damalur: (Default)
no, use my SPACE name! ([personal profile] damalur) wrote 2017-03-04 02:46 am (UTC)

Bear with me here, I'm still trying to work out exactly how I feel about Buffy/Spike now that my perspective has shifted!

I definitely agree that depression does not rob a person of the ability to consent, and I also agree that Spike didn't get what he wanted in S6. I don't think that Buffy was necessarily forced into sleeping with Spike (bar the attempted rape); their relationship in that season was extremely unhealthy from both ends. On the other hand, I do think that Spike manipulated her into engaging with him on a level that she was not comfortable with.

Was Buffy using Spike? Yes. Does it mean something that Spike was the one person who was consistently able to reach Buffy at her lowest point? Yes. Did Spike love Buffy? I think, even pre-soul, yes, but there's two things going on there - one is that love doesn't prevent someone from inflicting hurt or abuse, and two is that vampire morality is not human morality. Did Spike take advantage of Buffy's poor mental health to push her to sleep with him? I think he did, yeah. Again, that doesn't rob her of her ability to give consent, but their sexual relationship often involves Spike coming on to Buffy, Buffy refusing Spike, Spike pushing despite Buffy's reluctance, and Buffy finally giving in. You can argue that Buffy wants to feel like she's being pushed into it so she has an excuse for her behavior (she wants Spike, but she doesn't want to want Spike), but it's that pattern of behavior that points straight to what happens in Seeing Red.

I don't think any of Spike's actions were necessarily premeditated; he flies by his gut (you're dead-on when you mention him flailing around), but his gut is really, really good at reading people. He's reactionary, but also quick on his feet, and he's working his own agenda -- sometimes he was also genuinely trying to support Buffy, but he was always furthering his own wants, often at her expense.

I don't know! It's hard to nail down, because I still get a big kick out of watching them onscreen together. I think I've maybe just hit a point where I can't romanticize their relationship, which is definitely something I've had a tendency to do in past.

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