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Do you think Cersei's Walk of Shame was misogynistic?


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#1 voodooqueen126

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

Because it's the picture for the month of June in the 2013 calendar.
How did you feel about it and why?
Do you think the author was joining in with the misogyny of the characters? Or was he sympathetic to Cersei?

#2 Ser Lepus

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

It has been a long time since somebody brought that up...you were bored and wanted to start another little forum war, don't you? /laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':laugh:' />

Well, before everybody takes out the knives, I will say: It is a misogynistic punishment, of course, but you have to take into account that is the creation of a misogynistic culture and of a (probably) misogynistic man, the High Sparrow.

As for GRRM, he obviously wanted to take Cersei down a peg or two and make her suffer (which a lot of readers were wishing for) while at the same time, showing her as a human being we can still feel pity for, and not a cartoonish villain (God knows we had enough of cartoonish Cersei in AFFC).

I think the Walk of Shame was custom made to provoke conflicting feelings and conflicting responses among/from the fanbase.

Edited by Ser Lepus, 19 December 2012 - 05:09 PM.


#3 The Mountain That Flies

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

In short, yes, it was very misogynistic. It was designed to break Cersei's pride, and did so in a way that humiliated her as a woman.

I think the Walk of Shame was custom made to provoke conflicting feelings and conflicting responses among/from the fanbase.


Pretty much. It wasn't any worse than Sansa being stripped naked and beaten in front of the entire court at King's Landing or Catelyn's naked dead body being thrown in the river, but those were both clearly evil things done to create sympathy.

#4 Cliche Guevara

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:16 AM

To the extent that the walk of shame was just a very public form of slut-shaming, punishing cersei for exercising her sexual autonomy, yes, it was misogynistic. Robert never would have faced tghat kind of judgment for his whoring. But the walk was also a political move to strip cersei of her remaining public support and her ability to weild power. In that sense the high sparrow (and kevan) was capitalizing on the pre-existing sexism in that society to eliminate a female rival.

However, I always try to separate the author's opinions and beliefs from those of his characters. Obviously GRRM knows the walk was misogynistic. sexism is a major theme of cersei's arc. As others have said, I think the scene was designed to leave us conflicted. we know cersei deserves to be punished for her actions in feast and dance, but not like that.

#5 Ser Wun Wun

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:40 AM

It was definitely misogynistic, that was the point of it like others have said. I'll admit I kind of enjoyed reading about it though, because I really despise Cersei.

But if it had happened to just about any other female character, like Dany or Cat, I would have fucking furious with GRRM.

#6 voodooqueen126

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:02 AM

I guess

It has been a long time since somebody brought that up...you were bored and wanted to start another little forum war, don't you? /laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':laugh:' />

Well, before everybody takes out the knives, I will say: It is a misogynistic punishment, of course, but you have to take into account that is the creation of a misogynistic culture and of a (probably) misogynistic man, the High Sparrow.

As for GRRM, he obviously wanted to take Cersei down a peg or too and make her suffer (which a lot of readers were wishing for) while at the same time, showing her as a human being we can still feel pity for, and not a cartoonish villain (God knows we had enough of cartoonish Cersei in AFFC).

I think the Walk of Shame was custom made to provoke conflicting feelings and conflicting responses among/from the fanbase.

It has been a long time since somebody brought that up...you were bored and wanted to start another little forum war, don't you? /laugh.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':laugh:' />

Well, before everybody takes out the knives, I will say: It is a misogynistic punishment, of course, but you have to take into account that is the creation of a misogynistic culture and of a (probably) misogynistic man, the High Sparrow.

As for GRRM, he obviously wanted to take Cersei down a peg or too and make her suffer (which a lot of readers were wishing for) while at the same time, showing her as a human being we can still feel pity for, and not a cartoonish villain (God knows we had enough of cartoonish Cersei in AFFC).

I think the Walk of Shame was custom made to provoke conflicting feelings and conflicting responses among/from the fanbase.

Well, I figured I ought to review the calendar on Amazon before Christmas, so I wasn't sure what to say, other than that I felt deeply uncomfortable about it, especially as it seemed like GRRm seemed to delight in Cersei's humiliation.

#7 corbon

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:42 AM

How did you feel about it and why?

Feel?
For the choice of punishement, respect, if anything.
It was designed to break her power, which came entirely from the awe and fear people had of her, and her beauty.
It did exactly that.

On Cersei's behalf? Sorrow. That she had to go through it. That she has earned so much worse, but still didn't understand that. A little respect that she fought her way through it with her head held high, relatively speaking, but then, strength has never been her lack, only perspective and empathy.

