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Gender relations in Westeros

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11 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

Well, there is also Daenerys  and Sansa.

also Brienne has suffered some abuse too.

Yes, of course a lot of female characters have to suffer sexual abuse/harassment. And I think in Sansa's and Brienne's case GRRM does a decent job, showing how that effects them (even though imo Sansa would have more severe symptoms from all the sexual abuse/harassment, that she endures)

My critique is not, that there aren't female pov characters, who are sexually abused/harrassed, because actually almost all of them are at one point, but that GRRM doesn't show case the realistic psychological symptoms they would suffer longterm after the abuse. And I think Dany is a good example for that, also Gilly. If you were forced to have sex with your own father, you would suffer some trauma induced symptoms, same thing goes for Dany. Also Shae's character is missed opportunity to go a bit more in-depth with - she was also raped by her father.

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29 minutes ago, Nagini's Neville said:

Yes, actually really weird why they aren't that homophobic. I really wonder why GRRM made an exception here

People weren't that homophobic for most of the middle ages - in fact, the whole burning at the stake thing as a punishment for homosexuality only started with the Crusades - prior to that it was one sin of the flesh among many, not one of the greatest offenses imaginable.

However, all we have seen at this point are highborn/royal gays and gay couples. Considering how racist and xenophobic the Kingslanders are in FaB, I'd not be surprised if disgraced homosexual noblemen or less privileged homosexual people (i.e. commoners) might face different problems than, say, Jon Connington, Laenor Velaryon, or Rhaena Targaryen.

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15 hours ago, S. D said:

That's part of the reason why I brought this topic up. People criticize relationships with uneven power dynamics in the series, which is fair, but seem to have cognitive dissonance when it comes to married couples which aren't transparently awful like Cersei and Robert.

yes, I guess you could try to create a rating scale, but it would be probably hard to get ppl to agree (but I guess we could always vote lol)

Criteria could be for example:

1. Violence

2. Rape (question is of course, when is it rape?)

3. Love/respect

4. does the husband ask/value the wife's opinion?

5. does the husband have the well- being of the wife in mind/ does he care for her as a person?

6. Does he force her (often) to do things she doesn't want to do?

7. Does he consider his wife in his he decision making?

8. General: does he take advantage of his power over her (how often)? (what would be considered taking advantage of his power?)

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On 10/17/2019 at 9:37 AM, S. D said:

Is almost every marriage in Westeros unhealthy by our 21'st century, modern standards?

Consider:

1. Wives are pledged to obey their husbands.

That was the only time in all their years that Ned had ever frightened her. "Never ask me about Jon," he said, cold as ice. "He is my blood, and that is all you need to know. And now I will learn where you heard that name, my lady." She had pledged to obey; she told him; and from that day on, the whispering had stopped, and Ashara Dayne's name was never heard in Winterfell again. -AGOT, Catelyn II

Ned Stark has the power to make Catelyn acquiesce to an order of his; as seen she is pledged to obey him, and  when she raised the subject of Jon Snow's origins she was brutally shut down and the entire household was cowed to the point where no one dared speak Ashara Dayne's name ever again.

Let's look at one of the powerful women in the series, Alysanne:

Her Grace had no power to enact laws, issue decrees, make proclamations, or pass sentences. It is a mistake to speak of her as we might speak of the Conqueror’s queens, Rhaenys and Visenya. The young queen did, however, wield enormous influence over King Jaehaerys, and when she spoke, he listened… - Fire and Blood

Losing dragons was a huge drop in the autonomy and agency of the Targaryen women. Even Alysanne had no legal power of her own. Her power comes from her husband listening to her. This is also true of Catelyn, Ned listens to her and respects her and she has power due to that.

See also the issues that troubled Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon during her year-long reign as regent for her son Jaehaerys.

2. Husbands are allowed to hit their wives.

Rhaegar Frey: Marriage will soften her, I have no doubt. A firm hand and a quiet word. - ADWD, Davos II

The right of a husband to chastise an erring wife was well established in the Seven Kingdoms and the doctrines of the Faith of the Seven. - Fire and Blood.


Also further illustrating that the husband has authority over his wife.

3. There is no concept of marital rape, and the wife has no sexual autonomy.

"I'd waited long enough. I hated watching Robert stumble to your bed every night, always wondering if maybe this night he'd decide to claim his rights as husband." -ASOS, Jaime IX

Sooner or later there would always come a night when he would drink too much and want to claim his rights. - AFFC, Cersei VII

She wanted to see if it would be as easy with a woman as it had always been with Robert. Ten thousand of your children perished in my palm, Your Grace, she thought, slipping a third finger into Myr. Whilst you snored, I would lick your sons off my face and fingers one by one, all those pale sticky princes. You claimed your rights, my lord, but in the darkness I would eat your heirs. - AFFC, Cersei VII

Queen Naerys begged Aegon IV to allow her to be abstinent and he refused, and that was that. - The World of Ice and Fire.

He wondered what Sansa would do if he leaned over and kissed her right now. Flinch away, most likely. Or be brave and suffer through it, as was her duty. She is nothing if not dutiful, this wife of mine. If he told her that he wished to have her maidenhead tonight, she would suffer that dutifully as well, and weep no more than she had to. - ASOS, Tyrion VIII


As these passages show, a husband has a right to sex with his wife even if she is unwilling. Marriage in Westeros means women are institutionally vulnerable to coercion.

