on her 17th birthday. It was consensual sex between two people, who were both able and (under my countries law) allowed to have sex with each other.

This isn't about the legal age of consent - though if you want to get into that legally Angel is guilty of statutory rape. The legal aspects don't matter to me at all.

I am completely against adults having sex with teens in real life as well. If I knew that if my teenage daughter had a 27 year year old man who said he was in love with her I wouldn't be thrilled. I would expect him to prove his love for her by waiting for her to grow up before any sexual involvement. If I found out he was sneaking up to her bedroom and making out with her, I'd get a restraining order. I'd have no objection to her sleeping with her high school boyfriend as long as they use protection. It's the age difference which creates an inherent power difference.

It doesn't help that Angel used every line a predator uses to groom a teenager. She's an exception, she's special, he can't stop himself, he knows it's wrong but he can't resist her. Note that the responsibility has been subtly turned over to the teen, and that the adult claims they are powerless. Buffy internalizes that message, and Angelus is more than happy to keep reinforcing it.

The thing is that this is all true of Buffy - she is both extraordinary, and special, and she loves Angel. Angel truly does love her more than he has ever loved anyone or anything. He is not a predator in any real sense (though as a vampire he kinda is). Within the context of their love I can understand why he is unable to resist having sex with her but the fact that he is unable to resist is the problem and not the excuse. He's the the adult, the one with the power. He's the one who should have some self restraint. So he's the one who literally and metaphorically loses his soul.

- - - Updated - - -


Within our show's verse however, it doesn't really apply, does it? Buffy's not a normal girl. On that topic, the show did bother me in that respect. We're told in S1 that she's not allowed to date normies. So who is she supposed to date? Obviously the Council's view is no one, but it's a question the show never answers.

But she does date normies - Owen and Scott come to mind.

betta
02-04-18, 11:38 PM
For me, it isn't about age or legalities - it's about Buffy. The way she reacted it's proof enough to me that she was an immature girl (Innocense...), or else she would have told Angel(us) shut up immediately and would have kicked his ass all the way to the street.

And yes, Angel seduced her; since he put his eyes on her, he wanted her, her innocence and purity (even if unconsciously, and again, Innocence...), and he got her. And I'm sorry if I don't see Angel doing much afterwards in order to be with Buffy; why hasn't he ever thought of getting hid of the happiness clause?

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It doesn't help that Angel used every line a predator uses to groom a teenager. She's an exception, she's special, he can't stop himself, he knows it's wrong but he can't resist her. Note that the responsibility has been subtly turned over to the teen, and that the adult claims they are powerless. Buffy internalizes that message, and Angelus is more than happy to keep reinforcing it.

Play the mysterious charming man, handsome and in black leather (not a bum anymore), gives her gifts in dark alleys, doesn't tell her a big piece of information about himself (that he is married-, sorry, a vampire...)

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But the Slayer and the girl are one and the same person. It's impossible to separate the two. The Buffy who was crying because she doesn't want to die at the age of 16 is also a girl, and the Buffy who tried to deny her calling so she can have a normal life, Buffy who got expelled from school twice and thrown out of the house by her own mother for being a Slayer, Buffy who's risking her life every night. There is no invulnerable "Slayer" that's separate from the girl, and being a Slayer permeates her entire life and personality.


But still, she head weapons as a Slayer; and she knew what was ahead of her, she wasn't being played.



Even at the beginning, when she didn't know who and what he was and believed he was human, he was a lonely, mysterious figure who came to give her info about vampires (like a hot 20-something occasional Watcher); she started to really fall for him in 1.7 when she thought he was an experienced loner vampire-hunter whose family was killed by vampires,

That's exactly how Angel played an innocent Buffy, hiding the truth from her from the beginning, till she was madly in love...

HardlyThere
02-04-18, 11:55 PM
My issue is simply that she is a teenager, and he is an adult. Can anyone here remember what is was like to be in high school? How an older guy showing an interest was so exciting? This isn't about the age of consent - if Buffy slept with Xander I would have no problem. It's about the relative maturity of a kid still in that hothouse environment where being cool is important - and an adult who knows the real world. She was a kid who wanted to be Homecoming queen, a teen who roped an adult into going to prom with her - and this was when she was a full year older.

Giles is considerably younger than Angel, and he has a lot in common with Willow - but if they had spun their relationship as a romance with him sleeping with her when she was a high school junior it would have been appalling.If Joyce had fallen for a high school student - even one from a different high school than Buffy attended - it would have greatly affected how I viewed her. If Spike had slept with Dawn, I would have hated it. Kids and adults should not be having sex. The power difference is too great.

