I’ve had debates with many people about Game of Thrones, mainly men, which of course is no surprise. In my previous relationship I decided to watch the first two episodes with my boyfriend, as I thought it would be something ‘nice’ we could do together.
After all, who doesn’t love binge watching a tv show with their partner?
But within the first thirty minutes I found myself feeling frustrated, angry and offended. I even felt myself judging my boyfriend and feeling personally offended at his love of this show.
How could he watch a show wherein women are raped, sexually assaulted, beaten and so on? And worse still, how can so many men and women for that matter, defend the show? Or laughably, claim it is empowering to women? That it is empowering to watch? That at its core, it is Feminist? Or that Feminist values, shine through?
I’m sorry, but I call bullshit. Huge, stinking masses of it.
Daenaerys, ‘Queen of dragons’ who is labelled a ‘Feminist icon’ in this warped GoT universe, may command an army but they’re all castrated men so aren’t we then led to believe she can only earn the respect of emasculated men?
Moreover, her ‘power’ and ‘authority’ during her struggle is completely undermined by the fact that, more often than not, her boobs are out. If she was fully clothed in armour like the warrior we, as women, are made to believe she is, wouldn’t that be empowering? Wouldn’t it be great if her beauty and ample bosom were not even a thing?
Shouldn’t we focus on her independence, intelligence and bravery? Isn’t that what is important here?
Let’s not force Feminism into places it does not belong.
Do not insult us by telling us it’s ‘character progression’ when she is raped by her husband on their honeymoon because eventually, after constantly bending her over and fucking her like she is no more than his play toy, he ‘falls in love’ with her.
Just this week, after a discussion with my current boyfriend and his friends, I decided to give it another shot. To try and not be ‘such a girl’ about it and watch it with an open mind. But once again, I was left feeling enraged.
I even tried to tell myself that women were second grade citizens in this era, that it was common place for women to be seen and not heard. Fucked and not loved. Used, objectified and discounted. But what is GOTs excuse? It’s a historical fiction/ fantasy right? Why not create a world where women are valued for their mind? Where they fight fully clothed? Or, if nakedness must be in it, let’s have flaccid penises crowding our screens? Why not have men win wars completely naked? Of course not! No, because then the show would be aired later and it would be more expensive for the producers and result in less pay for the actors.
So in its making its reinforcing inequality. It’s saying ‘women’s bodies are there to be looked at, get on with it!’
And before people call me a prude, that is not the case. I enjoy shows like Lena Dunhams ‘girls’ where women are naked during sex because that is the only time they need be. And the sex is not degrading or forced. And, most importantly, the women are average. Their bodies are what most of us see when we look in the mirror. It shows us that yes, it’s okay that your body looks this way. It’s okay to have sex like this.
That is empowering.
GoT is just another example of men’s pleasure being at the forefront of the media.
Where tiny, big breasted women, who I’m sure are many more interesting things than ‘big breasted’ are used as decorative wallpaper for the male viewer. Where, even in their finest, most courageous, moments, must have their breasts out. Why? Because men prefer it that way? Yet it is claimed it enhances the story or is necessary.
It is not.
A show which glorifies female abuse and suppression, and reinforces the idea that women are there for a man’s pleasure has no place in this world. Not for me.
It is simply encouraging men to look at women as objects. To value a woman’s beauty and body over their mind, and the fold it all away into a neat little sexist box by claiming its ‘Feminist.’
It’s sexualized violence and distasteful porn.
And I am so done trying to be okay with it.