Joss Whedon fansite ‘Whedonesque’ shutters following his ex-wife’s essay

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On Monday, we discussed the Joss Whedon story – go here to review. Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole wrote a scathing tell-all essay for The Wrap, in which she detailed her ex-husband’s compulsive lies, infidelity and gaslighting campaign. It wasn’t just an ex-wife trashing her ex-husband for the hell of it though – her larger point was that Whedon’s self-processed feminism was little more than a pick-up line he employed to cheat on Kai with a wide variety of friends, co-workers and employees. I saw some Whedon die-hards arguing online that “he can still be a feminist and a cheater.” Sure, I agree with that in theory. But go back and read Kai’s essay. He used and abused his power as a showrunner and Hollywood power player to seduce women, some of whom likely felt like they had to sleep with him to get ahead. He gaslighted his wife for 15 years. He used his “feminist credentials” as a shield from criticism. None of that is feminism. It’s actually toxic masculinity.

In the wake of Kai’s essay, a lot of thinkpieces have been written, and a lot of interesting takes have been had. Some of the pieces I enjoyed: this AV Club piece, “Joss Whedon Was Never A Feminist.” The Mary Sue did a piece analyzing Whedon’s brief statement, and how it reflects the idea that he probably was gaslighting Kai for years.

The Wrap did a follow-up yesterday, noting all of the actresses who have worked with Whedon over the years, and how none of them are offering any public statements, either in Kai’s defense of Joss’s defense. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku are no-commenting. Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, Emma Caulfield and more are not responding to press inquiries. Which is honestly fine with me – none of these women need to speak out one way or the other. But it’s interesting to note that no one is breaking down People Mag’s doors to defend Feminist-of-the-Century Joss Whedon, right?

And finally, the popular Whedon fansite Whedonesque is partially shutting down. The discussion board/fan community site will be shutting down due to all of this mess, but the Whedonesque operators say that they will probably still operate the Twitter account.

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94 Responses to “Joss Whedon fansite ‘Whedonesque’ shutters following his ex-wife’s essay”

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  1. Nicole says:

    lol where there’s smoke.
    And yes he probably WAS gaslighting her. Which is the worst and I loathe when people do that to others

    • Millenial says:

      I think even the comment, “I’m not commenting out of concern for the children and respect for the ex-wife” was a huge gaslight in-and-of itself, as if after decades of serial cheating he’s now oh-so-concerned about the welfare of his family and his wife is oh-so-terrible and harming the children. GMAFB.

      • Mrs Odie says:

        It implies that by commenting SHE has no concern for the children or for HIM. He’s a writer. He knows how to attack without seeming to attack. I’ve never been a viewer of any of his shows, though my two of my siblings are devoted to Buffy. All I heard in what he reportedly wrote to his wife is, “Hot girls never wanted to bang me until after I got married and now it’s so unnnnnnfffffaaaaaaaaaiiiiirrrrrr! WAH, WAH, WAH! This is Greekly mythical in its epic unfairness to my penis!”

    • GoSsip says:

      What is gaslighting?

      • CL says:

        From Wikipedia:

        Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.

        Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term owes its origin to a 1938 play Gas Light and its 1944 film adaptation. The term has been used in clinical and research literature, as well as in political commentary.

      • Nicole says:

        It’s like when a guy calls a girl crazy for thinking he cheats knowing that he’s been cheating. But to discredit her, he pretends he has no idea why she’s so suspicious. Gaslighting

      • Bettyrose says:

        Gossip, Look for the classic film noir “Gaslight.” It’s a must-watch at some point in life.

      • Moon Beam says:

        What I got from her essay was that he would make her think her concerns (about him cheating, using his position to have affairs, using their marriage to shield himself from criticism etc) were invalid or in her head. Some men can make women feel like they are just being hysterical and overreacting, when they really aren’t (I’m sure women do it to, just to be fair).
        I had an ex who was an addict, Gaslight extraordinaire there!

      • Bella bella says:

        See the great Ingrid Bergman film!

      • Mrs Odie says:

        It’s when you make someone doubt their own sanity by denying their reality to them.

        I saw you with that woman!

        It wasn’t me. Are you okay? You must be seeing things. You are very upset.

        I must be going crazy. I could swear it was you. I’m so sorry I doubted you.

