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Is the queen of thorns sexist?


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#1 E-Ro

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:36 PM

Not sexist towards women, but sexist towards men. These quotes really make me wonder about this.

All men are fools if truth be told, but the ones in motley are far more amusing than the ones in crowns.



I’ve never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they’re only men with the useful bits cut off.



That seems extremely extremely sexist and highly offensive to me. Anyway, what are everyone elses thoughts on this?

#2 Lala

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:42 PM

Not sexist towards women, but sexist towards men. These quotes really make me wonder about this.


That seems extremely extremely sexist and highly offensive to me. Anyway, what are everyone elses thoughts on this?


I wouldn't say she's sexist per se, simply that she has certain sexist attitudes towards men. Though you also have to take everything Lady Olenna says with a dash of snark - as in she doesn't necessarily believe that these comments are inherently true, simply that they are good reflections of the men in her life (which you can't dispute /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' /> ) I think there's a bit of frustration at how she sees the country being run and decisions being made as well (the comment about how kings should just listen to their mothers~)

ETA: I think they're also a jab directed at how men in Westeros commonly perceive women

Edited by Lala, 27 July 2013 - 09:43 PM.


#3 E-Ro

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:45 PM

I wouldn't say she's sexist per se, simply that she has certain sexist attitudes towards men. Though you also have to take everything Lady Olenna says with a dash of snark - as in she doesn't necessarily believe that these comments are inherently true, simply that they are good reflections of the men in her life (which you can't dispute /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' /> ) I think there's a bit of frustration at how she sees the country being run and decisions being made as well (the comment about how kings should just listen to their mothers~)

ETA: I think they're also a jab directed at how men in Westeros commonly perceive women

Well she also talks about beating her sons because they pay more attention to butterbumps then to her. Food for thought here.

#4 Lala

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:46 PM

Well she also talks about beating her sons because they pay more attention to butterbumps then to her. Food for thought here.


I'm pretty sure she'd say the same if they were daughters /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' /> She also calls Margaery's cousins a bunch of foolish clucking hens or something like that x]

But then I think you're not being entirely serious~

#5 Mad Monkey

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:49 PM

She seems more frustrated to me; because of the patriarchal structure of Westeros, a dimwit like Mace Tyrell can be Lord of one of the most powerful and wealthy realms in the country solely as a result of being born while someone much more intelligent like Olenna can at best aspire to rule through someone else. It's kind of a silly setup that causes a lot of unnecessary problems and I can see why anyone would get upset by it.

(though I'm not quite clear on the difference between being sexist and having sexist attitudes.)

I agree that a lot of her statements are snark and not meant to be taken literally; I don't think that she would describe Garlan Tyrell or Willas the same way, and Varys's status as a eunuch does seem to attract a lot of contemptuous commentary from other people too.

Edited by Mad Monkey, 27 July 2013 - 09:49 PM.


#6 E-Ro

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:50 PM

I'm pretty sure she'd say the same if they were daughters /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' /> She also calls Margaery's cousins a bunch of foolish clucking hens or something like that x]

But then I think you're not being entirely serious~

I wouldn't be so sure, she seems to have a very low opinion of all men. Her comments on the matter may be jokes, but jokes can show how a person really feels. We shouldn't hide behind the word "joke."

#7 Lala

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:53 PM

I wouldn't be so sure, she seems to have a very low opinion of all men. Her comments on the matter may be jokes, but jokes can show how a person really feels. We shouldn't hide behind the word "joke."


I think Olenna's attitudes are much better described as "not suffering fools" - she simply accurately observes that most of the men around her are fools /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

She has actually shown equal contempt for ignorant women as well as men in the books and seems to simply be dedicated to being a caustic, cantankerous old lady with an acerbic wit and little patience for idiocy.

#8 Dr. Pepper

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:53 PM

I wouldn't be so sure, she seems to have a very low opinion of all men. Her comments on the matter may be jokes, but jokes can show how a person really feels. We shouldn't hide behind the word "joke."


If anything, Olenna's jokes and snark reflect a low opinion of stupid people and she seems to be aware that stupidity is an equal opportunity affliction.

