Been MIA for a bit due to the rapid bombardment of changes and transitions in mine life. I don't do well with change (i.e. transitions), so avoidance was key.
A good transition: I got a job as a volunteer at the Childrens' Services office. They don't pay me, but this job is going to secure me a spot in the MSW program next year. I scored big with this placement because they treat me more like an intern than a volunteer. I've gotten to read case files and shadow social workers during investigations, meetings, visitations, etc. It's been really exciting, though I've been informed that I have no soul/something's wrong with me because I'm excited about this job. Pfft! I'm not a sociopath. I just went into the experience expecting to encounter sad stories and situations. That's kinda what social work is.
Now, for some fandom business.
Sarah Rees Brennan (formerly known in fandom as the illustrious Maya) wrote an interesting essay about how reversing the genders of popular fictional characters reveals how much harsher fans tend to judge female characters as opposed to males
Quote from section on Harry Potter: "I think people would be less fond of him if he was Harriet Potter. If he was a girl, and she'd had a sad childhood but risen above it, and she'd found fast friends, and been naturally talented at her school's only important sport, and saved the day at least seven times. If she'd had most of the boys in the series fancy her, and mention made of boys following her around admiring her. If the only talent she didn't have was dismissed by her guy friend who did have it. If she was often told by people of her numerous awesome qualities, and was in fact Chosen by Fate to be awesome.
Well, then she'd be just like Harry Potter, but a girl. But I don't think people would like her as much."
I'm inclined to agree. I know I wouldn't care for Harriet Potter. But then again, I don't care much for Harry for these exact reasons. For every Mary Su, there is a dozen Gary Stus wandering around.
Here's another analysis
by [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com]
, wherein she writes about how changing Harry's gender would negate the entire series. Though an interesting read, I mostly disagree with her ideas. For instance, I think "Harriet" would, if anything, incur Petunia's wrath even more than Harry did by further resembling Lily. Nor do I believe Snape would have been any kinder to her than he was to Harry. True, Harry galled him by so closely resembling James, but Harriet would still be James and Lily's kid with all the baggage that comes with. Also, I think Draco would have been just as likely to attempt befriending a female chosen one as a male-- prestige is prestige. Also, Harriet's rejection might have made him even MORE obsessively resentful than he was of Harry because being rejected by a girl would have that extra special layer of sexual rejection on top of plain old regular flavored rejection. Imagine how much of a nuisance he would have been then
. Lastly, Harriet would still be Harry-- reckless, Gryffindor personality and all. There's no reason why she wouldn't still find her way onto the Quidditch team or into all those crazy misadventures Harry did. So in essence, I don't believe changing Harry into Harriet would change anything except the popularity of the books. Unfortunately.