    • Nina says:

      It’s so gross too how he tried to blame the “needy” girls for his affairs. So he plays victim, gaslights his wife, and then gaslights the mistresses too by pretending they are so desperate when in reality they were just trading goods for services? F$ck this guy.

  2. Carol says:

    I can’t believe there were people trying to defend him. He’s obviously a creep.

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      And blaming Kai for speaking out.

      This is not some “woman scorned” essay. He did some horrible things to Kai, and it is important others know who he is so he gets cut off from doing it again, and so others who are still in that situation know they are not alone.

      • Moon Beam says:

        At first I wondered why she was going public in this way, and then I read that he downplayed their separation and she felt he did it to use having a wife to shield him from criticism. She was probably fed up.

      • Mrs Odie says:

        Truth is, he could get beautiful women close to him because they thought he was safe. Then he could feed their feelings for him and close the deal, all while using his wife as a way to get close to women. It’s just reprehensible. If he just presented himself as a single guy, the women he described as “needy and aggressive” probably wouldn’t have wanted him. Being married to a smart, pretty woman increased his value and he used it.

    • Nicole says:

      Of course they are. This is America and that is Hollywood. They glorify abusive directors esp white males. Just look at a bunch of the working directors a ton of them are known abusive d*cks. But people will still line up to work with them to get that Emmy or Oscar and launch their career.
      Nothing about this is shocking

      • mike says:

        Do you really think this affects him at all professionally? It takes the shine off his reputation but Unfortunately bet everyone of his former female stars would work with him again. He is too talented and too powerful to have consequences in Hollywood. More likely the ex wife will suffer for her expose.

      • Nicole says:

        @mike I don’t it will affect him professionally that’s my point. Unless you’re responding to someone above me

      • Chinoiserie says:

        Mike some female stars might not wish to have rumours that they have gotten roles by causting couch by being in his films. And it’s branding issue and women might not turn out to see his movies as much affect him in long term.

  3. tracking says:

    So telling that none of his actresses are willing to speak out on his behalf. Glad his ex exposed him. Nothing worse than a guy who trades sexually and professionally on faux feminism.

    • Mia4s says:

      That was a HUGE indicator to me. Even abuser Johnny Depp had people speak up for him. Which I get, given “which” Depp they likely met. The silence is deafening in this case.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      If any of the actresses defend him they will be assumed to be ones he had an affair with. With Depp people defending him would mostly be called naive. So it’s apples and oranges comparison.

      Not saying I don’t believe Whedon did it but this just means nothing.

      • tracking says:

        I disagree, Chinoiserie. If a male colleague of mine were being targeted unfairly, damn straight I would speak up and say emphatically “I have never seen Josh engage in that kind of behavior, ever.”

  4. emma33 says:

    Good! I feel like this guy wasn’t just cheating, he was gaslighting and using his feminist cred to get laid.

    Imagine a slightly different scenario: a woman who was married to a preacher who preached about family values (and used his stance to further his career) but was cheating on her and gaslighting her for years. Would she have a moral right to publicly tell other people what he did?

    I would say yes, because what he did goes beyond his personal relationship and reaches into his work-life. I don’t think women in this situation have an obligation to speak out, but I do think they have the right.

    • Tallia says:

      What Emma said! +1000 Normally, I think people should keep their private life private, but in this instance JW used his position and his “feminism” to draw people into his web, all the while tormenting his wife. She needed to speak out.

    • Lotal says:

      + a million. Gross guy. Are there any male directors who aren’t taking advantage of their position :-(

  5. Cbould says:

    Thank goodess his fan website has shuttered. Hopefully no one will give him any more feminist awards. And, maybe people will give the Batgirl movie to someone who could actually do her justice. We all know Hollywood will keep hiring him & burning a torch in his “honor” (cough, cough Allen, Polanski).

    • PPP says:

      I was worried about the Batgirl movie the moment I read the horrendous Wonder Woman script. And after that animated fail fest The Killing Joke. Barbara Gordon is my favorite comic book character because, in my mind, she survived a male writer’s act of violence against her to persist in her super heroism. In fact, if you made a meta-narrative about The Killing Joke, I’d watch that movie in a heartbeat.

