Whedon Returns, With Dushko, With “Dollhouse”

November 1st, 2007

[ Whedon’s new Fox series, called Dollhouse, stars Miss Eliza Dushku, best known as Faith to you Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. And this show isn’t just a pilot. It’s already been given a seven-episode commitment by Fox. Woo!

Here’s how Fox describes the series:

Echo (Eliza Dushku) [is] a young woman who is literally everybody’s fantasy. She is one of a group of men and women who can be imprinted with personality packages, including memories, skills, language—even muscle memory—for different assignments. The assignments can be romantic, adventurous, outlandish, uplifting, sexual and/or very illegal. When not imprinted with a personality package, Echo and the others are basically mind-wiped, living like children in a futuristic dorm/lab dubbed the Dollhouse, with no memory of their assignments—or of much else. The show revolves around the childlike Echo’s burgeoning self-awareness, and her desire to know who she was before, a desire that begins to seep into her various imprinted personalities and puts her in danger both in the field and in the closely monitored confines of the Dollhouse.

So, how did Dollhouse come about? When will it start, given the impending strike? And what are the chances a few Buffy alums might make it onto the show? To find out, read on for my exclusive one-on-one Q&As with creator and executive producer Joss Whedon and star and producer Eliza Dushku. (Pinch me.) You honestly won’t believe how fast this all happened, or where the idea first began! ]

Far more here, including the Q&A with Whedon.

http://www.eonline.com/gossip/kristin/detail/index.jsp?uuid=972f7d73-e0a2-43ea-abad-0abf6afba1f3&sid=fd-hot3-txt

The discussion about Dollhouse on Feminist SF – The Blog has raised some issues.

http://blogs.feministsf.net/

For example, this, written by Ide Cyan:

[ "Even creepier is the fact that these “childlike” characters, mind-wiped and “imprinted” to be anyone’s fantasy, obviously do not have the ability to consent to these jobs, thus turning any sexual assignments into rape." ]

Myself, I’ve always myself a bad taste re what has looked like Whedon’s predeliction for girly sex-bots and other perfect and perfectly compliant female forms, as they recurred more often than seemed seemly on Buffy, and he included one in Serenity.

Love, C.

25 Responses to “Whedon Returns, With Dushko, With “Dollhouse””

  1. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 02 Nov 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Regarding the thus turning any sexual assignments into rape business: Part of the point of science fiction and fantasy is to postulate “What if?” scenarios which trample all over borderlines, grey areas and so on. If Echo consented to becoming Echo in the first place, isn’t everything happening with her consent? If the memories are wiped, did a crime occur?

    If you really want people’s heads to explode, let them ponder the moral implications of Dawn/Clone Jack slash fiction: Take Dawn, ancient cosmic force given form and thought by being turned into one Dawn Summers, fifteen year old girl. Add Clone Jack, biologically a teenage boy, chronologically a day old, mentally downloaded with the full memories of a fifty-something air force colonel. Put them in a high school crossing the Buffy/Stargate continuums, let them talk about their similarities and differences, and let them proceed to making out and watch people squick as they try to figure out if statuatory rape is occuring and if so from which end. Is Jack the older man? Is Dawn the older woman? Eek! Eek!

    As for there being more “fantasy girl” characters than is seemly, I suppose it’s a matter of parity with Charmed where the fantasy boys alternated with the demon lovers on a weekly basis when not sharing the same episode.

  2. Kate Elliotton 03 Nov 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Over on Feminist SF – The Blog, Laura Quilter chimed into the discussion with a well-thought-through post, that included this:

    Reminder: This isn’t just sex work; it’s an ugly form of personal servitude that has a lot in common with sex work even when sex isn’t involved, and an ugly form of wage slavery or very deep chattel servitude even when personal service isn’t involved. Personally I hope it will shed some light on labor issues beyond those involved in sex work. I’ve been shocked and dismayed to discover the extent to which people feel their time is “owned” by their employer, and I would welcome a TV series that would look at this pernicious relationship between employer and the employed. I do think Joss Whedon is better equipped to do that than most TV directors I’ve watched.

    This is pretty much exactly what I would hope to see in such a storyline. I will allow myself to be guardedly optimistic because overall I like Whedon’s work.

  3. Constance Ashon 03 Nov 2007 at 4:26 pm

    I was going to suggest the same thing, Kate!

