I woke up to a particularly…interesting comment from someone who didn’t agree with my opinion that Angel never acted as though he was sorry for the what he had done to Drusilla. Now, I don’t particularly care if my perception of the situation doesn’t match someone else’s, but two interesting points were made that I thought I might address.
For one thing, this person insisted that Angel and Angelus are not the same person, and therefore Angel can not be responsible for Angelus’ actions. But I have to wonder…is that true? I mean, let’s say my father only hit me when he was drunk, but was a loving, doting man when he was sober. Does that mean he should only face the consequences of his actions when he’s had one too many beers? I mean, you could argue that my father when he’s sober and my father when he’s drunk are two different people, but that hardly erases the fact that I’ve been hurt. And, what about the way Angel acted before he was a vampire? When he was nothing but a drunk who got into fights and wasted his life away? Did he behave more as the hero, or more as Angelus? I find that it’s always much easier to just blame the circumstances, (I.e, he only hits me when he’s drunk, or he only kills when he doesn’t have a soul) but that doesn’t change or undo the hurt that has been caused. Especially when my point was specific to one particular evil done by Angelus. I’m not saying that Angel /never/ felt sorry for something he did. I know he bitterly regretted his treatment of Buffy, and he did try to take his own life when driven to it by the first evil. I know all of this to be true. But that’s not what I was talking about. I was speaking only of what he did to Drusilla. Here was a girl that wanted nothing more than to be innocent and pure in the eyes of her God. She didn’t want to be a vampire. And Angel(us) took everything from her…simply because he could. He stalked her. He murdered her family, and then, when she tried to run from him, he tracked her down, entered a holy place, defiled the nuns, and then took her purity and her life. He literally drove her insane and then turned her into a vampire so her torment would never end. He tormented her for years after the fact and then, when he got bored, he cast her aside and only occasionally went back to hurt her some more. And yet…Drusilla was always the one who was treated like the problem. No one really acknowledged her pain or what Angel(us) really did to her. It always bothered me to see that Buffy was just so open and ready to be understanding to /Angel/ when he claimed to regret it, but never offered to understand the real victim in the situation. You could argue that Drusilla was too dangerous to reason with, and I might even concede to that argument, but I still just thing that it’s unfair that Drusilla was never given her chance to tell her own story in the show. Maybe it was because it would be too taboo to really discuss. That should tell you something about what he did to her, I think.
And you know, it’s not just the characters who made no effort to understand Drusilla’s pain. A lot of the fandom has written her off as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across fanfics that only used her as ‘the crazy ex-girlfriend’ that Buffy is jealous of, or as the ‘stupid vampire’ that Buffy slays to be with Spike and/or Angel. Why is that what she’s reduced to? She’s mentally ill, and has been through horrors that are almost impossible to imagine, but she’s never gotten the empathy she deserves.
The second point that was made, was an accusation that my distaste for Angel’s treatment of Drusilla- I do mean Angel, because whether or not you agree that they are the same person, Angel was not kind to Drusilla either- was that it must be my love for Spike that made me feel that way. Honestly, that point kind of made me laugh and I almost directly responded for that reason. I actually don’t care much for Spike, either. I found his attempted rape of Buffy to be unforgivable, and nothing makes me grind my teeth more than the way every act of attempted sexual assault or actual assault was treated in this show. I.e, the way that it was hardly addressed and then forgotten about. That doesn’t just apply to him, either. There was a case of victim blaming in the earlier seasons, in which a boy came onto Buffy and then she was
blamed for what he tried to do to her. Faith attempted to rape and then tried to murder Xander, and that was also never really addressed or spoken of again. He didn’t even much- if any- of a fuss when she returned. The show handled a lot of serious topics very poorly, I think, ranging from assault to abuse, and it will always be a source of frustration for me, but I better stop now before I get completely off-topic. My point is, Spike has done awful things in his past too, and I acknowledge that. I never denied that, and I certainly don’t see how pointing out one of Angel’s flaws automatically makes me a erm, ‘Spike Stan’. I actually find it funny how people assume showing distaste for one of Buffy’s exes automatically means that I must worship the other one. Spike, Angel, and Buffy were not the only three characters in the show. I understand they were her core love interests, but it is possible not to agree with either of them. Personally, I ship Buffy with a long and happy life where people stop making her so miserable all the time.
What’s really amusing about this is that I never said I hated Angel. I stated that I am not a member of his fanclub, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate him as a character or what he brought to the show. I feel the same for Spike, and what I am talking about is not the characters as a whole, but rather a flaw in their designs or something that I find to be unforgivable about them. There’s no need for a call to arms.
Lastly, I’ve thought long and hard over the suggestion that I get the “fuck out of this tag”, because my view did not paint Angel as the conquering and undeniable hero of the fandom. And, after much consideration and a few cups of coffee I have formulated as response. It is as follows.
btvs faves: favourite season: 5 you are full of love. you love with all of your soul. it’s brighter than the fire; blinding. that’s why you pull away from it. […] risk the pain. it is your nature. love will bring you to your gift.