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  • If Willow were to get back with Oz

    Hey

    I was looking through the season eight threads and it was briefly raised how some people in the fandom expect Willow to get back with Oz, or at least think there's a chance of it happening. Personally I don't and never did believe such a thing would happen and Georges comments pretty much suggest it won't. However, hypothetically if it were to happen would people have an issue with it? A lot of people are against it because they believe it'd be disrespectful to Tara and that Willow is gay now. She shouldn’t be heading back to “boys town” ect. Others see Willow as bisexual and don’t have a problem with it. I was just wanting to know what people here thought?

    Vamps
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  • #2
    I have mentioned the possibility before, but I don't think it's ever been realistic. It's just too impolitic. If people think there was outrage when Tara was killed (and I'm talking about the "Joss killed the lesbian!" outrage), that would be very minor compared to Joss suggesting that Willow, having decided in favor of the company of women, would later prefer the company of a man, be it Oz or anyone else. I think this would still be the case if Willow had been textually identified as bisexual, too, because it still implies that it's plausible she prefers male company to female after having tried both, and that would still stir the pudding quite a bit.

    Since this will definitely be a thread where it's fair game, I have no problem at all thinking Willow *could* again be involved with a man, and tend to think of her as bisexual. The "revelatory" view of sexuality which requires she just having been trying to get-by as straight before understanding she wasn't seems to openly contradict the fact that she wanted to be with Xander, then Oz. There was no sense that she was just accomodating cognitive dissonance or social pressure. But I think we've seen enough to suggest she is still sexually attracted to men (unless we're going to assume Dracula's thrall would work on any woman, lesbian or not -- would he have Satsu or Kennedy talking about his eyes looking straight through them?). Even the fact that she thought her claims of affairs with Riley and Angel had facial credibility to use to piss off Buffy suggests this.

    I think she could be involved with Oz or Xander again under the right circumstances, but I doubt she'd ever just meet a guy and fall for him from amongst the crowd of options.
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    • #3
      I always saw Willow as bisexual so it would never really be an issue for me. In fact even in A New Moon Rising she leaves the door open to future bliss with Oz. I concede that she would always go looking for a woman over a man now but I think she’s capable of falling in love with a person regardless of their sex.

      I just think Willow’s been interested in far to many men to be strictly into women. She was madly in love with both Xander and Oz and admits she had a crush on Giles as well. In Wild Things she also admits she has lusty wrong feelings for guys other than Oz and I always got the impression she had a bit of a crush on Angel.

      I wouldn’t find it OOC for her at all but I never believed it would happen in Retreat.

      It's a sensitive issue but I would hope Joss wouldn't stop that from telling a story he would want to explore. I'm also very glad Tara was never shown any special treatment (as some of her fans expected) and was as game as any heterosexual character.
      Last edited by vampmogs; 02-06-09, 12:31 PM.
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      • #4
        Hm, I never had the impression Willow identifies as bisexual, after Tara her preferences and self image have always been very clear. Especially in Season 7, when the focus of her spellbound attraction is a man and she wants to turn him into a woman, so she can be with him.

        Buffy is the one who swings both ways, with Willow it would seem a bit off, since she's very convinced of her sexuality.

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        • #5
          But wasn't she also convinced of her sexuality pre-Tara? As was Buffy pre-Satsu? I agree that Willow probably doesn't identify herself as bisexual. However, she does suggest that one day her and Oz may find each other again in New Moon Rising so she's not entirely against the idea.

          Regarding Him I would actually take a different POV on that episode and say it leans more in favour that she is bisexual. Buffy has to remind her that she's a gay woman, as does Anya and it's only then that Willow convinces herself his gender must be changed.

          I'd love to know if Drac's thrall really would work on Tara, Kennedy or Satsu. Because Willow comes under his thrall just like Buffy does and it's debatable why that is. Does it effect every women regardless of their sexuality? Or only those interested in men? Would Larry become attracted to Dracula? Hmmm..

          I’m not even necessarily sure I’d call Buffy a bisexual either. I don’t believe she has the ability to love another woman in a romantic sense. Many women (and sometimes men) do experiment in college or at a party ect. I’m not sure how many would call themselves bisexual though. It reminds me of an episode of Friends when it's revealed that Rachel experimented with one of her female friends back in college. I saw it just the other day and noticed how casual Monica was about this. It actually made me reflect back Buffy/Satsu and really wonder what all the fuss was a about. Many women do it who are only ever truly interested in men and would probably never call themselves bisexual. The overreaction seems kind of silly in hindsight.
          Last edited by vampmogs; 02-06-09, 12:49 PM.
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          • #6
            If there is anything that puzzles me about questions of sexuality, it's the mystery by which orientation is changeable or discoverable, but only in one direction. A heterosexual can realize their bisexuality or their full-on homosexuality and that's... self-awareness. It is *not* socially acceptable for that process to happen in reverse, regardless of where in this spectrum one started out. So even Willow, once heterosexual, went all the way across to being a homosexual, but cannot be walked back even so far as bisexual without some *serious* controversy.

