October 29th, 2007

SHAME ON YOU, J.K. ROWLING!

 Some years ago, I had a job reviewing Shojo (girls) Anime. There’s hardly a Shojo Anime out there that does not include some boy who is in love with another boy. Sometimes, they have good reasons (possessed by the ghost of a dead sister, actually an asexual moon angel) other times, they’re just plain pervy all around (such as the wicked but awfully-cute Akio of Revolutionary Girl Utena.) And, yes, I enjoyed these shows just as much as the next girl. Fushigi Yugi, Card Captor Sakura, and Revolutionary Girl Utena are still among my favorites.
 
The point of the above paragraph is to establish A) that I don’t object to gay characters per se, and B) that I am aware that girls/women often think gay characters are kind of cute or romantic.
 
All that having been said: SHAME ON YOU, J.K. ROWLING!
 
If Mrs. Rowling had come out and announced that Flitwick were gay, or Percy Weasley, or Mad-Eye Moody, or Professor McGonigal (I’m list characters who come to mind whose preference in such things is not established in the story,) I don’t think I would have thought anything of it. But Dumbledore is a different issue entirely. Dumbledore’s being gay casts an uncomfortable shadow over his relationship with Harry – which changes, or threatens to change, my perception of the story as written.
 
This is not good storytelling. Mrs. Rowling has done such a good job up to this point of keeping her story square within the realm of children’s stories. I’m sad to see her venture out of the established children’s story conventions in this fashion.
 
One thing that really annoyed me was Mrs. Rowling saying that there were clues about this in the latest volume…and then it turns out that nearly everything on the subject was written by Rita Skeeter. WHAT? Aren’t we supposed to DISBELIEVE Ms. Skeeter.
 
That is just weird.
 
Saddest of all is that no one seems to be denouncing this. Every review I’ve seen is jumping on the bandwagon to show how tolerant they are, no one seems willing to say: “Hey, that was really inappropriate, you know!”