I genuinely want Harry Potter to go obsolete. Like I want Universal Studios to have to close down the HP section cause no one goes anymore. I want TV stations to stop playing it because no one watches the marathons anymore. I want bookstores to stop carrying it because it's no longer in demand. I want to go on ao3 and see that the most recent work was a year ago because the fandom is dead. I want people to forget what ravenclaw and hufflepuff mean (I also want to wear my school tie without being asked if I'm a gryffindor). I want people to see emma watson and name every other work she's done. I want people to look back and cringe and be like yeah I was into that as a kid, embarrassing i know. I genuinely hope and pray for the collapse of the entire Harry Potter franchise and I'd throw a party the day it happens.
What makes JKR's shitshow even harder to process is that she didn't just ruin a book series. Harry Potter was an entire subculture. Like Star Wars and Star Trek fans, Harry Potter fans dedicated their lives and careers to the series. I don't know if I'd call it "underground," but liking Harry Potter got you beaten up when I was in school, so it was more of a dedicated indie culture than a mass-appeal fanbase.
Harry Potter was so huge that fan works developed their own followings. Potter Puppet Pals racked up hundreds of thousands of followers and was nearly as relevant as the series itself. For fanfiction, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality got so big that it has a Wikipedia page. The band Harry and the Potters spawned the wizard rock music genre. A Very Potter Musical developed a fanbase and launched Darren Criss's career.
Harry Potter also has extensive ties to fandom history. Everyone in my generation (millennials) remembers coming home from school to read Harry Potter fanfiction on the Internet. Today, most people just post their stories on Wattpad or Archive of Our Own. But at the time, the fanbase was splintered between fanfiction.net and dozens of individual websites and forums, some made for specific ships. Since they all had individual hosts, a lot of those sites have been lost to time.
And there's the infamous My Immortal fanfiction, which is an Internet legend with people still searching for the author. Everybody read that one (and laughed at it) in middle school.
Pre-social media, fan sites like The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet had massive followings because they were one of few sources for news, theories, essays and fan content. Some of these sites still exist after being around for over a decade and building their own legacy.
Before Deathly Hallows came out, fans were so desperate to know what happened that Mugglenet published a book called What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Falls in Love and How Will the Adventure Finally End? Yep...Harry Potter was so big that people wrote separate books about what would happen in an upcoming book.
And that's not mentioning all the book release parties, Harry Potter-themed events, monuments, fan films, restaurants and even a theme park. A lot of fandoms have those, but Harry Potter infiltrated every aspect of popular culture.
Today, there's a thriving culture of "Harry Potter adults" with themed weddings, baby showers and Etsy stores. Putting your Hogwarts house in your Instagram bio is pretty much a prerequisite for joining the "bookish" community. Warner still produces new content, like the Fantastic Beasts series, although we've all seen what a disaster that's been.
Everyone has at least a few memories associated with Harry Potter even if it's just watching the movies. I had great memories associated with Harry Potter. But looking back at the subculture, history and thousands of fan works, it doesn't seem fun anymore. Studying the fandom or being part of it comes with an awkward tension because you don't want to seem like you're condoning JKR's bigotry but can't divorce her from the series. This subculture was spawned by a woman who turned her legacy of magic and wonder into one of abuse and hatred.
I don't expect people to write paragraphs about how much they hate JKR every time they post about Harry Potter, but it's still uncomfortable to see people make new content or wear their Harry Potter Etsy tote bags like nothing happened. Even if they clarify that they don't support her, it's just a weird, tense situation for everybody.
People dedicated years of their lives to running Harry Potter fan sites, writing fanfiction, cosplaying characters and making fan movies. If I were in that situation, I'd have a mild identity crisis. I'd ask myself "Did I waste all those years? Should I delete my content? Where do I go from here?"
So ultimately, JKR didn't ruin "just" a book series or even "just" a fandom. She tanked an entire culture, which inspired people to look at Harry Potter more critically. The issues that people brought to the light tainted the series's legacy even without JKR's personal issues.
Once, Harry Potter was a series for generations. Now, former fans hope that the series fades into irrelevancy. Unfortunately, JKR didn't just tarnish her legacy--she took decades of history, millions of fans and a worldwide subculture along with her.