I have no problem with age differences between adults. A high school graduate in college, or out there in the real world with a job is in a completely different stage of life. A sexual relationship may well be a disaster, but adult life can lead to disasters. In fact, if it doesn't you aren't taking enough risks. I have no problem with consensual sex between teens - both are in the same stage of life.

Just take a look at the young Buffy from early season two, and the adult in college two years later and you can see the difference. Hell, Riley was a TA, and shouldn't have been sleeping with a student he was grading - but I have little problem with that simply because Buffy was now an adult and free to make her own decisions. Parker was an ass - and I hate what Buffy ended up feeling - but again, she was an adult who went into a relationship with a different expectation than her partner.

Angel was an adult who had been turned at 27. He had never learned respect for women, and he had never been in love. What he and Darla had was powerful, but they both agreed it wasn't love. I can see why he made the choice to have sex with Buffy - my problem is that he knew he was wrong. In real life, when a 27 year old sleeps with a high school student they in essence lose their soul. In the B-verse, where metaphor is king, Angel literally lost his soul.

The irony here is that fans excuse him, but Angel doesn't excuse himself. The corollary is that Spike was an unsouled demon who had been having rough sex with Buffy. I can understand the context of his assault, but it in no way excuses him for attempting to rape her. He knows this, even if some fans are willing to wave it away. Much as I love both vampires, what they did was inexcusable. I can still love them - I can still love the relationships - but I strongly disapprove of the choices they made.



This isn't about the legal age of consent - though if you want to get into that legally Angel is guilty of statutory rape. The legal aspects don't matter to me at all.

I am completely against adults having sex with teens in real life as well. If I knew that if my teenage daughter had a 27 year year old man who said he was in love with her I wouldn't be thrilled. I would expect him to prove his love for her by waiting for her to grow up before any sexual involvement. If I found out he was sneaking up to her bedroom and making out with her, I'd get a restraining order. I'd have no objection to her sleeping with her high school boyfriend as long as they use protection. It's the age difference which creates an inherent power difference.

It doesn't help that Angel used every line a predator uses to groom a teenager. She's an exception, she's special, he can't stop himself, he knows it's wrong but he can't resist her. Note that the responsibility has been subtly turned over to the teen, and that the adult claims they are powerless. Buffy internalizes that message, and Angelus is more than happy to keep reinforcing it.

The thing is that this is all true of Buffy - she is both extraordinary, and special, and she loves Angel. Angel truly does love her more than he has ever loved anyone or anything. He is not a predator in any real sense (though as a vampire he kinda is). Within the context of their love I can understand why he is unable to resist having sex with her but the fact that he is unable to resist is the problem and not the excuse. He's the the adult, the one with the power. He's the one who should have some self restraint. So he's the one who literally and metaphorically loses his soul.

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I'm going to need you to pick a stance here. Either he genuinely loved the girl or was acting as a predator, grooming her.

Angel loved her, but should have known better and should have waited because of the consequence of losing his soul, which would have happened if they'd have waiting until she was 50. Is that what you're saying?

I'd agree if we were talking about the real world, but this isn't the real world. We're talking a superhuman that's expected to make life or death decisions nightly. She's responsible for the world. If she can do that, she can make personal decisions of her own. Angel's perspective is that of a 200+ year old Irishman.


But she does date normies - Owen and Scott come to mind.

Her date with Owen is a disaster and the message is "don't date normies", which is followed up with Angel an ep later.

TimeTravellingBunny
03-04-18, 01:41 AM
For me, it isn't about age or legalities - it's about Buffy. The way she reacted it's proof enough to me that she was an immature girl (Innocense...), or else she would have told Angel(us) shut up immediately and would have kicked his ass all the way to the street.

And yes, Angel seduced her; since he put his eyes on her, he wanted her, her innocence and purity (even if unconsciously, and again, Innocence...), and he got her. And I'm sorry if I don't see Angel doing much afterwards in order to be with Buffy; why hasn't he ever thought of getting hid of the happiness clause?

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Play the mysterious charming man, handsome and in black leather (not a bum anymore), gives her gifts in dark alleys, doesn't tell her a big piece of information about himself (that he is married-, sorry, a vampire...)

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But still, she head weapons as a Slayer; and she knew what was ahead of her, she wasn't being played.

.
A 15 year old who's drafted and sent off to war also would be given weapons to fight and know what's ahead of him. Does that mean it's OK to send underage kids to war?

It seems very strange to me to consider Buffy immature in just one area of her life. She is mature enough to fight monsters every night, risk her life, sacrifice herself for the world, but is immature only when it comes to romance and sexual relationships?

