I know I can’t be alone in not liking Mad Men and Game Of Thrones, but I certainly feel it. I recently watched 6 episodes of each and I’m calling it a day there. The simple reason I give is that I don’t find either entertaining, and entertainment is the whole reason I watch TV.
Why mention it then? Well, the reason I’m writing this, is that I have been made to feel “uncool” about my decision not to watch these two, oh so popular TV shows. In a recent discussion, people actually got angry about me giving up on Game Of Thrones. They thought I was cruelly depriving my husband of the pleasure also.
It’s a personal choice based on my own personal values. I couldn’t care less if the rest of the world watches them, I’m happy for them to have found something they enjoy, I really am. But I don’t, and surely that’s OK too? Am I really a “prude”, as one person put it, not to want to watch women being raped, beaten, humiliated, used as prostitutes and in some cases being portrayed as enjoying it? Maybe I am, though I very much doubt anyone who knows me would describe me as prudish.
Is it “up tight” not to want to watch women being treated like a mindless underclass? Being cheated on, used for sex? Being completely degraded and debased? Yes, I know “it happened in the 50s” but my entire point is that it’s still happening. – and that’s my personal reason for not wanting to watch it “as entertainment”.
There’s an invisible line that exists between “entertainment” and “real life” these days which we’re just supposed to accept, and if we don’t we’re “up tight” or “uncool” or “prudish”. I choose not to accept it in these 2 shows and instead of just nodding and saying “OK”, people ask “WHAT? WHY?” Or say “Oh my God, I’ll lend you the box set it’s amazing”. When pressed, I tell them I don’t watch them because I find them sexist, people roll their eyes and use the word feminist, like it’s an insult. Just to reiterate, I’m not saying they shouldn’t watch, I’m not the one who brought up the topic and I’m not saying the shows, in themselves are wrong or bad or anything other than “not my choice of entertainment”.
I’m not particularly vociferous about my views, I doubt anyone would use the word “strident” about me (though if they did I certainly wouldn’t consider it a bad thing). I’m quiet in my own personal way of rejecting sexism yet I still come under fire for it.
Well I’ve made a decision. From here on in, I’m going to stand up for what I believe in. I have a daughter now and I’m damned if I’m going to let her grow up without seeing me stand up for what I believe in, as an example to her.
Say I was to “tow the line” with the particular folks in the discussion that got me so moved to write this post,
Then how would it go? Tell me again; Strippers and lap dances both on TV and in real life are “entertainment” a “bit of fun” but importing women against their will to strip and lap dance (and way, way worse) isn’t ok? So do you ask for ID and citizenship papers before or after she’s shown you her vagina? OK let’s move on…so getting a woman who’s not a “professional stripper” say Jane from work, to take all her clothes off and dance naked for you isn’t ok? But why? Why can’t Jane make a few bob on her lunch break and dance naked in your lap in the photocopy room for £20? Oh, your wife wouldn’t like that. Yet she’s supposed to be OK with Crystal doing it because she’s a professional.
And it’s “entertainment” for a vastly greater proportion of the women in shows like Game Of Thrones to be naked, but objectifying women in the street or office or bus to work isn’t ok? And you don’t do it do you? Not even that girl at the bus stop with the knee high boots? You know the one…no? You can differentiate can you? You turn off your objectification goggles when you step into real life do you? What about the girl in the bikini on the giant poster in the bus shelter? Can you objectify her? Is that allowed?
Let’s carry on, so it’s “fine” for me to watch women cavorting round topless on the tv but if I went outside my flat right now and took off my top I’d be arrested? But if a man went out topless it’d be ok?
Hold on a minute…if it’s OK for men to be topless then why aren’t there loads of men cavorting around topless performing sex acts on each other on Game Of Thrones? Oh…you wouldn’t want to see that. No. Ew.
What was your reason again? Oh yeah, because that’s “gay”.
So to summarise your rules – women being imported as sex slaves or beaten, raped, humiliated, underpaid and undervalued right now in “real life” isn’t OK? But not wanting to watch it on TV in glorious high definition isn’t OK either? And getting danced on by Crystal is OK but by Jane is not OK. And naked cavorting men is “gay” and not something you want to watch but naked cavorting women is ok because it’s just entertainment. But you’d still arrest me if I try to run down my street topless.
Nope, sorry, you lost me.
To the people who are annoyed by my choices – I’m going to make it really simple – if it makes me feel bad, I’m not watching it, listening to it, reading it or accepting it. It doesn’t affect you and I won’t judge you for your choices.
I don’t watch Mad Men or Game Of Thrones because they don’t entertain me. Let’s just leave it at that.
Oh, and I’m a feminist. Yeah I am.