Was the question, when I posted a mini-rant on the Buffy Cross & Stake Spoiler Board, in response to a fan who says she hasn't liked or respected Willow since S3, because she's become a self-righteous bitca.
Not gonna post my response -- long and very specific to her post, which I don't think I have the right to copy here.
But in response to my post, Ozmandayus (evil B/X shipper tht he is) teased me and asked "Do you like Willow?"
My response (and not the rant I was *going* to do, but right now I don't seem to be able to concentrate on that) :
But seriously--yeah, I do. But no more than I like Giles or Anya or Xander or Spike or... Okay, maybe a little bit more than I like Buffy.
I like *all* the characters. Not equally, true -- I have faves -- everybody does. Mine are (duh) Xander and Spike. Not because I slash them in fic, but because I have a soft spot for the characters themselves, individually. I also really like Tara, even though we know so little about her. I even liked *gasp* Riley. (I thought he was being a serious dumbass in S5, but I still liked him.) And I tend to like the supporting characters a bit more than I like Buffy because she's the center of all things -- and so the stuff about her on the show seems very obvious to me. I like the people who revolve around her, because their lives and problems are more subtle, and take longer to develop. But I like Buffy too.
I don't know why it's necessary for some fans to go out of their way to actively dislike Character X, in order to prove their love for Character Y. They're *all* the good guys. They have problems and disagreements with each other, but the bad guys are the monsters they fight, and the human beings who try to make their lives difficult. And even *those* bad guys are in a gray area -- can become friends, can become more than 2-dimensional.
In the little slash-fic-fandom-world I spend a lot of my time in, Buffy-bashing is rampant. GuyX and GuyY can't possibly have societal pressures, their own personalities, evil monsters, or some other conflict to make their romance difficult. It has to be Buffy who hates them, or hates one of them and therefore does everything she can to break them up, to the point of irrational, murderous behavior. Not every writer does this, but the worst offenders make me want to shake them and ask what show they've been watching. Buffy doesn't have to be a villain, Willow doesn't have to be a villain. Spike, or Faith perhaps, could be villains if a story is written in the right context -- during times when Faith wasn't trying to be redeemed, or with a take on Spike that he's faking, or finally chooses the dark side, etc.
Not saying that all is happy-happy joy-joy in Sunnydale -- they all have conflicts with each other, and none of them are perfect. But sometimes I get a bit tired of seeing any individual character bashed for actions that are either taken out of context, or could be compared with similar actions of the basher's favourite -- but because they're *not* Faith/Buffy/Angel/Spike/Giles, their actions are awful, while the others are, if not saintly, at least to be permitted given whatever extenuating circumstances there were.
Er. I think I may have just inadvertantly whined, "Can't we all just get along?" I must be shunned.