Monday, December 13, 2010

House-elves and Feminism

"Dobby sir... Dobby the house-elf"

In light of the recent Harry Potter movie, these words just echoed within my head. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was the first book I read and I just love Dobby. 

I think I really connected with Dobby on several counts:

An insane, obsessive and indescribable worship of Harry Potter.
A powerful urge to protect the aforementioned specimen of courage, goodness and bravery.
A penchant for sticking out of the crowd with insane ideas.
A will to stand up for what's right.
A person who enjoys freedom above all.

Now Dobby wanted freedom from oppression and he got it. He enjoyed it but still shuddered at the "riches" Dumbledore offered. He adored work and didn't mind admitting it, he just wanted his worth. His dedication and affection are unparalleled.

He is FUN. 

Now before you start wondering what feminism has to do with all this or if you have got a whiff of the alley I'm headed at, let's go to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Now, Hermione comes up with the SPEW. It sounded ridiculous to me. Exactly how Harry and Ron felt at the time, my thoughts reverberated on similar lines. They want to work for free, let them. Hemione seemed downright silly to me and her ideas about brain-washing seemed absurd. Alright, Dobby wanted freedom, he's an exception.

Years later at Grimmauld Place, Harry lords over Kreacher and he realises what a raw deal house-elves have. Hermione's words finally make sense and he changed his chauvinistic views and especially how he felt Kreacher was responsible for Sirius' death. 

So did I.
But then, suddenly something just clicked in my head.

As a die-hard feminist, I've often stated how brain-washed women are and how true gender equality and freedom are far from being real. I realised that as far as house-elves were concerned, I was the chauvinist! I thought the exact same things that infuriated me about exceptions and capabilities and so on and so forth until the seventh book. 

I've changed my opinion now, of course but J K Rowling has taught me to never judge too quickly. It's okay to have an opinion but you must be open enough to alter that and most importantly, give an ear for what others say, there might be some wisdom.

Who'd have thought I took spiritual courses from Harry Potter?

On a final note, I'd just like to say "Here is a free elf"


  1. dobby's seriously the most adorable character in hp :D super post <3

  2. omg...Dobby is one of my heroes too.I've noticed afer reading your blog ,we are kind of similar!!
    weird much?? I know..anyway since you like harry potter so much and obviously must be dying to read can try harry potter fanfiction where fans write can try to write too :)

  3. Hey Topazoe thanks for following my blog and same pinch :-) Anyway, thanks for the tip, will try. And how similar are we? :-)

  4. unhealthy obsession for harry potter,wearing glasses,passion for writing ...oh and the love for history :)
    Although I'm more interested in myths and legends..
    And pls don't mention it :)

  5. oh and by the way,pls drop into my blog if you have time :)
    Cheers :)

  6. That was a very nice comparison . Never thought of it that way but totally makes sense now !