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flow
25-11-18, 10:14 PM
When I first joined fandom, I was surprised to find out, that some people actually consider Angel to be a pedophile and/or a criminal because of his and Buffy`s sexual Encounter in Surprise.

I am aware, that technically speaking sex between a 17 year old and a 26 year old is a statuatory rape under Californian law.

But is it really considered as a crime? Or is it considered to be less evil than accidentally running over a red traffic light (without hitting soemeone, of course)?

Even in the US more than 50 % of the states do not consider sex between a 17 year old and a 26 year old as a statutory rape. In Europe the age of consent is 16 - with additional exceptions under Romeo and Juliet laws - meaning, that Buffy and Angel were not violating any laws by sleeping together on Buffy`s 17th birthday.

Personally, I can see nothing morally problematic about them having sex. If I had a 17 year old daughter I might not be overjoyed, if she had sex with a 26 year old, but that would be it. I would have no say in the matter, I would have absolutely no moral qualms and I would certainley not consider the young man to be a pedohile.

I would like to hear your views on the matter and I would like to know if you live in the US or not.

This poll is only about your view on the age difference between a 17 year old and a 26 year old. The fact that Angel is a vampire and that his vampiric age is about 200andsomething should not influence your answer to this poll. Also, this poll is only about sex between two consenting people.

flow

a thing of evil
25-11-18, 11:05 PM
As a European, my take on this has always been that it's legal for a reason. 17 and 26? Not that big of a deal as far as I'm concerned.


In Europe the age of consent is 16

No, it's not (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_consent_in_Europe). In most EU countries it's either 14 or 15.

TriBel
25-11-18, 11:35 PM
Okay - I voted:
It is not a big deal and definitely not creepy. I am not an US citizen. I don't think it's a big deal but I find it a little disturbing - more so because SMG looks very young at times (I don't get the same sense of unease from Spike - Buffy). Strangely, it's the first time I've noticed it. Age of consent in the UK is 16.

seekingoutfriday
25-11-18, 11:43 PM
It creeps me out and is one of the reasons I can never ship Buffy and Angel.

Add onto the fact that Angel first saw and began to stalk/fall in love with her when she was 15 (Becoming part 1) and sucking a lollipop like a lolita... yea, gross.

bespangled
25-11-18, 11:56 PM
I lived through this and ended up with a suicidal daughter, so I may be biased.

When she was younger she was a competitive gymnast - and a very shy kid. She was smart, but she started school too young. She wanted to be popular, and she trusted people. She was the team tumbler on the cheer leading squad. Like a lot of teens she had some real social anxiety issues. When she was 16 we were doing hospice care for my FIL. The high school was close and our daughter and her best friend went to a school run summer program that supposedly was supervised. There were men in their mid twenties who came over to the school to get their pick of the teen girls.

High school girls like Buffy just want to belong. They want to have friends, be accepted, not be bullied. The guy in this situation has all the power - of course he used it. He was in his twenties, but he had friends who were still in school. He was cool, and mature. He kept promising her love. convinced her to lie, he pressured her to put out, he told her he couldn't resist her, and eventually he forced her to have sex. It was emotional force, but when she ended up crying he told her he knew she was too immature. He made her sleep on the floor, and call a friend to get a ride home. This man was a serial predator - my kid knew at least three other girls he had done this with. She was embarrassed, ashamed, and vulnerable to all the gossip. This man had friends who helped spread it around, and since she was on the cheerleading squad everyone knew who she was.

In a situation like this the girl is blamed no matter what she does. She was too innocent - she was gullible and should have realized she was being used. She wanted to be cared about and loved - she should have known he was trouble. She thought it was daring and romantic - she should have been realistic and listened to her parents. She had watched tv dramas where the older guy & beautiful teen shared true love, but she should have known it never happens like that. She has no context - teens lack perspective but not self loathing. They blame themselves for being victimized. Her crime was being a teenager - not an experienced adult.

It's BS to put this out as a criminal issue. In this case I'd say it was one, but nothing would have been done. Her best friend was raped at a babysitting job and the jury let that predator free. The DA told us it is impossible to get a conviction in a rape case with teen victims over the age of 12 if they aren't badly beaten because the defense lawyers talk about how all teen girls are sluts. We saw it happen at the trial - You read the papers- you know how teen age girls are today. You know how they wear almost nothing and then start touching a guy. It was consensual. Look at her breasts. He didn't know she was had just graduated from middle school.. Things like this turn into a he said, and then he said. The jury ended up apologizing to him, and blaming her. As it turns out he has gone on to rape other girls.

The power differential between a 27 year old and a 16 year old is huge. Yeah - you can come up with all these rationalizations about what teenage girls today are like, and you'll be believed just like that jury believed. But the truth is that most teenage girls are more like Willow inside - insecure, wanting to be special and loved. They may think they know what they are getting into, but they don't. Once you open the high school doors to grown men who say all the right things - you are so special. I shouldn't be kissing you like this. I really am too old for you. But I can't resist you, I just can't. If you sneak out of your house tonight, you can come over to my place. girls will be groomed. There is no love here - there is a desire for some hot teen ass.

A grown man who really loves a teenager cares enough to keep it zipped until she gets out of high school. Can this crap happen with a boy her own age - most of it can. Two teens can create quite a disaster. But we expect more from adults - particularly adults who claim to love us. Any parent who allows a grown man to do this to their teenage daughter doesn't understand the fundamental insecurities girls have when they want to look all grown up and cool.

But is it really considered as a crime? Or is it considered to be less evil than accidentally running over a red traffic light (without hitting soemeone, of course)? We can take that running a traffic light just a bit farther - how about running over that girl's puppy, throwing the corpse at her, and then blaming her for being stupid enough not to watch out for his car. That's not a crime but it's taking advantage of her innocence and need to be loved. The Romeo and Juliet clause makes sense for a reason.

This is about 16 year old girls and 27 year old men - because and Buffy and Angel are a fantasy version. But when a real adult does this to a teenage girl he might as well have no soul. Check out any porn site and you can find a lot of reasons to protect teenagers from adults. This is the real world. For what it's worth, BTVS actually showed this entire dynamic - they just used the soul clause as an escape from having Angel take any responsibility. That's okay in drama but it's not okay in real life.

Just want to add that she is fine now - but there were some rough years before she got there.

GoSpuffy
26-11-18, 12:02 AM
I don't think it's statutory rape but I vote creepy. I wouldn't want my 17 year old daughter dating a 26 year old. A 26 year old is more mature, working rather than going to school, able to drink alcohol, and would be emotionally more mature and sexually experienced .

In Canada the age of consent is 16. 14 and 15 year olds can consent if there is no more than 5 years age difference. 12 and 13 year olds can consent but no more than 2 years in age difference.

I'm not overly bothered by Buffy and Angel being sexually active with each other but I wouldn't like it if she was my daughter.

ghoststar
26-11-18, 12:05 AM
American here (raised in Alabama, now living in Florida). I think that the age difference is a problem, but in a “challenge to the relationship” way rather than a “punish with jail” way. I don’t think a 16-year-old and a 27-year-old (who isn’t an authority figure for other reasons) automatically have a child/adult dynamic that would enable exploitation. I do think, though, that being 10 years apart in age, they’re probably going to struggle to agree on when to get married, have kids, go to college, and do all sorts of other important things that people feel differently about at different ages.

So, not an ideal beginning for a long-term relationship, but not rape, either.

