(I accidentally posted this without answering so I’m just answering in picture form. Plus tagging man)
Okay so, first of all, wow thank you for trusting my feminism because I honestly have been told recently by people irl I’m not a feminist because I’m racist against white people and sexist against men. Whatever that means. Apparently I blame all men for things only some men do. Lmfao.
But I sort of understand your dissatisfaction with the way women are written in ASOIAF, because there is so much sexual violence against them, and in some cases, it’s much easier to like male or “tomboy” characters (I hate that term so much because like why is everything we do compared to men instead of having inherent value?) than the conventionally feminine characters. But, maybe that’s our own ingrained biases coming in, I probably definitely have many of them that I’m trying to fight out. I personally consider Arya to be written as more likable than Sansa (in AGOT anyway which influences perceptions through the series), Ned more likable than Catelyn, and Jaime and Tyrion as far more likable than Cersei, but that doesn’t mean that I’m right.
Tyrion and Jaime are given certain “they’re capable of good!!!!!” spots which Cersei isn’t very much but that could also be that we’re not given Cersei’s perspective until AFFC where she’s “psycho” to put it crudely, but to put it more accurately, suffering from a pretty severe mental breakdown and manifestation of PTSD and long standing paranoia. I personally loved it because her story was the depiction of a woman falling into madness but one that made a lot of sense from her perspective. It’s very Greek Tragedy, like Oedipus killing his father after trying so hard to evade his own prophecy, and Agamennon, and it’s a story that’s generally reserved for men, for kings, and for Cersei to get that is fascinating.
We can talk about the sexism associated with giving her the falling into madness arc, and giving Jaime the identity arc, and Tyrion, who is a rapist with so many of his own negative qualities, the antihero arc (I’m pretty sure he’s the third head of the dragon) but I don’t think Cersei’s story is misogynistically written exactly. Something about feminism is that it’s not just about women being capable of achieving everything that men can, it’s about women having the emotional range that men are given as well. Like, the anger and rage that Cersei has all through AFFC is very stereotypically male and the violence she enacts is quite masculine in nature. But her story is also infused with issues that are just inherently female in nature that few men face.
There’s the whole fact her story is a horror story about being trapped inside the patriarchy, mother sister daughter wife and has no escape. She undergoes marital abuse (not that women aren’t ever abusive to their husbands but it’s far and away more common for men to abuse their wives), she’s punished for her sexuality, and instead of being denigrated as a bad person, the Faith imprisons her for sleeping with the Kettleblacks and the mob calls her a whore, a slut, ugly, washed up etc; those are specifically gendered insults. Since the age of what, 12 or 13, women are told their worth is in their appearance and their sexuality and they’re also told to care about those things makes them vain and worthless. See the hypocrisy? The quote that comes to mind is from Cara Hoffman’s “So Much Pretty,” “There were bodies and bones. Women’s bodies, which first became coffins at puberty, a skin coffin. A place from which you will never be heard, except maybe by those who are buried nearby, or those with their ear to the ground.”
But yeah, don’t listen to people who just dismiss her as a psycho bitch. I have issues with the way Cersei’s written, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in her narrative and in her arc as it is. Just try to be objective about it and see the reasoning behind her actions instead of just resorting to “she must be crazy” rhetoric that many men love to apply to women they’re scared of because they can’t understand them.