Emmie (angearia) wrote,

Drusilla, Glory & Dark Willow - The Antifeminist Villain Yet Again?

So I was watching this video  by obsessive24 and thinking about how many of the main villains are male and representing the patriarchy in some form or another.  All save for Drusilla, Glory and Dark Willow. 

What do the first two have in common?  Madness.  Or perhaps you'd say these women suffer from hysteria.  The origin of the word coming from the misogynistic belief from the Ancient Greeks that women had a wandering womb that caused them to act crazy.  See - the PMS'ing insult has a long and illustrious history.  So these two female villains lack rationale.  That's a man's purview, naturally.  Because women are all emotional and flighty.  They can't be expected to use reason.

Drusilla specifically is presented as a victim warped by her sire, Angelus, who tortured her before turning her.  When she first arrives in Sunnydale, she's too weak to care for herself and completely dependent on her lover.  Later on, she's shown cavorting with two rival lovers, at times relishing them fighting over her.  Past this point she's shown as being a bit loose and cheating on her lover, Spike.  The motivations behind these actions are complex, but looking at it from the context of purely actions relating to the figure role - yeah, negative stereotypes thrown at women.

Then we have Glory.  Again, insane.  Hysteria.  She's also a selfish, ditzy, vain woman who feeds off of others.  Not only is she insane, but she spreads madness which is the ancient world fear - that being around a woman while she's menstruating (and therefore hysterical) would be a violation and potentially harmful.  So being around Glory while she's caught in the grips of her hysteria means that said hysteria can spread to you.

And finally we have Dark Willow.  The woman who lets her emotions take control over her reason.  She can't deal with grief.  She also can't control her power.  The power controls her.  Because women can't be trusted with power now, can they?  They might destroy the world if they get all emotional and have the power to make big decisions.  We can't have a female president because she can't be trusted to make the decisions that need to be made.  And really, do we want a woman in charge of all our nuclear weapons?

This makes me wish there'd been some more careful gender reversal with the female villains.   Though I do wonder if perhaps it doesn't work better to have the villain be the antifeminist figure.  I just wish the negative cliches against women weren't so on the nose.

Tags: i sometimes have feminist thoughts, meta, rec, vid
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