Dipstick
26-11-18, 12:27 AM
I don't think it's statutory rape but I think it's usually creepy (although there can be exceptions described below) and if I were a parent, I'd try to stop my 17-year old kid from dating the 26 year old. I think it's mainly creepy because I think a well-functioning 27-year old should be dating people in a similar age bracket- like 5 years out of college, 9 years in the working world after graduating from college. It's such a huge gap in life experience and expectations out of life that I'd suspect any 26-year old of being too immature to date people his/her own age or specifically out to take advantage of someone much younger who hasn't the same run of experiences.

That said, that line of thinking sort of excuses Buffy/Angel. I know why Angel, 26 years old in body and 250+ in age, can't just find another 26-year old or 250+ year old to date. He's had a whole world of experiences, but they're all incredibly limited to functioning in the human world. He can't find another female vampire with a soul to date and to be frank, he's limited in finding another human being to date who understands and empathizes with his unique experience. I don't think Angel purposefully chose a life where he'd too immature to date 26-year olds and I don't think he sought out Buffy because she was so young. Rather, I think Angel was uniquely lonely because of his one-of-a-kind set of circumstances. Moreover, Buffy was uniquely lonely because of her own one-of-a-kind set of circumstances.

I mean, I think Bangel was a bad, unhealthy relationship and Angel did some crappy things in that relationship, souled and unsouled. However, I don't think he was a pedophile or predator.

TriBel
26-11-18, 12:36 AM
It creeps me out and is one of the reasons I can never ship Buffy and Angel.

Add onto the fact that Angel first saw and began to stalk/fall in love with her when she was 15 (Becoming part 1) and sucking a lollipop like a lolita... yea, gross.

I don't know what they were thinking with that. Eroticising innocence? As you say - gross.

GoSpuffy
26-11-18, 12:44 AM
Adding the lollipop scene definitely added to the creepy factor. In some ways I'm more bothered by Riley. TA's shouldn't date students in their class. They should have waited until the course was over before instigating a relationship.

vampmogs
26-11-18, 01:05 AM
I think that the text definitely raises it as an issue ("He's older than you. Too old, Buffy. And clearly not very stable") so it would be unwise to ignore it entirely. However, I don't think Angel is a "pedophile" for all the reasons everyone has mentioned above and I'm hesitant to treat it strictly as your typical 17 year old/26 year old relationship.

In many ways, Buffy is "just a girl", as she keeps trying to remind people, but as stated in Prom by her own mother she's also had to "grow up fast" and "deal with a lot" (understatement of the century) and even Joyce forgets her actual age. The responsibilities and pressures that Buffy has had to deal with have made her wiser beyond her years and had forced her to carry burdens that most adults could never even dream of. Whilst I'm hesitant to ignore Buffy's age entirely, because there are instances where Buffy very much does act like your typical 17 year old girl, I also don't feel it's entirely accurate to treat her experience as that of your average teenage girl. If she's wise and mature enough to carry the weight of the entire world on her shoulders, if she's selfless and heroic enough to sacrifice herself, or sacrifice Angel to save the world, then I feel it's somewhat of a disservice to Buffy to pigeonhole her as a typical 17 year old girl too immature to be in a relationship with an older guy. I also think that one of the reasons Buffy is drawn to Angel is precisely because he's older and because he gives off a different vibe than the typical high school boys she's surrounded with on a daily basis.

As for Angel, I think in Season 1-2 especially, he's kind of moulded himself into a "kid" (college age at least) which I find interesting. I don't think it's necessarily a conscious decision on his part but rather something that vampires naturally do (I'll explain this in a moment) and is also a result of Angel having to rebuild himself after decades of rat-eating exile. In flashbacks we see that Angel (and I assume vampires in general) kind of moulds himself into whatever persona fits with the time and/or the people he's forced to interact with. For instance, in Why We Fight, Angel very much adopts a different persona when dealing with the military soldiers down in the submarine and then, when Lawson returns in 2004 LA, Angel briefly slips back into that character when talking with him at W&H ("I don't think it works that way, son"). The Angel we know doesn't talk like this anymore but Angel feels inclined to adopt that persona again when back with Lawson. It's almost as if Angel himself stays in this permanent stasis (where his age and even own personality is rather irrelevant) and that whoever Angel is, or however Angel acts, is dependant on the time and the people he's surrounded himself with. So, when he's surrounded by Buffy and her friends and when he's in a town with a Hellmouth underneath the high school (which results him "lurking" around a lot of high school activities - he knew about Career Week, for example) Angel naturally adopts this "teenage heartthrob persona" who's interested in coffee dates at The Bronze etc. And in City Off... as even Doyle says, Angel then is forced to adapt and readjust how he communicates with humans again now that "high school is over" and he's dealing with the troubled souls of LA. Furthermore, I think it's natural that Angel comes across as younger in Season 1-2 as it's shortly after he's had to integrate himself back into the world after a long time after Whistler's teachings ("I want to learn from you") and he almost feels like a newbie vampire again. He also admits in Consequences that he looked to Buffy as guidance of how good humanity can be which is a subtle difference in the power dynamic between them.

Nevertheless, the age difference definitely is a source of a tension between them and it can't be ignored entirely. Even in Season 2 there's moments where Angel plays the age card deliberately when he's trying to distance himself from the rather juvenile emotions he is feeling ("Jealous of Xander? Please, he's just a kid" "Does that mean I'm just a kid too?"). And I think the more Angel grows in confidence in Season 3, in particular, the more it starts to become a problem between them and Angel starts feeling uneasy about the age difference and the more Buffy starts to feel attacked or patronised to for her age ("No of course not! I'm just some swoony little schoolgirl, right?"). In I Will Remember You Buffy makes a point of reminding Angel that "[she's] a big girl, Angel. [She's] not in high school anymore" which, to me, suggests that Buffy did hold on to some resentment over how Angel could condescend to her back in their relationship. It's her way of trying to establish a new dynamic and a new set of ground rules moving forward.

I think there are elements to this in all of Buffy's relationships. As pointed out above, Riley was a TA when Buffy began a relationship with him and arguably, for however briefly, he was also her commander when she joined The Initiative. Furthermore, whilst Buffy may no longer be a teenager when she enters a relationship with Spike, she still is only in her very early 20's (20-21) which, to me, even as a 29 year old, seems still very young now, and I believe Spike was in his 30's when turned and is also over a century old. There's also the scene of Spike watching Buffy dance as a 16 year old which even JM admits to playing sexually. I do not believe that Buffy is drawn to men who have power over her (I think she absolutely likes taking charge and is irritated when they try and assert dominance over her) but Buffy is drawn to men in positions of power or who are older and more worldly than her own peers. I think she craves this because she does not feel her age as a result of the overwhelming burdens she is forced to endure and the weight of her calling, so she's drawn to men who are more mature or who are "other" in some way.

I'd also point out that the age gap is not only present in the text but also behind the scenes as well. There's a 15 year age gap between SMG and JM. There's an 8 year age gap between SMG and DB. There's a 5 year age gap between SMG and MB. The age gaps may vary depending on the actor but they deliberately chose men who were older than SMG. That's often just a Hollywood thing but it does come across in the text too, IMO. And, like in the text, SMG has always given off a vibe much older and wiser than her years, which Joss and Co always attested to.

bespangled
26-11-18, 01:51 AM
I don't hate Bangel or Angel - just wanted to make that clear. The age difference does make me uncomfortable, but I can see why others would ship it and I cry at the end of Beginning. Angel is definitely not a pedophile. I think he had had no human connection ever and was completely in love with Buffy. Obviously it would have been better if they waited - the show is all about that. In my eyes the adult is the one who should hold back. Angel is flawed - I still love him.

