Joss Whedon Says He Is Done with Feminists
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Joss Whedon Says He Is Done with Feminists

By Dustin Rowles | Pajiba Love | November 7, 2013 | Comments ()


Last night on Kimmel, an adorable five-year-old rejected a free Sony tablet, hilariously ruining some well-designed product placement. (Uproxx)

Joss Whedon gave a fantastic speech at the Equality Now dinner on Monday, where he basically said he hates the word feminist for a variety of different reasons, all of which are awesome. However, you have to read and/or watch the entire speech to understand why, but trust me, you will love Joss Whedon even more after you’ve done so. (Jezebel)

Speaking of gender, Vulture has a piece up today called, “6 Reasons Why Men Should Give Scandal a Shot,” and as a man who has been watching it since the beginning, I resent the implication that most men wouldn’t already want to see a show where a Presidential candidate has a secret bastard child and where the President blows up his girlfriend’s mom on the orders of his girlfriend’s dad. (Vulture)

At first I thought this headline was suggesting that 16 year old girls want to be more like Jennifer Aniston, and I thought that was weird, but then I realized that it was actually suggesting that Jennifer Aniston wants to be more like a 16 year old girl, and then it all made sense. (DListed)

JENNIFER LAWRENCE WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO YOUR HAIR? No, seriously, though. I like it. It’s great! And it’ll grow back one day! Don’t worry about it. (Celebitchy)

On Carrie Underwood’s outfit at the CMA’s last night: “The prosecution says, “SOFA SO GOOD,” and then shoots the defense with some finger-guns … When the guy holding the clipboard sees the pants, he laughs for a full ten seconds before asking who kidnapped 1973 and whether the authorities will adjust the ransom to its approximate value in Now money.” (GFY)

Hey! Why does everyone like Arrow, anyway? (Unreality)

Here is some EXCELLENT advice on how to deal with writer’s block that every existing and aspiring writer should read immediately. (That’s What She Said)

Our man Howie Decker ruminates with 5 thoughts on Netflix/Marvel announcement. (Underscoopfire)

J.J. Abrams finally discusses why Michael Arndt abandoned the Star Wars VII screenplay, and it is SCANDALOUS. (It’s not really scandalous). (Slashfilm)

“Could you take out the nuances?” An actual studio note given to Barry Sonnenfeld on Wild Wild West. HA! (Huffpo)

The public is turning against Malcolm Gladwell in a big way these days, and part of it is because we like to attack things that are popular, and part of it is that Malcolm Gladwell makes crap arguments. (Happy Nice Time People)

Thanks to a few last-minutes changes of heart by The Walking Dead writers, these four characters were spared. At least briefly. And now we understand what happened to T Dog. (WG)

Charlie Sheen is an Awful Human Being, Part 6,539 | Power Ranking The 9 'Love Actually' Couples Who Get The Sh*t Kicked Out Of Them By Love

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • e jerry powell

    "...and it is SCANDALOUS. (It’s not really scandalous)."

    That's what's so scandalous about it!

  • Casey Serin

    Actually, the main reason people are turning against Malcolm Gladwell has nothing to do with his popularity and everything to do with the fact that he's a former Reaganite who found big bucks shamelessly whoring for big tobacco and the pharmaceutical industry when he wasn't sucking off the financial industry. Plenty of examples here:

    Sure, he looks cuddly, but he's an utter scumbag who'd sell his own grandmother out if the check was large enough.

  • I am glad I caught up on last week's Scandal a couple of hours ago, because...spoilers.

  • Inaras

    I'd like to think Whedon's heart is in the right place, but did he have to claim that we're past racism and sexism? This morning, the paper carried a story about an unarmed black woman shot in the head while seeking help after a car crash. ( Racists and sexists might be "on the wrong side of history", but that's cold comfort to the people they hurt.

  • loo shag brolley

    I didn't see Whedon as saying we're past racism and sexism in the sense that they're gone, but rather we're past recognizing those modes of thought as normal.

    Not that I drink Whedon's Kool-Aid or anything. Never heard of the guy.

  • habshockeygrl

    I finally got my husband to watch Scandal. The whole Grey's connection turned hum off but during the summer lull I finally got him to watch it and now he's hooked.

  • mairimba

    Just looking at Carrie Underwood's outfits makes me hate Country music even more.

  • $3647259

    "(...) but trust me, you will love Joss Whedon even more after you’ve done so."

    I'm sorry, but that's not physically possible.

