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Dame of Thrones


I tell you what, the women of Westeros know how to get shit done. They tame babies and birth dragons and look good doing it. It’s called REAL FEMINISM, snowflakes. The Federalists Kristi Stone Hamrick is here to blow your mind with truths…about how a show about (I don’t watch…dragons, group sex and beheadings?)…should provide a template for modern feminism.

For those who have followed George R. R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” from printed word to HBO powerhouse, the characters now have the status of family and obsession. The faithful have followed the conflicts through bloody feuds, endless war, frustrated love, unexpected death, and crushing evil, now choosing sides.

The question of who will sit uneasily on the throne once held by Robert Baratheon makes excellent conversation as you consider the size of armies, dragons, and magic that make the players compelling. What no one seems to talk about, however, is that almost all the top contenders for the crown are women. Perhaps because it doesn’t matter.

There’s no need to claim “I’m with Her” to force a loyalty to any one leader based solely on sex. The women poised to fight for the throne are complex, strong women, mothers (even of dragons) who are not at war with their bodies or the demands of work and family. They stand side by side with equally strong men and fight in the battle common to all people: the struggle to take one’s place in the world and to build something that is your unique vision.

OK, so I read this so you don’t have to, and it can really be summed up in two points:

1.) The women have babies, which makes them better at feministing because everybody knows modern feminists don’t have babies.

2.) There is no affirmative action in Westeros, so the women can’t blame their shortcomings on misogyny. Or as Kristi puts it “And attributing every failure to sexist attitudes ignores the reality that sometimes people—even women—make mistakes.” This is obviously an outrageous lie because it’s a documented fact that no woman ever has made a mistake. And fuck Westeros if I can’t blame my carpal tunnel and lack of impulse control on the patriarchy.

But as funny as the column is, it’s the comments that make it truly sublime. Here’s a guy who almost–not quite!–seems to understand what the genre of fiction is:

A good number of the “strong women” of GoT are only possible because it’s a fictional, fantasy setting. (The men are based on men in his family, I’m assuming. Himself, even, possibly?)

-In real life, Brienne would not defeat the Hound (arguably they second-strongest male warrior in the land after the Mountain).
-In real life, Arya would not be able to poison all the men of house Frey (can you think of any men who ever did something similar?) and just walk out of the room.
-Daenerys is exceptional for her ability to be fireproof (which itself was what allowed her to birth the dragons).

Et cetera.

Works of fiction should always be suspect when being used to demonstrate something in real life. In fiction, the writer can write whatever he/she wants regardless of whether it makes sense or not.

Here’s the guy fuming because someone at The Federalist actually said some nice things about fictional female characters:

Don’t know if you’re making a great case.

What’s really happening on game of thrones is 4 or 5 women fighting over the chance to become a petty ruler of the people of Westeros and one man realizing that their squabbles don’t matter at all because the Night King is about kill everyone. Leave it to the man to identify the issue that’s actually important. (Everyone knows what’s really important is owning people in the comment section at The Federalist.)

This guy says the men are all written to be inadequate but is totally not mad about it:

This is true, but the show also depicts all the powerful men, and most of the powerless ones as well, as inept, dishonorable and ineffective, with few exceptions. Tyrion and Lord Varys, who are, um, non-stereotypical men (as is Bran Stark); Jon Snow, a bastard: these are the only really effective, powerful, likable men in the series (others–The Hound, Jorah Mormont, Samwell Tarley, are likable enough but are not powerful).

It would be nice if, in presenting strong women leaders and characters, the show did not feel it necessary to deliberately make the male characters small and weak. Frankly that cheapens some of the women’s accomplishments. Personally, I don’t care and I don’t mind. I am a fan of the show; it is entertainment. But it is indisputable that it contrives to show most of the men in a bad light.

[Edit: Oh–and even Jon Snow was shown to be ineffective in the extreme and has a second chance only by virtue of a sorceress]

Well, actually

Dorne is not an island nation. It is the southernmost area of Westeros. If you are going to discuss a fantasy world please do some homework. Otherwise you are a mummer.

And, of course:

I am not into Game of Thrones so I cannot speak to the specifics. I merely note that in medieval (and even modern) warfare, the nature of the combat and weaponry made it physically impossible for virtually any woman to actually fight. Not even Joan of Arc went into actual combat as best as can be determined. The difference between fiction (and even science fiction) and fantasy is that in the former, one is bound by the general framework of reality even if the characters and events are made up. The current trend of seeing tiny warrior women routinely fight directly against men is absurd. If it gives some women a vicarious thrill, fine. If it encourages anyone to think about creating daughters who are “fierce feminists” I’d suggest they’re bordering on child abuse. Any woman or girl who thinks otherwise is welcome to pick a fight with any average size, non-PC guy and see what happens.

These people are psycho.

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