OTH - Faith has also also had to "grow up fast" and "deal with a lot" . She's made it clear that she has had what she considers consensual sex with adult men. It seems to be pretty much how she survived. So I have problems with that argument.

The question doesn't actually mention Angel and Buffy - it asks about real life 16 year olds with real 27 year olds.

ghoststar
26-11-18, 02:22 AM
Adding the lollipop scene definitely added to the creepy factor. In some ways I'm more bothered by Riley. TA's shouldn't date students in their class. They should have waited until the course was over before instigating a relationship.

It's unlikely that Riley remains directly involved with their coursework once they start dating. If he were doing anything questionable with an undergrad, he probably wouldn't tell his professor about it. Say what you will about Maggie Walsh's extracurricular activities, she runs a tight ship in her day job. She certainly has enough available "graduate students" to take over with Buffy.

Stoney
26-11-18, 05:43 AM
In verse I agree greatly with what vampmogs said. I think Angel was struggling to know how to integrate and was in many ways himself very 'young and innocent', though obviously not literally so. As he settled in his surety of what he was doing and the general uncertainty in himself reduced, although he was still very displaced/isolated, it made the discomfort he felt at their age difference/life experience more pronounced and problematic between them. But Buffy also isn't your average person and the expiration date that weighs on her and the pressures of responsibility on her shoulders also changes the factors slightly. The whole idea of falling in love instantly with someone with the visual lollipop included that they did with Angel was creepy and also immature to my eye. But I don't see Angel as a pedophile (although he is by nature somewhat predatory). I think there are issues over experience differences with them that are raised but I can understand how they both were drawn to each other despite it and their individual situations allowed it to be set aside. Particularly at first. But a great deal of these factors aren't there in real life.

Looking to the OP, I couldn't pick an option. I don't see it as statutory rape (I'm a Brit), but I do see it as problematic. It isn't necessarily creepy, although the individual people's power dynamic and maturity certainly mean that it could be that. So I also don't feel comfortable saying that it isn't a big deal either, because I think it can be. The issues that bespangled raised about how a girl can feel at that age, the peer pressure and uncertainty is a huge issue with making the choice to sleep with someone. I personally think there is a maturity question that potentially raises a lot of issues with why a girl chooses to sleep with someone at that age. And the fact that I wouldn't call a seventeen year old a woman is illustrative of that inbetween status in physical and emotional maturity of that age that pulls the reasons for the choice into the spotlight. I think there's huge scope for making the choice for poor reasons and having regrets. So when you add in the factor that the person they are sleeping with is so much older too, the potential for making a poor choice becomes increased I think. There's just a huge gap there in terms of life experience and in most cases you will be looking for immaturity on one side and heightened maturity on the other to bridge that a little and reduce the disparity for it to not be touching on being problematic in ways that are age gap specific. But generally at just 17 I think you can make the choice for the wrong reasons and regret it with a partner of 17 or 21 or 26. It's a difficult age where you're only just learning about yourself and the world. Most people are lucky enough to be able to make the choice to have sex without significant physical or emotional ramifications that last over many years, but I doubt it is unusual for negative experiences to also happen at that time/age. An increased age difference increases the chance possibly of this, but is likely to be dependent on the individuals and isn't necessarily a problem. So I don't know. It isn't statutory rape, it isn't necessarily an issue, it isn't necessarily creepy, but it can be. It's a potentially problematic factor in a situation that itself can be strewn with maturity issues which result in regrets and negative fallout, so I just can't say it isn't an issue because sometimes it will be and predictably so.

vampmogs
26-11-18, 08:09 AM
If we're talking real life then, yeah, I think the age gap would be creepy. As I said, even at 29 I find 20-21 year olds *very* young and I have little interest in dating them. I can't imagine ever wanting to date a teenager, let alone a 16-17 year old. I wouldn't place any of the blame on the teenager but it would take pretty extraordinary circumstances for me not to judge the hell out of a 26 year old and wonder what on earth would make them interested in a partner so young.

Buffy/Angel is a pretty extraordinary circumstance. It works for me within the context of the story and I can really understand why both Buffy and Angel are drawn to each other and I can understand why Angel would be in love with Buffy without me feeling like he's a creep. But that's true of a lot of ships for me in the Buffyverse. I would find some of them really inappropriate, unhealthy and disturbing if I imagined their real-life equivalent.

Rebcake
26-11-18, 08:09 AM
As you say, it IS statutory rape in California. There's no point in saying that it's not, or that it is just a matter of opinion. The actual question is whether you think statutory rape should apply when the minor is an older teen, say 16 or 17. Consent is not the issue with statutory rape, which is what makes it different from the other kind*. It just states that there is a minimum age at which people CAN freely consent. I think most people agree that there is or should be a minimum age of consent, they just disagree what that "magic number" should be.

It is definitely more serious than a traffic ticket, although it probably wouldn't be enforced at all unless there was someone in the mix (parents, teachers) who felt there was enough of a problem to report it. Law enforcement doesn't go around writing tickets and checking IDs of kids "parking", but the police will tell them to zip it and move on, if they come across them. (This — while annoying to kids involved in consensual sexual relations — is to prevent the non-consensual kind.)

The difference in ages is key to how serious a punishment is meted out is. If the kids are at least 16 and no more than 2 years apart in age, it is a misdemeanor and more of a traffic-ticket situation. Very few 18-year-olds sexually involved with 17-year-olds are going to be cited. The younger the minor and the wider the age gap, the more seriously the crime is taken. Because of the age gap, a 26-year-old having sex with a 17-year-old is a felony offense (though prosecutors have the option not to seek felony charges) and would probably result in the older person being required to register as a sex offender. (Urinating in public might also get you on this list, so it's kind of stupid.)

The idea behind it is that the older person in these cases actually IS a predator, even if the younger person doesn't see it that way.

I totally get it from Buffy's perspective. She's been more than responsible, she's already died once, for crying out loud. She should have the sexual experience she wants! I want that for her. On the other hand, Angel engages in all the classic grooming behaviors with her, which makes him creepy and predatory even if he feels really bad about it. His telling Buffy "we shouldn't" doesn't absolve him of failing to stop.

I don't think he's a pedophile, however.

*Prosecutors are not above trying actual rapists as statutory rapists, as it's lots easier to get a conviction.

Stoney
26-11-18, 12:09 PM
As you say, it IS statutory rape in California. There's no point in saying that it's not, or that it is just a matter of opinion. The actual question is whether you think statutory rape should apply when the minor is an older teen, say 16 or 17. Consent is not the issue with statutory rape, which is what makes it different from the other kind*. It just states that there is a minimum age at which people CAN freely consent. I think most people agree that there is or should be a minimum age of consent, they just disagree what that "magic number" should be.

I appreciate this is directed at the OP, but just wanted to emphasise when I said I don't see it as statutory rape I meant entirely in the sense that it isn't where I live. I have no issue with the fact that it is different in other places and if it is classed as statutory rape for the age of participants wherever it is committed that's the law. I don't think it's a matter of opinion either, but I think flow was trying to gauge the differences in other countries/states in real life (rather than debate the case re: Buffy/Angel of whether it was or not).

You're completely right that the size of the age gap definitely increases how predatory the act is.

TimeTravellingBunny
26-11-18, 02:32 PM
I don't think it's necessarily creepy unless there is a power inbalance issue, but I don't think the question accurately describes Buffy and Angel. Not just because Angel is 250+ year old vampire, but Buffy is a Slayer.

To me, it has always seemed more than a bit hypocritical when people freak out over Buffy's age ONLY when it comes to her ability to consent to sex and choose to have sex with whoever - while treating her as an adult in every other aspect of her life, primarily Slaying.

