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  1. #301
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    Moments maybe, but labeling the characters as a whole imo, no. You can take any character and select parts of their story arc to fit your own specific views, but that doesn't mean they're right.

    Also William was brought up with in a century when women were seen/treated in a very different light, and I always take that on board when analyzing him, but even then imo he was no Warren by any stretch of the imagination.

    I hope I'm not the only one who appreciates the irony of this conversation given how patronising, belittling and insulting certain posters are being to women in this thread. The topic is literally about misogyny and you have a guy come along and condescendingly talk down to women about why they're wrong and why they are too blinded by Spike's cheekbones and their silly schoolgirl infatuations to see straight. I mean, holy shit, talk about lacking self-awareness.
    Oh believe me, he's aware. He's just trolling yet again to get a reaction outta all of us. He does it all the time. *g*
    Last edited by Silver1; 17-04-17 at 10:05 AM.

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  3. #302
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver1 View Post
    Moments maybe, but labeling the characters as a whole imo, no. You can take any character and select parts of their story arc to fit your own specific views, but that doesn't mean they're right.
    Well, as I said, I think it really depends on the viewer and their tolerance levels. For some people a character repeatedly using gendered-slurs is enough to label them misogynistic or at the very least sexist. For others the AR would be an absolute deal-breaker and a defining moment for Spike and how they interpret his relationship with women. In my earlier years in fandom, I very much understood "misogyny" to mean that someone has an pure hatred of women and I was always taken aback when people would apply it to any character that wasn't Warren or Caleb. I thought, 'how could Angel, or Spike, or Xander be accused of misogyny when they clearly love women in their lives'? but over time I have learnt both in BtVS fandom and elsewhere that people's definitions of "misogyny" somewhat differ (for some it's just means an ingrained prejudice against women) and that it doesn't necessarily take a very obvious cartoon-villain like, say, Caleb, for people to accuse someone of being misogynistic. I believed (and still do, mostly) that there's a stark difference between being guilty of, say, sexism, and actually being a misogynist, but people use the term more liberally than I had first realised. It is used and thought of more broadly in a lot of discourse now. The same way people used to understand 'homophobia' as having an actual fear of gay people when clearly the term is now used to describe a hatred or prejudice towards gay people and all that it encompasses.

    So who knows what actually constitutes as misogyny for Joss? Is it the gendered slurs throughout the relationship in S6? Is it the scene in As You Were? Is it the AR? Is it all 3? Who knows? But IMO it's obvious that people have deeply personal reasons for what their limits are or what crosses the threshold for them and I'm a little more understanding of that then I used to be even if I may not necessarily use that term to describe Spike/S6 Spuffy myself. And it is worth pointing out that Joss calls Spuffy (in S6) misogynistic, it wasn't meant as a blanket statement about Spike's entire character journey on the show.

    I actually rewatched the entire series with my mum recently (she had only ever seen random episodes out of order) and she physically recoiled every time a male character called Buffy a "bitch." We were watching Seeing Red and when Warren said "say goodnight, bitch" she actually said out loud "god I hate that word." It really repulses her when men call women that and whilst she actually loved Spike's character I could tell that it made her uncomfortable throughout S6 when he'd call Buffy that too. Now, I'm apart of a generation where the word is thrown around quite freely by both men and women and "bitch" is such a common term that unless it is said someone by Warren (with all his gross misogynistic history and his magical 'orbs') I don't give it as much thought, but it was a perfect example of how two people react differently to a show based on their experiences.

    Also William was brought up with in a century when women were seen/treated in a very different light, and I always take that on board when analyzing him, but even then imo he was no Warren by any stretch of the imagination.
    Well, I agree with you on this but at the same time it wouldn't necessarily be an excuse either. My grandfather was your typical white 90 year old with racist views leftover from WII (calling Japanese people "J*ps" etc) and whilst it's somewhat understandable given what era he was brought up in and what he went through, it doesn't make it any less wrong or racist either. I think Angel and Spike are both guilty of having some outdated views on women that at times would very much be considered sexist by today's standards. As for example, the way Angel spoke of the noblewomen in Halloween was always unfair and really sexist.
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    This is very much what I was exploring in terms of what Joss was meaning, why he was using the term. A lot of the unhealthy aspects of Spike's behaviour around Buffy from S2-S6 weren't specific actions he took against her because she is a woman, which is my understanding of the root/meaning of misogyny, but I can see that someone else might take a broader perspective of what the word would cover and feel that his disrespectful and sexist behaviour and attitude at times fits. The focus I was putting on the souled/unsouled distinction I think sits against Joss then drawing a contrast to their S7 relationship to indicate that he isn't seeing misogyny as a 'deeply' held personality trait of Spike's but something which is tied to his unsouled conduct in the relationship and where his behaviour/capabilities diverge. He definitely had resentment towards women at times and expectations of whomever was his love interest which to some degree denied her autonomy. He wanted to 'make' both Dru and Buffy love him, admit their feelings and looked to try and actually force that. Souled Spike just doesn't act the same way, even if he can still be an ass and sexist at times.
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  7. #304
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    I'm sorry, but in this instance I think Whedon was trying to back peddle over his own writers decision making and thus would say anything. He's throw any character under the bus to do so.

