Keep Shelly in Athens, on 14 March 2012 - 04:18 AM, said:
ughhhhh I'm not a "Cersei lover" like Justin Bieber fans are "Bieber lovers." Jon Snow is actually my favorite character; has always been, and always will be. I despised Cersei throughout 99% of the books.
I jump to Cersei's defense on rare occasions 1. when I see the author trying to give her something every good comic book villain has: a point of view, 2. when her talents for seeing patriarchy go unappreciated, and 3. as a fun mental exercise so I don't fall into the trap of reducing the characters to soap opera stereotypes. And that's it. All the other times, she's a psycho hosebeast of a woman, right out of Wayne and Garth's worst heavy metal nightmares.
"Cersei lovers" is mostly a claim made by the uncreative and defensive when someone a. questions Cersei's characterizations or the author's intent in portraying her as he does (extensive almost obsessive focus on her sexuality; portrayal of her legitimate complaints against the patriarchy as petulant bitchery; implications that the only women who truly wants power for itself must want a penis; etc.), b. objects to sexually themed insults (slut, whore, the c word, etc.) or c. Objects to newly popularized (and ridiculous) arguments that Cersei somehow abused her brother Jaime.
Objecting to cheers for sexually based, female specific punishments to fall upon Cersei's head does not equal defending a character or a single thing she's done. It merely means objecting to the idea that a woman, no matter how evil, should be punished with sexual assault or sexually themed torture.
The idea that objecting to this, pointing out the double standards that people generally greet the sexual behavior of Cersei vs. that of, say, LF for instance, is not loving, or even standing up for a charcter. It is pointing out the problematic attitudes of the readers themselves.
When called on their glee and wishes for Cersei to experience sexually themed punishments, the posters in question might respond with well reasoned arguments; unfortunately, in many cases they simply respond by accusing those questioning sexually themed punishment as "just" and "awesome" of being Cersei lovers who will defend Cersei's basest actions. In my case, that has never happened, nor will it ever.
The idea that in order to be moral and sensible and not a rabid, senseless Cersei lover, one must profess how much one hates the bitch from the highest rooftop is ridiculous. It also gives much leeway for the casual misogyny that is all too often associated with Cersei as a character. (Though, due to the frequency of posters wishing sexual assault on Cersei, expressing the desire to see Cersei raped has been officially banned on these forums, people still frequently find ways to wish for this without saying so in so many words. For instance, instead of saying "I want to see Cersei sexually assaulted," people will wish for Cersei to be "subjected to a sex scene with Ramsay Bolton," or express their earnest desire to see Cersei thrown to the Brave Companions and used by them. And, contrary to the endless protestations of posters that there is nothing sexist about this, they wish the same thing on the men, really, here's the truth of it-- I have yet to see any sexual abuse as punishment wishes voiced for any MALE villain, no matter how vile. The only exception is several cases where, seeking to prove that they were not at all sexist for wanting to see Cersei sexually humiliated, posters have insisted that they cheered for Theon's gelding or want to see Ramsay Bolton castrated. These wishes are things I've heard a total of three times, in opposition to the countless wishes for Cersei to be sexually assaulted I've heard voiced on these boards.)
Most annoyingly of all, the idea that anyone who objects to anything about Cersei or the opinion of certain posters on her is labeled a Cersei lover, thus silly, inferior, irrational, etc., and thus those who make poor arguments are allowed to use cheap insults to defend their opinions rather than actual, well articulated arguments. This impedes real intelligent debate.
Objecting to people cheering for sexually based violence to be meted out to Cersei is not an indication that one loves Cersei and delighted in her deeds-- it merely means that one is uncomfortable with sexualized punishments. Arguing that Cersei's characterization is problematic and disturbing and occasionally sexist is not defending Cersei's deeds or being irrational-- it is simply voicing discomfort regarding some of the many sexist tropes the author has utilized-- and intensified to astounding degrees-- while writing this character. Arguing that Cersei is inconsistant and her plotline in AFFC and ADWD largely contrived and ridiculous is not saying Cersei is benevolent or some sort of early feminist-- it is merely noting that the shallow characterization, the clunky prophecy plot device, and the generally contrived nature of her storyline seems to signal a clear drop in quality that bears more of a resemblence to conventional formulaic fantasy than the rest of these well written books.