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In Defence of Firefly, and Rapists, Apparently

In case you hadn't noticed, Joss Whedon has been all over the Internet lately. He has been torn to shreds by the easily offended brigade who have been taking to Twitter in droves to spew their 140 characters of vitriol all over the unsuspecting Whedon. His offence? He did not portray the character of Black Widow/Natasha Romonav in the second Avengers installment exactly in the way that they wanted him to. He is now branded a misogynist, a label easily thrown about by those who flip their shit when a woman says anything related to being a woman in a movie. I won't go into detail here as to what the fuss is all about as that is easily found everywhere else and is not the purpose of this post.

I am a huge fan of Whedon's work. I enjoyed "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and it's spin-off "Angel." I even liked the short-lived "Dollhouse" series. "The Cabin in the Woods" was one of most delightfully bizzare things I've ever seen. I have been enjoying "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" and "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" is pretty much the best thing ever. The Avengers movies have been fun action romps to be relished with an obscene amount of popcorn and 3D glasses. I think Joss writes deeply complex characters and his witty dialogue is unique and clever. What I haven't been too impressed with though is with Whedon throwing his fedora in the ring with the likes of Anita Sarkeesian. But he has learned the hard way that touting oneself as the uber white guy superstar feminist, just means you fall that much harder when you screw up in the eyes of the CWEEFs who will turn on you faster than a rabid dog.

So now the reason for this post. With all this kerfuffle, there have been old Whedon related things popping up including this article which I saw on a friend's Facebook wall. This is a supposed "review" of the yanked-away-from-us-much-too-early TV show "Firefly" and the subsequent, related movie "Serenity" by someone with a decidedly rad-fem bent. If someone asks me what my favourite TV show is, "Firefly" is the answer. Millions of fans agree with me and the show has developed a sizeable cult following. Every "Firefly" virgin whom I have introduced to the show has become an instant fan. A friend of mine still has my copy of Serenity and I'm certain she is secretly hoping I forget that she has it. I know this article is quite old (2007) but it's the first time I've seen it and my face was turning deeper shades of red the further I got into it. The contents rolled around in my brain for hours afterwards making me angrier and angrier. It got to the point where I'd either have to write down my thoughts about this pretentious, self-righteous mewling or suffer a "Scanners" style head explosion. So here I am. Hopefully once I get this written out, that relentless twitch in my left eye will stop.

Now I know that art and entertainment are very subjective and there are things I like that you might not or vice versa. I also don't much care if people splatter their thoughts all over the Internet about what they did or didn't like about TV shows or movies. But this particular splattering utterly missed the mark and is in dire need of addressing. This woman is clearly a hard-core, radical, sex negative feminist (a CWEEF) and she takes things out of context and twists things around to fit her narrative. She views everything through a "that's outrageous!" lens bigger than Jonathan McIntosh's ego. She could find misogyny in a room full of nothing but puppies.
So lets look at this mess of a review shall we?

Actually, first of all, let me point out a very important aspect that a person needs to keep in mind while watching "Firefly" or any work of fiction for that matter. Generally, the world that a show is set in is a made-up place. It's not reality. Don't treat it like it is. In the case of "Firefly", the setting is 500 years in the future and things are rather "rough" in some parts of the galaxy. How Captain Mal describes it:

"After the Earth was used up, we found a new solar system and hundreds of new Earths were terraformed and colonized. The central planets formed the Alliance and decided all the planets had to join under their rule. There was some disagreement on that point. After the War, many of the Independents who had fought and lost drifted to the edges of the system, far from Alliance control. Out here, people struggled to get by with the most basic technologies."

So first there's the title of this abomination:

"A Rapist's View of the World: Joss Whedon and Firefly"

Did she just call Joss Whedon a rapist with the very first thing she says? If so, I'm assuming that she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has raped someone. Because if not than she should really think twice before tossing this very serious accusation out about someone. Calling a person a rapist because they created a television show you dislike is just plain childish. 

