I’ve been working more than 50 years in the news business so I’ve seen a lot when it comes to reality and shifts in cultural norms. I’ve been seduced into numbness by Washington politics and desensitized by prime time TV news talk shows. So I understand how we can all become so enraptured by TV created fantasy worlds. But that comes with a price. The price is being oblivious or not being outraged by the obvious… the complete abandonment of righteous indignation. Yeah, I’ m talking about the outcome of Game of Thrones.
I went to work Monday after the #GOT finale hearing a whole bunch of varied opinions about how who got to sit on the Iron Throne was resolved. But I felt it was totally uncool that a man, supposedly of high morals, would end the reign of a powerful woman with a cowardly surprise knifing to her heart!
This week red states have picked up the pace to enact laws denying women control over their own bodies. Attempts to achieve financial parity for women in the workplace are being fought tooth and nail by a cabal of powerful men. And then there is the #MeToo movement which gets lip service until a judge’s reputation or politicians actions are called into question. Then its “#MeWhat?”
This gets me to my peeve… It is what I saw in that fateful moment when John Snow felt empowered to murder his aunt, his lover, a woman who had trusted him completely. And though John Snow offered a weak inquiry asking her to consider “small mercies,” he could not bring himself to ask her, up front, to become merciful with him, for him.
Those of you who follow the show know that the reason it came to this was because Snow’s “all male” ego chose to reveal his claim to Dragon Queen Daenerys’ throne despite the fact she begged him not to. He chose to present himself as a threat. He put Daenery’s pain into motion and in my view, he was obligated to go the extra mile to turn her around, not murder her like a misogynist coward with a sneak attack knifing to the heart.
Now some of you reading this might say, “Get over yourself, it’s fiction, it’s not real!” And I could respond with, “True, but the object of this story is men, when faced with a powerful woman who they fear they cannot control, would default to destroying her.”
I do not find misogyny and the abuse of women, entertaining. It makes me think about how it aids in desensitizing our society. I’m no Hillary fan, but two years ago we went through a presidential election where the choices were a woman with faulty email practices but a proven history of public service, against a failed real estate tycoon with racist tendencies, service only to himself, and demonstrated disrespect for women. You see how that turned out!
I’m just concerned that too much “fantasy” that does not think through better outcomes for women in power, might continue to justify this crisis in reality. As far as I’m concerned, GOT’s finale was just another hit on women’s upward mobility.
That’s my 2-cents on the #GOT finale. Take it or leave it!
You can follow Will on Twitter: @WillJWright