      • Cbould says:

        Yeah, the WW script he wrote was SO awful. Don’t know much about the Batgirl comics but you make it sound good. Which makes it even worse to think of how unwatchable he’ll make it. SMH

  6. Cbould says:

    Another good think piece is this one from the Paste, gives a good female gamer perspective.

    I quoted the last paragraph in the first comments section. But I’m adding it again because it’s amazin, imo, and should be read again & then enacted.

    • Cbould says:

      Final paragraph from the Paste article:

      “If you want to improve the social condition by adjusting the way you write women, start with agency. Empower us, make us the hero of our own story. Defer to our authority and our perspective. Make us sympathetic. Empathize with us. Give us the benefit of a doubt. Write women who are vulnerable and weak but still bravely pursue their motivations and endeavors. Write a woman who cries and is scared but still saves the day. Write a woman who is angry and imperfect but has a heart of gold. Write a woman you don’t want to fuck—not because she has traits you find unfuckable, but because you respect her enough to not even think about if she is or not. Write a woman who would want nothing to do with you. And above all, show that you value women enough to value them in any of their forms—even the ones you’ve been conditioned to use as justification to withhold your respect. Value them on their own terms, and not yours. Until you can do that, the work is not yet done.”


  7. says:

    I am happy that this has consequences.

    As a longtime Whedon fan who only recently rewatched Buffy I was shocked how he portraited women and also the guys behavior towards them.

    I always thought that Xander was a douche and Dollhouse made me loose quite some respect for him. Avengers I always found to mainstream and it did nothing for me.

    But to say that his behavior is in line with a real feminist is like saying someone doesn’t hate gays because he says so even so he does not want to be touched by a dude because it “looks gay” or this sort of thinking.

    And even so I do not clutch my pearls at every cheating scandal I do strongly disapprove that as a producer and director he was in a position of power and basically screwed his dependents.

    As for his wife: gaslighting is abuse – even so quite some users tried to make it sound like an unfound accusation.

    • The Original Mia says:

      Yes. Yes. Yes. Xander has always been problematic and judgey. He was Whedon. The good guy who could do no wrong, and why couldn’t the women around him understand that he was only doing things in their best interests. Yuck. Dollhouse was gross on so many levels. Couldn’t make it through the first season.

      • kimbers says:

        Recently watched both seasons of the dollhouse and liked the technology taking over people, post apocalyptic aspect. After someone warned me about content, i felt prepared to view it. While it was dark, i guess i didn’t view as negative as i should, because all the women kicked ass in the end.

      • ichsi says:

        I never got the criticism of Dollhouse. It’s dark and all its operators are in a morally grey to black-ish area, which is something I like in my TV shows. I’ve kept away from all the Whedon discussions that came before this, because I though no matter how the shows appear now, they were ground-breaking for the time. Still think so actually, however, this essay killed any positive feelings I had left for Whedon as a person. He really is just another powerful man in Hollywood, dirty and rotten as the rest of them.

  8. Svea says:

    Am surprised people have fallen for his nice-guy schtick. He gives me the willies. I sympathize with the wife–and congratulate her. Gaslighting really is a heinous form of abuse. The worst part is that you lose trust in your own perceptual lense.

  9. littlemissnaughty says:

    Well, it’s a bit unfair to ask them to comment in the first place. It’s not on them. It’s on him. It’s also not on his wife. It. Is. On. HIM. And none of these actresses have the profile to be able to speak out against him without much risk. I say leave them out of it.

    I love this site and the commenters, you guys are honestly lovely and intelligent people and I usually enjoy a spirited discussion, even if people disagree with me. But the fact that so many here jumped on his ex and could only spare some judgment for him when prompted … it surprised me, to say the least.

    • Cbould says:

      Ah, yep!!!! The last comments section got a little concerning, thanks for continuing to make this point, ms.naughty. It is all on him. And not Kai’s responsibility or any of the actresses he employed.

    • detritus says:

      tbh i was really surprised too. It felt really wrong and i was having a hard time articulating why, you and a few others were doing a great job though.

      I actually asked around about how to discuss this, and one person who replied compared it to bank robbing or a similar crime or bad behaviour.

