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View Full Version : Would the epiosdes "Surprise" and "Innocence" still work today?



flow
15-11-18, 06:41 PM
This question came up in a discussion about the tv-reboot as well as the new Boom comic. We don`t know much about the tv-reboot yet and Angel hasn`t been mentioned in the spoilers for issue1 and issue2 of the new Boom comic.

Therefore we probably can assume, that even if Angel appears in either the tv-show or the new Boom comics, he will not loose his soul after having had sex with (seventeen years old and up to that night virginal) Buffy.

The question that came up was, if the plot-line would still work today in the same way it did in 1999.

Would a 2018 Buffy respond to Angeles rejection on the morning after their first night together the same way Buffy did in 1999? Is the underlying fear - he only wanted me for sex - still a current fear among "modern" girls and women?

Would a 2018 Buffy still ask "Was I not good?" Would she still think, it is up to her to be "good in bed" and would she still blame herself, if anything went "not as good as expected"?

Have our attitudes regarding women and sex really changed? Are women and girls more self-aware and less insecure or self-conscious about their own sexual needs, wants and desires?

Or have we made no progress at all? Would exactly the same scene work out exactly the same way today?

flow

ghoststar
15-11-18, 08:03 PM
I'd say a lot of it depends on what American subculture this Buffy comes from. If she's the child of conservative fundamentalists, her concerns are going to be very different from if she comes from a secular household like in the original. If she comes from a family that's striving to stay in the middle class, then her concerns are going to be very different from if she has little status to lose or is confident in her position. But basically, I think that insecurity over your partner's seriousness and your own sexual skills could happen to people of both sexes, even in a very egalitarian society.

The biggest difference for a 2018 Buffy, IMO, wouldn't be in her reaction to Angel turning after they had sex; it would be the reactions of other people to the sex itself.The big sex panics of the '90s were of weird cults ritually molesting prepubescent children (didn't happen) and of strangers seducing teenagers over the internet (which did, just not very often), usually accompanied by the assumption that the internet pervert would kill them later to hide the evidence. Heterosexual, non-incestuous relationships between adults and teenagers that they knew well (something that happened, and happens, fairly often) became a lot more taboo over the 2000s; I'm sure you could write a book on how the shift occurred, but a string of highly-publicized incidents involving photogenic female teachers, followed by the ongoing Catholic clergy scandal, are obvious factors.

Regardless of why (and of the extent to which it was necessary vs. excessive), the change happened. I suspect that a modern-day Giles would treat Angel as a threat to be dealt with, much as he does Spike in canon season 5. A rule-abiding teen like Willow would probably not perceive Angel as an appropriate partner for Buffy, although she'd still probably keep Buffy's secrets. Xander would structure his complaints about Angel around age more than species, and Joyce's reaction to finding out about the sex would include a lot more anger at Angel-- and maybe a police report. Her question to Buffy might not be how many men she had had sex with, but when she started sleeping with older ones; she'd likely suspect that it was to blame for some of Buffy's "bad" behavior over the past few years.

Priceless
15-11-18, 08:24 PM
I'm not a teenager, far from it, so anything I say has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

I don't think Buffy would make such a big deal of having sex prior to sleeping with Angel. I'm remembering her and Willow discussing it several times, as if it were a big deal. I think today it wouldn't be such a big deal, although they'd still discuss it as they are friends.

Buffy's reaction afterwards would depend on if she were still a child from a broken home, where her parents fought a lot and where she became the Slayer at 15 and was told to keep it secret. She had to learn to fight and kill things, and saw her original Watcher die. It would also make a difference if she had actually been put in a secure unit as she says she was in Normal Again. I think all these things would play into Buffy's personality and explain why she might feel particularly broken by Angel's words the morning after.

I don't think Buffy has lead this charmed life as some do. Of course in many ways she has been prvileged, but in others she has not and that's what makes her insecure. She's essentially been groomed by the Watchers, alienated from her parents, one of whom simply vanishes. She falls in love with Angel, who swears undying love for her, and then is absolutely brutal to her. This new Buffy would have to be the most secure young woman in the world for Angel's words, and the whole situation, not to have an impact on her.

Truly, when it comes to sex, when surrounded by Kardashians and fashion mags telling you what and who you should be, and all the beautiful women on the CW teen shows who seem to find sex effortless and issueless, what 17 year old girl is truly secure enough in themselves to not care that the man you love, who you've just slept with, tells you are crap in bed, oh and by the way he's turned evil.

