Over the past five years, I have taken a bit of a beating from life. I’ve been hospitalized three separate times and lost two organs. I’ve dealt with heartbreak, disappointment, depression, and rejection. It’s been a harsh awakening to adulthood and there were times when it has felt like it was all too much. But I’m lucky. Through every storm, I have been guided by the warmth of the love of my close female friends. Of course the underhanded cruelty and backbiting more frequently visible in female relationships exist, but I’m starting to realize that may be the exception rather than the rule. Women take care of each other and support each other more frequently than they tear each other down. There is a love between women that feels like it comes directly from the earth. There is very little force in the world that is as powerful as the love between women.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I cried as I read this article. Because I’m probably alive today because of the love and support of my girls (you know who you are) and I couldn’t be more grateful.
“A world where women are perfectly safe, perfectly competent, and society is perfectly engineered to produce those conditions strikes me as one where we can’t tell any very interesting stories about women’s struggles and women’s liberation. If we tell ourselves stories in order to live, it doesn’t strike me that we do ourselves any favors as active feminists by leaching depictions of sexual violence, women making bad decisions, and institutionalized sexism from our fiction, or by dismissing entire swaths of consumers or modes of consuming fiction.”
This is the best defense I have heard for the people who claim A Song of Fire and Ice is sexist towards women. I am all for feminism and women having equal rights, but some people need to pull their heads out of their asses. There are strong women in the series (Arya, Dany, Catelyn, Cersi, etc.). Some women aren’t treated well, but so are a lot of men in the series (I think Tyrion is probably the one who takes the most verbal/emotional beatings, all because he’s a dwarf). The person who wrote this article does a great job. Read it.
The other thing I really appreciate that the women in ASOIAF is that they’re fully formed characters with flaws as well as strength. It’s not enough just to have a woman who’s strong in any story. A character that is always strong is just as boring as a character that is always weak. So it’s really not enough to put a sword in a woman’s hand and call her an interesting character. You have to give her a personality too. And that’s what I really love about the women in ASOIAF is that they are fully formed people. Catelyn is fiercely loyal and protective, but she’s also stubborn and rash. Cersei is one hell of a bitch, but in the end, she adores her family and everything she does, she does for her children. And I could go on. ALL of the women in ASOIAF are interesting, multi-dimensional, and utterly real. Love them all.