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.