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    You know what else Spike and Warren have in common? "Lover's Walk" and "Dead Things". Katrina dumps Warren, he wants to brainwash her. Drusilla dumps Spike, he wants, oh, brainwash her. One is a misogynist, I mean, we all agree that Warren is a misogynistic character, right, and the other is not? That's bullshit. I love Spike, he's attractive, awesome and charismatic but deep down, he's as much of a misogynist as Warren is. You know how I know? 'Cause they pull off they same crap, like, serially.

    @Stoney

    If Spike looked like Warren we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Imagine that Spike looks like Warren. Same story, same dialog - you still don't think he's a misogynist?

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    Seriously, just because you feel the consideration of Spike's looks is a major factor doesn't make it so. Clearly others don't agree. If you were reading the posts, everyone else is having a reasoned discussion about the character and referencing the show and differing considerations from it. The issues you are raising in Spike's actions have all been raised by others but alongside behaviour/attitudes he also displays which sit contrary to some people's understanding of the term misogyny. I don't care less what Warren looks like vs Spike and it really is insulting my intelligence to think that I'm incapable of having a conversation about this without that swaying my opinion. Or that I'd waste my time discussing the show/character to a level I was pretending to believe in just to hide my shameful lust addled truth. I've addressed Spike trying to force the response he wants from women, resenting women not seeing him how he wants, being disrespectful and sexist and yet how my understanding of misogyny (a hatred towards women) doesn't match other behaviour such as his comfort with powerful women, somewhat pedestaling women and how him not behaving the same way souled (which I would expect of someone whose core personality was misogynistic) means the term misogynist doesn't sit right for Spike to me. I'm really not personally wasting any more time on the vapid and contextually irrelevant consideration of how hot Spike is.

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    Oh, the ever so popular "stoopid womenz can't think straight when they get goggly eyed over a hot dude, har har" argument. It's amazing just how often that card is pulled in fandom debates to shut down arguments.

    That reminds me... a few months ago I posted this: What even is a Draco In Leather Pants? I was getting tired of people constantly evoking that trope and using the "fangirls just like/defend/don't utterly hate male character X because he's hot" argument, and then I happened to actually read that page on Television Tropes and realize that the description and the examples people offered didn't make any sense, and I wrote a rather snarky post you see in that link. One of the replies/reblogs I got, by Tumblr user dinamitelove, was particularly interesting and, I think, relevant to our discussion here, so I'm going to link it:

    http://dinamitelove.tumblr.com/post/...-leather-pants
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    So, let me get this straight. You can brainwash your ex so she loves you again, hunt and kill symbols of female empowerment for sport, blame women for all your personal failures, rape them for goodness' sake but as long as you're not a mustache twirling, cartoonish comic book super villain who loudly proclaims his hatred towards womenfolk or Warren, I guess, you're still not a misogynist. Is that right?

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    Gonna feel obliged to point out that part of the problem discussing labelling Spike of Season 6, or his relationship with Buffy, as "misogynistic" is that the intervening 15 years or so have done great work to make the words of critical race theory or sex/gender as hollow as "smurf"; or, pace Syndrome, if everything is misogynist, nothing is.

    I thing ATOE's broader point, as I take it, is an important one -- judge these men by their actions before you fuss over the nuances of their intent. Is there a more and less morally contemptible context for trying to take a woman against her will? Really? I mean, similar rationalizations were available to both of them; Spike was sure that Buffy just needed to "feel it" again to remember she wanted it; Warren's behavior (and Andrew or Jonathan almost explicitly spoke to this) indicated he was changing the nature of Katrina's consent, i.e. that while affected she did want her "master". Is the willingness to rape, per se misogyny? If not, why not?