If Buffy is treated as a child/minor who cannot consent to sex or isn't mature enough, then she most definitely should not be risking her life every night, she should not be fighting monsters, nor should she be given the enormoud responsibility to save the world or make decisions that affect millions of people. If we look at it through that prism, Buffy is a child soldier, and Giles is an abuser, and the entire premise of the show is creepy.

I would also like to note that the age of consent, whatever it is, is normally lower than the age of majority, which allows you to vote or (theoretically) be voted into office; I believe it's also lower than the age at which a person can be drafted or enlist into an army. For instance, in my country, age of consent is 14, bur age of majority is 18. Not to mention that, even if you can theoretically be voted into office at 18, people usually don't get to be until they are decades older than that, and even 20 somethings rarely get to lead armies or make executive decisions of any kind in most countries nowadays.

Klaus Kartoffel
26-11-18, 02:39 PM
I vote "It is not a statutory rape (here). Whether or not it's creepy, or a big deal, depends on each individual case to begin with. I am not an US citizen." :p

However, a good opportunity to take a trust-y look at Wikipedia because I actually didn't have an idea how it's exactly regulated here.

In Germany age of consent is 14 years for up until 21 years old sexual partners. If you're 21+ and have sex with 14&15 years olds, their legal guardians can file a charge against you. The court will determine the teen's ability to consent (e.g. via psychological/medical estimates) and you'll be judged accordingly. From 16 on it's free for all (with some restrictions like prostitution (18+), exploiting power differentials/personal dillemmas (18+), sex with students as teachers etc. (18+)).

So... did Angel ever pay Buffy any money? :xd

The morality of it? I refrain from blanket judgements let alone demonizations/victimizations. Humans and their relationships are complex, grainy and indeterminate. The same age constellation in different relationships can unfold itself in all sorts of dynamics. I'm fine with the regulations as they are because there *has* to be a legal line somewhere where it's reasonable. Everyone should be made aware of them and take responsibility for their actions. Personally, I think Bangel carries some creepiness but since it's mostly consensual creepiness I don't see much of a problem. I also agree with the comments about Angel's unique circumstances. The idea that he's a pedophile (even if he was a normal human man) is ridiculous and factually wrong.

TimeTravellingBunny
26-11-18, 03:52 PM
I vote "It is not a statutory rape (here). Whether or not it's creepy, or a big deal, depends on each individual case to begin with. I am not an US citizen." :p

However, a good opportunity to take a trust-y look at Wikipedia because I actually didn't have an idea how it's exactly regulated here.

In Germany age of consent is 14 years for up until 21 years old sexual partners. If you're 21+ and have sex with 14&15 years olds, their legal guardians can file a charge against you. The court will determine the teen's ability to consent (e.g. via psychological/medical estimates) and you'll be judged accordingly. From 16 on it's free for all (with some restrictions like prostitution (18+), exploiting power differentials/personal dillemmas (18+), sex with students as teachers etc. (18+)).

So... did Angel ever pay Buffy any money? :xd

The morality of it? I refrain from blanket judgements let alone demonizations/victimizations. Humans and their relationships are complex, grainy and indeterminate. The same age constellation in different relationships can unfold itself in all sorts of dynamics. I'm fine with the regulations as they are because there *has* to be a legal line somewhere where it's reasonable. Everyone should be made aware of them and take responsibility for their actions. Personally, I think Bangel carries some creepiness but since it's mostly consensual creepiness I don't see much of a problem. I also agree with the comments about Angel's unique circumstances. The idea that he's a pedophile (even if he was a normal human man) is ridiculous and factually wrong.

The term "pedophilia" would definitely be wrong, since it refers to primary sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children, and wouldn't apply to attraction to anyone over 13. The term for primary sexual attraction to people in late teens (15-19) is ephebophilia. However, it would be difficult to argue that Angel is primarily attracted to teenagers since Darla, Cordelia and Nina were all older when he became interested in them.

DeepBlueJoy
26-11-18, 04:16 PM
Let me stipulate that I would not want my 17 year old dating a 26 year old. Most 17 year olds aren't prepared for full adulthood and there is a power differential whether or not one is intended.

That said, I don't think it should be statutory rape, but I do believe it's deeply troubling and often unethical, particularly when the older person is an authority figure such as a teacher. I think it should be an offense for an authority figure to have sex with a subordinate, particularly sanctions should attach for one who is a minor.

BUT: Women of 17 have been marrying men 26 and older forever. While it isn't ideal, what it ends up being really depends on the two people involved. It can be loving. It can be abusive. It can be rape. Age DOES matter, but it is NOT the entire story.


Buffy: Is she really like other girls?

* When one of those people is a woman who carries the future of the PLANET on her shoulder, and has done since age 15, I don't know that you can reasonably consider her a child.

* When that person knows her expiration date could be NOW, it creates a certain spirit of desperation.

* She wanted this chance at love, romance and sex (probably expected to be her ONLY chance). She was grabbing hard for that. She wasn't forced, coerced or even seduced into this.

* She was a warrior. She was stronger than Angel. She was no victim.

Was Buffy ready to make love to a man? I think she was.

What she wasn't ready for (and no adult woman would be either) is for him to turn into a monster.

That is where her age began to matter. A fully adult woman might have been a bit more ready to harden her heart quicker and do what was needed (slay him right here and then without hesitation). But we know individual humans are different. Some people can suck it up and get their head in the game and some cannot. Some fall totally to pieces. Some get there like Buffy did, but it takes time and consequences to drive them there.

Still, my argument is this: the guardian of the planet is old enough to die for her planet; she's old enough to want to get laid.

Her options for a partner she couldn't easily break are kind of limited, btw.

Now, let us take Angel for a moment.

* I don't think Angel ever saw Buffy as a kid. He saw her as The Slayer. Then he saw her as a woman. Eventually. (Yes, he was enthralled from the get go, but he didn't encourage her to consummate things -- and they didn't consummate the relationship until 2 years later, when she was unequivocally grown up, and if not legally of age of consent... (18 is only age of consent in parts of the US, in most states it is 17 or even 16 btw)

* Angel could not marry Buffy, even if he wanted to. It is legal for spouses to have sex even if one of them is under 18. I think no one will argue that Angel was not committed to Buffy.

Finally, what is a pedophile/ephebophile?

They are a person who exhibits a sexual preference for people of a certain age. This is so critical that when the person they are interested in ages past that, they lose interest in them. Angel never loses interest in Buffy, therefore he does not meet the criteria for pedophilia. Note: his other partners all qualify as 'adult' when he first gets with them. Also not suggestive of pedophilia or any other age specific sex obsession.

That said, was it possible that Angel was drawn to the sweet young Buffy? Absolutely.

Sadly most men are drawn to young 'nubile' women, probably at least in part as a biological imperative because young women of reproductive age are most likely to be fertile and live long enough to raise children to adulthood... But that's not an attraction to children, though our pornworld society is only encouraging the sickness of it by objectifying women who are 'barely legal'.

_______________

Notes:

a) I am no fan of Angel and Buffy. I think their relationship is all hat and no cattle. They don't talk together, they don't have a good partnership and they aren't really shown being interdependent. Angel acts as if he has a right to make the decisions in the relationship, in a way I don't find to be healthy. Buffy's age may have something to do with it, except he does it to her later (in the day that he undid) and to his friends in his own series (lies to Cordelia, lies to his team several times) -- he makes decisions for others for their own good. It's a flaw of his character.

b) I'm the adult survivor of two different sex abusers at age 10 - abuser was 18, and at 12 - abuser was 26. Both were supposed to be 'keeping me safe' though they weren't authority figures per se. There were other lesser offenders when I was even younger. (*men* who kissed me or tried to feel me up). I just want to explain that I have a MURDEROUS rage toward those who I consider pedophiles or ephebophiles. (those who want children and those who want adolescents respectively). I would not defend what I consider rape. There is no consensual sexual abuse, no matter how 'loving'.

