Critics’ Reactions to the Jaime/Cersei Rape Scene in Episode 4.3 of Game of Thrones
"I wonder, then, if the rape was on some level a misguided attempt to give Cersei even more pathos, a la the convenient backstory rapes that have become depressingly common on prestige TV (and Scandal)…I wonder if TV Thrones‘s writers just have a tendency to change problematic book sex scenes into clear scenes of unconsensual sex.” - Hillary Busis, Entertainment Weekly
“Game of Thrones has a rape problem.” - Kevin Spak, Newser
"In the original depiction, Jaime never says “Why have the Gods made me love a hateful woman?” — a line that the TV show added in, which in context makes Jaime look like an abusive rapist (the gods made me do it!)”- Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly
Jaime forced himself upon Cersei despite her demands to stop. “It’s not right,” she cried, to which Jaime snarled, “I don’t care.”…we can never unsee that godawful scene. - Leanne Aguilera, E! Online
"If this scene really just is a miscalculation in direction (and potentially the writing of Benioff and Weiss, neither of whom have yet commented on it) and doesn’t get any payoff later in the season, then it truly deserves all the criticism it has been receiving.” - Terri Schwartz, Zap2It
The director who shot the scene and the man who acted in it both believe it wasn’t necessarily nonconsensual sex— an attitude that isn’t totally surprising in a society that’s deeply confused about what constitutes consent, and that doesn’t always recognize sexual violence for what it is. -Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress
So then Jaime … well … no other way to put this, really. He rapes his sister beside their corpse of their murdered son. This is the same guy who protected Brienne from a similar fate last year. - James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly
"…the show’s overall treatment of women as disposable objects onto whom physical and emotional violence are relentlessly enacted. Sexual violence is so pervasive on the show that nearly every woman on the show has been raped or threatened with rape. The show, and the books, reveal the disturbing and cavalier facility with which rape becomes a narrative device.Rape is used to punish. Rape is used to make a woman more sympathetic or to explicate their anger or other unlikable qualities. Rape is used to put women in their place.” -Roxane Gay, Salon
"The entire scene in the sept was an exercise in Cersei’s belittlement. She watched her father degrade and dishonor (albeit truthfully) her firstborn’s legacy and then manipulate her youngest into serving as his marionette. Then, on the floor next to the body of her dead son, the only man she’s ever taken into her confidence abused that trust in the most vile way imaginable.” - Hillary Kelly, The New Republic
"A giggling dead body would have at least taken our attention away from, you know, the raping." - Johnny Brayson, wetpaint
"Whether the show meant it to come across that way or not, what we saw was a rape.” - Erik Kain, Forbes
"The scene, which has Cersei pleading “stop it” repeatedly and struggling against Jaime, appears far from consensual." - Margaret Wappler, Los Angeles Times
In the show there’s no other way to interpret it as unambiguous rape. Jaimie isn’t loving when he tries to have sex with her in the show, he’s shown as being angry and hateful, cursing her for being a wicked woman. There’s no point in the scene on the show that we can see Cersei consent, which makes the whole scene significantly different from the book. Some readers have pointed out that the rape in the show is damaging for Cersei’s character arc since she had to endure the marriage to Robert Baratheon in which he essentially engaged in marital rape, Her consensual sex was always with Jaimie who made her feel safe. Jaimie raping her in the show completely destroys their relationship and destroys the trust she has in Jaimie leaving her without anyone. - AJ, the Digital Times
The rewritten scene also takes away all of Cersei’s agency. In the original text, Cersei chooses to have sex with Jaime, grotesque as it and the setting may be — because she wants to, or because she uses sex to manipulate, it doesn’t matter. Cersei has power and control. The scene in the show deprives her of all of that. - Amelia McDonell-Parry, The Frisky
His response is not to stop loving her, not to stop believing that he is victim to the gods. Instead, Jaime rapes his sister, passing that sense of unendurable pain on to her. He must know that this is the worst possible way that he could hurt her. Jaime knew that Robert raped Cersei, and in the novels, he wanted to kill Robert for it. Not only does raping Cersei remind his sister of her repeated, humiliating violation, Jaime is poisoning their own relationship, the thing that had been Cersei’s antidote to the miseries of her marriage. It is an exceptionally cruel thing for Jaime to do. - Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post.