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    Perhaps I'm missing something because I think the points being raised are points that have already been raised. I suppose what I'm distinguishing is about intent and whether that reflects the meaning of misogyny. Surely we are looking to understand the actions of the different characters if we are trying to label their motivations. As I said, to try and force what you want is denying the woman's right to say no in the first place, to know her own mind/wants/feelings. But Spike's motivation isn't triggered by the fact that it is but a mere woman's opinion and he, as man, can decide to change it for her and take what he wants. And so I come back to my understanding of the word misogyny and I don't see the root of Spike's actions as being driven by (using the age old dictionary definition moment...) - "A person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women." Warren does the same/similar actions but for exactly those reasons. So in a conversation about whether Spike is misogynistic, his motivations simply are relevant to consider and why/how his actions/attitudes towards women on other occasions counter the definition of a misogynist is too. Noone is saying that his evil actions aren't evil and wrong, but that doesn't make defining them in any evil/wrong way correct. A medical symptom can be indicative of lots of different diseases, but that doesn't make every diagnosis correct, no? The notion of misogyny having broken out of its definition is a very relevant one and is possibly a part of what is happening here. This is why I said that I can see how Spike's actions, such as his disrespectful attitude, his dismissal of a woman's autonomy may be why Joss used the term. But the fact, for me, that I don't believe it to be actually motivated by a dislike/prejudice against women means I struggle to see the diagnosis as 'misogynist'. That he doesn't behave this way souled indicates, to me, his boundaries on acceptable behaviour as an unsouled vampire are way off the standards we have and this is the problem in his choices/actions rather than it being deep misogyny.
    Last edited by Stoney; 18-04-17 at 05:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingofCretins View Post
    Gonna feel obliged to point out that part of the problem discussing labelling Spike of Season 6, or his relationship with Buffy, as "misogynistic" is that the intervening 15 years or so have done great work to make the words of critical race theory or sex/gender as hollow as "smurf"; or, pace Syndrome, if everything is misogynist, nothing is.

    I thing ATOE's broader point, as I take it, is an important one -- judge these men by their actions before you fuss over the nuances of their intent. Is there a more and less morally contemptible context for trying to take a woman against her will? Really? I mean, similar rationalizations were available to both of them; Spike was sure that Buffy just needed to "feel it" again to remember she wanted it; Warren's behavior (and Andrew or Jonathan almost explicitly spoke to this) indicated he was changing the nature of Katrina's consent, i.e. that while affected she did want her "master". Is the willingness to rape, per se misogyny? If not, why not?
    Considering the fact that misogyny is an attitude rather than an act, no, in fact it doesn't make sense to look just at actions and ignore the intent/motives/feelings behind it.

    As to whether it's possible for a soulless vampire to target women, commit sexual violence against women, target their ex girlfriends, target Slayers/icons of female empowerment for fun, use gendered slurs and insults against women, make gross sexual comments about women etc. and still not be misogynistic... well, according to AtS episode "Billy", that's exactly what we're supposed to think about Angel. I'm not saying I agree, but that was explicitly said in a way that seemed to imply we should see it as true.

    Generally, if killing Slayers is misogynistic in itself because they are icons of female empowerment - does that mean that all vampires are misogynistic? Darla also tried to kill a Slayer, and Drusilla has killed one - are they misogynistic, too? It's not an absurd question, internalized misogyny is a thing, but... for those two? I'm unconvinced.
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    Quote Originally Posted by a thing of evil View Post
    So, let me get this straight. You can brainwash your ex so she loves you again, hunt and kill symbols of female empowerment for sport, blame women for all your personal failures, rape them for goodness' sake but as long as you're not a mustache twirling, cartoonish comic book super villain who loudly proclaims his hatred towards womenfolk or Warren, I guess, you're still not a misogynist. Is that right?
    Why do you keep on trying to get a rise out of people? I mean seriously? You do it here, you do it elsewhere, and quite frankly I'm bored with it. Unless you want to debate this in a proper fashion and actually listen to what folks are saying then just give it up hon.

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    The comical thing about the idea of "misogyny" embodied by Spike in Season Six is that if Spike were any kind of a normal vampire, he would merely be a misanthrope - a hater of all humanity. His particular hatred of women would be no more and no less than that of men - undifferentiated pieces of meat to torture and terrorize before feasting.

