Category Archives: Movies and Television

Game of Thrones Sexism – Part 2

So I realize that stating that I’ve watched only one episode is probably not helping my argument, but luckily, there is this great article on Tiger Beatdown that points out every scene with rape, molestation and/or domestic violence in the Game of Thrones books. Yes, I’m jumping from the televised series to the books, but still, this is by far the best resource I’ve found that proves my points. You should read it, it’s funny and sad and horrible all at once.

I really did try watching the second episode. I stopped at the scene where the ripped barbarian dude is raping the blonde chick… again. Sorry, that “gritty realism” is just too much for me! Again, this isn’t simply because I can’t read about rape. There are plenty of books that tell the story of rape in a non-offensive, serious way (I’m looking at you, Hild).

This may very well be the last part of my Games of Thrones Sexism series. I can’t find any reason to commit another hour to watching (or reading) something that doesn’t ever seem “get better” w/r/t being sexist.

Game of Thrones Sexism – Part 1

As the first official post of the new year, I’m going to go back to talk about what is apparently a very interesting thing to my readers: sexism. This time, it’s in the very popular TV series, Games of Thrones (yes, I’m about three years late). I’m still new at this blog thing, which is a funny thing for me to say considering I spend a good amount of time during my working life coaching clients on how to write posts. But still, it’s true; I don’t really know exactly what about me or my writing is going to be interesting to the types of people who wind up here.

As a preface, I’d like to say that most of what I’m writing about when it comes to feminism, sexism, and pop-culture is researched. I get made fun of because I can’t put actor’s names to faces, I can’t remember what they’ve been in, and I can barely recall what happened in an episode or season of something (even when I enjoy/obsess over it). I like to think that this is benefiting me by freeing up brain capacity to be used elsewhere, but deep down I know the truth of it: my memory sucks.

Preface 2: I have watched episode 1 in it’s entirety and parts the last 3 or 4 episodes from the most recently aired season (three?). I haven’t read any of the books. Still, when I wrote about Mass Effect’s sexism I had only played half a day’s worth of game, so previous experience leads me to believe that it doesn’t really matter. With that, let’s get to it.

Game of Thrones Sexism.

For those of you who actually follow this blog via RSS or by simply typing in the URL, and thus have not seen the other search results for searches like “game of thrones sexism”, let me first say that this is actually a topic that has been covered elsewhere. This short piece by Maris Kreizman is a good place to start. To get another angle, there’s this article by Alison Herman which happens to be in direct response to what Maris wrote. There’s also this post by THE OPINIONESS OF THE WORLD (how cool is that?) that I think (especially if you also read the comments) really sets the stage. Should I feel weird about all three of those blog posts picturing the character who gets raped (by the man she learns to love!!1) in the first season? Moving on. The Opinioness mentions two things I find intriguing.

  • The Bechdel Test (a fun test to run on your favorite movies or shows)
  • TV Tropes (something I had known about and then forgotten about and now know about again)

I think the biggest thing for me after watching episode one is the creepy, worrying way the show fetishizes rape. The scene in question is the one where this ripped barbarian dude takes the “wife” someone sold to him by force. I don’t get that people can watch this scene and not freak out about it. Maybe it’s that it portrays how hard medieval life was. But wait, isn’t this a fantasy show? It’s not historically accurate, so what’s the point? If there are zombies and dragons why have the same tired tropes that depict rape graphically and from the male gaze? Yes, I realize there’s a tomboy and a badass short-haired lady knight, but being sexist isn’t about weighting a scale to equality. No amount of strong female characters is going to offset blatant sexism.

Youtube channel

Hey! I have a Youtube channel now. You can find it here. Not entirely sure how much I’m going to be using it, but I figured since Google is eventually going to take over the world I might as well be ready. Speaking of which, Google TV looks amazing. Sorry for the short post, but I’ve been really busy lately.

HTML5 video rambling

It’s called HTML5 video because you’re going to need five different encodes to make your website’s video 100% accessible to every single device and browser out there, right?

This Table from Wikipedia shows the different video formats and which browsers will have native support via on-board decoders. It’s plain to see that no one can agree on a single web standard. Who knows when that’ll happen (if ever).

Do we need a web standard video format? Well, yes. Eventually. I personally hope it’s Google’s WebM, just because I have a crush on Google. Until then, I’m not going to bother with HTML5 video. It needs a lot more work before it can stand up against Flash. Youtube says pretty much the same thing in this article.

I’ve heard that the current HTML5 video technology is where Flash technology used to be in 2003-2004, so it’ll be interesting to see how things progress in the next few years.

Thoughts about television

The word television is derived from the Greek tele, far and the Latin visio, sight. Does it really allow us to “see further”? Reading David Foster Wallace’s article, “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction” (The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 1993) in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments has gotten me to think about my reasons for watching tv.

I watch about one to three hours on any given day, but I can easily go without. I’m certainly not one of those people who needs to watch tv. I don’t follow entertainment-related news (or any kind of televised news, for that matter) and I don’t have a good memory for shows, characters, actors, or anything that would require a great deal of watching. At the same time, I’m very glad to not be one of those people who hate tv. As in, “Oh, you watch tv? I think it’s such a mindless waste of time. It’s so fake.

I watch for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s entertaining and fun, and secondly, because it’s interesting to find the angle of any given commercial or show. There’s always an angle. Sometimes the angle is to seem like there isn’t an angle. Sometimes they’re go right ahead and show you their angle in a sort of mockery (the angle here being that anyone who can openly admit to having an angle can’t be all that bad. Commercials are especially good at this). I say ‘good’ instead of ‘guilty’ because my entire point, and the reason I believe that I choose to spend at least one hour a day in front of the tv for, is that it’s interesting to think about these kinds of things. A successful show or commercial is a masterfully crafted piece of art based on statistics and pop culture phenomenon.

So why do I watch tv? I’m not really just watching it. I’m seeing beyond it.