First, read this and if you have access, this from Scott Hanselman (especially the comments).

Now, I don't watch Game of Thrones, I admit. However, if even half of the points raised in this article (and it's follow up) are true, it's yet another example of how we haven't really moved forward. Of how racial equality is not here yet. Heck, gender equality isn't even here yet and we started working on that sooner. Moves towards sexual equality are in progress but imagine how long it's going to take to truly have equality for everyone given our track record of being able to even talk about it.

If we are to resolve issues of equality, whether race, gender, sexuality or even culture, we have to have discourse, but the reactions to the original article and the status update from Scott Hanselman show just how difficult this is. They almost always appear to be trying to invalidate the point, affirm it or just try and ignore it. There is no discourse, no understanding.

You may well disagree with this view of Game of Thrones, Star Trek or any other example of what others perceive to be racism or other prejudice in our entertainment. Perhaps there is racism and sexism and you don't see it, maybe it isn't there at all and some are being overly sensitive, or perhaps you never thought about it until just now. I'd love to hear from my many friends who watch GoT as I have no idea, in this particular case. However, when someone says something is racist or sexist (or genderist?), rather than immediately telling them if they are wrong or right or too sensitive, try asking why. Talk about it. Fight the ignorance. You might both learn something.

2 thoughts on “Equality”

  1. I don't watch GoT either but I do know more about the show thanks to being bored enough to read some of ONTD's posts on it especially regarding the use of rape.

    My least fav part of this controversy is fanboys pointing out the flaws in some minor details he messes up "OMG, Dany doesn't literally 'birth' dragons; it's a metaphor!!!!" to dismiss and ignore the big and truly problematic things the author points out. But the same thing happened in an ONTD post about racism/sexism in Dexter, Mad Men, Breaking Bad etc, so I shouldn't be surprised.

    No one is asking anyone to stop watching or be less of a fan just to be an active rather than passive consumer of media. Be aware of how what you watch may, instead of good character development, use stereotypes about people based on class, race, gender and sexual orientationas a shortcut. It's also a cry out to the creators of TV series to be mindful of what stereotypes they are reinforcing. Obviously series that follow books don't have as much leeway as an original TV series but perhaps creators of all media, books included, can learn from this.

    Also this macro was posted in the comments section and I think I might print it out so I can unfurl it for face-to-face race discussions with certain people: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lyg3g7WJqv1qiigv4o1_1280.jpg

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