I don’t get how people can call Cersei a “feminist”. She doesn’t want women to have equal rights with men, she want to have power just to herself. She basically wants to be a man herself! She always goes on and on about how she could be such a great king, how she should be born a man, yadda yadda . And she thinks she would be a better ruler than Tywin.
I don’t think people call Cersei a “feminist” and mean it in the same way people mean it today when they declare themselves as being “feminist”. They mean it, because she says something relevant to feminist dialogue - to finding ways to survive within patriarchal structures and finding ways to rebel from oppressive frameworks using the limited tools at her disposal. Sure, she’s not a benevolent other-woman living feminist, and her body is a battleground for her where it’s both a tool she exploits and a weapon used against so of course she yearns for the perceived simplicity of being a man, but apart from the Dornish - who are raised in that environment - who even is?
Dear, no, you wouldn’t. You’re just not smart, wise, self-controlled and observant enough, and switching gender wouldn’t add to you such qualities. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for badass women, who run complicated intrigues and outsmart men. Look at Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns. That’s how you do it!
EDIT: Just to avoid misunderstanding and save you some energy - I don’t think that Cersei is dumb, because everyone does stupid things sometimes, and I don’t think that liking her is wrong.
Well, about feminism. Cersei raised Joffrey, who doesn’t even have Viserys’ excuses like insanity and dire childhood to be a total jackass. He beats and abuses Sansa publically, and Cersei thinks there’s nothing wrong with it, even though she got the similar treatment from Robert. How the hell she’s a feminist after that?
Well not really. Considering that Joffrey is crown prince and heir to throne, Cersei’s influence in his upbringing would have been tangential at best. He would have been brought up by a whole host of other people - including maesters, septas, etc who presumably would have been fairly overindulgent with him, considering his status and position. Joffrey’s supposed to be a symbol of royal entitlement (plus a symbol of the perils of a child-king, something that’s historically caused so many problems it actually gets a mention in the Scriptures). Cersei doesn’t “raise” Joffrey by any stretch of the imagination. Plus, aren’t you forgetting Joffrey’s ‘faux’ and ‘real’ fathers, Robert and Jaime? Both of whom do Joffrey a massive disservice by neglecting him and Robert does even further damage by spending a lifetime showing Joffrey that it’s acceptable to abuse your wife. You’re pointing the finger at Cersei for what happens to Sansa but I find it pretty offensive and sexist that you don’t once bring up Robert whose example Joffrey presumably learns from. Cersei shouldn’t deserve to bear the brunt of Joffrey’s failures - particularly when Tommen and Myrcella turn out so well and she probably has more of a hand in the latters’ upbringing because they’re not as important as her first-born, the future heir to the throne.
Oh, and her “lesbian affairs”. She sleeps with Taena not out of affection or even real desire. All that she wants is to feel like a man, to have a control, to be the one who uses a partner.
“She wondered what it would feel like to suckle on those breasts, to lay the Myrish woman on her back and push her legs apart and use her as a man would use her, the way Robert would use her when the drink was in him, and she was unable to bring him off with hand or mouth.”
Really, get a strapon, it should relieve at least some tension. And I’m not trying to insult her there.
Yeah…except you kind of are? Cersei spends seventeen years in an abusive marriage where she’s raped on a regular basis and she can’t even protest it, because it’s institutionalised. She kills her husband but never feels as though she’s really achieved “closure” because she’s a rape survivor whose living in a world that doesn’t even acknowledge the violence done to her. So she’s haunted by the memories of her marriage and trying to find closure through proxy with Taena and it is pretty insulting to reduce her plight to jokes about strap-ons.
And about her ability to rule. She can’t. She’s too self-centered, short-tempered, prideful; all her plans are emotional-driven and poorly thought-out. I’m not touching any moral aspects now, because you don’t need to be a good person to be an efficient ruler, but she doesn’t care about common folk at all. And when you forget that “simple people” should be satisfied too, wait for a revolution, baby.
She’s terrible judge of character. She surrounds herself with either incompetent people or spies, and alienates everyone other for the sake of her arrogance. Tyrion is always a vile monster behind everything for her, and she’s just blind for the real threats. Okay, Littlefinger, Varys and the Queen of Thorns are too cunning for her, but new High Septon doesn’t even try to hide who he is! He has “incorruptible zealot” written all over his face, and what Cersei does about it? She permits him to form his own army, legally! Then she sends a greedy bastard to try and fool this man. How anyone can think it’s a good plan?
She sent Falyse Stokeworth and Ser Balman Byrch to kill Bronn. How stupid it is? Come on, is there anyone who even for a second thought that they’ll manage? Those characters are basically comic reliefs! Simba didn’t send Timon and Pumba to assassinate Scar, Cersei. Some Lioness you are!
She doesn’t know how to use her own advantages, though she fancies herself a great manipulator. I mean, think for a second. You were forced to marry a man you don’t love. Yeah, that’s really wrong, that should not happen, but it happened and you have to live with it. In the same situation Dany manages to make the vicious barbarian, whose language she barely speaks and knows nothing about his culture, to respect her and listen to her; and all actives that she had was the batshit insane brother-tyrant. Cersei had all influence and gold of Casterly Rock and Tywin behind her, and she couldn’t manipulate spineless Robert, who basically doesn’t care about politics. Hide your hate and disgust, drown him in beer and throw him a hooker when he’s horny, and he’ll think you’re the best wife and let you rule. Even if he won’t shut up about his precious Lyanna, he’d respect you. I’m not saying that I approve any of those marriages; I just want to show the difference in how those women handle the same hurtful problem.
This is the thing about Cersei though: she’s a Lannister footsoldier, first and foremost. One thing the Lannisters are used to is being on shifting grounds, they’re always hungering for power and trapped just outside it, on the peripheries of the game. This is true during the Targareyen era, and it’s true again during the Baratheon era. What Cersei knows, better than anything, is how to play the game from the outside. I understand disliking her choices when she is Queen but how can you empirically state that she is a bad manipulator, watching how masterfully she played the game in the first book? It’s objectively untrue. She is a great cunning mind. She single-handedly instruments the rise of the Lannisters to the Iron Throne in the first book and you can’t dismiss that point blank and say she self-deludes herself into believing she’s a great manipulator in AFFC because HELLO, she WINS the game. She’s Queen! She didn’t get there by being a bad manipulator. Sure, her judgements once she comes to power are flawed and sloppy because she doesn’t understand how to play the game from an inside position but that doesn’t make her not a great manipulator.
And your statements about Robert and Cersei’s handling of their marriage are kind of gross. Sorry, but you’re reducing the incredibly complex, incredibly problematic male-female power dynamics of Westeros into something glib and simplistic, that Cersei isn’t clever enough to navigate. Just stop. (Especially because, in the battlefield that her marriage becomes, Cersei wins and Robert ends up split open by a boar.)
Cersei is an interesting, tragic and complicated character, but she’s not a good queen. Sorry for an awful English, it’s not my first language.