The top 10 reasons why Game of Thrones isn’t sexist

Realized I hadn’t made a proper post over here about this since my initial eff-you one to Ginia Bellafante last year.

But, given that there’s yet another entry (from HuffPo this time–not giving them the hit with a link) in the “Thrones is for sexist dudes” string of bad entertainment journalism, I may as well.

So, allow me to list the top 10 reasons why “Game of Thrones” isn’t remotely sexist, and is, in fact, one of the most feminist works in its genre:

  1. Arya Stark
  2. Catelyn Stark
  3. Daenerys Targaryen
  4. Brienne of Tarth
  5. Margaery Tyrell
  6. Yara (Asha) Greyjoy
  7. Sansa Stark
  8. Cersei Lannister
  9. Melisandre of Asshai
  10. Loras Tyrell

OK, so the last one is a bit odd, but it still makes my point: an extremely pretty gay man who also happens to be the most admired knight in the realm, and who is virtually never bested in tournaments (until he meets the lovely Brienne.) Would a sexist story portray a gay man–much less a pretty one–like that? Hell. No.

And these are just the major female characters we’ve thusfar seen on the show. There are a dozen more on it already in smaller roles, and about twice that in the books (just wait until they bring on the Queen of Thorns and the Sand Snakes. Oh, my.)

Yes, many of the female characters listed above are flawed, or even downright awful people. But that’s the point: there are so many female characters that they don’t all have to be the sole standard-bearer of female existence in this story. Not a single one of them fits into an archetype mold, and all of them are individual people, with their own stories and motivations. Any woman or girl of any type is going to find a character in this story she can identify with.

Not only that, but the male eye candy on this show is phenomenal. Sure, there’s a lot of female nudity and sexuality on display, but there’s a lot on the male side, too–some of it even gratuitous. If they were just making this show for straight guys, they wouldn’t be doing things like that shirtless Gendry scene in the last episode, or having Alfie Allen and Eugene Simon walking around buck naked. They certainly wouldn’t have done the fairly explicit gay scenes (though speaking personally, I was hoping for more!) It even extends to how they’re using their cast for promo: for every sexy magazine spread Emilia Clarke’s done, Kit Harington’s done one, too.

Anyone who sees gnarly dudes with swords and assumes the entertainment in question is for mindless adolescent boys isn’t paying attention. Entertainment that women like is not all “Sex and the City” and whatever maudlin domestic tragedy Lifetime is running at any given moment. Our personal worlds go beyond relationships, fashion and home. Our entertainment should, too. In this case? It most certainly does.


About Shawna (A Mediated Life)

Writer, singer, parent, fan, media maven, and general ne'er-do-well. Fierce protector of the rights of the disadvantaged and endless pontificator on subjects both ridiculous and sublime.
This entry was posted in Entertainment, Feminism, Geekery, LGBTQ, TV and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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