Joss_Whedon_by_Gage_Skidmore_4
Type
Polemic
Category
Culture
Politics

Joss Whedon and The Progressive Nerd Bro Playbook

Last week Joss Whedon, nerd icon and purveyor of Strong Female Characters, gave a speech for human rights organisation Equality Now in which he performed the essential public service of demonstrating why he shouldn’t ever be taken seriously on matters of gender justice. Whedon, whose self-congratulatory celebration of sexually appealing female violence has long been a point of frustration for me and many other feminists, seemed to be reading directly from The Progressive Nerd Bro Playbook. I have been unable, thus far, to prove that this book exists, but Whedon’s speech provides essential clues that may enable us to reverse-engineer it under laboratory conditions.

Whedon’s speech rests on the premise that there is something wrong with the way feminism is perceived in the public sphere, a popular belief that has spawned dozens of identical thinkpieces titled ‘Why Feminism Is A Dirty Word’. This view often seeks to rebrand the movement for gender justice as though it were the same as an underperforming range of potato chips. Apart from the arrogant implication that doing what Joss Whedon tells us is the way to ‘fix feminism’s image problem’, the argument doesn’t make sense. Feminism doesn’t have an image problem because there’s something wrong with the word ‘feminism’, it has an image problem because its fundamental ideologies present an affront to the status quo. Backlash against feminism is enacted for the specific purpose of repressing the legitimacy of these ideologies, and resistance to social reform won’t be quieted by changing our labels to appease the establishment.

Whedon contrasts ‘feminist’ with ‘racist’, suggesting that ‘racist’ works because it labels the perpetrators and beneficiaries of racial prejudice as deviant, rather than the positive movement working to end structural injustice. This sounds good for about five seconds – until you ask how well this approach has worked to end racism. Surely if this is a better way, we’d be able to see an obvious difference in the effectiveness of movements to end racism and movements to end sexism. Instead what we see is a messy series of victories and losses for both, a million ways racism and sexism interact and overlap in a picture so complex that asking which is worse doesn’t make sense as a question. Feminism and anti-racism have their own interconnected but distinct struggles. Of course they must work together and learn from one another, but comparing them in this blunt, ahistorical way does violence to the complex histories and methodologies of both.

Erasing the word ‘feminism’ removes an important site of solidarity for women seeking support from each other in a world that doesn’t respect or represent how sexism affects our lives. Whedon, a man, has no immediate knowledge or experience of this, so it doesn’t occur to him that this is what the word ‘sisterhood’ is supposed to mean. Feminism has its own deeply rooted issues with privileging the experiences of women who are white, middle class, heterosexual, non-disabled, et cetera, and we certainly don’t need an eternal amateur with a massive media platform to chime in and suggest we do away with it entirely. When non-white women disassociate themselves from feminism because of its issues with racism, they’re often denigrated as irrational traitors, and the difference between this reaction and the praise Whedon has received should give feminists serious pause to consider whose voices we really value.

To Whedon, ‘equality’ – which he never defines – is the pre-discursive default state, and all that’s required to end sexism is to make people aware of this simple fact. Women and men are equal! Equal, by god! Again, he erases decades’ worth of feminist thought that questions the value and meaning of this battle cry, and instead posits a sort of naive human nature where people are born into egalitarianism and perverted by a sexist society.

On one level, this is a comforting thought. We’re all born perfect, and it’s the evil, artificial patriarchy that brainwashes us into misogyny. When Whedon says that ‘feminist’ is a bad word, he argues that the -ist suffix makes the pursuit of equality sound unnatural, as if it’s an agenda we are indoctrinated into, an implication he doesn’t like.

A more nuanced and courageous analysis might suggest that there is no natural way humans relate to each other, and demonising the concept of ideology, like Whedon does here, only contributes to our acceptance of mealy-mouthed pragmatism. Of course feminism is an ideology, and of course it has an agenda. The reason we stand behind it is that we think its ideology is the right one, that it is superior to other ways of thinking and doing. A less malevolent-sounding word for ‘indoctrination’ would be ‘learning’, which is exactly what is required of us to recognise and fix the world around us. We hear the same denigration of named belief systems from cowardly politicians, who would have us believe that pragmatism isn’t its own ideology. This rhetoric circumscribes honest and productive ethical conversations by placing some ideological positions beyond interrogation. It’s just common sense!