Willow from Buffy
15-11-18, 09:43 PM
Yes, of course it would work. Everyone are insecure going into a new relationship, not just teenage virgins from the 90s. The idea of the person we love just switching on us like that hits us where we live, doesn't it?

MikeB
15-11-18, 10:14 PM
All caught up.

All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.





* I'm not sure the Buffy/Angel would--or should--change much being 'in 2018 A.D.' vs. '1998 A.D.'


* I consider Xander's behavior towards Buffy and Cordelia would be considered much more problematic if done in a 2018 A.D. TV series. I mean, Buffy praised Xander at the end of "Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered" (B 2.16) and Cordelia considered Xander's love spell romantic.


* But I don't see Buffy reacting much differently with Angel and Parker Abrams.

bespangled
16-11-18, 01:47 AM
Of course Angel would have to lose his soul, even moreso now. I listen to a lot of younger podcast reviewers. Now we are so much more aware of the difference in power between a 16 year old and a 27 year old. The metaphor is there even in this time. Adults who sleep with teenagers actually are doing something on the bad side of that old moral compass. Soul ain't working all that well. Virginity doesn't matter here. So having him turn on her would be less shocking.

My understanding from podcasts is that sleeping together is preceded by deciding how you will interact in the future - is this romance, friends with benefits, etc? But that would completely deflate the romantic passion and wonderful melodrama. It would make Angel more evil - I know I've said we shouldn't but now I will pressure you. Buffy and Angel getting together is seen by younger podcasters as gross and obscene because of that age difference. It's at least as problematic as Spuffy. Oddly enough,Spuffy benefits by the fact that all males are called out for their transgressions.

GoSpuffy
16-11-18, 03:03 AM
Girls have changed. I've got 3 daughters between 19 and 24. I know way more about their sex lives than you could imagine. There is a sex shop in the downtown core of my city. As we walked by my daughter casually mentioned that's where she buys her lube. At no time in my life did I ever talk about lube with my mother unless it was to do with my car. All of my daughters have vocally spoken against slut shaming. As far as I can see girls now Own their sexuality in a way I never did. I'm quite jealous.

So yes Buffy can be traumatized by angel losing his soul and by hunting her friends but I don't think she would care about Losing her Virginity or being good in bed.

HardlyThere
16-11-18, 03:17 AM
This question came up in a discussion about the tv-reboot as well as the new Boom comic. We don`t know much about the tv-reboot yet and Angel hasn`t been mentioned in the spoilers for issue1 and issue2 of the new Boom comic.

Therefore we probably can assume, that even if Angel appears in either the tv-show or the new Boom comics, he will not loose his soul after having had sex with (seventeen years old and up to that night virginal) Buffy.

The question that came up was, if the plot-line would still work today in the same way it did in 1999.

Would a 2018 Buffy respond to Angeles rejection on the morning after their first night together the same way Buffy did in 1999? Is the underlying fear - he only wanted me for sex - still a current fear among "modern" girls and women?

Would a 2018 Buffy still ask "Was I not good?" Would she still think, it is up to her to be "good in bed" and would she still blame herself, if anything went "not as good as expected"?

Have our attitudes regarding women and sex really changed? Are women and girls more self-aware and less insecure or self-conscious about their own sexual needs, wants and desires?

Or have we made no progress at all? Would exactly the same scene work out exactly the same way today?

flow

I don't see what progress has to do with it. People are still insecure and sex in a relationship, particularly your first relationship, is still a big thing.

- - - Updated - - -

19 isn't 16. While Buffy wouldn't have such a conversation with Joyce about that kind of thing (this is more on Joyce than Buffy), that's a believable sort of thing she might talk about when she was that old on the show.

GoSpuffy
16-11-18, 05:32 AM
19 is not 16 but even at 16 I think today's young women are more confident and comfortable with their sexuality than I was at 30.

- - - Updated - - -

This is an odd story but think it shows context of change. I was born in the 60s to a mother born in the depression to a grandmother born in the early 1900s in England. Practically like the Pratts are shown in BtVS. I would not call my parents hippies or alternative but they were raising their children during the 60s and 70s. I first met my grandmother as a preschooler. My mum had decided to raise me to be more open and comfortable with language than she had been. One of the things that she thought in the 60s that would be important would for me to know the correct anatomical names for body parts. She had grown up calling things by nick names like "wee wee". I'm told that when I met my grandmother I leaned in and whispered conspiratorially "do you have a penis?" To which she replied "no dear, I do not". I was very pleased with this answer as I have 3 brothers and replied "good, that means you're one of us." My grandmother was horrified. My mother was embarrassed. I was comfortable. I was about 3 when this conversation happened. women and their experiences and their sense of freedom are definitely changing with Time and I couldnt be happier.