      If your husband or wife robs a bank, you are not responsible for ‘shielding’ the children from that. You have a responsibility to be honest with the kids, in a way they understand. Which at 15 and 20 something for Whedon’s kids, is a pretty high level. It’s actually harmful for the kids to find out from other sources, and in the age of internet, they will find out.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      There were so many levels to this story and the circumstances that I was having a hard time as well yesterday. I instinctively hated the “privacy” argument and initially couldn’t explain why. Others did a better job with that.

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      Yes, I too was very surprised that some didn’t see what was happening here, and used the privacy card. This isn’t a Halle Berry situation, just to get back and be spiteful.

      This woman was traumatized for years. Speaking out against your abuser is so powerful. Every person who is abused deserves that.

    • Moon Beam says:

      Oh you know certain places asked them to comment just to figure out who he had affairs with.

    • A says:

      Thank you for mentioning that! I was quite astonished by the pearl clutching over his wife’s statements, all of which basically amounted to the whole, “Don’t air your dirty laundry in public,” etc.

      Joss Whedon made his entire career by positioning himself as a feminist. He made money from the women who trusted him to tell their stories. He would never even have been approached for the Avengers if he hadn’t had the previous successes to put him in the running, success that he from women supporting him. And all the while, he continued to not only hold some seriously flawed views about the subject, but he actively mistreated the most important woman in his life in a terrible way, while still angling to make as much money and influence as possible off of his feminist cred (he wrote the script for Wonder Woman). I read his wife’s comments as less about his wife and their personal relationship, and more as a way to let people know that he’s selling them snake oil when it comes to his business of making movies.

      • Tia says:

        He wrote an appallingly awful totally sexist script for Wonder Woman that did a reverse Mad Max (focussing significantly on Steve Trevor) that not even his reputation could get filmed.

        He did not write the actual filmed Wonder Woman

      • A says:

        @Tia, yeah I know that, I was under the impression that that script was reworked and then used for the actual film? But like, he got the chance to write it and presumably enough clout to go around and shop it to different studios. THEY shut him down, but the confidence he had in thinking that his fetishizing piece of garbage would fly with women is more what I was trying to pinpoint.

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      Completely agree with you, littlemiss. I was abused as a child, the secret keeping is one of the worst things. It was triggering reading certain comments, like the kids don’t know?? Just like that line in Big Little Lies, we see, we f&$)ing see! My mom was abused and I knew, nothing was ever done in front of me, I still knew. She was the one who didn’t know about me… I knew everything, I was six.

      • Cbould says:

        Sophie, what courage to share the specifics of your story. What strength to move through that. Sending you some loving vibes.

  10. JC says:

    This guy is a preening phony, completely, deeply, dishonest. He used feminism to camouflage his flawed character and signal his finer-than-the-average guy’s moral superiority, all the while reaping career and financial rewards.

    Lots of preening, virtue-signaling phonies out there. Male and female.

  11. Word says:

    Blind item: Who were the actresses he had affairs with?

    • Nicky says:

      I saw a comment on another site about a couple of actresses and read a couple of interviews relating to them which now seem rather Odd. I expect this is not the last we will hear about this. He really is a horrible man. I can see what his wife means about keeping her for his image when he is really just a run of the mill Hollywood sleazebag. The pathetic comment about not commenting because of his kids and respect for his wife. How about apologising to your wife and kids? Apologise to your children for your disgusting treatment of their mum which Left her in a bad place. It couldn’t not effect them as it sounds like it made her very ill. Maybe he should have thought of them rather than the beautiful needy aggressive young actresses! I’d like to buy Kai a drink. I think she’s brave and fab.

  12. Tan says:

    God that post was littered with victim blaming, motherhood shaming and general institutional misogyny against the poor woman for speaking up.

    From attention seeking scorned ex to mother who didn’t think of her children, to validity of her PTSD claims,

    That this site has so many people who indulge in double standards for real life people ( and not just fictional characters) : was a an unwelcome surprise

    I am glad this post highlighted the fact that she was speaking up to prevent further abuse happening to potential victims or that actively gaslighting her aside from cheating is legitimate abuse

    • Lady D says:

      It was bad. All those ‘she should have kept her mouth shut’ comments really sucked. She has long-term PTSD because of this prick, but she should think of the children. Apparently raising healthy happy children is entirely on the mother and her actions.

      • Cbould says:

        Yes, it was alarming & made me sad. So many of us unconsciously live our own oppression.