4. Women are not allowed to have sex before marriage or commit adultery, while men are.

The High Sparrow has Cersei punished for having sex outside of marriage, but does not do the same to any man.

Bastards are seen as par for the course in Westeros, meanwhile:

Lysa is seen as damaged goods for having slept with Petyr.

Lollys for her gang rape has be married off to Bronn, a lowly sellsword.

Even Delena Florent, who was deflowered by and had a bastard with Robert Baratheon, the king, had to marry a household knight. 

Princess Gael Targaryen who was seduced by a traveling singer and impregnated; killed herself.

One of the daughters of Alys Arryn and Elys Waynwood was seduced by a sellsword; her bastard died in infancy and she joined the Silent Sisters.

Witness Vargo Hoat’s preoccupation that Brienne “still be maiden” when he was going to ransom her, as though her “virginity” were a commodity, or Arys Oakheart’s concern than Doran find out that he’d “dishonoured” Arianne, as though her consent was not important, this was between two men.

5. And of course, women can't inherit in most cases.

"Separate is the situation with the inheritance of the Iron Throne, where “in the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC thereby established an iron precedent on matters of succession: regardless of seniority, the Iron Throne of Westeros could not pass to a woman, nor through a woman to her male descendants”.

Even if women do inherit, their inheritance is stolen by their husbands, as in the case of Ramsay and "Arya", Tyrion and Sansa, and the Karstark uncles attempted to steal Alys’s rights as well, also by forcefully marrying her.

Or they end up challenged by other males in the family, as in the case of Asha and Victarion.

Cersei sums it up:

“We were so much alike, I could never understand why they treated us so differently. Jaime learned to fight with sword and lance and mace, while I was taught to smile and sing and please. He was heir to Casterly Rock, while I was to be sold to some stranger like a horse, to be ridden whenever my new owner liked, beaten whenever he liked, and cast aside in time for a younger filly. Jaime’s lot was to be glory and power, while mine was birth and moonblood.”— ACoK, Sansa VI

GRRM draws from history, and women were treated this terribly in real life, where they were the actual property of their husbands and fathers.

"One of the things I wanted to do with A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE was to make it a little more "real" than most high fantasy. I drew much of my inspiration from history and historical fiction, and immersed myself in the Middle Ages before I began writing. Patriarchy was as much as part of medieval society as feudalism, faith, or swords. I have created other fictional worlds that are more sexually egalitarian — try my novel WINDHAVEN, written with Lisa Tuttle. With ICE AND FIRE, however, I preferred to stay closer to my historical models." - GRRM

(Note: I haven't read Fire and Blood or The World of Ice and Fire and got those quotes from online sources).

That is all about to change. 

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On 10/19/2019 at 5:17 AM, Nagini's Neville said:

Oh yes, I totally forgot about that. But it's a very pathological reaction. Most ppl, who have been sexually abused do not inflict the same abuse on others. I just think, since sexual violence against women is shown so often the consequences for them should be a more frequent topic as well. Especially since how violence effects men is definitely a topic (which I love). Maybe there also should be a "broken women" speech ore something

Cersei's speech to Sansa touches a bit on this - but I agree there could have been more on the other after effects of sexual violence - PTSD, flashbacks, depression, body image issues, shame, etc. 

Jaime has disassociation and PTSD from his time spent as Aerys' Kingsguard, we could have seen something similar to this from female characters.

Sansa's wrong recollection of the events when the Hound assaulted her and put a knife to her throat can be seen as her mind protecting itself by creating fake memories.

On 10/19/2019 at 5:39 AM, Nagini's Neville said:

Yes, of course a lot of female characters have to suffer sexual abuse/harassment. And I think in Sansa's and Brienne's case GRRM does a decent job, showing how that effects them (even though imo Sansa would have more severe symptoms from all the sexual abuse/harassment, that she endures)

My critique is not, that there aren't female pov characters, who are sexually abused/harrassed, because actually almost all of them are at one point, but that GRRM doesn't show case the realistic psychological symptoms they would suffer longterm after the abuse. And I think Dany is a good example for that, also Gilly. If you were forced to have sex with your own father, you would suffer some trauma induced symptoms, same thing goes for Dany. Also Shae's character is missed opportunity to go a bit more in-depth with - she was also raped by her father.

Yeah Dany really bothered me a lot - it almost seemed like her relationship with Drogo empowered her instead of the opposite. Gilly also doesn't seem realistic to me, though maybe I don't actually know enough to judge.

I think Shae was pretty realistic. In one scene she mocks Lollys' gang rape - which is of course, a terrible thing to do, but victims of sexual abuse often distance themselves from their abuse so that it doesn't overwhelm them. Her becoming a prostitute also makes sense, as a side effect many people become promiscuous and attention seeking (though in Westeros, she couldn't get a job any way else).

On 10/19/2019 at 5:57 AM, Nagini's Neville said:

yes, I guess you could try to create a rating scale, but it would be probably hard to get ppl to agree (but I guess we could always vote lol)

Criteria could be for example:

1. Violence 

2. Rape (question is of course, when is it rape?) 

3. Love/respect 

4. does the husband ask/value the wife's opinion? 

5. does the husband have the well- being of the wife in mind/ does he care for her as a person? 

