I wish I was in college just so I could have a reason write an essay on how the Wizarding World in Harry Potter is actually a dystopia and how the rejection of Muggle science and technology has created a jaded society in which there has been no advancement since the 19th century (radio, transportation, indoor plumbing — ignoring that the indoor plumbing is incongruous to what we know about the era Hogwarts was built).
Even with the acknowledgement that magic interferes with electricity (and ignoring the fact that if there’s a way to review memories using a stone basin, there is surely a way to run a television using magic), the students at Hogwarts still use Dark Age equivalents to modern objects that don’t run on batteries. For example, why are they using quills and scrolls when a pen and paper is more efficient? I mean they aren’t even using a fountain pen! The only inventions we see in the books are from the Weasley twins’ joke shop.
Wizarding children aren’t expected to learn basic subjects such as math or English or basic science. Which would make Harry smarter than many of his classmates just for having a few years of arithmetic.
The Wizarding population, too, seems to be curiously slow growing. While Rowling herself said that the population in Britain is around 3,000, the number is likely to be between 12,000 and 15,000 which is still a ridiculously low number for a population that has been around at least 10 centuries (Hogwarts was founded in the 9th or 10th century). With the rapidity of Muggleborns appearing at Hogwarts, the Wizarding World of Britain should see an exponential population growth, especially coupled with the fact that life expectancy is well into the 100s. If the British population is 56 million, then I should think that the population of the Wizarding World should be a significant portion of that. This almost seems to suggest that either procreation isn’t important except to the few or being born without magical powers or early death is a lot more common than we know about.
(Actually, if there was an increase in the number of Squibs being born many generations ago, then it makes sense that there would be an increase in the number of Muggleborns now — Muggleborns are descended from Squibs.)
There’s also the curiosity that other Wizarding countries seem to be apathetic to problems happening in Britain. Surely if an overpowered megalomaniac were terrorizing Britain with the intent of killing Muggles and Muggleborns, there’d be support from other wizarding governments to overthrow him. I can’t imagine the American or European governments sitting idly by if they cared even a little bit. So where were they at the Battle of Hogwarts?
There’s also this disturbing fact that is ignored by pretty much every fan that consent just doesn’t exist. Not even in a sexual abuse way (though can we talk about how severely creeped out by the idea of a Full-Body Bind?)! I’m talking every day consent. An eleven year old with a wand can cast a hex on you to do whatever they want — you could humiliate yourself, hurt yourself, fall in love, or do any number of things that you do not consent to.
Speaking of which, eleven year olds are given permission and are often not punished for harming their peers. Stinging hexes and trip jinxes and bat bogey hexes are apparently okay things to teach children! And if they use it on each other, no one cares! They make 13 year olds face their greatest fears in a classroom of peers. No one seems to review lesson plans to see if dangerous beasts are really appropriate lessons for children. There’s no supervision in the dorms beyond a perfunctory spell that stops boys from going into the girls dorm (but apparently it doesn’t stop girls from going into the boys dorm).
And this doesn’t even get into the totalitarian government or the overzealous prejudice shown by the elite. Which is just a little too obviously dystopic to even talk about.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m glad I didn’t get my Hogwarts letter. The Wizarding World clearly isn’t the utopia we thought it was when we were all 11.
Yeah no seriously I think it’s mostly due to how embarrassingly sloppy Rowling was at worldbuilding but Hogwarts would be a fucking nightmare
Most of this is true and I’ve always known that it’s a pretty fucked-up civilization they have there. But.
Regarding the education system, Hogwarts is not primary education. You’re supposed to already know how to read and do arithmetic. Muggle-borns would have learned that from regular school, and the children of witches and wizards would likely be homeschooled or have tutors. The Weasleys certainly all knew how to read. You can learn basic shit at home too. If through some oversight some kid managed not to learn it, there are probably remedial classes to catch them up. Reading and writing are used in almost every class, and arithmetic is probably used in potions, arithmancy, and others. Harry and his friends didn’t need such classes, and few eleven-year-olds would, so it didn’t come up.
