A general rule I keep for myself as a blogger is to not write angry posts that I could potentially regret later. I am twenty-four years old, old enough to know better than to engage trolls or get involved in an argument I know will go absolutely nowhere. So, as part of this Internet policy of abstinance, I don’t read comments on YouTube. I stay off controversial posts from local news stations. And I bite my tongue when relatives and friends make stupid comments.
I’d like to think I’m a happier person for this.
That all being said, sometimes a issue or event warrants me to speak up, if for no other reason than to lend my voice to the shouts already being heard.
Game of Thrones.
You know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you’ve been living under a rock or just have been very careful about avoiding spoilers since Sunday’s episode. In that case, please vacate and return once you’ve seen the episode. This post isn’t going anywhere.
And spoilers in three….two….one….
We need to call that scene what it was. It was rape. Ramsey Bolten raped Sansa on her wedding night. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen rape on Game of Thrones, and it probably won’t be the last. Just like its predecessors, this scene has sparked outrage for various reasons, one of the biggest being that Sansa did NOT go through that in the books. In fact, she got nowhere near Ramsey as far as I know. Now, her poor friend Jeyne Poole who they said was Arya Stark on the other hand…
A lot of people were sickened by this scene, as they well should be. A few cried out that there should have been a warning, or some censorship. Here’s my two cents on the matter.
I will concede that you cannot watch Game of Thrones and be justified in expecting daisies and sunshine. This is not that kind of show, it never has been. We’ve seen many gruesome things, many horrors in the past four seasons. Bearing in mind the history of this show, not to mention its rating, it is the responsibility of the viewer to decide whether or not to watch. As an adult, as a intelligent human being, it is your job to decide what you entertain yourself with, what you tolerate. If you don’t like something, then don’t interact with it. See my previous example of not engaging trolls on the Internet. It is not the responsibility of HBO to decide whether or not you can handle this. It’s yours.
Now. Rape as a character plot point. Using this as a tool to further Sansa’s character. Or Cersei’s. Or Dany’s. I’m going to let some brilliant writers take care of this point. Ladies and gents, I give you
Take a moment to read their thoughts on the matter. I’ll wait.
Have you read them? Good. Onward to my next point.
Using rape as a plot point is not only tired, but in this case it is bullshit. Did putting Dany in this situation really effect her character? Let’s just ignore the fact that that is not how it happened in the book, but focus instead on the fact that it really meant nothing to the overall story. Dany and Drogo fell in love. That little “incident” in the show didn’t change her character in a majorly significant way, it was just something that happened to her. What really changed her as a character was when she lost her husband and unborn child. Same with Cersei. Did that little exchange between her and Jaime in season four change their relationship? It was already on the rocks. Cersei has not become a better person for what happened to her. She’s still just as evil and manipulative. What was the point?
Game of Thrones reportedly just broke its own piracy record. It’s already the most pirated show on television right now. It’s probably raking in obscene amounts of revenue for HBO, not just in ratings but in merchandise and all the other good stuff that comes with a show of this magnitude. So why do I feel like the writers are throwing in these sex scenes that lack any form of consent from the woman involved, i.e. RAPE, just for publicity? Just to create a stir and a storm of outrage on the Internet?
In that case, I’m giving them exactly what they want. But as a writer, I’m disappointed in them. Stiefvater and Wendig said it but I’ll say it again. Women are not things. We are more than the sum of our body parts. And yes, we will rage about this until the end of our days, because we owe it to our daughters to demand more for our gender, to demand to be treated with RESPECT and like a fellow human being, not just something to play with when a certain appendage fills up with blood.
I am not upset about the fact there was a rape scene. If I’m really honest about it, this is probably the ONLY one in the entire series that makes even the tiniest bit of sense in the storyline, because Ramsey is such an evil little shit. Will I continue watching? Absolutely. If for no other reason to see if they actually go somewhere from this little add-on to the story with Sansa’s character development.
One positive thing to come out of this is the discussions. Discussions about rape and what it means and how acceptable it is as a plot point. Let’s talk, people. Let’s discuss. By discussing, we come to new understandings and that is how the world can change, bit by bit. That is how we can make the world a better place for our children, all of them.
Until then, read on friends. Kelswitch, over and out. /rant