'Game of Thrones' Shows How Women Are Treated in Real Life: Deal With It

Emilia Clarke in GOT season 6

My excitement has been heightened over the past couple of weeks, as we near the return of Game of Thrones. Nevertheless, this also means that people will start speaking out about their disdain for the show, and it usually has something to do with the compromising position the show's leading ladies are placed in. Just recently, someone referred to the show as (once again) "anti-feminist." However, this time Emilia Clarke -- who plays Khaleesi -- decided to snap back at the GoT hater (who is the real anti-feminist).

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Clarke gave critics a dose of reality, stating:

There's so much controversy. Yet that's what's beautiful about Game of Thrones -- its depiction of women in so many different stages of development. There are women depicted as sexual tools, women who have zero rights, women who are queens but only to a man, and then there are women who are literally unstoppable and as powerful as you can possibly imagine. So it pains me to hear people taking Thrones out of context with anti-feminist spin -- because you can't do that about this show. It shows the range that happens to women, and ultimately shows women are not only equal, but have a lot of strength.

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I agree wholeheartedly with Clarke's statement. People are allowing their sensitivity and discomfort with a sadly realistic point of view for women to cloud their sense of logic and overall intelligence. Game of Thrones takes place during an extremely anti-feminist period, where women had virtually no say so in many matters -- not publicly, anyhow. Yet, critics are taking issue with the constant rape culture on a television show and mistreatment of the women that are the show, when that is a mere reflection of our society -- past and present.

While none of us enjoy watching all the rape that goes on (as we shouldn't), people's disdain is only a result of their discomfort with the rawness behind it. Rape is a real women's issue and there's no way around it. In fact, the show does us a justice by covering the issue in a less subtle way than most others. People need to know. People need to see. This issue has plagued women since the beginning of time, and we're still fighting for the right to say "no" in 2016.

With that being said, I believe the series's creators do an amazing job at showing how these women were a major part of making historical moves -- the women depicted are more than pawns the men use to advance in the game (even when they are). They're actually admired by the men in certain respects.

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Frankly, Cersei [Lena Headey] is nothing but feminist! Her leadership style is cutthroat and masculine -- which, even today, women catch flack for. We're often called b*tches when we exude similar styles of leadership as our male counterparts. But, Cersei stands her ground fiercely, with zero f**ks given. Then you have Khaleesi [Emilia Clarke], who leads with her emotions but does so effectively -- another quality modern women are criticized for.

Above all, the show sends the message that it's okay to be all of these things, as we've seen each of the GoT women in many different emotional states at one time or another. The show is constantly showing us that, as women, part of our strength lies in being a little bit of Khaleesi (emotional), a bit of Cersei (cutthroat), and a bit of Sansa (Sophie Turner's character who is, at times, scared). This is the stuff real women are made of, as the show is what real women's issues are made of.

And, that as a whole is one helluva feminist statement.

 

Image via Macall B. Polay/HBO

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