_____________

PS: I am not sure the poll had enough choices. It was too absolute and this is not an absolute topic. I am a US citizen. I chose the rape option because I could NEVER consider ANY sex for the first time (even between adults) not to be a big deal... sex between an adult and someone who is not quite there is at least concerning. Sex between 15 and 26 is rape, though i think sex between 15 and 18 is equivocal. 16 and 26 should be legally sanctioned, but not sure it should put someone on the sex registry for life. 17 and 26 -- really depends on who is involved. The point is, this is MESSY.

Much of the world has an age of consent of 16, and I am not sure it's a good age, but a lot of people (both genders) assume adult responsibilities earlier than in western countries -- but people are different emotional ages. Did you know that Anthony Stewart Head got with his common law wife when he was 28 and she was 18? don't think they are legally married, but they're still together and have raised two kids. Was that inappropriate? So just that one year makes a big difference, then?

MikeB
26-11-18, 06:35 PM
All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




* This thread wasn’t put in this section: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?90-The-Boiler-Room .

This thread is put in the General Section and seems to specifically regard the Buffy/Angel relationship.

A 26-year-old man having sex with an underage girl in California is a big deal and would very likely put the man in prison for years.

The Buffy/Angel situation is relatively MUCH worse given what Angel actually is and how and when he approached Buffy.


* It’s somewhat telling that Angel didn’t approach Buffy when she had a boyfriend (pre-Pike) and a quasi-boyfriend (Pike).


* Angel doesn’t tell Buffy he’s a vampire. I’ve always considered he read her diary and already knew she was into him and that’s why he approaches the subject of wanting to kiss her.

It’s telling and disturbing that Angel naturally ‘vamped out’ when first kissing Buffy.

Angel was making out with Buffy when she was 16 years old. And Buffy is a na´ve virgin in “Surprise” (B 2.13).


* The idea that Buffy in BtVS S1 and BtVS S2 is somehow ‘mature beyond her years’ because she’s the Slayer is utter nonsense. Buffy in “The Harsh Light of Day” (B 4.03) is still na´ve and ‘immature’ regarding sexual relationships.

A 14, 15, 16, 17 year old having a job and responsibilities doesn't automatically make that child “mature” in sexual relationships.


* Finally, Angel is only a ‘good’ vampire because the Gypsies decided to curse him instead of dust him. And he’s only ‘good’ when affected/effected by the curse. And Whistler only had Angel meet Buffy because of the Twilight Prophecy. It’s easily argued that Buffy/Angel is the least healthy sexual relationship that Buffy’s had.

DeepBlueJoy
26-11-18, 09:24 PM
Adding the lollipop scene definitely added to the creepy factor. In some ways I'm more bothered by Riley. TA's shouldn't date students in their class. They should have waited until the course was over before instigating a relationship.

I am definitely more bothered by Riley. It was a conflict of interest, ethical violation, and probably a violation of his terms of employment/school code at the university.

Riley would have graded Buffy's papers. He had the ability to fail her if she didn't go out with or sleep with him.

People fail out of school over stuff like this. Failing even one class in one's very first semester... that is serious business for a scared undergrad. Failing because of a coerced relationship? Well, people have committed suicide for less.


I'm not sure of the age difference, but as a grad student, with her being a freshman, it would have been at least four years. Add him being in the military at some point either between undergrad and grad school (as an officer) or before university (enlisted) - he'd have to be probably six years older than her. Yes, she's 18, but 18 to 24 or older is still a significant age difference. Given his life experience, the power difference is huge even before we add that he has teacher AUTHORITY over her.

She is a first semester undergrad -- we saw how insecure she was in those few weeks, how out of place she felt. Buffy was more confident in Welcome to the Hellmouth than she was in her first weeks on campus. Willow was in her element. Buffy was not.

That said, as it turns out, the relationship wasn't actively coercive, and eventually it became clear to Riley that it was HE that was the one who couldn't handle Buffy's power or authority...

But the relationship should never have happened. At minimum: if Riley was serious about courting her, he should have asked to TA for someone else, or at least waited until she was no longer in his class.

Dipstick
26-11-18, 09:52 PM
I am definitely more bothered by Riley. It was a conflict of interest, ethical violation, and probably a violation of his terms of employment/school code at the university.

Riley would have graded Buffy's papers. He had the ability to fail her if she didn't go out with or sleep with him.

People fail out of school over stuff like this. Failing even one class in one's very first semester... that is serious business for a scared undergrad. Failing because of a coerced relationship? Well, people have committed suicide for less.


I'm not sure of the age difference, but as a grad student, with her being a freshman, it would have been at least four years. Add him being in the military at some point either between undergrad and grad school (as an officer) or before university (enlisted) - he'd have to be probably six years older than her. Yes, she's 18, but 18 to 24 or older is still a significant age difference. Given his life experience, the power difference is huge even before we add that he has teacher AUTHORITY over her.

She is a first semester undergrad -- we saw how insecure she was in those few weeks, how out of place she felt. Buffy was more confident in Welcome to the Hellmouth than she was in her first weeks on campus. Willow was in her element. Buffy was not.

That said, as it turns out, the relationship wasn't actively coercive, and eventually it became clear to Riley that it was HE that was the one who couldn't handle Buffy's power or authority...

But the relationship should never have happened. At minimum: if Riley was serious about courting her, he should have asked to TA for someone else, or at least waited until she was no longer in his class.

Maybe my S4 memory is off but I don't think Buffy was still taking Psych 101 when she was actually dating Riley. Most American colleges are on the semester system where you conclude a class around the Christmas holidays. Buffy and Riley had a rapport, an alleged chemistry in the early eps but they didn't take an actual step to romance until Hush, and they weren't a couple until A New Man. Hush is the last scene where we see Buffy and Willow in Maggie's psychology class. Doomed occurred immediately after Hush and Buffy was probably still in class. For the rest of Buffy's time with Maggie, she's interacting with her as the leader of the Initiative. A New Man implies that Buffy finished her psych class. "All that time you were sitting in my class"; "I always knew you could do better than a B minus." So, I think Buffy was finishing up her first semester around Doomed and starting her second semester in A New Man.

So, I guess Riley's TA impropriety is that he kissed her in Hush, under incredible stress where the whole town had lost their voices, and was arguing that they date in Doomed when Buffy was still in Maggie's class and he was TA. However, IMO, Riley was likely looking towards like, the next week when Buffy wouldn't be in Maggie's class anymore in Doomed. When Buffy and Riley actually resume their relationship proper in A New Man, I don't believe that he's her TA.

Based on my recollection, I don't think Riley did much wrong as a TA. The Hush kiss was under extraordinary circumstances. If my calendar was correct, Riley would have ideally waited until A New Man to push for a relationship but it's just one episode. It never occurred to me for a second that Riley would fail Buffy if she didn't go out with him- and I don't think that was a reasonable threat based on Riley's behavior or Buffy's perception of Riley's behavior. Riley never indicated that he'd fail or academically penalize Buffy. I think he was pushy but all of his pushiness was directed at diagnosing why Buffy wasn't dating him like that was sign of some mental defect. Which was annoying and crappy but had nothing to do with Riley being a TA. Buffy felt perfectly free to deny him a relationship in Doomed until the end of the episode when she decided to date based on her own feelings.

