Insulted

Posted by on Apr 15, 2011 in General Insanity, Rants | 9 comments

My blog post today is a rant. I hope you’ll excuse me for that. If you’re not into reading my extremely opinionated ravings, feel free to just skip this one. As an additional warning, I come off as quite the rabid feminist; not usually the kind of thing I use this blog as a forum for.

I’ve been looking forward to the Game of Thrones series on HBO for months. Today, the New York Times published this review. Hopefully you took a minute to read that, if you haven’t already, otherwise this won’t make much sense.

There is one particular paragraph of her thoroughly insulting article that I want to highlight:

The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

Wow, that’s a broad brush she’s painting with. (Get it… broad?) I’ll ignore that she insinuates the sex scenes were included only for women–though I honestly can’t get my head around it. No woman alive, eh? In my twitter feed alone, I found five women eagerly awaiting the premiere every bit as much as I am. The six of us must be vampires. As a bonus, not one of them knew who Lorrie Moore is, and I would bet money that most of them have read Tolkien. Take that, Ginia Bellafante.

What I find most offensive about this article is the fact that an ostensibly well-read woman would generalize an entire genre of fiction as “boy fiction.” Seriously, Ms. Bellafante, do you think all women share your tastes? I don’t know who Lorrie Moore is, but I can guarantee from your attitude in that article that I would prefer to read The Hobbit over anything you’re going to suggest. As women, don’t we have enough pigeonholing to worry about from men? Do we really have to do it to ourselves?

A Game of Thrones is possibly my favorite book ever. There is some tough competition for the title, but it fits easily in the top five. The book quite simply has it all: political intrigue, complex characters, action, love, and robust worldbuilding.

I’ll read more than thirty books this year, across several genres. I won’t say I don’t enjoy a good romance, because I do. Though I’m sure my definition of “good” will vary quite a lot from what Ms. Bellafante and her book club believe I should be reading. I also enjoy horror, fantasy, mystery, and *gasp* science fiction. I’m a rebel, what can I say?

I’m probably not supposed to like science fiction because there’s too much math. Mystery is right out because the violence might offend my delicate sensibilities. Horror? Perish the thought! I might never recover from the faint all that blood will surely cause. Thanks to this article, we already know that girls shouldn’t read fantasy because it’s too complex for our simple brains, unless we’re Warren Buffet. Whatever the hell that means.

I am overjoyed to not fit into the box this woman is trying to cram me in. I guess I should turn in my woman card and go hang out with the D&D crowd, because we all know there are no real women among that rabble. Oh well, they at least know how to have a good time.

9 Comments

  1. This whole article irked me beyond belief. As if women couldn’t possibly enjoy this kind of story or a show made from the books. I love True Blood just as much as the next girl, but I’m looking forward to GoT far more than I am the return of TB.

  2. I also think Ms. Bellafante is confusing sex with romance. There ain’t much romance in GoT, but there’s plenty of sex. And since when did women like gritty romanceless sex? I thought *that* was a guy thing.

    The show just pushed some of her buttons, making her write fairly incoherently about something she knows very little about, because apparently what little she saw reminded her of something that really gets her panties in a twirl. What she should have done is said, “Hey, boss? I’m not into the whole fantasy thing. Maybe get Lisa over there to do this review…she reads the stuff.”

  3. Wow. I can’t wait for Game of Thrones either. I love the series. I’ve read all of them, most of them several times. Wait. I should burst into flames at any second. I’m female and I love Spartacus and The Tudors. I like sci-fi and fantasy and romance. I don’t mind blood or sex in my tv or books. Still waiting to burst into flames.

    Boy fiction? Really? Yeah, thanks for the pigeonhole. Grrr.

    Perhaps this is HBO series is meant more for those that have read the books than those who can’t follow more than two plot lines without getting dizzy. Most of us women CAN do that.

    • Geek girls represent! <3

      Jenny started up a Goodreads bookclub called Chicks with Swords where we’ll read some exciting books and discuss them. Check it out if you’re interested!

      I agree Grayson, I’m not sure why she believes that only women would be interested in the sex scenes. I don’t mind sex or violence in my fiction or television, but I thought if anything that made my tastes slight more “guy-like.” Although there isn’t much romance in GoT, there are some beautifully done relationships throughout the series.

      That woman probably never even cracked the book open, or else she’d know that there are so many wonderful female characters who every woman should learn about.

  4. Hmm, I probably shouldn’t comment not only because my view point is somewhat different from the other comments-my first thought was boy this critic does not like that series and oops they’re going to get into trouble with that one paragraph-, but because I have never heard of the series.

    Well, I first heard about a day or so ago…did you say something about it Coral? Actually, come to think of it it may have been on the att.com web page. But in either case it was a very short flash of a comment with no explanation of what it was. I thought it might deal with contemporary businesses.

    I’m glad to see a fantasy series on TV even with all the bed-hopping, and even though I don’t get HBO. And I’m glad that it was, evidently, taken from a book.

    So my purpose in commenting was to say that last and that as I said at the beginning, boy she did she not like the series and boy did she step in it with that one comment.

  5. Hmmm, There was a rather lengthy description of “Game Of Thrones” in my local paper today. So I know more about it now. Of course I can only guess but I wonder if the critic was thinking about the show being soap opera-ish and that is what brought out her comment.

    Probably doesn’t matter what she was thinking though.

    • Well, I just watched the entire first episode and I really wonder what the hell she was talking about now. There was very little foreign language dialog, very few “illicit” scenes, and lots of the cast wasn’t even really introduced for the most part. It was lovely and wonderful, and just confirms my feeling that she didn’t watch it.

      You should pick up the first book Louis. A Game of Thrones one of the best fantasy books ever as far as I’m concerned. The later ones are not as good, but the first one is truly excellent.

  6. If I find it I will at least look it over but as far as I can recall, I haven’t even seen the book.

    But you could be right about her watching it. I hear that critics sometimes just read a show’s “bible” instead of actually watching it. I know I have read book reviews where the critics makes mistake so basic that you wonder if they did read the book. Maybe just skimmed it or read a synopses. As in one case the MC has a dog…a little, cute thing…but the critic said the MC had a wolf. There were three wolves in the book but none were his pets.

  7. Well said. I hate when people stereotype factions of society. It’s irresponsible writing on the reviewer’s behalf.

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