i have no problem with pointing out that anyone of any gender can be an abuser, rapist, pedophile etc because that’s absolutely true.
but the problem with always emphasizing “yes but it happens to everyone, not just women (or people of colour, or trans* people, etc)!” is that it depoliticizes the issue.
violence is not an accident, it is reflective of social power relations that permeate society at every level
So this bullshit came across my dash. Now I think categorizing women as most empowered and least empowered is problematic in it of itself (to quote from the article: On the flip side, we’ve identified 10 of their Least Empowered counterparts, women who allow the men in their lives and society as a whole to define their goals and values, and too often wind up playing the role of victim.) but specifically let’s talk about what was said about Sansa (who they put on the least empowered list).
She may be a victim of the sexist mindset of her times, but Sansa hasn’t done much of anything to defy her role as a human leverage in a battle of dueling kingdoms. Heck, she was too much of a scaredy cat to take up Baelish’s offer to escape Joffrey’s sadistic clutches. Where’s badass little sis Arya when you need her?
Remember how the other day I liked Sansa because as a character she rejects a lot of concepts I’m over? Yeah, well, let’s add empowerment to the list of concepts I’m over.
Sansa Stark doesn’t owe it to you to be empowered, whatever your definition of empowered is. Being all ‘ra ra feminism oh yeah’ isn’t more important than her safety and sanity. Sansa Stark is in serious danger every single day of her life. The threat of violence, rape, and death is part of her daily routine. (As it is in Arya’s, who FYI, is not in a better situation than Sansa.)
Sansa isn’t bad for women, or bad for feminism because she does not have control over her own life. What’s bad for women is shitting on women like Sansa who do what they have to do to live to see another day.
Sansa is in a place where she has to obey her captors. But to say she doesn’t fight back is ridiculous. Her actions may not seem big to the audience but they are big for her. She fights back by praying for her brother’s victory. She fights back by saving Dontos’ life. She fights back by showing kindness to people she doesn’t have to. She fights back by refusing to break. She fights. She fights so hard.
And for fucks sake. How could anyone who has watched the show or read the books criticize Sansa for not taking up Petyr’s offer right away. Firstly, yeah, she’s scared, this could have serious consequences for her. Secondly did you miss the part where Petyr Baelish was established as a bad person who does bad things? He’s one of the least trustworthy people in all the seven kingdoms jfc.
Anway, there’s my rant.
Women don’t owe it to you to be empowered. Sansa’s safety should come first and if you don’t understand that, then well, Sansa Stark is more of a feminist than you’ll ever be.