I defended Bangel in this thread. But I think Bangel and Spuffy are infinity more disturbing than Biley.

TimeTravellingBunny
26-11-18, 11:16 PM
The results of this poll are very telling. It seems they're conforming the well known trend of the US culture being much more concerned with sex than with violence. Or should we have another poll on whether it's OK for teenagers to be soldiers/generals in the fight against the forces of darkness and risk their lives every night, or if the entire premise of the show is creepy?

- - - Updated - - -


[i]

Angel was making out with Buffy when she was 16 years old. And Buffy is a na´ve virgin in “Surprise” (B 2.13).


* The idea that Buffy in BtVS S1 and BtVS S2 is somehow ‘mature beyond her years’ because she’s the Slayer is utter nonsense. Buffy in “The Harsh Light of Day” (B 4.03) is still na´ve and ‘immature’ regarding sexual relationships.

A 14, 15, 16, 17 year old having a job and responsibilities doesn't automatically make that child “mature” in sexual relationships.


Oh come on, Mike. You know what is utter nonsense? Talking about being as a Slayer as if it's the same thing as some kid working at McDonalds.

Buffy has fought on the front lines of battle against evil and risked her life every night since she was 15. Buffy was told she was going to die, and actually died at 16. Buffy constantly has to make decisions that affect dozens, hundreds, billions of people. You don't think she's too immature for that? You don't think that a "child" too immature for sex is also too immature to be sent into war and sent to die? You don't see a problem with your double standard?

What are the US laws on people recruiting child soldiers?

Dipstick
26-11-18, 11:32 PM
The results of this poll are very telling. It seems they're conforming the well known trend of the US culture being much more concerned with sex than with violence. Or should we have another poll on whether it's OK for teenagers to be soldiers/generals in the fight against the forces of darkness and risk their lives every night, or if the entire premise of the show is creepy?

The entire premise of the show is creepy. It's a horror show. Snerk.

But really, put up another poll on whether it's creepy or disturbing that teenagers are fighting monsters without support from any major institutions. I know that I'd vote "yes" much I like I voted "yes" here. As a US citizen, no less. Here, I did vote that it was generally creepy for a 27-year old to date a 16-year old but exceptions can exist where both parties are of similar maturity or they believably are limited in other romantic partners, and those applied to Bangel. I wasn't attacking Angel as a predator.

That all said, this show gives me much more compelling reasons for Buffy to slay demons than for Buffy and Angel to have a romance together. If the teenagers don't slay demons, we're caught in the other CREEPIER choice where thousands of people die horrible grisly deaths and the world ends. If Buffy and Angel don't have a romance together.....Buffy certainly just moves on with less emotional baggage. Angel, well, he's a more mysterious case because I think he was more altered by his romance with Buffy than she was by him. I tend to think that he'd squat in an apartment doing low-level good to ease his conscience and then, possibly backslide to suicide or not doing anything as he did for much of the 20th century without Buffy as a big formative heroic influence. Who knows but Angel's empowerment purchased with Buffy's trauma isn't the same surety that the world will end if the teens don't slay. So, yeah, I don't think Angel is a predator or pedophile. However, I do think that he gave into an urge that prioritized his pleasure over Buffy's development when he pursued Buffy. But I would not make the same accusations of Giles because Giles pursued Buffy as a child soldier because he believed (and the show indicates) it was necessary to save lives and even the world. That said, I only have such good, excusing feelings about Giles when he's also fighting to save lives and the world. Come S6 when he leaves so that the young people (that he recruited as children) can fight evil for him, he also crosses the border where he prioritizes his ease of life over the young people's development. That's why I think Giles has least allowance/cause to leave in S6. I wouldn't be as angry if Xander or Willow left the hellmouth to live a civilian life.

Rebcake
27-11-18, 02:09 AM
The results of this poll are very telling. It seems they're conforming the well known trend of the US culture being much more concerned with sex than with violence.

I would call that a radical interpretation of the poll. :D

vampmogs
27-11-18, 09:47 AM
So, yeah, I don't think Angel is a predator or pedophile. However, I do think that he gave into an urge that prioritized his pleasure over Buffy's development when he pursued Buffy. But I would not make the same accusations of Giles because Giles pursued Buffy as a child soldier because he believed (and the show indicates) it was necessary to save lives and even the world.

For what it's worth, Angel does tell Whistler "I want to help her" after he's genuinely moved by seeing her crying into the mirror. He reaffirms this again in Helpless when he tells Buffy he saw her heart and wanted to try and protect it. This isn't his only motivation as he also tells Whistler he "wants to become somebody" and he calls Buffy his "destiny" in the Wishverse but I do think that Angel has some genuinely noble motives as well. In fact, I'd actually argue that just wanting to "help Buffy" as opposed to pushing Buffy into a role that's predominately around helping *others* as Giles does is actually *more* noble. Except, early on Angel pushes Buffy into her Slayer duties as well ("Don't turn your back on this") so there's similarities between Angel and Giles too.

This doesn't negate the fact that Angel's personal weaknesses result in him pursuing a relationship with Buffy despite all signs indicating that Angel himself thinks it's a bad idea. I do think his Cryptic Guy act in early Season 1 is partially about keeping Buffy at a distance and turning her off (and it almost works - "Angel? Yeah there's a guy you can see being in a relationship with. 'Hey Honey you're in mortal danger, I'll see you next week'") as well as other reasons too (Angel being scared to reveal himself etc) but he ends up falling in a relationship despite repeatedly vocalising that it's wrong and being a massive flirt. So he's to blame for that absolutely. But I do think that he had selfless and admirable reasons for wanting to support Buffy that he believed would genuinely help her.

HardlyThere
27-11-18, 09:54 AM
My option isn't there, so I'm voting 3b: Not a big deal but a little bit creepy.

Buffy isn't your average 16yo. Angel isn't your average 26yo. If I trust Buffy to save the world and tell authority figures where to go, then I trust her to use her bodyparts. Did things go badly? Yes, in a way that could never be foreseen. It could happen with anyone, no matter what age.

- - - Updated - - -


For what it's worth, Angel does tell Whistler "I want to help her" after he's genuinely moved by seeing her crying into the mirror. He reaffirms this again in Helpless when he tells Buffy he saw her heart and wanted to try and protect it. This isn't his only motivation as he also tells Whistler he "wants to become somebody" and he calls Buffy his "destiny" in the Wishverse but I do think that Angel has some genuinely noble motives as well. In fact, I'd actually argue that just wanting to "help Buffy" as opposed to pushing Buffy into a role that's predominately around helping *others* as Giles does is actually *more* noble. Except, early on Angel pushes Buffy into her Slayer duties as well ("Don't turn your back on this") so there's similarities between Angel and Giles too.

This doesn't negate the fact that Angel's personal weaknesses result in him pursuing a relationship with Buffy despite all signs indicating that Angel himself thinks it's a bad idea. I do think his Cryptic Guy act in early Season 1 is partially about keeping Buffy at a distance and turning her off (and it almost works - "Angel? Yeah there's a guy you can see being in a relationship with. 'Hey Honey you're in mortal danger, I'll see you next week'") as well as other reasons too (Angel being scared to reveal himself etc) but he ends up falling in a relationship despite repeatedly vocalising that it's wrong and being a massive flirt. So he's to blame for that absolutely. But I do think that he had selfless and admirable reasons for wanting to support Buffy that he believed would genuinely help her.