"This is a really long rant about Joss Whedon's Firefly. Why? Because I'm angry and I think it is really important that feminists don't leave popular culture out of the equation. Especially considering that popular culture is increasingly being influenced by pornography."

A long rant. Sigh. Yes, yes it is. She's angry. I'm pretty sure that is her only emotion. What's with this obsession that feminists have with popular culture and that it has to conform to their strict feminist standards? What a dreary world we would live in if every TV show, movie, comic book or video game was censored into what they want it to be. And what's this about popular culture being influenced by pornography? I don't know where she's getting this from. Maybe she's talking about that three-way I saw on a Pepsi commercial. Oh wait. That never happened.

"I have to say that now that I have subjected myself to the horror that is Firefly, I really am beyond worried about how much men hate us, given that this was written by a man who calls himself a feminist.

I find much of Joss Whedon’s work to be heavily influenced by pornography, and pornographic humour. While I would argue that there are some aspects of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer that are feminist and progressive, there is much that isn’t and I find it highly problematic that there are many very woman-hating messages contained within a show that purports itself as feminism. But Firefly takes misogyny to a new level of terrifying. I am really, really worried that women can call the man who made this show a feminist."
The first two sentences are just off the wall alarmist nuttery. Men hate women because of a TV show written by a feminist. Sure, sure. Then there's the pornography thing again. You remember that bukkake scene in "Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D?" Or how about all those blowjobs that Angel got? Nope, neither do I. And no. "Firefly" does NOT take misogyny to a new level of terrifying. It doesn't even take it to a mildly concerning level of misogyny.

"There is so much hatred towards women contained within the scripts and action of the series that I doubt very much that this post will even begin to cover it. I am going to try to focus on the episodes that were written by Joss Whedon but I will also refer to the series as a whole. As Joss Whedon was responsible for the concept development and was a producer, ultimately I hold him accountable for the depiction of women in the entire season. Only one episode was written by a woman. It was no better or worse in its depiction of women than the ones written by men."

First of all, this is blatantly untrue. Secondly, so what if it was true? Sometimes fiction shows us bad things because it's, you know, fiction. Plus just portraying those bad things (misogyny, rape, racism, murder) doesn't mean that the audience or the creator approves of these bad things or that they are a reflection in any way, shape or form of their own lives or personalities. To assume so is nonsensical. I'm sure the person or persons who wrote the "Saw" movies aren't maniacal serial killers or condone maniacal serial killing. The people who create movies about slavery don't think that slavery is all hunky dory. Even if some of the characters in the show do. People also don't go running around doing things they saw on TV. Normal folks can tell the difference between real life and fiction. I thought we has figured this out already. If not then "Criminal Minds" should not be on TV.

"The pilot episode, Serenity, was written and directed by Joss Whedon. The basic plot of the series is Malcolm Reynolds and his second in command Zoe, have made a new life for themselves after fighting a war against the Alliance, which they lost. They bought a Firefly, an old space ship, and Mal calls it Serenity, after the last battle they fought for the Independence. The pilot of the ship, Wash, is Zoe’s husband. Kaylee is the ship’s mechanic and Jayne, the final member of the crew, is the brainless brawn. This bunch of criminals go around stealing things and generally doing lots of violence."

The one thing that she says that is actually true.

"They also take on board passengers. There is Inara, a Companion (Joss Whedon’s euphemism for women in prostitution). She rents one of the ship’s shuttles. Simon, a doctor and his sister River. And a Shepherd (which means preacher), a black male character."

Ok, so this is also true. Except I want to point out the "a black male character" thing. First of all, why does this even matter? And secondly, here is a problem she has with her "reviewing". The characters are more than just "a white man" "a black woman" "a white woman", etc. But yet this is what she reduces them to. She clearly dismisses that fact that they all have defined character arcs that are complex and layered. They have strengths and weaknesses, complicated relationships with other characters and pasts that have shaped them into the people they are and how they react to the world and those around them.

"The first scene opens in a war with Mal and Zoe. Zoe runs around calling Mal ‘sir’ and taking orders off him. I roll my eyes. Not a good start.