            Were Willow and Kennedy to get into a fight and Willow to go drink her troubles away and get picked up on by a guy she had not previously been in love with, and be into him... I don't think there would ever be a more negative fan reaction to anything. I don't even think it's even discussible beyond an exception for Oz or Xander.

            There's been no textual indication that Buffy sees herself as bisexual or is even seen by others as bisexual. Even the house lesbians, if you'll pardon the notion, stand staunchly by the idea that she is straight, as both Willow and Kennedy tell Satsu.
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            • #7
              Willow doesn't identify as bisexual, but let's face it - Willow doesn't handle ambiguity very well. Hello, the girl who color-codes her class notes? In many ways, she is herself a walking contradiction, but she's shown many times that she's uncomfortable with things that don't fit neatly into a category. Her feelings for Tara confused the hell out of her, but once she came to terms with the fact that she likes girls, that could mean only one thing to her: "Gay, now." As I posted over on a.t.bvs, she'd probably have to go through half a dozen relationships with each gender before she'd ever get around to "Bi, now", and she'd still probably get headaches and acidy stomachs trying to figure out exactly which notch on the Kinsey scale she belongs in.
              "Occasionally, I'm callous and strange..." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                Regarding Him I would actually take a different POV on that episode and say it leans more in favour that she is bisexual. Buffy has to remind her that she's a gay woman, as does Anya and it's only then that Willow convinces herself his gender must be changed.
                It was a love spell; one that affects women. All women, regardless of orientation... I'm pretty sure Kennedy or Tara or Satsu would have been just as much in love with RJ as Willow was. And probably just as confused...

                Willow didn't "need to be reminded" that she was gay; she was telling herself that she loved RJ so much she could "work around" the fact of his maleness. When Anya accidentally let slip the suggestion of changing his sex Willow needed no convincing... she was overjoyed at the idea that she could be with the person she loved and enjoy having sex with her as well.


                As for the more general question, my interpretation of Willow is that she's a romantic at heart. She falls for people who are cute and funny and intelligent and brave. She's also fairly conformist at heart, or at least too insecure to feel comfortable kicking against the rules even when the idea secretly excites her. So yes, she can have feelings for people of either sex, and in the early seasons she had a big motivation to convince herself that she was straight... she was already a quiet, shy, nerdy wallflower who was picked on at school, she didn't need the added stigma of being a lesbian too.

                But notice what the men whom she does have crushes on have in common. Xander: sees her as a sister, doesn't put any sexual pressure on her at all. Oz: the big defining moments of their relationship are that time when he refuses to make out with her, and that time when he refuses to sleep with her. It's almost as if Willow's subconscious is pushing her towards guys she doesn't have to get physical with. Don't get me wrong; she enjoys their company, and she cares about them, and she doesn't hate the sex with Oz during the three months or so they are actually sleeping together. She's not a 6 on the Kinsey Scale.

                But look at the contrast with her relationship with Tara; how physical they are with each other all the time; the hand-holding, the hugging (and kissing, once the network let them get away with it), the hot sweaty spell sessions in Tara's bedroom. And at the same time, Willow starts calling herself 'gay' rather than bisexual. It's almost as if her physical relationship with Tara was a huge revelation to her, showing her what she'd been missing all that time...

                But it's only a theory.

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                • #9
                  Leaving aside the fact that I find Kinsey's conclusions and, even moreso, methodology seriously questionable, I still see even in Stormwreath's response a sort of undisprovable one-way sliding scale by which Willow can exhibit a same-sex attraction, and every step taken in realizing it is immutable. All that was past is made prologue and is redefined on the basis of its foreshadowing of that part of her personality. And it very much *is* that case because back in the whole sexually unthreatening time of crushing on Xander, there was absolutely no notion that she would eventually be written as a lesbian -- it's pure backfill.

                  Besides which... what of Vamp Willow? She is, as Willow says, "kinda gay", and that's scene as a sort of "a-ha!" when it comes to Willow's own sexuality. But what do we know of Vamp Willow? She's "with"... Vamp Xander. And ostensibly takes fun in torturing and very likely raping Angel.

                  I maintain it wouldn't be out of character in the least if Willow were to reconnect with Oz or Xander. I just don't think it will happen because the backlash would be too substantial for even Joss to stir that pudding. It would have been far more controversial to have had, say, Spike and Tara have a fling than Buffy/Satsu.
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                  • #10
                    I agree that Willow's transformation into a full blown never-going-back-lesbian was sudden, especially since the biggest hint that she might like girls before Tara was VampWillow (who also was bisexual, not exclusively lesbian).