HardlyThere
16-11-18, 08:39 AM
If that's true, why do the people advocating it say they aren"t responsible for their actions?

Not caring isn't the same as confidence.

Priceless
16-11-18, 12:14 PM
At no time in my life did I ever talk about lube with my mother unless it was to do with my car.

You crack me up GoSpuffy :rotf: :hug2:

The spoiler is me trying to be funny but may actually offend, so you've been warned.

Back when vibes came with batteries :lol:

ghoststar
16-11-18, 07:27 PM
Of course Angel would have to lose his soul, even moreso now. I listen to a lot of younger podcast reviewers. Now we are so much more aware of the difference in power between a 16 year old and a 27 year old. The metaphor is there even in this time. Adults who sleep with teenagers actually are doing something on the bad side of that old moral compass. Soul ain't working all that well. Virginity doesn't matter here. So having him turn on her would be less shocking.

My understanding from podcasts is that sleeping together is preceded by deciding how you will interact in the future - is this romance, friends with benefits, etc? But that would completely deflate the romantic passion and wonderful melodrama. It would make Angel more evil - I know I've said we shouldn't but now I will pressure you. Buffy and Angel getting together is seen by younger podcasters as gross and obscene because of that age difference. It's at least as problematic as Spuffy. Oddly enough,Spuffy benefits by the fact that all males are called out for their transgressions.

Whether or not the sex is wrong, I don't think it follows that Angel would have to lose his soul. I'd argue that magically stripping away your girlfriend's memories to keep her from leaving you is a far broader violation of personal autonomy than "regular" statutory rape, but Willow doesn't lose her soul for what happens in "OMWF." In the Buffyverse, you can have a, shall we say, troubled soul without being in any danger of losing it. Angel loses his soul because of the curse, nothing else.

Willow from Buffy
16-11-18, 10:47 PM
19 is not 16 but even at 16 I think today's young women are more confident and comfortable with their sexuality than I was at 30.

- - - Updated - - -

This is an odd story but think it shows context of change. I was born in the 60s to a mother born in the depression to a grandmother born in the early 1900s in England. Practically like the Pratts are shown in BtVS. I would not call my parents hippies or alternative but they were raising their children during the 60s and 70s. I first met my grandmother as a preschooler. My mum had decided to raise me to be more open and comfortable with language than she had been. One of the things that she thought in the 60s that would be important would for me to know the correct anatomical names for body parts. She had grown up calling things by nick names like "wee wee". I'm told that when I met my grandmother I leaned in and whispered conspiratorially "do you have a penis?" To which she replied "no dear, I do not". I was very pleased with this answer as I have 3 brothers and replied "good, that means you're one of us." My grandmother was horrified. My mother was embarrassed. I was comfortable. I was about 3 when this conversation happened. women and their experiences and their sense of freedom are definitely changing with Time and I couldnt be happier.

It is great that your daughters are so comfortable in themselves, but then again, it sets the bar high for all the young girls who have yet to gain the experience required to achieve this level of confidence. There is a new expectations for women now to be confident and open.

Buying lube the first time, using lube the first time, asking if lube is something that should be used ... it is all really scary, but if you are in a relationship or if you have several brief encounters, you start to become at ease with it all. Buffy is a coming of age story. By the time she is with Riley, she is unwrapping condom packets like a pro.

bespangled
16-11-18, 10:51 PM
Whether or not the sex is wrong, I don't think it follows that Angel would have to lose his soul. I'd argue that magically stripping away your girlfriend's memories to keep her from leaving you is a far broader violation of personal autonomy than "regular" statutory rape, but Willow doesn't lose her soul for what happens in "OMWF." In the Buffyverse, you can have a, shall we say, troubled soul without being in any danger of losing it. Angel loses his soul because of the curse, nothing else.

Willow isn't a vampire with a soul....there is no metaphor inherent in soulless Willow.

The curse is the soul - the happiness clause is triggered by doing something Angel repeatedly said he shouldn't do.

This isn't anti Angel - I ship the guy. And in the B-verse a troubled soul always has consequences that must be dealt with. He made a choice. He knew it was the wrong choice. He just didn't know what would happen. That is the B-verse in a nutshell.

The Bangel relationship overall is read by younger podcasters as creepy pedo. Basically the much older guy & younger girl thing of the 90's is not accepted. It's seen as a gross ugly trope of a misogynistic time. Misogyny is the issue most cited in almost all podcast reviews, with almost all male characters. That would be a bigger issue than sexuality in any new versions of Buffy, IMO. Also, both Jenny and Faith get plaudits for owning their sexuality, and virginity is a misogynistic social construct.

