So… I’m confused. I keep seeing all these articles criticizing the writers and show runners on Game of Thrones for crossing a line in the most recent episode. Throughout the day I’ve seen politicians and public figures speaking out against the episode and the grotesque nature of showing Sansa’s rape. Finally, I keep seeing the line, “Sansa and the viewers of Game of Thrones deserve better”.
I understand the weight of the material, but I don’t understand why so many people are exponentially more upset over what was done to a fictional character on a television show than they were over actual rape cases. Why are people boycotting Game of Thrones, while there are so many actual institutions that need to be brought to light for their actual hand in sexual assault? I’m not saying it’s not something to be upset about, but why is there so much attention brought to what is, at the end of the day, a piece of fiction?
Today, Emma Sulkowicz graduated from Columbia University, carrying the same mattress she has carried since she found out she would have to continue going to school with her rapist. Today, hundreds of thousands of other women, real women, work to recover from the trauma that comes with an event like that. What was shown on Game of Thrones was not a glorified assault, it was not glossed over to look “cool”, it was a heart-wrenching depiction of what is unfortunately a reality for some people. Showing something like that, as terrible and awful as the act might be, gives a glimpse of reality into the perversion that exists in this world.
Instead of viewing things like this and taking a stand against the writers, the content, the story; why don’t we take a stand against the actual problem? If it didn’t exist, story tellers wouldn’t have anything to shed light on. If you’re going to take the time and energy to take a stand and make your voice heard, wouldn’t it be better to help a real woman, not just a depiction of one? Just a thought.