ETA: ninja'd by lala for the 1000t48234757th time /wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />

Edited by Dr. Pepper, 27 July 2013 - 09:54 PM.


#9 Lala

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:54 PM

If anything, Olenna's jokes and snark reflect a low opinion of stupid people and she seems to be aware that stupidity is an equal opportunity affliction.

/agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' />

ETA:

The old woman smelled of rosewater. Why, she’s just the littlest bit of a thing. There was nothing the least bit thorny about her. “Kiss me, child,” Lady Olenna said, tugging at Sansa’s wrist with a soft spotted hand. “It is so kind of you to sup with me and my foolish flock of hens.” Dutifully, Sansa kissed the old woman on the cheek. “It is kind of you to have me, my lady.”


Margaery, you’re clever, be a dear and tell your poor old half-daft grandmother the name of that queer fish from the Summer Isles that puffs up to ten times its own size when you poke it.


to Sansa:

You said that. You know, child, some say that you are as big a fool as Butterbumps here, and I am starting to believe them. Comely? I have taught my Margaery what comely is worth, I hope. Somewhat less than a mummer’s fart.



Very much an equal opportunity snark-artist is our Lady Olenna <3

ETA: Dr. Pepper we are so very much on the same page \o/

Edited by Lala, 27 July 2013 - 10:03 PM.


#10 E-Ro

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:56 PM

I think you guys are ignoring the second quote.

I’ve never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they’re only men with the useful bits cut off.

^that is blatant misandry saying that the only useful part of a man are his reproductive organs.

Edited by E-Ro, 27 July 2013 - 09:56 PM.


#11 redviper9

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:02 PM

I think Mad Monkey, Lala, and Dr. Pepper raise great points.

I think many of the QoT's statements are born out of frustration with the patriarchal structure of Westerosi politics and society and the stupidity of certain characters who happen to be men. Of all the Lords Paramount we've met in the course of the narrative, Mace is definitely the least competent (admittedly, Balon was an idiot, but an idiot well suited to the culture and mores of the Iron Islands). One gets the impression that Olenna has a rather high opinion of Willas and Garlan -- you know, the competent Tyrell sons. And there are hints that she doesn't think too highly of Cersei; does that mean that she hates women?

I think you guys are ignoring the second quote.

I’ve never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they’re only men with the useful bits cut off.

^that is blatant misandry saying that the only useful part of a man are his reproductive organs.


I think this is more a commentary on Olenna's views on eunuchs more than anything else. It's not exactly a shocking revelation that male reproductive organs are of use, especially when it comes to that whole "propagation of the species" thing I kept hearing about in biology classes.

Edited by redviper9, 27 July 2013 - 10:12 PM.


#12 Associate Maester

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:07 PM

I think Mad Monkey, Lala, and Dr. Pepper raise great points.

I think many of the QoT's statements are born out of frustration with the patriarchal structure of Westerosi politics and society and the stupidity of certain characters who happen to be men. Of all the Lords Paramount we've met in the course of the narrative, Mace is definitely the least competent (admittedly, Balon was an idiot, but an idiot well suited to the culture and mores of the Iron Islands). One gets the impression that Olenna has a rather high opinion of Willas and Garlan -- you know, the competent Tyrell sons. And there are hints that she doesn't think too highly of Cersei; does that mean that she hates women?



I think this is more a commentary on Olenna's views on eunuchs more than anything else. It's not exactly a shocking revelation that male reproductive organs are of use, especially when it comes to that whole "propagation of the species thing" I kept hearing about in biology classes.


This exactly. Eunuchs are viewed negatively as not being men. Olenna is hardly the only person to hold a negative view of eunuchs. Her views seem pretty well in-line with Westerosi culture on them.

Edited by Associate Maester, 27 July 2013 - 10:08 PM.


#13 Dr. Pepper

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:11 PM

I think you guys are ignoring the second quote.

I’ve never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they’re only men with the useful bits cut off.

^that is blatant misandry saying that the only useful part of a man are his reproductive organs.

If I recall correctly, this is said after a long talk about Lord Puff Fish and then mention about how Varys nobly brought information about Sansa's love for lemoncakes as though QoT should be grateful. It's sort of sexist for Varys to think that the only information Olenna could possibly care about with regards to Sansa is what sort of sweet she enjoys.