I agree there's a bit of both, but that's just honesty. Would Angel have signed up if Buffy wasn't attractive? Obviously it's only one of those "what ifs" we can never know but it's a valid question.

vampmogs
27-11-18, 10:13 AM
I agree there's a bit of both, but that's just honesty. Would Angel have signed up if Buffy wasn't attractive? Obviously it's only one of those "what ifs" we can never know but it's a valid question.

I mean, we can speculate but, as you say, we'll never know, so what's the point? We can't help who we're attracted to and it's be difficult to parse attraction from a lot of our motivations. However, I think Angel's concern for Buffy's saftey is evident in her first vampire slaying (he's shown bouncing up and down/fidgeting as he watches nervously from the shadows) and I think the way he feels for her *and identifies with her* as he watches her weep in her mirror is totally genuine. Did he find her attractive? No doubt. But IMO it goes deeper than simply thinking she's hot (the Shooting Script says "he's obviously feeling for her" as he watches her cry) so I'm not all that bothered if attraction is in the mix too.

HardlyThere
27-11-18, 11:05 AM
I mean, we can speculate but, as you say, we'll never know, so what's the point? We can't help who we're attracted to and it's be difficult to parse attraction from a lot of our motivations. However, I think Angel's concern for Buffy's saftey is evident in her first vampire slaying (he's shown bouncing up and down/fidgeting as he watches nervously from the shadows) and I think the way he feels for her *and identifies with her* as he watches her weep in her mirror is totally genuine. Did he find her attractive? No doubt. But IMO it goes deeper than simply thinking she's hot (the Shooting Script says "he's obviously feeling for her" as he watches her cry) so I'm not all that bothered if attraction is in the mix too.

Oh, I agree. I don't think ambivalence means much or negates anything. Too often you see one try to trump the other, which I think is where the predatory aspect of it comes gets dragged in. Desire might have founded the thing, but it isn't the all of it, nor does it preclude what came after, which were genuine romantic feelings.

GoSpuffy
27-11-18, 03:17 PM
Count me as a second vote for 3B;not a big deal but a little bit creepy.

flow
27-11-18, 03:41 PM
Stoney:
I think flow was trying to gauge the differences in other countries/states in real life (rather than debate the case re: Buffy/Angel of whether it was or not).


I just wanted to say, that this is exactly, what I wanted to find out. There might be a bit of a misunderstanding, because some of you claimed extenuating circumstances for Angel/Buffy, while others think, my aim was to target Bangel. None of this is the case, because I belong to the "It`s neither a big deal nor creepy" -Party. I don`t need to take Angel`s and Buffy`s particular situation into consideration, because even without their extenuating circumstances I would not regard sex between them while Buffy was 17 years old as creepy nor is it a criminal offence or a felony, where I come from. I have to concede though, that the Phrase "It`s no big deal" might have been more flippant than i intended it to be. First sexual experiences are always a big deal and even more so, at such a young age. I maybe should have said "it is not a red flag" or something like that.

That said, I am surprised by the outcome of the poll. I honestly did not expect it but I can see the point of those of you, that have voted for option 1.

I`ll come back to this later and explain in more detail . For now I justed wanted to make it absolutely clear, that I am not trying to make a case against Bangel with this poll.

flow

Dipstick
27-11-18, 05:16 PM
For what it's worth, Angel does tell Whistler "I want to help her" after he's genuinely moved by seeing her crying into the mirror. He reaffirms this again in Helpless when he tells Buffy he saw her heart and wanted to try and protect it. This isn't his only motivation as he also tells Whistler he "wants to become somebody" and he calls Buffy his "destiny" in the Wishverse but I do think that Angel has some genuinely noble motives as well. In fact, I'd actually argue that just wanting to "help Buffy" as opposed to pushing Buffy into a role that's predominately around helping *others* as Giles does is actually *more* noble. Except, early on Angel pushes Buffy into her Slayer duties as well ("Don't turn your back on this") so there's similarities between Angel and Giles too.

This doesn't negate the fact that Angel's personal weaknesses result in him pursuing a relationship with Buffy despite all signs indicating that Angel himself thinks it's a bad idea. I do think his Cryptic Guy act in early Season 1 is partially about keeping Buffy at a distance and turning her off (and it almost works - "Angel? Yeah there's a guy you can see being in a relationship with. 'Hey Honey you're in mortal danger, I'll see you next week'") as well as other reasons too (Angel being scared to reveal himself etc) but he ends up falling in a relationship despite repeatedly vocalising that it's wrong and being a massive flirt. So he's to blame for that absolutely. But I do think that he had selfless and admirable reasons for wanting to support Buffy that he believed would genuinely help her.

To clarify, I don't fault Angel for falling in love with Buffy and wanting to help her side partly because of that. I wouldn't say that it's nobler than Giles pushing Buffy into helping others. At any rate, Angel first encounters Buffy when her first Watcher was convincing her to fight. Angel's help for Buffy is predicated around the idea that a Watcher will successfully convince Buffy to be the Slayer. Angel helps Buffy because she's the Slayer. Angel and Giles just happen to play slightly different roles but all guided by the idea of Buffy being a child soldier. Moreover, Giles helps Buffy too. Adjusting for their superpowers powers, Giles helps Buffy more and certainly more reliably than Angel. However, Angel was absolutely good to help Buffy. And the Wishverse implies that he would have tried to be a hero even if Buffy didn't come to Sunnydale.

I think we're mostly in agreement though because I agree with your second paragraph. Angel was weak and didn't stick to his plan to just help Buffy without romance. I think Amends sort of says that. "Take her. Take what you want. Pour all that frustration and all that guilt into *her*, and you'll be free." "Because, sir, to be blunt, the last time you became complacent about your existence turned out rather badly." That's where Angel failed in S1 through early S2, and was thus, rendered into the Big Bad for S2. He deviated from his plan to merely help Buffy and instead, fell into a romantic/sexual relationship because Buffy made him feel so good even though there were plenty of reasons why such a relationship was fatally flawed from the outset.

MikeB
27-11-18, 06:17 PM
All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




BUFFY ANNE SUMMERS



Buffy arguably more than showed her 'maturity' as a Slayer in The Origin . She already again accepts her Calling in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (B 1.01). Buffy continues her Slayer duties in "When She Was Bad" (B 2.01).

Comparing Buffy's 'maturity' as a Slayer and her 'maturity' as a sexual being pre-"Surprise" (B 2.13) and even pre-"Wild at Heart" (B 4.06)/"The Initiative" (B 4.07) is asinine.

In "Surprise" (B 2.13) itself, she's not fully sure she actually wants to have sex. Her decision is based on the following: 'Angel brings up the subject of wanting to have sex with her', 'sex is what you do at some point in a relationship'--and she knows that 'holding out' led to her ex-boyfriend having sex with someone else ( The Origin )--,'what if she never feels this way about someone BEFORE SHE DIES DURING HER SLAYER DUTIES', Angel was going to go away for perhaps months, and Spike again tried to kill her.

Then in "Innocence" (B 2.14) Buffy has to ask, "Was I not good?"

Buffy was more ready, prepared, willing, and able to have sex with Parker Abrams than she was with Angel. Buffy wanted to have sex with Parker. There seemed no 'pressure' from Parker. Yet Parker is considered the worst d-bag ever. Yet Buffy losing her virginity to Angel because she simply wanted to have sex with someone she loved before she dies during her Slayer duties is considered perfectly okay in constrast.

