Considering Feminism in Game of Thrones

Let’s stop for a moment and consider a question – how would you define feminism?  It’s a question that’s often met with eye rolls or references to bra burning women or shrugs.  And yet, it’s something that we need to consider…what with feminism making appearances in the speeches at the United Nations and being touted by our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, how can we not take a moment to pause and consider what feminism is and whether we adhere to its principles?

Ok, I’ll admit it – this post isn’t coming on the heels of my having watched an inspiring speech on feminism…it is being written after watching Game of Thrones.  Don’t worry, I won’t share any spoilers about the most recent episode – there’s no need to stop reading now.  I love Game of Thrones…despite how brutal and somewhat traumatizing it can be at times.  But before I relate feminism to Game of Thrones, perhaps we should start with a definition and why I even give a damn.

I remember having to do a presentation in graduate school on feminist therapy.  Yes, there is a school of therapy that is feminist at its core.  That presentation was eye opening – it was the first time that I had bothered to consider what feminism is and whether I fit the mold.  It turns out that I do.  Feminism is about the uniqueness of each person’s journey through life and the power differentials that are encountered.  It is not limited to the experiences of women, but can apply to any instance where someone is being minimized, labelled, or oppressed.  In feminist therapy, the goal is to empower individuals and to give them a voice.  Feminist therapists will explore power dynamics, witness storytelling, use copious amounts of empathy, and advocate for equality.  To answer a question that you may have, no I do not identify solely as a feminist therapist.  I do, however, incorporate many of the principles into my practice and interactions with clients.

So back to Game of Thrones (I know you’ve be waiting for that).  Yes, Game of Thrones is a series full of inspiring, badass women…but it is also a show about power differentials, the struggles of those who are minimized by society, and about people fighting to be heard.  In my opinion, Tyrion is actually the prime example of feminism in the show.  So, if you watch Game of Thrones and you find yourself cheering on the underdogs, the marginalized, the strong women and men…have you considered that you may be more of a feminist than you thought?   It’s something to mull over…

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