The next scene is set in the present. Mal, Jayne, and Zoe are floating about in space. They come into some danger. Mal gets all panicky.

Zoe says, “This ship's been derelict for months. Why would they –”

Mal replies, (in Chinese) “Shut up.”

So in the very second scene of the very first episode, an episode written and directed by the great feminist Joss, a white man tells a black woman to ‘shut up’ for no apparent reason. And she does shut up. And she continues to call him sir. And takes his orders, even when they are dumb orders, for the rest of the series."

This woman clearly knows nothing about the military. In the war, Mal is Zoe's Sergeant. Pop quiz. What does the second in command call their Sergeant? If you said "sir or ma'am", you win a cookie! Second question, what do you do if your Sergeant orders you to do something? Answer: You do it. If it were the other way around Mal would be calling Zoe ma'am and following her orders. That's just how the military works. Is Zoe supposed to get special treatment just because she is a woman? And even though the war is over, Zoe is still basically under Mal's command on Serenity. He is the captain and Zoe is his first mate. She trusts him with her life and he would die for her (or anyone else on his crew). And yes, she takes orders throughout the show because that's what you do when the person in charge gives you orders but she has also disobeyed orders in serious situations when she disagrees with him. And here the author is once again reducing the characters to "a white man" and "a black woman". Please keep things in context and consider the circumstances and their relationship to one another.

So he tells her to "shut up." Big deal. Would it be just as big of a deal if Zoe's character was a man? He's supposed to treat her like a fragile little flower and never, ever say anything curt to her? So there's a good question. Would this woman have thought the same things if Zoe was a man? Would she still be rolling her eyes at man Zoe calling Mal 'sir' and following his orders? Would she still be all aghast had Mal told man Zoe to "shut up"? Why are these things so much worse if the character is a woman? I thought you types want women to be treated as equals and not fragile damsels.

"The next scene we meet Kaylee, the ship’s mechanic. <- Lookee, lookee, feminist empowerment. In this scene Mal and Jayne are stowing away the cargo they just stole. Kaylee is chatting to them, happily. Jayne asks Mal to get Kaylee to stop being so cheerful. Mal replies, “Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month.” Yes, that is an exact quote, “Sometimes you just wanna DUCT TAPE HER MOUTH and DUMP HER IN THE HOLD FOR A MONTH.” Kaylee responds by grinning and giving Mal a kiss on the cheek and saying, “I love my Captain.”"

Good gawd. Has this woman never joked around with her friends before? My sister and our friend routinely engage in "your mother" jokes. That doesn't mean they actually hate each other's mothers. The quote in question is CLEARLY jokey banter amongst close friends who love each other and know each other enough to know how they feel about each other. Jokes like this are common among people who actually have a sense of humour. Which this woman obviously does not. Mal loves Kaylee like a daughter and would lay down his life for her. Did this woman miss the parts where Mal clearly stands up for Kaylee when Jayne says something rude about her? Or his very obvious and heart breaking concern for her when she gets grievously injured? Even the crude, uncouth Jayne shows how much her pain upsets him.

I'll agree that these things happening in the first episode can be jarring since we do not yet know the characters and their relationships to each other. But that's why you keep watching. Maybe you hate Mal in those first few impressions but if you continue to watch the show, you learn how much these people mean to each other and how they are willing to do anything to keep each other safe and yet still have to deal with issues that all families and groups of close friends have.

"What the fuck is this feminist man trying to say about women here? A black woman calling a white man ‘sir’. A white male captain who abuses and silences his female crew, with no consequences. The women are HAPPY to be abused. They enjoy it. What does this say about women, Joss? What does this say about you? Do you tell your wife to shut up? Do you threaten to duct tape her mouth? Lock her in the bedroom? Is this funny to you, Joss? Because it sure as fuck ain’t funny to me."

