So, I’ve been reading this really interesting book (if you haven’t bought a copy, buy a copy) that raises some difficult issues surrounding the Harry Potter series. This is a quote I’ve been thinking about on and off. It’s themes we’ve discussed here before, so I wanted to throw it at you and hear your thoughts:
Why is Harry not Harriet? Why is it called the “Wizarding World” instead of the “Witching World?” After all, if you’re going to use the controversial term “witchcraft” with historical references to past witch hunts and everything, why not stick with a matriarchal motif? Why is the Headmaster of Hogwarts, the Minister of Magic, and every other key authority figure in the series male? Are the Harry Potter books sexist?
I’ll admit from the start, I’m not one for the “shipping” debates (which student should date which). Nevertheless, there is some importance to the whole dating scene, not least the fact that Rowling’s a big fan of Austen’s novels, so romance will undoubtedly play a part.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the shipping debates, there are a few different camps, and the debate can get really heated. There’s Harry/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Harry/Luna, Ron/Luna. I know there are others, but those are the main camps. Of course, HBP answered many of these questions: Harry/Ginny became a reality, and Ron/Hermione is just about as close to reality as you can imagine. No surprises here, really: there were hints and foreshadowings all along, and the Ron/Hermione pairing (even if it never comes to perfect fruition in the series) is an alchemical necessity (alchemy series still pending, stay tuned).