                    I can also see how her past crushes and affairs with men lead to the idea that she's actually bisexual, but it's not how she's written, imho. Her realtionships with men were often very intellect based (in retrospective maybe coresponding more with deep friendship), much less sensual than those with women.
                    Willow always gives the impression that being with Tara was a relevation to her, that she had found something, she had not known was missing in her relationships with men, but that she could not do without after.
                    I think the point Rowan makes, about Willow not handling ambiguity well is very true, but she seems to have less issues with it the older she gets. In this case it looks more like genuine certainty than being uncomfortable with uncertainty.

                    My theory on Buffy corresponds less with conventional sexuality, I tend to think that, while she might prefer men to women, the gender of her partner becomes more and more insignificant compared to the issue if he/she's as powerful as Buffy.
                    I'd say for her the ranks are: superhuman man - superhuman woman - human man -human woman.
                    Buffy likes the sex well enough, but she's not in love with Satsu and the probability that she'll fall for a guy is much higher than that she'll fall for a girl. I think that's what Kennedy and Willow warn Satsu about.

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                    • #11
                      There is not nearly text to justify a conclusion of "supernatural women" over "human men" -- Buffy has had two "normal" human men as lovers that we know of (Parker, post-"Out of My Mind" Riley) and has shown every interest in having others both before and after. The mere fact that she's had one supernatural woman in her bed and didn't, y'know, throw up or something, does not give any basis on which to suggest she'd prefer the latter.

                      With Willow, I think she's demonstrated a clear sexual appreciation for men as well as women, and a preference for women over men.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                        A lot of people are against it because they believe it'd be disrespectful to Tara and that Willow is gay now. She shouldn’t be heading back to “boys town” ect.
                        Vamps
                        I think the only person it would be disrespectful to is Kennedy, since Willow is ostensibly still in a relationship with her. Not that that's stopped Willow in the past (Saga Vasuki, Xander), but it is customary to break up with one partner before knocking on a different door, whether in girls or boys town.

                        I'm thinking that this, rather than Joss's "sexuality is fluid and these people's cups runneth over" will be what Willow takes away from the visit with Oz. Willow would meet with Oz, and remember how guilty she felt when cheating on him, as well as how much it hurt when he cheated on her. It might lead to her trying to end things with Saga Vasuki (and any fallout that that might bring).
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                          Buffy has had two "normal" human men as lovers that we know of (Parker
                          who was a total desaster.

                          post-"Out of My Mind" Riley
                          A relationship that clearly meant a lot to Buffy but fell appart, because he could not deal with the power difference.

                          and has shown every interest in having others both before and after
                          Before, yes, after, not so much. She was mildly attracted to Ben but never mooved in on him and it was the same with Wood.

                          The mere fact that she's had one supernatural woman in her bed and didn't, y'know, throw up or something, does not give any basis on which to suggest she'd prefer the latter.
                          A theory in the general sense of the word, is an analytic structure designed to explain a set of observations (just in case you forgot)

                          The next person she was with was Spike, who basically introduced her to superhuman sex (if we leave Angel aside for obvious reasons) and the first person after that as far as we know Satsu. There's also the dream she has about Xander, the one where his head falls off, when she kisses him.
                          All of this points in the direction that humans start to look more and more vulnerable to Buffy, so that she doesn't trust herself to involve them romantically anymore.

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                          • #14
                            The fact that Parker was a tool and that her emotional distance sent Riley packing* are completely extraneous to analyzing a sexual preference.

                            For the record, there's also not any serious basis to say she *prefers* her lovers to be superpowered, but that's a non-textual argument that's sort of like Porter in "Payback" trying to convince people he only wants $70,000. It's actually a little like trying to get people to see there's a connection between Ben and Glory, too It's mostly a lot of confirmation bias -- like assuming, non-textually, that the 8.02 dream had to do with Xander being human, and not related at all to her textual speech to Satsu in 8.11 about what happens when she's in a relationship.

                            *It might be time for the yearly thread in which I debunk the counter-textual argument that Riley had a "problem" with Buffy being the Slayer, because, again, I am saying there's a connection between Glory and Ben.

                            My read on Buffy's sexuality is a preference for men, ambivalence to their "superpowered" status as it has no bearing on the physical or emotional side of the relationship to her, and a fleeting curiousity about women.
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                            • #15
                              *It might be time for the yearly thread in which I debunk the counter-textual argument that Riley had a "problem" with Buffy being the Slayer, because, again, I am saying there's a connection between Glory and Ben.
                              Well I think he did feel insecure about their relationship and didn't like being seen as the 'weak one' in the set up. Thats why those comments from his old service mates about "What are you now? The missions boyfriend" stung so much.

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