At work, I wanted to see if I could listen to books even if the folks I worked with were super loud. I wanted to try it out with books I’d already read and if I missed a couple of lines because the dudes around me were yelling about something inane I would still be able to catch up in the story because I’d already read the book in question.
I figured the Harry Potter series was a good place to go for familiar and easy to dip in and out of here and there. It is something I read to my kid, it is something I’ve read more than once, and for the most part, I wanted that familiarity. But, and I say this with all the ferocity I can muster – fuck TERFs.
It is funny, I was going along in life perfectly okay and several years ago a Twitter storm of doom cropped up and I had to learn the definition of TERF, and I had to learn that Rowling was a big stinking TERF, and honestly I still regret gaining that knowledge.
Although, it is interesting to me listening to these books again how many different thoughts crop up in my head. When I first started reading these books to my son it was a fun way to get him to enjoy bedtime, and for him to feel included in what was a very popular series with kids his age, and it was something we could share that had magic and wonder. The things I picked apart when he was small were the fucked up child abuse, and how it repeated so many of the books I’d read as a child and some other things that seemed small and nitpicky to me all those years ago.
Listening to the series this time I was almost overly aware of things that were gender or role-based and I found a lot more things to be annoyed by in the story. Weird things bugged me – like getting Moody off on lighter charges because he is a friend and how if they’d just arrested him maybe they would’ve discovered he was a freaking escaped convict in disguise before he’d ever even gotten to the school. Or how deeply fucked up the variety of stereotypes rang out in this reading. I know that I will finish the 7th book tomorrow at work and the prologue will annoy me fresh and anew and I will rant and rave to myself driving home about how much it is bullshit that marrying someone you dated in high school is not the norm and also the fact that apparently Ginny isn’t allowed to name any of their children after someone she fucking loves.
Anyway, I guess I’ve mostly trained my brain to listen to the book and not the loud ass folks around me, and hopefully I can start reading and think typing about some more books soon. In the meantime, I should probably find some Potter fanfic that will cleanse my palate a bit and let me find some of that old fun magic and wonder in a new place.