  • bastich

    Not with your clothes on, anyway.

  • $3647259

    Ha! Thanks for the tip.

  • sanity fair

    See, now I didn't think so either. But my love for Whedon has always been cerebral and platonic. After that speech, I'm feeling stirrings in areas that I have never felt for him before.

  • $3647259

    Then it really isn't a good idea to watch and/or read his speech because I already have said feelings in (probably the same) areas you're referring to.

  • sanity fair

    It's definitely still worth watching. Just be prepared to need some "alone" time once it's done.

  • John G.

    Have we reached a "tipping point" on the obsessive love of Gladwell?

    Oh! Bam! do you see what I did there?

  • bastich

    You, sir, are a true Outlier.

  • foolsage

    Just don't Blink or you'll miss What the Dog Saw.

    Anyhow, I enjoy his books, but Gladwell is a bit of a disappointment in interviews.

  • NateMan

    I have to stop reading comments sections. Even on Jezebel. The way some people can berate Whedon for daring to speak from a place of privilege, when he repeatedly acknowledges he comes from a place of privilege, and that it's his privilege that provides him the opportunity to speak to other people about these issues...

    Fuck me. Are people really so wrapped up in their victimization that they can't appreciate the help of allies? Whedon gets asked to speak. He uses that opportunity to speak on important issues. And he gets crapped on for speaking.

    I know I'm not looking at it logically and perhaps not even fairly, but I've heard this so many times that it drives me over the edge right now. Yes, I get it. White men have more privilege in the Western World than other people and it sucks. And rich white men have more privilege than pretty much anyone else, and that sucks more. But when people use that to assist, to ally, to strengthen... Stop trying to shut them the fuck down! You do that and you're not a guerrilla fighter. You're just an asshole.

  • Jezzer

    What do you mean, even on Jezebel? Jezebel's commenters include some of the smuggest, most self-righteous and humorless people in the world.

  • Amanda

    But men don't really get to take the lead on feminism, do they? Someone who has never had to struggle for equality shouldn't really take the lead, even if they are a great ally. I love Joss and I love what his stories have done for progressing female characters but trying to get rid of the word "feminism" is a slap to those who started the cause. If anyone is going to re-brand feminism it's not going to be a man. That's not how it should be.

  • Jezzer

    Oh, for Christ's sake. No one is trying to make Joss Whedon the NEW FACE OF FEMINISM.

  • Sars

    Jezebel is a terrible place to read comments.... people have a problem with EVERYTHING... I stopped reading that stuff when they took a turn from legitimate feminist critique to just plain bashing people who dare to have different views.

  • GDI

    Victim mentality is a difficult to deter. But it is one that needs to be deterred if progress is to be made.

    I've already gone off on my tirade about racial classification prior to this, and I can see some similarities to the usage of "feminism", as well as trying to employ the term "genderist".

    It is probably why I agree wholeheartedly with Whedon. There's no agenda, just an observation on the imprecision of language and how it can harbor self-degrading elements.

  • cgthegeek

    Translation: "Hey! I know my ancestors lit you on fire and I've been watching you burn for a few centuries but LOOKIT I BROUGHT YOU A GLASS OF WATER STOP BEING A VICTIM GAWD AT LEAST I'M HELPING!!!1!1 WHERE IS MY MEDAL!!!!1!!"

    For the record, I don't think it's Whedon's fault people are more inclined to listen to him than say, actual women (primarily of women of color) who've been saying the same thing (see: Womanism) for decades. In fact, the praise for him perfectly reflects the enormous amounts of privilege men have in our society.

    But that does not mean allies are exempt from criticism. Being an ally means you meet the minimum standard of human decency. And that you should not expect praise for doing so. If you expect people you are helping to thank you for not being racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, etc then you are doing it wrong (see: Tim Wise).

    And that so many people would think oppressed folks should be grateful when people finally acknowledge their humanity is disturbing, to say the least.

  • Sars

    The entire point of feminism is to get people on our side. If we attack every man and child who comes to our aid because they come from a place of privilege we will never succeed. this is kind of a strange analogy, but think about Islam. the reason it grew so much larger, and stronger than all the other religions was that it was inclusive. didn't matter who you were or what your position was in life, slave or a slave trader if you came and said the words and accepted the rules in your heart you were included. Feminists need to learn from that.

  • GDI

    You may want to consider the source (an entertainer), and the site you are on (Pajiba tends to dole out entertainment news).