It’s hard to shake the idea that Game Of Thrones, the show, doesn’t see a problem with pushing a scene from complicated, consensual sex to outright rape. It would be easier to accept that idea if it were clear what the show was trying to do with those changes. - Sonia Saraiya, AV Club
If Graves intended to depict consensual sex in the end, he completely failed. This wasn’t even one of those terribly clichéd scenes where a man starts raping a woman only to find that she comes around to thinking it’s hot. Cersei is still kicking and protesting when the camera cuts away. It’s as straightforward a rape scene as you’ll get on TV, unless you buy the ridiculous myth that a woman can’t be raped if she’s consented to sex with a man before. - Amanda Marcotte, Slate
This isn’t the first rape scene in Game of Thrones—far from it. And there’s been controversy over the show’s use of rape before. But what makes this scene the most upsetting one yet is that the director didn’t realize he was filming a rape scene…Whether or not the creators intended this to be a rape scene is irrelevant; they made one anyway. And worse, they made one that encourages the most dangerous thinking about rape imaginable. - Laura Hudson, Wired
"How will victims of sexual assault be affected when a director and actor in one of television’s most popular shows questions whether no really means no?" - Eliana Dockterman, Time Magazine
I’ll go ahead and say it: Jaime Lannister has become a rape cliché. He’s the boss, like every other on-screen rapist we’ve ever seen. - Hayley Krischer, Salon
"I’m not opposed to shows depicting sexual violence, but rape-as-prop is always distressing…Rape and abuse have consequences for the victims who carry those traumas with them. While I don’t know exactly how the show will depict the aftermath of Jamie raping Cersei, GoT does not have a strong track record of acknowledging or exploring the lingering effects of surviving sexual assault." - Margarey Lyons, Vulture/New York Magazine
"I can’t think of any comparable defense for the rape scene in "Breaker of Chains," which feels like a naked and ill-conceived attempt to push Game of Thrones into even darker territory. …I’m concerned that Game of Thrones has made a mistake it can’t take back — and one that sets a troubling precedent for the show’s future.” - Scott Meslow, The Week
The Game of Thrones Rape Scene Was Unnecessary and Despicable….The fact that showrunners might be asking us to overlook this for the sake of character development is downright insulting and says a lot about how we treat victims, especially the ones who come off as unlikable. - Madeleine Davies, Jezebel.com
Is “Game of Thrones” Obsessed With Sexual Assault?…Frankly, there are some weeks when “Game of Thrones” doesn’t seem worth the effort. - Sam Adams, IndieWire
Erika Alexander as Maxine Shaw on Living Single
what people need to understand is that the complexity of their reaction to their fave turning out to be a monster isn’t the same as the situation actually being complex in and of itself.
look, i’ll totally grant that it’s difficult when this kind of thing…
BILL WATTERSON ‘A cartoonist’s advice’
This. All this. Forever.
I KNEW I RECOGNIZED THAT STYLE
I can not express my love for this with mere words.
|—||On the backlash to the backlash of Miley Cyrus’s Vmas performance, crystalzelda (via crystalzelda)|
I recommend reading the whole article in the link. It’s long but good, and also points out the annoying trope of Hollywood thinking that as long as the female character gets a token “can beat people up” scene, then it’s totally fine that otherwise they still are filling very typical fictional roles women are pigeon-holed into, and usually are still just a love interest or plot device.
Also, to the above quote, this is also about having this diversity in a single story, or even having many of those traits in 1 character, and not just being able to pluck a few examples out of all of fiction and go “see, in this story, the woman was shy and quiet, and in this story, the woman beat somebody up, and this story the woman was mean. There! Diversity!” It’s about overall trends, it’s about not just having one or two women in a cast, it’s about how women are situated in the story, it’s about whether the women are protagonists or plot devices, it’s about all sorts of ways that women are marginalized, pigeon-holed, etc in fiction, and not simply just about one thing. There’s no easy fix where you go “see in my story, the woman warrior wears a shirt and she doesn’t get raped!” The problem is there are so many issues with the way women, and every other marginalized group, are portrayed in fiction (and even more so with the intersectional problems with characters who are part of several of those groups), and only so much that people can talk about in one go, so usually people are only able to address one or two issues at any time, and it leads to the idea that as long as you fix (or superficially) fix that element, then it’s all good, and it’s more than that.
From the standpoint of this blog, sometimes there comes the misconception that as long as a story has fully armored women, or has battle-ready posed women, then that’s something that’s necessarily a good story about women, or necessarily a good depiction, and it’s more than that. It’s a step forward, definitely, and I absolutely think it’s good for people to keep the visual portrayal of women in their minds when creating fiction and not just doing one thing over and over because it’s just how we’re so used to seeing women depicted visually. But it can’t stop at that. How many women there are in the story matters. Whether or not she’s portrayed as being “exceptional” for her gender, and therefore all other women in the fictional world are still flat stereotypes matters. What happens to her in the story, how she’s situated, presented, talked about matters. Whether she’s the protagonist, or if despite her armor, she gets kidnapped by the villain to anger the male hero matters. It’s about more than simply avoiding one single way women are portrayed, and then dusting off our hands and patting ourselves on the back for fixing how women are portrayed in fiction. It’s about examining the way we see women in our society, and being aware of how that affects the way we depict and situate them in our writing, often without realizing it.
