Concerning that ‘Role Models’ meme and its responses
You know, this one:
And the response someone made:
Miriam has an awesome rant, quoted with permission from Facebook
Ugh. Seriously, can we stop using the term “role model” when we’re really just talking about whether or not we can see their bewbs? How is Daenerys Targaryen a bad role model? She overcomes poverty, abuse, and slavery to become the Mother of Dragons and the Breaker of Shackles. She maintained her precarious position amongst the Dothraki after Khal Drogo’s death, and then went on to conquer Astapor and Mereen using nothing but three infant dragons and a handful of semi-fanatical followers. THAT WAS A REALLY COOL THING TO HAVE DONE. Not only that, but the scene that picture is taken from? That’s a scene from the beginning of the story where she is being SEXUALLY ABUSED BY HER BROTHER. So yeah, that’s a scene of her being victimized, prior to her rising above her circumstances and kicking all of the ass, and it’s BEING USED TO SHOW THAT SHE IS A BAD ROLE MODEL. LET ME REPEAT. AN IMAGE OF HER SUFFERING SEXUAL ABUSE IS BEING USED TO SHOW THAT SHE IS A BAD ROLE MODEL.
This meme and every variation of it is fucking gross. It’s never been about which women are admirable, it’s been about which women are sexualized. The whole thing is steeped in this anxiety that if we don’t do something our girls are going to (*gasp*) have sex. Why don’t we have a meme about MALE role models, like for example, all the men out there in pop culture AND geek culture who glorify violence, alcoholism, and rape culture. No one seems to be concerned with that, because apparently young boys aren’t as easily influenced as young girls, apparently. Fuck this noise.
Moreover, fuck this made-up competition between popular culture and geek culture. They’re both fucking misogynistic and patriarchal, and they BOTH need to address that, together (since they overlap a ton) and stop pointing fingers and self-congratulating.
What I was referring to as “cool” was the way she took control after having been controlled and treated as an object. It makes for an interesting, strong character. I’m not talking about the morality of what she does.
It’s also worth noting that in the context of the meme, Dany is not being criticized for her White Savior actions (VALID!) but for being naked on screen (Slut Shaming!) -in a scene where she is ogled/groped/threatened with rape by her brother-. Basically, the meme is telling us that Dany is a bad role model because she has been sexually abused.