Once again with the out of context. We've already addressed the 'sir' business. Exactly where does he abuse his female crew? Telling someone to shut up once is abuse now? She does know that Mal doesn't actually duct tape Kaylee's mouth and throw her in the hold, right? Mal is also just as curt and demanding with the men on his crew. So what the fuck is this feminist man trying to say about women here? How about that they are just as capable as men at working on a spaceship in roles that you should be happy about considering that they would be classed as traditionally "male" roles. Mal may be a little rough around the edges and he's sometimes callous and brusque. But he shows his love and concern for his female (and male) crew and passengers many times throughout the series. Again with the equating of Joss's life with his creation. This is about as logical as asking the creator of "The Human Centipede" questions like: What does this movie say about Germans? What does this say about you? Do you go around sewing people's asses to other people mouths? With that logic Steven Spielberg becomes a Nazi for writing "Schindler's List." Someone please tell him that. People can write about things that they don't agree with personally. I can think of a gazillion examples where a person wrote about something they didn't personally agree with. And seriously woman. Pull that stick out your ass and find a sense of humour.

"Our first introduction to Inara the ‘Companion’, Joss Whedon’s euphemism for prostituted women, is when she is being raped/fucked/used by a prostitutor. I find it really interesting to read the scripted directions for this particular scene:

We are close on INARA's face. She is being made love to by an eager, inexperienced but quite pleasingly shaped young man. She is beneath him, drawing him to his climax with languorous intensity. His face buried in her neck.

He tightens, relaxes, becomes still. She runs her hand through is hair and he pulls from her neck, looks at her with sweaty insecurity. She smiles, a worldly, almost motherly sweetness in her expression. He rests his head on her breast, still breathing hard.

So, Joss Whedon refers to rapist/fuckers who buy women as sex, as ‘eager, inexperienced but pleasingly shaped’ who ‘make love’ to women in prostitution. Obviously, ‘love’ to men like Joss Whedon, requires female powerlessness, force and coercion. Women in prostitution enjoy the experience of being bought for sex. They feel ‘motherly’ towards the men who have just treated them as property and bought them as sex.

In Joss Whedon’s future world prostituted women are powerful and respectable. They go to an Academy, to train in the arts of being a ‘Companion’. They belong to a Guild which regulates prostitution, forces women to endure yearly health tests and comes up with rules to make prostitution sound empowering for women. For example, one Guild rule is that the ‘Companion’ chooses her rapist, not the other way around.

But there is one really big question that does not get answered. The women who ‘choose’ to be ‘Companions’ are shown as being intelligent, accomplished, educated, well-respected and presumably from good families. If a woman had all of these qualities and opportunities then why the fuck would she ‘choose’ to be a man’s fuck toy? Would being a fuck toy for hundreds of men give a woman like Inara personal fulfillment? Job satisfaction? A sense of purpose? Fulfill her dreams? Ambitions?

Money doesn’t seem to be the motivation behind Inara’s ‘choice’ to be a ‘Companion’, presumably she just ‘enjoys’ swanning around in ridiculous outfits. And being used as a fuck toy by men is seemingly a small price to pay for the pleasure."

So this woman clearly hates prostitution. And I agree that in the real world there are woman being truly harmed or even killed by being forced into something they would never choose to do. This is horrible and these women need help. There actually are women in the real world who do choose it and enjoy it though. The Penn & Teller Bullshit episode on prostitution is a good watch regarding this as well. So I will remind my dear readers once again that Firefly is set in a fictional world. In this world being a Companion is a respectable, high class occupation. On par with Doctor or Lawyer. Companion training at an Academy includes social and physical grace, performing arts, and psychology. Companions choose their own customers, and can have ungracious customers banned from any Companionship. It actually seems like a pretty sweet gig given many of the alternatives. Inara also has a syringe of poison always handy in case of attempted rape or violence.