    But the problem to me seems to stem from who Spike was as a man before his siring - someone who was obviously uncomfortable with men and women because of his low-man-on-the-totem-pole status in society. He was mocked incessantly by others as we see from the party - and in a society that prized male dominance above all else, William was bullied by his peers as a loser.

    His unusual attachment to his mom (which she mocks as a vampire) and his fervent desire for Cecily - bespeaks an almost unrealistic need to seek female approval to convince himself that he isn't worthless. The show posited that this was because Spike's only source of love and approval as a human was from his mother - and his incessant need to seek out that love elsewhere manifested itself as a fixation on women as a source of alleviating his loneliness.

    We see that William's attachment to his mother and fear of losing her was so great that he sired her instead of killing her. And his horror even as a soulless vamp at her sexual overtures shows that his need for female approval isn't tied to sexuality - unlike a normal vamp who might have laughed, soulless William is still driven by the same psychological problems that informed human William - so much so that he dusts his mother and represses the memory rather than face the idea that his mother's love was tainted in some way.

    We see this driving need for love and approval in spades with Drusilla and Buffy later on - except it's filtered through a soulless vampire's actions instead of actions that the former human William might have taken. When Cecily rejects him, William doesn't snarl and attack her or refuse to accept her rejection - he runs away and weeps because it confirms his feelings of being a complete and total loser at life who only has his mother's impending death and total emotional isolation as a possible future.

    When Drusilla or Buffy reject Spike, he shockingly has the same reaction as a vampire that he had as a human - he runs away and weeps because it confirms his feelings of being a complete and total loser at life who is essentially unlovable. Just as he reacts in a tearful and horrified manner when his vampire mother mocks and twists their former bond instead of simply having sex with her as any average soulless vampire might do. Evil, remember?

    And there is a difference between William and soulless William - the demon Spike fights back and dusts his mother - he tries to torture Drusilla so that she'll love him - he tries to chain up/rape Buffy so that she'll love him - obviously things that the human William would never have done or even considered. It's monstrously selfish - which means it's completely in character for a vampire.

    So this severe psychological disorder of William naturally transferred to William the Bloody - which means that Spike is not so much a special snowflake vampire as he was a very screwed-up human being (and the same can be said for the libertine, guilt-driven Liam who rejects what he sees as a corrupt society and ends up destroying himself.) Spike's actions as a vampire are entirely driven by his experiences as a human being - and as distorted through the influence of a demon, the emotions are twisted into something far more extreme than William the Bloody Awful Poet. And the same could be said of Angel's particular demons that drive him, which stem as much from Liam's psychological problems as they do from his grief over his status as a vampire with a soul.

    So is Spike a misogynist? I think this is somewhat of a moot question because you have human emotions that are so distorted and twisted by his lack of a soul, then it's almost ridiculous to posit if misogyny comes into it when considering the total hatred of humanity that vampires are supposed to have.

    If anything, Spike's "misogyny" stems from too much humanity lingering within him that makes him even give a f**k about the people around him and react in specific ways towards women because he desires such a strong connection with them and wraps his entire ego around them as he seeks out their approval. Hence, his desire to seek out Slayers instead of flee from them.

    The fact is that it's easy to see Spike as a misogynist akin to Warren if one discounts his soulless state because the psychological need for female approval and companionship (and consequent rivalry and disdain for men) constantly manifests itself in vampire Spike in a darker form - unlike other soulless vampires, Spike is still so driven by his need for love and approval from women to assuage his feelings of worthlessness that it produces some really bizarre and unusual behavior in a vampire - enough so that Angelus, Darla and Drusilla at various points think that there's something wrong with him even as one of them.

    When Angelus first meets Spike, he engages in a bit of psychology designed to ferret out William's weaknesses - testing him by making erotic overtures to see if his emotional center (and yes, vampires have an emotional soulless center that guides their actions) is based on the traditional Victorian obsession with masculine virtues. And Angelus is fascinated to see that William doesn't back away from the homosexual overtones of Angelus' speech, but instead places his hand in the sun to prove himself as masculine as Angelus - and Angelus laughs. He sees William's issues very clearly - and is determined to play upon them.

    And Angelus is even more astute as he continues to test William's fault lines. He smirks in their carriage ride in Destiny when he sees Willy's obvious psychological issues regarding women - so large that you could see them from outer space - and immediately starts to torment him by screwing Drusilla and taunting his masculinity.