Beats a beheading or hanging though.
Or being given to Qyburn...

Do you think the author was joining in with the misogyny of the characters? Or was he sympathetic to Cersei?

... especially as it seemed like GRRm seemed to delight in Cersei's humiliation.


That suggestion says a lot about you, not GRRM.

To the extent that the walk of shame was just a very public form of slut-shaming, punishing cersei for exercising her sexual autonomy, yes, it was misogynistic. Robert never would have faced tghat kind of judgment for his whoring.


Sexual autonomy? She never had any. Thats the price for her position, both as queen and as a noblewoman. She gets to be rich and powerful and the price (or a large part of it) is her sexual autonomy. If she wants her sexual autonomy back, she can go and starve in a dirt hut.
Or spend the bulk of her life training to fight and be maimed or killed in someone else's war, like most noblemen

Thats just the way it is in a society with hereditary inheritance laws and no way of proving paternity. If its important to pass your wealthon too your genetic descendents, and there are no ways to prove paternity, then sexual freedom for women, biologically, just isn't possible. Men have other prices to pay.

It sucks in some ways to be a noblewoman.
It also sucks in other ways to be a nobleman.
But there are plenty of benefits.
You don't see many nobles giving up their wealth and power, men or women.

But the walk was also a political move to strip cersei of her remaining public support and her ability to weild power. In that sense the high sparrow (and kevan) was capitalizing on the pre-existing sexism in that society to eliminate a female rival.
However, I always try to separate the author's opinions and beliefs from those of his characters. Obviously GRRM knows the walk was misogynistic. sexism is a major theme of cersei's arc. As others have said, I think the scene was designed to leave us conflicted. we know cersei deserves to be punished for her actions in feast and dance, but not like that.


Well said.

#8 Humphrey Plantagenet

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 04:16 AM

Well, before everybody takes out the knives, I will say: It is a misogynistic punishment, of course, but you have to take into account that is the creation of a misogynistic culture and of a (probably) misogynistic man, the High Sparrow.


I completely agree with this description. The fact that GRRM created this misogynistic culture doesn’t make him a misogynist. That chapter made me squirm as much as the Theon stuff in aDwD. But neither thing made me concerned about GRRM’s state of mind, his way of making me squirm as well as feel exhilarated is why I enjoy the books so much.

#9 Bayard

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:05 AM

Well, to say if it was or wasn't misogynistic we have to have the 2 parts male and female. We don't know what the punishment would have been for a man. Extremely likely that a man would have gotten a free pass... but who knows, with a fanatic like the High Septon. So, do you think a man would be forced to do a walk of shame?? I don't think so, most men wouldn't care to be seen naked, so it wouldn't be very effective. What if the punishment would be far worse? mutilation, castration, death??

Anyway, just raising some questions... I am sure it was misogynistic, even from the speech of the HS, "women are evil blah blah blah". But don't go accusing GRRM for this, if you do, than why not blame him for putting asoiaf in a medieval world??

#10 The BlackBear

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:14 AM

Well, to say if it was or wasn't misogynistic we have to have the 2 parts male and female. We don't know what the punishment would have been for a man. Extremely likely that a man would have gotten a free pass... but who knows, with a fanatic like the High Septon. So, do you think a man would be forced to do a walk of shame?? I don't think so, most men wouldn't care to be seen naked, so it wouldn't be very effective. What if the punishment would be far worse? mutilation, castration, death??

I'm guessing here, but I imagine what happened to the Kettleblack (can never remember which bloody one) would be more normal for a man. A more physical punishment like getting all the skin on your back torn up with a whip. I felt really bad about the walk btw.

#11 The Dragon has three heads

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:51 AM

It absolutely is, and it served its purpose, to cowe a dangerous female who used her "female parts" to the detrement if the realm.
And it's a religious punishment...of course it's mysongenistic...

#12 Bluesnow

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:01 PM

... we know cersei deserves to be punished for her actions in feast and dance, but not like that.


Really? Because I find the punishment quite fitting in all honesty >.>
Her blinding Ego has been at fault for the deaths of who knows how many people, and really the instability of the realm. She needs a bit more humility =____=

#13 The BlackBear

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:37 PM

Really? Because I find the punishment quite fitting in all honesty >.>
Her blinding Ego has been at fault for the deaths of who knows how many people, and really the instability of the realm. She needs a bit more humility =____=

I think it seems quite clear she is in no way finished. If anything she'll come back crazier than ever, and smarter around people.

#14 Ser Endrew Tarth

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:59 PM

IMHO she deserved it... I mean she manipulated the Stokeworth's who lose all to Bronn, then she gives Lady Stokeworth to Qyburn! She's a monster, any punishment is too good lol.

