So, I was going to review Ultron here, but I’ll do that later, because shit is blowing up about the latest Game of Thrones episode.
But Geek Girl What Rules, you don’t watch the show, and you didn’t like the books enough to even finish the first one. What could you possibly have to say about this?
Oh, a lot, apparently. I will, however, for the moment put aside the fact that everything I’ve read by George RR Martin has a tendency to be, shall we say, rapey as fuck. I mean, I like the Wildcard anthologies, but if you’re reading a story and you didn’t catch who the author is, if it’s really rapey, odds are good it was GRRM’s. I haven’t been wrong yet about that. Sigh. And from all reports, the show ramps up the rapiness WAY past even his high standards.
No, what I want to talk about is the pack of hooting jackasses who have come pouring out of the woodwork to tell women who are fucking done with both the original amount of rape in the GRRM books, and the extra special, “Hey, guess we didn’t have enough rape in the rapiest books since John Norman died, let’s add some more” guys who are writing the show.
Yes, we have collected entire cartons of Bingo cards as the fanboys slirm their way out of their holes and crevices.
“It’s just fiction.” We know that. It’s poorly written fiction relying on tropes that were tired and played out centuries ago. If rape is the only way you can think of to advance a storyline, cause “character development” (don’t get me started on this), or show a character is evil, you suck at your job.
“No one cared when Theon was castrated.” Actually yes, a lot of almost entirely feminist blogs called that one out, and also how many castrations have their been in the books and show? One. How many rapes? I can’t count that high, and neither can you, sweetcheeks.
“It’s historically accurate.” THERE ARE MOTHER FUCKING DRAGONS, YOU DOUCHE-CLAM. Also, I would just like to congratulate GRRM on basing his world on one of the worst times in history to be a woman, and making it worse. The show writers have carried on in that grand tradition. And also, medieval scholars have been calling out the sexism in the books and show, saying, “Actually, no the medieval period wasn’t NEAR that bad.”
“You’re only upset because it happened to Sansa.” Ok, fuckboys, how many millions of pissed off blog posts did you miss when they turned the Jaimie/Cersei thing near the coffin rapey? It wasn’t in the books. Creepy as fuck, yes. But in the books you never doubt that Cersei is an active and consenting participant. Have you just completely tuned out the thousands of other blog posts focusing on all the mother fucking rapes, in the books or that the guys writing the show added for shits and giggles?
I could go on, but I do need to get some sleep tonight. I would like to leave you with this thought. I posted in on my G+ the other day, and a friend of mine re-posted it on Facebook.
Using rape to show how exceptionally evil your character is, is always going to fall flat for me. There’s nothing “exceptional” about rape. It’s depressingly banal and common. I’m glad that you think rape is one of the most evil things you can do to another person, I agree. But that still doesn’t make it “exceptional.”
And part of the problem is that when you use rape as a trope to describe the “exceptional” evil of a villain it helps discount the banality, and reality, of actual rapists. Most of these guys aren’t out there slitting puppies’ throats and free-basing kittens. They’re going through their lives, programming software, emptying garbage cans, doing brain surgery, or running Fortune 500 companies. They also feel entitled to the bodies of people they find fuckable, because society reinforces that constantly through advertising and media. And when all the fiction surrounding rapists they see demonstrates to them that rapists are these SUPER EVIL GUYS (mostly), who stomp on puppies to hear their dying squeaks, it’s real fucking easy for them to rationalize away what they did as just, “being a little forceful,” or “giving her what she wanted anyway.”
That is another reason to hate that fucking trope.
ETA: And I almost forgot. All those rapes? They serve to further male stories, male pain, male tears. In a lot of fiction rape is like fridging female characters to motivate the men, only you still have a body around to traumatize and further humiliate. I say body, because rarely are rape victims allowed agency regarding the rape.
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