Rereading Harry Potter as an adult certainly changes my perspective on many different scenes and characters. Like most people, I hated Petunia and Vernon Dursley—the two of them are horrible, abusive bigots who deserve all the derision fans levy at them—and I still hate them to this day. And, like most people, I also used to hate Dudley just as much. As an adult, though, my hate for him has turned into pity. When we are first introduced to Dudley, he’s an awful bully of a character. Dudley is a spoiled little brat with a huge sense of entitlement, and the way he treats Harry is awful. However, like Cinderella’s stepsisters, he is an abuse victim and his treatment at the hands of others, both his parents and wizarding kind, should also be condemned.
So one day shortly after San Diego Comic Con, I was reading CNN (what else is new) and loling at their failure to grasp the concept of cosplay when I found an article on an anti-bullying panel at the convention.
Many prominent sci-fi female voices were involved with the panel and the Girl Scouts was one of the sponsors. I personally think it’s great the women had such a presence at this panel. I know that the guys aren’t immune from being bullied by other people, but nowadays the girls are getting bullied by non-nerds for being nerds and the male nerds who don’t think the girls are actually nerds. We’ve had a plethora of posts on this blog (here’s one and here’s another one), so I’m really not going to go in depth into the issue.
The point is it’s something that needs to be addressed and talked about. The more people who pretend that bullying, both from non-nerds and nerds alike, isn’t happening, the more people are suffering. And unfortunately we have people killing themselves. A high school junior in my town just did so, and from what I’ve learned about her through mutual acquaintances she was just a bullied nerd. All it takes to save a life is the right person saying the right thing at the right time. I don’t know the correct who, what, or when, but if we all sit quietly and say nothing then no one is going to get the help they need. By creating a discussion, we can let people who face bullying know that they shouldn’t be ashamed to be who they are and that the way they are being treated is wrong.
Wow, I didn’t realize how deep I was going to get in that last paragraph. Anyway, if you’re interested in how the actual panel went, take a look at the video below!
Whoever coined the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was both a liar and was giving bullies bad ideas. Bullying is a sad subject. But sometimes we must look at the sad things in order to improve our own outlook and to help improve others. Do you remember being bullied? I certainly do. Few people can say they were never teased or hurt by their peers, even if it was not extreme.
Nerds, geeks, freaks, LGBT, disabled, and so many others who are considered “abnormal” (by bullies whose opinions shouldn’t matter) are subject to cutting words and physical violence. Poet Shane Koyczan was subjected to such treatment in school, along with some of his friends. He wrote a spoken word poem called “To This Day” along with creating an animated art project in order to spread the word on the harm bullying causes to children and the adults they will become. Continue reading
I’ve been avoiding this character profile for a while. You see, Draco Malfoy is one of those characters that splits the readership of Harry Potter so much that it becomes almost comical.
On one hand, there are fans of the books and series that hate Malfoy for the hell he put the trio through, both the petty and the borderline evil. Others feel sympathy for the poor Malfoy child. I’m a bit in between. You see, for the majority of the Harry Potter series, Draco Malfoy is a simple bully. And boy, is he a stereotypical bully.