Which brings me to the assertion that Inara's clients are all "rapists". The definition of rape: "Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person's consent." So where exactly is Inara not consenting? I could see that being an argument for the aforementioned women who are being prostituted against their will. But Inara is not. I also noticed in the comment section that several people who were actual rape victims were quite offended of her casual use of the word rape. But this woman also thinks that pretty much all sex is rape, so.... yeah. Just because the author hates sex doesn't mean everyone else does. Just because this isn't her profession of choice, doesn't mean she should bash people who do choose it. I personally can't see why anyone would want to become a gynecologist but I'm not going to judge those who do. Maybe being a Companion does give Inara personal fulfillment, job satisfaction, a sense of purpose and fulfills her dreams and ambitions. Maybe she does enjoy swanning around in ridiculous outfits and being used as a fuck toy. So what? Why is her legal, profitable, safe, and posh chosen career of Companion more disparaging than the rest of the crew's illegal, less profitable, and dangerous chosen career of thievery just because hers sometimes involves some sex? Geesh. Prude much? Plus, talk about your slut shaming. I thought these types were all against that.

"At any rate, Inara’s apparent ‘power’ is merely a figment of Joss Whedon’s very sick imagination. In a later episode, Inara is shown to have set down three very specific rules in relation to her arrangement to hiring one of Mal’s shuttles as her base of operations. 1) No crew member, including the Captain would be allowed entrance to the shuttle without Inara’s express invitation. 2) Inara refuses to service the Captain nor anyone under his employ. And 3) the Captain cannot refer to Inara as a whore.
Mal agrees to all of these rules but he breaks every single one of them. Blatantly and deliberately. The third thing that Mal says in the first interaction between Inara and Mal is, “She’s a whore…” Does Inara stop him from calling her a whore? Nope. She just goes on smiling and being gracious. So he calls her a whore again. Lovely man this Mal is, dontcha think?

And in regards to her first rule, Mal takes every opportunity he can to break it. In the first episode Mal barges into Inara’s shuttle. The interchange goes like this:

Inara: What are you doing on my shuttle?

Mal: It's my shuttle. You rent it.

Inara: Then when I'm behind on the rent, you can enter unasked.

Scenes like this continue to occur for the rest of the series. Mal never apologises for breaking the terms of his agreement with Inara. And although Inara gets a little annoyed, she does not get really angry at the Captain for consistently undermining her power and invading her space. She tells the Captain to get out but he rarely complies. The point is that a man should never invade a woman’s personal space to begin with. Especially when he has been told expressly that he is not invited. But Mal delights in pointing out Inara’s powerlessness, it makes him feel all manly."

You apparently missed the part where Mal and Inara fall in love with each other. This love goes unacknowledged and they resist their attraction to one another for business reasons. This awkward sexual tension is expressed in the form of jesting and sometimes hurtful bickering. Mal may insult Inara but she very often dishes it back out to him just as scathingly. She ostensibly pushes him away but secretly doesn't really want him to go. Likewise with Mal. Yes, like schoolchildren with a crush who pull ponytails or make fun of each other. This aspect actually makes their interactions all the more adorable and hilarious. And here's something that should make the author happy, Mal hates her occupation too! He constantly insults her career, but takes offence when others do so, going so far as to punch a client who did so. Mal tells Inara, "I may not respect your job, but he didn't respect you."

"In regards to her servicing the crew, she begins to service the Captain and the male passengers of the ship from day one. The following is an excerpt from the script of Serenity. Book is a black male character. He is a Preacher and disapproves of Inara’s ‘profession’.

BOOK Is this what life is, out here?

INARA Sometimes.

BOOK I've been out of the abbey two days, I've beaten a Lawman senseless, I've fallen in with criminals... I watched the captain shoot a man I swore to protect. And I'm not even sure if I think he was wrong.

INARA Shepherd...

He is shaking a bit, tearing up.

BOOK I believe I just... (a pained smile) I think I'm on the wrong ship.

INARA Maybe. Or maybe you're exactly where you ought to be.

He lowers his head. She puts her hand on it, a kind of benediction. We hold on them a second.

It is clear from the outset that a large part of Inara’s service involves addressing issues of male inadequacy and fulfilling many other emotional needs of her clients. The ability to do this IS a resource and it is therefore a service that Inara must perform. BUT Inara services all of the male passengers and the Captain in this way. She also services Kaylee but the relationship between them is a little more reciprocal. In any case, Mal makes it pretty obvious that he expects his emotional needs to be serviced by Inara and she willingly obliges. Mal also allows the male passengers to demand her emotional services and does not tell them to stop, despite the terms of his agreement with Inara. Inara is not paid by any of these men for her time, energy and emotional support."

