Why I Don’t Like Dumbledore

 

Trigger warning: mentions of abuse


Albus Dumbledore was a great wizard but a shit person.

Hold up, HP fans, let me explain.

I love Harry Potter. How could I not? I was the perfect age to grow up with Harry; I went to midnight book releases and the first movie previews, my parents read me the books before I could read them myself and I, along with almost every other teenage girl, dressed up as Hermione for Halloween nearly every year.

With that being said, I still think that Albus Dumbledore was not a good person.

Why?

Quite simply because Dumbledore left Harry with Vernon and Petunia Dursley. Albus Dumbledore, one of the most venerated characters in literary history, knowingly left a child in an abusive environment.

As the daughter of an emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive father, I think that is one of the worst things an adult can do to an innocent child.

And yes, HP fans, I do understand his reasoning. Allegedly, spending time with Harry’s aunt would protect him from Voldemort, as she was a direct relative of Harry’s mother, Lily. The charm that was enacted when Lily sacrificed her life for her son, would, supposedly, continue to protect Harry if he lived with his abusive aunt and uncle.

And yes, I do understand that Dumbledore was not omnipotent and wouldn’t have been able to predict Voldemort’s plans, but he was also an incredibly powerful wizard who made no attempt to save Harry from being forced to live in a cupboard.

In my opinion, Dumbledore was an incredibly manipulative man. McGonagall explicitly tells him in the books that the Dursley’s are not good people, and yet he still leaves a child on their doorstep at night, in the middle of winter (which would constitute criminal negligence nowadays). He didn’t ask them if they wanted to adopt Harry, he simply forced another child onto two people who he was told where not very competent parents to start with. And then does nothing to try and rescue Harry from an abusive home. Although some people say that he didn’t know what was going on in Harry’s home life, I doubt that very much. A powerful wizard like Dumbledore, who had so much resting on Harry, would have easily been able to check in on him without exerting much effort. And yet, he did nothing. He let Harry endure years of abuse, to what? Build his character? Make sure his fame as The Boy Who Lived didn’t go to his head?

I’m sure there are some loopholes in my theories, but I will always stand by the fact that adults who ignore the suffering of a child when they have the ability to help are not good people, and adults who are in a position of power and knowingly ignore a child being abused are definitely not good people.

Remember, abuse does not have to be physical; it can be emotional or verbal as well. I felt so much more connected to Harry on the days that my father yelled at me or told me something was my fault because I knew that Harry had felt the same way. The Dursley’s were his abusers, but Dumbledore, like many people in my life, was the person who failed him most. Dumbledore watched as Harry was shoved into a cupboard and treated like dirt for his formative years, and instead of helping him, he went on to groom him into becoming a child soldier, someone who was willing to die for the greater good.

Even Snape realises what Dumbledore did was horrific when he is finally told of the connection between Harry and Voldemort in The Deathly Hallows:

“You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment? You have used me… I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter…” (chapter 33 p. 182-185).

At the end of the day I see no reason why a reader should like Albus Dumbledore. He leaves Harry in an abusive household, he lies to him, keeps secrets from him, becomes a father figure to him then lets Harry watch him die, and all the while making sure Harry grows into the type of teenager who will sacrifice himself.

And that, fellow HP fans, is why I think Albus Dumbledore is not a good person.

*if you’d like some more reasons, this tumblr thread lists some of the other ways Dumbledore fails not only Harry, but also many of the other characters throughout the entire series.

And here is some more tumblr inspired wisdom.

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I Got A Pap Smear Today And So Should You

Firstly, I need to preface this article by saying that I don’t know how to be a proper adult yet and I still find making doctors appointments super scary, so I nagged my mum and eventually she did it for me.

Unfortunately, good ol’ mum failed to mention that the gynaecologist about to put his fingers into my vag was a man, so when I walked into the doctor’s office I was greeted by the sight of a balding gentleman rubbing his hands together and staring at anatomical pictures of female genitalia. Safe to say I was a little creeped out, but I only really started sweating when he introduced himself as my doctor.

I was so nervous. Most of the women in the generations above me have some sort of horror story to tell about old men sticking speculums into their sensitive areas and cranking those buggers open wide enough to have a sneak peak at their cervix. I was prepared for pain, but I needn’t have been.

The doctor was lovely. It turned out that he was rubbing his hands together to try and warm them up in order to make the whole “stranger sticking his fingers into my vagina” experience slightly more pleasant, which I did appreciate when the time came to get down to it.

All in all, the procedure didn’t hurt one bit.

When it was over I mentioned that I had avoided this visit for years because I had expected the procedure to hurt. I was told that I was not the only woman to do so, and when I said that I didn’t think it was all that important I was promptly informed that I really wasn’t the only one.

The thing is, we don’t talk about vaginas enough. Female genitalia is still a taboo subject and honestly, that needs to change. I shouldn’t have avoided an important doctors appointment because I was ill informed and too scared to take my kit off in front of a trained professional. And the fact that there is an entire medical field dedicated to keeping vaginas healthy goes to show just how important it is to look after our little ladies.

Personally, I got tested because a friend of mine contracted HPV and sent me this document from the HPV Information Centre. It’s long and arduous to read, so here’s a summary of the important facts:

  • HPV is considered to be the most common sexually transmitted infection out there, to the extent that almost every sexually active person will contract it at some point in their lifetime.
  • HPV can cause cervical cancer in women.
  • Cervical cancer ranks as the 4th cause of female cancer in the world, and the 2nd in woman aged 15-44.
  • 830 million women aged >=15 are at risk of cervical cancer worldwide.