It’s especially galling to hear gender equality described as ‘natural’ when there are reams of gender theory dedicated to deconstructing this very concept of nature, undercutting it as a lazy method of justification. Joss Whedon badly needs to get with the program here, and realise that ‘socially constructed’ doesn’t mean ‘not real’ or ‘arbitrary’.

Whedon goes on to say that when it comes to feminism, ‘there is no middle ground’: that you either believe women are people, or you don’t. You’re either with us or against us, pal. This flourish sounds uncompromising. Joss Whedon: tough on sexism, tough on the causes of sexism.

But dig a little deeper and the ultimatum hits all the wrong notes. One of the most important tasks of feminism is getting people to think about their own complicity in unjust systems, and about the privileges they receive from these systems whether or not they personally believe women are inferior. This is structural analysis, and should be at the forefront of anyone’s, and especially any man’s, involvement in efforts to end gender injustice.

When Whedon invites his audience to think, ‘Yeah, I do believe woman are people!’, he’s inviting them to position themselves outside of these systems, and feel good about their psychological conquering of society’s sexist brainwashing. This isn’t the kind of individual approach feminism needs, particularly not from men. We should be thinking about our lives, at least partially, as effects of unjust systems. No matter how much of a gender warrior Whedon thinks he is, he still benefits from the structural disadvantages women experience. The big self-esteem moment doesn’t mean anything unless it’s followed up with analysis and action against sexism in society – and ideally the process of picking apart your own attitudes and prejudices is slow and careful.

Whedon is a nerd icon, not a feminist scholar, and his badly conceptualised efforts at movement reform do nobody any favours. What he should be doing, if he really wants to help, is getting up in front of big rooms of his fans and attempting a bit of top-down de-broification. Nerd culture is mainstream, and it has a well-documented history of pushing out minorities and persecuting the few who stick around and complain about the way they’re treated. It’s not that there’s no role for Joss Whedon in the struggle for gender justice, it’s that he’s performing the wrong one. His star power could be used as relateable packaging to spread feminist messages, but that would require him to actually read about and engage with feminism rather than crapping on about his own thought bubbles.

At this point, it looks like he’s too busy lecturing us about what’s wrong with feminism to let feminists tell him a bit about what’s wrong with Joss Whedon.

Eleanor Robertson is a writer and feminist living in Sydney. She contributes regularly to Frankie magazine and tweets as @marrowing.

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Comments

  1. On one level, this is a comforting thought. We’re all born perfect, and it’s the evil, artificial patriarchy that brainwashes us into misogyny. When Whedon says that ‘feminist’ is a bad word, he argues that the -ist suffix makes the pursuit of equality sound unnatural, as if it’s an agenda we are indoctrinated into, an implication he doesn’t like.

    Yeah. While he did admit in that speech that his cunning plan to instruct all feminists to use the term “genderist” to describe chauvinist stuff wouldn’t win the fight for gender equality by itself, he did situate the whole of feminist struggle in the realm of ideas. But patriarchy is also perpetuated because of its material benefits to men, it needs to be dismantled not just dispelled.

    Efforts to introduce new narratives about women and images of women into fan culture can be met by concern trolling (“sure, I support women, but this is too feminist” – or the subtler “I hate stuff that’s too political., this has too obvious a message”) or by outright sexist disdain.

    Why doesn’t Whedon just clearly and loudly create and endorse works that push back present limits on representations of women and their subjectivity (of which he has been appointed custodian)?

  2. Perhaps his politics aren’t sound because he’s speaking for an organisation with a questionable understanding of equality. Equality Now is going after the funding of sex worker rights organisations, and trying to influence the UN to change its policy recommendations away from decriminalisation. That’s nasty and underhand.
    For more info on Equality Now, check out NSWP’s recent announcement: http://www.nswp.org/news-story/sex-worker-rights-groups-question-ethics-equality-now-funded-project-open-letter-the-mila

  3. really well done critical article! but some bits flew over my head a bit, i’m not well-versed in this area, so bits like:

    “It’s especially galling to hear gender equality described as ‘natural’ when there are reams of gender theory dedicated to deconstructing this very concept of nature, undercutting it as a lazy method of justification. Joss Whedon badly needs to get with the program here, and realise that ‘socially constructed’ doesn’t mean ‘not real’ or ‘arbitrary’.”

    raised more questions than answers! do you have any idea where an interested party could start reading?

