Sexism & Game of Thrones

After putting out a poll last week, I decided to dive head-first into the Game of Thrones television series. (No time, or desire, to read extra-curricular texts right now!)

I have not been disappointed. At all. Each episode builds upon the last in new and exciting ways and I don’t find myself drifting or getting bored as I have with some other series (cough Breaking Bad).

The seed of obsession was planted after only 2 episodes, and now that I’m on the 7th it is firmly rooted! I can’t wait to be on track with the rest of the world.


One thing, however, that I’ve began to take issue with the series is the flagrant sexism that seems to pervade each and every episode.

I know, I know the obvious argument that will be made against this: “That’s just how it was back then! It’s accurate for the times, not being misogynist would seem inauthentic.”

But really, this argument is invalid. The series in full of anachronisms. Dragons, phrasing, etc. are not historically accurate, not to mention they couldn’t be since there is no Winterfell.

The blatant misogyny is a choice, likely made by the writers and HBO itself (see: Sparta, Entourage, Sex and the City, and a host of other programming from the network for more full-frontal female).

While I understand that sex, power and the implications of these relationships are part of what makes the show so compelling, I feel that some of the writing is in bad taste and, at times, makes it difficult to watch.


Particularly the scene in which Ned Stark and King Robert discuss “the good old times” and “thank the gods for [a mistress’] big tits”. Yeah, I know, men still objectify women and discuss them in these base terms. I’ve heard it. And yes, I’ve heard men discussed in similar terms. But at some point, this needs to stop being acceptable, mainstream entertainment. It’s not funny anymore, and it’s unnecessary. Especially for what is otherwise a skillfully written series. There are other ways to segue into conversations about past romances and there are other ways to talk about women.

Many people are probably thinking “Classic touchy feminist, taking one conversation and lambasting the entire show.” But that isn’t the case. I’m simply trying to point out that I’ve seen 1 man’s butt and countless nude females on the series, and that many of the conversations early on in the series have veered towards tasteless, needless objectification, where intelligent writing could easily be a substitute.

I hope that as I get further in the series I will encounter more consistently confident, eloquent writing rather than basic attempts to appeal to the lowest common denominator or the target demographic.

It’s a quality show, the first in a long time that I can see myself really committing to and loving. I just hope I don’t have to encounter that problematic voice in my head that says “You’re better than this, writers,” every single episode.



4 thoughts on “Sexism & Game of Thrones

  1. The show creeps me out to be honest. The whole mood and set up, is of some kind of pseudo-sophisticated philosophical inquiries in life and pseudo-sophisticated useless eater women, whom I just want to slap for being such tools, with no dynamic character traits that make them stand out aside from the written roles – whore vs. the Madonna. Boring!! I really love Lena Headey that’s the only reason I tried watching the show.

  2. I know the books were good. But I resent that we, as women, seem to accept the gratuitous objectification, in order to be engaged in a good show. I finally said no. I won’t support paid cable shows anymore except to research for a review. I’m always left disappointed. At least you have acknowledged your concerns. Most women don’t speak up because they believe “it is what it is.” Not this girl!

    • Yes, it always seems to be a tradeoff, which shouldn’t be the case. It was one of the contributing factors that kept me from ever enjoying/watching Mad Men and has led me to never watch a James Bond movie (I’ve never seen one, but I could already tell you what happens)!
      Do you watch Girls?

      • BTW I forgot to mention that I LOVED breaking bad. And TV often disappoints me as well. I no longer pay the cows at HBO to fill my world with their crap. However, I have researched Girls. I can’t comment except to say no thanks!

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