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You’ll Never Quote Andrea Dworkin In This Town Again

Cool hat, bro

Let’s take a moment here to talk about the real victims of thousands of years of patriarchy: men.

It must be a confusing time to be a male feminist (having to say, out loud, “I’m a feminist” often being an indication that there are grounds for doubting this).

Journeyman director of the forthcoming ‘Justice League‘ movie, Joss Whedon can’t make it through a letter to his ex apologising for cheating on her for 15 years without blaming the whole thing on the prevailing social mores of which he’s a victim. It’s carnage out there, people.

His ex wife Kai recounts in her article / pre-‘Batgirl’ divorce re-settlement offer, for ‘The Wrap’:

When he walked out of our marriage, and was trying to make “things seem less bewildering” to help me understand how he could have lied to me for so long, he said, “In many ways I was the HEIGHT of normal, in this culture. We’re taught to be providers and companions and at the same time, to conquer and acquire – specifically sexually – and I was pulling off both!”

[Kai Cole was involved with the production of ‘Buffy’ on TV, ‘Once More With Feeling‘ ends with a demo of Cole and Whedon singing ‘Something to Sing About‘, the lyrics of which – on sober reflection, almost 16 years after the beloved episode aired – are quite sad.

It’s unclear what Kai Cole had to say at the time about Whedon’s treatment of Charisma Carpenter. After becoming pregnant, Carpenter returned to ‘Angel’ only for her character to be killed off. This was despite the producers assuring her before she signed on the dotted line for a reappearance, that Whedon wasn’t going to kill Cordelia.

No, not that one

It’s interesting to see, in the Youtube clip, that Julie Benz has Charisma’s back over the weird and creepy plot line where, as a result of Cordelia’s Mrs Robinson seducing the half-demon Connor – Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Graduate’, here – Cordelia goes into a coma and gives birth to “Jasmine”. Jasmine was a ‘Mother of Abominations’ form of the Beastmaster, a kind of H P Lovecraft, Dormammu knock-off cosmic-entity-from-beyond-space, who sought dominion over the human race.

… Yes, more what I had in mind. Ahem

While actually made of pus and flies, this delinquent Old One was played by Gina Torres, one of the hottest actors in existence, who absolutely should play She Hulk if Marvel TV have the brains to make a “Better Call She Hulk” show.

What’s partly interesting about Julie Benz not being cool with this plotting, when she interjects in this clips from 2009, is not only that she played Connor’s mum, but also that she features in the rumours about Whedon’s serial infidelity.

Whatever went down between Whedon and Carpenter, the recent ‘Buffy’ reunion pictures show no signs of hard feelings. Amber Benson is there, despite the rift over her refusal to come back to ‘Buffy’ in its final season as a “dark” version of her character. Even Eliza Dushku was really nice about being left out, despite appearing in 20 episodes of ‘Buffy’ as “dark” vampire slayer Faith, and in Whedon’s ‘Dollhouse’ about superhot female mind-control slaves doing all kindsa super spy stuff].

Whedon’s mother Lee Sterns was a feminist activist and teacher who counted among her students Jessica Neuwirth, who went onto be a Havard Law School-educated attorney, to work for Amnesty, the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, and as Director of the New York office for the United Nation’s High Commissioner of Human Rights. The Havard Law School website relates that after leaving HLS: “Neuwirth subsequently worked in international finance, specializing in sovereign debt restructuring for developing countries as an associate at the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. She worked for the United Nations […] as an expert consultant to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda”. That rape is now a genocide charge is widely attributed to Neuwirth’s tenacity. So it’s kind of weird that she doesn’t have a Wikipedia page when that one guy who played that annoying kid on ‘Saved By The Bell’ has one.

Neuwirth also co-founded and is Honorary President of Equality Now. Whedon is on the Advisory Board. Whedon has been honoured by Equality Now, twice, for his services to feminism, though as of writing the organisation hasn’t announced plans to revise his board membership or these honours in light of his schtupping a series of “beautiful, needy, aggressive” employees and colleagues. In his 2006 acceptance speech for one of these honours, Whedon said:

Why do you always write these strong women characters?” [Whedon asks himself in a ‘reporter’ voice]

“I think it’s because of my mother. She really was an extraordinary, inspirational, tough, cool, sexy, funny woman -“

(Uh. Ok, Joss. I mean I guess it’s cool that you’re standing in a room full of high-powered women who self-identify as feminists, including Meryl “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave” Streep who just introduced you, and you put the idea into their minds that your mother was sexy. Many of us wouldn’t go there. You did, and kudos for that).

