A new season of Game of Thrones is right around the corner and with it comes yet another debate about whether or not the series—with its near-constant depictions of female nudity and rape—is sexist against women. Caaaaan’t wait!

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Already weighing in on the issue in Entertainment Weekly is the Khalessi herself, Emilia Clarke. As Daenerys Targaryen, Clarke has faced a multitude of abuses, ranging from nip-tweaking by her power-hungry brother, marital rape during her cliff-side honeymoon, and forced regular interaction with rude perv Iain Glen. These are all harrowing experiences, sure, but Clarke views them not as sexist, but representative of real world women’s issues.

There’s so much controversy. Yet that’s what’s beautiful about Game of Thrones–its depiction of women in so many different stages of development. There are women depicted as sexual tools, women who have zero rights, women who are queens but only to a man, and then there are women who are literally unstoppable and as powerful as you can possibly imagine. So it pains me to hear people taking Thrones out of context with anti-feminist spin – because you can’t do that about this show. It shows the range that happens to women, and ultimately shows women are not only equal, but have a lot of strength.

While it’s true that the arguments about sexism in Game of Thrones are often inaccurate or overwrought, it’s also true that the show can be a liiiittle sexist sometimes—a conclusion I come to not because of the abuses faced by the show’s female characters, but because of all the random brothel scenes depicting women fingering each other for no reason. Well, no reason besides than the fact that it’s not TV, it’s HBO. Also: boners.

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In the Entertainment Weekly interview, Clarke also revisited her thoughts on sex scenes:

I like how you took to Instagram awhile back to correct a quote from a party reporter who falsely claimed you said you “can’t stand” sex scenes.

It’s difficult to be misquoted and it’s nice to have something like Instagram to say the truth. How many times has [Daario actor Michiel Huisman] been asked about the fact he’s taken his clothes off a bunch? Is that even a discussion? No.

Uh, hi. I would love to start that discussion. Michiel? Any comment?


Image via HBO/Game of Thrones.