Sexism in Harry Potter, with spoilers for HP4

Margaret E Parks meparks at mtholyoke.edu
Mon Oct 2 22:39:44 EDT 2000


Sally wrote:  This isn't much help, but I don't think we can expect
altruism or balance
from authors/publishers if it means they're going to lose readers and
income - do you? Would you deliberately cut your income by a third?

Actually, yes, I would cut my income for a purpose.  I was thinking about
this earlier today because
something
else, and at this point (late adolescent idealism?  Perhaps but I'm proud
of it) I think I would, providing that I was not hurting my family by
decreasing my income, or shirking some financial responsibility because of
it (college loans come to mind; I'll probably be paying for these four
years until I'm two hundred).  I'd like to think that I'd do what I
thought was right rather than what would make me the most money; and I
hope that eventually it wouldn't be losing money to write about female
heroines rather than male ones.  Boys should be reading about girls, as
much as girls are reading about boys.  (I would like to blame the
baby-sitters club. . . .)  I really think, well, really hope that some day
boys won't be looked down on for playing with dolls, people will be able
to wear any clothing without being accused of cross dressing, and that
which is female will not automatically be judged as inferior to that which
is male--that last one's something I studied last year in sociology, and
it's really quite interesting when you dissect it.  And I have no doubt
that I'm more sensitive to gender issues than most people think I should
be, but I think it's something that should be noticed.  (Can you tell I've
been reading Mary Daly for my feminist theologies class?)

and i do think that to some extent we can expect and even demand that
everyone, from publishers to broadcasters to politicians should do what's
right and not what's easy or profitable or accepted.  And I really hope
that I won't grow out of that.

Lizzie

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