    And William responds by slowly divesting himself of his human attributes by repressing them and creating a shell of hyper-masculine demon who wouldn't be vulnerable to Angelus anymore - hence Spike accusing Angel of making him a monster in Destiny. And this also results in Spike's ultra-macho demeanor that prizes being an Alpha male above all other things - with the consequent misogynist behavior that accompanies this.

    So it's hard to talk about misogyny and Spike - because of the demonic soulless aspect, it's a distorted version of who Spike was as a human being. In fact, it wouldn't even come into play if Spike was an average vampire with indiscriminate hatred for both sexes. But Spike's need to "prove" himself as something other than the weak human that he was feeds into the words and actions that tag him as a misogynist - his adoption of hyper-masculine speech and behavior is designed to hide the fact that Spike believes he is anything other than an Alpha male. It's akin to 90 pound weaklings trolling the internet and terrorizing and doxing people to "prove" something - it's psychological compensation for feelings of masculine inadequacy.

    And I think this stems from something much larger than Spike - something that affects everyone to some extent, male or female. Spike's "misogyny" in the show doesn't seem to come so much from himself as it does from trying to conform to societal expectations of what men and women should be - and if that's the case - if Spike is a misogynist because of this - then he's also certainly a misandrist as well.

    Because in a bizarre way, misogyny is linked to misandry - in fact, it fuels Spike's desire to maintain an Alpha status as a male after the crap he went through as William and the torment of Angelus. Hatred of other men and fears that Spike will be once again mocked and humiliated as a loser nerd drives him to attain a certain status as the Big Bad and label OTHER men as Omega males - much more than any hatred of women - and this is magnified and twisted by a billion when driven by a demon trained well by Angelus to hide any weakness or human emotion like love.

    His contentious relationship with Angel is fueled with the fury of the once-bullied nerd - hence the obvious parallels with Warren and the Trio. Spike's absolute refusal to allow any man to bully him ever again explains his constant disparagement and anger towards almost any male within reach which we see echoed in Warren's put-downs of Jonathan and Andrew. He constantly casts aspersions on everyone's masculinity, hurtles homophobic insults (poof is a common word) and adopts a ultra-violent overly-masculine facade to overcompensate for his obvious insecurity that he, too, is a loser nerd.

    And part and parcel of this is maintaining a certain attitude towards women - in these terms, women are supposed to be prizes and sex-toys - something men can deride and push around as proof that they are the Alpha male in their relationships. And we see how Spike adopts this common societal attitude - his swagger, his snark, his sneer, his sexual asides - all intended to demonstrate how macho he is despite his obvious Omega status that he still feels within.

    And yet, Spike is still driven by his own need for romantic love and companionship - he despises the weakness within while still feeling the loneliness and desire for a female partner - and this results in the love/hate relationship with his partners that leads to questions of misogyny. He feels that's he beneath women (and men) in reality - which drives Spike to act out as if he's actually the superior Big Bad who doesn't need anyone and stands alone.

    And it's the tension in the character as to which will win out at any given moment that made Spike rise above the other faceless vampires and develop a wide female (and male) fan following. Will Spike puff out his chest and act like a macho ass this episode - or will he curl into a ball and drunkenly cry only to get burned as the sun comes up? In many ways, Fool for Love should not have been a surprise because the nerd who just wants women to love him and men to respect him and assuage his feelings of worthlessness was always scrabbling around in Spike's psyche, scratching to get out.

    So we get both the bullying of Harmony and the groveling to his sire Drusilla, the sneering disdain for women right next to the sobbing supplicant to a woman on a pedestal. Always elements of William that are common to many bullied men - but magnified through a soulless demon to extreme psychotic levels of anger and devotion.

    When Spike screams out about bitches tormenting him in Crush and how he'd like to chop them into tiny pieces, he sounds an awful lot like Caleb - except for the fact that his outburst was immediately followed by freeing Buffy. From misogynist to willing slave in a second. And this is played out again in the infamous AR - Spike changes in a quicksilver manner with Buffy from apologetic to hopeful to monstrous fury to horror over his own behavior in less than a few minutes.

