Being an ardent fan of Joss Whedon, I’m always saddened to come across the notion that he is corrupting audiences. Here, in this video, for example, Whedon says that Dollhouse was thought by some to glorify human trafficking. While Dollhouse does portray a kind of sci-fi human trafficking, anyone who thinks that this counts as “glorification” is, in my book, sorely mistaken.
But this idea of “glorifying abuse” is one that we, as erotic writers and readers, often come up against. Where sex is involved, particularly dark sex, there’s usually someone announcing that we’re modeling or glorifying sexual violence. That said, such attitudes are often rooted in genre snobbery. When, for instance, was the last time someone told you that Shakespeare glorifies jealousy and abuse in Othello? Or that Mary Shelley is encouraging murder in Frankenstein? I’ll bet there are those who say that Fifty Shades glorifies abuse, then go home and listen to “Madame Butterfly”—an opera that has often been criticized as intensely racist.
Anyhoo, here’s Joss speaking about Dollhouse. I love it. Hope you do, too.