Skepchick Quickies 7.14


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Love the Hermione link!

    The article about the sham vaccination program horrified me. CNN also has an article about it posted today. On the up side, the article introduced me to Maryn McKenna’s work. I have to get Beating Back the Devil. Like her, I find emerging epidemics to be strangely fascinating.

  2. I always thought that about Harry Potter. Harry is some legacy student who has everything handed to him and a ton of powerful wizards looking out for him. Hermione is a “half-blood” who has had to overcome discrimination to become the school’s top student.

    Hermione is a much more interesting story.

    1. She was given a very powerful magic item that let her time travel and take more classes.

      Not exactly left in the lurch.

    2. Sorry but Hermione is muggle born (or more unplesently called “mudblood”) Harry is Half-Blood anyhoo off to see the deathy hallows (part 1).

      1. .
        Harry’s parents were both wizards. Though his mom came from muggle parents, so he’s not Pure Blood, I don’t think that qualifies him as half-blood.

        Ok sorry, enough dorky sidetracking!

    3. Harry may be a legacy student, but that is probably the only thing he really had over Hermione. The powerful wizards that took an interest in Harry also took an interest in his friends. Lets not forget that Harry had no support structure, or friends for the first twelve years of his life, was psychologically abused, and neglected for much of that time. And his parents were offed by a maniac that put Harry in the same deadly sights the moment Harry returned to the magical world after his exile.
      Hermione is integral to the story, and the success of the good guys as all the characters acknowledge. Hermione is great and no mistake, but lets not be too hard on Harry.

  3. On the Hermoine article, however… is it because she’s a girl, or because she’s a nerd? I think a good portion of why the books are not about her is because she’s a nerd, rather than because she’s a girl.

    For one thing, if the books are about Hermoine, you get Quidditch from her point of view on the ground, rather than Harry’s in the game. Not necessarily bad (or, hell, leave out the Quidditch altogether; I’m enough of a nerd I want to see a history of Quidditch scoring, to figure out why they use everything in 10s instead of 1s), but definitely a different point of view.

    1. Or it could be because Harry’s the chosen one.

      And without Quidditch, we wouldn’t have nerds running around on broomsticks, pegging each other with balls.

      1. Agreed. I was on the Vassar campus a while back and ran in to their Quidditch team.

        Pretty amazing thing to watch.

  4. Aw, it made me laugh, and I love Ron. Especially in the last book, he’s just such a great character. And Rupert Grint is adorably hot.

  5. About the pastafarian

    “The stunt got him an invitation to the doctor’s to check he was mentally fit to drive”

    Lol :)

    Yep Harry potter should be retitled the adventures of Hermione Granger.

  6. My wife and I started reading the Harry Potter series to our six year old daughter about 4 months ago. We seemed to have timed it just right so that we are finishing the last book as the last movie is coming out. After reading the series the second time with my daughter, I really do appreciate what a strong female role model Hermione is.

    I agree somewhat with the article that Hermione’s character should be more celebrated by the media and fans. She’s the one who’s works the hardest — as opposed to Harry who either relies on natural ability or just slides through potions with the Half-Blood Prince’s book, what’s that teaching our kids? I disagree though with the article when it claims the books should be named after her and about her, it wouldn’t be as interesting of a series from her perspective.

    It’s unfortunate that reaction to her character on screen has been more: “Wow she’s hot, just wait till she’s 18 and she’ll be legal,” rather than holding her up as a role model for young girls.

  7. Hermione = Velma (does all the work);
    Harry = Fred (takes all the credit);
    Ron = Shaggy (comic relief);
    Ginny = Daphne (gets kidnapped a lot)

  8. Hahaha, and that’s EXACTLY why Hermione is my favourite.

    Not to mention that she’s the one who got stuck with the ‘skeptic in a world with magic’ trope. Though it does seem that Rowling was making an effort to clarify that ‘magic’ doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules, and you can’t just make any claim you want (I love the argument between Hermione and Mr. Lovegood in the final book).

