Your Source for Feminist Discourse

“You know nothing, Jon Snow,” and other responses to Kit Harington discussing “sexism towards men”

 

Hi hi hello again!! Folks, it’s good to be back. We have quite the semester ahead of us, and I’m excited to be spending it with ShoutOut. The topic for today’s post is actually from back in May, but alas, it’s never too late to chat about the things that get us heated. And, while winter may be coming, I’m definitely still feeling the heat.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, leading man Kit Harington of HBO mega-hit, Game of Thrones (GOT), discussed “a sexism that happens towards men.” He goes on to say,  “at some points during photoshoots when I’m asked to strip down, I felt that.”

It’s an interesting discussion to have, considering the context of the show he appears on. Disclaimer: I am definitely a fan of the show. But I’m also very aware of the fact that the show ignores and alienates a lot of identities. From a mostly white leading cast, to a male dominated list of directors, to using its first lead lesbian character to further sexual objectification, the show has many flaws.

While GOT is celebrated (as it should be) for presenting us with strong, dynamic, brutally honest female characters in a sea of television damsels in distress, the show is also notorious for sexualizing them. Nudity is no new concept to the show, but there’s no denying that the ratio is tilted immensely towards the women. And the number of scenes involving sexual violence continues to grow.

Harington also says in the same interview that “I think there is a double standard.” The implication that men are on the losing end of this “double standard” is infuriating because sexualization is nothing new to women in the entertainment industry. But what I think is really happening here, instead of the epiphany he thinks he’s having, is that it’s the general standard in Hollywood to be sexualized. It’s absolutely true that he has been objectified and sexualized. And it’s his complete right to discuss and resist that kind of treatment, in fact, I encourage it. But using the term “double-standard” doesn’t seem entirely appropriate.

Equating sexism to objectification is an understatement at best, and blind ignorance at worst. Objectification is one of the many issues faced by anyone in the industry who doesn’t identify as a man, especially considering the industry itself is still undeniably male-dominated.

Kit Harington has received more than a scolding for this already, and I don’t wish to belabor the point. Because, in all honesty, he’s on to something. He may have used the wrong language and left a lot out of the conversation, but he’s right that the objectification he’s feeling is problematic and shouldn’t be ignored. We’d love for you to join the fight against sexualization and objectification, Kit, you’re welcome anytime.

 

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