'I like to think of myself as more than a head of hair or a set of looks.'
Kit Harington's character may not have had any screen time in Sunday night's episode of Game of Thrones, but his presence has certainly been felt across the web regardless. Talking to Sunday Times Magazine, the actor discussed a number of matters from falling in love with his co-star Rose Leslie (Ygritte) to his close relationship with his cousin, Laurent, who suffers from a "double diagnosis of autism and Down's syndrome." However, it's his experience of "sexism," which has really set Twitter alight.
During the interview, the conversation turns — as it often does — to the pressures of stardom and objectification. Harington begins,
“I think there is a double standard. If you said to a girl, ‘Do you like being called a babe?’ and she said, ‘No, not really,’ she’d be absolutely right. I like to think of myself as more than a head of hair or a set of looks. It’s demeaning. Yes, in some ways you could argue I’ve been employed for a look I have. But there’s a sexism that happens towards men.”
And, while you could argue that good-looks have helped the 29-year-old actor's career, it's the use of the word "sexism" which has really got people riled up.
“There’s definitely a sexism in our industry that happens towards women, and there is towards men as well. At some points during photoshoots when I’m asked to strip down, I felt that. If I felt I was being employed for just my looks, I'd stop acting."
You see, the issue Harington is addressing here is his annoyance with the shallow nature of Hollywood as an industry — not "sexism," which is something women within most industries deal with on the daily — sexual harassment, the giant pay-gap, "harmless jokes" — for example. This is not to say that the shallow manner in which Harington is addressed isn't annoying (or depressing even), it's just not quite the same thing.
And, of course, people haven't held back with letting him know that:
'You know nothing, Jon Snow'
'Objectification does not equal sexism'
Mark your words
Basically, it's a big old 'oops' all around
Of course, we love Kit Harington and Game of Thrones, and while we don't endorse this online barrage, it is important to understand the difference between objectification and sexism.
Luckily, as one soul has summarized, we 'aint gonna get anywhere without a little conversation.
What do you think should be done to tackle sexism once and for all?
Source: Sunday Times Magazine