ravenclaw eagle

The Noble Sport of Warlocks: notes

I just participated in the 2012 Harry Potter Interhouse Fest on LiveJournal. This was prompt 73:
Characters: Heidi Bell, Katie Macavoy
Female bonding over being two women in the British and Irish League. Despite the presence of an all-female team (which neither of them play for), professional Quidditch is still very much a man's world. Friendly competition and kickass women!
So, my reactions to this were, in no particular order:
-“Quidditch gen? Awesome! I want to write for this!”
-“To what extent is Quidditch a man's world? How do we know?”
-“Who the **** is Heidi Macavoy?”
Well, I eventually did write for the prompt. But not before trying to dive into what we can learn about the world of professional Quidditch, and a bunch more we can guess and wonder.

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Sexism, Double-Standards, and Misogyny in HP Fandom

Let's be clear, I don't care about tolerance, I care about truth, justice, and the American Way progress. And I definitely don't care about tolerance when it comes to tolerating opinions that are frankly sexist (or racist or heterosexist or some other ism). While some in fandom bemoaned when "social justice warriors" took over, I welcomed our new overlords. I've been in fandom for sixteen years now, have been watching the HP fandom for several, and been a part of it for five. And needless to say, I've seen a lot of bullshit in that time. Why I am so old in fandom years that I remember when fans used to say that the way women and POCs were written in canon were so inherently problematic that the most feminist and progressive thing to do was to ignore them and just focus on the white dudes.

Really. Go look through the archives of metafandom, entire essays built around that very premise were de rigeur before ~2008.

This was a serious attitude and a common one at that. So yes, I was happy when fandom seemed to say "enough" and the trolls were driven back. Unfortunately, five years after the books finished and a year after the movies have, there are still some people stuck in the past. These poor dears, when using such well-reasoned arguments as "So-and-So is a Mary Sue!" are often left confused when these arguments meet resistance. Everyone over at FictionAlley and their insanejournal community thinks they're brilliant, so what's wrong with these people at LJ and tumblr?

The problem isn't that you dislike these characters. I don't care much for the twins or the Marauders. I don't hate them, I just don't like them much either. It's not because they're obnoxious, I like plenty of obnoxious characters. Ginny can be an obnoxious character and I like her. It's not because they could be bullies, which they could. Draco was a bigger bully than the twins and his bigotry made him worse than James and Sirius but I like him. It's just that, for whatever reason, these characters don't do much for me. It happens.

And it's not about being "politically-correct". I hate fandom's tendency of creating "feminist purity tests" and measuring female characters against them only to inevitably find them wanting and fail them for being human. Has traditionally feminine interests? Fail. Cried, at all, ever? Fail. Wanted a man to like them? Fail. Has ever had a moment of weakness? Fail.

This is about holding female characters to a higher standard than their male counterparts and tearing them down when they inevitably fall short. But more importantly, it's about tired-ass arguments that really need to be put out to pasture already.
Accessorising for Death Eaters

(no subject)

As the new information about the Malfoy family has finally lured me to sign up to Pottermore my interest in Harry Potter has resurfaced again. I have long thought about making some sort of timeline for the generation that attended Hogwarts during the first war.

This is written mainly as a resource for those who write Marauder era fic, in which I try to summarise and reconcile the information JKR has given about the age of the characters. Mainly for those who write the Marauder era fanfic with the characters I am interested in, which would be the Death Eaters of that generation. Those who write of the actual Marauders have fewer problems, since it seems well established that they were in fact in the same year.

Those who write about the Slytherins of this era seem very canon-conscientious, which does them credit. It is just that the fic is ever so much more interesting if everyone we know about in the correct age go to school together.

Marauder Era Timeline Conundrum

I may post a second part with fanfic recs fitting to the theme.

Dissecting the Dursleys (Part 1)

“You should keep an eye on Dudley. It’s probably too late for Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. I feel sorry for Dudley. I might joke about him, but I feel truly sorry for him because I see him as just as abused as Harry. Though, in probably a less obvious way. What they are doing to him is inept, really. I think children recognize that. Poor Dudley. He's not being prepared for the world at all, in any reasonable or compassionate way, so I feel sorry for him."
–J.K. Rowling, November 2000

A slight spasm crossed Uncle Vernon’s large purple face. The mustache bristled. Harry thought he knew what was going on behind the mustache: a furious battle as two of Uncle Vernon’s most fundamental instincts came into conflict. Allowing Harry to go would make Harry happy, something Uncle Vernon had struggled against for thirteen years. On the other hand, allowing Harry to disappear to the Weasleys’ for the rest of the summer would get rid of him two weeks earlier than anyone could have hoped, and Uncle Vernon hated having Harry in the house.
--Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“You did not do as I asked. You have never treated Harry as a son. He has known nothing but neglect and often cruelty at your hands. The best that can be said is that he has at least escaped the appalling damage you have inflicted upon the unfortunate boy sitting between you.”
Both Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon looked around instinctively, as though expecting to see someone other than Dudley squeezed between them.
--Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

To the fandom at large:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but…

If you think the Dursleys did not abuse Harry, or that he somehow deserved it… please, never have children. You know what—just stay away from children entirely. I’m not even remotely kidding.


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The Death of Nicholas Flamel

Nicholas Flamel was born around 1325. He died soon after June of 1992. Flamel was able to live for so long because, as clearly one of the most brilliant wizards of all time, he had made the only known philosopher's stone.

Despite his brilliancy and longevity, we are asked to believe that, although he had managed to keep the stone safe from who knows how many dark lords for approximately 600 years, he was unable to protect it from Voldemort and prevent its destruction in 1992.

I'm not sure I believe it, so I've been exploring other possibilities for what may have happened. Collapse )