Sunday, June 10, 2012

Feminism vs Game of Thrones

This is the type of feminist that makes everyone hate feminism. It's on the same level as the Christian who lashes out at Harry Potter for having magic, or the scientific skeptic who can't enjoy Star Trek because the central plot revolves around humanoid type aliens and panspermia being the root of life on Earth and similar planets. But in this case, I'm not even convinced she sat down and watched enough of Game of Thrones to write a proper review — as evident from the marginalization of Daenerys Targaryen, which involved plot points that didn't even fucking happen. Go figure.

My favorite part of her blog is the claim of zero subtlety in the writing. Why? Because it's deliciously ironic. Like a good story, Game of Thrones makes for a good mirror; the way you view it actually speaks volumes about your character. Also, her analysis reminded me of a child who's only familiar with checkers giving commentary on a chess match.

The writing is called "racist" as she believes having dark skinned, nomadic warrior tribes is too stereotypical. Next thing you'll know, they'll have these dark skinned people live in hot climates. Those Nazis! And let me be clear: Everyone in this fantasy world does horrifically barbaric things. King Joffrey is blue eyed with light blond hair, and he's the evilest, most uncivilized character on the show. But I'll tell you what is actually racist: Only seeing the dark skinned, non English speaking people as the "savages." Hell, those "savages" treated their people better than the "civilized" Lannisters treated the people of King's Landing.

She also criticizes it for being sexist because women work as prostitutes, are used as sex slaves, and use their bodies to gain power and manipulate men. But what about characters like Brienne of Tarth? How the fuck is she a sexist character? She can cut down a group of sword wielding men; she stands up for the honor of women, and she's even is knighted by her gay king! Yes, Game of Thrones has homosexual characters, but they don't get points for progressiveness because it doesn't advance feminism at all.

And yeah, Daenerys Targaryen uses her sexuality to eventually win over Khal Drogo — which is not something that was supposed to be nonchalant, funny, or a good experience taken lightly. However, Cleopatra had no problem with this method, and history doesn't remember her as some worthless whore.

Daenerys eventually becomes queen of the Dothraki. And she is so beloved, that some people actually continue to follow her after Khal Drogo's death. And on that note: She did end up loving him. Sure, a modern psychologist would see some stockholm syndrome at work, but he also gave her power and respect in the end. And this sort of arranged marriage is nothing new to the human race. It is not glorified; it's grim and dark. It's something she has to overcome and even survive. A sexist would simply ignore her hardships and make fun of her for being a blonde ... oh wait.

What I notice with extremists is they always tunnel in on one issue. And they're absolutely convinced that by solving it, the world will become a utopia for them. It's absolutely ridiculous. And I notice this ability to tune out any contradicting information. This is why the stronger female characters, like Catelyn Stark or Talisa Maegyr, are completely ignored by the article.

And although this isn't feminist, Game of Thrones shows how people with dwarfism don't have to fall into cliches. Tyrion is larger than life in every scene. I even forget about his height quite often. And I think George R.R. Martin and the producers of the show should be very proud of what they did here.

Lastly, the rest of her article just jabs at the fantasy genre and is condensing bullshit. I can understand having no interest in it. After all, everyone is different. But don't fool yourself into thinking you're sitting atop a mountain of intellectualism while looking down on us. You're not. Many fantasy readers branch out into literary fiction. My blog is called Dragons are Delicious, and I've even mentioned Pynchon, Joyce, Wallace, Wolf, and Vonnegut. But I've also read the Dragonlance series. So to anyone who thinks they're intellectually above the fantasy genre, sincerely go fuck yourselves.


11 comments:

  1. "The writing is called "racist" as she believes having dark skinned, nomadic warrior tribes is too stereotypical."

    If Westeros was populated with people of color, perhaps the "barbaric" Dothraki wouldn't come off so racist. In fact, if the Starks were Black and the Lannisters were Asian, I don't think there were be as big of an issue.

    But no, Weteros represents Britain and any area outside of that is some "foreign" equivalent with all the racist "otherness" that comes with it.

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  2. Yeah, but the reason it's not populated, largely, by people of color is the inherent racism or nationalism of the characters themselves. They are all very tribalistic and extremist in their beliefs.

    It just seems like this type of feminism goes hand and hand with historical revisionism. And a show like Game of Thrones is supposed to reflect the darkness of medieval culture. It's not a campy high fantasy with a clear good vs evil motif.

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  3. "Yeah, but the reason it's not populated, largely, by people of color is the inherent racism or nationalism of the characters themselves."

    Not really. George R. R. Martin sat down and said, "You know, Westeros is going to reflect medieval Europe and all it's racial relations." I mean, heck, he could have done a lot of different things--heck, there's a big Indian population in Britain right now, but bah! Why put Indian people in medieval grab?! That would ruin the fantasy! Can't have that, can we?!?

    Martin can write what he likes, but it's really a shame that a *fantasy* world can't--at some level--be unshackled from history. Dragons and Zombies are ok, but POC in positions of power? That's too much!

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  4. Some people won't be happy until they write their own fucking book...anon above, criticizing an author because the medievel based world he created is populated by caucasins rather than indians. it doesn't even make sense. The world is filled with idiots. BTW, so I'm not another anon, my name is jesse

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  5. Hi Jesse, it really seems to be like that. And if they really believed their own bullshit, you'd think they'd be more worried about an increase in beheadings.

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  6. SPOILERS

    I find it laughable that one of the main talking points in that article you linked was:
    "women have their plans backfire and fail time and time again but men don't"

    Umm....

    - Ned Stark was beheaded for speaking out against the "King".
    - Tyrion Lannister is denied his birthright and claim to Casterly Rock by his father
    - Stannis Baratheon leads an assault on King's Landing and LOSES (half his army is burnt to death)
    - Jamie Lannister is taken prisoner, he is beaten in combat by Brienne of Tarth and he has his hand cut off, thus taking away the only thing he was ever good at
    - Viserys Targarean is burned alive by his sister Daenerys for threatening her
    - The King of Qarth (forget his name :X) is locked in a vault for trying to plot to steal Daenerys' dragons

    among countless other failed plans by men.

    Lets be realistic guys. The series is set in a medieval time when women had virtually no rights. Of course the show is going to reflect that. It's grounded in reality. But despite these major setbacks, there are multiple examples of how these powerful and strong women rise above it to be just as manipulative and deceitful as their male counterparts.

    Great article btw, thanks for rebutting the pile of stupid that calls Game of Thrones "sexist".

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  7. What you all don't get is that the millions of people who watch this do not reflect. Thus, racism and sexism is subconsciously re-enforced. If you evolve, why do you need to go back to medieval times anyway? Larris

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  8. We can't go back to a place we've never been. And OMG, there is racism and sexism in Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury; I guess nobody should ever read it ... .

    But most importantly, what "you all" don't get is that your claims are irrelevant to the actual show because you've never sat down and watched it long enough to see what happens.

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  9. "Some people actually continue to follow her after Khal Drogo's death."
    Yes, but ONLY the sick and the old people who couldn't follow the stronger leaders like Khal Pono.

    "And on that note: She did end up loving him. Sure, a modern psychologist would see some stockholm syndrome at work, but he also gave her power and respect in the end."
    What power and respect are you talking about?

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