    The discussion is worth reading, particularly if one hasn’t spent much time thinking about these things, and just works from ‘unexamined assumption.’

    Love, C.

  4. Harmony Son 05 Nov 2007 at 8:30 am

    I have always loved Joss’ work (and even when I refused to continue watching Buffy because it was getting far to ridiculous to consider any more) I always was impressed by the fact that he always seemed to feature Strong Woman Characters (in fact it was a running joke in his Equality Now speech shown during the http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com fundraiser for the Equality Now group “dedicated to action for the civil, political, economic and social rights of girls and women” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYaczoJMRhs ). Yes, he also shows softer women, like dear Kayle in the Firefly/Serenity universe, who was quiet, innocent, sweet, and yet still strong, still standing up for herself and those she loved. I personally am very much looking forward to this show, though I am surprised he is willing to work with Fox again. Thank you for the heads up! It sounds like an interesting concept.

  5. Laurieon 06 Nov 2007 at 1:05 pm

    This really got me thinking.

    Constance, I’m assuming you mean Inara is the girly fembot type from Firefly. I have to disagree. She’s a woman of means and has a high social standing. She’s the equivalent of a hetaera, I’d say. She was the only ‘respectable’ member of society onboard Serenity, and that was made loud and clear multiple times.

    Is it wrong for women to engage in sex work when society makes it a respectable profession?

  6. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 06 Nov 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Laurie,

    I didn’t read the “girly sexbot” on Firefly as Inara but rather “our Mrs. Reynolds” who showed up in a couple episodes (the con woman who worked by being every man’s ideal fantasy) and more specifically the actual wires and diodes (or whatever they use in the future) girly sexbot who Mr. Universe was married to in the Serenity movie.

    Of course, the “if you can’t get a real lover, get a robot” shtick has been done with both sexes by many other writers prior to Joss, so I wouldn’t read much into it apart from a writer liking particular old toys from the toybox.

  7. Constance Ashon 06 Nov 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Laurie — No. I was specifically citing the SexBot in Serenity, the one who was built and belonged to Mr. Universe, the character who provided the universal communications device over which went the info re the Rievers were actually created by the ruling establishment’s program for the perfect invincible weapon. She doesn’t even have a name in the cast list.

    Love, C.

  8. Constance Ashon 06 Nov 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Laurie — Very little sexual service work is ‘respectable,’ or even safe or lucrative.

    Very, very, very little. Historically and presently. and the more brutal our culture becomes, and the ever larger the ‘suplus population’ becomes, I see very little hope that it will be in any different in the future.

    For those sex workers who are in a culture where it is respected, these sex workers are the exception, not the rule, and even they remain segregated in way or another — I am speaking historically, as with Japan’s Floating World, India’s Sacred Temple Prostitutes, highly trained as those in the Japanese world. Pericles did not marry his Heteira ….

    Theodora is perhaps the grandest exception of all — becoming Empress of Byzantium.

    But did her accension to the throne change the condition of all the poor slaves sold into brothels, etc.

    No.

    Sex service to me cannot be divorced from slavery, generally. To be a slave means that your owner can — and probably will — take sexual service from you as well as any other labor s/he chooses. You can be sold and rented for any labor the owner chooses, and the new owner or renter can also compell you to sexual service. Sexual service is part and parcel, almost fundamental to slavery.

    And there are millions of women, and children and boys in sexual slaver right now in every nation of the world.

    Love, C.

  9. Constance Ashon 06 Nov 2007 at 2:23 pm

    I wouldn’t read much into it apart from a writer liking particular old toys from the toybox.

    However, you cannot then object to one who pays attention to speculating just why this particular toy, over and over and over? Why never tired of this toy? A toy that when examined betrays some very cruel and frightening aspirations re sexual objectification, as to entitle one to any gratification one wishes?

    As we know, people pay for that now, often on the bodies of kidnapped women and children.

    Love, C.

