Romany (romanyg) wrote,

Wankety-wank: Gender dynamics and role-switching for your Jossverse playset

Okay, so I just commented in a friend's journal about the social differences in gender dynamics. I won't go into great detail since it was a personal post. Not locked or anything, but still. But I can quote a bit from my response without giving anything away:

I've often wondered why it's considered more socially wrong for a 24-year old woman to be with a 17-year old boy than for a 24-year old man to be with a 17-year old girl. Cause, hey, that's considered romantic. *cough* Buffy/Angel *cough* What would people think if instead of Buffy the Vampire Slayer it was Xander the Vampire Slayer. And the mysterious vampire in the shadows would be Darla. Xander/Darla 4eva!!!!! Their love is so pure!!!!! Pitapat my heart. Yeah, right, like that would ever make it on TV. *snickers*

Now before all the B/A shippers on my list come and smack me upside the head (and probably rightfully so), let me just say that I'm a B/A/S shipper. My OT3. Eleventy-one and all that. So I believe in B/A, I ship them, just, you know, with a Spike in the middle, on the side, on the bottom, cherry on top, and so on. But I also ship S/B with an Angel in the middle yadda yadda. And you *know* I ship A/S. Come on, you gotta know that. It's all fluid dynamics. Like a lava lamp. You can stare at it for hours...*gets munchies*

But I'm getting off the subject here which is gender dynamics and roles. Which are *not* directly translatable. They're just not.

Because Xander the Vampire Slayer, and it's spin-off--Darla, would be completely different shows. For one thing, the whole premise of turning the helpless blonde victim in the alleyway stereotype on its ear would be completely lost. Xander would just be another disenfranchised white male with superpowers. What's so special about that?

But wait, there's Darla, so I'm going to continue with this scenario because I'm weird like that.

Let's say that slayers aren't gender-specific, could be boy or girl. Maybe, historically, a little heavy on the girl side. But once in a while a boy gets Chosen. Only one kid in all the world, sniff sniff. They're so alone. So Xander gets the calling. High school is still hell, Giles still shows up as the librarian, Xander is still an outsider. But he grew up in Sunnydale so there's no new kid in town (Buffy is still blissfully catty at Hemery sucking on her lollipops). Willow still adores him.

He still has to stake Jesse. This time, because it's his job.

But that fateful scene in the's Darla who steps out of the shadows. Darla who's been cursed with a soul.

And it's Angelus that Darla ends up staking at the Bronze to save Xander--choosing her lover over her son. Angelus who pathetically whispers "Darla" as he turns into dust.

And when Darla leaves Xander at the end of s3 to start a new series life in L.A, it's Angelus who's brought back to life in a crate. It's the human Angelus who's dying of syphillis that Darla must do anything to save. It's Darla who throws a newly vamped Angelus through a window and has maddirtynasty sex with him in true despair. And it's Lilah, in a jealous rage, that runs over Darla in her brand new Mercedes because of it. It's Lilah that runs off to Canada to make independent films with an "I hate cops" sign stuck to her back windshield--leaving Lindsey behind to take over their department.

Which means that it's Lilah that comes back in the final season of Darla. All tattooed and eager for revenge. Lilah who sequesters herself in Hamilton's apartment, plotting against Darla and W&H. And it's Eve who gets all T3, smashing through W&H walls, to take over

Because there's still Connor. Except it's not Connor, it's Shannon (played by one of those young actresses that does adolescent disturbed really well--name me one). Darla has a girl. It's Darla that thrusts that knife down in "Home". Darla who would do anything for her daughter--including heading W&H.

But then, because even ME would refuse to do mpreg, Angelus does not die to save Shannon. Angelus doesn't get imbued with his daughter's soul. Everything changes. Maybe in the act of creating Shannon, a little Angel creeps into Angelus? Doubt it.

It's Darla who says, "Mommy's not done talking."

And it's not Spike that shows up all spit and fury and pay-attention-to-me in DtS s5. It's Faith. Huh? Because Spike, he's the other Vampire Slayer. The one who goes bad in XtVS s3. The one that Xander bonds with and then knifes in the gut. Faith would be from a century earlier. Probably "Gangs of New York" era. There could be flashbacks of Faith in a hoop-skirt and bonnet. It would be Faith who would be the s2 Big Bad. Faith who faces down Xander behind the Bronze as he says, "Who're you?" And it would be a crippled Faith that a soulless Darla torments as she dallies with the utterly mad Drew (some ethereal Orlando Bloom type). And it would be Faith who throws down a bruised Xander in the Harris bathroom in XtVS s6, hands around his neck, saying, "Let me show you." It's Faith who takes off on her motorcycle, "Prick is gonna see a change."

And it's Spike who falls down on his knees before Darla in the rain. "Just kill me. Why don't you kill me?" It's Spike that ties down Wesley to a chair, straddles him, and tortures him. It's Spike who goes to jail and writes useless letters to Xander begging for forgiveness. Useless letters to whoever the female Zeppo is (certainly not Cordelia, not Willow, has to be a new one).

And it's Faith who says, "No you don't. But thanks for saying it," to a tearful Xander as she goes up in flames. It's Faith who droops herself over the cross in "Beneath You" as a horrified Xander looks on.

It's Faith who's the Slayer of Slayers, wearing the long black coat that she stripped off of Nick, the last male Slayer before Xander. And it's a Faith in workman's blues drag that spars with a Slayer in a Hindu temple in India. Because Angelus, no longer content to be the Scourge of Europe, he wants to press on to India--like Alexander. Angelus who despises Faith even as he screws her. Until Faith finally gets fed up, takes Drew in hand, and goes back to Europe and then America.

And it's Spike who teases Xander's little brother Don. "Little boy's all man-sized now."

And it's Oz, who's going from gig to gig in L.A., maybe hooking up with a band, maybe not, who always shows up to work late at Darla Investigations. And it's Oz that Darla looks at in wonder as she says, "I've never met anyone like you," as they spar in the basement of the Hyperion. It's Oz who smiles wistfully and says, "I know." It's Oz who calls Darla on all her maudlin crap when she gets worked up. It's Oz who gets cursed with visions. But he deals, you know?

And it's Devon who shows up at Oz's apartment, newly-vamped and looking to hang. Devon who just doesn't see what the big deal is with all this good/evil stuff anyway. Just do what you wanna do. And hey, if that means killing and sucking for an unliving? What's the big?

It's Devon that Faith does the long-ass bed crawl towards as he wonders what all those veins are for. It's Devon that Faith tries to stake as he rambles on about something. "Oh please...Shut up."

It's Devon that ends up getting mugs of blood for Darla as she bitches at him about holding her phone calls and scheduling her meetings.

And it's Devon who tries to hand a ghostly Faith a plain package addressed to her, "Hey, dude, it's for you."

And it's Faith who later straddles him in an office, "Don't talk, you'll ruin the moment."

And it's Faith who says to Darla, "Drew may have turned me, but you're the one that made me a monster."

And it's Darla who says, "I kinda want to slay the dragon."

See? Not directly translatable. Doesn't work, does it?
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