itsnotmymind: (buffy & faith)
[personal profile] itsnotmymind
Still re-reading [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle's Buffy polls, and I've gotten to her poll on This Year's Girl.

Her third question jumped out at me: "Looking back at events up till this episode, do you think Buffy had done everything that could be reasonably expected of her to reach out to Faith?" There's a lot of discussion in the comments about whether Buffy did enough to help Faith, and what should realistically have been expected of her, Faith-wise.

The question itself demonstrates for me a problem with how fandom talks about the Faith/Buffy relationship. Because no one ever asks, "Did Faith do enough to help Buffy?" Buffy can be condescending with Faith, and she is the senior slayer - but the end of the day she's Faith's equal and peer, not her superior. It's not even clear if she's older or younger than Faith. Buffy isn't Faith's watcher, mother, or therapist. It's not fair to either girl to expect Buffy to take responsibility for Faith as if Faith were a wayward child (which, I mean, she kinda is, but not in relation to Buffy). Buffy had her problems, too, and if she is responsible for Faith, shouldn't Faith also be responsible for her?

Date: 2017-04-01 04:19 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-02 01:44 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-01 06:17 pm (UTC)
kikimay: (Buffy and Willow)
From: [personal profile] kikimay
Absolutely agree. Buffy and Faith are two teenage girls, totally on the "same boat" in terms of authority over the other.

Date: 2017-04-02 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] itsnotmymind.livejournal.com
Yeah. Buffy may be more well-adjusted, but that doesn't make her any more of an adult than Faith.
Edited Date: 2017-04-02 01:47 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-03 10:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frelling-tralk.livejournal.com
I tend to agree, my main frustration is how little interest Giles took in Faith, that he didn't seem to feel like the Council had any responsibility to financially support a 16/17 year old girl with no family. Giles didn't seem to care at all about any slayer but Buffy really, the most interest he ever takes in Faith is when he suggests in Lover's Walk that Buffy can still go to college, because Faith will be on the Hellmouth to take over her duties while she's gone... And it's not like Giles couldn't have afforded to help Faith out more than he did, not only did he have money and connections from the Watcher's Council, but season 4 suggests that he's independently wealthy on top of that (as he countinues supporting himself without a job throughout season 4, and is able to buy the Magic Box without much scrimping and saving at the beginning of season 5). Yet he was apparently perfectly okay with Faith struggling to get by in that crappy motel, and it never occurred to him to put her up in a nice apartment?

So yeah I side-eye Giles way more, as you say Buffy was really only a peer of Faith's, and I think that she did try her best to reach out and be a friend, but Faith really needed guidance from an adult figure in her life. Sadly it seemed like only the evil ones like Gwendolyn Post and The Mayor took any interest in that though

Date: 2017-04-03 12:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] itsnotmymind.livejournal.com
Yeah, Giles really screwed up Faith-wise. She was his responsibility and he ignored her. It's sad, because in Revelations she even defends him to Gwen Post (Gwendolyn grumbles, "God only knows what Mr. Giles has been filling your
head with." Faith says, "Giles is okay."). Given Faith's reaction to Gwen Post and Mayor, she would have loved it if Giles had taken an interest in her. Her mistrust of watchers only starts after Gwen's betrayal, and Giles could have reached out to her before that.

I've always thought it interesting that Faith never attacks Giles directly. She does all manner of things to Buffy, tries to to turn Angel to Angelus and tries to kill him, threatens Willow (and fantasizes about stabbing her), assaults Xander, tortures Wesley, threatens Joyce...but she does nothing to Giles. And Giles is arguably the person she had the most legitimate grievance against (not that it was his fault she evil, or that it would be justified for her to hurt him, but...).

But Buffy was Faith's peer. I once saw someone complain that Buffy should have invited Faith to move in with her. Which, um. It's not Buffy's house. As Joyce demonstrated when she kicked Buffy out in Becoming 2. Buffy could have asked her mother to invite Faith to move in, but Buffy could not have made that decision herself.

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