Inara cares for the crew and passengers and considers them family. Why wouldn't she provide them with emotional support? That's what families do for each other I've heard. She does so not because she's a companion and it's expected of her, she's just a lovely, warm, caring woman who loves her friends. Of course she'd comfort a scared preacher.

"Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Joss uses his own wife in this way. Expects her to clean up his emotional messes. Expects her to be there, eternally supportive, eternally subservient and grateful to him in all his manly glory. I hope the money is worth it, Mrs. Whedon. But somehow I doubt that it is. No amount of money can buy back wasted emotional resources."

Here is where she goes right off the rails and makes bordering on libelous, drastically horrible and unfounded accusations about Joss's personal life. How cruel! And it shows the level of depravity she will stoop to in order to prove her narrative. Has she no shame?

"Aside from women being fuck toys, property and punching bags for the men, the women have very little importance in the series. I counted the amount of times women talk in the episode Serenity compared to the amount of times men talk. The result was unsurprising. Men: 458 Women: 175. So throughout the first episode men talk more than two and a half times as much as women do. And women talk mainly in questions whereas men talk in statements. Basically, this means that men direct the action and are active participants whereas women are merely observers and facilitators."

Counting words? Ugh. Big fucking deal. So that's what women talking in questions and men talking in statements means huh? Why do I get the feeling that she just pulled that that little nugget right out of her ass?

"Given the fact that women are largely absent from the action and the dialogue of the majority of scenes it is unsurprising that the action onscreen is highly homoerotic. Men jostle with each other for power. Pushing each others buttons, and getting into scuffles. This intense homoeroticism is present from the outset as Mal asserts his rights as alpha male on the ship."

She does know that homoeroticism is defined as men (or women) being attracted to each other, right? I must have missed that part. Which men are sexually attracted to each other? Not that there's anything wrong with that. Not only do the women participate in plenty of ass kicking but in the movie "Serenity", River Tam treats us to the most epic fight scene in the entire series. And, um, Mal IS the alpha male on the ship. He's the Captain, remember?

"Completely unnecessary and unprovoked violence is a spontaneous result of this hypermasculinised male character. In Serenity, Mal enjoys using a character called Simon as his personal punching bag. In one scene he walks up to him and smashes him in the face, without any provocation or logical reason. In another scene Simon asks Mal a question and Mal smashes him the face again. No reason, no explanation, just violence. Violence is a part of the landscape throughout the whole series and Mal is often the instigator. He is constantly rubbing himself up against other men, and punishing wayward women, proving and solidifying his manliness through bashing the shit out of anyone and everyone."

Mal will do anything to protect his crew from danger. In this dangerous world and dangerous life of crime, strangers are suspect and Mal does have a perfectly good reason for punching Simon who at that time is a stranger who just brought a whole lot of potential danger into their lives and Kaylee nearly died as a result. Later on though, Simon becomes part of the crew and is treated by Mal every bit like family as the others. And of course there will be violence in an action show. This is a rough and tumble world where violence is just a necessary part of life in order to keep you and yours safe. Would be a pretty boring show if all conflicts were solved by sitting down with tea, crumpets and a shrink. So are Zoe and River proving their "womanliness" when they are bashing the shit out of people? Punishing wayward women? Mal takes in and protects River and Simon against all better judgement and at great risk.
"Zoe, the token black woman, acts as a legitimiser. Her role is to support Mal’s manly obsession with himself by encouraging him, calling him ‘sir’, and even starting the fights for him. Zoe is treated as a piece of meat by both her husband (Wash, another white male) and the Captain. Wash and Mal fight each other for Zoe’s attention and admiration, both relying on her submission to them to get them hard and manly. In fact there is a whole episode, War Stories, devoted to Wash and Mal’s ‘rivalry’. By the word rivalry, I mean violent, homoerotic male/male courtship conducted over the body of a woman.