Finally, Buffy tried her best to bifurcate "Angel" and "Angelus" and Angel did little to dissuade her from that. Buffy tried her best to consider Angel human to the point she doesn't see his 'vamp face' ("What's My Line Part I" (B 2.09)) and forgets that he's not sunlight resistant ("The Prom" (B 3.20)).




ANGEL


Angel was sired at 27 years old and Angel in BtVS S1 and beyond is more mature than Rupert Giles. Angel--including human years--is around 270 years old.

Angel's heavily flirting with Buffy already in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (B 1.01) and doesn't much help her with the actual Slaying until BtVS S3.

Angel does his best to have her be with him instead of a human high school boy. This is another problem with Buffy/Angel. Couldn't Owen Thurman do research in the Scooby Gang? Couldn't Buffy simply have a normal boyfriend?




IN CONCLUSION


Having said all the above, sadly, Angel and later Spike actually were the most 'compatible' options for Buffy. And they are whom she fell in love. And Buffy being 'Drusilla 2.0', underaged, and a virgin when Angel was with her isn't as disturbing and questionable than Spike's trying to kill Buffy throughout BtVS S2. And that Buffy didn't dust Spike pre-"Becoming Part II" (B 2.22) is only logically explainable as hers being into him and not wanting him dust.

Angel dusted Darla for Buffy. Spike is fine with Drusilla's still killing and being evil.

Spike arguably only becomes the 'better' option during BtVS S8.

Still, that doesn't mean it's fully okay that Angel dated and then had sex with an underaged Buffy. But it's better than when Angel was trying to kill Buffy and it's better than when Spike was trying to kill Buffy.

flow
14-12-18, 01:51 PM
I finally managed to come back to this thread!

First of all, I`d like to thank everyone, who has contributed to this thread. It did indeed change my views on this matter to some extend - I`ll explain that further below.

I especially want to thank bespangeled for sharing her and her daughters personal story. It was actually the factor, that mostly made me re-consider my own views.

I am surprised by the outcome of this poll for two reasons.

First reason is, that half of the votes were pro "it is a statutory rape - which is a felony - and/or creepy". I want to emphasize once more, that I did not consider it that way (before) and more than that did not seriously believe, anyone would consider it that way.

The second thing that surprised me, was that the forum was split into two camps and whether you belong to one or the other seems to be depending on whether you are from the U.S. or not. With the exception of ghoststar we have no US citizen, who called it "not creepy" and on the other hand there is no one from outside the U.S, who considers this as a crime or a felony.


What we believe to be legal or illegal is sometimes shaped by the laws we grow up with or we are used to. That happened with corporeal punishment of your own kids in Germany. It was legal in Germany until 1998/2000. I do remember, that corporeal punishment was ubiquitous, when I was a kid in the seventies. No one would have dreamt of calling it a crime or even a felony. That had changed already in the nineties, but it still wasn`t unusual, to see parents slapping or spanking their children in public. You don`t see that anymore nowadays. I am not saying, it doesn`t happen anymore (it does), but it is not regarded as acceptable or rightful behaviour anymore. Views have changed drastically on that issue, since the law was changed.

Sometimes our views change and the changing of the law lags behind. That`s when you have a criminal offence, no one takes serious anymore. As I said before, the general age of consent in Germany is 16 (with a Romeo and Juliet clause for teenagers who are 14 or 15). This age has been the age of consent for a long time for heterosexual couples. But up until 1994 it wasn`t the same for homosexual couples. The age of consent for gay people was 18. In 1994 this unequal treatment was abolished and since then the age of consent is generally 16. Back in 1994 no one (or only very few) people actually thought that it was legal for a girl and a guy to have sex at the age of 16 but that it was at the same time illegal for a boy and a boy to have sex, while both were or one of the was 16.

The law just hadn`t been adjusted to changes in our views and acceptance of homosexuality.

I actually thought, the same would apply to the Californian age of consent laws as well. I admit, that I was wrong about that, although I still find it hard to understand, how US citizens can regard it as a felony, when it is completely and utterly legal just across the border of California in, for example, Nevada.

But I have come to realize, that the age of consent, I grew up with is in a way a random choice. You have to draw the line somewhere. We drew the line at sixteen and I am so used to that line, that I feel as if someone is taking away my agency if they claim, I can`t consent to sex as long as I am not 18. But in the end 18 is a choice that might be just as valid as 16 or 17. And it was especially bespangeled`s post, that made me realize, why a teenager might need to be protected by laws even if they are 16 or 17.
They are vulnerable and likely to be used by someone who is older, more experienced and in a more powerful position. Even if that powerful position depends only on his age and not on him being a boss, a guardian or a teacher.

Of course this risk of being used or exploited doesn`t stop being a risk on the day you turn 18. But then again - we have to draw the line somewhere. And every line, we draw can in the end only be a random line.

I do think, we need to accept, that teenagers are sexually active. I`ve chekced a recent statistic for Germany, that gives the average age for the first time with 17 years. Just the same age, Buffy was, by the way.

The ideal time for having sex (for the first time) would be a time, when you are personally able to deal with (maybe bad or unexpected) consequences. Those consequences could be a pregnany or an STD, but it could also be also finding out, you have been used or exploited. There simply is no age that we could set, that would apply to everyone.

As a resume, I am still convinced, that it is justified to set the age of consent at 16, but I can see reasons, why it could be justified just the same to set it at 18 instead.

Once again - a huge thanks to everybody, who participated in this discussion.

flow

Emily
01-04-19, 09:19 AM
try not to believe it's statutory assault however I vote unpleasant. I wouldn't need my multi-year-old little girl dating a 26-year-old. A multi-year-old is progressively developed, working as opposed to going to class, ready to drink liquor, and would be candidly increasingly developed and explicitly experienced.

In Canada the time of assent is 16. 14 and multi-year olds can assent if there is close to 5 years age distinction. 12 and multi-year olds can assent yet close to 2 years in age contrast.

I'm not excessively annoyed by Buffy and Angel being explicitly dynamic with one another yet I wouldn't care for it in the event that she was my little girl.

BtVS fan
01-04-19, 10:01 AM
There is a mix of issues/problems.
The big issue is the flashback scene of Angel looking at 15 year old Buffy with her Lollipop from a dirty blacked out car. Whistler's line she must be prettier than the last one isn't great either. It's all ewww :down:
With Spike that isn't really the issue (there are other things) because Buffy is an adult when dates him, not so with Angel or Riley who is her teacher at college
The other issue is a general Hollywood problem is having older actors/actresses play school kids (SMG was in her 20's) , which they seem obsessed with doing and makes it seem more acceptable. Tbh I don't know why there is this obsession with High school in Hollywood. Unless it's a gangster show, they all seem to be around a school setting. I hope this Buffy reboot isn't set around school. I mean school really does mean F all when you leave. I just don't get it ?

Double Dutchess
01-04-19, 10:42 AM
I would have said Welcome to the Forum, but clearly Emily only joined the forum for spamming (http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/showthread.php?21623-Appreciating-Free-Online-Games) (DON'T CLICK THE LINK IN THAT POST)

Stoney
01-04-19, 10:44 AM
(DON'T CLICK THE LINK IN THAT POST)

Totally confused as there isn't a link in the post as far as I can see??

EDIT: Ah, I see multiple posts elsewhere on the board. :(

Double Dutchess
01-04-19, 10:50 AM
Totally confused as there isn't a link in the post as far as I can see??

EDIT: Ah, I see multiple posts elsewhere on the board. :(

I meant the link in the post I linked to :D

A couple of innocent (if mostly contentless) posts -- because you can't start your own thread without having made a minimum number of posts -- and then BAM! There's the spam...