A FEW MORE WORDS ON HARRY'S POLITICS. Right, that's Harry Potter. I got some interesting comments here and here responding to my argument that there's a socially conservative undercurrent to J.K. Rowling's series.
First, as I tried to make clear in the piece, my critique of the books' gender ideology lies not in their depiction of individual female characters, who, yes, are quite diverse, but in the depiction of the structure of wizarding society. At one point in Deathly Hallows, consumed by guilt over his central role in the war that is ravaging his world, Harry expresses regret that he's prevented the Weasley brothers from working -- no mention of whether their wives, too, have careers waylaid by the resistance movement. The assumption I've made, and that I think is well backed up by the entirety of the epic, is that witches are often stay-at-home moms. That's why I linked to Rowling's explanation on her website that magical children are home-schooled before the age of 11. One parent must be doing that work, right? I think that through characters like Hermione and Tonks, Rowling flirts with upending traditional gender roles, but that the larger society she's created actually conforms to them.