6. Does he force her (often) to do things she doesn't want to do? 

7. Does he consider his wife in his he decision making?

8. General: does he take advantage of his power over her (how often)? (what would be considered taking advantage of his power?)

Oh great. We'll rate it like this, adding or subtracting points if they count as healthy and unhealthy. I'll just mash 4 and 7 together as they're basically the same, and add 3 more points:

1. Violence (3)

2. Rape (question is of course, when is it rape?) (3)

3. Love/respect (3)

4. does the husband ask/value the wife's opinion? (2)

5. does the husband have the well- being of the wife in mind/ does he care for her as a person? (2)

6. Does he force her (often) to do things she doesn't want to do? (2)

7. Does he have mistresses/does he cheat on his wife? (2)

8. Does the wife come from a family which has equal or more power than the husband's family? (3)

9. Is the husband close in age to the wife? (2)

10. General: does he take advantage of his power over her (how often)? (what would be considered taking advantage of his power? (Only 1, as its almost impossible for the husband not to abuse his power in a such a system).

Let's take Ned and Cat and Robert and Cersei.

Ned and Cat:

1. No (+3)

2. Now this is a very hard thing to judge, because entering a marriage where you can't say no to sex means you can't say yes to sex either. But if we reduce rape to its simplest terms, where one partner forces themselves on the other without the other's consent, and no attempt at dissuading would prevent it - I'd say, No. (+3)

3. Yes (+3)

4. Yes (+2)

5. Yes (+2)

6. Ned keeps Jon in Winterfell against Cat's wishes and ordered Cat to never speak of Jon's origins to him - given that Ned could have Jon fostered elsewhere and had been a bit more kind to Cat given her situation, so yes, and there's also this: 

Yes,” Ned said dully. He seated himself in a chair by the hearth. “Catelyn, you shall stay
here in Winterfell.”


His words were like an icy draft through her heart. “No,” she said, suddenly afraid. Was
this to be her punishment? Never to see his face again, nor to feel his arms around her?


“Yes,” Ned said, in words that would brook no argument. “You must govern the north in my
stead, while I run Robert’s errands. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Robb is fourteen.
Soon enough, he will be a man grown. He must learn to rule, and I will not be here for him. Make
him part of your councils. He must be ready when his time comes.”

 

Sansa would shine in the south, Catelyn thought to herself, and the gods knew that Arya
needed refinement. Reluctantly, she let go of them in her heart. But not Bran. Never Bran. “Yes,” she said, “but please, Ned, for the love you bear me, let Bran remain here at Winterfell. He is
only seven.”


“I was eight when my father sent me to foster at the Eyrie,” Ned said. “Ser Rodrik tells me
there is bad feeling between Robb and Prince Joffrey. That is not healthy. Bran can bridge that
distance. He is a sweet boy, quick to laugh, easy to love. Let him grow up with the young princes,
let him become their friend as Robert became mine. Our House will be the safer for it.”


He was right; Catelyn knew it. It did not make the pain any easier to bear.

-AGOT, Catelyn II

So, yes, he does force Cat to do things she doesn't want to. (-2)

7. No (+2)

8. Yes (+3)

9. Yes (+2)

10. Uh....this one is hard to answer. Would raising Jon as an equal alongside his children count as taking advantage of his power over Cat, as she can't do anything about it? I say Yes. (-1)

So let's see, 20/23 in the healthiness scale. Pretty healthy.

Robert and Cersei:

1. Yes (-3)

2. Yes (-3)

3. Nope (-3)

4. He let's her nag him until she gives in to his demands - does that count? Yes.(+2)

5. Lol no (-2)

6. Yes (-2)

7.  Yes (-2)

8. No, he's the king and there is no higher authority. (-3)

9. Yes, she was 17 and he 21 when they married. (+2).

10. Yes, he orders her to shut up or to leave at times, and also the rape, whoring and beatings. (-1)

So 4/23 on the healthiness scale...

The only example of a truly equal couple I can think of though, is Dany and Hizdahr. And that's because she has dragons.

Edited by S. D

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30 minutes ago, S. D said:

Cersei's speech to Sansa touches a bit on this - but I agree there could have been more on the other after effects of sexual violence - PTSD, flashbacks, depression, body image issues, shame, etc. 

Jaime has disassociation and PTSD from his time spent as Aerys' Kingsguard, we could have seen something similar to this from female characters.

Sansa's wrong recollection of the events when the Hound assaulted her and put a knife to her throat can be seen as her mind protecting itself by creating fake memories.

Yeah Dany really bothered me a lot - it almost seemed like her relationship with Drogo empowered her instead of the opposite. Gilly also doesn't seem realistic to me, though maybe I don't actually know enough to judge.

I think Shae was pretty realistic. In one scene she mocks Lollys' gang rape - which is of course, a terrible thing to do, but victims of sexual abuse often distance themselves from their abuse so that it doesn't overwhelm them. Her becoming a prostitute also makes sense, as a side effect many people become promiscuous and attention seeking (though in Westeros, she couldn't get a job any way else).