  9. Hermione is a Mary Sue and Rowling had enough sense not to make her the main character because, let’s face it, main character Mary Sues usually suck.
    But the books are about Hermione; she had to struggle to get what she wants, she is opressed in a way that gives her empathy beyond her years (H.E.L.F. anyone?), and she almost always is the one that saves the day. If Harry Potter is a pseudo-messianic tale with Harry as the Christ figure, Hermione is his guardian angel.
    She is, take your pick, Velma (as mentioned above), Trinity, The Scarecrow (smartest without being given credit), Leia, Spock, and the list goes on and on.
    Defs my favorite character, and totally all about her.
    Check out this take on HP, it’s pretty funny and interesting.

  10. I love the Hermione link. She’s totally my hero. I did think the Ron dissing was unnecessary though. it’s always disappointed me that the main character wasn’t a girl especially since Rowling is a woman, but it is what it is and I still love it all.

    The pastafarian thing still cracks me up. Disappointing of course that he had to get a mental evaluation, but it proves SUCH a good point.

  11. I liked the CERN link. I have a question maybe some of the women can help explain.

    One of her sentences: “In social settings, I’ve never felt more constantly objectified, hit on, and creeped on than while at CERN.”

    What does “creeped on” mean? I have some ideas. Someone hitting on you awkwardly. Someone staring at you all night from across the room. Am I close?

    1. You are close. Here are some specific examples:
      -saying things that are meant to be flirty while putting his hand on my knee
      -winking while saying something meant to be flirty (maybe it’s just me, but I absolutely hate winking)
      -I have been hanging out with guy friends and am kind of drunk. It has been raining outside. As I walk back to my room, one of the guys, who I am alone in a stairwell with at midnight, mentions how wet I am (double entendre, you see, because of the rain), wiggles his eyebrows at me, and giggles.
      -trying to play footsie with me under the table when we are not romantically involved
      -touching me anywhere besides my arms (an arm touch is ok; your hand on my hip is not ok)

      Basically, it’s flirting that instead of being just annoying, is also creepy.

  12. (1.) I hate Harry Potter. Thought the books sucked. I like other fantasy, just could not for the life of me get into the Harry Potter franchise and I gave up about half way through the 3rd book. So…yeah I guess I lose huge geek creed.
    (2.) Has the CIA ever done anything really ethical? Is there any really wonderful thing we can say “Hey look what the CIA did!” about? False vaccinations are bad, but so are military juntas.
    (3.) The Pastafarian is great, though I wonder if other religious folk have to do the crazy test.
    (4.) The CERN thing…it’s just sad.
    @nebulinda are those things options??? I want to rub up on women just as much as the next guy, but I thought if I did, I would get labeled “that guy” and never know the touch of woman again, get the hell beaten out of me by an angry woman, or get fired. Obviously its not OK to you, but are there really men that think that is OK?

    1. “are there really men that think that is OK?” –

      Sadly, they not only think it’s okay, they think it’s their right, and will get angry and argumentative if you try to tell them differently. Have you been paying attention to the other threads? :D

  13. I have, but it made my head hurt.

    I know this is absolutely the wrong message to take from all of this, but I feel like…wait…all these years I could have been letting my inner sleaze out and not faced any consequences?

    1. Unfortunately I am not very assertive. So if a guy is touching me in a way that makes me uncomfortable I will just move, but usually not say anything. In the case of the guy in the stairwell, I think I just said, “Uh… byeseeyoulater,” and quickly left.

      One of the problems at CERN is that I feel like I have to put up with it, or not have a social life. Especially if I want to consume any alcohol. I feel if I told off everyone at a party who was touching me, that’s all I would be talking about. And I don’t want to just stay home from the party, because, like I said, I want a social life. I have told one of the worst offenders to leave me alone and he got really defensive, like I was being unreasonable. Avoiding him means avoiding all my other friends.

      1. If the creepiest guy you mentioned is in fact continuing that kind of behavior AFTER you told him not to, then he is harassing you.
        At which point it would probably help a lot to mention this to your other friends. At least it’ll make them realise this kind of behaviour bothers you, and they may even have a talk with “that guy” and hopefully make him realise that acting like Howard Wolowitz from Big Bang Theory is funny on TV but seriously not done in real life.

        Then again, it’s not your job to educate them on how to develop a social life …

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