Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Harry Potter and the Absence of Females

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Okay all you ladies over the age of 30 out there -- which Harry Potter character are you?

I ask because for Thursday's premiere of the final movie installment, Spare and I are having a little Potter party. Spare loves Harry Potter, and no wonder! There are any number of young female characters she could be!

But let's take a close look at the rest of the female characters in this saga, particularly the ones over 35.

There's the loving, befuddled Mrs. Weasley, always dressed in tatters, bustling about a kitchen where everything cooks by magic.

There's kind but stern Professor McGonigal, resplendent in a witch hat and flowing black robes, about as cuddly as a crawdad. Is this character meant to express the idea that, while witches can be good, they are never gentle and beautiful?

There's a nurse who's kind, but I can't even remember what she looks like.

Emma Thompson played a psychic in thick glasses, whiny and pathetic and not even good at what she was supposed to be teaching.

The herbologist is stern and bossy ... maybe I'm getting her mixed up with the nurse. Neither one is memorable to anyone but the most ardent Potter fans.

There's Delores Umbridge, memorable because she is so loathsome -- one of those nice, queenly types hiding evil behind a veneer of politesse.

Tonks, the token freedom fighter in combat gear is too young to qualify for this survey.

Then we've got the bad girls. Bellatrix, an S&M nightmare. Yes, she's memorable, all right. For all the wrong reasons.

Which leaves us with Mrs. Malfoy, another cypher whose only big moment is when she pleads for her son's safety.

Did I miss anyone, fans? Anyone that I, Anne Johnson, Druid of a certain age with a lively temperament and a disdain for the Dark Arts, can cosplay? I think not. Do you suppose that over the course of a series that runs to 4,000-plus pages, the author could have introduced at least one female character over the age of 30 who moves the action along? The male wizards get all the good parts.

Am I to resort to the caverns of fan fiction to find a Potter character to cosplay? BAAMMMMMMP! No.

Behold, Anne! Going to the Potter premiere as the Lady of the Lake!

J.K. Rowling has said that her little story is a Christian allegory. I can't wrap my mind around this. I see nothing particularly Christian, or anti-Christian, for that matter, about it. But it certainly is reminiscent of the revealed religion of the bored god King Arthur, who was protected as a child, tutored by a wizard, and then looked to as a savior for a troubled kingdom. Who is this author kidding? "Christian allegory" my corny toes!

Pinky swear, when my schedule clears I'm going to write a heroic action/adventure featuring some kind of kid hero in peril. You know what my problem would be? The central wizard character would be a woman, and she would sweep all of the evil away and get things squared by about page 52. Then how would we fill the rest of the movie?


Debra She Who Seeks said...

You could always go as J.K. Rowling herself -- blonde wig, etc. Pulling a little red wagon piled high with cash.

rebelleink said...

I'm 31 yo mom and I still want to be Hermione.

Intense Guy said...

Pomona Sprout is the Herbalist.
Madam Poppy Pomfrey is a magical Healer who is the matron-in-charge of the Hogwarts hospital wing.
Sybill Trelawney is the professor of Divination.
Bathilda Bagshot (Hazel Douglas) is a noted historian in the wizarding world, and author of the book A History of Magic.
Charity Burbage, Muggle Studies (she's pretty and I could see you being her)
Helga Hufflepuff
Rowena Ravenclaw

M Pennanti said...

Have you considered Madame Hooch? She's the flying instructor. She's focused, she's fun, she has spiky hair, and if you transmute your love of baseball into quidditch, I think the two of you could get along smashingly!

Wizardess said...

You are Madam Hooch, Anne. While I wish to be Minerva McGonagall, but am really more like Terry Pratchett's Magrat.

The Traveler said...

Dang Intense Guy beat me to it! I would have suggested Rowena Ravenclaw for you. The founder of the Ravenclaws and one of the 4 Wizards to found Hogwarts sounds like a decent fit.
Also whether she qualifies or not I would so want to be Tonks!

Sarita Rucker said...

The parallels between Harry Potter and Christian mythology occurs more in the last book, I think, and is most evident there. (SPOILER ALERT! Just FYI.) It's mainly in the "Savior" Harry Potter who dies and is reborn. Unless I missed something...

Teacats said...

I look like Mrs. Weasley (my ideal icon of powerful and true Hearth Witchery -- wonderful character!) .....I just wish that I had cookery skills! LOL! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know...it seemes to me that the story was really about kids coming into their own, and that Hermione always saved the day. So I always thought it was very female-empowered. When you're a kid, most adults are a little ridiculous, don't you think?