Oh great. We'll rate it like this, adding or subtracting points if they count as healthy and unhealthy. I'll just mash 4 and 7 together as they're basically the same, and add 3 more points:

1. Violence (3)

2. Rape (question is of course, when is it rape?) (3)

3. Love/respect (3)

4. does the husband ask/value the wife's opinion? (2)

5. does the husband have the well- being of the wife in mind/ does he care for her as a person? (2)

6. Does he force her (often) to do things she doesn't want to do? (2)

7. Does he have mistresses/does he cheat on his wife? (2)

8. Does the wife come from a family which has equal or more power than the husband's family? (3)

9. Is the husband close in age to the wife? (2)

10. General: does he take advantage of his power over her (how often)? (what would be considered taking advantage of his power? (Only 1, as its almost impossible for the husband not to abuse his power in a such a system).

Let's take Ned and Cat and Robert and Cersei.

Ned and Cat:

1. No (+3)

2. Now this is a very hard thing to judge, because entering a marriage where you can't say no to sex means you can't say yes to sex either. But if we reduce rape to its simplest terms, where one partner forces themselves on the other without the other's consent, and no attempt at dissuading would prevent it - I'd say, No. (+3)

3. Yes (+3)

4. Yes (+2)

5. Yes (+2)

6. Ned keeps Jon in Winterfell against Cat's wishes and ordered Cat to never speak of Jon's origins to him - given that Ned could have Jon fostered elsewhere and had been a bit more kind to Cat given her situation, so yes, and there's also this: 

Yes,” Ned said dully. He seated himself in a chair by the hearth. “Catelyn, you shall stay
here in Winterfell.”


His words were like an icy draft through her heart. “No,” she said, suddenly afraid. Was
this to be her punishment? Never to see his face again, nor to feel his arms around her?


“Yes,” Ned said, in words that would brook no argument. “You must govern the north in my
stead, while I run Robert’s errands. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Robb is fourteen.
Soon enough, he will be a man grown. He must learn to rule, and I will not be here for him. Make
him part of your councils. He must be ready when his time comes.”

 

Sansa would shine in the south, Catelyn thought to herself, and the gods knew that Arya
needed refinement. Reluctantly, she let go of them in her heart. But not Bran. Never Bran. “Yes,” she said, “but please, Ned, for the love you bear me, let Bran remain here at Winterfell. He is
only seven.”


“I was eight when my father sent me to foster at the Eyrie,” Ned said. “Ser Rodrik tells me
there is bad feeling between Robb and Prince Joffrey. That is not healthy. Bran can bridge that
distance. He is a sweet boy, quick to laugh, easy to love. Let him grow up with the young princes,
let him become their friend as Robert became mine. Our House will be the safer for it.”


He was right; Catelyn knew it. It did not make the pain any easier to bear.

-AGOT, Catelyn II

So, yes, he does force Cat to do things she doesn't want to. (-2)

7. No (+2)

8. Yes (+3)

9. Yes (+2)

10. Uh....this one is hard to answer. Would raising Jon as an equal alongside his children count as taking advantage of his power over Cat, as she can't do anything about it? I say Yes. (-1)

So let's see, 20/23 in the healthiness scale. Pretty healthy.

Robert and Cersei:

1. Yes (-3)

2. Yes (-3)

3. Nope (-3)

4. He let's her nag him until she gives in to his demands - does that count? Yes.(+2)

5. Lol no (-2)

6. Yes (-2)

7.  Yes (-2)

8. No, he's the king and there is no higher authority. (-3)

9. Yes, she was 17 and he 21 when they married. (+2).

10. Yes, he orders her to shut up or to leave at times, and also the rape, whoring and beatings. (-1)

So 4/23 on the healthiness scale...

The only example of a truly equal couple I can think of though, is Dany and Hizdahr. And that's because she has dragons.

Great post. I'll answer to it more in detail, when I have more time. Just a few things that I've noticed. Violence and Rape imo should get way more minus points, if the husband does do it. But I don't know, if I even would give (plus) points, if he doesn't do it. Because imo that he is not violent and does not violently rape her (I guess that's what we consider rape here) is the very minimum/basis of peaceful cohabitation. Everything else is a plus. But if he is violent towards her (including rape) that makes her life living hell. Original 4. and 7. aren't the same to me. 4. Does he ask for her opinion and thinks about it? 7. Does he consider his wife -her well- being, not putting her in danger- in his decision making? (I think this is especially important for Lords and kings, because they sometimes put political gains over the safety and well-being of family members)

Ned and Cat: I wouldn't agree with new 7. because even though Ned probably never cheated, he told her he did and this is a great source of suffering for Cat. Ned could have spared Cat and Jon a lot of suffering, if he had just confided in Cat. And Ned also expects Cat to just accept it.

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1 hour ago, S. D said:

Ned and Cat:

10. Uh....this one is hard to answer. Would raising Jon as an equal alongside his children count as taking advantage of his power over Cat, as she can't do anything about it? I say Yes. (-1)

 

Robert and Cersei:

4. He let's her nag him until she gives in to his demands - does that count? Yes.(+2)
 

Robert and Cersei:

4. I wouldn't define "giving in to some of the things she wants sometimes" as valuing her opinion. Because she can never know, if he is going to through her a bone, beat her or just tell her to shut up. That means uttering your opinion/demands always includes being afraid of his reaction. Him being afraid of her and her family does not equal "valuing her opinion" and make it also more likely, that he might became aggressive. 