        BUT, we should always remember that amazing ‘You can practically smell the fedora coming off him.’ Which could be our new secret pass code to warn fellow woke women of who to steer clear of.

      • Sojaschnitzel says:

        I’m one of those guys on the other post that said “I am surprised that she made their private stuff public”. I did not say that she _should_ have kept her mouth shut. Oh no sir. It is certainly her right to speak out, and even if there weren’t the very good reason of wanting to prevent other from falling into his trap, which is nice of her, I totally understand why that poor woman needed to let some steam off. I can see both sides here. I’m a very private person and I would never air relationship matters in a public or even semi public circle. Not even when I got cheated on, and believe me, I have been cheated on. I had guys getting some on the side, with no protection, for years. More than once. But never would I have made a public drama out of it, for revenge or self healing of whatever reason.
        So that’s just it. People are different. I am not blaming or shaming it for her. Her actions are perfectly fine in my book. Just surprising. At first glance at least. At the second glance I can see the protective aspect of her decision. And yes, she is the victim and the guy is a total douchenoozle.

  13. minx says:

    He seems like the typical not-hot guy who couldn’t resist hot women.

    • GiBee says:

      … and always felt “entitled” to them because he was a SUCH a nice guy, so really, how could we have expected him not to sleep around when he had the chance? Yep, this is an old story. Nerd entitlement to women is just as bad as jock entitlement to women.

  14. Miss M says:

    Hi ex-wife emphasized a lot that the cheating started during “Buffy”. Did we really think any actress on that show would say anything? If they did, people would assume they were the mistresses. Then, if they explained or defended themselves from the accusations, fingers would be pointed to the actual mistress (es) by process of elimination, and we would find who she was talking about…

    • detritus says:

      I’m being super speculative, but I worry about Eliza with this news. Her alcohol abuse escalated during those times, and he literally killed a character to bring her on. Anyhow. Doesn’t matter who it was (i’m just a nosy nancy and obvious gossip), I just hope they are OK now.

      • Cbould says:

        Oh shit, detritus! Noooooo, I really hope that’s not the case. While Dollhouse was a gross premise, Eliza was wonderful in that. She’s a great actress. Feel angry again just thinking about another talented woman he took advantage of. ugh

  15. Miss M says:

    Hi ex-wife emphasized a lot that the cheating started during “Buffy”. Did we really think any actress on that show would say anything? If they did, people would assume they were the mistresses. Then, if they explained or defended themselves from the accusations, fingers would be pointed to the actual mistress (es) by process of elimination, and we would find out who she was talking about…

  16. Moon says:

    I read an article recently about dating the woke bro and why you should beware them. Whedon fits the description of a man who used feminism to seduce women and feel good about himself without dismantling the patriarchy. If anything I’d call this a new, seductive form of patriarchy.

    • A says:

      He’s basically the guy who takes the Women’s Studies elective in college and fronts like he really cares, but truthfully, is only there to pick up girls with his “wokeness.”

    • Ada says:

      Google “sneaky fucker strategy” and read about how certain species use it to lure or get with females they otherwise could not get with.

  17. detritus says:

    “Some …[were] arguing online that “he can still be a feminist and a cheater.” Sure, I agree with that in theory. But go back and read Kai’s essay. He used and abused his power as a showrunner and Hollywood power player to seduce women, some of whom likely felt like they had to sleep with him to get ahead. He gaslighted his wife for 15 years. He used his “feminist credentials” as a shield from criticism. None of that is feminism. It’s actually toxic masculinity. ”

    F*cking bang on, Kaiser. Crisp, concise and incisive, as per usual.

    • GiBee says:

      Also as I pointed out on the other post – we don’t know the details. A lot of men who cheat go extra stupid and do so unprotected. To expose a female partner to potential STIs is very much anti-feminist – it’s taking away bodily autonomy.

      • detritus says:

        Very much agreed. Even with protection, at a certain point you are still exposing a spouse to STIs, especially with repeat offenses. Herpes simplex viruses do not require genital to genital contact, neither does HPV.

        I’m starting to think that adultering is actually abuse in like 90% of cases. Not a one time mistake, where the person owns up and apologizes, but the kind where it happens consistently.
        It always seems to come with gaslighting (you’re crazy, i’d never cheat says the cheater) and a forced risk that violates bodily autonomy.