  4. I don’t actually completely agree with Joss Whedon on this genderist thing, but, look, I really think you’ve failed to understand him. Whedon is not a feminist scholar, neither is he just a nerd icon. He is a science fiction/fantasy writer who believes in feminism, which makes him want to incorporate feminist themes in his work. If you truly believe Buffy (or any of his other works) is purely “self-congratulatory celebration of sexually appealing female violence”, then that makes me really sad! (Season 6, who was heavily co-written by an incredible woman, Marti Noxon, works as an incredible metaphor for misogyny and male sense of entitlement.)

    But, ah! This isn’t about Buffy! This is what I believe: Whedon’s stuff are a gateway to feminism. I believe that many, many people who might have never wanted to look into feminism finally started to discover it after falling in love with his work and reading interviews with him and watching talks like this one you’re criticizing. They may not contain the most accurate or most advanced views on feminism, but they contain a message of equality and that is great. Just like you said:

    “The big self-esteem moment doesn’t mean anything unless it’s followed up with analysis and action against sexism in society – and ideally the process of picking apart your own attitudes and prejudices is slow and careful.”

    You’re totally right! That’s my point: Whedon is the stepping stone. Whedon is like those scientists guys who make documentaries or go to TED to talk about how much they like Math: they are just doorways. Don’t expect a guy in a TED talk to explain to you Euler’s Identity, he is just gonna talk about some cool properties of something like prime numbers and hope you enjoy it enough to look more deeply into it. Joss Whedon went up there, talked about some ideas he had about the feminist movement and made some funny jokes. You’re free to agree or disagree with his ideas, but, jeez, don’t dismiss him as just a nerd-bro-dude who likes women with swords!

    • The question then is how come Whedon doesn’t, himself, progress beyond this ‘entry level feminism’? If the hope is that his fans will, simply because he says so, take an interest in feminist ideas why doesn’t HE take an interest in feminist ideas, at his own suggestion?

      If he IS versed more formally in feminist principles, then I have to wonder why he made so many easy mistakes in his speech. For some info on what those mistakes were, I refer you to the article we’re commenting on.

      If he doesn’t want to take the time to educate himself more thoroughly, then that’s part of the message his fans are going to receive. “A passing familiarity with one pretty mainstream, uninsightful, and at time just plain unhelpful brand of feminism is sufficient to get in front of millions of people and talk about feminist ideas.” That’s not all that helpful.

      Neither of those possibilities warrants anything but massive eye-rolling. I’m not going to applaud Joss Whedon for having the “guts” to get up in front of a bunch of people who already think he’s amazing and mangle feminism as if he’s doing everybody a favour. His speech lacked any kind of deep engagement with feminism, and his characters actively work AGAINST feminist ideals, as does everyone in the entertainment industry with a handful of notable exceptions. (Meet super hot prostitute! Super hot manic pixie dream girl! Super hot horny mechanic! Super hot vampire killer (blond)! Super hot vampire killer (brunette)! Super hot empty-minded bondage fantasy! Super hot teen girl squad! Yep, a real hero of ALL kinds of hot women.)

      If he wanted to support feminism, he could have just got up there and said “guys, we should pay more attention to feminist ideas. Here’s some stuff I’ve been reading that I think you all should read too so we can start making changes to our own culture, where sexism is rampant for some reason.” But he didn’t, because he didn’t get up there to support feminism, he got up there to paint himself as a feminist then go home and lie around in his money.

      • I can totally see why would think all of those things you just said. However, I fail to agree with you that what he is doing is not helpful. Simplicity is not a bad thing. Not doing a wonderful job is not a bad thing. I can see why would be sad that he could be doing a better job, and yes, after reading your comment and this article, I definitely agree. But Whedon reminds me of John Lennon in the 70s. He reduced the complex political stuff that was going on in the world to this: you are either for war or for peace. He could be doing a better job if he was advocating people to start researching about politics, war and all that jazz so that they can better understand the world and engage with it, but instead he chose to simplify things, hoping that this simplification would lead to more effective results.