  • NateMan

    First: I'm not sure how you translate "Don't be an asshole" into "Give me a medal." There's a whole lot of middle ground. I don't need a medal, and neither does Whedon - he's got a bunch already.

    Second: I don't need thanks, or praise for what I do, because I'm not doing it for people who act like dicks depending on who it is doing the actual helping. I do it for the women and girls in my life who I actually give two craps about. But again, there's a big space between giving an unnecessary thank you and getting pissy that the person allying themselves with you has the wrong melanin content and external genitalia.

    Third: If some female feminists have a problem with men standing up and making their voices heard in support of their goals, then they shouldn't have spent so much time making us pay attention. You (generic, not specific) can't convert someone to your view and then get pissy when they try to do the same with other people - well, you can, but really it just makes you seem petty.

    Fourth: I love how 'gratitude' becomes a dirty word in this context. If Person A makes a mess, and Person B helps me clean it up, I'm going to say thank you, whether or not Person B was somehow benefiting from that mess in the first place.

    Fifth: Allies should not be immune to criticism. I'm certainly not and I don't expect to be. I do, however, expect that criticism to be valid and personal rather than broad spectrum. If someone wants to criticize the social structure that makes it easier for Whedon to get his point across than a woman of color, fine. Criticizing Whedon for daring to use that to his advantage to benefit the cause is, again, petty. And that's precisely what I was referring to. It's not my fault I have an easier time talking to frats about sexual assault than women do. But I'm sure as hell going to take advantage of that to talk to them, because at least then someone is.

    But like I say, I get frustrated with this subject. I can recognize the frustration that must be felt in seeing other people take up your causes and get more exposure for them than you're allowed to do. That sucks. But it's going to take people like Whedon gaming the system to help get us to the point where other voices are heard. Those voices made people like Whedon and myself pay attention. I don't need praise for it. I'd rather just avoid getting shit on by the people I'm working to help. The people I'm working against do enough of that already.

  • cgthegeek
  • NateMan

    Interesting, but kinda funny for reasons I don't feel like arguing about. It's clear we won't agree on this, and I don't have other people's words to say what I want for me, but when I think about people who have a problem with the way I, or Scalzi, or Whedon take part in the conversation all I can think is this:

    If my house is on fire, I don't complain if the person throwing water on the flames next to me isn't a certified firefighter. I just hope they brought a big bucket.

  • cgthegeek

    Again, if you aren't looking for praise for being an ally, they why are you so upset no one is praising you for being an ally?

    Pointing out that people are praising Whedon for meeting the minimum standards is not complaining about Whedon being an ally. I just don't think others should be so ready to give him cookies for say what has been said over and over again. I repeat, it's not his fault people are falling over themselves to pat him on the back.

    But, you know, keep defending Whedon at all costs. Never mind I wasn't attacking him.

    I didn't realize quoting scholars and providing links was some sort of failing in debate.

    And lastly, While the guy next to me in your analogy is not a certified firefighter, he didn't bring a big bucket: he brought a tiny glass of water and then proceeds to tell me if I don't appreciate his efforts I shouldn't have screamed for help.

  • JustOP

    Sorry, what? The bare minimum is using your fame to speak out against wide-spread, socially 'acceptable' sexism in order to reach a wider audience? The bare minimum would be a glancing, 'yeah, that sucks, I agree with what you're saying, cya'. Whedon has done more than the 'bare minimum'.

    'I didn't realize quoting scholars and providing links was some sort of failing in a debate'. - You posted a tumblr and a livejournal; my university essays would have been laughed out of the room if I had used either of them for references or called them 'scholars'.

    And then there's that 'derailing for dummies' post - Nateman addressed pretty much everything being discussed in this entire thread of comments.

    Sidenote: 'Hey! I know my ancestors lit you on fire and I've been watching you burn
    for a few centuries but LOOKIT I BROUGHT YOU A GLASS OF WATER STOP
    - You're using hyperbole to get a poor point across.
    1. Whedon isn't responsible for anyones actions other than his own - his ancestors are irrelevant.
    2. People don't live for centuries where I'm from.
    3. You can't expect one man to change an entire societies pov - it will take many 'glasses of water' brought by many, many people in order to change anything. Whedon is just contributing the best way he can.

  • GDI

    Must've missed the part where you quoted scholars.

  • NateMan

    I can't decide if you're being deliberately obtuse, fixated on one sentence in my original post, or if somehow I was that unclear. So let me try one more time: I don't expect praise. I don't need praise. All I expect is the same respect I give other people. Which doesn't involve hearty 'Fuck You's to the people who agree with me.

