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Problematic aspects of Sansa`s education

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5 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

 

@Nagini's Neville

Eddard and Catelyn are fairly progressive parents in relation to their environment. They allow a certain freedom to Arya to pursue her non-girlish interests, they allow the bastard to be raised with the rest of the kids, they promote religious tolerance, Eddard takes her wife's council and respects her opinion, etc.

If your point is that this is not enough and that they should become fully dedicated champions of proper gender equality and devote all their efforts to to fight for the women's status in their society, I can hardly debate with it. But how can we blame Cat an Ned to transmit to their children their values instead of ours?

I think that in the context of the world they live, they are great parents. Everything else doesn't really matters when discussing the particulars of Sansa's education. It's only relevant when discussing the Westerosi society as a whole.

 

This is not my point at all. I was just commenting on your interpretation of the phrase "all men are beautiful" and arguing, that it is very much connected to arranged marriages IMO and doesn't just translate to beautiful message "always find the good in all humans", but rather "whoever your father picks for you, you can find something beautiful about him (that will help you accept him and your situation)"

While this lesson can be interpreted as a psychological help to cope with an arranged marriage, the argument that it contributes to the to the existing rape culture via marriage is also valid. Therefore I can see how this can seen as an apology for rape. That was all.

I just wanted to give my interpretation of this specific phrase, since I was disagreeing with yours. And also Septa M has told her that lesson, so not really connected to Ned and Cat at all in this specific case.

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1 hour ago, Nagini's Neville said:

I was just commenting on your interpretation of the phrase "all men are beautiful" and arguing, that it is very much connected to arranged marriages IMO and doesn't just translate to beautiful message "always find the good in all humans", but rather "whoever your father picks for you, you can find something beautiful about him (that will help you accept him and your situation)"

Well, then I just humbly disagree with the reductionist interpretation that the "all men are beautiful" teaching is mainly referring to arranged marriages. As I said, it is a lesson that Sansa needed to be taught.

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@The hairy bear

The "all men are beautiful" line is only brought up once just when Sansa thinks she's about to raped by Tyrion. So yes it's fair of Nagini's Neville to assume that it's only associated with arranged marriage. Sansa already stopped taking people at face value by ACOK at latest. So there's nothing that Sansa is learning about this situation beyond developing more hatred for the Lannisters and fear for marriage hood. 

Edited by Elegant Woes

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@Elegant Woes

As you say, Sansa remembers the "all men are beautiful" teaching just once. She does it when Septa Mordane has been dead for two books. So I don't see why we should assume that the lesson was meant to be applied to a situation (Sansa being married to a deformed dwarf) that the poor Septa could have foreseen.

I get that one could theorize that the lesson was taught before the betrothal to Joffrey in anticipation of the possibility that she may have to marry someone particularly old or ugly. I just don't think it's likely. We know that Ned and Cat weren't in the business of playing the game of thrones through marriage (Robb remained unbethroted  at 16) or enforce a strict following of the social codes to their family (Jon raised with the rest, Arya's ways,...). And meanwhile, Sansa has been known to have superficial attitudes and to be partial to good looking men, which is something that obviously should be corrected. Therefore, I find this later motivation a much more convincing reason behind the quote.

Edited by The hairy bear

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4 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

@Elegant Woes

As you say, Sansa remembers the "all men are beautiful" teaching just once. She does it when Septa Mordane has been dead for two books. So I don't see why we should assume that the lesson was meant to be applied to a situation (Sansa being married to a deformed dwarf) that the poor Septa could have foreseen.

I get that one could theorize that the lesson was taught before the betrothal to Joffrey in anticipation of the possibility that she may have to marry someone particularly old or ugly. I just don't think it's likely. We know that Ned and Cat weren't in the business of playing the game of thrones through marriage (Robb remained unbethroted  at 16) or enforce a strict following of the social codes to their family (Jon raised with the rest, Arya's ways,...). And meanwhile, Sansa has been known to have superficial attitudes and to be partial to good looking men, which is something that obviously should be corrected. Therefore, I find this later motivation a much more convincing reason behind the quote.

We can disagree of course. But as I stated before this was a lesson, that was taught throughout history to girls to be accepting of arranged marriages. The beauty and the beast tale in the 18th century was specifically used for that purpose. "if you just try hard enough the beast will turn into a prince."

Also Sansa is just 11, even the Septa would have known, that she would grow out of her pretty boy phase like every child her age. On top of that we have contradicting evidence about Septa Mordane's own behavior when it comes to seeing the beauty in all people.

Quote

 

“Sansa’s work is as pretty as she is,” Septa Mordane told their lady mother once. “She has such fine, delicate hands.” When Lady Catelyn had asked about Arya, the septa had sniffed. “Arya has the hands of a blacksmith.”

 

Quote

 

“You’re a good girl, Sansa, but I do vow, when it comes to that creature you’re as willful as your sister Arya.”