#15 Ulrik1312

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:12 PM

IMHO she deserved it... I mean she manipulated the Stokeworth's who lose all to Bronn, then she gives Lady Stokeworth to Qyburn! She's a monster, any punishment is too good lol.


She deserve punishment, but not because she sleep with someone out of wedlock (the walk of shame only refer to this crimes).

#16 A Commoner

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:40 AM

In differing contexts come different answers.

In the context of Westereos. Yes, she is explicitly persecuted for being a woman who did not conform to gender norms.

In the context of a character in a book. I read it as a continuance of her arc, for someone so driven by power to have been so stripped of illusion is a potent image, and tbh something of a final one. Unless of course there is more redemption incoming...

#17 corbon

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 03:51 AM

In the context of Westereos. Yes, she is explicitly persecuted for being a woman who did not conform to gender norms.


Except that thats not very accurate. She's being punished (not persecuted) for breaking her social contract. She's the queen. In return for wealth and power (among other things) she gives up her sexual autonomy (among other things).
Other women don't conform to gender norms, and don't suffer the walk of shame. Lots of women sleep around a bit. But they aren't the queen, given much and with accompanying responsibilities. Cersei is, and she's exercising the benefits but declining to accept the price. Thats why she is punished, when it comes down to it. If she wasn't the queen, she wouldn't have been singled out for the walk of shame.

Brienne, for example, breaks gender norms in another way. But again, she doesn't break any 'contract' doing so. She's ostracised for being different, but not legally punished.
Or Arriane, given another example. But being Dornish, her social contract is slightly different.

#18 Daphne23

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:15 AM

I have always been strongly of the opinion that the punishment is misogynistic, but GRRM's presentation of it was not - I think that he primarily intended us to feel sorry for Cersei and bring back some of her humanity, and a punishment such as this that threatens what she most holds dear about herself was the best way to do this. Although I don't believe Cersei should be forgiven for her crimes, I can't read the scene without feeling sympathy for her. However, I'm troubled by the idea of this being a scene in the calendar. I can't imagine there being a calendar page of Qyburn torturing people or Stannis burning men alive (maybe there are, I have no experience with the calendars!) because these are not pleasant things to look upon, and I don't see why this psychological torture of Cersei should be any different. If GRRM really approves of this I may have to read the scene differently - I don't know how much input he has into the calendars.

#19 A Commoner

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:56 AM

Except that thats not very accurate. She's being punished (not persecuted) for breaking her social contract. She's the queen. In return for wealth and power (among other things) she gives up her sexual autonomy (among other things).
Other women don't conform to gender norms, and don't suffer the walk of shame. Lots of women sleep around a bit. But they aren't the queen, given much and with accompanying responsibilities. Cersei is, and she's exercising the benefits but declining to accept the price. Thats why she is punished, when it comes down to it. If she wasn't the queen, she wouldn't have been singled out for the walk of shame.

Brienne, for example, breaks gender norms in another way. But again, she doesn't break any 'contract' doing so. She's ostracised for being different, but not legally punished.
Or Arriane, given another example. But being Dornish, her social contract is slightly different.


But why does this only apply to the Queen? Robert wasn't persecuted for his habits, but Cersei is.

Women are constantly being called whores and wenches etc. in Westeros, Misogyny is a part of the atmosphere, it is part of the atmosphere, and the disproportionate punishment of a female ruler for promiscuity is in line with this.

Think of all the supposed habits powerful men in Westeros get away with, Lyn Corbray apparently enjoys young boys, Gregor Clegane hardly seems to leave anyone alive, Roose enforces Lord's right.

#20 Bayard

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 06:36 AM

But why does this only apply to the Queen? Robert wasn't persecuted for his habits, but Cersei is.

Women are constantly being called whores and wenches etc. in Westeros, Misogyny is a part of the atmosphere, it is part of the atmosphere, and the disproportionate punishment of a female ruler for promiscuity is in line with this.

Think of all the supposed habits powerful men in Westeros get away with, Lyn Corbray apparently enjoys young boys, Gregor Clegane hardly seems to leave anyone alive, Roose enforces Lord's right.


You are right, but they get away with it because they are powerful. I think it's more of a thing about their power, not necessarily because they are men. If it were to the High Septon I think he would have punished Robert as well, but to do that he needs some leverage. In Cersei, he found a perfect example, powerful in the eyes of the smallfolk, but vulnerable enough to tackle. Given enough time, this fanatic will close all the brothels, and start a real inquisition.