It kinda takes a little of the fun out it to write this, me being kind of a fan ofHarry Potter and all, but here we go. In the aftermath of the Rowling/Harry Potter mania, I am so over it and ready to criticize. J.K. Rowling has been Issued. A long time coming, folks.

*WARNING: MOST LIKELY CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS*

  1. Slavery: a part of the wizarding society but overall overlooked—look no further than Dobby the house elf, may he rest in peace, and everything surrounding him.
  2. Patriarchy &Typical Male Attitudes: for example, the attitudes presented by male characters, including but not limited to Harry and Ron, may or may not be true to life but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Let’s not forget it’s a wizard’s world.
  3. Race Representation: HP is still a very white eurocentric series despite the fact that Rowling tries to slap faces of color gratuitously here and there, hitting a lot of the spots—Asian, Black, Indian, wow! The movie is really good at this. (Given that the faces are British people of color, which sounds kind of oxymoronic for some reason.)
  4. Rowling God-Play: In an interview, when asked by disappointed fans why Hagrid was still single in her future flash-forward hints, J.K. said that she could have just killed him off. Makes you wonder how much of a god-complex she must have. Swelled head anyone?
  5. More books after HP & the Deathly Hallows—right *rolls eyes*:Now that she’s the richest writer in the world, OF COURSE she’s saying there could be more books after swearing up and down that there would only be seven. Besides, what more can she even have to say after wrapping up the series in such a way? Although one could argue that Rowling’s desire to continue the series is genuine, given the fact that she is already super-unbelievably-frickin’ rich off the thing.
  6. Richest Writer in the World–*poor and resentful*: I’m Black, female, and my work is overtly socio-political–I will never attain such heights.
  7. Wands? What the heck for?: How European and materialistic. If they’re so magical, then what the heck do they need wands for! J.K. makes it very clear that as children, they’re brimming with wandless talent. What happened? Is this a metaphor for something more?
  8. Albus Perceval Wulfric Brian Dumbledore—3 Parts:
    1. G-A-Y: I only heard J.K. Rowling say it once and it seems that no one has really mentioned it since. Did she mean it or was she just trying to get people to shut up and go away? Honestly, if its true, I’m torn: I really thought Madame Pomprey or Prof McGonagall had something going on with Dumbledore. This idealism is at war with how powerful and positive I think the statement of Dumbledore being gay is.
      I think it’s wonderful but the way she led me along was, well, misleading; the reason she held out on that little fact is probably b/c she thought the book wasn’t going to sell as well or Dumbledore wouldn’t be as popular, that’s what I’m thinking. It would have been a more powerful statement for homophobes to live with his gayness from the beginning, and not having it sprung on us outside the series in an interview by Rowling. She kept him in the literary closet for as long as she could.
    2. Talking Head for Social Justice: Dumbledore waxes poetic about the ills of the wizarding world a lot. But is it just talk and no action? He was powerful figure in the wizarding world and what did he do politically and openly in the public as part of a movement to use that influence. On the other hand, his actions spoke loud to his politics, I suppose.
    3. Not-So-Benevolent: I am so mad at the way J.K. Rowling humanized him by revealing that he used to be a bigot. Then she revealed all Machiavellian scheming, Harry for the slaughter and all. Great. Can’t we just have an almost totally benevolent elder character PLEASE! The “I was young and stupid” excuse ain’t cuttin’ it for me, keepin’ it real.
  9. Women portrayals: I am so disappointed and a little incensed at Rowling’s portrayal of Dumbledore’s mother, as the deceptive, Native-looking woman. She explicitly describes her as indigenous-looking then has the audacity to make her into the stereotypical deceptive, secretive, lying type of woman. Women are either evil and sadistic, like Bellatrix and Umbridge, smart and shrewd like McGonagall, or motherly and stereotypically feminine or feminist like Ginny, Cho, and Mrs. Weasley. Other stronger characters are left at the periphery. On the other hand, some characters are harder to typecast or categorize admittedly.
  10. Deaths: Don’t deny it! Some of the deaths at the end of the series were gratuitous and just plain J.K. Rowling god-playing. Hedwig, DOBBY!!!, Lupin, Tonks, Fred–ooooohhhhhhh, I’m so mad about that!!!
  11. Portrayals of other magical creatures: They fall into one or multiple categories, those categories being (1) benevolent, (2) one of a kind/misunderstood, (3) a controlled or dying out population, thanks to wizards, and (4) violent.
  12. “Hicks”: Why are the Gaunts portrayed as ignorant, bloodthirsty, racist “hicks”? Not so much the ignorant, racist, bloodthirsty part but the stereotype of the “hick” is what I’m concerned about. Everything else falls nicely into the story, I suppose.
  13. Pureblood Mania: Why do so many writers, through intentional or unintentional metaphor at the least, suggest that being mixed is the answer to racism? No one who has read J.K. Rowling’s books can deny that race and eugenics are woven into the story in such a way as not to be avoided or removed. Harry ends up marrying into a very old pureblood family (albeit poor) instead of a half-blood one, more analogous with his own lineage. What does that say?
  14. Ginny? Ginny!? Why!!!: Of all the people Harry could have ended up with, WHY GINNY! I was so mad when I realized the direction she was taking his love life in. So he ends up with the shy pureblood girl who is shy-no-more, who has had a crush on him since she first clapped eyes on him, who he has ignored mostly by the way. How CLICHÉ!
    1. On the other hand, Harry’s a jocky (if somewhat kind-hearted) dufus. Who doesn’t want to get with the already-famous-since 1-years old star of the Qudditch Team?
    2. Ginny. Harry. Match made in cliché romance heaven. Who am I to argue?
  15. Weak and villainous big/fat/short people: Thanks, J.K. Rowling—what I got out of your book is that fat/big people are weak, easily manipulated, funny, stupid, and sometimes villains. Her representation and body image politics are absolutely abysmal! Look no further than Hagrid, Slughorn, and Umbridge. (Hagrid being the best crafted of them all.)
  16. Crassness: Sometimes, probably because its written mostly from the third person perspective of a little boy, and deals with mostly ignorant teenagers, I found bits of the series a bit crass.

Issued,

~Ms. Queenly

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One thought on “Issued: J.K. Rowling

  1. The first time i read the Harry Potter books i pictured Hermione as a black girl. Partly because the initial descriptions of her characters appearance were so vague and partly because once i have formed a picture of how i think a character should look my brain just ignores any description/reference to their physical appearance that contradicts my picture of them. If they had never made movies of the Harry Potter books i would probably still be unaware that Hermione is meant to be white and that Snape doesnt have a badass mustache 😦

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