Escher Girls, The Bechdel Test, Bikini Armor, etc, are all catchy terms, and great things to keep in mind when writing fiction with women in it, but it’s not as simple as just “not doing this one thing”. These phrases and ideas are meant to highlight specific issues about the way women are written and drawn in fiction and to open up a discussion about the larger picture of how women are portrayed. The Bechdel Test is meant to point out how few women have roles and how even fewer of them have stories of their own that don’t revolve around men. Escher Girls is about showing the prevalence of female characters being contorted or dressed in ways that maximize titillation over function. They are symptoms, not the cause, and addressing just one of them once doesn’t fix the underlying issue. Change comes by challenging ourselves to not just settle at “my princess punches people before being captured” or “the male hero’s love interest talks to her female friend about dogs at one point”, but to be willing to examine the overall way we’re depicting women in our fiction, how many there are, and how they’re situated. Centaur women, battle bikinis, and the boobs and butt pose are the beginning of the discussion, not the end.eschergirls)
1. Triggers aren’t as easy as they seem.
Some things are easy enough, tw: rape tw: victim blaming tw: graphic content.
Some things aren’t. How do you explain to a friend ‘If you make me feel small- I will get sick’. How do you tell a lover, ‘Don’t call me beautiful, or gorgeous, or pretty. In fact- just please, don’t say anything’.
Or explain to someone, ” I can’t go through that line. That line has a man wearing a yellow shirt in it- and he is wearing a cologne and no. no. no. no.”
People think triggers are easy to understand- that those unaffected by trauma should still be able to understand the why.
If I can’t understand why I’m triggered by it- what makes you think you can.
2. Trauma would effect everything. Literally.
Something as simple as buying groceries, or going for a walk. Where I’m willing to be in public by myself.
What I will wear and when. And it isn’t so simple as just ‘covering up’. It’s ‘dress nice enough that no one will think there is something wrong with you’ next to ‘don’t dress too nice though- you don’t want anything to happen.’
It effects what I eat. Stress effects the stomach, and when your mind is constantly trying to avoid new trauma or thinking about old trauma.. then you have a lot of times where you’re either stress eating, or forgetting to eat from stress.
Sleep to avoid reality. Insomnia because nightmares.
It changed my speech patterns. Had to be careful not to invite things. Had to be careful to not be ‘b****’ who deserved what was coming.
Trauma changed everything.
3. Recovery isn’t a straight line.
The common theme seems to be ‘avoids life for x amount of days- maybe a week or two. friends come over pull victim back into the real world. there are 2, maybe 3 set backs- but by a few months- life returns to normal’
Personally it was more like ‘life goes on fast forward for the next two months, nothing is wrong- NOTHING IS WRONG- NOTHING IS WRONG IF YOU ASK ME ONE MORE TIME- crash. Refuses to deal with life 4 months. Begins to recover. set back. recover. set back. simultaneously does a little bit better in one area- and completely falls apart in another. set back. Too many weeks of wondering ‘is this behavior more attributed to recovery or relapse? how do I know?’
There are way too many variables for recovery to move in a straight line. There are times when we do things that are good for us- while simultaneously regressing in other areas.
4. Recovery isn’t always about going out, facing your fears, or punching your assailant in the face.
Sometimes recovery is making art about what happened.
It is talking honestly about your fears and doubts.
It is talking- at all- about what happened to you.
Recovery is reading terrible terrible fan fiction where the MC goes through something terrible- but finds their best friend through it all- and they go out and slay the dragon and win the hearts of everyone. It is believing that maybe you too will be able to slay the dragon.
It is admitting that you are hurting.
It is asking for help when you need it.
Recovery, is a thousand things.
but not an end goal. not really.
5. Love won’t actually save us.
Too often I saw this idea- that maybe if we found someone who found our pain tragically beautiful.. they could convince us of our worth. they could hold our hand in public and kiss away the pain. after a decent amount of time, you’d have sex- and you’d realize that things were going to be okay after all.
Our pain is not tragically beautiful.
We don’t necessarily have to save ourselves- not alone. But we have to put in the foot work, we have to respect our need to rest too though. We are more likely to get better with friends who extend hands to help us up- than lovers who kiss away memories of what happened.
6. Survivors actually aren’t that uncommon.
Too often I feel alone in a crowded room, feeling like everyone knows what happened and everyone thinks I’m a monster.
But I’ve learned, that when I speak up- inevitably, other people do too.
Whether it is reading a poem at a venue, or an offhanded comment. Once one person speaks…
someone else, who thought they were all alone, speaks up too.
We aren’t alone. The more we talk, the more we reach out, the more we find one another.
was probably the most healing thing I ever did.
It’s not about sex - they have porn, they have as much fucking porn as they could possibly ask for
they have billboards and ads and primetime tv shows and hollywood movies and websites free videos magazines they have porn channels porn movies with sexy images of women
Why Society Still Needs Feminism
Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.
Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.
Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.
Because rape jokes are still a thing.
Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.
Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a
Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.
Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time
of the survey?”
Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking
Because Rush Limbaugh.
Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.
Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist.
Could. Not. Fathom.
Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.
Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.
Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings.
Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?
Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.
Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.
Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.
Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to
Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation.
|—||Caitlin O’Donnell, Drake University. (via on-another-note)|