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.

Resources and thoughts on creating your first website

Some people are surprised to hear that I didn’t have any formal training in web design. I always get asked about how I first started learning to create websites, so I thought sharing my personal journey might be helpful.

I honestly think a beginner should start with a pure HTML site to start out, with PHP being the end goal. My own experience with Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator allowed me to use Dreamweaver as both a building and a learning tool. Adobe programs are very similar in the way they function, so that was the most comfortable for me. I worked through a Lynda.com tutorial that was specifically designed with a first website in mind.

Of course, not everyone is going to invest in a professional program like Dreamweaver if they don’t know anything about web design. In that case, I would recommend following the tutorials on Mozilla’s web technology documentation. It’s really easy to follow and understand, and you can do it all in a text editor like notebook or textedit. My advice would be to start with the HTML and CSS tutorials. After you’re comfortable with that, you should read up on FTP servers and hosting, because that’s what you’ll be using to actually put your site on the web.

The next step for me after I had a finished, pure-HTML website on the web was to convert it to a WordPress site. WordPress uses PHP, which is more flexible and (in my opinion) more professional than just using HTML. I also came across a more functional text editor called Submlime Text 2 and I highly recommend it over notepad or textedit.

For someone who’s interested in getting into web design, the best advice I can give it to just jump right in and learn as you go.

Whoa, I have a blog

So yeah, hi. Sometimes I forget that I have a blog, and then I remember I have one and I go into WordPress and update all of my themes and stuff, and fix things that break, and then when I’m finished with that I say “Well, now that it’s updated I should probably post something.” So here we are.

A lot has happened in the past year (has it really been that long since my last post?). I’m officially a web developer now (and by that I mean now I get paid to do the nerdy shit I used to do at 9pm on Friday night for fun), and I’ve learned A TON about web hosting, system administrator, and programming.

I’m hoping that this year that I’ll be doing some very specific things with this site:

  1. Write more web design/development knowledge articles
  2. Start posting some new art and/or comics.
  3. Write more about feminism. The best response I’ve received so far on a blog I expected no one to read has been from the Mass Effect Sexism post.

I also promise to keep the site updated, and make sure weird things don’t happen, like when the footer was jumping up to right below the sidebar. Also, pleasantly surprised to find people actual visit this thing.

Updates to the library and other things

I’ve decided to stop using the Now Reading Reloaded plugin and have moved my entire library to GoodReads. I have and can make friends on GoodReads and it’s better supported. Just tried searching for Dune in Now Reading and it said not found. Eventually I’d like to play around with GoodRead’s api, but they do provide some very basic (static) widgets, so I’m using those for now.

I’ve been using DailyLit for a few months now. I’ve been using it mainly to receive brief snippets relating to various history topics (greek, famous historical ladies), but I also like the idea of reading books like this (instead of how I usually do, which is to sit down with one for as long as I can possibly handle). If you’re interested, I’d recommend anything from the Wikipedia Tours section.

Also, a new sketch.

Perched

Zombie comic sketch – Athlete girl

Zombie Comic - Character Sketch