Best selling author of the novel and TV series, Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin was at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox on Tuesday to give post-secondary students and faculty an inside look on the series and what to expect for Season Two.
One reason strong and powerful women struggle with being properly recognized is because they are almost always overly sexualized, says American feminist and pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian, .
“I don’t think women being sexualized is at all empowering,"Sarkeesian told TheDailyPlanet.com. "I think there is a big difference between sexuality and sexualized. Being sexualized is women being reduced to their gender where their defining trait is their sexuality or often times, their ability to manipulate men. Sexuality is the ability to express sexual being, emotions and pleasures."
Speaking to about 50 students and faculty at Humber's North campus Tuesday, she said women are too often required to take on more masculine traits -- such as being headstrong, aggressive and logical -- to be depicted as strong characters in media. So-called female characteristics, such as being over-emotional, illogical and passive, are labelled as weak.
The overall result of this, is the glorification of masculinity, the means to solve problems while reinforcing patriarchal values, she said.
The character who best represents a strong woman in film and television, according to Sarkeesian, is Buffy, the vampire slayer. She defines Buffy's as a character who goes through emotional growth; someone who relies on her strength and intelligence without using her sexuality as a power.
Feminism should push against gender norms and challenge them rather then accepting what is expected, she said.
“I want substantial, awesome, well-developed characters. Something to give women an idea of what is possible."