The episode mildly discusses the pressure on boys “to be men” and that if they’re not manly enough in the eyes of society then it is okay to make fun of them and bully them. Johnathan and Xander are not considered “manly,” which makes them an easy target for the swim team and Cordelia to bully them. The bullying and ridicule they face daily fills them with bitterness and resentment that create episodes like BB&B and Superstar. It’s interesting that both Xander and Johnathan chided Buffy for saving their life – having a girl save a boy from beating or humiliation makes that boy a more glaring target for extra bullying and mockery. Something Xander and Johnathan would desperately like to avoid.
“You ran like a woman.” “Practice running like a man.” When you have men and women preaching boys to be aggressive manly men associating strength and bravery to men and belittling women, of course, you’ll get insecure boys like Xander and Johnathan.
One thing that annoyed me about this podcast, when it was implied that Xander would be "okay" about Buffy almost getting raped because of the way she was dressed. Really? Xander who stood up for Buffy when Larry made the comment about her being fast? Xander who got extremely enraged after Spike attempted to rape Buffy?
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