    My original post had nothing to do with you, nor about most other people interested in human rights or feminism, and I for one thought that was pretty clear. I think most people did too. So unless you were one of the original posters on Jezebel who came out with 'Fuck Joss Whedon for speaking for me,' it had nothing to do with you.

    And to finish beating this analogy in the ground, is your issue that our buckets are too big, or that we're not doing enough with them, or that we're doing it in the wrong way? The first one is true, and I've agreed with it from the start. The second one can also be true in a lot of cases. The third one is the one I was taking issue with, in regards to people who weren't you, and it's one I stick by. Whedon's got a damn big bucket. I'm satisfied with the size of mine. And I'm going to keep using it no matter how many people have a problem with the way I do so. Doesn't mean I have to like their attitude.

  • GDI

    Hear, hear.

  • I don't think throwing tumblr blogs and livejournal entries at people counts as 'quoting scholars.'

  • jollies

    I think there is a difference between being upset that no one is praising you for being an ally and being upset that you are being shit on for trying to be an ally. Someone asking, "What can I do to help?" is not the same as someone saying, "Sit back and let me use my power to solve things for you, and you're welcome."

  • Jezzer

    THIS. So much THIS.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    There's something to be said for an advocate. This sounds like it's a no-win situation for someone born into privilege, which by the way, is not any more of a choice than being born into want. We can't take credit for our ancestors, and we shouldn't take the blame. We can recognize that we were born lucky though and try to improve things for people who aren't.

  • cgthegeek

    I'm going to quote someone who said it best:

    "The purpose of understanding your privilege isn’t to make you feel something. Not guilt, not shame, not anything else. It’s to help you understand that you have a set of things you take for granted that other people don’t have, so that you can change the way you act.”

    Translation: please don't make this about your feelings. Make this about how you can do better. And what are those with privilege trying to "win" anyway?

    And another, on insisting allies get credit for being allies:

    Every single thing that you do to better the community that you are an ally for, is also being done by the people within the community. Only, they/we have the added bonus of being systematically oppressed.

    and I don’t like you more because I know you are one of the good ones. I expect you to be one of the good ones anyway. Doing what is right is not some sort of pass, authority or even something to be celebrated. You are doing the right thing. Doing the right thing should not be abnormal. Doing the right thing should not be something to stand up and clap for. When was the last time someone gave you a standing ovation or even a pat on the back for not running over a child with your car?

    So again, no cookies for being a decent human being.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I'm not saying there should be cookies, I'm saying there shouldn't be castigation. But I think I know what you're talking about - you're talking about the praise being heaped on Whedon as being unnecessary (from the main post above); I was thinking more about the criticism of him being unwarranted. I do see your point about the praise. But the "Hey! I know my ancestors lit you on fire and I've been watching you burn for a few centuries but LOOKIT I BROUGHT YOU A GLASS OF WATER STOP BEING A VICTIM GAWD AT LEAST I'M HELPING!!!" seems unfair.

  • GDI

    Wait, so the onus is on the privileged and the majority for instituting a terribly discriminatory system, yet if they were to help turn around said system (since they are the ones perpetuating discrimination), they would obviously not be the driving force of change.

    That blog and Jezebel are the PC-overload that is harming the legitimacy of this current civil rights era. I have difficulty calling it a movement, as progress has been halted severely since the 80's. Can't call it a movement if nobody is a movin.

    EDIT: Shit, forgot that I was on Pajiba, where PC-nonsense reigns supreme, aside from a few extreme cases.

  • Tinkerville

    You seem to automatically assume that all allies are looking for recognition and trophies when they speak for the oppressed. Why? How exactly do you even know that they're trying to "win" something? Perhaps they're just trying to.. make the world a better place?

    I agree that we shouldn't have to congratulate everyone on being the bare minimum of a decent human being. But when sexism is so rampant in the television industry, for example, then I still fail to see why having someone with clout like Joss Whedon speaking against it is a bad thing. Maybe we should stop believing that he's doing it for a pat on the head, and acknowledge the possibility that he's doing it because he genuinely believes in trying to change it. He might be getting pats on the head in response, but that doesn't mean he was ever asking for them.

    Yes, everything that the privileged are trying to do for a community is being done within the community. But why in the hell is it a bad thing that we now have people both within and outside of the group fighting for a good cause?