        Was he right? I don’t know. Is it helpful to reduce feminism to “women are equal”? I don’t know, maybe, maybe not. But Joss Whedon is definitely not someone who just went up there to paint himself as a feminist and go home and lie around in his money. (it’s not like he just started talking about feminism now that he is a super rich Marvel dude. He’s been talking about it ever since his shows were just cult hits that got canceled really fast) Him or his work may not be perfect, but from what I’ve read and heard of him, I truly believe that he is trying to do a good job. It’s good to criticize things, but, please, let’s not start making everybody an enemy. Worst case scenario, he is just one of those silly people that try to help but end up screwing a bunch of stuff up. I don’t believe that he is, but if you do, that’s cool, but that still doesn’t make him an enemy, right?

        • Yes, it pretty much does make him an enemy. It’s not like this is a complicated issue where it’s hard to know how to act or who to speak to – the simplicity of the message isn’t the problem. It’s that Joss Whedon said it. A dude, who routinely objectifies women, and has been doing so to build money and fame since his shows were just cult hits that got canceled too soon.

          Like I said above, if Whedon wanted to keep it simple, there’s loads of women who have produced freely available, accessible explanations of entry-level feminist ideas. He could always refer people to them, but he DOESN’T. That’s not a coincidence, or matter of expediency. It’s not like he’s up there doing his best but flubbing occasionally. He’s hijacking a movement (intentionally or not) and building his own personal brand at its expense (whether he means to or not, though it’s pretty damn dense of him not to notice that he benefits from this nerd discourse that views him, completely erroneously, as a feminist symbol).

          If a man wants to assist feminism, it’s pretty simple to do: let women speak. Joss isn’t doing that. He’s speaking FOR women, and even if his message wasn’t a piece of shit, that would be counter-productive. For a man of Whedon’s power and influence, deferring to someone else on one issue shouldn’t be that hard a sacrifice. If it’s too much to ask of him, then he’s more afraid of losing power than he is of inequality.

          • Ops, I accidentally replied to the article instead of replying to you! Sorry about that. If you’re interested in what I have to say, it’s down there! Sorry!

  5. All right, I guess this is where the discussion ends. I don’t really have anywhere to go. I disagree that Whedon routinely objectifies women (jeez, if one of the most feminist shows I have ever seen is now objectification of women, I give up watching any media). I don’t think his message is a peace of shit and I don’t think men speaking for women is necessarily counter-productive. And I don’t say that because I’m a man, because I’m not, I say that because I believe that feminism is a movement to end sexism. Although, of course, in most cases regarding feminist matters, women have a much more interesting and informed opinion than a man would have, that doesn’t mean men can’t have some interesting opinions on sexism. Which is why I think Joss can go up there and say a little something about some words he thought about. He’s not doing any harm, come on. Don’t go hating around people that don’t deserve it, there are a lot of actual evil capitalist misogynistic men out there who we should be hating.

  6. My annoyance with Whedon is that he doesn’t actually like or understand sci-fi for what it is. His aesthetic is to turn sci-fi and fantasy into another Friends or Ally McBeal (or cynically shoehorn it to pass the Bechdel Test). And sci-fi’s greatest merit has always been its anti-mundaneness, its ability to depict extreme counterfactual scenarios.
    Philip K Dick was hardly a model feminist: he was anti-abortion and wrote a lot of things the MRAs would likely agree with.
    But, as I’ve often said, even his anti-abortion story (“The Pre-Person”) had an incredible scenario that goes beyond the politics that spawned it. Dick imagines a world where abortion doesn’t stop with foetuses and children can be aborted up to the age of 12 (in neighbourhood abortion trucks that play ice-cream jingles). The rationale — in his story — is that children first become capable of algebra at the age of 12. So Dick’s pro-life character argues that the Ancient Greeks (who never developed algebra) weren’t really people and pretends to be mentally disabled so the abortion trucks will take him too.
    At face value, it’s a misogynistic story based on a slippery slope fallacy: but the slippery slope Dick creates is so weird and interesting that readers will probably still enjoy it in an ideal future where nobody questions abortion-on-demand rights (just as “A Modest Proposal” will always be memorable). Same with Heinlein: “The Puppet Masters” is basically a half-homophobic, half-McCarthyist nightmare vision, but the story has value beyond the disagreeable politics. When you’re a sci-fi fan, it’s the imagination you’re judging the book by: not whether you like the author’s politics or personality. (Even Heinlein was known to be supportive of a lot of leftist sci-fi writers whose politics he would’ve otherwise despised. Dick noticed that sci-fi writers didn’t sit around secretly hating each other like the Roth/Updike/Mailer big-swinging-dick New Yorker crowd who wrote “serious” literature.)
    Whedon’s problem is he doesn’t have a great imagination; so nothing can really redeem him in my book.

