Listen to episodes one and two today.
Just started listening. I'm excited for this series. I was one of the kids who was prevented from reading Harry Potter by my church and family because it was "promoting witchcraft". Later in life I was urged by many of my friends to read the books when they found out I hadn't. I ended up reading the entire series at the age of 31. The situation with J.K. Rowling now is so interesting because many of the same friends who were shocked I'd never read the books and urged me to read them are now very vocal about their opposition to Rowling's views. I'd encourage them to actually go and read what she's written on the subject, which you can disagree with. I don't think her views warrant the intensity of opposition she's had. Unfortunately, I don't think my friends are interested in reading what she's written so we just don't talk about it.
Just listened to this now.
Thank you so much for creating this podcast. Harry Potter and JK Rowling have played a particular role in my life. I'm so grateful for her work. My heart goes out to those suffering from gender dysphoria, and those marginalized for who they are... But the hatred of JK Rowling is deeply misplaced. It's as foolish now by the trans movement as it was by the Christians in the late 90s.
Harry Potter was a guiding light, a hope in a mostly miserable upbringing I had throughout my schooling. I was born with a cleft lip, which left a scar I was often bullied for. I didn't have a girlfriend throughout elementary, junior high, or highschool. I went head first into university but that was a mistake and I soon dropped out. It took me years to get to the point where I was a functioning member of society. In 2015 (five years after dropping out) I went back to university with a new sense of purpose.
In February of 2017 I was working on a paper for my "Current Issues in Psychopathology Class" (by sheer coincidence, it actually was about whether gender dysphoria should be in the the DSM, but this story isn't about that). I was working on this paper with a classmate of mine in the library, where I was then joined by a woman I had met last summer, who wanted to study with my classmate and I. After a productive study day, the four of us: my classmate, her boyfriend, this female friend who was taking and interest in me, and I went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them.
I cannot put into words the feeling I felt. At age 26, as the Hogwarts Theme Music came on in a theatre where I was on a double date, and I was able to squeeze the hand of the woman beside me, who squeezed my had back. After a lifetime of living in the cupboard under the stairs, I was finally at hogwarts where I was accepted by my peers, and it was everything that the spark of hope in my heart had hoped it would be. That woman beside me soon became my girlfriend and we shared three wonderful years of adventures together. Harry Potter had been there for me the entire time, and was a topic of frequent discussion between my girlfriend and I as our relationship developed. I'll always be grateful for JK Rowling for that.
Thank you Free Press for giving this platform for JK Rowling to share her perspective.
Hell yes!! As a dyslexic kid I would make my mom read Harry Potter to me. I was so proud of myself when I was able to read the Goblet of fire on my own when it came out. At the time the thought of reading a book that big by myself seemed impossible. I love Harry Potter for a lot of reasons. Things were also rough growing up with what was going on in my family.
I remember going by a movie theater showing the first HP movie and seeing people with picket signs. They were passing out pamphlets about “what Harry Potter teaches children,” and all the quotes were from Voldemort. 🙄
Will listen after my kids leave for school!
The gender circus rivals Rowlings' villains. Take for example, Dr, Marci Bowers, who attended my alma mater, UW-Madison in the late 1970s, where we overlapped but didn't know each other. His name was Mark back then. His famous self-description, in a glitter glory piece for the alumni newsletter, is this quote, "I'm a woman with a gender history." Dr. Bowers is still married to the mother of their 3 children, but only in name. He's had well-publicized romances with women since he "came out" to Ann soon after she gave birth that third time. She probably has more money than if she'd sued for divorce, but this situation appears quite un-liberated, from the stand point of me and my trans widow cohort. I was offered Ann's option, to keep a thin shell of marriage by certificate only, and opted out.
A Rowling-esque "trans widow in the woods, axe handy for tidying" short is what you find here:
J K Rowling defending children against life-altering surgery and puberty blockers is a far cry from the Harry Potter controversy of the past. Kids aren’t able to ethically make those decisions yet, & parents & doctors have no right to make them for them. Look at the stats of those kids who later irreversibly regret it.
To urge others not to read Harry Potter as a few religious groups did is protected speech. To make death threats against an author like some activist trans groups have done is a crime. Distinguishing between legal objections and illegal threats should not be lost in this debate.