Zoe is not shown to have a personality of her own. She has no outside interests, no ideas or beliefs, no conversation with anyone other than Wash or Mal. She has no female friends, in fact she tends to dislike women. For example, she is the first one to insult Saffron in the episode Our Mrs. Reynolds, calling her ‘trouble’."

If there's no black women it's racist, if there's one it's racist (token black woman). Exactly how many black women is the right number? How about we just don't care what colour people are? Nobody on Serenity does. The 'sir' thing again. Irk. They do not treat Zoe like a piece of meat. Yes, there's a bit of jealously on Wash's part that Zoe and Mal are as close as they are and have shared so much in the past. Oh no! Normal human insecurities! How dare Joss create characters with personality flaws! But Wash finds out (the hard way) that Mal and Zoe's bond is much different (and very platonic) than the one he and Zoe have as husband and wife and he accepts and understands it better and makes peace with it. The rivalry is NOT over her body. Room full of puppies, lady, room full of puppies.

As far as Zoe having no personality and such. First of all, have we forgotten about Kaylee and Inara who also live on the ship? They are Zoe's friends. They are also female. She also talks to them. Secondly she has plenty of personality. She is a no nonsense, strong (emotionally and physically), smart woman. She's loyal and trustworthy but she also has a soft side that she shares with Wash. The show was cancelled but had it not, I'm sure there would have been much more character development of Zoe. And yes, Saffron WAS trouble.

"Zoe, of course, is meant to be our empowered, ass-kicking sidechick. Like all sidechicks she is objectified from the get go. Her husband, Wash, talking about how he likes to watch her bathe. Let me just say now that I have never personally known of a healthy relationship between a white man and a woman of colour. I have known a black woman whose white husband would strangle and bash her while her young children watched. My white grandfather liked black women because they were ‘exotic’, and he did not, could not treat women, especially women of colour, like human beings. I grew up watching my great aunts, my aunty and my mother all treated like shit by their white husbands, the men they loved. So you will forgive me for believing that the character, Wash, is a rapist and an abuser, particularly considering that he treats Zoe like an object and possession."

Wash would like to watch Zoe bathe. Wait! What?! A man finds his wife physically attractive?! Stop the presses! How DARE he! Her anecdote here is also such a ridiculous inclusion I really don't know how she would think that this is a valid point and had the nerve to type it out. So you have never known of a healthy relationship between a white man and a black woman? So the fuck what? That in no way, shape or form proves that Zoe and Wash's relationship isn't healthy or even that there aren't a whole lot of such relationships in the real world that are healthy and happy as well. At one point Zoe says to Mal about Wash "Sir, I'd like you to take the helm please. I need this man to tear all my clothes off." as she drags Wash out of the cockpit. Sounds like she's quite in charge of what she wants. To say that Wash is a rapist and an abuser is easily the dumbest and most egregious statement yet.

"I can assure you that this is just the beginning of my rant on Firefly. There is so much more disturbing stuff later in the series. In particular, an episode called Our Mrs. Reynolds, another episode written by Joss, which completely demonises women as well as pornifying male violence against us."

I just don't understand what would be good enough. If we treat women the same as men, we are sexist, if we treat women different from men, we are sexist. Make up your freakin' mind already. They say they want women to make their own choices but if it's a choice they disapprove of then it's the wrong choice. It seems nothing is good enough.

She claims she did, but it seems to me that the author couldn't be bothered to watch more than three episodes. Even if she did watch all of it, she filtered it so thoroughly through her standard issue SJW cheesecloth that it sounded like this: "Blah, blah, blah, shut up black woman, blah blah, whore, blah, blah, violence, blah blah, duct tape her mouth, blah, blah, Zoe is sexy, blah." You get the point.

Sadly, she makes good on her promise/threat to review the episode Our Mrs. Reynolds but that is an entirely different pile of shit that I don't feel like wading into right now. I feel dirty enough as it is and I've stayed up way past my bedtime typing this. On the plus side, the eye twitch seems to be gone.


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