It bothered me that there were no Squibs allowed in Hogwarts. Fine, I can get that Squibs would not be able to do any wand magic, and would not be able to fly a broomstick. They still apparently possess enough innate magic to see the school and other magically hidden locations. Out of the classes at Hogwarts that the kids take, a Squib could take and benefit from the following classes: History of Magic, Astronomy, Divination, Care of Magical Creatures, Herbology, MUGGLE STUDIES, Potions (there will be little foolish wand-waving here), Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, and partially theoretical classes on Defense Against the Dark Arts and Charms.
That’s a long list of classes. And some of them are particularly upsetting to me because there’s stuff like History of Magic being left out- that’s their own history they’re being barred from learning. Since Squibs are often forced into the Muggle world, a Squib would make an ideal Muggle Studies teacher and would no doubt be able to teach a more realistic and informative class than someone going off of biased wizarding texts. Squib kids looking into living in the Muggle world would absolutely benefit from learning Muggle studies, especially if they’re from a mainly pureblood family who doesn’t venture out all too often.
And then there’s the rest of them! Arguably you could have a Squib gifted with prescience, and Divination is supposed to be a very accessible branch of magic. Squibs being excellent at taking care of magical plants and animals and making groundbreaking advancements, Squibs working in tandem with each other to breed different magical herbs for potions, Squib potion masters creating all sorts of amazing concoctions. Squibs working with muggleborns and using logic and science to advance magic theoretically, Squibs being huge pro-muggleborn/pro-muggle advocates, Squibs making star charts and Squibs going into the muggle world to use their healing potions in their jobs as nurses and doctors.
Squibs being so completely shut out of magical education was such a sore point for me in the books, especially viewing the treatment of our only prominent Squib- an angry, bitter, glorified janitor often at the mercy of brats with wands. I’m not justifying or endorsing his abusiveness at all, but this was an awful character to use to explore people without magic in a society that bases your worth on it. A lot of time Rowling seems to validate Wizarding prejudices more than she challenges them. While I really enjoy reading the headcanons about Hogwarts being very accessible to people with disabilities, I can’t bring myself to see that as the case with Squibs being treated as they are.
Bolding mine. Squibs always read to me like the learning-disabled of the wizarding world and the fact that they were just sort of shoved under a rug is such a perfect metaphor for how students with disabilities are treated in most schools BUT IT DIDN’T FEEL LIKE SHE WAS CRITICIZING THE ACTION and just. So much about Hogwarts gets so gross the more you think about it.
this was the last thing hermione wanted to deal with during her 8th yr midterms
Had some fun with gouache over the weekend! I might try and make this into a bookmark…
edit: made a better version bc tumblr resized everything weird….
im a huge fan of chinese potters so there ya go.. welcome to high waisted pants and mullets
the stupidest thing in the entire harry potter series was when they go down to the slytherin dormitory and it’s all dark and slimy and freezing and shit. as if lucius malfoy would let his son live in squalor like that. the house with the highest concentration of spoiled purebloods are happy to live under the goddamn lake? no.
wow this is the #1 best harry potter criticism i have ever read
the essential dichotomy of the two very different things jkr seemed to be trying to embody in slytherin which are just not compatible if you ask me.
you’ve got the malfoy side of slytherin. blood purity, deliberate class metaphors, deliberate race metaphors. this kind of slytherin is all about old wealth, british identity, and privilege-based violence. the malfoys are SUPER WHITE they are the WHITEST WHITE, and with that goes this image they project as benevolent philanthropists, while they privately (and then not so privately) degrade and exploit and abuse those they consider categorically lesser (muggle borns, house elves, people poorer than them, etc). this is the slytherins-are-privileged-racists side of the house traits.
the other side has always kind of struck me as jkr’s-privilege-seems-to-have-led-her-to-use-racist-tropes-to-make-slytherins-more-loathesome side of things. it’s the snape side of slytherin. the side embodied by snakes (and all that weight of judeo-christian inflected nastiness they are supposed to carry). why is the house of POWERFUL pureblood families not represented by some animal associated with institutional power in britain (like I DON’T KNOW A FUCKING LION). this version of slytherin is the kind of evil that is “obvious” because everyone knows snakes are bad (just like rats are bad!!! :|). everyone knows the guy with the black eyes, the greasy hair, the “”“”“sallow”“”“” complexion, and the hooked nose (always comes back to the Ambiguously Ethnic thing doesn’t it) is evil. you know it even before he says a fucking thing. you can tell he’s evil by his body, by his phenotype. because this shit doesn’t exist in a vacuum and like it or not, certain traits have a history of being coded in certain ways, racially/ethnically speaking. the idea of sneakiness, of cleverness, of ruthlessness and questionably moral doing-what-it-takes-to-get-ahead, none of that is coded ROBUST HETEROSEXUAL WHITE CHRISTIAN let me tell you that. slytherins are bad at sports (not like the VIGOROUS HEALTHY GRYFFINDORS) and when they do get close to winning it’s by cheating.
but the thing is if you are running the system, you don’t need to cheat the system. the two sides of slytherin just don’t mesh together.
THIS IS SUPER INCOHERENT I need to structure this into something formal with capitalization when I’m not quite so beset with insomnia and inarticulate rage. I’M NOT EVEN A SLYTHERIN. I just care because if JKR had been really serious about the radical and anti-authoritarian message she seemed to WANT for harry potter, it would have been gyffindor that was the dangerous, privileged, racist house. that’s the house with the traits associated with POWER, and so much of that second slytherin has been associated with groups that are ruthlessly marginalized.
this old post explains it pretty well actually, the antisemitism / anti-foreigner sentiment seething just beneath the surface.
i love harry potter but sometimes i fucking hate harry potter you know?