I really think the worst thing to do would be to play to the times - you end up with something really dated too soon. But I also don't like the implication that "regular" statutory rape is less of an issue than any other problem with power and consent.

vampmogs
17-11-18, 01:59 AM
I’d be willing to bet that those podcasters are in the minority. I’m following at least 6 reactors and not one of them have expressed any issues with the Buffy/Angel age difference and all but one of them are shipping/shipped the relationship during Season 1-3. All of these reactors are younger than me (I’m 29 and they appear to be late teens/early 20’s). The Vampire Diaries only ended a couple of years ago and it also featured a high school romance between a teenage girl and a much older vampire and, again, the audience enjoyed it.

I think people on here tend to really exaggerate the difference between 90s teens/2018 teens. I mean, don’t get me wrong, things have definitely changed, but things haven’t changed thhaaatt much. I think some of these conversations really just drive home the fact that we’re an aging fandom or at least that the demographic of people using forums (as opposed to Tumblr etc) is definitely skewed towards a much older crowd. People seem to have this perception that teenagers are all beacons of political correctness now and won’t accept or enjoy “problematic” relationships. Guys, they’re still teenagers. They’re still shipping characters like Tate/Violet from American Horror Story who are very “problematic.” Plenty of teenagers would ship Bangel today. High school girl/vampire relationships haven’t left pop culture since Buffy ended. It was steady with Twilight through the noughties and we’ve had The Vampire Diaries this decade as well. It’ll always be a thing.

I’m not doubting that some podcasters are critiquing Buffy/Angel for its age difference. But it’s not a new phenomenon. The relationship was critiqued by people for that when the show was still on the air. It’s exactly the same thing with Xander. People on here have the tendency to act that Xander’s only been called out as sexist or a misogynist in the last couple of years because “things have changed.” No, guys, those criticisms have existed since the show aired - they’ve existed as long as I’ve been in fandom and that’s since 2003/2004. I even vividly remember the names of the regular Buffyworld posters who hated him. None of its new.

HardlyThere
17-11-18, 02:31 AM
It is great that your daughters are so comfortable in themselves, but then again, it sets the bar high for all the young girls who have yet to gain the experience required to achieve this level of confidence. There is a new expectations for women now to be confident and open.

Buying lube the first time, using lube the first time, asking if lube is something that should be used ... it is all really scary, but if you are in a relationship or if you have several brief encounters, you start to become at ease with it all. Buffy is a coming of age story. By the time she is with Riley, she is unwrapping condom packets like a pro.

Yeah, it's being a tad simplistic about it. Buffy's encounter is rather singular. The person she was in love with and thought was in love with her inexplicably changed and she's grasping at straws.

ghoststar
17-11-18, 02:33 AM
I’d be willing to bet that those podcasters are in the minority. I’m following at least 6 reactors and not one of them have expressed any issues with the Buffy/Angel age difference and all but one of them are shipping/shipped the relationship during Season 1-3. All of these reactors are younger than me (I’m 29 and they appear to be late teens/early 20’s). The Vampire Diaries only ended a couple of years ago and it also featured a high school romance between a teenage girl and a much older vampire and, again, the audience enjoyed it.

I think people on here tend to really exaggerate the difference between 90s teens/2018 teens. I mean, don’t get me wrong, things have definitely changed, but things haven’t changed thhaaatt much. I think some of these conversations really just drive home the fact that we’re an aging fandom. People seem to have this perception that teenagers are all beacons of political correctness now and won’t accept or enjoy “problematic” relationships. Guys, they’re still teenagers. They’re still shipping characters like Tate/Violet from American Horror Story who are very “problematic.” Plenty of teenagers would ship Bangel today. High school girl/vampire relationships haven’t left pop culture since Buffy ended. It was steady with Twilight through the noughties and we’ve had The Vampire Diaries this decade as well. It’ll always be a thing.

I’m not doubting that some podcasters are critiquing Buffy/Angel for its age difference. But it’s not a new phenomenon. The relationship was critiqued by people for that when the show was still on the air. It’s exactly the same thing with Xander. People on here have the tendency to act that Xander’s only been called out as sexist or a misogynist in the last couple of years because “things have changed.” No, guys, those criticisms have existed since the show aired - they’ve existed as long as I’ve been in fandom and that’s since 2003/2004. I even vividly remember the names of the regular Buffyworld posters who hated him. None of its new.

