As I mentioned last week, I am watching all seven seasons of Buffy for a project that I am currently engaged in. Yesterday afternoon I finished season two. First, let me say that this season they gave Whedon a budget to work with and the special effects are much better than the first season, though I seriously doubt that Buffy hit anyone with a single punch or her over used roundhouse kick. I seriously do not buy Sarah Michelle Gellar as the ass kicking type, though she is supposed to inspire shivers of girl power.
This season I learned that going to a frat house with older boys will lead to trouble. See that girls, if you are attacked, it is all your fault for putting yourself in that position in the first place. Good girls never date or are attracted to older men. This is once again played out in Buffy’s relationship with the ever so musty Angel. It is no accident that the moment that she decides to sleep with him, that he lost his soul. Are you paying attention kids, there is a cost to teenage sex, no matter how much you lurve him. The very fact that Angel’s first act as a non feeling vampire is to slut shame the hell out of Buffy is telling.
Angel would then go on to stalk Buffy for the rest of the season. The fact that he had lost his soul was enough for Buffy to empathize with him for much of the season, though he was clearly violent and a threat to her friends. This screamed of the old, he just can’t help himself mode that we often see attached to violent male behaviour in this genre. Excusing it in no way makes it healthy. I know that some believe that Buffy was redeemed because she finally got the guts to knife him at the end of the season, but from what I have heard, her pinning for him continues into the next season. Stalking is illegal for a reason, and to justify this with the claim that he is just not himself, belies the fact that in many of these cases, real harm and even death occurs. A more pro woman attitude would have been for Buffy to reject him outright, than to continue to express feelings of love for an entire season.