Game of Thrones: TV's Best Show for Female Empowerment
I was looking for a way to use the television as a device to reach out to the masses and use it as a tool for female empowerment. While I was looking for some articles, I came across a very interesting one. I've never thought of Game of Thrones in this way.
I was doing some research to find out about a way to use the TV as a device to reach out to the masses and use it as a tool to empower women when I came across an interesting article: http://thoughtcatalog.com/sidney-stokes/2013/07/why-game-of-thrones-is-tvs-best-show-for-female-empowerment/
The article talks about how Game of Thrones is TV's best show for female empowerment. I will try to rephrase the article and the examples from the article in a way that someone who has never watched the show can understand.
So in one of the earliest episodes of the show, we see a group of brothers having a shooting competition with arrows. And then an arrow comes out of nowhere and bests all of them, which was shot by their younger sister: Arya. Arya is from a royal family, where girls are usually raised to become ladies and give birth to knights and kings, but she doesn't want that. She says that she is 'not that kind of a girl'. She wants to be more than her world’s idea of what a lady is.
Similar to Arya, there is a character called Brienne. She is also a highborn maid, but she rejects her duties as a lady to become a knight. Because she is a woman, all the other knights mock her, and because of her looks (tall, muscular, short hair,) they mock her for being a lesbian. But she proves them all wrong at the battlefield. She is a better fighter than most men and she is more loyal.
As of now, we haven’t seen much of the character Yara Greyjoy, but Yara commands a fleet of pirates that would proudly lay down their lives for her because of the respect they have for her. They stand in awe. She proves her wit, smarts and skill with every breath. In those times, most men said that taking a woman to a ship was unlucky, but Yara is commanding a fleet of her own! Something even most men was unable to do.
And then we have the queen, Margaery Tyrell. Margaery isn’t a woman who needs to love her king in any way; she just loves what he has: power. She knows the game of thrones is played by men, but she is determined to make sure she’s the woman who wins it. She knows the world she lives in, she knows how to play the game her own way, and she knows with victory comes riches beyond gold dragons.
"Speaking of Queens, we come to Daenerys Targaryen, a woman forced into marriage by her power- and throne-hungry brother. However, her seemingly dire situation doesn’t break her. It shows the strength within her to not just persevere, but lead. She isn’t a woman who wants money, jewels, or furs — because she could have all of those. She wants only what she believes is hers, and when she realizes what power she has, she soars in ways that she believes will get her to her goal."
So as you can see, all these women characters are very strong in a world ruled by men, even stronger than most of the men. According to the author of the article "women aren’t just characters, they are symbols. Game of Thrones might show the women treated as objects secondary to men, but the reality paints them as the symbols: symbols of power, symbols of resolve, symbols that we all wish we could have in our lives." Now I know that not everybody has HBO in low-income urban areas, but a fantasy or reality show like this might help empowering women in these areas. Maybe soap operas, shows like Oprah, or some small messages acted out by celebrities or famous sports personalities in between sports programs or matches. I know that there are some examples of these sort of TV shows from discussions with colleagues or from other inspirations at OpenIDEO, so I also know that it can be done and it can be a very useful tool for empowerment.