After I found this highly sexist article called Why Girls Hate Game Of Thrones I’ve been on what I like to call a “slow burn”. I’ve been stewing about it for two weeks now, biding my time until I got into full rant mode and now I’m ready to explode. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling crankier than usual due to a strep throat, but either way I couldn’t resist the urge to refute this sexist, idiotic excuse for an article.
Because I’m feeling particularly rant-y I will now dissect the article piece by piece, but be warned that the original article contains coarse language you do not normally find on my blog. No, there’s no swearing but there are terms I would not use in polite conversation.
So here is why Renata Sellitti thinks all girls hate Game of Thrones the TV series (which can also apply to the books):
Point #1: “We hate gross things. Know what’s gross? Screwing your sibling.”
Why yes, having sex with your twin is gross. As for “We hate gross things”, there’s something I now recall from my tenth grade math class when we studied logic: starting out with a false assumption does not make your conjecture valid (i.e. 4=4-1, therefore 4=3). The assumption that Ms. Sellitti is making is that all girls hate gross things. But what are these ‘gross things’? Having sex with your sibling? Okay, that’s gross but using anecdata I have a feeling that most men would also agree that incest is disgusting. Yet I don’t see the author arguing that men also hate Game of Thrones.
Also, the author is missing the point here and it won’t be for the last time. The point is that the series (either the books or the TV show) is not about having sex with your sibling. No, that’s just two characters that do that as well as a passing mention of the Targaryen tradition of marrying brother and sister. The series is about a struggle for the Iron Throne between competing factions. This is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.
Point #2: “It’s hard to follow.”
Oh no, my poor woman-brain can’t keep up with this series! Obviously men, with their superior brains, are more intellectually engaged in the show and can explain it to poor little me. The books are hard enough to understand because I had to read *gasp* but the TV show is just plain confusing!
Again, where is the data here? There is no survey cited about how women find the plot of Game of Thrones harder to follow than men do. All we have to go on here is the author’s generalization of women. She thinks that because she finds the plot hard to follow, we all do. That would be like me saying I hate Twilight, therefore all women hate Twilight. Again, starting off with a false assumption does not make your conjecture valid.
Point #3: “It reminds us of the kids that used to play magic cards in the cafeteria. And people who go to Renaissance festivals.”
So? What’s wrong with playing “magic cards” in the cafeteria? Or going to Renaissance festivals for that matter? I’m not sure what game Ms. Sellitti is referring to, but I’ll assume that she means some sort of role playing strategy game taking place in a fantasy world. That begs me to ask the question: What’s wrong with using your imagination? If she’s implying that it reminds women of nerds and nerds are gross, she’s greatly insulting her audience. I’m a book nerd and I’m pretty sure most of the people reading this are. (This is a book blog after all.)
What’s wrong with going to a Renaissance fair? Again, the author seems to be implying that there’s something inherently wrong with acting on your interest in history. That’s like saying enjoying an author’s book and going to a convention to get your book signed by them is wrong. As for the fact she seems to imply that women hate fantasy, why she’d be absolutely wrong. Using that same tenth grade math lesson, a conjecture can be disproven by even one counter example. I am that counter example because I love fantasy, therefore her conjecture is invalid.
Point #4: “It’s all naked chicks. In addition to the actual ladies of the night on the show, there seem to be a lot of…unofficial ladies of the night on the show.”
As a straight woman, may I ask what’s wrong with naked women? I’m sure most males reading this would answer “Nothing!”. But for us women is there really something inherently gross about seeing other women’s bodies? I’m sure some women are uncomfortable seeing other women naked and that’s fine, but not all women are like that as the author suggests.
If Ms. Sellitti actually watched the show and/or read the books like I and many other female fans have, she’d know that it isn’t all naked women. In fact, in the books there are almost an equal number of naked men. But that’s not the main focus of the story! In the books and in the show we are introduced to so many strong female characters fighting for power in a world where women are viewed as inferior to men. There are awesome girl-power characters like Arya and Daenerys and there are other powerful women like Lady Olenna and Cersei. This is obvious in the show and in the books. Is there more needless nudity and sex in the show than I would like? Of course. But—again, I repeat—that’s not the main focus of the story!
Point # 5: “Dudes get their hands chopped off. And their nipples. And their balls. Really? How is it that you guys like this again?”
How many times can one person miss the point of a show and/or book? Men getting body parts chopped off is obviously not why guys like the show and it’s not the main focus of the story. Jaime gets his hand cut off, an Unsullied soldier gets his nipple cut off and Theon Greyjoy gets castrated. In three seasons and the four books I’ve read so far, those are the only main “chopping off parts” incidents. Yes, it’s disgusting. No, it’s not gratuitous because George R. R. Martin wrote those in to make a point. He is one of the few authors who is deconstructing an entire fantasy genre by showing that Medieval life would have sucked in reality. These were the sort of things that happened in Medieval life in Europe.
How many times do I have to repeat this? These points are not the main focus of the story. If Ms. Sellitti could follow these “hard to follow” plot lines, she might see that Martin is trying to send out important messages, challenge stereotypes and overall, just write a good book. These good books have quite deservedly been made into a TV series. And guess what? 42% of Season 3 viewership was female. No, it’s not split 50-50 and that’s okay. What’s not okay is that assuming because you don’t like something that your whole gender doesn’t either.
If I applied that reasoning to my life, every girl obviously loved playing with tractors as a kid, loves reading, hates chick flicks, etc. If similar reasoning was applied to men, well I know a guy who likes creeping on women so obviously all men are creeps. Or, I know a man who loves romantic comedies, therefore all men love romantic comedies. It’s ridiculous and is a case of anecdote being the singular form of ‘data’ for some writers.
TL;DR? Just because one person doesn’t like something doesn’t mean that their entire gender doesn’t as well.