Ned and Cat:

10. deserves more minus points imo in general and especially in this case. We have to consider, what that means for Cat as a woman of her time. This is not the time of patchwork families, it's a huge insult and threat to her in this time period and she is just expected to take it and is not even allowed to ask questions. Ned becomes aggressive and reproves her, when she does. While if she had a child from another man, who know what would happen to her? Ned probably wouldn't execute her, but the punishment would be severe and their marriage would be over.

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On 10/19/2019 at 2:09 AM, Nagini's Neville said:

Yes, of course a lot of female characters have to suffer sexual abuse/harassment. And I think in Sansa's and Brienne's case GRRM does a decent job, showing how that effects them (even though imo Sansa would have more severe symptoms from all the sexual abuse/harassment, that she endures)

My critique is not, that there aren't female pov characters, who are sexually abused/harrassed, because actually almost all of them are at one point, but that GRRM doesn't show case the realistic psychological symptoms they would suffer longterm after the abuse. And I think Dany is a good example for that, also Gilly. If you were forced to have sex with your own father, you would suffer some trauma induced symptoms, same thing goes for Dany. Also Shae's character is missed opportunity to go a bit more in-depth with - she was also raped by her father.

Well, Cersei is a case of study of the long term effects of abuse.

Gilly is a special case. First, we don't have her PoV and we have seen her only in limited interactions. Second, she hasn't known another life, which meant that it was her normal and didn't have a comparison. . Finally, we do see some of the effects of abuse. In comparison to other Free Folk women we meet (Val, Ygritte, Mance's spearwives, etc) she is extremely meek and submissive. Had Jon tried to force Val or Ygritte to leave her son behind, he would have ended with a slit throat.

Daenerys is a different case. I think GRRM went full resilient woman there and to some point the born of the dragons also mark her rebirth.

Sansa does show some traumatic effects similar to Stockholm syndrome.

 

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On 10/18/2019 at 6:43 PM, The Young Maester said:

But the whole “Dead ladies club” is overthinking it. Because the whole argument is that pre-series female characters aren’t given much detail, which is true. But the same goes for pre-series male characters.

The difference is that among those women, several die in childbirth, which is inherently gendered, and are minimized and only brought up in the story insofar as how their lives affected the male characters in the series.

Whereas all the men die deaths that are not gendered at all. 

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1 hour ago, Peach King said:

The difference is that among those women, several die in childbirth, which is inherently gendered, and are minimized and only brought up in the story insofar as how their lives affected the male characters in the series.

Whereas all the men die deaths that are not gendered at all. 

The men would be mainly killed by someone else. For the Middle Ages men being killed in battle or executed is quite a gendered thing. If a man dies at a young age it would mostly be because they were killed, or they got some disease. 

From a medieval point of view it makes sense but from our own point of view, it never will. Since nowadays you have both genders doing the same sort of things.

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1 hour ago, The Young Maester said:

The men would be mainly killed by someone else. For the Middle Ages men being killed in battle or executed is quite a gendered thing. If a man dies at a young age it would mostly be because they were killed, or they got some disease. 

From a medieval point of view it makes sense but from our own point of view, it never will. Since nowadays you have both genders doing the same sort of things.

If GRRM wanted to be realistic, he'd show a few more infants or mothers dying in childbirth in the main series like Lord Varys said, not just depict it as footnotes in history. Some of them were also raped before they died, which is also gendered, as we don't see that happening to men. Realistically men would get raped in institutions like the Night's Watch.

Also we know a lot less about Elia Martell, Ashara Dayne, Joanna Lannister, Rhaella Targaryen, Cassana Estermont, Jeyne Marbrand, the Princess of Dorne, Minisa Whent, etc compared to their male counterparts.

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1 minute ago, Peach King said:

If GRRM wanted to be realistic, he'd show a few more infants or mothers dying in childbirth in the main series like Lord Varys said, not just depict it as footnotes in history. Some of them were also raped before they died, which is also gendered, as we don't see that happening to men.

GRRM was trying to be realistic. Throughout the series you have lots of children dying at young ages because they were born weak. Rodrik cassel had 4 or 3 daughters and they all died due to childbirth complication or a fever they caught. Same for rhaellas children, who had like 4 I think.

He depicts them as the footnotes in their history because that’s how they died. When a famous person dies the first thing you research is how or what caused their deaths. Saying Ashara Dayne died in 283 AC with no explanation would be weird. 

Well yes Elia was the only one being raped, and Rhaella. And of course you won’t see men being raped. Most rape cases are women and children being the victims. And the offender is always a man, so why would a man who’s attracted to women decide to rape someone of his same gender (especially in a medieval fantasy).

9 minutes ago, Peach King said:

Realistically men would get raped in institutions like the Night's Watch.

Maybe they do. But the Nights watch isn’t a 21st century prison. Lots of nights watch brothers go to moles town. 

11 minutes ago, Peach King said:

Also we know a lot less about Elia Martell, Ashara Dayne, Joanna Lannister, Rhaella Targaryen, Cassana Estermont, Jeyne Marbrand, the Princess of Dorne, Minisa Whent, etc compared to their male counterparts.

When you say male counterparts you mean their brothers and husbands. Well most of the brothers and the husbands were presented in the books, so that’s why we have so much information about them (because they actually appeared in the series). The amount of information we have from Arthur Dayne is equal to his sister Ashara. Same goes for cassanas husband. Now rhaellas husband we do have lots of information of because he was the bloody mad king. 
Even tho we don’t even know the name of the princess of Dorne, we know even less of her husband. And that’s because he was a consort. The consort is less important which applies to every character that was married to the lord or king of the land. 

