top fifty episodes || buffy the vampire slayer 
 45. Bargaining, Part Two

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Anonymous said: Right right. I mean I wouldn't be entirely surprised if joss whedon or any of the buffy writers were a bit biphobic so I wouldn't doubt choosing to make Willow a lesbian rather than bisexual may have been rooted at least a little but in biphobia, and it would have been super cool if she had been bisexual, but I just don't feel right taking a ground breaking lesbian character who is very important to many real lesbians and saying "nope, she's actually bisexual, this is bi-erasure" you know?

hermitknut:

marshmallow-the-vampire-slayer:

I just feel like talking about bi erasure on Buffy is a little anachronistic. It may be that the Buffy writers were biphobic, or it may be that bisexuality wasn’t on their radar because at the time they were writing the show bisexuality wasn’t even acknowledged as a kind of sexual orientation, you know? It was a black or white situation back then: you were either gay or straight.

I know Joss had toyed with the idea of having one of the main characters come out as gay way before they finally decided to go that way with Willow. The point is they wrote the character a certain way, and even to this day in the comics Willow continues to define herself as gay. I would be inclined to view Willow as bi if she had been involved with a guy post-Tara. (And I don’t count “Him”, please, she was under a spell,) Given the information we have, I think she is gay. 

Then again, this is just my opinion and I’m clearly not the right person to be discussing these issues. So I’ll just shut up now.

As much as I’m bi and find it kind of… it feels like a missed opportunity to me, I think a lot of people ignore the idea that it’s okay for sexuality to be fluid. For some people, that’s how it is. If Willow was a real person, she would be perfectly entitled to identify as straight, and then as gay. Maybe when she looks back she feels as though Oz was an exception of some kind; maybe she looks back and feels as though her orientation changed. It’s all okay.

The problem is that Willow is fictional and none of this is specified in-show/in-comic, so it has the unfortunate effect of feeling like bi-erasure even if it wasn’t intended that way - especially as in the context that show’s now being watched (I introduced my girlfriend to it last year, for example) bisexuality is a more known-about thing.

Not sure I’ve quite got my finger on it here, but that’s how I feel about it :)

Reblogging because everyone is making really good points that of course are well beyond my scope of knowledge.

Thank you!

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Anonymous said: Hey~ I just wanted to add the conversation~ I myself am a lesbian and I adored Tara x Willow and sobbed for like 1million years when Tara died~ Anyway, I just wanted to say that I know for the time that the representation was impressive, but I still don't like that they basically undermined her relationship with Oz and stuff by saying that Willow's gay~ Tara was an awesome well-written lesbian character, and she was awesome rep~ I think that when I'm looking for rep I basically want to see an

image

Thanks for the message! And I 100% agree with you, bisexual representation is absolutely important and bisexuals are totally underrepresented in the media.

In fact, underrepresented might be an understatement. Are they represented at all? I can’t think of a bisexual character who is canonically defined as such in a mainstream show off the top of my head!

I don’t think they undermined Willow’s relationship with Oz, however. I don’t feel like the significance of that relationship was erased in any way by Willow’s coming out. 

And you’re correct, if there was one unequivocally gay character in Buffy, that was Tara. I can understand why some people might see Willow as bi given her history. But still, she considers herself gay. And as I said before, there are a lot of people who experience heterosexual relationships before coming out, and that doesn’t make them bisexuals. Again, if Willow had been romantically involved with a man post-Tara, I’d also be inclined to believe she was bi.

I’m kind of confused at the moment, to be honest.

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Anonymous said: Right right. I mean I wouldn't be entirely surprised if joss whedon or any of the buffy writers were a bit biphobic so I wouldn't doubt choosing to make Willow a lesbian rather than bisexual may have been rooted at least a little but in biphobia, and it would have been super cool if she had been bisexual, but I just don't feel right taking a ground breaking lesbian character who is very important to many real lesbians and saying "nope, she's actually bisexual, this is bi-erasure" you know?

I just feel like talking about bi erasure on Buffy is a little anachronistic. It may be that the Buffy writers were biphobic, or it may be that bisexuality wasn’t on their radar because at the time they were writing the show bisexuality wasn’t even acknowledged as a kind of sexual orientation, you know? It was a black or white situation back then: you were either gay or straight.

I know Joss had toyed with the idea of having one of the main characters come out as gay way before they finally decided to go that way with Willow. The point is they wrote the character a certain way, and even to this day in the comics Willow continues to define herself as gay. I would be inclined to view Willow as bi if she had been involved with a guy post-Tara. (And I don’t count “Him”, please, she was under a spell,) Given the information we have, I think she is gay. 

Then again, this is just my opinion and I’m clearly not the right person to be discussing these issues. So I’ll just shut up now.

34 notes

Anonymous said: I'm not a lesbian but bisexual myself, but from what I understand willow's sexuality was/is very important to lesbians too for different reasons. Some lesbians don't think they can be "real lesbians" if they've dated/had feelings for men previously or other people use their past relationships against them as a way to prove they're not really gay, so having Willow, someone who had a meaningful relationship with a man still later identify as a lesbian is very important

This is an interesting point, and of course one I had missed altogether.

I’ve unfortunately heard some people asking that kind of question: “What do you mean she’s gay? But she dated a guy before!”. 

Unfortunately, since Willow is a fictional character, we cannot have a chat with her and have her settle this argument for us. 

Again, I feel like I’m way out of my league here, since I’m not either bisexual or gay, so I don’t want to make any misinformed statements.

I really love that people want to talk about this stuff with me, and I’m thrilled everyone has been so polite and sweet to me even though I feel like I’m not up to the challenge. I’m winging it here, really.

But if my blog can at least help to spread these ideas and to jumpstart a discussion about these issues, so be it! You’re all welcome to share your opinions!

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