Joss Whedon Talks Online Sexism: "It Is a Chaotic Time"

"Every time I'm confronted with true misogyny, I'm stunned"
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Throughout his career, Joss Whedon has been recognized for his feminist themes in shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. Appearing at an Equality Now event in Los Angeles, he spoke about both his origins as a feminist and his take on online attacks against women.

“I was raised by a very strong woman, I didn't know feminism was actually a thing until I left home and found out the country didn't run the way my mom's house did,” Whedon told Vulture. “I have this goldfish, idiot, forgetful thing in that every time I'm confronted with true misogyny, I'm stunned. I'm like, Really? That's like, I don't believe in airplanes. It's like, What century are you from? I don't get it.”

Describing his reaction to the recent wave of online attacks aimed at women as “shocked, then occasionally amused, then occasionally extremely not amused,” the Avengers writer and director said that it demonstrated that misogyny runs deep — “not just where they perform genital mutilation and marry off 10-year-olds” but in our own culture.

“When I see this hate bubbling up towards any kind of progress, my reaction is twofold,” Whedon went on. “First, it's horror, and then, it's delight, because you don't get this kind of anger unless real change is actually happening. It is a chaotic time. It's an ugly time because change is happening. It would be lovely to be living after the change has happened.”

Read more Joss Whedon Releases His Latest Film via Vimeo for $5 (Video)