    • It’s true, Ramon, that you can’t judge a piece of art by politics alone, though I would question whether one can – as a progressive – entirely divorce the two. Heinlein’s books are undoubtedly classics of SF, but the virulent anti-communism and cryto-fascism takes quite a bit of the joy out of them. I admire them structurally, but I find myself groaning when Heinlein slips into lecture mode, and always feel the vast difference between his views and mine. What I mean to say is that the politics is a part of why I like a book, if not the primary reason (there are plenty of awful social/ist realist books). So there’s a complex relationship. Re Wheedon, like you, I’ve always found his stuff pretty narratively and politically shallow (and liberal), just like his feminism. I mean liberal in a narrative sense: superheroes are always individualistic, whether they are Buffy or Batman. It never really interested me much. Or seemed very complex. Even if Buffy struck a distinct ‘girl power’ note.

  7. I think where “Buffy” went wrong was it felt like Whedon had taken the old Spiderman formula (teen underdog with superpowered alter-ego) gender-swapped it and made it more horror-themed but still plotted like a 60s comic book rather than a horror series. Gimmick-of-the-week demons. A superhero protagonist. Lots of wisecracks. Vampire boyfriends who quickly lost their scariness and became goofy-cute. It’s like Whedon forgot that horror was a genre designed to, well, horrify people or at least make them feel unease. (Romero did that better than anyone in “Martin” — one of the few good teen-vampire movies anyone’s ever made — and the “Dead” series. Even the comedic moments in those films were still eerie. No ironically self-aware “Scooby Gang” references.)

    Whedon, I think, could only see horror as postmodern cosplay. Ended up with the opposite of “Martin”: a series where both vampires and high school got trivialised. It’s hard to keep convincing your audience that the protagonist is a misfit who has ordinary teenage struggles when they’re also a superhero: you wind up with “Spiderman” movies where Peter Parker keeps saving Mary Jane yet keeps getting dumped and forcing the audience to endure more of his awkward banter. He’s too A-list to pass for a convincing loser, so you end up with sickeningly cute pseudo-loserdom. Same with Buffy.
    The thing about Golden/Silver Age comics is a lot of these heroes worked beautifully when it was a cheaply printed three-colour cartoon strip. The zaniness and self-parody went perfectly with the format. It was a huge gamble making superheroes “dark” or “adult” or political. (“Watchmen” worked. Chris Nolan’s Tory Batman fantasies half-worked. Frank Miller failed hideously.)

    But Buffy’s a symptom of a cheesy man-child mentality that can’t imagine horror or sci-fi as anything but a thin disguise for a superhero narrative. And when Buffy goes around casually staking two million demons a night as they jump out from behind tombstones, the horror becomes helplessly Weimar-inflated. So Whedon resorts to the two gimmicks superhero comics pull out in moments of post-Silver-Age exhaustion: apocalyptic crossover events and the hero’s mopey personal struggle with being so superior. Both get boring quickly.

    He had more success with “Angel.” (Horror and detective noir work better together than horror and superheroics.)

    • Whedon has always leaned hard on bathos for his humour—reducing things that in other hands could be vast, Gothic, or high concept to the anticlimactic, familiar and unthreatening, to what you’re referring to above as the giggling ensemble cast scope of Ally McBeal or Friends.

      Yes, he does it with his sf-themed stuff, which is not so much premise-based as anti-premise. But it’s not just premise but also atmosphere and aesthetic that he abuses—also does it with his Gothic stuff, which is not so much Gothic or Romantic as it is deadeningly anti-Gothic and anti-Romantic.

      He shares this trait with Terry Pratchett, another extreme liberal. I think it’s easy to mistake this mode of humour for satire, but it’s not really satirical. It’s more about an illusion of constant disillusionment in which there is never grand scale, and anything that appears to be grand is revealed to be some sort of joke, simply more of the same in a different outfit. The world itself is really a quotidian formulaic horror movie factory—there are no Lovecraftian unknowables in Whedon’s universe. It’s a tremendously reactionary pattern, and one which leaves every Whedon work with a thoroughly confined emotional range.

      Of course, every once in a while, there’s a “tears in heaven” moment with a manipulative and temporary ratcheting up of audience emotion. These turns are often hailed as demonstrating, against criticism, the capacity of his works to dwell on serious themes—cf the Emmy Awarded episode about Joyce’s death in Buffy. Instead they remind us just how little seriousness his works do contain.

