March 6th, 2016

spike

Some Thoughts on Gender Double Standards and Violence (BtVS)

I've seen many Spike fans argue over the years that there are gender double standards in how Buffy treats Spike in S6.

For example, that the writers and fans would have handled it differently if a male character shoved a female character into a wall and started having sex with her, or if a male character beat his lover as badly as Buffy beat Spike in Dead Things.

I agree with some of these arguments, and not with others. Here are my current thoughts about gender double standards and violence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A lot of this is about Buffy/Spike, but also some other characters and situations. Sometimes Spike fan criticisms are on the nose. But sometimes, as I'll show you below, the gender double standard actually seems to be the opposite of the one that the Spike fan is arguing. And even when they are accurate, when there is an undeniable gender double standard where female violence against men is more acceptable, I can't help but notice that these criticisms seem to only come up when the victim is Spike. When a less sympathetic character is the victim of gender double standards about violence, you can dance in the silence.

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