  • cgthegeek

    I was responding to Nate, and to his in particular "Are people really so wrapped up in their victimization that they can't appreciate the help of allies?"

    again, this is not about whedon. if you read my comments you will see i said "this isn't his fault".

    if you think oppressed people should be grateful their allies acknowledge their basic humanity, the there is a problem. you aren't doing anyone a favor by being an ally. you are doing the right thing.

    if you think taking allies to task for the wrong they do within a movement is "hurting a cause" then i have to wonder what cause you are really fighting for.

  • Jezzer

    God forbid anyone be thankful for allies. Fuck basic gratitude, I always say.

  • Three_nineteen

    What did Whedon do that we should be criticizing, exactly? As I understand it, Equality Now asked him to speak at a fundraiser, so he did.

  • cgthegeek

    I didn't criticize Whedon. I criticized the system that heaps praise upon him for parroting what many others have said before.

  • MrsAtaxxia

    Came here to say the same thing. Fucking hell Jezebel commenters are so painful.

  • jon29

    As much as it pains me to say, *especially* on Jezebel. I mean:

    "I say with gratitude but enormous sadness, we will never not be
    fighting. And I say to everybody on the other side of that line who
    believe that women are to be bought and trafficked or ignored...we will
    never not be fighting." - JW

    Let's... get him?? WTF, Jezebel?

  • Jezzer

    "Especially" on Jezebel? People here are really trying to commit to the notion that Jezebel doesn't suck.

  • rebecca

    Never read Jezebel comments. As a liberal feminist with a master's degree, that's the kind of shit that makes me want to turn into a teabagger and burn down the universities.

  • Sars

    THANK YOU. I remember an entire article dedicated to bashing vegans.. now I acknowledge some vegans can be terrible and come from a place of privilege (I don't) but an entire post dedicated to people who mostly want some sort of protection for the helpless and the voiceless was absolutely uncalled for. I commented as such and I was attacked as being a white (not true), rich (again SOOOOO not true), privileged ( not true) skinny (well thats true) bitch (somewhat true). It was so unfair and so surprising. That's when I stopped commenting entirely. It was absolutely batshit crazy how people just came out of the woodwork to attack someone they don't know because I dared to voice a different opinion.

  • It's either victimization or they're trying to hide the fact they disagree with him.

    I liked the speech and his proposal to use the word "genderist". I like the word because gender is a social construct and that's the thing we're trying to get rid of.

  • AngelenoEwok

    Who's the "we" here?

  • lowercase_ryan

    feminists? I'm confused.

  • AngelenoEwok

    Right, that's why I asked, because a lot of feminists are not trying to get rid of gender (I'm not, for example). But maybe they mean capital R Radical Feminists specifically, in which case, that is kinda true.

  • lowercase_ryan

    yeah, I have to say I loved the speech. I thought it was amazing. And I love the idea behind Genderist, it makes so much sense. Hell I may even break it out sometime. But I will always consider myself a unabashed Feminist. Not because of the definition of the word or how it breaks down, but because I stand with women, respect them as equals, and love them as friends. And if anyone takes issue with my stance as coming from a place of privilege because I'm a white male or any of that, well they can come and talk to me. If they know me and think my use of the word puts me on the wrong side of the issue then so be it, but I like my position.

  • lowercase_ryan

    apparently some people dislike my stance.

  • APOCooter

    Some people are stupid.

  • NateMan

    I still think you're pretty.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    "This budget is too big for characters this complex."

    Actual quote from the interview, allegedly said by a studio executive about "Wild Wild West".

    The joke writes itself.

  • Ian Fay

    I like Arrow because it's basically the show I want Agents of SHIELD to be.

  • lowercase_ryan

    MOAR Felicity

  • Ben

    My god I wont him to hook up with Felicity and completely drop fucking Laura the most boring queen of boring Town.

    But it's never going to happen...

  • Repo

    And the proclivity of him training shirtless. Forget the Bat-cave and The Fortress Of Solitude. I want to live THERE.

  • Ian Fay

    You can ogle him while I ogle Felicity.


  • NateMan

    What you said.

  • NateMan

    I love J-Law's hair style. Such a change for her.

  • Mrs. Julien

    “Could you take out the nuances?” An actual studio note given to Barry Sonnenfeld on Wild Wild West. HA!

    One of the times that we got close to the gates of Oz, Mr. J went to L.A. for a business trip. He met a very successful (and great) screenwriter who had once received the note, "Can you tone down the subtlety?"

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