Aaron’s topic for today is Wizard.
Once COVID started, and I thought that I’d be home for three weeks, I decided to start re-reading the Harry Potter books. I have the whole set under my bed, and honestly they are the only books I refuse to take to any of my classrooms – even if I teach a grade level that would be able to read them. Although, congrats to E, a grade 3 student who read them all before the closure and she really loved them! The box set I have is beautiful and was expensive. I’m not letting my adorable book loving monsters to rip the covers and ruin the pages.
It went as it usually does: a week for the first two books, a little longer for for 3-5, 6 took like 3-4 weeks, and 7 took over a month to read. It’s how it always goes. I’m not sure why.
As I was reading the 7th (it honestly took like 6 weeks to finish it, I wasn’t really invested in it at that point since report cards and year end things took over my life), JK Rowling was in the middle of a Twitter mistake.
I’m not going to go and actually find that tweet that she sent, or anything else, but basically what it boils down to is that someone published something talking about “menstruating people” and she replied back something along the lines of “umm they are called WOMEN” (not the exact words so don’t quote me).
And then the uproar happened!
HP celebrities, LGBTQ+ activists and supporters and members, basically everyone, jumped down her throat for saying it.
Now, I didn’t post at the time because I was busy with work and I didn’t really understand the whole uproar but now I do.
I get why JK Rowling said what she said. I really do. As a female, there are so many things that I know have been a struggle to get and to not even be acknowledged by our own designation is a slap in the face. Men don’t menstruate, only women. Not all women, but women. So yes, I think that the phrase that was written should have used the term “women” in some way.
However, I also support the use of the term “menstruating”. Like if it would have said “menstruating women” that would have been a better way to phrase whatever they were referencing. The article was focused on one subsection of women so I think that maybe just changing that one thing would have avoided JK Rowling’s response. OR if JK Rowling would have phrased her response to incorporate “menstruating women” then maybe it would have saved her from the backlash? From what I understand, she is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and probably didn’t mean to offend anyone, but was just standing up for the acknowledgment of gender that everyone is entitled to?
Now if I have understood this whole thing wrong, please respectfully educate me in the comments (or a private email) but that’s how I see it.
But now we are left with what seems to be a generalized rule now, that once a celebrity messes up, shows that they are human, or (like a lot of us) posts something on social media without really thinking of the consequences, they are “cancelled”. Yeah I know the hip and trendy word for it.
“Cancelled” – no longer to read her books or watch her movies or enjoy anything that used to bring us happiness and magic. Is this what is the consequence of her one maybe misguided tweet? That we are no longer allowed to be open about enjoying the world of wonder she has created for us and that has been celebrated for decades? I hope not. Because honestly I will still read the books and watch the movies (not Fantastic Beasts, I personally can’t really get into them). I still love them. Even in JK Rowling has angered the world and has shown she isn’t always as posed and thought out.