Who gives a shit if Joss Whedon is a feminist or not? And anyway, if someone has affairs or multiple affairs doesn’t make them not a feminist. If that were the case, half of all feminists would have to disavow that appellation, including many former and current leaders of the movement.
The more important question is: was and is his work any good or not? And was it better — for women and feminism — than other work at the time? Did it actually center women, and seem to like them? (Strangely, a lot of work during that time created by women seemed to not actually like women very much.)
And the answer to those questions I think is “yes.”
Was it the perfect unalloyed paragon of peerless feminism? No. But then again, nothing is.
Demanding perfection from any human being is a fool’s demand. No one will ever meet it, and you will always be disappointed.
Whedon is not the perfect feminist. Then again, he never strove to be. That is a label that others foisted on him and demanded that he uphold. It’s not something he ever claimed for himself.
Buffy might seem a bit passé now, after nearly 20 years — but name one other TV show that focused on a young woman as powerful, interesting and worthy of notice not because of how she looked but because of what she did and who she was?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.