  10. Harmony Son 06 Nov 2007 at 9:45 pm

    Constance. Listen, I respect your opinions but I think your seeing some of this with jaded eyes. I actually thought the ‘love bot’ was poignant. The movie with full of dystopian themes and this was one of them. A man so isolated from society by his own choice, who saw the world through his machines, turned to one for love, sexual and otherwise. and in the end, upon his death, it did nothing to save him. He died in the arms of a machine that would not mourn him. Yes, the Sex bot thing has been over used, but in this case he isn’t objectifying women. he’s using an OBJECT to make a point. (and oh yeah… plot point).
    Also Inara…. you must not have seen the show. She had power as long as she existed within the guild. And she used that power. She used it to get Mal and Zoe out of a tight spot in ‘The Train Job’, and she used it when the puffed up lord thought he could control Her in ‘Shindig’. She was strong, independent, and powerful. Also Joss showed the opposite side of the coin in “Heart of Gold” where they visited a house of prostitutes outside of the guilds and we got to see their lack of power. Yo-Saf-Bridge (Our Mrs. Reynolds) was a woman who chose to use what she had been taught to get her own way, by Objectifying Herself, which is a VERY REAL CHARACTER TRAIT.
    You have to realize, he built a world, a Universe, and he looked at the world around him and used what he found. He’s not objectifying women. Society does it just fine on there own. Women in our society objectify THEMSELVES, more then the men around them do. The man has done great things for the equality of women. If you want to take offence because he work is a little to Real To Life for you… that’s your issue.

  11. miriamon 06 Nov 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Regarding the love-bot theme, in Whedon’s work – I’m afraid I never saw much of Firefly, so I can only judge by Buffy. I think there were about 5 or 6 episodes related in one way or another to that specific theme…in a show with seven seasons, it doesn’t seem to me to turn up frequently enough to qualify as an obsession. And I seem to recall that even in the first episode where a fembot turned up, there was a certain amount of respect for her in the script. The bot was depicted as having been created and programmed to be the fantasy girlfriend of a creep, then abandoned by him, and she was inadvertantly hurting people while trying to find him and be what she was built to be. She is very limited and clearly a machine, and yet the “good” characters recognize that injustice is being done to her, and sympathize with her, consoling her as she dies while she tries to comfort herself for the cruelty she only dimly senses.

    There was a recurrence of the same woman-as-fantasy-servant theme that might be in the same “perfectly compliant female” theme you object to, in which the same robot-building creep graduates to magic spells by which he coerces his ex-girlfriend to act as his slave. He even puts her into a French maid’s uniform, preparatory to ordering her to have sex with him. Looks like your average two-dimensional exploitative porn fantasy…until the woman in question recovers from the spell, takes in the situation, and angrily calls it what it is. “This is rape!” The fantasy kind of collapses there, into something uglier, and truer.

    What I’m trying to say at excessive length is that, yes, there’s a lot of power inequalities in Whedon’s work. So there is in the world. Men impose their power on men, women on women, women on men, and (most commonly and usually most cruelly) men on women. His work reflects that. Thing is, I think that from seeing his work, I can trust that while he may depict some women as forced to subordination in his world, he won’t stereotype them as asking for it, or subordinate by feminine nature, or unworthy of anything better. I think he can find a lot of complexity in rebellion against subordination. I think I can trust the guy who wrote this:

    (top of page) …to get it right.

  12. Sengeion 07 Nov 2007 at 5:10 am

    Miriam, what an amazing posting by Whedon! Thanks so much for that. Especially since my main character in one of my stories is set in a culture that objectifies women. It’s why I want to tell it. It’s the struggle of one women trying to change it. His posting put a lot in perspective for me. I highly recommend reading it.

  13. Constance Ashon 07 Nov 2007 at 10:40 am

    Harmony S — I have seen Firefly; I loved the show. Inara was my favorite character.

    And that isn’t a popular stance in many places I inhabit. For starters most people seem to feel there was no character there, whereas I felt otherwise. I felt Inara was a different sort of heroine. More like Jessica from Dune, perhaps, whose powers come from an intense skill training that may include certain martial arts, but yet where all violent and technological skill and expertise are subordinate to rigorous discipline, which is first and foremost a discipline of the mind. The mind, after all, is what discipline’s the body. Her mind skills included that of seeing people clearly, whereas no one else among the characters could see clearly — other than, perhaps, Book. But we never did really find out about him.

    Love, C.

  14. Constance Ashon 07 Nov 2007 at 10:54 am

    Miriam — Yes, the spell collapsed and male rage then killed-punished her for not being that perfectly compliant being — and moreover, for pointing out how pathetic and rotten these expectations are. Yes, the guy got his. Eventually. But mostly for killing one of the Exceptions, or at least the love of one of the Exceptions — and she really got punished for that.