  8. You’re starting to sound like someone who should contribute to the journal of ‘Whedon Studies’ Slayage. Which is a worry.
    I’m a recent convert to Buffy and am slowly making my way through season 4 after a couple of decades of avoiding TV and screens altogether. I’d be interested in doing a Lacanian reading of Buffy ( all those absent and pseudo-fathers) and thinking of it in terms of the historical representations of hysteria too, but so far I’m pretty intrigued by the dominant female characters, the gay and lesbian texts and references and the wisecracks. And I have to admit having plenty of ‘Go Buffy!’ moments.
    Still, in reference to the post above it’s interesting that the pop-feminist heroics of Buffy weren’t translated into something more substantial by Whedon. In fact the opposite occurred with Whedon becoming more reactionary as the years passed, until we got the horrible Avengers. But he still trades on his ‘feminist’ credentials, while lecturing to women about feminism.

    • I think the annoyance of Avengers and Thor, though, is it doesn’t feel reactionary in the crazy way that could benefit real sci-fi. Its politics is more “liberal hawk” than Starship Troopers: space opera with nothing challenging or otherworldly about it. Eileen Jones pointed out how — of all the earthly historical figures he could’ve used as a model — Whedon had to make Loki into yet another proxy Hitler.
      I probably agree with Terence Stamp’s gloating that “Superman 2″ was the best superhero movie ever made: THAT’S how you do a contemptuous alien demigod aristocrat.
      *holds up shotgun*
      “What’s this?… A primitive noisemaker!”

  9. I’m a feminist, a tech geek, sci-fi fan and a literary book nerd – which is why I enjoy the Whedon creations Buffy / Angel / Firefly and Dollhouse. (I have to admit to not having seen the Avengers – superheroes are not my thing.) The Buffy series was – and still is – a breath of fresh air: intelligent, funny, layered, literary and yes, great female (and male) characters. The fact that one of the strengths of Whedon’s work, that feminists can find a lot to like in it, means he is constantly being asked for his take on feminism and equality says more about the people doing the asking than about Whedon. He’s a talented guy making a living from his art (which I love) but I wouldn’t ask him to speak on feminism either, and I’d take his views with a grain of salt. Should he decline to speak when asked? Seems to me he’s damned if he says something, and damned if he says nothing. You would do better to deconstruct his work (which is only declared feminist ex post facto) than his speeches.

  10. Very smart well written critique.

    But…not really versed in the body of Joss Weedon’s work or biography.

    There’s a reason why academics, media scholars, feminists and their ilk have taught class’s on, organised conferences about, and started journals about his TV show ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’.
    If you haven’t watched it I guess you could be forgiven for thinking it’s about a blond high school girl kicking things and wearing a fashionable wardrobe.
    It is nuanced and complex.
    It’s also an intervention into the generic conventions of Horror.
    In the Horror genre it’s common to see a monster/killer chasing a sexually appealing young blond woman. She screams, is helpless and terrified and dies.
    Apparently Joss used to watch this and wish the young blond would turn around and fight back.
    In Buffy TVS she does. She does this the first time we see her.

    Apparently Joss had a single mother who was a feminist. It seems she was a big influence on him.

    Most people in the world outside academia are not up to date on the latest feminist theory and I for one no longer rush to research unknown jargon used only within such circles.

    To quote an old teacher of mine. “Perhaps we should speak of ‘Feminisms’ rather than ‘Feminism’.” You sound dangerously close to advocating a feminist correct line in place of Joss’ ideas. Be careful with that.

  11. I agree mostly with this article however there are some points that I find contradictory to the idea of Gender Equality,this article seems to suggest that men don’t understand feminism, which is untrue. In the tenth paragraph you say “especially any man’s”. This suggests that men are unable to understand feminism, which I, as a male, disagree with. Although men are currently viewed as superior to women (Which I disagree with fully) This does not mean that men, such as Joss Whedon should be unable to support the ongoing struggle for equality. You clearly state that “Whedon, a man, has no immediate knowledge or experience of this”. Yes, he is not a woman, but he is making an effort to gain equality, which in my opinion, should be encouraged. I apologize if I offended anyone with this but I felt that my opinion had to be voiced.

    -Lewis Semple-

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