      • GiBee says:

        That’s a very good point – any sexual contact, protected or not, comes with some risk. That’s a choice people make anytime they engage in sexual activity. He took that choice away from her, all because he felt being a “nice guy” meant he deserved to sleep with anyone he wanted.

  18. Sparkly says:

    I, too, was greatly surprised by the comments on the initial post. And I used to be a Whedon fan. I’m glad his ex-wife spoke up, and I think this knowledge absolutely affects his supposed ‘feminist cred’. A man using that kind of power and faux-ally rallying to further subjugate women deserves to be exposed, and hopefully it will spare further victimization by him.

    No, you can’t actually be a feminist and treat women like sh-t to get yourself ahead. He can spew the best tag lines and maybe even provoke some thought, but if you walk the opposite talk, that’s hypocrisy and blatantly using women/women’s rights as your own personal stepping stone, not actual feminism.

  19. Luca76 says:

    I’m just going to say one thing we talk about consent so passionately but only one party has absolutely no consent in a situation like this and that’s the kids. Finding her over sharing potentially harmful to the kids especially because of my own personal experience isn’t sexist or woman hating.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      “Over sharing” is not what she was doing. And you know nothing about the kids’ consent. I highly doubt that she did this without talking to them. But I don’t know that either. It’s all speculation. And you still don’t call him a terrible father for causing the situation in the first place. I give up.

      • ArchieGoodwin says:

        I feel your pain.

        It’s so not “over sharing” to show your children that you are taking your power back. They already know there were problems, already felt the pain. The relationship with their father was already damaged, I posit. To see their mother standing up is healing.

      • Cbould says:

        It’s not over sharing to confront reality. A skill kids need to have too.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        And don’t they have a daughter??? What would the message to the daughter be if the mother just suffered in private? While dad is allowed to put up a phony feminist front to further his career? HOW is that healthy?

    • detritus says:

      Luca, I’m incredibly sorry for what you went through. I really hesitate to respond because you sound like you had to deal with a horrible parent who emotionally abused you, and that is something absolutely no one deserves. I don’t want you to think me disagreeing with you on this matter lessens how I feel on that one tiny bit.

      But it wasn’t speaking out about the issue that was the abusive part, it was your parent forcing you and asking you to choose sides. That is a layer of emotional manipulation that is absent here. I am assuming here, but it also sounds like your parent put this on your at a very young age, which is also incredibly inappropriate. Again though, it is not being honest with children that is the problem, it is denying them the agency of choice. Just like not telling them denies them agency.

      But in the end, it is Joss and Joss alone that is responsible for this tearing away the curtain, for showing his true colours. Not the messenger. Finding out their mother wasn’t able to talk about her abuse, and how she emotionally suffered, is also dangerous for children. They learn that accepting and covering up abusive and hurtful behaviour is normal. They learn the other behaviours, the indicators of adultery, those are normal.

      You are denying Kai her own agency, at the service of her children. When her silence doesn’t truly serve them at all. It’s like the abusive version of prolife arguments. A womans life is always at the service of her children, yet the man who caused the issue is let off scott free.

    • Alisha says:

      Luca, it’s a genuine concern and I’m sorry for what you went through.

      But a commenter on here said the other day, something to the effect of maybe the thinking of the kids should have started with Joss when he started doing these things and treating her shabbily.

      Personally I feel that defending her agency and standing up for herself to a powerful person to set the record straight is a good example to set.

    • Luca76 says:

      Honestly I am going to first off say that I thank those of you that acknowledged what I wrote and also say I am so grateful for therapy.
      I want to say that the idea of ‘setting an example’ sounds great in theory but thats not really how it works. Children want to have relationships with their parents outside of their parents relationship with each other. That doesn’t disregard whatever happened between the two of them. Or who was wrong in a given situation. This is that father that was given to them irregardless and they have the right to navigate their own relationship. When adults bombard children with information they don’t need(especially in states of high drama) to be exposed to it sure as hell screws them up. BTW I also want to acknowledge that maybe they don’t even have a relationship with their dad and are completely ok with this being out in the open I really have no idea but no one making platitudes knows whether the reverse is true either. So saying anyone talking about the kids is a blanket misogynist is really unfair. The idea is they have the primary right to figure that out(yes primary meaning its more important than either parent airing out their personal feelings ) and that is something I viscerally believe probably because that right was taken away from me.
      BTW I am noticing that a lot of commentors are saying that people who disagree with her coming out don’t understand what it means to be gaslit. That is just another false presumption. Having been raised by a narcissist I know gaslighting very well. I just have a different perspective than others do.