Intelligence does not correlate to education. Even if Harry was better-educated than some of his peers, that would not make him necessarily smarter than them. Correlating intelligence with education has been used in oppression, because education is a highly classed issue and not everyone has access to it.
I’ve read a lot of great essays about how fandom is female-majority and creates a female gaze and a safe space for women and etc. But spend five minutes in fandom and you’ll have an unsettling question.
Why does a female-majority, feminist culture hate female characters so much?
It’s not a question of if it happens. You know it does. You can go into any fandom and see it. Some fandoms are worse than others, but it’s always there. Scroll down the Tumblr tag for any show, movie, book, comic, whatever, and you’ll see nothing but love for the men, and a lot of unjustified hate for the women, maybe with a few defenders here and there insisting on their love for the women in the face of all that hate.
To be clear, we’re not talking about female villains. Male villains get just as much hate. It’s fine if you hate Bellatrix Lestrange or Dolores Umbridge, you’re supposed to. (I personally stan for Bella, but I realize that wasn’t the authorial intent.) This is about people hating Hermione, Ginny and Luna, but loving Harry, Ron and Neville. This is about how ambiguous male antiheroes, like Snape, Zuko, or pretty much any male vampire protagonist can get away with walking that fine line between good and evil and not only remain sympathetic, but be even more beloved for how ~tortured~ he is, but when a female character is morally gray that bitch has to die.
So you can’t tell me it’s okay that you hate Sansa because you also hate Joffrey and he’s a dude. They’re not comparable. It isn’t even comparable if you pick a female antihero. Let’s do this apples to apples, here.
We all know that fandom does this. We all know that it’s fucked up and symptomatic of internalized sexism. What’s really fucking weird about it, though, is that the women doing this hating often aren’t ignorant. These are feminists. These are women who can go on meta-analyses of the writing. Some will hide behind pseudo-feminist reasons for their hate—oh, it’s the writing, we just aren’t given strong female characters! (I saw this used for the women of AtLA: Katara, Toph, Azula, et al. This was about when I just backed away slowly because I know a lost cause when I see it.) I’ve seen women who denied being sexist, but couldn’t name a single female character they liked. And it’s always that the female characters aren’t good enough, even when they obviously have a double standard, and they’re measuring women on an impossible scale full of contradictions and no-win binds, while the men are just embraced and loved pretty much for existing.
The reaction nearly every time one of these women is called out is not to say, “Huh, you may have a point, I should examine the way I judge and process women’s actions more closely,” but an insistence of their feminism, followed by a more detailed description of why that particular woman is terrible and she hates her, as if the whole point were not that fandom is already oversaturated with that kind of hate, and as if the person doing the calling out were not already 110% done with that bullshit.
Particularly telling is that male-dominated corners of fandom do not have this problem. They fetishize, they objectify, they ignore. They don’t hate like this.
We know it happens. What I want to know is WHY.
Theories follow below the cut.
johnlock? no. john locke. right to property. social contract. classical liberalism.
When I find myself in times of trouble,
Donna Noble comes to me,
Speaking words of wisdom,
I’ll see you soon
Augh. That last gif. Look at his face. He knows. He knows that he’s not getting out of this, and he’s accepting it. Because if he stays here, then there’s a chance for Tegan and the Doctor to get away, and it’s worth it to him. He’s willing to die for them and he won’t even hesitate.
And that is why anyone in the fandom who calls Adric a ‘selfish little shit’ is palpably wrong. Yes, he could be idealistic, and daft, and sometimes his judgement was straight up wrong, but he always, always meant well.
(Don’t even get me started on Castrovalva, I have so many fucking feels about that story you don’t even know.)
and the award for the best use of that gif in human history goes to whoever made this.
*Fixed alternate Khan biography
OH MY GOD