I am a Nerdfighter.
I graduated from the Spring 2013 Disney College Program.
I now work in Walt Disney World as a seasonal cast member.
I'm a raging lesbian.
I've recently started being more femme in my outfit choices.
It kind of scares me to think that I might actually like feeling pretty.
I'm addicted to caffeine.
I love my friends more than I love myself.
<3 Let's be friends! <3
Is your friend …
• Unemployed and searching for a job?
• Wanting to find the right someone but hasn’t?
• Trying to get pregnant and having a hard time with it?
• Waiting to hear back from that dream grad school program?
When the thing they have desperately been waiting for happens, they will tell you. Peppering them with questions and/or unsolicited advice on how they can better achieve this life goal is probably not what they’re looking for.
Instead, it’s just depressing to have to vocalize, again and again, that no, the thing they want has not yet happened, and then have to sit patiently while the other person tells them to keep their chin up, or that the right one is coming, or whatever.
It’s great to ask, more generally, how everything is with them. If they want to cry on your shoulder or share great news, they will.
Arthur Weasley talking about the real problem behind the regurgitating toilet prank in the ninth chapter of The Order of the Phoenix is actually super important. He tells Harry, “…it’s not so much having to repair the damage, it’s more the attitude behind the vandalism. Muggle-baiting might strike some wizards as funny, but it’s an expression of something much deeper and nastier.”
I can only think of this in relation to the Sam Pepper harassment video, the vehement opposition to it, and about ChescaLeigh’s YouTube video “Here’s Why Racism’s Not ‘Just Comedy.’”
The people who dismiss misogyny and racism because it’s “just a prank,” who say things like “you’re just being sensitive,” or “come ON, it’s just a JOKE” are the wizards who think Muggle-baiting is funny.
Disclaimer: I am aware that Harry Potter is a fictional story, but I think it’s incredibly important to recognize and discuss the ways fiction reflects reality, whether accurately or not, because works that are big and influential enough have the power to either change things or perpetuate the status quo.
Wizards, in the world of Harry Potter, have a history of believing Muggles to be “less than.” Just look at the Malfoys or the Blacks. When Kingsley is on Potter Watch discussing the dangers of the war, he’s asked, “What would you say to those who believe it should be wizards first?” And he replies that it is hardly a stretch from wizards first, to purebloods first, to Death Eaters first. Muggles were humiliated and tortured at the World Cup simply because the Death Eaters thought it would be “fun.”
Muggle-baiting, even the “harmless pranks” like regurgitating toilets, reflects and perpetuates this hatred and bigotry. Those who sympathize with Muggle-baiting, those who find it amusing, are agreeing with the vandals. They’re offering acceptance and tolerance of Muggle hatred and dehumanization — often, I am sure, without even being fully aware of it.
That’s why this line from Mr. Weasley is so important. Sam Pepper’s video is a result of trickle-down misogyny that originated from a time when women were literally legally less than people. [White] People who “prank” people of color for entertainment and YouTube views are perpetuating the culture that tells us Black lives are not as important as white ones. While the objective damage* of these “pranks” is arguably minimal overall, the attitude behind them cannot be ignored.
*I mean to relate this to Mr. Weasley’s quote, and I’m referring to things that cost money, like property damage and the like. I do not mean to belittle a person’s reaction to harassment and violation. The point is that the “objective damage” hardly matters in relation to the attitudes of the people that cause them. The financial cost to repair vandalism is not the point when the vandalism is motived by hate.
The idea that it is “funny” to harass women and people of color, to get a rise out of them for the sake of others’ entertainment, is incredibly problematic. Besides the fact that harassment is illegal, in this context, it is also wrong on so many other levels. It perpetuates oppressive, hateful, and dehumanizing beliefs about other groups of people and it normalizes this behavior. It tells millions of young and impressionable viewers that it is perfectly okay to violate other people for the sake of a joke.
In short, Mr. Weasley was about to make a point about why the attitude behind the vandalism is the bigger problem, but got interrupted by the appearance of his nemesis, Lucius Malfoy.
Now remember people, National Coming Out Day is on its way. If you “come out” on facebook as straight and/or cis, an ally, a brony, a fucking whovian, or anything other than a marginalized sexual orientation and/or gender identity, I will ram my boot so far up your ass you’ll be tasting Vans for weeks.
In Matilda, Danny DeVito plays Matilda’s father, but also narrates the story. I’ve always thought that the narrator was the father in the future (in Guam or whatever) telling the story in retrospect and seeing all the things he should have seen at the time. I think it really makes the moments where he talks about “These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” so much more meaningful.
I love this.