It's true that the appeal and the concerns don't just appear or vanish out of/into thin air, but the balance of public opinion has shifted noticeably. I think that characters who didn't like Angel would find the age difference to be an easier target today, and that it would jump out as related to Buffy's other issues in the adults' minds. The only human characters who I don't think would change at all in their attitudes toward Angel are Buffy and Cordelia, who don't have any ax to grind and have a lot of faith in their own decision-making skills, at least in high school.

HardlyThere
17-11-18, 02:52 AM
It's true that the appeal and the concerns don't just appear or vanish out of/into thin air, but the balance of public opinion has shifted noticeably. I think that characters who didn't like Angel would find the age difference to be an easier target today, and that it would jump out as related to Buffy's other issues in the adults' minds. The only human characters who I don't think would change at all in their attitudes toward Angel are Buffy and Cordelia, who don't have any ax to grind and have a lot of faith in their own decision-making skills, at least in high school.

That would be up to the person writing it. As vampmogs said, it's hardly a new criticism. Joss even commented on it once, I think, mentioning the legality of it in England.

The only reason I would think that type of writing would change would be it's already been done and how much the showrunner listens to twitter commentary. Not that twitter represents public sentiment but some writers heed it just the same. Listening to fans is death for any story.

Stoney
17-11-18, 04:25 AM
I think that insecurity about first romances and sexual experiences isn't just a reality for women and for both sexes it is still very much a valid and realistic representation of how people feel and fear rejection. I don't really see why that wouldn't still be very relatable to a lot of people. The representation of Angel losing his soul, turning on Buffy after she agreed to sleep with him, again I can't see why that wouldn't still be a very upsetting experience for someone who entered into a sexual relationship with different expectations and reasons surrounding their choice to have sex than it is revealed the other person did. I can't see why it would be a more positive thing to be very casual about sex in a way that strips all emotional weight from it so it's more realistic or modern to show that someone wouldn't be bothered by that, especially if it is their first experience and they're young. I'd think that a really negative change in society. And not specifically if it is a woman who is misled. I think anyone that is uncaring of a revealed misunderstanding and mistaken belief about how someone you choose to sleep with feels about you isn't better off emotionally because of that, it doesn't seem strong to me but hardened and they are different things.


- - - Updated - - -

EDIT: The issue of a modern response to there being a question over an unequal balance of power in the relationship, whether that be by age or power hierarchy (such as a boss) I think would be questioned still but wouldn't be something that they would need to avoid entirely. It's an issue with Bangel that has always been debated and raised as long as I've been in fandom, considering it problematic wouldn't be new. The context of the relationship and the individuals involved I think plays a significant part in whether there could be some that simply brush aside a power imbalance or whether it would also, or instead, just be debated and seen as raising the topic. It's a very oft accepted aspect in fiction. I can see that there may be more conscious of how a power disparity was represented after the metoo movement brought such issues more to the fore, but I don't think that means it would be completely avoided. This I think has more potential to swing in representation than fears about first sexual experiences. But generally speaking I can't see why it isn't a story that could still be retold.

ghoststar
17-11-18, 05:51 AM
Willow isn't a vampire with a soul....there is no metaphor inherent in soulless Willow.

[QUOTE=bespangled;737194]Willow isn't a vampire with a soul....there is no metaphor inherent in soulless Willow.

The curse is the soul - the happiness clause is triggered by doing something Angel repeatedly said he shouldn't do.

This isn't anti Angel - I ship the guy. And in the B-verse a troubled soul always has consequences that must be dealt with. He made a choice. He knew it was the wrong choice. He just didn't know what would happen. That is the B-verse in a nutshell.

The Bangel relationship overall is read by younger podcasters as creepy pedo. Basically the much older guy & younger girl thing of the 90's is not accepted. It's seen as a gross ugly trope of a misogynistic time. Misogyny is the issue most cited in almost all podcast reviews, with almost all male characters. That would be a bigger issue than sexuality in any new versions of Buffy, IMO. Also, both Jenny and Faith get plaudits for owning their sexuality, and virginity is a misogynistic social construct.

I really think the worst thing to do would be to play to the times - you end up with something really dated too soon. But I also don't like the implication that "regular" statutory rape is less of an issue than any other problem with power and consent.

I didn’t think you were anti-Angel. You just have a different spin on one particular choice that he makes, and that’s fine.