All I can say to that is go get checked, if for no other reason than to get a cool ultrasound picture of your badass, baby-making uterus to stick on your wall.

The Tavern on Mars

I have killed Victor Camps. There isn’t much way to sugarcoat that kind of news, so I’ve decided saying it outright is probably for the best. I haven’t actually killed him. I killed him in my head, and burnt the chair he gave me as a wedding present, which equates to the same thing if you ask me. If you’re a law-abiding citizen, that is. Obviously actually killing him would be more effective, but I can’t stand the sight of blood. Makes me slightly queasy just thinking about it, so I’m going to stop. I have made the mistake of sitting in his silly little restaurant, The Tavern on Mars, for vengeance sake. What a stupid name. But it does make frustratingly good eggs. The fact that it’s right next to a busy road is fortunate, though. I’m quite sure that drives away at least a few costumers. Thankfully they don’t read the story Victor wrote and put on the walls, although I think they would leave anyway if they did.

 

“Can I get you anything else?”

 

“Yes, another plate of eggs. Please.”

 

“Ok. What are you writing?”

 

“Something banal, probably. I’m not sure yet. Can I get some chips too? Please.”

 

She’s nodding now, the waitress. Good thing my wife isn’t here. She doesn’t like it when I eat crap. Something about cholesterol blocking my arteries and all that jazz. I don’t actually think she knows what that is, but there’s this ad on the telly that plays between her shows about how dangerous cholesterol is. It’s got her all in a tizz, so now I can’t eat chips and have to take these vitamins in the morning that have a faint orange taste, but in that irritatingly slight way that makes you want to eat an orange but also not because they put you off oranges at the same time. It’s quite confusing, so I’ve been avoiding fruit for the last few days. Which makes my wife more cross, because at school we were taught you have to eat at least three fruits a day. School was quite a good time for her, apparently, but I found it boring. Most people seem to think that I would have liked English, for obvious reasons. I didn’t not like it, but it wasn’t as fantastic as my wife says her class was. The class I really didn’t like was French, but I was strangely good at it. Je ne sais pas pourquoi. That means I don’t know why.

 

“Hi. Are you waiting for anyone?”

 

“No.”

 

“Can I have this chair then? Please.”

 

“Yes, yes, if you must.”

 

“Do you want it?”

 

“No.”

 

“Okay.”

 

I suppose I should get back to Victor Camps. He was my father’s friend, and apparently liked me quite a lot, although I don’t really think he did. He was alive during the First World War, enlisted in the army, and then got himself gassed by some Germans while having a smoke in the second battle of Ypres, although he never did learn how to pronounce the word. He lived, I should add. But he couldn’t really speak afterwards. I’m not sure if that was solely because of the gas messing up his throat, or a combination of inhaling gas and cigarette smoke at the same time. So when he did learn how to pronounce ee-pres he couldn’t even say it, which was quite upsetting for him, I believe. He still smoked though, but he had to smoke French cigarettes, which apparently aren’t very nice. I can’t really comment on that, not having had one before, although une cigarette est une cigarette est une cigarette dans tous les pays, if you ask me. Obviously he didn’t. But he did ask me whether or not he should open The Tavern on Mars. Well he didn’t ask per say, he wrote it down on a napkin in the pub down the road, but I said yes all the same. We eventually worked out that he should make it very futuristic, with aliens and tellies and spaceships and strange noises playing (although I did tell him that the noises would probably annoy people). He said (read: wrote) that he also wanted it to be old school, like a fusion of the future and the past. I’m not really sure what he meant by old school, and I don’t think many of the patrons of The Tavern on Mars do either, but he was insistent. He made me go and find pictures of what the road The Tavern is on used to look like, which was really quite difficult. We then took it to some artist who added gaudy little aliens to the pictures that I didn’t like but Victor did. After that we found out all the history about what happened in this town, about how the French blockaded the road and used it as a vantage point to try and keep the Germans out. It didn’t work, obviously, and most of the road was ruined because your average road isn’t built to withstand the weight of tanks and missiles and whatnot. But we did it anyway, and Victor wrote a little piece about how he had to help put the road back together so that the Germans could get their tanks over it, even though he didn’t know anything about building roads. He did it anyway, though, and with the help of a few other men they got the road fixed, and the Germans got their tanks over it and went on to gas more people in other places.

A few months after that Victor watched a documentary on how eventually cars will fly and how everything will be electronic, and got a bit upset that he had wasted all that time building the damn road when it would just be remade in a couple of years time. The general consensus is that the gas made him a bit loopy, so to say, and that’s why he kept going on about flying cars and flying saucers and flying people. I think that’s why he wanted to make The Tavern on Mars a strange combination of the past and what he thought was the near future, so he wouldn’t have to redo the whole place in a few years time. He was a strange man.

Anyway, onto why I’ve killed him. In my head, that is. The reason is quite simple: Victor Camps has painted the road outside The Tavern on Mars. Purple. He painted it purple, because apparently that’s a very futuristic colour. It’s just a small patch, to be clear, but it’s not the colour a road should be. And now he’s just disappeared. Left a note saying he’s been abducted in my letterbox and then vanished. Maybe he has been abducted, I’m not really sure, but I do know that I have to pay for the road to be re-painted. Which is why I’ve killed him in my head, and burnt the chair he gave me as a wedding present. It was a garish thing, covered in stars and spacecrafts. I’m also taking the tellies that are in The Tavern, so my wife and I can watch in different rooms. Plus, I think that will ruin business a bit more, because most people just come for the eggs and the shows. Someone’s even put some gum on Victor’s story, so I think it’s safe to say nobody comes for that.

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