Thursday, May 24, 2007

I love Joss Whedon

Yes, the creator of Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Toy Story 2 has done it again. This morning, not only did I receive a writing tip e-mail about the first episode of Buffy and all of its greatness, I was greeted with this on my RSS reader. I don't normally post whole articles on this page, but Broadsheet wrapped up Whedon's blog so well...

"What is wrong with women?"

If you ask almighty geek/feminist icon Joss Whedon, you don't need to seek out exports from Kurdistan -- the ghastly cellphone videos of Dua Khalil's savage public execution, that is -- to see brutal misogyny up close. We've got Hollywood right here. "The trailer [for the controversial movie "Captivity"] resembles nothing so much as the CNN story on Dua Khalil," he writes at Whedonesque (a blog about him and his work where he occasionally posts). "Pretty much all you learn is that Elisha Cuthbert is beautiful, then kidnapped, inventively, repeatedly and horrifically tortured, and that the first thing she screams is 'I'm sorry.'"

Whedon does, of course, know the difference between fact and fiction. But in this passionate, moving, positively reeling -- and ultimately inspiring -- response to Dua Khalil's murder, he makes a strong, strong case for that Hollywood-Iraq continuum. "What is wrong with women?" he writes. "I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected. How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? ... I have yet to find a culture that doesn't buy into it. Women's inferiority -- in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they're sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished ... And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable."

Go read the rest. (Here's dessert.)

-- Lynn Harris


How can you not adore this talented, witty, socially-conscious feminist man? For those who are Whedon-ignorant, stop laughing at the name Buffy and get on it. High school as setting for personal as well as literal hell? How can you not adore it?


Reel Fanatic said...

There are many reasons why Whedon is the man, but his love for strong women might just be the most important one .. He's dead right about Captivity, and no one puts it better than him

Anonymous said...

I read his post the day he put it up, and immediately passed it on to many on my contact list. He has always been a favorite of mine, initally based on his writing. As I learn more about him and his stand on important issues, his status (in my little world) has risen as well. Smart, funny, articulate and brave, he never backs down from being who he is and supporting what he believes in. Sadly, he's since been quoted as saying he's not sure if he'll ever post anything like that again, as some of the feedback has been pretty negative. Keep looking to the sky! -Amy

Anonymous said...

Actually, let me clarify. This was posted after he did a speech in which he commented on the blog:
"He briefly mentioned that he had blogged recently about his passionate feelings about women's rights (sidebar: I really wanted to clap at this point but didn't want to draw attention to myself--I'm such a coward!) and he said it was a weird experience and he didn't know if he would ever blog again like that (I hope he doesn't feel that way because of the volume of commentary on this site; I found it very compelling and an important dialogue regardless of the different opinions and thoughts that emerged.)"

...but now he posted on the site again to clear up what he meant by the speech:
"As for blog-weirdness, I can clear that up. The responses (and yes, I read them all) were extremely cool and varied and inspiring. What I said was that blogging was weird for me as a writer 'cause the moment you do it, take a stand and say 'this is me', you feel everything you do will be judged according to that. It's not the same as putting out an artistic statement and then explaining it. It freezes you slightly, thinking about other people's judgement and expectations, thinking about your responsibility to be true to what you've blogged. Which are two things that should not come first when you're creating a story, or you stop making fiction and start making propaganda. That's why I usually like to stay behind the art. But I certainly have no regrets about saying my piece. Just an interesting side-effect."
Thanks for letting me take up so much space! -Amy