    Along with the ‘bots, though there are several other eps in Buffy that deal with enforced compliance, most notably Willow’s use of spelling to have Tara ‘forget’ inconvenient facts, etc.

    In the conclusion of Buffy they wake all the many, many, many potential Slayers and it is with the many, not the exceptional, with a group, not a single Hero, that the Scoobs make a difference.

    As for Mr. Whedon’s address, I did a piece about here, and linked to it.

    Thus I have always and enthusiastically given Mr. Whedon the props he deserves.

    OTOH, one knows the culture, one knows history, and one knows television, and one is anxious.

    Slavery, sexual coercion, the meme that prostie behavior and manner = cool has been propagandized successfully to the latest generations of EurAm girls, and it is NOT making them happy, nor is it protecting them from increasing male hatred and violence, and this is, rightfully, something which needs attention paid to, and handled very carefully in fiction — that is if one has any concern for emotional honesty and plausibility. This is particularly so in a period in which there is so much real life slavery and sexual violence-coercion practiced on women and children.

    Love, C.

  15. Constance Ashon 07 Nov 2007 at 11:37 am

    However, and contrary-wise to my own comments posted above, I wish to add that I can understand peoples’ misgivings of potential criticism of a work not yet even created that involves someone who has provided all of us with so many hours of thought-provoking, surprising enjoyment.

    As a NY Times honcho, Bill Keller, posted today in their ‘reading’ blog (he and some other bold face names have been reading and discussing the new translation of War and Peace:

    I always tell our critics that I’d make a terrible critic. I can generally tell the difference between the good and the bad, but when I’m in the upper end of the good (good art, good music, good acting, good fiction) a kind of gratitude kicks in that mutes my critical faculties. I’m sitting in a theater on Broadway watching Vanessa Redgrave animate Eugene O’Neill and I’m going to COMPLAIN?! The Met has assembled most of the world’s Vermeers for an exhibition, and I’m going to find fault? Ingrate! I feel that way about the P&V “War and Peace,” a labor of love and genius that is giving me a daily reprieve from my cares and transporting me back to early 19th century Russia. And I get to do it in great company. Can’t I just feel like a lucky guy.

    So, most of us are feeling lucky at the prospect of another Whedon production.

    Yet again, there is often unexpected fallout: such as Firefly fans calling themselves “brown shirts.” For someone aware of history, “brown shirts” cannot but have disturbing associations: Adolph Hitler’s private army were popularly known as “the brown shirts,” as they went about his business of harrassing, beating, destroying and disappearing any element in the population that objected to his objectives and goals.

    Love, C.

  16. Constance Ashon 07 Nov 2007 at 2:59 pm

    In the meantime Whedon’s put up a statement about the WGA strike on Whedonesque. I have to post the entire link since almost none of the buttons for entries or comments are currently working (sysop?):

    http://whedonesque.com/comments/14639#195462

    Let me be clear on one point: I know I have it easy. I’ve done well, and I’m grateful that I can weather a long winter. Compared to what the studios have made off me my share is tiny and cute, but I’m in no position to complain. But take that differential, apply it to someone who’s just getting by when they deserve better. Now take it and… well, just take it, ‘cause when it comes to the internet and the emerging media there’s nothing there for the artists. There’s no precedent; these media didn’t exist the last time a contract was negotiated. We’re not just talking about an unfair deal, we’re talking about no deal at all. Four cents from the sale of a DVD (the standing WGA deal) sounds exactly as paltry as it is, but in a decade DVD may have gone the way of the eight-track. We have to protect the rights of the people who tell the stories, however they’re told. I’m never gonna be as articulate as Shawn or Brian (both of whom have been linked here, I believe), but I am just as committed. And a lot phlegmier.

    There’s much more and pertinent to anyone who hopes and expects to continue getting paid for writing or hopes and expects to get paid for writing in the furture.

    Love, C

  17. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 07 Nov 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Actually, Firefly fans call themselves “The Brown Coats” and to give Hitler/Mussolini/et al ownership of a particular color scheme is to fall into Creeping Barneyism. And to explain what Creeping Barneyism is, I’ll explain the marketing origin of Barney the Purple Dinosaur:

    Once upon a time there was a show called The Muppet Show. It’s stars were a green felt frog and his love interest and co-star, a beautiful vivacious strong-willed female pig, who had long blond hair and purple starlet gloves and made the international hit not quite international in that Miss Piggy hit just about every taboo button in Saudi Arabia: It’s a pig! It’s an unveiled woman! And she’s strong-willed and sexually insistent! Eek! Eek!

