Ok, here is why I am ticked off at J.K. Rowling and the brouhaha surrounding the announcement about Dumbledore.
Act 1 – Coming out.
First of let me say this: I do not care if Dumbledore is or isn’t gay. It wouldn’t make a difference to me even if I found out that he at one time was attracted to Mrs. Norris. For that matter, I don’t care whether McGonagall prefers girls, whether Umbridge is into S & M, or why Hagrid is obsessed with dragons. This is not why I read Harry Potter. I am quite sure that parents who brought their kids to the Q&A with J.K. Rowling didn’t bring them in for the enlightening sex ed talk either. Most of them came to talk about wizards, spells and magic, and instead were treated to a coming out party for Dumbledore. It is not about homosexuality at all; I would be just as upset if she revealed to the audience full of children that Dumbledore had an affair with a female professor. By doing this, Rowling robbed parents of the decision only they should make: when and how to talk to children about sex because I am sure many a conversation, for which adults might not have been prepared for, happened on the way home. All in all, this was not appropriate for the audience and the setting. The same info could have been revealed on Rowling's website, but then it might not have generated as much media attention, which brings us to...
Act 2 – The media reaction.
And then media jumps on this news as if there is nothing else to report and milks it for weeks. 17,000 children, who have died of starvation on the same day Dumbledore came out, didn’t make the news (that is already mundane), but the new antics of Britney Spears have, and so have the outing of a fictional character. Again, for days! (By the way, all of this is based on the CNN news website coverage, maybe some other sites exercised more common sense, though I doubt it). And all those pro-gay rights orgs’ praising Rowling's heroic fight to stop prejudice? Seriously, if the fictional character’s coming out helps to further your cause, then I… I don’t even know what to say then, other than DUMBLEDORE IS A WORK OF FICTION, NOT A REAL PERSON! PEOPLE GET LIVES!!!!
Act 3 – Innocence Lost (This is where I get preachy).
I think this entire Carnegie Hall episode is just one event in our society’s trend. We no longer treasure innocence. Just yesterday, I went clothes shopping for my kids in Children’s Place and Baby Gap where many shoppers come with their children. What kind of music did the stores play? I was there only for two songs, but one of them was mainly made up of one sentence, “I’m not the kind of girl who give it up just like that.” And the second one was “These boots are made for walking,” about a guy who is/was cheating. What did Baby Gap play? “I think we’re alone now” about teenagers hooking up. Why, why is that appropriate for young under-teen ears??? And it is not accidental, because last time I was in these stores, they were playing the same songs over and over again. Since those are chain shores, someone up there in corporate decided that this music fits the stores’ images and attracts young shoppers and their parents. What else did I see on my shopping spree? Low-rising jeans and low-rising underwear for 9 and 10-yr-old girls. Any surprises that some kids start being sexually active before they hit teen-age years? (in case you are wondering, I find this VERY disturbing.)
One of the main achievements of modern age, at least in the industrial world, was introducing idea of childhood, that children have special psychological needs and are not simply small adults. Now we are ruining this achievement by introducing them to things that are too adult, like violence and sex, way too early and see nothing wrong in that. And I think this is a loss, a tremendous loss.