I don't see how we can treat only her romantic life through the lens of real life, but not her Slaying. If she is a naive teenage girl manipulated by a much older guy into a sexual relationship, then shouldn't we also argue she is a naive teenage girl manipulated by a mentor (or two, or an organization full of middle aged people deciding on her fate) into being a child soldier?

betta
03-04-18, 02:21 AM
A 15 year old who's drafted and sent off to war also would be given weapons to fight and know what's ahead of him. Does that mean it's OK to send underage kids to war?

It seems very strange to me to consider Buffy immature in just one area of her life. She is mature enough to fight monsters every night, risk her life, sacrifice herself for the world, but is immature only when it comes to romance and sexual relationships?

I don't see how we can treat only her romantic life through the lens of real life, but not her Slaying. If she is a naive teenage girl manipulated by a much older guy into a sexual relationship, then shouldn't we also argue she is a naive teenage girl manipulated by a mentor (or two, or an organization full of middle aged people deciding on her fate) into being a child soldier?

That's the thing: we can treat it differently because a Slayer isn't the same thing as a (real life) child soldier; she is a supernatural being who has been given superpowers to answer an ancient calling (it doesn't matter here if it was imposed by the Shadow Men eons ago). But the girl is just... a girl. So much so she falls for the same old tricks any other " innocent" girl would have fallen. And reacts the same way when the whole thing blows in her face.

TimeTravellingBunny
03-04-18, 03:09 AM
That's the thing: we can treat it differently because a Slayer isn't the same thing as a (real life) child soldier; she is a supernatural being who has been given superpowers to answer an ancient calling (it doesn't matter here if it was imposed by the Shadow Men eons ago). But the girl is just... a girl. So much so she falls for the same old tricks any other " innocent" girl would have fallen. And reacts the same way when the whole thing blows in her face.

The girl and the Slayer are the same person. Buffy does not have a personality split - being a Slayer is integral to all her being.

And she does not react the same way when the whole thing blows in her face. She fights him and kicks him in the nuts (which some girls can do, but most can't, especially not girls her size to a guy his size), and eventually fights him and beats him, and then runs him through with a sword to save the world.

She does initially react like "any other innocent girl" in the immediate aftermath in Innocence when she cries and can't understand why he is saying horribly hurtful things (not that he had to be an older guy for that to happen...), but she also cries and says "Giles, I am 16 year old. I don't want to die" when she learns that she's going to destined to confront the Master and die. She's not just "a supernatural being who has been given superpowers to answer an ancient calling" - she's also a 16 year old girl who reacts the way any other innocent girl (or boy) would when told that they're going to die. She gets bitten and drowned by the Master, fortunately resuscitated, but then suffers from PTSD, just as any regular, non-supernatural person would. Her Slaying interferes in every aspect of her life: school, dating, family - she gets expelled from school (twice), wrongly suspected of murder, thrown out of the house by her mother.

And on top of that, the Council of Watchers itself deems it necessary for her to prove that she can fight vampires and survive as a regular girl with no supernatural powers, and doesn't care about risking her life in the process.

bespangled
03-04-18, 04:45 AM
I'm going to need you to pick a stance here. Either he genuinely loved the girl or was acting as a predator, grooming her.

Angel loved her, but should have known better and should have waited because of the consequence of losing his soul, which would have happened if they'd have waiting until she was 50. Is that what you're saying?

I'd agree if we were talking about the real world, but this isn't the real world. We're talking a superhuman that's expected to make life or death decisions nightly. She's responsible for the world. If she can do that, she can make personal decisions of her own. Angel's perspective is that of a 200+ year old Irishman.



Her date with Owen is a disaster and the message is "don't date normies", which is followed up with Angel an ep later.

I picked a stance - he truly loved her. I said it bothered me that this was what predators said in real life - but that it was all true about Buffy. I've repeatedly said they love each other. Not sure what more you want.

Should I post all the times Angel said he should back away. He said it roughly half the times they were together. So yes, he knew better - that's canon. I am saying in reality an adult man who sleeps with a teenager loses his soul. Since Buffy is the ultimate metaphorical show, Ange giving into temptation and losing his soul is the converse of Buffy being the girl who trusts a guy, has sex and ends up being abused. Neither you nor I would know what could have happened in a few years time.We can both speculate.

Agreed,, this isn't the real world - which I why I can still like them without approving. Had any random 27 year old slept with a teen I know, I really think i wouldn't feel this way. The point of this thread is that disapproving shouldn't be conflated with disliking - or hating.

Yes, and Buffy is so concerned with the council! She always tries hard to please them.:angelnot:

I don't really think that's a real issue - but saying a teenager should go be with a man ten years older than her because she has a small dating pool just doesn't do it for me. You know, if we are gonna pull out the this isn't the real world defense then the entire show is made of incidents that really can be excused on the same basis. All the characters live in a supernatural world, and almost all have powers and responsibilities. All their choices have consequences. I'm really okay with that.

