Powerful Women in Game of Thrones

The craft of screenwriting for the purpose of liberating women has ongoingly been misinterpreted. Jordan Lauf “Game Of Thrones Season 7 Is Feminist, But Only For One Kind of Woman” essay accurately discusses important onscreen misconceptions about feminism. Topics brought up in Lauf’s essay mirror similar problems that feminists might have with Darren Star’s television series, Sex and the City, because successful women are continuously represented synonymously. As long as you are fully aware and completely comprehensive of the possible deceptiveness of the portrayal of female characters, it should be reasonable to still consider yourself a feminist while being able to enjoy watching these shows.

Congruent with Lauf’s argument of all powerful women in Game Of Thrones having to exemplify traditional masculinity, throughout the Sex and the City series the women also find themselves having to take on inherently masculine traits. In fact, conformity of women to men’s standards is a common theme of the show. In an episode that really stuck out to me, Carrie Bradshaw, a New York City sex columnist and the main character of the show, states in a voiceover, “After I began to get dressed, I realized that I’d done it. I’d just had sex like a man. I left feeling powerful, potent, and incredibly alive. I felt like I owned this city – nothing and no one could get in my way.” By having Carrie’s character say this, it seems as if the writers are trying to normalize the stereotype of male dissonance between emotion and intimacy. In addition, the writers go on to apply this stereotype of having “sex like a man” to a women in order for her to feel “powerful, potent, and incredibly alive.” If women want to feel this way, they should not have to uphold to the standards of traditional masculinity. While Carrie Bradshaw may not be as violent as Arya Stark or as cruel as Cersei Lannister, she still adheres to men’s standards to have a sense of power and this is something that should be neither normalized nor encouraged.

However, this is not to say that all characters at all times of Sex and the City set a poor example of feminist beliefs. Samantha Jones, one of Carrie’s three best friends throughout the show, tends to be a good case for breaking misogynistic standards. Her independence and deep concern for self-love over anything is actually quite refreshing. When she eventually finds herself cornered into a relationship where she stops putting herself first, she ends up telling her partner, “I am not the type of woman who sits home all day waiting for a man!’ And while this may sound like a pure case of advocacy for feminism, Samantha is still not perfect. She, along with the rest of the Sex and the City gang, constantly focus their energy on their obsession with men.

Because it is a show about women, written for women, it makes sense that a great deal of the storylines for episodes have to do with the female character’s relationships with men. On the other hand, it gets to a point where these seemingly normal conversations between women turn into flat out over exaggerated fixations.    

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