Gender ‘Games’

Just because Hollywood writers and directors create a female assassin character doesn’t mean they are aiming for female empowerment — that’s what “Game of Thrones” star Natalie Dormer has concluded after playing such roles.

According to The Huffington Post, Dormer explained in an interview with The Guardian that although she has appeared in a number of racier scenes in both “Game of Thrones” and “The Tudors,” they don’t readily equate to female empowerment.

“Female empowerment shouldn’t be exclusively about sexuality,” Dormer said. “And you meet a lot — and I’m going to be careful what I say here — you meet a fair fraction of male writers and directors who want to wave the equality flag and believe that they’re making you a kick-ass female assassin, and they’re empowering you. Whereas true empowerment would be… [laughing] you know, not a stylized, hyper-sexualization.”

Dormer was recently met with criticism after commenting on her “Game of Thrones” character Queen Margaery Tyrell’s relationship with the underage King Tommen (a 12-year-old boy in the books who is played onscreen by 17-year-old Dean Charles Chapman). In speaking on the two characters, The Huffington Post said, “Dormer told one publication that ‘after what we’ve done on this show — the rape, the incest, the child murdering’ she was ‘baffled’ by louder outcry to this storyline in particular. Some twisted these comments into the actress condoning sex with minors.”

Releasing a statement to clarify her comments, Dormer asserted that a man wouldn’t have garnered such criticism had he made similar remarks.

“The first point is that the male actors in the show don’t get a lot of flak when they’re raping and murdering, because people understand it’s fantasy, and yet if a female actress has to portray something — which isn’t portrayed explicitly — I get flak, personally,” she explained in an interview with The Guardian.

However, The Huffington Post reported that Dormer does get a break from the more hyper-sexualized roles she has played, specifically citing her role of Cressida in “The Hunger Games” series. “It’s so refreshing to play a woman who’s not defined by the love of a man,” she explained to The Guardian. “I was getting a little tired of sitting around in a silk skirt. It was a good antidote to put on a pair of army boots and run around in the mud for nine months.”

 

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