This was supposed to be a rant about Game of Thrones and all the sex and violence in it. It still kind of is, but it got a bit more general.
I have a problem with Game of Thrones, the TV show. (I have the same problem with the books, but since they are books, it seems more sophisticated. Oh, and a warning: This is not a post for children or people, who feel uncomfortable when others write about sex. Which, ironically, includes myself.)
For one, I can’t stand the violence, because I feel it, when I see it. I actually had to stop watching the show after the first season, because it became to gory for me. In all TV shows and movies, when there is violence, it is as if it were happening to me.
This reaction of mine is very much unlike the one I have when it comes to sex scenes, in that all I feel then is awkward. And there are a lot of those scenes! Naked women everywhere, and every now and then a naked male butt. What’s up with that? No, I do not hate the human body or sex, but I also don’t appreciate people having sex right in front of me for no good reason! And I can honestly not think of any good reason for anybody ever to be having sex right in front of me. On top of that, if the sex is not consensual, it just makes it so much worse. (‘Worse’ is an understatement! If I can think of another word, I will edit this post.)
In a good TV show or movie, I’m interested in plot and character building, not porn. Seriously, real sex doesn’t even look like that and you all know that! And from a feminist perspective (albeit, perhaps, not the most thought-through one), why do we see only bared breasts and buttocks, only women nude and ‘being sexed’, but not nearly as much flaccid and never any aroused penises? Why does the violence have to be so graphic, but not the sex? What’s the difference? If you make one look so real, people who don’t know any better will assume the other is as well!
(This goes out to the abstinence crowd, about whom I worry a lot: Don’t take cues for your wedding night from TV or porn! It isn’t like that! You should probably not watch either one of these, that just makes it harder! Ehm, harder on you, I mean. I mean, the abstinence, it just makes being abstinent harder.)
I assume the show got more diverse in the area of who had sex with whom. But still, there was a lot more violence and a lot more explicit violence, than sex. And this goes for movies and TV in general. We see a lot more violence than sex. Explicit sex will get a movie rated more restrictively than explicit violence. I would really just like to have this question answered:
Why is it acceptable for a movie to show blood and gore, severed limbs and flesh torn asunder, but not the act that is supposed to be so natural that all those who don’t do it that way, are decried as sinners, perverts and freaks? Why are we confronted with blood, but not with sperm? Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not demanding that this be shown – really, I’m not! – but why do we see explicit, graphic penetrative sex as more problematic than explicit, graphic violence? Or: Why is showing the violent penetration of the heart of a man with a sword much more acceptable than the sexual (consensual!) penetration of wherever-you-like-it with a whatever-you-chose? And why do I feel the insurmountable urge to censor myself, when I write about sex, but not when I write about violence?
I am, by the way, not really surprised that full frontal nudity of women is more frequent. A patriarchal society understands looking at naked women as more acceptable than looking at naked men, as the point of view is supposedly that of a straight male. It’s okay to look at the girl’s boobies, but not the guy’s booties. That we see more naked women is not because their bodies are less offensive than male bodies, but that they are understood as commodities, which is what I should really be worrying about.