Stars from the popular TV series Games Of Thrones, Emilia Clarke and Sophie Turner who played Daenerys Targaryen and Sansa Stark, respectively in celebration of the International Women’s Day went both penned thoughtful, intelligent essays about their feminism online.
And perhaps most interestingly, both women mentioned how controversially sexual moments involving their characters inspired them to become the women’s rights advocates they are today. Clarke, began by admitting that, thanks to her upbringing in an “equal earning, equally managed household” that treated her the same as her brother, she didn’t realize until “much later” how much feminism is needed.
She also admitted that there are days she feels like a “guilty feminist” whose “understanding of the bigger issues of inequality aren’t enough.” But since she now has a platform, and has played multiple characters who “have given me an insight into what it feels like to be a woman who stands up to inequality and hate,”
Turner has arguably dealt with even more daunting press attention than Clarke has, because Sansa Stark was raped. The “huge reaction” to this Season 5 scene “shocked” Turner, but it also inspired her to give back. After doing some research, Turner became involved with Women for Women International, which helps women in war-torn countries (Turner visited their program in Rwanda) rebuild their lives.
“At first I was angry,” Turner wrote of the backlash to her scene. “I was angry that there is such a taboo surrounding rape and that depicting it on screen was seen as vulgar. Sexual violence happens every day all around the world and yet for that to be represented on television, when other forms of violence are so often represented and more importantly, accepted and even welcomed in some cases, was considered disgusting instead of important. It made me think: why such a taboo?”