Joss Whedon is the creator of Buffy and some show called Firefly which is apparently the best television show in the world and there are some hardcore fans who insist on “bringing it back.” Why do we care about Mr. Whedon? Apparently he’s now a piece of shit who lied about being a feminist (albeit one who wants to redefine feminism) and only spoke about gender equality in Hollywood to get in a bunch of different women’s pants.
Whedon has recently split from long time wife Kai Cole and there’s a pretty crazy interwebs shit storm after Cole wrote a very intense essay detailing that her ex is not the feminist you believe him to be due to his extra marital affairs.
Do I believe that Whedon’s cheating on his wife makes him a shitty person, considering how much he obviously hurt her, and damaged her emotionally? Yes.
Do I ACTUALLY think this fact somehow makes Whedon a “fake feminist”? No.
Whedon’s public persona has been one of the “feminist” often lauded for his creation of strong kick ass characters who escape the myriad of tyrannical tropes that relegate women to one dimensional characters whose only motivations are to serve at the behest of their male counter parts. The word feminism or feminist comes up when describing his work and even describing the man himself. There’s a famous quote when he was asked why he still writes strong female characters, his response was, “Because you’re still asking me that question.”
Whedon’s work specifically, should be re-examined for its issues with women. Of course we should always consider the intersection of race and class when looking at women, and I will say there is something that irks me about the idea a man who “does” a woman well. Whedon’s work and its own complications, lead to conversations about how feminism is branded, articulated, represented, and manipulated should be had.
But I don’t think it matters who Joss Whedon has fucked or fucks currently.
Understandably though, his ex-wife does. You know, considering he was fucking a whole lotta ladies during the course of his marriage and lied to her for YEARS. Girl, that fucking blooooooowwwwsss, I would never wish that on my worst enemy. Especially since you suspected that he was “too close” (your words) to many female friends and he said this was because he was a feminist, like DAT SUX.
BUT, I hate to make this about Cole specifically, but her self-aggrandizing statement that Whedon’s feminism card is revoked because as she states, he “took away my choice” by lying about sleeping with other women does not a non-feminist make.
Consent, violence, cohersion, and abuse MATTER, but that’s not the issue here is it? Is that what we are talking about?
The issue is a moral failing on Whedon’s behalf and it’s his sexual life where again I will point at that AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME there seems to be nothing that seems illegal or non consensual. Since we have not heard from any of these women he cheated with, we do not know if he used his position or power to exploit or coerce.
From twitter to the AV Club, many are taking Whedon’s transgressions a reason to discount his work as the modus operandi of a lying trash bag using feminism for his own sordid agenda. It’s an all-or-nothing attitude that he was either a feminist or he was duping us the whole time, and the fact he likes to fuck other ladies than his wife somehow proves the latter.
I think it’s because we all know THAT GUY. We can fucking relate to the fake ass feminist who whispers sweet nothing Judith Butler quotes into our ears and then turns around and treats our bodies and minds as though we are an extension of his male ego. We know that dude who claims to be “woke” to try to put his P in your V.
We all also know the “good guy” who pretends to be all about your and your agency, but then quickly warps your mind with some cray gas lighting bullshit and you end up apologizing for something he did.
I think the reactions to this revelation are way out of proportion you would think he was a government leader in charge of leading women’s initiatives or on some sort of morality and marriage panel.
I understand that Cole is taking what she see very rightly as a lack of respect for her and her body as a way to unveil some kind of extension to his entire persona, “Now that it is finally public, I want to let women know that he is not who he pretends to be. I want the people who worship him to know he is human, and the organizations giving him awards for his feminist work, to think twice in the future about honoring a man who does not practice what he preaches.”
Did he every preach monogamy? Does feminist include, by definition, the adherence to wedding vows?
I am weary of taking the sexual lives of people to determine their inherent social and political values. It’s a double-edged sword to say that just because a man sleeps with a lot of women outside of marriage that makes him non-feminist. It could cut both ways to somehow suggest that a woman’s sexual promiscuity might betray her feminist values.
Men, and women, both feminists and non-feminists alike (or maybe they just want to be called “humanist” UGH THAT TERM DOES NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT DOES) cheat on their spouses. It’s not nice. However, I think Whedon’s work should be judged on its own merit, not because his ex-wife wants us to know he is bad at monogamy.
Or at the very most, maybe we send his penis to attend a first year Women’s Studies class?