    So the creators of Barney the Purple Dinosaur looked at all the possible animals to use as characters and realized that all natural and most mythological animals were somebody or other’s sacred wubby and/or those somebody’s neighbor(s)’ pantomime devil. And the same was true with just about every color combination except the purple and green, which the pig and frog had used effectively.

    But dinosaurs were too new to be used for any national flag or religion, and they were popular with kids, so a green and purple dinosaur would sell like hotcakes! And maybe another show with monochrome alien babies in jumpers with television aerials on their heads!

    Hence Creeping Barneyism, the sort of ugly art (and I use the term loosely) created when the prime directive is not to create something beautiful or just plain entertaining but to not offend anyone. You see this sort of thing as well in public art where the artist is told to create a single figure representative of all people and you get some sort of multicolored spawn of a forced mating between The Patchwork Girl and The Partridge Family Bus. We’ve got one of those in San Jose outside the art museum (it’s informally known as the Gumby Monster) and there’s another one’s giant freakish head popping out of the lawn by the San Diego Convention Center.

    As for what this has to do with toys from the toybox, the flipside of The Silver Metal Lover is The Velveteen Rabbit: Mr. Universe’s love for his mechanical bride may be tragic, immature and a host of other things we can cluck our tongues about disapprovingly, but this doesn’t touch on whether it was true, or to use the Veveteen Rabbit’s word, real.

    I’d say it was, for the simple reason that what motivated him most was “Can’t Stop the Signal”–information wanting to be free. And in his death, his bride became his voice, literally, passing on the crucial information to Mal and the other heroes because the killers (like some here) had looked at the bride and dismissed her as a meaningless sex toy and nothing more.

  18. miriamon 07 Nov 2007 at 6:51 pm

    I think Whedon is trying to write this show as an antithesis to Buffy. With Buffy he wrote a heroine who is literally empowered, and is surrounded by capable and supportive friends in her struggle against a dangerous, hostile universe. In Dollhouse, it seems, he’s writing a heroine who is disempowered from the get-go (in that she lacks even an identity of her own, much less superpowers), surrounded only by a few comrades in the same dire predicament as she, and, I suppose, a bunch of staff who mean to continue to exploit her and who hold most of the cards. To see her plot her rebellion (and hopefully triumph eventually) – despite the limited means at her disposal – will be a great challenge for the writer, and I think it will be very interesting for the viewer. I’m hopeful, at least.

  19. [...] There’s a synopsis and great discussion about gender politics in Whedon’s work over at Deep Genre. Check it [...]

  20. Laurieon 08 Nov 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Well! I am glad I checked back on this.

    Kevin touched on something that really chaps my hide. Women are the harshest critics of other women, especially when it comes to the girly fembot label. One of the ugliest things I see among the hardcore feminists is vitriol toward women who just don’t take as hard a line about it. Yes, it’s bad when women dress like whores because they think it’s sexy, but I see women who like pretty clothes and makeup and jewelry often treated the same way. Empty-headed little fembot! Look at the way she dresses! What a whore – she should respect herself! Bleh.

    That is one reason I don’t frequent those type of boards and avoid the subject like the plague. I think it’s important to be cognizant of the plight of women but I also think a lot of women take that too far and end up adding to it. Tearing each other down is bad, and, regardless of the reason, we all do it to each other far too often.

    All that said, I think it’s a good idea to bring womens’ issues to light and discuss them. If you present it in the form of entertainment, I have no problem with it. Just because you show it doesn’t mean you glorify it. He’s shining a light on a social problem, if nothing else. And we’ll probably have a fine time watching it as he does.

  21. Constance Ashon 08 Nov 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Yes, it’s bad when women dress like whores because they think it’s sexy, but I see women who like pretty clothes and makeup and jewelry often treated the same way. Empty-headed little fembot! Look at the way she dresses! What a whore – she should respect herself! Bleh.

    You know Laurie — I see this invoked all the time by women who are uncomfortable with feminist crit. But in all truth, in all my years as a women and a feminist, I have NEVER seen it in action.

    Of course, this may be something that came along later, when I’d moved along from school, etc., and into adult life? So I’m missing this?