    And in this lies the paradox of much misogyny - yes, there are men who outright hate women and believe them to be inferior. But I don't believe that Spike falls into this category. To be honest, I'm not even sure that the Trio fall into this category - they obviously see Buffy as a worthy opponent. I think there are degrees of misogyny from 1-10 with Caleb at the extreme 11. He sees women as obscene and worthless from their birth - monsters born to destroy men due to their very existence - and this is endemic in many cultures. And it's something I don't believe is true even for Warren.

    But then there's the sliding scale of misogyny - and for those on the lower side, a great deal of anger towards women has to do with feelings of anger toward oneself as a male. Warren's anger towards women has a lot to do with his own feelings of inadequacy - he creates robot women and sex slaves to love him because he basically feels that no woman could ever love him otherwise. And he gathers supporters and adherents around him only to belittle them and make himself feel more like a man. Does this excuse his behavior? No, of course not. But it's not black and white, either. And it doesn't excuse Spike's supposed misogyny either - except for the fact that Spike is a demon and soulless.

    But I don't think that Whedon was pointing to Spike in particular as the reason for seeing misogyny when he speaks of the problems with Spuffy in Season Six - I think he's talking about a larger societal framework that both Spike and Buffy fit into - as does every character in Season Six. Willow, Xander, Tara, Anya are all victims of this as well - hatred of women goes hand in hand with hatred of men who don't fit the social paradigm. There are gender and sexuality and class issues that complicate the way our society sees women and men - this is obviously a huge theme in Season Six that didn't sit well with a lot of fans.

    And I'd say that Buffy herself in some ways is sadly just as guilty of self-hatred and misogyny against her own sex as Spike is - as is Willow - and this results in how both Buffy and Willow view themselves and their actions after Buffy is brought back from the dead and how this fits into the larger social picture.

    And I think this is a brilliant and necessary storyline/character arc for both of them that makes Buffy the Vampire Slayer a truly feminist show - but I'll save any more thoughts on this crucial deconstruction of misogyny and the dilemma of modern feminism in Season Six for my rewatch of Smashed.
    Last edited by American Aurora; 18-04-17 at 07:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by American Aurora View Post
    But the problem to me seems to stem from who Spike was as a man before his siring - someone who was obviously uncomfortable with men and women because of his low-man-on-the-totem-pole status in society. He was mocked incessantly by others as we see from the party - and in a society that prized male dominance above all else, William was bullied by his peers as a loser.
    Really interesting points to raise on the continuity in character we see from William through to Spike (souled and unsouled) that plays into the way he reacts/treats others. Yes, a lot of his self-worth and insecurities centre around how he is perceived, his focus on his image and 'creating' himself is such a huge driver for him once sired, greatly in response to what happened to William. When I referenced Spike repeatedly wanting to make women 'see' him as he wishes I was also thinking of his request to Cecily as much as his later behaviour with Dru and Buffy. That focus on image coupled with his wish still to gain love and acceptance (although warped by becoming a demon) really do command so much of what he does. I think again in looking at William's behaviour as a human it emphasises the distinction, as it does once he is a souled vampire, between his demon driven behaviour/attitudes and his souled ones, even if they are all originating from the same motivators/drives core to his personality, his unsouled choices and reactions are distinct.

    And there is a difference between William and soulless William - the demon Spike fights back and dusts his mother - he tries to torture Drusilla so that she'll love him - he tries to chain up/rape Buffy so that she'll love him - obviously things that the human William would never have done or even considered. It's monstrously selfish - which means it's completely in character for a vampire.

    So this severe psychological disorder of William naturally transferred to William the Bloody - which means that Spike is not so much a special snowflake vampire as he was a very screwed-up human being (and the same can be said for the libertine, guilt-driven Liam who rejects what he sees as a corrupt society and ends up destroying himself.) Spike's actions as a vampire are entirely driven by his experiences as a human being - and as distorted through the influence of a demon, the emotions are twisted into something far more extreme than William the Bloody Awful Poet. And the same could be said of Angel's particular demons that drive him, which stem as much from Liam's psychological problems as they do from his grief over his status as a vampire with a soul.
    Well quite.

    The fact is that it's easy to see Spike as a misogynist akin to Warren if one discounts his soulless state because the psychological need for female approval and companionship (and consequent rivalry and disdain for men) constantly manifests itself in vampire Spike in a darker form - unlike other soulless vampires, Spike is still so driven by his need for love and approval from women to assuage his feelings of worthlessness that it produces some really bizarre and unusual behavior in a vampire - enough so that Angelus, Darla and Drusilla at various points think that there's something wrong with him even as one of them.
    I'm not sure that Angel/Darla/Dru think that there is something wrong with Spike as a vampire so much as they are just soulless/cruel and delight in mocking his weakness. That William was so heavily influenced and driven by these needs reflects how much Spike is, no different to other human-vampire translations we see where core motivations are translated and turned into darker forms or negative characteristics are exaggerated and worsened.