      • detritus says:

        It is a very misogynistic thing to say though, Luca, no matter how you couch it, and that is why commenters are blanket stating so. I’m saying this not in anger, or frustration, but truly because I want you to understand where many of us are coming from and because I have blind spots and need to be called on them sometimes too.

        In your case, you are obviously empathizing deeply with the kids, and thats really honorable and kind of you. The problem is that you are doing this at the expense of Kai, the survivor. Kai has shown no signs of pursuing parental alienation, she made no mention of his unfitness as a father, just as a director and husband.

        So that, plus that seeing yet another man say – shut up woman, your pain isn’t worthwhile sharing, you are doing everyone a disservice by speaking your truth, think of your children – soemthing she most assuredly has done, that sucks an awful lot. Women are told their lot in life is service to their children by a ton of sources, but it still sucks to hear someone say it. To hear it from a feminist commenter is extra rough.

      • mee says:

        Was reading the other post/comments and torn by the comments. I can understand the point about sparing the children the humiliation of exposing their father in this manner. Maybe she shared with her kids that she was going to write that post; maybe she didn’t. We don’t know and that is a potentially valid concern, particularly as some kids may not want such details to be exposed. If it were me, I guess I’d suck it up if there were kids involved and I didn’t want to have them go through such public stuff.

        However, I can’t judge her for what she did as I don’t know the situation and how she communicated with her kids about this. And I completely totally understand her desire to air what happened and to get it off her chest. The woman lived with a liar for 15 years, who took away her confidence, sense of sanity, and agency. I can understand her fury about it. I don’t think anyone who cheats or lies deserves to have their lies protected because (i) they’re lying and misrepresenting themselves – whether privately or publicly – and the risk they take in lying is always that the truth will get out; and (ii) it’s unethical and unfair to everyone who’s buying that person’s shtick.

  20. Tara says:

    ‘community site will be shutting down due to all of this mess’

    except that isn’t the case officially and a 2 min Google was all it took to find that out – she’s been planning on shutting it down for a couple of years – if she was so appalled by his behaviour she wouldn’t keep the twitter up showing gifs of his show would she?

    I wish she was buts that doesn’t seem to be the case

  21. Cbould says:

    Okay…so now that we *mostly* agree that Whedon is a toxic male, can we take a look at Louis C.K.?

    His response to persistent allegations of locking female comics in a room & then jacking off in front of them? See this gem below:

    “I don’t care about that. That’s nothing to me. That’s not real…You can’t touch stuff like that. There’s one more thing I want to say about this, and it’s important: If you need your public profile to be all positive, you’re sick in the head. I do the work I do, and what happens next I can’t look after. So my thing is that I try to speak to the work whenever I can. Just to the work and not to my life.”

    Like, it’s below him to even ponder the allegations. His life is his life and he can be a pervert if he wants to…

    See also Tig Notaro’s take on him:

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I avoid any comedian who thinks rape jokes are okay. In the name of art. I didn’t know about this but I never liked the guy because of that.

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      Thanks for posting this, I did not know about Louis CK. Not that I was a huge fan, but I will certainly avoid him in the future, what an awful person he is.

  22. Jennie Hix says:

    Judging by the comments on the last article, gaslighting is something you have to live through to truly understand.

    Gaslighting is reality distortion. In may case, I really, truly, 100% believed I was crazy…I mean 100%!!! I believed I was a psycho who made things up.

    I read about borderline personality disorder for hours and even went to a psychiatrist so I could be diagnosed. (Fortunately, I don’t have a personality disorder. Later on, my therapist laughed at my assertion that I had BPD.)

    When someone makes you feel crazy for years on end, it kills your confidence. It has affected my relationships and work, too. Like, “I’m so crazy, everyone will know, I’ll misinterpret things like I always do, I’ll fly off the handle, because that’s what I do at home for ‘no reason’ right?”