But I do think that you missed my point in the quoted post. The metaphor that, if you do something bad enough, then you lose your soul, would make as much sense for a human character as for a vampire, which is one reason that I don’t see the metaphor in the show. I don’t think Angel loses his soul because he does something wrong, even if it is wrong; he loses his soul because he experiences perfect happiness. If the show had started with Buffy in college, and he had experienced perfect happiness during sex with her, then that explanation would have made just as much sense as it does when she’s in high school. The metaphor here isn’t for an inevitable consequence to Angel’s moral status, but for the feared consequences for Buffy: That someone the guy she loves will behave differently after he’s gotten what he wanted, that the sex would be a disappointment for someone with greater experience than her own, even things like pregnancy and disease that can’t really happen with a vampire.

As for comparing statutory rape to other offenses being a problem, I’m not sure why. The whole concept of sentencing depends on our ability to draw such distinctions between degrees of harm, culpability, etc. Regarding statutory rape specifically, since the various U.S. states can’t even agree on an age of consent, and cases involving underage older teens are usually lesser crimes than cases with younger kids, I think that reasonable people can, and clearly do, differ on how bad older person/17-y.-o. sex is. By contrast, I see no gray area in using magic to make someone forget that they had had a potentially breakup-inducing argument. Here, the consent isn’t just questionable, it’s completely impossible, and the lack of consent applies to a lot more things than sex, or even the usual physical and emotional consequence of sex. Indeed, when Tara learns about the incident, she never even mentions the physical rape; she’s too busy expressing her shock that Willow would “violate [her] mind like that” (emphasis added). I’m aware of fannish social norms which extend special status to realistic sex crimes, but I don’t follow them. If you’re going to engage with a text rich in philosophical and moral parallels, then there’s no reason to declare some of those parallels off-limits.

bespangled
17-11-18, 09:04 AM
EDIT: The issue of a modern response to there being a question over an unequal balance of power in the relationship, whether that be by age or power hierarchy (such as a boss) I think would be questioned still but wouldn't be something that they would need to avoid entirely. It's an issue with Bangel that has always been debated and raised as long as I've been in fandom, considering it problematic wouldn't be new. The context of the relationship and the individuals involved I think plays a significant part in whether there could be some that simply brush aside a power imbalance or whether it would also, or instead, just be debated and seen as raising the topic. It's a very oft accepted aspect in fiction. I can see that there may be more conscious of how a power disparity was represented after the metoo movement brought such issues more to the fore, but I don't think that means it would be completely avoided. This I think has more potential to swing in representation than fears about first sexual experiences. But generally speaking I can't see why it isn't a story that could still be retold.

Of course they could, but Angel would be perceived as much darker. I don't know that they could bring him back from that.




I didn’t think you were anti-Angel. You just have a different spin on one particular choice that he makes, and that’s fine.

But I do think that you missed my point in the quoted post. The metaphor that, if you do something bad enough, then you lose your soul, would make as much sense for a human character as for a vampire, which is one reason that I don’t see the metaphor in the show. I don’t think Angel loses his soul because he does something wrong, even if it is wrong; he loses his soul because he experiences perfect happiness. If the show had started with Buffy in college, and he had experienced perfect happiness during sex with her, then that explanation would have made just as much sense as it does when she’s in high school. The metaphor here isn’t for an inevitable consequence to Angel’s moral status, but for the feared consequences for Buffy: That someone the guy she loves will behave differently after he’s gotten what he wanted, that the sex would be a disappointment for someone with greater experience than her own, even things like pregnancy and disease that can’t really happen with a vampire.

As for comparing statutory rape to other offenses being a problem, I’m not sure why. The whole concept of sentencing depends on our ability to draw such distinctions between degrees of harm, culpability, etc. Regarding statutory rape specifically, since the various U.S. states can’t even agree on an age of consent, and cases involving underage older teens are usually lesser crimes than cases with younger kids, I think that reasonable people can, and clearly do, differ on how bad older person/17-y.-o. sex is. By contrast, I see no gray area in using magic to make someone forget that they had had a potentially breakup-inducing argument. Here, the consent isn’t just questionable, it’s completely impossible, and the lack of consent applies to a lot more things than sex, or even the usual physical and emotional consequence of sex. Indeed, when Tara learns about the incident, she never even mentions the physical rape; she’s too busy expressing her shock that Willow would “violate [her] mind like that” (emphasis added). I’m aware of fannish social norms which extend special status to realistic sex crimes, but I don’t follow them. If you’re going to engage with a text rich in philosophical and moral parallels, then there’s no reason to declare some of those parallels off-limits.

:hug:

Yes - Buffy's experience is a metaphor for the guy you fall for who treats you like crap once you give it up.