    So it's hard to talk about misogyny and Spike - because of the demonic soulless aspect, it's a distorted version of who Spike was as a human being. In fact, it wouldn't even come into play if Spike was an average vampire with indiscriminate hatred for both sexes. But Spike's need to "prove" himself as something other than the weak human that he was feeds into the words and actions that tag him as a misogynist - his adoption of hyper-masculine speech and behavior is designed to hide the fact that Spike believes he is anything other than an Alpha male. It's akin to 90 pound weaklings trolling the internet and terrorizing and doxing people to "prove" something - it's psychological compensation for feelings of masculine inadequacy.
    Well I have to say that I think he is an average vampire in that his desire for a strong connection to women is as specific to Spike as, say, the focus on religious destruction is to Angel. As for all vamps, what links to their previous humanity draws from/warps specific foci arising from their original personality's insecurities or predilections. Personally I'd assume there are countless vampires that do have a particular interest in men or women based from their human personality. But I do agree with you about Spike's need to prove himself, it is that which drives his need to create a persona.

    And I think this stems from something much larger than Spike - something that affects everyone to some extent, male or female. Spike's "misogyny" in the show doesn't seem to come so much from himself as it does from trying to conform to societal expectations of what men and women should be - and if that's the case - if Spike is a misogynist because of this - then he's also certainly a misandrist as well.

    Because in a bizarre way, misogyny is linked to misandry - in fact, it fuels Spike's desire to maintain an Alpha status as a male after the crap he went through as William and the torment of Angelus. Hatred of other men and fears that Spike will be once again mocked and humiliated as a loser nerd drives him to attain a certain status as the Big Bad and label OTHER men as Omega males - much more than any hatred of women - and this is magnified and twisted by a billion when driven by a demon trained well by Angelus to hide any weakness or human emotion like love.
    Really interesting point about societal expectations towards both men and women and how that works against insecurities and self-perception.

    And part and parcel of this is maintaining a certain attitude towards women - in these terms, women are supposed to be prizes and sex-toys - something men can deride and push around as proof that they are the Alpha male in their relationships. And we see how Spike adopts this common societal attitude - his swagger, his snark, his sneer, his sexual asides - all intended to demonstrate how macho he is despite his obvious Omega status that he still feels within.

    And yet, Spike is still driven by his own need for romantic love and companionship - he despises the weakness within while still feeling the loneliness and desire for a female partner - and this results in the love/hate relationship with his partners that leads to questions of misogyny. He feels that's he beneath women (and men) in reality - which drives Spike to act out as if he's actually the superior Big Bad who doesn't need anyone and stands alone.

    And it's the tension in the character as to which will win out at any given moment that made Spike rise above the other faceless vampires and develop a wide female (and male) fan following. Will Spike puff out his chest and act like a macho ass this episode - or will he curl into a ball and drunkenly cry only to get burned as the sun comes up? In many ways, Fool for Love should not have been a surprise because the nerd who just wants women to love him and men to respect him and assuage his feelings of worthlessness was always scrabbling around in Spike's psyche, scratching to get out.

    So we get both the bullying of Harmony and the groveling to his sire Drusilla, the sneering disdain for women right next to the sobbing supplicant to a woman on a pedestal. Always elements of William that are common to many bullied men - but magnified through a soulless demon to extreme psychotic levels of anger and devotion.

    When Spike screams out about bitches tormenting him in Crush and how he'd like to chop them into tiny pieces, he sounds an awful lot like Caleb - except for the fact that his outburst was immediately followed by freeing Buffy. From misogynist to willing slave in a second. And this is played out again in the infamous AR - Spike changes in a quicksilver manner with Buffy from apologetic to hopeful to monstrous fury to horror over his own behavior in less than a few minutes.

    And in this lies the paradox of much misogyny - yes, there are men who outright hate women and believe them to be inferior. But I don't believe that Spike falls into this category. To be honest, I'm not even sure that the Trio fall into this category - they obviously see Buffy as a worthy opponent. I think there are degrees of misogyny from 1-10 with Caleb at the extreme 11. He sees women as obscene and worthless from their birth - monsters born to destroy men due to their very existence - and this is endemic in many cultures. And it's something I don't believe is true even for Warren.