    Um, no. Once I saw through the lies and realized I was right all along, I started to feel and act like myself again. Just so glad there wasn’t marriage or kids.

    • jjva says:

      I’m glad you got out, Jennie. It’s scary.

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      My mother did this to me. It took me over 30 years to figure it out, with much help from my husband.
      I even went down a path of a career I was ill suited for and failed at.
      Literally, every part of my childhood is in question, to “was I really ill or was she faking it for the attention it got her?” to the “doesn’t work to her potential” which, actually, I was. I’m not book smart. I read a lot, but I am not university material. Yet I was told I was lazy because I didn’t go to uni. The list is fracking endless.
      Took 30 years but she’s out of my life. They all are, all my original nuclear family. And thank god for my husband because I can trust his judgement. My kids too, are teaching me a new way to life without even knowing it. It’s like I have a new start, at 45.

      • graymatters says:

        I’m glad you’re finding yourself and raising the next generation without the trauma you experienced. It’s so hard to know what to think about things when you can’t trust your own point of view.

    • detritus says:

      Truly, Jennie, truly. To experience it or see it happen to someone you love, you don’t look at those ‘innocuous’ comments the same anymore.

      Much love to you ladies, I’m so happy to hear you’ve found your safety.

  23. Bread and Circuses says:

    She touched on something I’ve come to believe over the years:

    Informed consent. If you don’t inform someone of a fact that would make the difference between them agreeing to have sex with you and not agreeing to do so, then you don’t have their informed consent, and you have no right to touch them.

    A person who cheats does not have informed consent. He had no right to touch her while withholding the information that he wasn’t being monogamous. And boy-howdie, you ain’t a feminist if you play fast and loose with the idea of consent. Whedon is a predator.

  24. Rebecca says:

    PLEASE DELETE ALL THE EXTRAS. This is going to be an unpopular opinion – I agree with his defenders. Cheating does not necessarily preclude him from being a feminist. Both men and women cheat. There are all kinds of different reasons why people cheat (all kinds of different lame excuses too).

    Further, just because his ex wife says he used and abused his new found power as a producer to get women, does not make it true. It does not mean the women felt forced or obligated to sleep with him. There are women who are attracted to men in powerful positions just like there are some men who are attracted to powerful women.

    Why not wait until a woman who had an affair with Joss Whedon comes forward and claims she felt obligated or forced to sleep with him in order to keep her job before deciding he’s a fake feminist? An angry ex is not always a trustworthy source.

  25. ORIGINAL T.C. says:

    Sue me but an arse-hole husband and a person’s political or fundamental beliefs are separate. Yes Hillary was a jerk for defending her husband and blaming the women accusing him of cheating. That is separate from her consistent political feminist belief on empowering women, mothers and female children. Feminism isn’t about supporting women or not hurting them. It’s just saying they are equal to men.

    You can be anti-white supremacist and still fight with your non-White neighbor. People can believe eating dogs and cats are morally wrong while not liking dogs and cats.

    This ideal of a bad husband = anti-feminist is bad logic. Furthermore I want receipts on a PTSD diagnosis because you were cheated on or ignored. I have met people with true PTSD, they can barely function in drag to day life. I don’t like throwing true diseases like PTSD or crimes like abuse out for tabloid drama.

  26. ORIGINAL T.C. says:

    Sue me but an arse-hole husband and a person’s political or fundamental beliefs are separate. Yes Hillary was a jerk for defending her husband and blaming the women accusing him of cheating. That is separate from her consistent political feminist belief on empowering women, mothers and female children. Feminism isn’t about supporting women or not hurting them. It’s just saying they are equal to men.

    You can be anti-white supremacist and still fight with your non-White neighbor. People can believe eating dogs and cats are morally wrong while not liking dogs and cats.

    This ideal of a bad husband = anti-feminist is bad logic. Furthermore I want receipts on a PTSD diagnosis because you were cheated on or ignored. I have met people with true PTSD, they can barely function in day to day life. They barely leave their house for fear of falling apart or causing harm to others. I don’t like throwing true diseases like PTSD or crimes like abuse out for sympathy when they are not accurate. My prediction is some of this is exaggerations that will be oncovered in the future or she too will be held to a higher standard in treating her next partner and will fail. Then called a hypocrite.