Back in the day the age difference between Angel and Buffy could be brushed away as irrelevant. Some people didn't like it but the majority could wave it away.Things have changed in the world of feminism - the #metoo movement being just a small part. This has a huge impact on what situations can be portrayed as acceptable without a backlash.

Look at this as a 16 year old girl and a 27 year old teacher. Back in the day of Little Liars they had such a relationship, and there was flack. They couldn't do that now without the guy being regarded as a predator and the high school sophomore being seen as a victim by a loud majority of viewers, even if she is more than willing. The twitter storm would be huge if this was presented as an acceptable behavior from a good character. That storm wouldn't begin with sex - it begins with the teacher allowing things to get out of control. Saying "I shouldn't kiss you - it's wrong" but doing it anyway. Power difference is considered a form of rape - look at the whole Joss issue. He has been slammed for consensual sex with adults simply because of power differences.

Metaphorically we are looking at a souled demon. He is definitely in love in a way he never experienced either before or after being vamped. He is still a demon - possessive and jealous, seductive and strong. He is there to help Buffy. He knows that opening that Pandora's box of passion is wrong. You can love someone without sex. He is there to help her and not to possess her love. He knows that that there is danger in what he is doing but he doesn't stop himself. There are always choices - he made the wrong one.

There were many moments leading to that moment of perfect happiness. That's where I see the choices Angel made leading to the loss of his soul. They didn't just appear in bed - there was a long journey to that point that could have been nipped in the bud if he had been stronger. If his soul is his moral compass and he chooses to ignore that compass he is in effect losing his soul. It is no longer operative, and getting weaker with each bad choice.He went in a direction that he could not resist. Angel acknowledges a lot of this in Amends. He is weak, and reining in his desires is hard.

You know how much I love Angel - and when he makes a mistake he doesn't go small. I agree with you he could have lost his soul if he slept with Buffy when she was in college, but there would be no metaphor there. Legally the age of consent has pretty much been done away with in favor of the Romeo and Juliet clause. Three years between the two people is legal - once you get to ten years you are way past legal.

As for Willow, I agree it was awful but having her lose her soul would require an entire revamp of souls in the B-verse. It might not be a bad thing, but they never went in that direction. As for statutory rape being less of an issue despite the power difference, I know girls who have become suicidal after being used like that. Safe sex now needs to be emotionally safe to be accepted as a romance rather than a problem.

ghoststar
17-11-18, 04:45 PM
Romeo and Juliet laws are exceptions to age-of-consent laws, not replacements for them. States still have to set an age at which they’re considered unnecessary, or they’d wind up with 30-year-olds in jail for dating 27-year-olds. For example: Alabama has (or at least had, when I lived there) both a “Romeo and Juliet” clause for most cases where the age difference was less than four years, and an age of consent, which was 16. California was, and is, unusual in setting the age of consent at 18, and for having a Romeo and Juliet clause (applying to cases where the age difference is two years or less) that changes the sex to a misdemeanor, rather than making it not a crime at all. If Buffy had had sex with Xander in season 2, that would have been a crime (an absurd one IMO, but still a crime) in their state (although few prosecutors would consider it top priority). There’s widespread agreement that adults having sex with very young minors should be illegal, and that adults having sex with other adults should not. There’s no such consensus regarding the sexual behavior of people in the range of 14-17.

I don’t think it’s useful to think of Angel like he was a teacher, because he isn’t. There’s a frequent, although not universal, extension of minority status past the standard age when the older person is a teacher or holds another position of authority. A lot of kinds of social power exist, and they can reinforce each other.

HardlyThere
18-11-18, 01:11 AM
Romeo and Juliet laws are exceptions to age-of-consent laws, not replacements for them. States still have to set an age at which they’re considered unnecessary, or they’d wind up with 30-year-olds in jail for dating 27-year-olds. For example: Alabama has (or at least had, when I lived there) both a “Romeo and Juliet” clause for most cases where the age difference was less than four years, and an age of consent, which was 16. California was, and is, unusual in setting the age of consent at 18, and for having a Romeo and Juliet clause (applying to cases where the age difference is two years or less) that changes the sex to a misdemeanor, rather than making it not a crime at all. If Buffy had had sex with Xander in season 2, that would have been a crime (an absurd one IMO, but still a crime) in their state (although few prosecutors would consider it top priority). There’s widespread agreement that adults having sex with very young minors should be illegal, and that adults having sex with other adults should not. There’s no such consensus regarding the sexual behavior of people in the range of 14-17.

I don’t think it’s useful to think of Angel like he was a teacher, because he isn’t. There’s a frequent, although not universal, extension of minority status past the standard age when the older person is a teacher or holds another position of authority. A lot of kinds of social power exist, and they can reinforce each other.


