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The Elder Wand, the Deathstick, the Wand of Destiny, Or Penis Enhancer?

July 27, 2007
Hey, you knew someone was going to go there!

Okay, okay, one more Harry Potter entry and I will move on. Although I reserve the right to allude to it whenever I want.

My dear gentle readers (I’ve been reading Austen people trying to sooth something, not sure what, morality?) Pippa and Arantxa are calling the Harry Potter saga sexist. I cannot agree with them more. For years I have been trying to find a loophole, enough of a subversion to declare it a work of feminism or at the bare minimum, feminism friendly. I even desperately tried to help a senior who was brainstorming a Harry Potter as feminism thesis, but alas, I had to suggest that she scrap the idea and come up with another. Luckily, for my confidence, her professor (a published feminist) advised the same. My conclusion is, Harry Potter is mainstream ideology that reflects middle class heteronormativity. Having said that I can still enjoy it and I do, however, I also attempt to keep my escapism in perspective.

Harry Potter centers around the power of the phallic, the wand (power) –what witch or wizard can do magic without his or her wand? None, they must have a wand. Having a wand creates a hierarchy. Symbolically the Muggles, both male and female are castrated, they have no wands and cannot do magic. (Would that mean Petunia has a classic case of penis envy?) In the wizarding (the all-encompassing word omits the witch, but assumes the all-inclusive similar to mankind meaning everyone, but really wink wink just men) world the wand is the quasi-equalizer. Even though we see no male characters who are domestically similar to Molly Weasley’s role and what begins to unfold as Fleur’s fate. You know, Fleur, the female supposedly so skilled she qualified to compete in the Tri-wizard tournament. But maybe she was just the best of her lot and her lot was not all that, they were all girls anyway. Mostly described as beautiful and seductive, and in the movie, Goblet of Fire they have the butterflies flying around them all Cinderella and Snow White like.

Anyway, why is a wand the source of magic, why not a magic conch shell (it is good enough for Patrick Starr and Spongebob I tell you!). Or in keeping with something made out of wood (I just had a Beavis and Butt-head moment) maybe a walnut, coconut, or a petrified guava could do. Perhaps any object that does not resemble the phallic. But we all know the answer to that don’t we? One must have an extension, something long, stiff, and powerful. Something that can be wield about threateningly. What is it that Hermione says to Ron, “Wands are only as powerful as the wizards who use them. Some wizards just like to boast that theirs are bigger and better than other people’s” (pg. 415). What was Voldemort after? The most powerful wand. Instead of improving his skills, clearing his mind, working out all his psychological hang-ups (I read somewhere that 95% of impotence and poor performance is psychological) he simply wants to take the Viagra way out, as did Dumbledore and Gregorovitch and Grindelwald. Thus, Harry is the hero because he refuses the Viagra and elects to use his own wand. Although noble in the circumstances he was still fixated on having his original wand repaired, thus free from living with a penile implant replacement.

Oh, how it pissed me off that Harry made Hermione feel guilty about breaking his wand. There he was, a big fat snake sitting on him practically suffocating him to death, holding him for the awaiting doom of Voldemort and who saves his ass (again x1000), Hermione. Nevertheless, in the process his wand is broken. We can safely interchange his wand here for his ego. Injure the wand, bruise the ego. He feels emasculated, castrated and impotent. What is the exact line? “He had spilled his own blood more times than he could count; he had lost all the bones in his right arm once; this journey had already given him scars to his chest and forearm to join those on his hand and forehead, but never, until this moment, had he felt himself to be fatally weakened, vulnerable, and naked, as though the best part of his magical power had been torn from him (350).”

I can only make fun of it all, really.

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