But don’t worry when George releases Fire and blood 2. We shall get a better backstory from these characters.

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50 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

GRRM was trying to be realistic. Throughout the series you have lots of children dying at young ages because they were born weak. Rodrik cassel had 4 or 3 daughters and they all died due to childbirth complication or a fever they caught. Same for rhaellas children, who had like 4 I think.

We should see more women in the main series having stillbirths or dying from childbirth if it was so prevalent.

45 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

He depicts them as the footnotes in their history because that’s how they died. When a famous person dies the first thing you research is how or what caused their deaths. Saying Ashara Dayne died in 283 AC with no explanation would be weird. 

They didn't all have to die in childbirth, that was very lazy.

46 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

Well yes Elia was the only one being raped, and Rhaella. And of course you won’t see men being raped. Most rape cases are women and children being the victims. And the offender is always a man, so why would a man who’s attracted to women decide to rape someone of his same gender (especially in a medieval fantasy).

What about Lyanna? And rape isn't about sexual release in most cases, it's a way to show power and dominance over someone. The lack of male rape in the series is not realistic at all. The Crows of Eastwatch and the Shadow Tower aren't close to Mole Town.

47 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

When you say male counterparts you mean their brothers and husbands. Well most of the brothers and the husbands were presented in the books, so that’s why we have so much information about them (because they actually appeared in the series). The amount of information we have from Arthur Dayne is equal to his sister Ashara. Same goes for cassanas husband. Now rhaellas husband we do have lots of information of because he was the bloody mad king. 
Even tho we don’t even know the name of the princess of Dorne, we know even less of her husband. And that’s because he was a consort. The consort is less important which applies to every character that was married to the lord or king of the land.

Ok, Why did he choose to have them die and not the men?

We don't have the same amount of information. We know Steffon was Aerys' childhood friend along with Tywin when they were all pages, we know he participated in the Ninepenny Wars, we know he was a member of Aerys' Small Council, we know he might have been named Hand, we know he took Patchface with him on his ship so he could cheer up Stannis, we know he married Cassana for love. We know nothing about Cassana.

We know Arthur Dayne was one of the most skilled knights, we know he killed the Smiling Knight, we know he was Jaime's hero, we know he was Rhaegar's close friend, we know he was in the tower guarding Lyanna, we know he died fighting Ned and his men. All we know about Ashara is that she was a lady in waiting, was dishonoured by a man, that she's beautiful and committed suicide.

Rhaella, another woman in the series who is used as a prop for male character development. She was raped daily by Aerys, and that was terrible for her, but it's only used to show Jaime's disillusionment with knighthood and the vows he had taken. I don't think Daenerys ever thinks of her.

You actually illustrate my point with your example about the Unnamed Princess of Dorne. She was a powerful woman, a Lord Paramount on a level with Tywin Lannister, and she doesn't even get a name.

Brienne's mother is another woman who died early, while Selwyn Tarth lived. 

There's also a conspicuous lack of female friendships in the series. 

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32 minutes ago, Peach King said:

We should see more women in the main series having stillbirths or dying from childbirth if it was so prevalent.

But there are many. I just illustrated a minor example.

48 minutes ago, Peach King said:

They didn't all have to die in childbirth, that was very lazy.

Tbh almost every pre-series character had a lazy death. It’s just that the most important characters to the pre-series plot happened to be male characters:Rickard, Brandon, 3 kingsguards, Aerys, Rhaegar. Whilst Lyanna, and Elia were the only pre-series female characters that were very important to the plot (from what I can remember). 

52 minutes ago, Peach King said:

What about Lyanna? And rape isn't about sexual release in most cases, it's a way to show power and dominance over someone. The lack of male rape in the series is not realistic at all. The Crows of Eastwatch and the Shadow Tower aren't close to Mole Town.

You can define what rape is in your own head and I’ll do it with mine. And we still don’t know whether Lyanna was forced upon or not. Later on we will find out.
“The lack of male rape” You expect their to be more male rape in a medieval fantasy which probably has a higher female population (because men always do stupid things that get them killed aka Brandon stark). 

56 minutes ago, Peach King said:

Ok, Why did he choose to have them die and not the men?

Because the men were part of his plot for the series. Whilst some of the female deaths were also part of his plot. Cassanas husband died with her, Aerys and rhaellas died around the same year. You really can’t expect Tywin to die pre-series and for Joanna to takeover? That would ruin Martins entire plan for the war of the five kings and Tyrion’s entire story ark. 

59 minutes ago, Peach King said:

We don't have the same amount of information. We know Steffon was Aerys' childhood friend along with Tywin when they were all pages, we know he participated in the Ninepenny Wars, we know he was a member of Aerys' Small Council, we know he might have been named Hand, we know he took Patchface with him on his ship so he could cheer up Stannis, we know he married Cassana for love. We know nothing about Cassana.

Yes powerful lords and ladies will always get more background information instead of consorts and daughters. Especially if those powerful characters have a lot to do with the pre-series plot of Robert rebellion. In the records of history do you think people will remember much of William the conquerors wife, or queen Mary I prince-consort. 