That's because age of consent laws are more rooted in preventing teen pregnancy than predatory behaviors.

Definitely agree about social power. Power structures exist in all aspects of life. Cordy had power over Xander on the social ladder. But it does raise an interesting point about all of Buffy's relationships. Riley was a TA in a class she was a student in. Of course there was Wood, her boss. With the exception of Scott Hope and Owen, all over her interests have some sort of power in some way or higher in the social hierarchy.

bespangled
18-11-18, 01:56 AM
The main difference I see is that Buffy was an adult, not a 16 year old. If she had gotten involved with an adult teacher's aide or an adult boss at a part time job, it's the same type of problematical. I don't have a problem with Riley, but I know that's far more of an issue today too. It's the whole concept of an emotionally safe relationship that has changed. When there is an inherent power difference and a man still makes advances, it's an issue. When the power difference is because one person is underage, there is no mitigating circumstance that will allow the older person to be shown as anything other than a predator.

@ghoststar It's not about legality. It's about audience perception. It would be legal to have a character kill a bird by stamping on it. Once upon a time that person could also be accepted but not anymore. There may be a few states where it is legal for 27 year old men to have sex with 16 year old girls. Today's audience will see this as purely predatory and not romantic.

Willow from Buffy
18-11-18, 02:12 AM
Morals be damned! I am not waiting three seasons for reboot!Buffy to be old enough for a vampire boyfriend.

ghoststar
18-11-18, 04:40 AM
Morals be damned! I am not waiting three seasons for reboot!Buffy to be old enough for a vampire boyfriend.

They could easily resolve most of that controversy by giving her a vampire who was newly turned. Or reference the B/A romance by having a human love interest get turned, rather than having a vampire love interest lose his soul.

Willow from Buffy
18-11-18, 10:32 AM
They could easily resolve most of that controversy by giving her a vampire who was newly turned. Or reference the B/A romance by having a human love interest get turned, rather than having a vampire love interest lose his soul.

That last one is interesting. I like that.

flow
25-11-18, 09:55 PM
Hey y`all,

I`ve come back to the party late, but I wanted to respond to some your insightful posts.

WillowFromBuffy:
Yes, of course it would work. Everyone are insecure going into a new relationship, not just teenage virgins from the 90s. The idea of the person we love just switching on us like that hits us where we live, doesn't it?

Yes, I absoluetly agree, that the emotional impact would still be the same and would still work in storytelling. But in Surpriseand Innocence, there was a heavy emphasis on Buffy fearing, Angel might have turned against her, because she wasn`t living up to his sexual expectations or fantasies and he used that this weas her fault and her fault alone.
She did not ask "Don`t you love me anymore?" . She particularily asked "Was I not good?" And he harped on that by answering "I thought you were a pro".

I was wondering, if this part would still work of if young women nowadays would shrug the obligation or expectation to be "good in bed" off.

ghoststar:
But basically, I think that insecurity over your partner's seriousness and your own sexual skills could happen to people of both sexes, even in a very egalitarian society.

Yes, I agree. I am afraid, that a 17 year old Buffy would nowadays still react in the same way to a 26 year old Angel the morning after their first sexual encounter.

ghoststar:
Heterosexual, non-incestuous relationships between adults and teenagers that they knew well (something that happened, and happens, fairly often) became a lot more taboo over the 2000s;

I`ve grown up in a rather small town in Germany and I went to school there in the eighties. In my school alone there were three teachers - on of them being the principal - who were married to former pupils of our school. Of course they got officially together and married after those pupils had graduated from school. But no one really believed, that they happened to discover their mutual attraction to each other on a school reunion Party three years after graduation.

Back then it was something that happened. No big deal. Today there would be an outrage. So, yes. It has definitely become more of a taboo.

GoSpuffy:
Girls have changed. ... 19 is not 16 but even at 16 I think today's young women are more confident and comfortable with their sexuality than I was at 30.


I`d like to believe that ... but I am afraid, I don`t. I actually think - judging from my 23 year old - that young people are far more conservative, than we used to be.

bespangled:
The Bangel relationship overall is read by younger podcasters as creepy pedo. Basically the much older guy & younger girl thing of the 90's is not accepted. It's seen as a gross ugly trope of a misogynistic time
Living in Germany, where - like in most EU countries - the age of consent is 16, the age difference between Buffy and Angel has never bothered me at all. I actually found the controversy difficult to understand. I have asked before (in another thread), if this is really an issue for people, especially for people from the US. As the topic now came up again, I am going to open a poll.

flow