Game of Thrones is known for its pushing of boundaries and showing the absolute grotesque and cruel scenes. The show is not shy when showing the violent deaths of many, the torture of innocent people, especially women and people of ethnic minorities.
I have always been apprehensive towards TV shows and films that grossly use abuse, violence and the exploitation of others as a plot device. It is not okay and it is not something that needs to be done for the sake of drama. However, I gave Game of Thrones a chance, despite its reputation of ‘not being for the faint hearted’ and like many people, I was swept up in its complex and gripping story lines. For a while, though completely repulsed, angered and upset by the graphic scenes of abuse towards women and many others, I kept watching the show, however, now, I feel that is not the case.
I cannot keep watching a show that openly uses the exploitation of women as a way to develop the story line. Firstly, Sansa Stark, a character who has seen her fair share of violence and misery, has turned into a strong and determined woman. She is becoming someone who is in control, not a pawn for someone else. Why then, did the creators feel the need to include a rape scene with Ramsay, an evil and disgustingly twisted character? Again, it is the woman who faces gross violence and again, it is at the hands of a sick minded, power hungry man.
In every season there have been scenes of physical and emotional abuse towards the women of the show. I don’t think I can count how many times, main character or not, how many women have been subjected to the cruel hand of torture, by men. Rape in this show is a common occurrence and it is not okay. It is deeply upsetting and worrying that the creators and writers of this show are able to show such scenes and then justify them. Though George says that this is what happens and did happen during war times, is it really necessary to see it so often? Is that really needed?
It is not something to just throw around, to add drama or feelings of disgust, hardly ever is justice served and the victim is left scarred and emotionally broken. It is a deeply traumatic and life ruining thing and this show seems to use it to develop the story lines, not to highlight the gross and cruel exploitation of women that still occurs. What is a deeply horrible and violent act, one that renders the victim potentially suicidal, one that changes a person forever, to show such scenes over and over again, is not at all okay. It is a disgusting, evil and terrible thing that occurs both in history and now. I am not ignorant to its occurrence, I know that rape towards both men and women happened and still does, which is sickening and frightening. It is not something to be treated lightly and this show does not seem to understand the repercussions of this horrible act. As stated, it is thrown in as if it is nothing. It is not taken seriously, no justice is served and it continues to happen. I do not understand how people who defend these decisions, think that this is okay.
It is absolutely disgusting. How can ‘because it happens’ be a justifiable reason to continually show scenes of rape, with no consideration to the victim or to serve justice. This show has gone too far with the vile and sickening treatment of Sansa, at the hands of the truly evil Ramsay Bolton, along with the act of making Theon watch. Effectively, Theon, though not related to Sansa, is her childhood friend and almost an older brother. It is revolting that they could produce such a scene, with him watching.
To make things worse, the actress Sophie Turner said she “loved” filming that scene. I’m sorry, how on Earth could you possibly love acting out the cruel and violent act that happens to so many people? How could she possibly say that filming a rape scene was something she enjoyed? Imagine if someone, who had been through such a life ruining act, watched that episode and saw Sophie’s views. They would feel enraged, offended, miserable and absolutely repulsed that someone could say such a thing. The victim’s life is shattered, nothing will ever be the same. As I said, rape is thrown around like it is nothing and by having the actress herself, say that she “loved” the scene, makes me all the more sick and worried about people’s views on rape.
We live in a society, that openly uses rape jokes. It’s called rape culture. The use of things like “I’m raping the like button”, or sending threats or even making jokes about it. We live in a society where justice is not properly served, the victim is blamed and the offender is let off. We live in a society full of twisted and corrupt people, that would gladly see the suffering of others, a society where rape, has become something to joke about. And by including such scenes repeatedly, highlights the very fact that our society does not take rape, as a serious and terrible offence.
I cannot therefore, stand by this show anymore. Though there has been an immense backlash, many complaints, I know that this show will not change. It will continue to use the suffering of women as a form of drama, which shows that women will always be at the end of gross exploitation.