I am not okay with an adult sleeping with a teenager.

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A 15 year old who's drafted and sent off to war also would be given weapons to fight and know what's ahead of him. Does that mean it's OK to send underage kids to war?

It seems very strange to me to consider Buffy immature in just one area of her life. She is mature enough to fight monsters every night, risk her life, sacrifice herself for the world, but is immature only when it comes to romance and sexual relationships?

I don't see how we can treat only her romantic life through the lens of real life, but not her Slaying. If she is a naive teenage girl manipulated by a much older guy into a sexual relationship, then shouldn't we also argue she is a naive teenage girl manipulated by a mentor (or two, or an organization full of middle aged people deciding on her fate) into being a child soldier?

Actually we probably could. That's what I think of the council - that they manipulate girls into being child soldiers. But that doesn't mean I think she shouldn't be the slayer. I disapprove of the council - I don't dislike Buffy being the slayer.

As for considering her too immature - Angel tried to pull away, and said he was too old for her. He considered her to be too young. He considered the age difference a problem. He knew it was wrong and he gave into temptation. This is all canon - I can quote him.I just happen to agree with his own assessment.

Angel: I did a lot of thinking today. I really can't be around you. Because when I am...
Buffy: Hey, no big. Water... over the bridge, under the bridge...
Angel: When I am all I can ever think about is how badly I want to kiss you.
Buffy: ...over the dam... Kiss me?
Angel: I'm older than you, and this can't ever... I better go.
****
Angel: If I can go a little while without getting shot or stabbed I'll be alright. Look, this can't...
Buffy: ...ever be anything. I know. For one thing, you're, like, two hundred and twenty-four years older than I am.
Angel: I just gotta... I gotta walk away from this.
****

MikeB
03-04-18, 09:21 AM
* If it's reasonable and and not hypocritical, there's nothing wrong with disapproving and/or disliking anyone and/or anything in the Buffyverse.


* Regarding Buffy/Angel, Angel 'fell for' Buffy when she was 14 years old. It was over a year after she was Called before he even first introduced himself to her. "Angel" (B 1.07) is the first time he helps her in a fight.

Angel statutorily raped Buffy. It doesn't legally matter and it doesn't morally matter that the age of consent outside California is lower in other parts of the United States and other parts of the world.

Buffy's continuing to be in love with Angel even after knowing he was cursed with a soul is evil. It may have been different had Angel fought for his soul, but Buffy knows the only reason Angel is 'not evil' is because of the curse. BtVS S2 proved that enough.

The hypocrisy regarding Buffy/Angel among some fans regards those who don't like Buffy/Spike. The chip actually changed Spike. Dawn is incorrect regarding "Soul. chip. Same diff." Moreover, Season 8. It's very evil that Buffy post-BtVS 8.39 stopped Xander from killing Angel.

Among viewers, Xander/Anya is the primary reason Xander's having been anti-Buffy/Spike is considered more negative than Xander's having been anti-Buffy/Angel.

betta
03-04-18, 03:42 PM
And she does not react the same way when the whole thing blows in her face. She fights him and kicks him in the nuts (which some girls can do, but most can't, especially not girls her size to a guy his size), and eventually fights him and beats him, and then runs him through with a sword to save the world.

The Slayer did that, not before the girl being able to prevent the murder of Jenny Calendar. And of course, after so traumatic events in her life (sleeping with Angel, and death among her friends), Buffy matured faster enough, as it would happen with any person in real life. With the course of the show (and her life), Slayer and person have become in sync progressively.

bespangled
04-04-18, 04:29 AM
And yes, Angel seduced her; since he put his eyes on her, he wanted her, her innocence and purity (even if unconsciously, and again, Innocence...), and he got her.

Play the mysterious charming man, handsome and in black leather (not a bum anymore), gives her gifts in dark alleys, doesn't tell her a big piece of information about himself (that he is married-, sorry, a vampire...)

That's exactly how Angel played an innocent Buffy, hiding the truth from her from the beginning, till she was madly in love...

I can see what you're saying, and I agree this is how it played out BUT this is basically Liam and Angelus.

As Liam I don't think he ever loved or respected a woman - he seduced and abused them. As a demon, he also never loved a woman - he seduced them, preyed on the, despoiled, tortured and killed them. As a souled demon, from what we see, he did everything he could to avoid human contact.

He didn't have the skills to openly communicate. In fact, part of his journey is watching him try to get communication skills, and try to keep the demon from taking over while using the demon's strengths. So when he interacted with Buffy, he was seductive. For me, that doesn't take away from the fact that he genuinely loved her, and he wanted her to love him. I find it hard to believe that souled Angel has ever had any intent to harm Buffy, at least in the show.