View Poll Results: How ‘sympathetic’ should Buffy have been toward Riley at the end of “Who Are You?”

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  • As she was in the episode.

    5 45.45%
  • More sympathetic. She should have more focused on Riley's been raped.

    3 27.27%
  • Less sympathetic. Buffy didn't even discuss with Riley how Faith acted with him.

    1 9.09%
  • Much less sympathetic. Did Riley ever really apologize to Buffy for having sex with Faith?

    2 18.18%
  • I don't know./I'm not sure.

    0 0%
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Thread: Has Buffy's reaction to Riley at the end of "Who Are You?" (B 4.16) not 'aged well'?

  1. #1
    Slayer MikeB's Avatar
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    Default Has Buffy's reaction to Riley at the end of "Who Are You?" (B 4.16) not 'aged well'?

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

    * I’m not sure how much Riley ‘should have known’ Faith-Buffy wasn’t Buffy, but Buffy has every right to be upset and concerned that Riley slept with Faith-Buffy and that he didn’t know Faith-Buffy wasn’t Buffy.

    Buffy’s reaction “hasn’t aged well”? I find such sentiment disgusting and grossly victim-shaming of Buffy. Yes, Riley was raped by Faith. But Buffy was far more raped. And that doesn’t even include what happens in the rest of “Who Are You?” (B 4.16) to Buffy.

    * And let’s not discount how Buffy feels about Faith’s trying to steal Buffy’s boyfriend (Angel, Riley, and Spike). But that’s another issue.

  2. #2
    Sunnydale High Student
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    It was rape of both Riley and Buffy, still mad they play it off as Buffy feeling like it was cheating.

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  4. #3
    Scooby Gang bespangled's Avatar
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    Sorry - Buffy draping herself by the door and asking Riley what game he wanted to play should have been reason enough to realize she was not herself, and therefore not capable of consent.

    How do you want me?

    How do I --

    He sits close to her. She comes in close:

    What do you want to do with this
    body? What nasty little desire have
    you been itching to try out? Am I a
    bad girl? Do you wanna hurt me?

    Drugs, magic...whatever - she is pretty clearly not behaving normally.
    Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you're not ready for the big moments...The big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are.

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  6. #4
    Graveyard Patrol ghoststar's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say it hasn't aged well, so much as that it never made sense. I watched it in 2005 and thought Buffy was being unbelievably petty. I'd rather there was an option that allowed me to say that Buffy shouldn't have blamed Riley, without also saying she should've been more focused on his rape. She's been through even worse than he has. Focusing on her own experiences would be a normal reaction to everything that's happened, so I don't think she owes him "focus." However, she does owe it to him to not actively shame him for being raped.

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  8. #5
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    ]I’m not sure how much Riley ‘should have known’ Faith-Buffy wasn’t Buffy
    There is no way, he could have spotted that. But she was behaving weird or at least unusual for her. It does make me a little bit sick, to think, that he had sex with her instead of asking "What`s wrong?" Maybe asking someone else as well. Maybe just waiting. He should have had some doubt. I actually believe, the scene shows that he did have some doubt. He overruled his own doubts and went along.

    Buffy has every right to be upset and concerned that Riley slept with Faith-Buffy and that he didn’t know Faith-Buffy wasn’t Buffy.
    Buffy has every right to be upset and angry at Faith. Buffy also has every right to be upset and angry that everyone pities Riley but no one allows her to be upset and concerned. She had sex without consenting to it. Riley had sex willingly but he was consenting under false premises. They both are victims here. But Buffy isn`t allowed to be a victim. Everyone blames her for not forgiving Riley instantly. LIt´s not about blaming Riley. But even if someone is not responsible for waht he did under nagical influence, you are still justified, to be hurt and angry. It`s an understandable human reaction.

    But Buffy was far more raped.
    I have huge problems with that statement. Let`s not rank rape, please. But I agree, that Buffy has (also) been raped and that her reaction towards Riley was actually tame and civilized considering the impact of what she suffered. If I were in her place, I`d be much more pissed off at Riley, than she ever was. Therefore I voted for "Less sympathetic"

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  10. #6
    Scooby Gang GoSpuffy's Avatar
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    I always feel that Buffy felt more hurt by Riley for not recognizing it wasn't her than she felt he or she was "raped". Times have definitely changed and what is acceptable has clearly changed. Buffy is not the feminist icon she once was. Giles and the watchers are now just representative of the patriarchy and the guardians should have been in control all along.

    I like who I am when I’m with him. I like who we are together.”

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  12. #7
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    Not for nothing, but Buffy doesn't ever seem to really categorize the use of her own body here as a rape upon her person. She takes the stance, apparently, that her body isn't much other than a really rare sweater that got stole from her, and doesn't think she's been any more raped by someone who has stolen it having sex while wearing it. Given that this is a scenario that literally can never come up in the real world for us to set bright line legal or moral rules around, I'm inclined to follow her lead there.

    Under that same "sweater" principle, Riley was the person who was most violated here, since he was the only person present who was having sex with someone whom he did not wish to be. He really didn't do anything wrong here. Was "Buffy" acting differently than usual? Sure. Should that on its own have tipped him off that she was incapacitated in some way, in an altered state, or lol literally an entire different person in the same body? No, no, and no. She was clearly lucid, there was no sense that she was disoriented or even in any kind of emotional distress (at least not until after he treated Faith far differently than anyone else and kinda blew a hole in a lot of her fears and assumptions). He was a 22-23 year old grad student with a 19 year old girlfriend. Realistically, she was a college girl who showed up at his room dressing differently and acting like she had a fantasy she wanted to act out that he was only partially into. There are zero guys in his situation who -- even finding that a little sudden -- wouldn't have immediately concluded that the dumbest thing they could do is start questioning let alone criticizing it. And I don't mean that in a prurient, "going along with this gets me laid" way, I mean that in a relationship management 101 way. That's a short rough road to being in a fight, relationship wise, immediately being a wet blanket on something your girlfriend might be trying. We can't stand in his shoes and think of Buffy as 3.5 seasons of consistent person; he's known her less than a year, AND she hasn't flooded him with stories of those days. There isn't a ton of reason for him to think she may not like to change up or just be "trying a thing".

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