Yara Greyjoy herself appeared on the UK's SkyNews and gave a solid interview about her work on Game Of Thrones.
Whelan was first asked about how she likes playing Greyjoy.
"I enjoy playing her. It's a lot of my qualities just with the volume turned up a bit. I don't murder people, obviously."
Adam Boulton, the SkyNews anchor interviewing her, then brought a question to the forefront that caused Whelan to give a hearty sigh:
"One of the arguments about Game of Thrones is, 'Does it empower women or does it objectify them?'"
Gemma Whelan(Yara Greyjoy) - Men are never asked what it's like to play a strong man. #GameofThrones https://t.co/evGmdXBQcI— Haggis_UK #FBPE 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK #FBPE 🇬🇧 🇪🇺) 1555320192.0
"I feel like it's empowering," Whelan began.
I certainly do. For me, playing Yara.
The question I'm asked most often is, 'What's it like to play such a strong female character?' And I think it's such a redundant question because women by default are strong, and independent and free, and all the sort of spectrum of emotions as are men.
But men are never asked, 'What's it like to play a strong man.'
“The question I am asked most is what it is like playing a strong female character. “I think it is such a redundan… https://t.co/dPx6n89mOS— Scott Bryan (@Scott Bryan) 1555335858.0
This sentiment is not only true, but has been being expressed at LEAST since the '90s.
Joss Whedon, lead writer on Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, said that interviewers ask him "Why do you write strong female characters?"
The only response he has is "Because you're still asking me that question."
Joss Whedon's Equality Now speech www.youtube.com
And in general, men seem to not have a solid grasp on "strong female characters."
As Whelan said, women are, by default, strong.
male writers: this character isn’t like OTHER female characters. she’s strong. me: what makes her strong? male writ… https://t.co/AyN9I1tNDu— sarah (@sarah) 1555345288.0
I must say it again. We had always strong female characters at StarWars. There was no reason to destroy male charac… https://t.co/U0mrAGPZIm— Scarlet💫 (@Scarlet💫) 1555278923.0
if you think a “strong female character” only means a woman who can use a sword and fight in heels while her lipsti… https://t.co/UWzm1MT6jA— ⁿᶦˢʰᵃ (@ⁿᶦˢʰᵃ) 1555350553.0
every time i see the words “strong female character” i want to groan, especially when they’re written by men. men d… https://t.co/bG6MQ5ceuw— sarah (@sarah) 1555345182.0
nobody: not a single soul: lexa stans: let’s compare lexa, a strong female character to every other strong female… https://t.co/QPR8eTwVaC— bonnie (@bonnie) 1555342718.0
1979: Princess Leia is a strong female character, but isn’t she maybe a little too strong and not female enough? (A… https://t.co/W05SCmLvQJ— jere🦆my (@jere🦆my) 1555308710.0
Men are so bad at this, in fact, that there are whole workshops dedicated to basically "making sure you write your women as people."
Houston writers! Sign up today for our Crafting Strong Women: A Generative Fiction Writing Workshop and come on May… https://t.co/DS2HzfDiKG— Spider Road Press (@Spider Road Press) 1555277410.0
A test exists for female characters in fiction called the "Sexy Lamp Test."
The "Sexy Lamp Test" basically says—if your female character can be replaced by a sexy lamp and the plot of the story will remain untouched; you have not written a person. You have written a sexy lamp.
"Sexy Lamp Test" http://t.co/xnWIgXWi9M http://t.co/9HXlADYupV— meresger 🍸 (@meresger 🍸) 1427769688.0
if your script doesn't pass the sexy lamp test, throw it away— eggy (@eggy) 1532969721.0
Dear writers, if the Bechdel Test is too hard for you, do try to pass the Sexy Lamp Test, OK? http://t.co/PaweSODssa— Stephanie Leary (@Stephanie Leary) 1372682198.0
In Stockholm. Have just learnt the 'sexy lamp' test in films. Basically asks: would plot change if female character substituted with a lamp?— Jojo Moyes (@Jojo Moyes) 1394566740.0
Sexy Lamp Test: If you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp & the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.— Katja Herbers (@Katja Herbers) 1505263148.0
Dear all writers but mostly men, It’s one thing to have your token female character not even pass the sexy lamp te… https://t.co/E9IYgQq15C— 🦕 (@🦕) 1542068311.0
Gemma Whelan is right. Women are inherently strong.
When men generally learn to consider women as real people, they will stop asking this question.