Game of Thrones has had a brilliant cast over the years, to fill characters that absolutely needed perfect casting for the show to become as big as it has. Character development is one of the strong suits of the show, and the character that has perhaps developed the most till date, is Sansa Stark. The Stark girl has seen everything there is, and Sophie Turner, who plays the character on the show, has obviously learnt a lot from her journey playing Sansa. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Sophie Turner took to the Thomas Reuters Foundation News blog to write about how the sexual violence against women in Game of Thrones made her a women’s rights activist. Read on!
She started off by talking about how the Sansa Stark rape scene from last season sparked major outrage among viewers, so much so that there were a few people, who were talking about even boycotting the show. Sophie did not like this reaction. She says :
“At first I was angry. 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?”
However, despite being angered by the reaction, Sophie made the best out of it. She explains :
My anger over the response then turned to excitement that the show had caused such a stir among the public and that a dialogue had been created; a dialogue that was very important. Although, I wondered why people feel so impassioned to speak out about a fictional rape when this happens all over the world every day? So unless we continually keep broadcasting people’s stories of sexual violence, then how else are people going to respond?”
Sophie says that this is what made her become a women’s activist, and that she heard about Women for Women International, and decided to dedicate herself to the cause. As a part of the program, Sophie visited Rwanda, where the programme helps local women, who are still trying to recover from the 1994 genocide which resulted in over 1 million deaths, and 500,000 women being “systemically raped” in about 100 days.
She went on to talk about some of the incredible and inspiring women she met on her journey there, and how they helped her get a different outlook on things. She says :
“Meeting these women and hearing about how much a simple letter from their ‘sister’ on the other side of the world really meant to them and inspired them to get up and work and to know that they aren’t alone, that their stories are being told, was really life-changing. In a time where it seems a lot of focus is being placed upon domestic issues and concerns, it’s important that we draw some attention to the people who aren’t able to publicise the horrors that are occurring or have occurred in their own countries. It made me look outside myself. It was truly an eye-opening experience.”
You can watch Sophie’s journey to Rwanda, in the video below :
We think Sophie Turner has grown into a fine young woman, just like her character has. What do you think about Sohpie’s efforts? Talk to us in the comments, below!