Rape Culture And Buffy: The Vampire Slayer

Rape Culture and Buffy:  The Vampire Slayer

As I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of Buffy and Angel and as such have been doing a lot of analysis of late.  One thing that’s been worrying me larely that’s been a disturbing trend of late.  The obvious use of “rape culture” in Buffy.

Before I have rabid fans with torches and pitchforks come beat down my door and burn me at the stake, let me explain.  I’m not trying to cause trouble, just pointing out what I’ve seen and other fans have gotten me to notice over the years, so without further ado…

1.Xander (The Pack)

A.In the season one episode of The Pack Xander trying to get to break up a bullying incident gets possesed by demon hyenas.  As a result he gets mean and nasty along with his new “friends”.  Xander on his own tears down his childhood friend, Willow and attempts to rape the heroine and his failed love interest (not at this time) Buffy.  Buffy of course doesn’t put up with his antics and knocks him out by hitting him with a desk.  This is the first blatant incident of sexual assault in the show.

2.Larry (Phases)

A.In this episode we learn that Willow’s new boyfriend Oz is a werewolf, but in one scene, the closeted gay guy in the school, Larry is generally acting like a jerk towards all females, but in gym class he tries to feel up Buffy’s ass in self defense class.  Again, it doesn’t end well for the guy trying to get the better of our heroine, as Larry ends up eating mat.  Second sexual assult in the show.

3.Xander again (Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered)

A.Things aren’t going well for the normal couple on the show at this point (Xander and Cordelia).  Peer pressure from Harmony and her former friends causes Cordelia to break up with Xander on Valentine’s Day (OUCH!).  In a rage Xander blackmails the teen witch Amy to cast a love spell on Cordelia.  That’s bad enough, but when it’s cast it turns out that Cordelia is the only one not affected, but every female including Drucilla the vampire are looking to make Xander “their cuddle monkey”.  While Xander has the personal strength to not take advantage of any of his female friends who come on to him, this is a kind of sexual assault.  He does (inadvertantly) take away the free will of every woman in town, thus it is assault. So, sexual assault 3.

4.Faith (Season 3 and Who are you {Season 4})

A.Not a popular opinion for some at first, but Faith did rape Xander not once but twice in season three.  Once was in the heat of the moment in The Zeppo, and again when she joined the mayor in the episode Consequences and she nearly killed him.  Also let’s not forget the body switch episode in season 4 Who are you where Faith in Buffy’s body rapes Buffy’s boyfriend Riley.  Sexual assaults 4-6.

5.Willow (Season 6)

A.When Willow, when going through her addiction to magick and power storyline casts a spell on her girlfriend to make her forget an argument.  Sexual assault 7

6.Spike/William (Season 6)

A.In Seeing Red one of the hardest episodes IMO to watch, Spike, Buffy’s vampire ally and “love interest” tries to rape Buffy when he snaps after years of abuse by her hands (not excusing, just stating the storyline).  He’s so horrified he runs off and gets a soul to make up for it. Sexual assault 8

That’s the ones I remember, but the biggest disturbing trend I’ve found is that rarely are the two women who’ve commited sexual assault villified for doing what they’ve done, but men get all the hate.  That really needs to stop.  It doesn’t help anyone to separate the two genders who are equally guilty.  Just my humble opinion.

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