Authors and their estates also have the right to pander and destroy the original works of an author as the estate of Roald Dahl is. If one was to endorse a 'don't buy this book' movement, endorsing the new, nice, and sanitary version of Dahl's work would be an important endeavor.
Fantastic. The darkness of the human soul is not something to ignore but to understand. Look at ChatGPT and Bing Chat, these Large Language Models mimic us. They say horrible brutal things. We say horrible brutal things. There is no book that should be burned, particularly those we fear and disdain. Above the temple to Apollo is the wisdom: Know thyself. This is the wisdom of Freud and Campbell and Jung and Rowling too. ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ Know thyself you are not a god. Yes the voice of conscience is a small one, so very frail, and it is the newest voice within us. We are animals first, the dominant predator of all the animals.
Looking forward to this one.
Thanks, Bari et al! 😀
The first episode was so very good, based on an interview that the subject handled in a meaningful way. It seemed like an AUTHENITIC conversation Alas, the second episode, from what I have heard so far, is filled with the exact opposite, using the same southern preacher quite twice and no actual interviews, minus a couple of quick soundbites. I haven't heard the rest of the episode yet, but trying to fit this story into a larger conversation about all the noise since the 90s, takes away from the beautiful exchange between interviewer and engaging subject.
I had a long drive today and actually listened to both. This is very unusual for me.
I think the comparison I am anticipating between the Christian witch hunters and the transgender witch hunters is spot on. Hysteria is hysteria. Dehumanization is dehumanization. If dialogue stops, humanity loses, and it really doesn't matter how right you feel; and this is ESPECIALLY true if you can't even ENGAGE in debate or say anything intelligent. The Christian Right was at least able to articulate its views, albeit often upon bad information. The Trans people are simply asserting that men can become women and that is that and if you disagree watch your effing back. The Nazis themselves did nothing different from that, and I say that in a calculated and historically studied way.
I am overwhelmed with your courage, curiosity, determination and honesty. Bringing these podcasts are a boon to our society and culture. My favorite message from the first two episodes: think things over before you are convinced you are right, as in absolutely correct.
Excellent start. Thank you, thank you. Again.
Also, as a (admittedly volunteer) librarian at my son's (Christian) school, we're big fans of the HP series. However, we had to get it approved by the board, "just in case." I think 90% of our families are HP fans.
I was a young man living in a small town in Northern California when the book, "The Exorcist" was published. I was going to college, living in a group household, and had permission to practice on an old upright piano in the meeting hall of a Lutheran Church near where I lived which I did at odd hours. One morning I was there playing the piano when the minister's wife came in. I didn't know her very well at that point. She wanted me to do her a favor, which I was more than happy to oblige. There was a woman parishioner who had started to read The Exorcist but partway through became so fearful of it that she threw the book out on her front porch. Now she was stuck in her apartment unable to leave unless someone came and removed the book. The woman's husband was stationed at the nearby Naval base and unavailable. I am not making this up. The minister's wife wanted to know if I would go remove the book from her porch. She herself had her own three children across the street at the parsonage and her husband had their car. So I walked home then drove to the address she had given me and picked up this paperback book sitting their on the porch. Took it home and read it out of curiosity. Not bad but not at all a style I was interested in. Kind of predictable.
I first started purchasing these books for my children, back when my daughter was 12 and my son was 10. I read them aloud to the entire family (including my husband). I can remember laughing so hard, while reading the beginning of the first book, that I had tears in my eyes. Even though I was an adult when I first discovered the story of Harry Potter, to me this story was always about Love being the most powerful force in the Universe (a theme first introduced to me when my fourth-grade teacher read aloud to our class Madeleine L'Engle's book A Wrinkle in Time). More than ever now, I believe we humans need new stories (what Joseph Campbell once referred to as "new myths") that will inspire our hearts and minds to listen to the quiet voice of conscience within ourselves (a voice which J.K. Rowling refers to in Chapter Two of this podcast series). Thank you, Megan, for this series! I am really, really enjoying it, and I feel like I'm even more of a fan now of J.K. Rowling than ever before. : )
Listened to the first episode. Learned things about her I didn’t know. Looking forward to the next ones.