Angry JK Rowling Thoughts

I'm a big Harry Potter fan. I mean, I don't even know if I would call myself a fan so much as I would say Harry Potter is just engrained into my being. It's my childhood; it's my adult life too. That world is as much my reality as this one is. Naturally, as a creative weird little girl, I spent my young life looking up to JK Rowling as a role model in a lot of ways. She was so imaginative, and she also created friendships in the books that went on to inform the relationships that I made in my life. The Harry Potter series is not without its flaws, but for the most part I will love those books for as long as I live.  

 Pottermore was very exciting at first, and I loved to hear whatever tidbits she had to tell me about Remus Lupin or Minerva McGonagall. Character back stories: hellllll yeah bring them on. In my opinion, the back stories are relevant to the story that Rowling has already told us because she had their past in mind when creating their personalities. So yes, I love finding out why the characters are the way that they are. 

Lately, however, I have become more and more annoyed with Ms. Rowling. The lady needs to calm the fuck down these days. I find myself less and less excited every time she comes out with some new "information" about the wizarding world or the future of our beloved characters. As far as I'm concerned, the world she created is contained in the books and maybe a little bit in Pottermore, but that is it. She told us when she finished the books that she would be taking a step back from Harry Potter and I think most of us totally respected it. A good author knows when their work is done. But nooooo, here she is creating a weird broadway show and also writing a book as well??? Which brings me to the worst of it all: Magic in North America(x). I haven't seen this around the internet as much as I had hoped so I thought I would write a little somethin' about it. Basically, Magic in North America is JK Rowling's expansion on the magical world into North America so that it is not only contained in the few European schools we heard about in the books. I understand why she is doing it: she has a huge fanbase in the US and she wants to tap into that//let us be a part of the world she created. But my GOD, she is doing it wrong. 

I do not have the sacred knowledge to speak directly on this subject, since I am not a person of Native American origin. I cannot imagine how hurtful this is to the members of the specific tribes from which she stole these beliefs. But I would like to put it in the spotlight to at least draw what little attention I can to her incredibly ignorant mishaps. Essentially, what Rowling did was steal a part of Navajo culture and morphed it into her "Native-version" of animagi. She just took something incredibly real to a marginalized group of people and added it as a cute little detail in her "magical world". Like honestly this is cultural appropriation 101; it's bananas to me that she would even think of doing this. She also made the weird comments on Twitter(x) that there was never racism between different races of wizards. Isn't that just so lovely? This white lady is telling us that racism doesn't exist! CHRIST. And then there is some shit about how Native peoples didn't use wands, but she specifies that wands make magic stronger and those that use wands are basically better, so it's really just a colonialist mess. And, of course, she continues to refer to it all as "her world," as if as soon as she steals the parts of different cultures that she finds particularly tasty, we are supposed to accept it as fact in the world of Harry Potter. Not only does that align all Harry Potter fans with this ignorance, it completely disregards the fact that these beliefs were already part of a culture, and were just fine staying there. 

The point I am trying to make is: sacred cultures should not be incorporated in her strange midlife crisis. JK Rowling is a white woman from the UK who has absolutely no part in the cultures she is representing in her new book. Harry Potter was so successful because Rowling was writing about what she knew. When she did incorporate historical details into the books, it was well-researched and meaningful. In her attempt to be inclusive of other cultures, as well as capitalize on the "unexplored" parts of the world (so colonialist in itself), Rowling stripped the belief systems of marginalized cultures for her fun little magical story. It is fucking terrible that Native cultures are having to feel the pain of this erasure because JK Rowling doesn't feel like letting "her world" go.

Please don't let my rant be the only info you read on this. There are a lot of articles out there, as well as the most important voices: those of Native peoples who have much more relevant opinions than I do. You can find a few of those resources here: (x)(x)(x).

I think a lot of Harry Potter fans feel like they need to be ride or die about JK Rowling, and that is soooo not the case. I've found that a lot of things that I have grown up with, and are very much a part of me, can be very problematic (Disney, Harry Potter, the fashion industry in general, etc. etc.). They are things that have made me dream and smile and cry, but they are certainly not without their faults. I think the key to being a participant in "fan culture" is doing simply that, participating and contributing opinions and ideas. It is okay to disagree with some of the politics of these things, because that is what makes them morph into better things. Harry Potter has been so wonderful over the years because of the community that we as readers have created. Fan art, fan fic, even our little intimate chats about theories are the things that have really kept Harry Potter alive. As thankful as we all are for the magic that is JK Rowling's Harry Potter series, she needs to understand that is is no longer hers. Harry Potter belongs to an entire generation of readers. Of course she, as the author, can have her own authority over what she thinks is most important in her relationship to the world she created. But the readers are creating their own worlds, and they have been since the books came out. She needs to accept that we may not want to accept all the little info she gives about Harry's great-nephew or whoever she decides to publish a story about next. And she definitely needs to keep her paws off other cultures that do not concern her. We have our own ideas and they are a lot less problematic than hers. 


  1. ahh, i've not heard of this really, but will have to start reading about it.. sounds really messed up, though! i don't think i've been on pottermore for a couple of years now either, very much for the same reason as you. it really isn't all that exciting anymore and the fact that she continues to be so involved in further creating her magical world after first saying she wouldn't is a bit strange. especially if it is this disrespectful of other cultures/others. (i am excited about fantastic beasts, though, haha. hope it isn't a piece of crap.) xx

  2. Jenna!!! I am so glad you've written this post, this is the perfect example of how to be an ally! And I couldn't agree more with you! Also I have never liked the fact that the two Indian twins Padma and Parvati were portrayed as the girls who were only taken to the Yule ball as a last resort! I am glad you've written about this and thanks so much for leaving such wonderful comments on my posts :)

  3. Like your blog! Could you give me some tips on promoting? I feel like nobody's reading mine sometimes.