Game of Thrones star Kit Harington says he’s sorry for believing that men can be victims of sexism and objectification, just like women can.
Harrington, who plays Jon Snow, told a newspaper back in May that he often feels objectified by women who watch the show just to see snaps of Harington’s…er…assets…and that while he understands he was hired largely for his rugged good looks and perfect six-pack abs, but that’s just “a head of hair and a set of looks.”
“It’s demeaning,” Harington said. “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. 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.”
Harington isn’t wrong. The season finale of Game of Thrones for instance, featured a certain scene, showcasing Jon Snow’s naked body — and while it was not much more than a throwaway moment, women’s magazines penned hundreds of essays, analyzing whether Harington had used a body double.
That’s most definitely objectification.
Unfortunately, for Jon Snow, Internet feminists weren’t sympathetic to his plight, and pushed back, even threatening to boycott the show until Harington admitted that whatever objectification he might have suffered — and however personally hurtful that sexism was — he could never understand what it’s like to be sexually objectified as a woman.
And so, this week, Harington apologized for, in Game of Thrones parlance, knowing nothing.
“I was wrong there, though,” he told The Guardian. “Sexism against men is not something I should have really said. I think what I meant was, being objectified. At that time, I did feel objectified, and now I’ve learned how to control that and just shutting it down.”
“Look, I do think men can get objectified,” he continued. “I do feel I have been objectified in the past, sexually as well, in pieces that have been written about me. Has that made me feel uncomfortable in the past? Yes. Do I think my position is the same as a woman’s in society? No. They’re very different things, and I should have separated them. I was wrong.”
The thing is, poor Kit is right. He gets objectified (occasionally by, admittedly, your fair reporter). His pain isn’t more or less than any woman’s pain, simply because women, as a whole, might suffer sexism more often than men. If feminism is truly about creating a world where looks don’t dictate success, and no one should be reduced to the bare fact of their gender, it’s definitely not fair to de-legitimize someone’s pain rather than, say, turning it into a learning experience.
What Harington will learn is, of course, never say anything internet feminists will disagree with.