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Rape vs. Rape: My take on Martin vs. Gabaldon

outlanderSo, I thought I would let things quiet down a bit before posting my, decidedly sexist, rant on the rapes of Sansa and Jaime.

Preface: I read both series of books. I am caught up on Game of Thrones (GOT) and have a few more to go in the Outlander Series. However, I have read beyond the point of rape in both books. I am a MAJOR fan of both. Last year my husband and I went as Daenerys & Khal Drogo to Comicon. To nerd out further, we dressed our 12 year old son as one of my dragons. I have also read a myriad of critiques about the rape of Sansa Stark, an event that did not happen in the book. Critiques where nitwits vowed to “never watch Game of Thrones again.” Really? This is what did it to you?

I DVR the shows and Adam (my husband) and I just watched the finale of Outlander. My husband’s comment, “Game of Thrones fans are pussies.” Sansa’s rape, to the unknowing eye, seemed unnecessary but it was nothing. They showed nothing. The abuse of Theon was too, too much for me to watch. His flaying and castration, my God. His endless screaming, dear Lord. I finally had to go out of the room and tell Adam to call me when it ended. It was brutal and disturbing. If that didn’t get you to cease watching, what on earth would? Well, the rape of innocent Sansa. One question: wasn’t everyone who read the book waiting for an extended, disgusting rape of Jane Poole? In Dancing with Dragons she is beaten, orally raped by Reek (Theon), and then raped by Ramsey. To add insult to injury they imply that Ramsey forced her to copulate with a dog. All this was done while she posed as Arya Stark. What happened to Sansa was child’s play. Gratuitous, and unnecessary? Maybe, maybe not. George R.R. Martin claims he wanted Sansa to play a larger role next season. Without transposing her with Jane, she would be virtually written out of next season. Further, folks, you are watching GOT….gratuitous sex and violence are spilling onto the t.v. screen. I am unmoved by your claims of offense at Sansa’s sad rape.

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Outlander, on the other hand, has been more circumspect about their violence. There is violence aplenty. The whippings of Jaime seem to go on and on and on and on. However, they don’t begin to rise to the violence found in GOT. BTW, just because I say this doesn’t mean I don’t like GOT…I love it. I defend it. It is just a comment. The sex is different too. Sex in Outlander, delightedly, goes on and on and on. I could watch Claire and Jaime go at it as long as they would have me as a voyeur. It is beautiful and luscious. Every women in the world wishes they were Claire, being taken by that hunk of burning Scot. Finally, the rape. It was coming. We all knew it. At the beginning, we all thought we escaped without having to witness it. But something so crucial to the storyline cannot be summed up in the short Sansa Stark Rape scene. No, Gabaldon needed to treat it with the import it plays to Jaime throughout his life. This rape was vicious  and spanned two episodes.

It starts with Jaime being imprisoned in Wentworth Prison and then saved from the hangman’s noose by Jack Randall. You know that is bad news. Claire makes rescue attempt #1. They are caught by Randall and the escape is thwarted. Randall smashes Jaime’s hand with a mallet multiple times. Bones are sticking out, it is bloody and painful and that is how Claire finds him. Unfortunately, Randall appears and Jaime bargains for Claire to be set free. Basically, he will submit to Randall if Claire is released. Claire cries and clings to Jaime but, in the end, Claire is ripped from Jaime’s arms and sent out of the prison. When Jaime is not a willing participant and will only submit, Randall rapes Jaime violently and repeatedly. It is brutal beyond compare. Yet, it elicits so much compassion. It is the saddest thing I have ever seen. I don’t know what was worse, reading about it or seeing the blood on Jaime’s legs. I am tearing up, just writing it.

So…comparing the rape scenes, I have to agree with my husband. GOT fans who were horrified at Sansa’s rape are pussies. They are emotional pussies. They couldn’t handle Gabaldon’s level of anything. Gabaldon showed a deep, sensitive, and yet, horrific episode. [here is the sexist part] She wrote from a woman’s perspective. I don’t know if a man could go there at all. The closest masculine written rape comparison may be Lizbeth Salander’s rape in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It was upsetting, but again, Lizbeth isn’t very emotional. Outlander was written by a woman with a female depth of feeling, untainted by excess testosterone.

When women didn’t like the Sansa rape, I don’t think it was because it was gratuitous and unnecessary, most of GOT violence borders on gratuitous and unnecessary. It was because of something else that they couldn’t put their finger on. That is, it was written by someone who doesn’t get rape. It wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t explicit, it was actually rather vapid. If you are going to rape beloved Sansa, you better do it the justice it deserves. Theon crying wasn’t enough, by a long shot. However, getting so worked up that this is the straw that threw you over the edge of not watching anymore is a pussy move. There have been so much worse in GOT. Further, why would the rape of Sansa…and putting Sansa now in Jane’s place, be any  more wretched than the worse rape of Jane? I don’t get it why one rape and character line substituted for another makes people insanely upset. It is not logical. When things aren’t logical, it makes me think that there is something else going on, something that women, today are afraid to say, lest they loose their coveted position of equality with men.

That is, that maybe the two sexes have something different to bring to the table. Using the “separate but equal” argument with genders is a red herring. Separate but equal was not equal with races because there is no difference between a black man or a white man or a Hispanic man or an Asian man other than the color of their skin. Across broad groups brain size, intelligence, Androgen bathing in the womb, XY sex determination etc. are pretty equal. It is a distinction without a real difference…culture is the difference. Men and women are biologically different in so many ways. We don’t want to acknowledge those ways. We don’t want to think about them because we fought so hard so that the owners of the means of production would stop acknowledging them. In many ways, though, we have created havoc.  So that is my shpeel. I have a vagina. I have estrogen….mass amounts of it. It changes how I think and feel. I am sorry to have to spit it out this way but men and women are not equal. One is not better or more superior than the other, just different.

As far as GOT goes, I love it. I enjoy it but it is a decidedly male perspective on everything, death, killing, violence, AND rape. Outlander, on the other hand, shows a different viewpoint. I appreciate the difference.

 

 

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