1 hour ago, Peach King said:

We know Arthur Dayne was one of the most skilled knights, we know he killed the Smiling Knight, we know he was Jaime's hero, we know he was Rhaegar's close friend, we know he was in the tower guarding Lyanna, we know he died fighting Ned and his men. All we know about Ashara is that she was a lady in waiting, was dishonoured by a man, that she's beautiful and committed suicide.

We know these things about Arthur because we have a Jamie pov. And Jamie was his squire whilst he also idolised Arthur. We don’t have a POV character who was friends with Ashara. Also don’t forget her mysterious child and the reason of her death. 

1 hour ago, Peach King said:

Rhaella, another woman in the series who is used as a prop for male character development. She was raped daily by Aerys, and that was terrible for her, but it's only used to show Jaime's disillusionment with knighthood and the vows he had taken. I don't think Daenerys ever thinks of her.

You actually illustrate my point with your example about the Unnamed Princess of Dorne. She was a powerful woman, a Lord Paramount on a level with Tywin Lannister, and she doesn't even get a name.

Brienne's mother is another woman who died early, while Selwyn Tarth lived. 

There's also a conspicuous lack of female friendships in the series. 

To me this seems like it’s turning into another women are not being represented enough sort of thing.

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3 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

But there are many. I just illustrated a minor example.

Main series. Catelyn should have had a few stillbirths, and Cersei too.

3 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

Tbh almost every pre-series character had a lazy death. It’s just that the most important characters to the pre-series plot happened to be male characters:Rickard, Brandon, 3 kingsguards, Aerys, Rhaegar. Whilst Lyanna, and Elia were the only pre-series female characters that were very important to the plot (from what I can remember). 

Why didn't more men or women die from diseases, or an infected wound, or even a simple cold? If this was based on the Medieval ages, its supposed to be realistic. And GRRM chose to make them not important.

5 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

You can define what rape is in your own head and I’ll do it with mine. And we still don’t know whether Lyanna was forced upon or not. Later on we will find out.

Here's the wikipedia on this subject:

"No single facet explains the motivation for rape; the underlying motives of rapists can be multi-faceted. Several factors have been proposed: anger,[46] power,[47] sadism, sexual gratification, or evolutionary proclivities.[48][49] However, some factors have significant causal evidence supporting them. American clinical psychologist David Lisak, co-author of a 2002 study of undetected rapists,[50] says that compared with non-rapists, both undetected and convicted rapists are measurably more angry at women and more motivated by a desire to dominate and control them."

We do have an example of Male rape in the books actually, Euron and Aeron. Tell me, was that because Euron was horny or because he wanted to dehumanize and degrade his brother?

12 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

“The lack of male rape” You expect their to be more male rape in a medieval fantasy which probably has a higher female population (because men always do stupid things that get them killed aka Brandon stark). 

In the same breath you're arguing that its realistic that tons of women would die in childbirth, and that's why they don't appear in the series, you're saying that more men would die than women.

7 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

Because the men were part of his plot for the series. Whilst some of the female deaths were also part of his plot. Cassanas husband died with her, Aerys and rhaellas died around the same year. You really can’t expect Tywin to die pre-series and for Joanna to takeover? That would ruin Martins entire plan for the war of the five kings and Tyrion’s entire story ark. 

How would it change anything if Hoster's wife was alive? If Brienne's mother was? Or if Ned's mother was still alive? He could work the plot around the inclusion of the female characters.

9 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

Yes powerful lords and ladies will always get more background information instead of consorts and daughters. Especially if those powerful characters have a lot to do with the pre-series plot of Robert rebellion. In the records of history do you think people will remember much of William the conquerors wife, or queen Mary I prince-consort. 

We know Joanna "ruled" Tywin, she was pretty powerful. The Unnamed Princess of Dorne was also powerful.

And that doesn't work. This isn't women being recorded in history. These are women barely being mentioned in POVs of people who knew them intimately, or only serving as a backdrop for men's motivation (Rhaella, Elia, Lyanna).

15 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

To me this seems like it’s turning into another women are not being represented enough sort of thing.

It is, sorry if that wasn't clear.

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32 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

We know these things about Arthur because we have a Jamie pov. And Jamie was his squire whilst he also idolised Arthur. We don’t have a POV character who was friends with Ashara. Also don’t forget her mysterious child and the reason of her death. 

Yep, Ashara wasn't even allowed to have friends,  she was only allowed to be seen through the lens of other men like Barristan and Ned and idealized as some tragic figure. And there you go - was dishonored by a man, had a stillbirth, another gendered death.

We could have heard more about her from Jon Con's POV as he knew Ashara and even danced with her.

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4 minutes ago, Peach King said:

Main series. Catelyn should have had a few stillbirths, and Cersei too.

Well at least they didnt die. Happy?

 
 
 
 
6 minutes ago, Peach King said:

We do have an example of Male rape in the books actually, Euron and Aeron. Tell me, was that because Euron was horny or because he wanted to dehumanize and degrade his brother?

 

9 minutes ago, Peach King said:

We do have an example of Male rape in the books actually, Euron and Aeron. Tell me, was that because Euron was horny or because he wanted to dehumanize and degrade his brother?

Tbh I really don't know what goes through Eurons head. You complained about the lack of male rape, but at least you have one.

10 minutes ago, Peach King said:

In the same breath you're arguing that its realistic that tons of women would die in childbirth, and that's why they don't appear in the series, you're saying that more men would die than women.