I hate to have to say this but people can recognise stereotypes without thinking they're real. Cannot count the amount of times I've seen someone say "the goblins in hp aren't antisemitic and if you think they're caricatures of Jewish people then you're the antisemitic one for making that connection". No the goblins aren't actually what Jewish people look/act like! We know that! Bigots don't care about that though!
trans lives will always, ALWAYS be more important than the legacy of h*rry p*tter. if you think otherwise kindly don't interact with my blog. and yes, this includes writing shit like "I pirate all her stuff so it's cool!/I have retconned james potter to be a desi trans man so it's fine!"
dear jkr's radfem and terf defenders,
how did it make you feel when hermione was objectified at 11 years old and the boys weren't?
how did it make you feel when ginny became a plot device?
how did it make you feel when trelawney was reduced to a crazy woman?
how did it make you feel when lily's entire character arc was her decision between two male harassers?
how did it make you feel when lavender became the 'other girl' to hermiome?
how did it make you feel when hermione vs lavender was a legitimate sub plot in hbp?
how did it make you feel when half the gryffindor girls were mindlessly obsessed with harry to the point that ron was poisoned?
how did it make you feel when viktor krum chose hermione not because he liked her for her, but because she wasn't constantly thirsting over his fame, giving her the "she's not like other girls" complex which pushed the idea that all the other girls were mindless drones?
how did it make you feel when fleur and tonks' strong female roles were abandoned once they were married?
how did it make you feel when cho was forced into a new relationship only a few months after her boyfriend died?
how did it make you feel when every single adult female character with a significant part in the story except mcgonagall adhered to gender roles?
how does it make you feel everyday when jkr pushes gender roles by enforcing gender conformity?
stop kidding yourselves. jkr is not a feminist.
imma be 100% transparent and say that supporting harry potter is not only putting a TERF on a pedestal, it's also supporting a bunch of blatant racism that is in her books
terf bullshit tw but holy shit im laughing SO hard
new terf logic: if you use he/him pronouns AT ALL you are trans. cis men don't exist
My friend and I are comparing the Harry Potter franchise and the Percy Jackson franchise
He said and I quote “Percy Jackson has himbos and I don’t see one in Harry Potter”
He gets it
Jk Rowling fans /derogatory
"She stands up for people's rights!!!"
Oh like who?
Yeah I'm sure that's why her pen name/ pseudonym is the name of a gay conversion therapist
People of color?
Yeah I'm sure that's why there's racial stereotypes all over her damn books, like how Asian people are portrayed in the books (link is to a PDF)
Not to mention how eurocentric and un-diverse human society is written as in Harry Potter
(Also goes to a PDF)
Oh yeah because her portrayal of goblins in her books definitely isn't antisemitic at all. Not like Jewish people have been saying how goblins are portrayed and linked to antisemitism hurts them, not at all.
This is the only source I could find on how the portrayal of goblins are connected to antisemitism, but if anyone has any other sources please do tell me
Oh yeah that's why one of the main antagonist of her recent book (The Ink Black Heart), which is portrayed as a bad person and in the end quite literally a pedophile, is a disabled person calling out a YouTuber for ableism in their cartoon. Not to mention said YouTuber also being called out for Racism and transphobia (personally I hate how much media has focused on the last part and almost completely ignored the racism and ableism parts as if they are less important in the book, although it is also important of course), and despite these things being portrayed universally as a victim, and all the people against them being portrayed as bad.
And intersex people?
Honestly, I don't even want to try to delve in to how much her beliefs is ignorant of our very existence, our bodies, and our struggles. (Not to mention, as mentioned in the previous article linked, the person portrayed as an innocent victim wrote a character as a hermaphrodite... which is also an intersexist stereotype of intersex people, not just transphobic.)
The only people she actually has ever really supported as an oppressed group, is (primarily upper class) abled, cishet, perisex white women who are non Jewish.
Her activism for the rest of us is preformative at best when the things she has written in her literally world famous books depict things that actively hurt us, and she continues to show she has no intention of bettering herself.
the most grating rejoinder from people who claim to be allies to queer people, poc, jewish people, etc yet still consider themselves harry potter fans is "but it was my childhood!" because
you dont think it was my childhood too? "it meant to much to me growing up, it was my first real fandom, I related to the characters so much, etc etc" I did too!! Ive read through the series a half dozen times, the first time in the third grade! Ive seen every movie, I own the supplemental books, I had a pottermore account and dressed up as hermione! I memorized all the trivia and went to themed camps and activities and was so so excited to go to universal to see harry potter world.
but none of that matters anymore because I grew up and I realized that the work I loved hurt people. I learned that it's creater hates people like me and other groups I care about. I learned that her hatred was ingrained in the stories I had been consuming for so long, and I just hadnt realized it because I never thought or knew to look.
