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Sen. Claire McCaskill outraged that–surprise!–someone gets raped on “Game of Thrones”

May 19, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

sansa and ramsay

Sansa and new husband Ramsay: The Middle Ages without the nice people

What is it about female Democratic senators and fictional rape victims?

First–back in January–we had New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand taking Columbia mattress-toter Emma Sulkowicz under her wing.

Indeed, Gillibrand had Sulkowicz, who graduated from Columbia today, accompany her to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Jan. 20. This even though Paul Nungesser, the fellow student whom Sulkowicz accused of raping her when both were sophomores, was found not responsible by a Columbia tribunal and has since released numerous e-mails indicated that Sulkowicz and he maintained a friendly relationship well after the alleged sexual assault, which Nungesser said never occurred. Nungesser is currently suing Columbia for allegedly allowing Sulkowicz to bully him and stain his reputation by carrying the matress around campus as part of a supposed art project.

Now, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is outraged over another fictional rape: that of Sansa Stark, one of the heroines of HBO’s long-running fantasy series Game of Thrones.

At least there really is an Emma Sulkowicz.

After watching the May 17 episode, in which the virginal Sansa, who is only 14, is brutally ravished on her wedding night by her monstrous young husband, Ramsay Bolton, McCaskill took to Twitter:

“Ok, I’m done Game of Thrones.Water Garden, stupid.Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.It was a rocky ride that just ended.”

***

But as Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon pointed out, both the Martin novels and the television versions of Game of Thrones, feature an act of unspeakable brutality and cruelty in nearly every chapter (in the novels) or episode (in the series). Game of Thrones is essentially the Middle Ages without any of the nice people like St. Francis or Queen Guinevere.

***

So you have to ask: Why have feminists homed on this particular act of sexual assault? My own theory is that unlike, say, the Sulkowicz mattress story, or the hoax at UVA, which turned quickly and recently into public-relations disasters for rape-culture talking heads, the rape of Sansa on Game of Thrones can’t be debunked–because it really, really never did happen.
Posted by Charlotte Allen
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