Before you start reiterating the Targaryen lineage in the comments below: This is NOT about the show. But the writing technique and how it applies to the real world.
Recently, I came across the news that Japan is getting a new emperor, Naruhito. His only child, who is a girl, is not the next in line for succession, because only a male heir can claim the throne.
The traditional decree of lineage reminds one of a similar practice currently being played out in the famous fantasy drama, Game of Thrones S8.
In the previous season of GoT, it is revealed that Jon Snow is actually the ‘rightful male heir’ to the Iron Throne, with the fanbase almost unanimously rooting for him.
It’s interesting to note how the writers built Dany’s character to make it easier for the audience to root for Jon. Her ‘impulsive’ behaviour is shown to be her and her ambitions’ undoing.
Now, one can’t help but make parallels of this particular plotline to the real world, where women find themselves in a much similar position when it comes to leadership positions.
When you spend all your life working towards your goal and a dude gets the job because…he’s a dude pic.twitter.com/hxwG49AJYx— Priyal (@priyal) April 23, 2019
Dany started out to be this girl who was married against her will, then gradually built her CV, as one could say, became a khaleesi and what not.
But, then the graph of her righteousness inevitably declined. She ‘impulsively’ kills off anyone who dared to cross her dream.
Ask yourself, would you have rooted solely for Jon had the writers not shown Dany to be this ‘impulsive’ and ‘neurotic’ character, inevitably turning into her father?
In order for people to ship the iron throne solely with Jon, writers HAD to diminish Dany’s claim. And it’s interesting to see how they accomplished it – by essentially demonising her.
But here I am not just talking about the show. This reflects a very real attitude towards women in leadership positions.
It’s nothing new to say that men have access to frictionless entry and progress opportunities in the labour market.
Here are some hard facts-
According to research by Catalyst in 2019, women leaders comprise less than 5% of the total of S&P 500 companies.
Not just corporates, but in other fields as well this discrepancy persists. Women comprise merely 24% of the national Parliamentarians.
In medicine, they form 40% of physicians and surgeons, but there are only 16% permanent medical school deans, according to American Progress.
In the legal profession in US, where there are 45% women associates, there are only 22.7% partners and 19% equity partners.
In the financial industry, there are 61% accountants, but there are only 12.5% women Chief Financial Officers in the Fortune 500 companies.
The figures speak for themselves. As soon as you go up the leadership scale, you’ll find lesser and lesser women holding the position.
‘She’s too bossy.’ ‘She’s hormonal and impulsive.’ ‘What a bitch!’
Getting boxed into stereotypes like these is sadly a common occurrence for women either competing for a leadership position or for when they exercise their role.
Another report by AAUW underscores the reason behind gender leadership gap-
Negative stereotypes about women in leadership and bias also keep women out of the top spots.
This is how women are discredited at workplaces. They’re demonised, portrayed to be impulsive. The gossip around them draws power from the larger idea- ‘bitches be crazy’.
And the fact that this fantasy drama used the EXACT TOOL to discredit Dany reflects this very attitude.
I rest my case.