Yes it's realistic because it happened a lot in the middle ages.

 
 
 
 
11 minutes ago, Peach King said:

How would it change anything if Hoster's wife was alive?

Catelyn would never become the lady of riverrun and Lysa would never go down the path of lunatic milf. 

12 minutes ago, Peach King said:

If Brienne's mother was?

Wed have an Arya scenario in which her mother forces her to be something she doesn't want to, and maybe we never get to see the fierce Brienne we know. Brienne would never be heir to tarth since her mother probably would've given her husband more sons.

13 minutes ago, Peach King said:

Or if Ned's mother was still alive? He could work the plot around the inclusion of the female characters.

Neds mother had lived shed be left in charge of Winterfell when Robb marched south. And you never know, she might be more capable than Rodrik which would lead to theon failing to take Winterfell with his grabbling hooks. 

 
 
 
 
15 minutes ago, Peach King said:

We know Joanna "ruled" Tywin, she was pretty powerful. The Unnamed Princess of Dorne was also powerful.

Tywin is still the lord. The unnamed Princess is the strange one.

16 minutes ago, Peach King said:

 And that doesn't work. This isn't women being recorded in history. These are women barely being mentioned in POVs of people who knew them intimately, or only serving as a backdrop for men's motivation (Rhaella, Elia, Lyanna).

Do you know any Pov characters that were very familiar with Rhaella, Elia, Lyanna? Ned is understandable since back than George needed to keep lyanna a mystery to the reader.

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2 minutes ago, Peach King said:

Yep, Ashara wasn't even allowed to have friends,  she was only allowed to be seen through the lens of other men like Barristan and Ned and idealized as some tragic figure. And there you go - was dishonored by a man, had a stillbirth, another gendered death.

We could have heard more about her from Jon Con's POV as he knew Ashara and even danced with her.

Did Jon con have a genuine relationship with ashara in order to think about her when he was busy thinking about putting rhaegars son on the Iron throne? Ashara is probably the character jon cares the least about. Why would he think about her. We know barristan loved ashara but that was all blind love.

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12 hours ago, Peach King said:

If GRRM wanted to be realistic, he'd show a few more infants or mothers dying in childbirth in the main series like Lord Varys said, not just depict it as footnotes in history. Some of them were also raped before they died, which is also gendered, as we don't see that happening to men. Realistically men would get raped in institutions like the Night's Watch.

yeah in the Night's Watch there should be more rape and sexual violence going on among the men for it to be realistic. Especially if they are so willing to rape women so easily. And they are mostly criminals. 

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15 hours ago, Peach King said:

We don't have the same amount of information. We know Steffon was Aerys' childhood friend along with Tywin when they were all pages, we know he participated in the Ninepenny Wars, we know he was a member of Aerys' Small Council, we know he might have been named Hand, we know he took Patchface with him on his ship so he could cheer up Stannis, we know he married Cassana for love. We know nothing about Cassana.

We know Arthur Dayne was one of the most skilled knights, we know he killed the Smiling Knight, we know he was Jaime's hero, we know he was Rhaegar's close friend, we know he was in the tower guarding Lyanna, we know he died fighting Ned and his men. All we know about Ashara is that she was a lady in waiting, was dishonoured by a man, that she's beautiful and committed suicide.

Rhaella, another woman in the series who is used as a prop for male character development. She was raped daily by Aerys, and that was terrible for her, but it's only used to show Jaime's disillusionment with knighthood and the vows he had taken. I don't think Daenerys ever thinks of her.

You actually illustrate my point with your example about the Unnamed Princess of Dorne. She was a powerful woman, a Lord Paramount on a level with Tywin Lannister, and she doesn't even get a name.

Brienne's mother is another woman who died early, while Selwyn Tarth lived.

All these women are dead, and what we learn of them is through the memories of the people that knew them (completely or up to a certain degree). I don't see an imbalance between deceased women and men in ASoIaF, to me they are equal. Neither do I see where Rhaella or any other female is used as a prop for male character development, as you mention. In my eyes, these cases exhibit the same problematic as Kvothe POVs in the Kingkiller Chronicle: everything we see and learn is done through Kvothe's eyes, and, as everyone who has read that series knows, reality is terribly distorted. I don't see the slightest problem in gender relationships within GRRM's work, on the contrary, I consider it to be realistic and crude, and beautiful many times as well. 

I'm very intrigued by characters like Arthur, Robert and Rhaegar, and yet all the information we receive about them is different and crisscrossed: Arthur is pretty much a mystery, aside from Jaime's POVs in which he's an idealized hero (makes sense since he was his squire and boys tend to idolize and love the knights they serve); what we know about Robert varies between Ned and Cersei, whom offer the most in-depth information about him... And Rhaegar's figure is also opaque and enigmatic, we can't trust 100% what Barristan says about him. Like with Robert, we'd need to hear what Elia has to say. We get glimpses at how even Cersei idolized him, and the tender thoughts she has of him in her last FfC chapters, and we all know how Cersei is and how she feels about men. Rhaegar is the only man she doesn't think contemptuously of. Whatever the case, I'm positive we will learn much more about Rhaegar in the next two books, and from different POVs, especially if that theory comes true (I hope so!) and Ashara will appear in TWoW.

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