On Women’s Day, Emilia Clarke Makes a Plea & Addresses Game of Thrones Nudity

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouri

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouri

Today is International Women’s Day — A day to commemorate the movement for women’s rights and to campaign for their enforcement and further reinforcement. In this tumultuous year, for many women this day is particularly special, taking the form of “A Day Without a Woman” — a women’s strike to demonstrate the value they add to society, which they do while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.

Here on Watchers on the Wall we wanted to commemorate this crucial day — and the crucial half of the population that systematically gets the shaft. We are not alone on the GOT sphere: Emilia Clarke agreed to become a guest editor for The Huffington Post UK in its “All Women Everywhere” edition, and she has strong words to share with us on this very special day. Below the cut, Clarke also discusses her nude appearances on Game of Thrones — or more accurately, she discusses why she shouldn’t have to.

In this Huffington Post UK editorial, Clarke expounds on her feminist background and when, much later, she realized the world wasn’t quite like she had learned it should be:

“It was a recognised matter of fact that I, as a woman, was no different to my brother. Just as my mum was no different from my father in their careers, therefore I was raised in an equal earning, equally managed household that showed me anything a man could do, a woman could and should do too. So I grew up with a voice, but it was not a shared voice of a generation, and it was only much later I realised what an incredible, feminist, start to life I had been given.”

She feels an obligation to use her celebrity soapbox to reach further than others can. Guest editing “All Women Everywhere” is the actress’ way to become more involved in women’s rights, influenced by the historic Women’s March this past January 21st, as well as by her acting roles, which likely include the “breaker of chains” Daenerys Targaryen:

“As my best friend would put it, I am a girl-boss, and I am in an industry where if I speak out against inequality I have a platform, and might be lucky enough to have a chance of being heard. The roles I’ve played have given me an insight into what it feels like to be a woman who stands up to inequality and hate, and stands out as a feminist.”

Clarke goes on to address her own experiences with gender inequality, and how the media’s response to GOT has shaped her views on certain issues, particularly nudity:

“Do I get treated equally at work? Not always. Does every woman? No, and the statistics back that up. Do I get asked questions at press junkets by men and women alike, specifically because they will get headline grabbing responses coming from a young woman? Yes. If you’ve watched Game of Thrones then, spoiler, you will have seen me in the nude. There are plenty of ways in which people want me to respond to questions about this fact. And plenty of reasons why I do not feel the need to justify myself.”

Finally, the actress makes an appeal to which I hope everyone in the comment section below pays close attention — Just as people have a right to discuss feminist aspects of the series in a civilized manner (and they will certainly find such a platform on this site), Clarke does too, and her editorial should be equally respected. Her appeal is simple:

“Little small acts of kindness can add up to a big movement. On this International Women’s Day I am not proposing a big idea, I will leave that to the leaders and politicians; instead I propose that each and every one of us start to re-energise our kindness gene, give it power and share it with each other, with our sisters and brothers.

As I read recently, kindness is sexy, it’s good for us, it makes us feel happy and valued. Positive action starts with small individual deeds that accumulate over time and become a movement… a movement toward a more equal society where kindness anchors our feet to the ground while giving us the momentum to keep chipping away together.

With my voice, I hope the feminist mind set my family instilled in me becomes the new normal, and boys and girls are raised to know they are equal.”

24 responses

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    1. Emilia is such a good person. She definitely has won my respect. This site is also run by a bunch of badass boss women too I think. Have a good day ladies! 🙂

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    2. You know what’s crazy? Two weeks ago a fansite reviewed the “Costumes” article notes I made on GoTWiki for Qarth, which explains that while Clapton designed the book-Qarth dress which leaves one breast exposed, Clarke didn’t want to have that in the show because she felt it would detract from the dramatic integrity and dignity of the scenes – and not just Clarke, logically, there would be crowd scenes like at the elite garden party in Qarth filled with women wearing the one-breast-exposed dress.

      Now I completely agreed with her reasons,
      that this would detract from the scene for her personally, and wouldn’t work as a crowd – heck I’d even have agreed that she personally was uncomfortable with it, regardless of dramatic integrity (it would have been too distracting in long dialogue scenes).

      Now here’s the crazy thing….a fansite reviewed the notes I posted on that and was very upset that they didn’t use the book-Qarth dress, leaving one breast exposed. And were kind of annoyed that the wiki’s writeup actually agreed with Clarke instead of criticizing the change.

      Apparently it was some line of argument by the women on this other fansite that “breasts aren’t obscene” and shouldn’t have been treated as such.

      Well, Clarke really didn’t want to do it, and I agreed with her reasons.

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    3. Let’s “start to re-energize our kindness gene, give it power and share it with each other, with our sisters and brothers…. [K]indness is sexy, it’s good for us, it makes us feel happy and valued.”

      Amen, Sister Emilia

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    4. The Qarth boob dress is stupid anyways. The bar in fantasy is so low that male writers get hailed to high heaven as allies for doing the bare minimum with writing one or two female characters relatively ok, while getting away with dumb male gaze-y crap like this (among other questionable stuff).

      Anyway, back to Emilia. It was so gross how people were speculating and even complaining about her allegedly having a no-nudity clause 2 seasons or so ago. Let her live and negotiate what she wants.

