Popular Culture: Harry Potter: October 2007 Archives

October 23, 2007

Handbags at dawn

There has been, as you might expect, some reaction from certain Christians concerning J.K. Rowling's revelation that one of her characters is gay. Not all the reaction is what you might expect though. John Mark Reynolds, a Creationistwho has weebled on about how delightfully Christian the Harry Potter books are is really, really upset, and insists that Ms. Rowling does not know her figment of her own imagination as well as he does. No way can Dumbledore be gay, he proclaims, and if he is, why did she not mention it earlier?

She wrote about Christianity openly by Book Seven, but if Dumbledore was gay, she decided to hide it. She hid it so well that there is no evidence of it.

But was it that well-hidden? In a comment on Making Light, Rob Hansen recalls a conversation with a literary critic:

I remember Roz Kaveney telling me at the time the book appeared that she read the Grindelward/Dumbledore relationship that way and that she figured Rowling had been careful to write it the way she had to forestall the howls of outrage from the usual far-right/religious reich cretins.

Comments elsewhere have linked to where Kaveney put that thought into writing but, naturally, I can't find any of them now. Nor does Reynolds' argument, that Rowling is no longer the sole "owner" of her own intellectual property, that coherent either.

No offense to an excellent author, but Dumbledore no longer belongs only to Rowling. He also belongs to her readers who have been given a series of books in which Rowling was free to say what she wanted to say.

Alas, for this argument, we have fanfic, where the readers take other authors' characters and write their own stories about them. If the fanfic is anything to go by, then the readers have concluded, in a loud and unanimous voice, that not only is Dumbledore gay (and probably really, really kinky with it), but so are all the other characters. And they're all at it with one another!

(via Pharyngula)

Catching up

Some stories I missed, or didn't get round to writing about:

  • A woman who falsely accused her father of raping her as a child after undergoing recovered memory therapy on the NHS has reached an out-of-court settlement with Tayside NHS. The treatment is responsible for a number of claims of Satanic abuse, though this case had no such elements. Settlement for bogus abuse womanBBC News, 20th October 2007.
  • It seems that it's not only the Roman Catholic Church which has been covering up child sexual abuse by its clergy. The Church of England has a similar problem. C of E child abuse was ignored for decades The Daily Telegraph, 22nd October 2007. (Thank you to Andrew Ian Dodge.)
  • OMFG!!!!! A fictional character is a poof! That should upset the fundies even more. Rowling Says Dumbledore Is GayNewsweek, 19th October 2007. (My favourite quote from J.K. Rowling on the matter is in the BBC News version of the story: Oh, my god, the fan fiction.)
  • The case of a Christian magistrate who resigned because his bigotry restricted his ability to do his job has reached an industrial tribunal. Christian JP forced out over gay adoption cases, tribunal hearsThe Guardian, 22nd October 2007. See also WWJD?: Lies and Blackmail!Prattle, January 26th 2007.

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This page is an archive of entries in the Popular Culture: Harry Potter category from October 2007.

Popular Culture: Harry Potter: September 2007 is the previous archive.

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