The Fantasy Genre and Gender: Who's 'Game of Thrones' For?

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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In her review of HBO's new fantasy epic television show "Game of Thrones," adapted from the novel by George R. R. Martin, Ginia Bellafante at the New York Times that the show, predominantly due to the core elements of its fantasy genre, is intended for boys only:
The imagined historical universe of “Game of Thrones” gives license for unhindered bed-jumping... [but] you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to The Hobbit first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.
Before you can say gender-stereotyping, Annalee Newitz the Times' perspective at io9. But if you were hoping she would take on Bellafante's generalizations about what women want, well, not so much. Though herself a fan of the book, she actually takes the stereotypes even further.
How bizarre is that? The show is obviously targeted exclusively at women... it's Jane Austen set in a semi-medieval world, with weather systems that seem to mirror human emotion ... Two of the main characters, Sansa and Arya Stark, are suffering through dilemmas that are basically "Gossip Girl" plotlines, only with dire wolves instead of purse dogs.
This notion that women are predominantly interested in "Gossip Girl" story lines is nothing new, nor is it necessarily inaccurate: clearly, television networks have what they purport to be "women's programming" and "men's programming." Maybe such obvious stereotypes serve purposes for advertising agencies. But they seem oddly placed in two reviews written by women, particularly for a fantasy show, which is a genre that boasts many females fans. And not just for the bed-jumping. Ilana Teitelbaum addresses Bellafate's review in a letter to the Times at The Huffington Post:
The characterization of fantasy as "boy fiction" is offensive to the genre and offensive to women. That we for the most part will only read what Oprah has picked, and especially if a woman wrote it, is a stereotype that is not only demeaning to women -- it is also untrue. Like Bellafante, I can offer personal anecdotes to back up my assertion, some of which involve stunning young women dressing up as Martin's characters at Worldcon. Sometimes in very tight spandex. But that would be beside the point.
When we categorize books as "boy fiction" and "girl fiction" it's just another way to promote gender stereotyping. It is predicated on the assumption that people will only read books that reflect their personal experiences, so therefore women will only deign to read about dating, shopping, and kitchen intrigues.

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http://news.yahoo.com/fantasy-genre-gender-whos-game-thrones-20110416-140147-688.html

This is annoying.

Lets look at the three best characters, shall we?

Arya: An empowered girl who should be the poster child for women's lib.
Tyrion: A disfigured dwarf who can't get laid without paying for it.
Bran: A young boy who
who is crippled and will never fuck a woman

Yep, sounds like manly jack off material to me.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#2
Tyrion is quite the ladies man in the TV series (I haven't read the books).

FWIW, My wife loves GoT and she's not nearly the fantasy junkie I am. She's pulled into the whole dynamics of the family conflicts that is the core of the show.
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
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Discoman

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Feb 21, 2010
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I read the first book recently and I have to say that feminists will NEVER be happy with women in fiction. I read this one article where she gave Danearys shit because she banned **** in her kingdom. Really? How is that a fucking bad thing? The lady was saying that **** was used to highlight 'bad guys', but all the 'bad guys' aren't ****** people left and right in the story. **** was used to show that the culture was primitive and backwards.

The dummy of the article also criticized Catelyn the Stark Mother for always thinking about her family. What the fuck.
 

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
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#8
Who's Game of Thrones' for you silly bitch?:

People who like watching entertaining television shows.
 

DrewDown

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May 3, 2010
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#10
Who is Game of Thrones for? That's a silly question. It's for anyone who wants to read it. What themes are of interest to Georgie Martin and how does he explore them??? That's of greater interest to me.

I'll be really brief here, but I think that Martin is deeply invested in the margins of society. Typically, those margins are defined in terms of race and gender. Martin is certainly interested in both of those to some degree, but I would argue that the perspective of the disabled trumps all others. If you look at his major characters, each one struggles with a disability of some sort, whether it is physical (Tyrion, Bran, Jaime), mental (Hodor...Hodor), or otherwise (one might argue that Brienne's disability is her gender). Yet through their disability, or their existence outside the center, they persevere and become more fully realized individuals. Those who occupy the center most easily are also most easily corrupted and flawed (see Robert B., Littlefinger, Joffrey, and even pre-incident Jaime).

I'll shut up now.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#11
Who is Game of Thrones for? That's a silly question. It's for anyone who wants to read it. What themes are of interest to Georgie Martin and how does he explore them??? That's of greater interest to me.

I'll be really brief here, but I think that Martin is deeply invested in the margins of society. Typically, those margins are defined in terms of race and gender. Martin is certainly interested in both of those to some degree, but I would argue that the perspective of the disabled trumps all others. If you look at his major characters, each one struggles with a disability of some sort, whether it is physical (Tyrion, Bran, Jaime), mental (Hodor...Hodor), or otherwise (one might argue that Brienne's disability is her gender). Yet through their disability, or their existence outside the center, they persevere and become more fully realized individuals. Those who occupy the center most easily are also most easily corrupted and flawed (see Robert B., Littlefinger, Joffrey, and even pre-incident Jaime).

I'll shut up now.
Damn interesting point.

I also think Catelyn is a cunt. She just has a cuntish vibe.