I’d like to present you all with this picture:
This screenshot was captured by a reddit user from a tumblr blog in which the young lady in question took issue with a disturbing scene from Game of Thrones Season Five, Episode Six in which (Spoiler Alert) one of the few surviving Stark children, Sansa, is forced to marry a psychopathic bastard who, predictably, rapes her on their wedding night. (And forces the man Sansa believes killed her two little brothers to watch.)
This brave young lady, in the throes of a panic attack, took the time to arrange a selfie showcasing her apprehension and fear of how normalized and acceptable rape has become in modern western society.
Truth be told, I don’t often worry myself with what attention-seeking teenagers do on the internet, but this particular image infuriated me enough that I felt I had to address a few matters.
First off, panic attacks.
Now I’ve suffered from panic attacks in the past. They’re not enjoyable experiences. And, unlike what some people would like to believe, they’re hardly benign. While the attacks themselves pose no physical danger, sufferers tend to legitimately believe that they’re in the process of dying. Many can’t even pick up a phone to dial 9-1-1 for fear that they might die before they get a chance to dial, let alone arrange a perfectly-posed selfie of their panic attack.
Look at the pictures. That’s not a panic attack. That’s an attention-seeking pose.
Secondly, having actually watched the episode (and granted, being disturbed by it as well), I take strong issue with the statement the original poster made claiming this is the normalization of rape.
Excuse me, young lady? Explain how that rape is in any way, shape or form normalizing. Ramsay Bolton is a psychopathic, sociopathic monster who will no doubt meet his end in a way similar to what he did to others in life. He’s hardly normal. The scene is hardly indicative of how men view women. He’s not even a real person. He’s a fictional stereotype of a psychopath, and a damn evil one at that.
Furthermore, there’s this:
I’d like to draw your attention to the first warning on that list: Adult Content.
What this means is that there are themes in the show which require a certain level of maturity in order to handle it. Such things include, but are not limited to:
- Flaying Humans Alive
- More Rape
- Burning small children to a crisp
- Cutting a man’s junk off
- Did I mention rape?
- Dwarves talking about their cocks a lot
- Yet more rape
Are you seeing a pattern? It’s expected that those watching the show are going to be psychologically prepared for such things, hence the mature warning at the beginning of every episode.
The funniest part is when I read some people lamenting the lack of trigger warnings, all the while ignoring the giant TV-MA warning once again, at the beginning of every episode.
To the parents who let their children watch Game of Thrones, please, please don’t. Or if you must, take the time to educate your children on the difference between fantasy, entertainment and reality.
Oh, also learn to recognize attention-seeking behavior, and get your children help. Otherwise, they may grow to be adults that are barely more than high-functioning children.