Sexism in Harry Potter with spoilers for HP4

Ven ven at
Wed Oct 4 20:46:41 EDT 2000

Lizzie wrote
> What I found most interesting about the article was a point that
> Shoefer makes on the third page: "Surely, it is girls' ability to mentally
> morph into boy's characters that enables them to enjoy the story.  True,
> this practice conditions our mental dexterity, perhaps even our empathic
> ability.  But boys, who are never expected to read "girls' books" (meaning
> books that feature a female protagonist) don't seem to require this kind
> of training."  If Harry Potter had been a girl, would boys be reading
> these books?  Why is Harry a male? 

I was lucky enough to seee Lois McMasters Bujold
on a panel with James White (Hospital Station books) about 
Heroes. A strange thing happened JW fulsomely praised LMB for 
her portrayal of Miles, saying he was a wonderful insightful creation 
and just what a hero should be. Then he moved on to discussing 
his own books and said he could never have had a female hero 
because as a man he couldn't, and couldn't be expected to, write 
from the point of view of the opposite sex. In fact he didn't think it 
could be done. He then seemed unable to grasp the contradiction --
 that he had just been praising LMB for doing that very thing. 
Maybe he thought it was just obvious that his stricture only applied 
to men.

Incidentally in Cordelia's Honour LMB writes one of the best female 
heroes I've ever seen, and with a baby quite literally in tow!


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