 

Those are just two examples that show, that SM is unable herself to see the good in ppl and unable to empathize with Arya and what it would do to the sisters' relationship, when she constantly uses Aria as a negative example for Sansa.

Also if the lesson was just about all people in general outside the context of marriage why didn't she think about it, when she was afraid of the Hound, because of how he acted and looked. Why didn't she repeat that lesson to herself, when she was disappointed about her rescuer being Dontos. She definitely tried (and succeed) hard to think positively of both of them. Why didn't she think about that lesson in regards to Tyrion before she lay naked in his bed? 

Also in the context that she thinks of that lesson, it is clear it is about physical beauty.

Quote

"Look at him, Sansa told herself, look at your husband, at all of him, Septa Mordane said all men are beautiful, find his beauty, try. She stared at the stunted legs, the swollen brutish brow, the green eye and the black one, the raw stump of his nose and crooked pink scar, the coarse tangle of black and gold hair that passed for his beard. Even his manhood was ugly, thick and veined, with a bulbous purple head."

 She tells herself to look at his physique. It is not about inner beauty. 

Sansa already has a pretty high opinion of Tyrion's "inner beauty" the same goes for a lot of other men, who probably don't deserve it like the Hound, Dontos or Arys.

I definitely think Cat and Ned loved their children very much and always tried to do the best for them, but if Ned was at war he also would have married Sansa off to make a useful alliance like Hoster Tully did, Robb and Cat did with Arya and they also would have done it with Sansa. So to give this lesson in preparation for an arranged marriage doesn't seem unreasonable at all.

But I also don't think, that Ned and Cat were 100% informed of what Septa M was teaching all the time, as no parent would when it comes to a teacher. IMO this lesson was part of Septa M standard education for Sansa's preparation (and Arya's as well) for marriage, as it was usual throughout history. And I don't mean marriage to Joffrey but marriage in general. That was all that the education of young nobel Ladies boiled down to in the end.

But I don't think that makes Ned and Cat bad parents. Wouldn't even say it makes Septa M a bad teacher. But it for sure would make you more accepting of a bad marriage situation. Some would argue this lesson is a mercy, others it aids to further the victimization. 

 

 

 

Edited by Nagini's Neville
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56 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

@Elegant Woes

As you say, Sansa remembers the "all men are beautiful" teaching just once. She does it when Septa Mordane has been dead for two books. So I don't see why we should assume that the lesson was meant to be applied to a situation (Sansa being married to a deformed dwarf) that the poor Septa could have foreseen.

I get that one could theorize that the lesson was taught before the betrothal to Joffrey in anticipation of the possibility that she may have to marry someone particularly old or ugly. I just don't think it's likely. We know that Ned and Cat weren't in the business of playing the game of thrones through marriage (Robb remained unbethroted  at 16) or enforce a strict following of the social codes to their family (Jon raised with the rest, Arya's ways,...). And meanwhile, Sansa has been known to have superficial attitudes and to be partial to good looking men, which is something that obviously should be corrected. Therefore, I find this later motivation a much more convincing reason behind the quote.

It only works for unhappy brides and mean/too honest children. I could see the winterfell septon using it on Sansa for the Arya Horseface-situation. 

But it does sit very nicely with the rape-culture that is arranged marriage, which might be why that's the words used instead of say "some honesty is too much honesty". It would differ in that avoiding too much honesty only means "act politely" and "all men beautiful" means change how you interpret the world. Which is pretty toxic.

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2 minutes ago, Sigella said:

It only works for unhappy brides and mean/too honest children. I could see the winterfell septon using it on Sansa for the Arya Horseface-situation. 

But it does sit very nicely with the rape-culture that is arranged marriage, which might be why that's the words used instead of say "some honesty is too much honesty". It would differ in that avoiding too much honesty only means "act politely" and "all men beautiful" means change how you interpret the world. Which is pretty toxic.

If Septa M actually ever used this lesson to discipline Sansa for her treatment of Arya, I could see the point. But all we are shown is her criticizing and insulting Arya and to scold Sansa she tells her she is behaving like Arya. Also can't believe she didn't know about "Horseface" even Theon knew.

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3 minutes ago, Nagini's Neville said:

If Septa M actually ever used this lesson to discipline Sansa for her treatment of Arya, I could see the point. But all we are shown is her criticizing and insulting Arya and to scold Sansa she tells her she is behaving like Arya. Also can't believe she didn't know about "Horseface" even Theon knew.

Yeah I don't think septa Mordane would use it like that either. So maybe the septon or Luwin? But then Sansa shouldn't attribute it to Mordane.

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1 minute ago, Sigella said:

Yeah I don't think septa Mordane would use it like that either. So maybe the septon or Luwin? But then Sansa shouldn't attribute it to Mordane.

I think Septa Mordane said it, but in regards to a potential husband and not in regards to all people like for example Arya

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Just now, Nagini's Neville said:

I think Septa Mordane said it, but in regards to a potential husband and not in regards to all people like for example Arya

Ok so its pure tox :D

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