#14 Lala

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:14 PM

If I recall correctly, this is said after a long talk about Lord Puff Fish and then mention about how Varys nobly brought information about Sansa's love for lemoncakes as though QoT should be grateful. It's sort of sexist for Varys to think that the only information Olenna could possibly care about with regards to Sansa is what sort of sweet she enjoys.


Mhm! I love QoT's dialogue - it's always simultaneously amusing and insightful.

Sansa’s mouth opened and closed. She felt very like a puff fish herself. “The Tyrells can trace their descent back to Garth Greenhand,” was the best she could manage at short notice.
The Queen of Thorns snorted. “So can the Florents, the Rowans, the Oakhearts, and half the other noble houses of the south. Garth liked to plant his seed in fertile ground, they say. I shouldn’t wonder that more than his hands were green.”
“Sansa,” Lady Alerie broke in, “you must be very hungry. Shall we have a bite of boar together, and some lemon cakes?”
“Lemon cakes are my favorite,” Sansa admitted.
“So we have been told,” declared Lady Olenna, who obviously had no intention of being hushed. “That Varys creature seemed to think we should be grateful for the information. I’ve never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they’re only men with the useful bits cut off. Alerie, will you have them bring the food, or do you mean to starve me to death? Here, Sansa, sit here next to me, I’m much less boring than these others. I hope that you’re fond of fools.”



#15 Associate Maester

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:15 PM

Mhm! I love QoT's dialogue - it's always simultaneously amusing and insightful.


Thanks for quoting the relevant dialogue! As always, context is everything.

#16 redviper9

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:21 PM

Not sexist towards women, but sexist towards men. These quotes really make me wonder about this.

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That seems extremely extremely sexist and highly offensive to me. Anyway, what are everyone elses thoughts on this?


Actually, a perusal of Sansa's first chapter in [i]ASoS
shows us that Lady Olenna also has a rather dim view of certain of the women surrounding her. Here are some of her quotes (any bolding is my emphasis):

"Kiss me, child," Lady Olenna said, tugging at Sansa's wrist with a soft spotted hand. "It is so kind of you to sup with me and my foolish flock of hens."


"Grandmother," Margaery said, "mind your words, or what will Sansa think of us?"

"She might think that we have some wits about us. One of us, at any rate."


Here, Sansa, sit here next to me, I'm much less boring than these others.


So again, as Dr. Pepper, Lala, and others brilliantly pointed out above, the QoT's problem is with stupidity and foolishness, regardless of sex/gender.

Edited by redviper9, 27 July 2013 - 10:22 PM.


#17 E-Ro

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:26 PM

So the qot has met every eunuch in existence and knows that all eunuchs are foolish? If her issue is with foolishness only why is she bashing men that were forcibly mutilated? Men that she doesn't even know.

Edited by E-Ro, 27 July 2013 - 10:26 PM.


#18 mrunderhill

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:26 PM

This thread is funny, but not surprising. If it was a male character saying these things about women, he would quickly become on of the most hated characters on the board. The defences being put together for Olenna are awful. Whilst Olenna accused SOME women of being stupid, she accused ALL men of being stupid and say only there penis is useful.

However, sexism is fine as long as it is against men.

Edited by mrunderhill, 27 July 2013 - 10:39 PM.


#19 Kittykatknits

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:30 PM

I think you guys are ignoring the second quote.

I&rsquo;ve never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they&rsquo;re only men with the useful bits cut off.

^that is blatant misandry saying that the only useful part of a man are his reproductive organs.


This is spot-on E-Ro! As we know, Martin likes to parallel story lines. Queen Cersei is the biggest misogynist in the series. The QoT is the biggest misandryist. Really, I don't know how Martin could have made this more obvious.


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#20 E-Ro

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:33 PM

This is spot-on E-Ro! As we know, Martin likes to parallel story lines. Queen Cersei is the biggest misogynist in the series. The QoT is the biggest misandryist. Really, I don't know how Martin could have made this more obvious.

I didn't even think of it like this tbh, but now that I do, that's just brilliant k3. The qot sexism parallels cerseis, only they are different forms of sexism.