Reporter: So, why do you write these strong female characters?
Joss Whedon:
Because you’re still asking me that question.

The question should be “Why do you write seemingly strong women and then punish them for that strength?” I see a lot of characters in this set who got shit on by Joss not to mention at least one actress he fired for the crime of getting pregnant.

A friend of mine likes to challenge “Joss Whedon, Feminist” acolytes to name a female character on Buffy who doesn’t die or go crazy.

I feel like this game could be expanded to find lead female characters who don’t die, go crazy, or lose a loved one in a gruesome way as part of their suffering. Bonus points if they get to the end without anyone threatening to rape them or trying to rape them. There has to be at least one right?

If we include those, we may as well be playing bingo. Joss Whedon’s female characters’ punishments: collect them all!

Who gets mind wiped? Who gets beaten? Who watches everything she ever loved burn? It’s a game for all ages! Bonus points for the ones who die without ever having gotten to live!

I might have feelings about Kendra. A lot of them.

Goddamit, and now I feel compelled to do an actual tally of his original female characters, albeit offhand and from memory. So:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy – two deaths, one rape threat, one attempted rape, two sexual assaults, one dead parent.

Willow – one rape threat, two breaks with sanity, one dead girlfriend.

Cordelia – damselled about a billion times, one attempted forced marriage.

Anya –  one rape threat, dead.

Tara – dead.

Kendra – dead.

Faith – multiple breaks with sanity.

Ms Calender – dead.

Joyce – dead.

Dawn – one attempted forced marriage, one dead parent.

Darla – dead.

Drusilla – multiple breaks with sanity.


Cordelia – two forced impregnations, at least one sexual assault, at least one attempted rape, dead.

Fred – one attempted rape, multiple breaks with sanity, dead.

Lilah – one rape threat, dead.

Darla – multiple breaks with sanity, dead.

Drusilla – multiple breaks with sanity.

Illyria – multiple breaks with sanity.

Faith – multiple breaks with sanity.


Kaylee – one rape threat.

River – multiple breaks with sanity.

Zoe – one dead husband.

Inara – one threat of sexual assault.


As none of the Actives are capable of informed consent, pretty much every sexual interaction they have while on assignment constitutes rape or assault, even though the narrative only flags Sierra’s experiences as such. So, yeah. Also, I never saw S2, so can’t speak to what happened at that point. 


Reblogging again for commentary.

fuck Joss Whedon

See, I like Whedon’s work – adore Avengers with a passion like burning – but, yeah. I don’t want to hear about what a feminist he is.

I still give him pointers for clearly trying, and delivering products which, while flawed, are still miles better than most of what’s out there. *cough*StevenMoffat*cough*


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