Wine, Women & Westeros 5

By Jennifer Cheek on



Hello beautiful Winterboos! After much weeping and gnashing of teeth and technical difficulties, we finally come to you with our fifth installment of Wine, Women and Westeros, a special edition of Cast of Thrones where Jennifer and her ladybuds Annie and Betsy discuss gender issues in Game of Thrones! No, not even the loss of an entire episode of audio, which I can only assume was a direct assault from The Patriarchy itself, could keep us from delivering this podcast into your earholes. So kick back with your favorite wine (or beer??) and listen as Betsy uses fruity metaphors for genitals, Jennifer vibes with anime, and Annie learns a fresh new cuss.

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The cohosts- Nick Bristow, Michael ‘Thrifty Nerd’ DiMauro, Tim Lanning, Jennifer Cheek, and special cohost Betsy Cohen (Annie is Twitterless, alas!)

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  1. Okay, I get really stupidly anxious about posting things online, but I made a fake name and email to do this so you had better read this. Jennifer, you are my absolute favorite person on the internet. You’re incredibly kind, and witty, and just generally good. I don’t know if it’s silly to say this, but you’re honestly such an inspiration to me, and have really changed the way I look at the world and at myself. I’m sorry if this seems weird coming from some random person on the internet hiding behind fake information, but I just listened to the episode and you spoke about some negative internet reactions you get, and just wanted to put this out there.

    • Agreed on many points. I also wish to bring you positive yay-feelings because all of you deserve them (and I hope to help drown out some of the jerk-factor in the internet-‘verse commenters.)
      Keep on, Strong Cheek!

  2. Very negative episode… 🙁 Seemed like an attack on Game of Thrones for misogyny the whole time.
    In the first half of the podcast, you tried to make it seem like almost all the male characters on the show were disrespectful to women, then ignored all the respectful good guy protagonists for odd reasons (e.g. Oberyn is from a different country, Jon is a bastard, Tyrion is a Dwarf, doesn’t count)- That’s 3/5 of the main men that most people root for (Oberyn, Tyrion, Jon, Jaime, Stannis). Outside of the main male protagonists there’s also Varys, Bran, Sam, Davos, Jorah(kinda), and Jojen who aren’t misogynist male characters. I feel like they didn’t take any of these characters into account, or the fact that Game of Thrones/ ASOIAF is all about grey area characters.
    I’m not against negative criticism but it makes more sense to focus on specifics instead of attacking the show and fans of the show in general. I like and agree strongly with most of the criticism of Jaime and Craster’s keep, although it drives me crazy when people use the word rape porn (porn implies a pleasurable experience, and that scene was horrifying to anyone who isn’t a psychopath)

  3. I’m female (just FYI), and before I start the rant, I wanna say you all seem like intelligent and delightful women, and I enjoy your episodes.

    That said, this particular episode used a phrase often that I think misses the point. Someone or several of you used the words, “It doesn’t have to be that way.” It doesn’t, but it IS that way, and it was that way for most of written history. I don’t think it behooves women to ignore the plight of women throughout history, as you seem to want the show to do. By ignoring and failing to portray it, the show isn’t doing anything except allowing the audience to do what society does all the time: pretend like it isn’t happening. I do not think that the portrayal of rape in this show is an endorsement, nor do I think it’s reflective of rape culture. Like a previous commenter said, nobody except the psychopaths of the world got pleasure from watching those people get raped (though I don’t agree that porn implies “pleasure,” or at least certainly not mutual pleasure, but rather self-gratification, often at the expense of others… quite different). Regardless, the only reason it’s possible to shock people using rape (and the unfortunate reason why it IS used to shock people) is because there is so little open discussion about it. The discussion that does exist is so intellectual in nature, that the reality of rape and abuse never really sets in.

    I am personally more concerned with media, such as Twilight, where women are, by their own autonomy, emotionally and apparently physically dependent on the male character, to the point where abuse or the threat of abuse is acceptable. Bella has nothing forced upon her, yet emerges a weak and sorry example of woman-hood. Rape portrayal in media is not nearly as dangerous to society, in my opinion, as portraying the woman who’s only purpose in life is to please men. Rape is almost never portrayed in a positive light, whereas self-subjugation is. Men are not stupid. Men are not watching these rape scenes thinking to themselves, “Well, these assholes are doing it, so I can do it, too.” Men and, more importantly, women, are consuming all kinds of media where the message is, “This woman’s only hobby is chasing this guy and making him happy, and look how happy they seem to be,” and that message is what I think it going to work to undo the advances women have made over the past century. I’ve said this before somewhere: when analyzing a piece of media through the feminist lens, what’s important is what women do, not what men do to women.

    At the end of the day, more consensual sex and less rape would be a nice change of pace for the show. I just don’t think exploring the issue in the show, albeit aggressively, needs to stop on some kind of cultural or moral ground.

  4. Also, and real quick, the Cersei/Jaime thing is a completely different beast. I do think, though, it’s important to remember that Cersei has been sexually used for most of her life and has had to go out in public afterwards wearing her “game face.” So, it’s not very surprising to me that she appears to “get over” the Jaime thing so fast. Maybe I’m justifying that, though, because I honestly don’t think that scene was handled well on the show.

  5. Wow so negative I usally love these WWW epsodies but after i felt like I needed a drink and I don’t drink. I’m a dude and i love the WWW podcast and all of your opinions are great to hear and essential for creating a open honest discussion.

    This point is mainly for Jennifer I have listened to all yours and the other fellas podcast and I feel that if this show is having a such a detrimental effect on your mental health you should stop watching or at least wait till you can watch them in one setting while taking breaks and doing something you enjoy.

    I also felt telling people to “get over it” in regards to the show is a little hypocritical as you aren’t getting over your issues about the show so felt that let the show down a little.

    Love the podcast and the site hope you all find your enjoyment in the show again

  6. I really like Jennifer on the podcast. She is obviously very intelligent and her comments are usually very poignant, but she was pretty over the top on this one. If she is really affected that deeply by the show (to the point of “despair” or even just casting a little negativity in her personal life), then she needs to stop watching the show. It’s also hypocritical to be that offended by something, and then to continue to support it through viewership.

    As far as “the scene” goes, I agree with what Betsy said about the biggest issue with the scene: it totally destroyed Jaime’s arc. This point of the story should be dedicated to developing his quest for “redemption,” and the scene totally ruined that redemption story (even if his story ultimately ends badly in future books/seasons).

    • Definitely! The way they treated Jaime’s character this season was really confusing. Seems like they tried to make him a “good” character, like they did to Tyrion. Problem is that he’s not designed to be a good guy, even if he had some self improvement with Brienne. He still hasn’t answered for all the poor choices he’s made and atrocities he’s committed. In the books he improves himself, but hasn’t redeemed himself. For example, he regrets pushing Bran out a window, but for the wrong reasons. In the show he’s even murdered his cousin in the past just for a chance to escape, with no regrets. This season we’re supposed to see him as a changed man all of the sudden? Add that to the unintended rape scene and you can see that Jaime’s character has been completely butchered on the show.

      If they would have complained about show Jaime for the whole episode that would have been fine by me, but implying the whole show and the books are both misogynistic was extreme.

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