    But then there's the sliding scale of misogyny - and for those on the lower side, a great deal of anger towards women has to do with feelings of anger toward oneself as a male. Warren's anger towards women has a lot to do with his own feelings of inadequacy - he creates robot women and sex slaves to love him because he basically feels that no woman could ever love him otherwise. And he gathers supporters and adherents around him only to belittle them and make himself feel more like a man. Does this excuse his behavior? No, of course not. But it's not black and white, either. And it doesn't excuse Spike's supposed misogyny either - except for the fact that Spike is a demon and soulless.
    I see what you mean in terms of some insecurities within Warren being about himself, the societal expectations on him as a man. Perhaps his dislike of women is as specific as Spike's is when he is bemoaning the effect women have on him and blaming them as he twists himself up trying to be accepted. But that soulless shift is still there as you say, and it isn't the same way he responds as William or when souled again and it complicates labelling his attitude when his responses to points of continuity significantly shift as they do.

    But I don't think that Whedon was pointing to Spike in particular as the reason for seeing misogyny when he speaks of the problems with Spuffy in Season Six - I think he's talking about a larger societal framework that both Spike and Buffy fit into - as does every character in Season Six. Willow, Xander, Tara, Anya are all victims of this as well - hatred of women goes hand in hand with hatred of men who don't fit the social paradigm. There are gender and sexuality and class issues that complicate the way our society sees women and men - this is obviously a huge theme in Season Six that didn't sit well with a lot of fans.

    And I'd say that Buffy herself in some ways is sadly just as guilty of self-hatred and misogyny against her own sex as Spike is - as is Willow - and this results in how both Buffy and Willow view themselves and their actions after Buffy is brought back from the dead and how this fits into the larger social picture.

    And I think this is a brilliant and necessary storyline/character arc for both of them that makes Buffy the Vampire Slayer a truly feminist show - but I'll save any more thoughts on this crucial deconstruction of misogyny and the dilemma of modern feminism in Season Six for my rewatch of Smashed.
    Looking forward to it.

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  25. #315
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    I'll get to the previous posts later.


    It seems James Marsters's new 'line' about Buffy/Spike is that Spike in "Chosen" (B 7.22) wasn't yet "ready" for Buffy, as in 'ready to be in a full relationship with her'. Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPcyRQ_G3A4 James says that Spike in "Chosen" says the "No, you don't. But thanks for saying it." because James says that Spike believed he wasn't yet 'ready' for Buffy.

    James also says that Angel in BtVS was 'ready' for Buffy.

    I maintain that Buffy loves "Spike" but doesn't love "William the Bloody" human and vampire version. Buffy loves the persona. Spike knows Buffy doesn't know "William" and Spike tells her in "Never Leave Me" (B 7.09) that she's never met "William the Bloody".

    I maintain that Buffy in "Chosen" was offering to die with Spike in the Hellmouth and Spike's "NYDBTFSI" was his telling her to leave.

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    @MikeB
    I maintain that Buffy loves "Spike" but doesn't love "William the Bloody" human and vampire version. Buffy loves the persona.
    I don't necessarily agree but still, this is a very interesting way of looking at it.

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    I can't fathom why you'd think Buffy was willing to throw away her life, her friends and her family so that she could die in the cavern with Spike. Her first instinct was to leave the Hellmouth with Spike, but I think they both ultimately knew that it wasn't possible for him to leave and even if it was, that would leave the job only half done and the Hellmouth would stay open. I don't know what you could take from that scene where Buffy's intentions were "screw Dawn and everyone else, I wanna die here with Spike."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
    I maintain that Buffy in "Chosen" was offering to die with Spike in the Hellmouth and Spike's "NYDBTFSI" was his telling her to leave.
    Oh, my I have to admit this is a very poetical point of view MikeB because I can totally see and imagine the aesthetic value where you are coming from Buffy embracing the flames with Spike. Thank you, this is a concept art in its self you inspired me for my next challenge within the fan art section!


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    I'd love to see some fan art of Spike personally stopping Acathla before it was even a threat by doing a magical spell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire in Rug View Post
    I'd love to see some fan art of Spike personally stopping Acathla before it was even a threat by doing a magical spell.
    Is that a request

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