    However, I do spend a lot of time on university campuses, and some of that time is spent in the sports and recreation center or the gymn, or whatever the facility for faculty, staff and students to use for workouts and physical fitness. What I have observed, overhearing whether or not I want to, cell phone convos, grrlz tawkin 2 grrlz, is how they, dressed with their slut stamp prominently centered in the back thong of the thong, their gorgeous cleavage entirely prominent and bare to the eyes, etc., them criticizing other women for acting or behaving or looking like sluts — while they use language that isn’t permitted on broadcast networks — where much now is permitted.

    So generally to take the position that women who thoughtfully consider gender issues, especially around women, children and sex are anti-sex, don’t like other women, etc. is just, well, generally strawman logic and not at all convicing in dialog or debate. Particularly when put up against facts and stats that have been gathered an analyzed now, for many decades in terms of conditions of woman and children around the world, and in this nation too.

    Love, C.

  22. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 08 Nov 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Constance,

    Just because facts and stats have been “gathered and analyzed” for lo these many decades does not mean they should be taken as holy writ, or for that matter, that they shouldn’t be occasionally reanalyzed and questioned. As I can report from my own college time in the late eighties and early nineties, the Women’s Studies professors were touting as gospel truth theories which the Anthropology professors, and the women anthro professors especially, found to be quaint, antiquated and just plain wrong. One acronym: ERV. And mind you, this is twenty years past.

    One thing I’ll question right out in public is the insistence on “women and children” in the whole business about the sex trade while ignoring men. Do male child and teen prostitutes somehow magically never grow up? Or do feminists simply have no use for someone once they get beard stubble? Every once and a while you get an “oh yes, and men too” but it sounds like a distinctly patronizing afterthought, and more than a little ironic given the past insistence on gender equity in language.

    I had a friend in graduate school who’d formerly “turned tricks” as he put it, and was pretty unapologetic about his past history. Of course I think part of the reason why he was talking about it was that the support network for men was and is about nil, so talking with friends was probably his only option for sorting out his feelings.

    Getting back to the subject of the new Whedon project, I’m pretty confident that, while Dushko will be the star, she’ll also be part of an ensemble cast and we’ll get to see some of these same issues explored with the male characters as well.

    Though I’m also pretty certain that the feminist bloggers will be more upset about her character having sex while there are consent issues than the same thing happening with the mindwiped male characters because after all, they’re guys, so who cares.

  23. Lindenon 12 Nov 2007 at 10:19 am

    One thing I’ll question right out in public is the insistence on “women and children” in the whole business about the sex trade while ignoring men. Do male child and teen prostitutes somehow magically never grow up? Or do feminists simply have no use for someone once they get beard stubble? Every once and a while you get an “oh yes, and men too” but it sounds like a distinctly patronizing afterthought, and more than a little ironic given the past insistence on gender equity in language.

    By pointing out that a problem affects a group who are almost entirely women, and which is perpetuated almost entirely by and for the benefit of men, women apparently automatically invalidate everything they say about the problem by not talking at least 50% of the time about the 1% of the problem being experienced by men. Dear God, what about the men?

    And your friend who was turning tricks — who was he turning them for, men or women? Let me guess. And didn’t he feel empowered by doing it, just like a female prostitute supposedly does?

  24. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 12 Nov 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Linden,

    What percentage of the child and teen prostitutes are female, what percent are male, and do the male ones somehow magically not grow up so they can fit your figure of 1%? And moreover, do you have an actual study that backs up this 1% or is it something you came up with to suit your argument?

    Even taking as granted that the clientelle is 100% male, given popular statistics, roughly 10% of that should be gay, so you’d expect about 10% of the prostitutes to be men, unless somehow magically gay men are 90% less likely to use prostitutes than straight men. So I think we’re talking about 10% which is certainly not a majority but still a significant minority and one that doesn’t deserve to be pish-toshed. And in this country, I’m fairly certain that the percentage of adult male prostitutes is higher than the percentage of child prostitutes of either gender, so again, the “women and children” construction is rather telling.

    As for my friend and whether he felt empowered, he didn’t use that word, nor did he use the word “ashamed” either. Mostly he talked about it matter-of-factly as germane to the current subject of conversation, basically talking about it as anyone would a past unpleasant job that they were glad was over.

  25. [...] There’s a synopsis and great discussion about gender politics in Whedon’s work over at Deep Genre. Check it out. Geek Out Permalink Comments [...]

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