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A Feminist Critique of ASoIaF
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SerScot
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend,

wayfriend wrote:
SerScot wrote:
After reading this woman's critique I have to wonder does she thing anyone can write an authentically Medeival Fantasy setting without falling into the sterotypes of race and sex she rails against?

It's not about whether you write about it, it's how you write about it. Do you villify it or glorify it. Apparently GRRM (whom I have only read his first book, and that a long time ago, and I remember not a smidge of it, and you would think I would with all this kinkiness I hear of, so I can only conclude it was that bad) not only glorifies some bad stuff, he revels in it.


No, he doesn't "glory" in it any more that SRD gloried in Covenat's rape of Lena. There are consequeces to actions. Sadly, the world he's created is fairly violent toward women but he's trying to draw a realistic portrat of a fedual male dominated world.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a sad, bitter, pathetic person. It's one thing to not like a work of fiction. It's another to view the entire world through a filter of bile so dark, that even the smallest details (like 1000s of words dedicated to inaccurate character analysis of a set of books you hate) get colored with this rage and bitterness. Her critique of this work of fiction is uglier than what she's critiquing. At least Martin has an excuse: it's a story, and some of the people in it are bad. But this girl's overuse of vulgar language like "bitchface" and "royal fuck time" and general sense of vitriol and victimization are real. She's expressing her very real rage at reading something that a guy made up. Not social injustice, or violation of people's rights ... just something a guy made up. And she's taking gleeful pleasure in trashing things that other people love, even calling them names merely for the kind of fiction they like as she fantasizes about burning their precious artforms in a giant bonfire. Girl's got problems.

Such overriding anger and sense of victimization inevitably leads to (or exposes) one's stupidity. It doesn't take long. Witness:

Quote:
Remember, kids: Women are meant to be wives and mothers. Also, they are meant to be kept away from sharp objects and heavy machinery at all times. Because they are always thinking with their baby-makers! Oy!
I suppose she thinks this is a funny way to make fun of Catelyn, but this makes absolutely no sense given all other other females characters who don't embody the domestic housewife cliche. Characters which Sady must be aware of, because she immediately trashes them for completely different reasons. Why does she hate all the female characters? Who the hell knows. She even hates them for opposite reasons (Arya is too tomboy, Sansa is too girly). Talk about a no-win situation. Martin can write women with conflicting and opposite characteristics, and somehow both still end up expressing his hatred of women? I don't get it. It sounds like Sady is the woman hater, not Martin.

If this is what feminism does to females, completely turning off their critical thinking skills in favor of seeing-misogynism-everywhere-I-look, then women are doing more harm to their gender than men. This seeing-hate-in-everything says more about the woman than the world. It exposes a fundamental flaw within her, rather than in what she is trying to critique.

The irony here is that she's criticizing a work of fiction on the basis of her own fantasy about how the world is (or should be). She doesn't claim that it's unrealistic, no she simply assumes that people shouldn't write about things that offend her personally, or things about the world she either ignores or wishes wasn't true. When Martin writes about bronze-skinned people being savages who engage in rape, Sady accuses him of racism (even though people of all colors and classes rape in his books--as Sady herself points out--and our world has had plenty of dark-skinned savages), and gets mad at the idea of Daenerys teaching them that rape is wrong because it's condescending for white people to teach dark people things. Or something.

Quote:
And Dany, as The White Lady In These Scenes, has to educate them that rape is wrong. So when your Daenerys scenes are NOT composed of Creepy Pedo Shit, they are comprised of Enlightened White Savior Shit and/or How Will I Ever Communicate With These Superstitious Natives Shit and/or After Our White Women Shit. What Im saying is, I want to like Daenerys. But her scenes? They are shit. They are shit. They are shit some more. And then there are dragons.


So even when Martin has an explicit message that RAPE IS WRONG and has a strong female character make this point, one would think that he'd get some credit for creating an archetypal feminist hero, but Sady can't allow herself to enjoy the very thing she ostensibly looks for in fiction because the female is white. And the rapists are dark. Jesus. I suppose if the rapist were evil white men--as all rapists are!--then Sady could finally find something about the book to not hate (notice I don't say "like," I doubt Sady actually finds joy in anything, but merely the brief cessation of her overriding bitterness).

Even Daenerys freeing slaves is a cause for ANGER and CAPITAL LETTERS. One would imagine that for such a champion of the downtrodden as Sady clearly is, she would be happy to see a strong female character freeing opposed people. But no, this is not a reason to cheer. It's a reason to bitch. Why? Because apparently freeing people from slavery is somehow, tangentially, I-know-there's-a-racist-point-here-somewhere-if-just-use-enough-capitalization-and-anger, ... racist. Yes, in the bizarro world of feminist hate, even a strong female freeing slaves is an insult to someone. So even when your results are culture-shatteringly positive, if your motives vaguely remind Sady of something she hates about European culture 200 years ago, IT MUST BE BAD TO PUT IT IN A BOOK! Through some of the most hysterical (not the funny kind) "logic" I've ever seen, Sady "deduces" that Daenerys' rationale for freeing slaves is exactly the same rationale which created slavery (i.e. that white people view themselves as superior). Damn superior white people ... who the hell do they think they are freeing slaves? How disrespectful, telling other cultures they can't have slaves? [The fact that there were also plenty of dark-skinned people who also enslaved others doesn't seem to pose a problem for Sady's Theory of the Creation of Slavery.]