Among the members of Board of Directors of Equality Now is Gloria Stenheim, who in 1967 admitted working for CIA-financed foundations in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but denies the allegations made in 1975 by the radical feminist group Redstockings that she was part of CIA-funded efforts in Europe to promote Left-liberal chic to undermine Marxist and Soviet cultural influences.

As well as celebrity endorsers like Whedon and Streep, Equality Now boasts other figures from the pool of internationally-connected lawyers, business and media executives and financiers that US intelligence agencies have relied on since WWII to keep the Bretton Woods consensus chugging along. In this sense, the various boards of Equality Now are a bit like the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart – which Whedon’s ‘Angel’ fought for a few seasons, then ended up running – but gender-flipped in the way that enrages gamergaters so, ala the ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot.

It’s from this lofty legal heaven-realm that organised Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists have waged a strange cultural war of their own against the global trans community, with a lack of interest from the mainstream media, the human rights “movement” and law-enforcement that is, you could say, almost spooky. Whedon can be chippy with trans people in a professional setting, one hears. Is this down to peer pressure or are they not extraordinary, inspirational, tough, cool, sexy and funny enough to count as “kick ass”? In which case, you’re hanging with the wrong women, Joss.

At all this unpleasantness, Whedonesque, once one of the most active and welcoming fan spaces on the internet, has decided to close up shop. Prompting the question: can Joss Whedon only destroy good bits of the internet with his penis, or does it work for everything? Because there are some ‘needy, aggressive’ bots over in St Petersburg who could do with some of that Joss magic right now, if you know what I’m saying ladies and germs.

Hello darkness, my old friend

Writing ‘Of Activist Fandoms, Auteur Pedagogy and Imperial Feminism: From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to “I am Du’a Khalil”’, Trish Salah observes:

It’s worth considering how the cult of the heroic meets the cult of the auteur director and also becomes the cult of the Feminist Man”

In the second part of this article I’d like to consider this statement in light of the current state of Hollywood and its fixation on recycling 70 year old intellectual properties from the pulps, like the super heroes from ‘Detective Comics’ that Whedon is now directing films based on. In this sense, the cult of the heroic has met the cult of the visionary director and become a cult-like co-dependency of American film studios on feminist bro gurus: auteurs like Joss Whedon, and the confraternity of what now passes for film criticism online.

James Woods was once the voice of Owl Man, a douchey Batman

(But before that, the setup of a joke. After next year’s Comic-Con, Ben Affleck and Joss Whedon are walking through the parking lot, and they spy two young women dressed as Batgirl. So Ben says…)

An industry that once responded to the deft critical prose of Pauline Kael, like the passage below about ‘Jules et Jim’ written in 1966, has created its own over-reliance on “let’s give him another chance” serial abusers – who’re also really shitty writers – like Devin Faraci.

What I’m saying is that this dependency on creeps – while possibly symptomatic of a broader cultural malaise – is self-harm by the greatest art form invented by human beings, so knock it off Hollywood.

Catherine is of course a little crazy but that’s not too surprising. Catherine is part of a new breed: the independent intellectual modern woman, so determined to live as freely as a man that while claiming equality she uses every feminine wile to gain extra advantages, to demonstrate her superiority, and to increase her power. She is the merging twentieth century woman satirised by Strindberg, who also adored her … she is the woman who entered Western literature after the turn of the century and has almost always been seen by the male authors as demanding the rights but refusing the responsibilities. This is the traditional male view of the feminist, and the film’s view is not different.

…Catherine, in her way compensates for the homage she demands. She has, despite her need to intrude and dominate, the gift for life. She holds nothing in reserve; she lives out her desires; when she can’t control the situation she destroys it. Catherine may be wrong-headed, as those who aspire to be free spirits often are, but she is devoid of hypocrisy, and she doesn’t lie … Her absolutism is fascinating, but it is also, rather clearly, morally insane.”

Pauline Kael, ‘Jules et Jim’, reprinted in ‘I Lost It At The Movies‘, Jonathan Cape, 1966