But I do know now. and the material effects on people now outweighs any nostalgia I may feel. I dont play new games or read new content or watch new movies because I do not want to. despite my history with the series, despite what it meant to me as a kid.
quite simply, read another book
JKR is that scared of Percy Jackson taking over that they are rebooting Harry Potter into a TV show, huh?
btw the sooner some people realise that "racebending" characters into ethnic/racial minorities does not absolve them of their behaviour or meaningfully incorporate diversity into a text, the better it will be for media literacy of tumblr as a whole.
things I found disturbing/upsetting about the hp series that still bother me:
how casually child abuse is talked about and dealt with
how casually incest is talked about
how incompetent the adults are
how little harry was checked on as a child
hinny is basically jily in looks and personalities
the marauders era is set up so that lily essentially was forced to choose between two harassers
cho is forced into a relationship while she's still grieving her dead boyfriend
how casually house elf slavery is treated
how little the war against pureblood prejudice seems to actually be about pureblood prejudice
jkr was desperate to give everyone a redemption arc except for a select few, and most of them really didn't deserve it
how all of the people who got redemption arcs (except two) were fully grown adults rather than the teenagers who were perfect candidates for redemption
werewolf prejudice is never addressed beyond establishing lupin is good and greyback is bad
how casually greyback's actions are treated
how casually the idea of child soldiers is treated
how wizarding media is portrayed as actual journalism
how femininity is portrayed
how sexism and feminism are portrayed
how dumbledore is treated as the be all end all of good guys
how dumbledore's connection to grindelwald is barely addressed
again, the dursleys (except vernon), snape, the malfoys, percy weasley, etc., were given shit redemption arcs at the very end
how goyle, a 17 y/old child, was killed by his own stupidity and it's portrayed as justice
the weasleys making fun of fleur
fleur's accent being shit and stereotyped
remadora, particularly her being so much younger and both characters being so queer coded; remus fought incredibly hard against getting married but was pressured into it; them having a baby is a long standing tradition of authors having married people have a kid just before one or both of them die which is uncomfortable to me
how the sexualizing and objectifying of characters, particularly hermione, started when the characters were 11
how casually animal cruelty was treated
how a minor act against the death eaters was considered a redeeming act
how not being aligned with the death eaters or turning against the death eaters is considered redemption
snape's treatment of the students
dumbledore's choice in teachers (not just snape)
binns being a teacher which takes a salary from someone who actually needs it like remus
every single redemption arc except the marauders' and regulus' involved justification of actions rather than a change in actions
slytherins, actual children, are treated as evil by everyone
anti semitism in how certain magical species, characters, or groups are presented (credit to @maruke2003)
racism toward foreigners aka xenophobia (credit to @escaping-is-my-passion)
quirrell's stutter (i don't find stutters disturbing, i find the way she depicted it and quirrell himself disturbing)
stereotyping (and just general fucking up) of names and personalities such as cho chang, an asian character, being in the smart house and seamus finnigan, an irish character, being rum-explosive obsessed (credit to @thewallowinggirl)
again, slytherins, and most if not all of the bad guys, even graduated ones, are evil, often ugly, and have stereotypical "evil" physical traits that push harmful stereotypes (credit to @thewallowinggirl)
love potions are liquid sexual assault (credit to @chace-vito)
molly weasley is such a "good" (stereotypical) mother that she comes off as overbearing and other stereotypical female/maternal characteristics (credit to @chace-vito)
to name a few (I might add more as I think of them or if people comment and reply just so I can have a neat list, but I'll give credit)
anyway, this is why I hate canon. fanon is cool, though.
something I don't think the nostalgia/but-hp-was-my-childhood whiners who play the wizard antisemitism game realize is that for queer/trans people, HP was also our childhood. like, seriously. I loved those books. I was excited when a new one came out. I bought merch, I went to see the movies, I joined Pottermore when it first came out, I reread all the books 10 gazillion times. fuck, I even had a HP-themed birthday party! I am not exaggerating when I say that HP was literally 50-60% of my whole damn childhood.
and despite that, I didn't buy the wizard game. neither I nor anyone I actually know would be harmed by giving a transphobe money, and the antisemitic caricatures in the game are just that- caricatures, and not something that could actually physically harm me or mine.
and despite the nostalgia bait, despite the open world, despite all the things, I didn't buy the damn game. the harm that would have resulted towards people, who I don't even know, weighed more than the nostalgia of the game.
so when you say "but muh childhood", know that some of us are faced with the same thoughts and feelings as you, and have decided to not hurt others instead of indulging in our own feelings of satisfaction.