Season one, episode one, twenty minutes in, millions watch the first of a long line of extremely graphic sex and rape scenes presented in the HBO TV series Game of Thrones. Over nineteen million people flick on their home TV, and (after a bit of casual oral sex in the usual brothel and the regular amounts of more primitive tribal sex) watch their favorite female character stripped of her clothing, bent over, and raped anally. The tremendously popular TV show continues to air and is now in its fifth season. It is rated TV-MA the equivalent of R and in some cases PG-13 for film. TV networks rate themselves under a few specific guidelines. Despite these ratings a high percentage of viewers are adolescent males attracted to the violent and sexual content. A much smaller population of females are invested in the show. The degree of chauvinist sexual content and the extent to which it dehumanizes and degrades women continues. The show perpetually creates violent and animalistic sex scenes depicting the exact type of sex which appeals to the male audience: sex from a dominant male perspective in which the female body is fully uncovered and exploited; the male remains unexposed. Often times this type of sexual scene, vicious in nature, exhibits qualities of rape or some type of abusive sexual harassment. Consent is not a necessary component to sexual interactions. Consensual or monogamous sex does not increase pleasure and nonconsensual sex does not detract from pleasure. Actions which are in nature and under the law extremely horrific crimes of violence are regularly treated callously. Serious sexual situations are never addressed as harmful or worthy of comment. The majority of the women on the show are merely present as extra bodies to carry out the sexual deeds; they are accessories for arousing scenes. Many of the women are prostitutes, most all are unnamed characters.
Anna Margaret Roth