And it goes on and on. But really, when you realize that even a strong female freeing slaves is a reason to get bitchy, that's all you need to know about this girl. Seriously, other feminists who might be reading this: if you don't loudly condemn zealots like this among your ranks, it's only going to make feminism in general a joke. Sady is a walking cliche of the Clueless Bitter Feminist. She is not here to make the world a better place, but only to whine and moan about it.

Violence porn? This is righteous indignation porn. Bitterness porn. Feminist porn. (Not as cool as it sounds, guys. Cool )
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty much why I stopped reading Requires Only That You Hate. It started out as amusing faux-nerdrage with some interesting (if deliberately over the top) points to make about bad portrayals of gender/sex/race/etc in the lower regions of genre fiction, but the more I read the more apparent it became that she was over-critical and heavily biased, and held opinions like women can't be sexist against men, or Thais can't be racist against whites, because they never held institutional power over them (the writer is a Thai woman), and that men cannot be feminists.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i read it because i could not stop reading it. as i said, she's a good writer.
but i do not agree with her in any sense of the word, nor do i consider myself in any category of feminism and thus rarely see any literary criticism written from those viewpoints that i do agree with. (although i was REALLY glad to read her piece about phyllis schlafly because i DO agree with sady on that!)


Quote:
This seeing-hate-in-everything says more about the woman than the world. It exposes a fundamental flaw within her, rather than in what she is trying to critique.


zar is right, sady's analysis (and i use that term loosely here) of martin is colored by her own narrow perspective on sex and gender, much as schlafly's is.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, Sady's post is over the top in many ways. But:

Z wrote:
She even hates [the female characters] for opposite reasons (Arya is too tomboy, Sansa is too girly). Talk about a no-win situation. Martin can write women with conflicting and opposite characteristics, and somehow both still end up expressing his hatred of women?

Z, most RL women embody more than one trait. I know women who both are tomboys *and* and interested in "girly" stuff. Many of them are mothers (to rope in Sady's criticism of Catelyn as well). Which of Martin's female characters is well-rounded enough to say that of?

(OTOH, and come to think of it, most of the male characters are pretty much one-note wonders as well -- Ser Gregor is a jerk, Ramsay Bolton is a sadistic jerk, Stannis is ramrod stiff, Tyrion is a bitter dwarf, and so on. Are there *any* well-rounded characters in ASoIaF?)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stannis is a complicated man, that should be obvious from the first time he took up the Red God. Tyrion is far from one-note.

Sansa and Arya are probably not good examples, of course. Arya hasn't changed since leaving King's Landing, and there isn't all that much to her so far. Sansa's character has changed, but only in a loss of naivety and trust, not actually becomnig more complex. Bran is similarly flat.

But Cersei, Brienne, Catelyn? They're all very well developed characters.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After watching season one HBO on Blu-ray, my wife thought it had some of the most interesting, pro-woman, empowering female characters she'd seen in a fantasy story. She particularly liked Daenerys.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
After watching season one HBO on Blu-ray, my wife thought it had some of the most interesting, pro-woman, empowering female characters she'd seen in a fantasy story. She particularly liked Daenerys.
Heh, I've always thought Daenerys to be the most problematic of the female characters, particularly in the HBO show. She always has this Stockholm Syndrome vibe about her. Come to think of it, Khal Drogo's treatment of her is problematic as well, particularly in the book. The whole situation is morally wrong on a couple of levels, but it seemed Martin wants us to think it's all right because on the inside, Drogo's kinda a sensitive guy who cares about Daenerys or some crap like that. Of course, it's still a sort of rape.

I'm starting to think that a proper analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire is impossible unless the ideas of a feminists critique are present. Martin probably doesn't want to set women's rights back by a few decades, but I also do not think he wants us to think that characters like Khal Drogo are doing the right thing when they buy and rape women, no matter their "sensitivities".
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure Martin wanted us to think it was alright, no more than Donaldson wanted us to think that Angus raping Morn was alright. In both cases, how the women coped with this situation was what showed their strength. What was Daenerys supposed to do? Fight off 40,000 savages by herself? She accepted a role of power, and by doing so was able to help other women not get raped, and her kindness in the end was the downfall of her husband, freeing her of that arranged marriage.

There was something kind of unsavory and "stockholm syndrome" about her "love" for Drogo, but I think she made the best of a shitty situation.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not entierly sure with Martin. That's key, I think. With Donaldson, you know Angus is doing something depicable, but Drogo seems to be more a "phew! This could have ended badly, but it didn't!"

I blame Martin's inferior writing style and Jack Vance influence. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Someone should ask her if she's ever read a romance novel. CREEEEEEEPY!
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SerScot wrote:
After reading this woman's critique I have to wonder does she thing anyone can write an authentically Medeival Fantasy setting without falling into the sterotypes of race and sex she rails against?


Yep... totally agree 🙄 ... I found her critique ... well meh ..

I'm sure she's wonderful .. but ... meh .. 🤔 a very thoughtful meh
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