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    5. Aryamad:
      Emilia is such a good person. She definitely has won my respect. This site is also run by a bunch of badass boss women too I think. Have a good day ladies!

      What you said, Aryamad!

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    6. Brava, Emilia. I’ve never understood why it’s so impossible for so many institutions, businesses, governments, etc to not let women rise to their full potential. They are kept out, kept back, and kept down, or just plain hidden in so many ways…none of which make sense. The many women who have the brains and abilities and talent and perseverence contribute so much. But so many more who are just as capable aren’t allowed to…or get no/little credit (see ‘Hidden Figures’). A few years ago Maisie Williams said something that was almost profound, coming from a 15-16 year old. It was something like most humans are basically feminists, and everyone else is just a sexist. IMO, being humans means being equal, being treated equally, and treating other humans the same way.

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    7. Happy day, you wonderful ladies – mods, GOT actresses and fellow fans! Most of you won’t even know about my wishes, but I’m sending them anyway, hoping that a ray of sunshine will reach all of you!

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    8. Flayed Potatoes,

      Pretty ridiculous considering what she actually said is she would no longer do naked scenes for gratifications only but she would if it was meaningful to the story. Dany coming out of the fire was meaningful, Dany stepping out of the bath for original Daario was gratification.
      What I don’t get is why people think Emilia should always get naked when barely any of the main characters do, Kit was twice I think in the entire show, Nickolaj the closest we got was the bath scene, same with Gwen, Lena (does have a shit load of tattoo’s) although we’ve seen her intimate scenes she was always had clothes on and her walk of shame was with a body double, obviously they’d never show Maisie, Sophie and Issac due to their age, Natalie we only saw once or twice, Nathalie we saw once, Carice is the only one we saw quite a bit. So I have no idea why Emilia is being held to a higher standard to the rest if the cast when she’s been naked a lot more times than the rest of them.

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    9. The Dragon Demands,

      Some people feel entitled to seeing Emilia naked: look at how some responded to her keeping her clothes on during season 2: “Bah, she must think she’s a big star!” During season 5, she had to convince people that she appeared nude rather than using a body double. People just soured on her and made lots of jibes about some alleged no-nudity clause.

      I understand that not everyone is enamoured by her performance but the atttention given to her nudity is just bizarre. I don’t see people getting angry or irate over any of the male stars getting naked one season and then being clothed the next, no conspiracies or falsely attributed quotes (as happened to Clarke), nothing.

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    10. The Dragon Demands,

      I agree it would have been ridiculous, Clarke was right. Those people who said breast is not obscene and that they should have fashioned dress with one peeking out smh I wonder…ball sack is not obscene (Or is it, if so why haha?) but would have been silly to have men during serious conversations etc. with theirs hanging through a cut out in their pants right?

      Anyways, As to her quote about growing up in an equally managed household that showed her anything a man could do, a woman could and should do too I think that’s great for some but personally I need my husband to do the heavy lifting, as I’m not near physically as strong as him. There’s nothing wrong if both happen to fit traditional roles better.

      I’m curious why all of a sudden women think they have to protest for equality. In what way have their rights eroded? I know there are always case by case but overall I had no idea so many women felt disenfranchised in this country.

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    11. Ten Bears,

      I love her attitude. And yes, I see it all the time, many modern women think being kind is passe, seen as “weak” etc. They take pride in being “bitches.” I don’t relate to this. I like kind and tactful people. I think Emilia would be a great friend.

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    12. ygritte:
      The Dragon Demands,

      I’m curious why all of a sudden women think they have to protest for equality. In what way have their rights eroded? I know there are always case by case but overall I had no idea so many women felt disenfranchised in this country.

      You really don’t understand? It has to do with the anti-woman rhetoric from a certain once candidate, now President on the United States. And after taking a look at the proposed healthcare plan released this week, we need to continue to keep our voices loud and strong.

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    13. Awesome speech Emelia! I agree completely – kill them with kindness, when possible… When not, be ready to fight.

      I’m a bit ashamed to say that I didn’t realize it was international women’s day. I was way too busy at my (traditionally restricted to the male-gender) career, and then at home with my daughter to even derp on the internet yesterday! So… in some ways I guess I was sort of living the day. 🙂

      KinginNorthEast:
      She just disqualified herself from a lot of jobs.

      wtf

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    14. KinginNorthEast:
      She just disqualified herself from a lot of jobs.

      KinginNorthEast,

      Even if that is remotely true, I’m sure the jobs you speak of are not exactly the ones that Emilia would want in the first place. I don’t think she needs to be on late night Cinemax movies at this point. She can pretty much get whatever role she wants.

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    15. ygritte,

      Its not that their rights have eroded. Its that they have never had the rights that men do just because they are men.

      There are plenty of ways in which people want me to respond to questions about this fact. And plenty of reasons why I do not feel the need to justify myself.”

      Amen sister. I never understood why public figures felt they had to answer impertant questions that frankly were not their business. She has done nothing wrong, and does not need to justify herself to anyone

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    16. Stark Raven’ Rad: I’ve never understood why it’s so impossible for so many institutions, businesses, governments, etc to not let women rise to their full potential.

      Because they are run by dinosaurs and their offspring. A female VP once said she mostly hires women because she can make them work harder.

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