blogging gobbledygook and such

A lecturer am pretty close to, along with some classmates, has invited self and said classmates to contribute to a journal she plans to produce with another lecturer. It’s about gender and sexuality, and topic range is popular culture. Am supposed to submit an abstract by next week so she can have a look and discuss further with us. Have come up with two ideas so far.

1. Harry Potter
If you haven’t already noticed this yourself, you’d probably see that many central characters in the Harry Potter series are male. Thus, would like to observe and explore how J. K. Rowling divides important roles among the genders (this is rather clumsily phrased as can’t think of a better way to put it – if you can help out greatly appreciated!). The thesis statement would go along the lines of: despite the main characters central to the plot are predominantly male, the really important and indispensable characters are female.
Edit: Oh goat, maybe should reconsider this. Look at the list of characters alone!
Edit edit: Sigh, now am thinking of a thesis statement the opposite of the initial idea: that Rowling depicts a wizarding world that is sexist. Which sounds pretty much like stating the obvious, doesn’t it? 😦

2. Slimming centre advertisements
This ubiquitous ads, to self, paint an unrealistic picture of how easy it seems to lose weight. Thesis statement would sound like: slimming centre advertisements portray an inaccurate picture about the amount of work and money it takes to maintain a slim body, as well as giving a false impression of achieving happiness by losing weight.

Am leaning towards the latter because am passionate about the subject, but at the same time studying Harry Potter would definitely be interesting. It would definitely be more work than studying slimming centre advertisements, as for that the data can be selected and minimal.

So, which do you prefer personally and why? Would love to hear your opinion, and if you want to refine the thesis statement or suggest an improvement on the angle of the paper, please feel free to do so. 🙂

Comments on: "Which one you personally prefer, for curiosity purposes?" (8)

  1. I’d do the Harry Potter one, it seems more apt to me somehow. And yea, though most of the characters are male, the females are very important too and with the fifth book, there have been kisses as well so you can call them indispensable too 😛

    And I think you’ve phrased it well. Can’t think of anything better myself right now but if I have a stroke of enlightenment, I’ll write it up.

    sulz: have already guessed you’d go for harry potter. 😉 well, am going to type up the abstract this weekend to pass up next week, so we’ll see lecturer’s reaction and recommendation.

  2. lovelyloey said:

    Harry Potter would be interesting; pivotal female characters that I can recall off-hand are Hermione, Lily, and Trelawney (the prophecy which is essentially the guiding principle of the war). But nevertheless, it was the MALES that created the conflict and the situation; Voldemort’s rise, Pettigrew’s betrayal, etc. So there’s a lot of argument to be done methinks

    No likey the slimming ad one because of the thesis statement. Somehow to me it isn’t really linked to gender and sexuality. Unless you’re going to argue that slimming ads have changed people’s perception of what is sexy, or that slimming ads essentially just portrays women as sexualised objects (therefore taking a step back from all the feminist movements).

    sulz: well, the paper would have to be “skewed” in the way that looks as if the female characters are more central lah. 😛 that’s what research papers are about, to make a (controversial, if possible) statement and back it up with facts.

    yea, just realised that after discussing with friends. maybe could alter the thesis statement to relate it to either gender or sexuality, or save the idea for final paper in the last semester. the sexualised objects angle could work, hmm…

  3. Ah, there are more pivotal women characters in HP. There’s Ginny, she’s Harry’s muse and kissing companion. Then there’s Harry’s mother who saved him once from Voldemort and because Snape loved her secretly, he kept on protecting Harry and betraying Voldemort for having killed her. But yea, the number of males still surpasses the females.

    Maybe you could write a book called Harriet Potterina?

    sulz: am having second thoughts now, included an edit in the post. 😕 will be thinking it over this weekend. ginny, of course, and there are plenty more important female characters, though as to how to convincingly discuss this view is the tricky part!

    isn’t one rip-off of harry potter enough already? 😉

  4. Ah that’s nothing. I used to be a moderator at a forum earlier and we had a series called Parry Hotter complete with character art and animations. It was awesome but then one day without notice, the forum went offline and we lost all our data.

    We had four authors for that series and it may have worked really well with all the Potter haters cause 3 out of the 4 thought Harry Potter was the biggest piece of crap ever.

    sulz: there’s a free font with the same name, ha! it follows the type of font used in the american edition of the books. or was that called lumos?

    anyway, now mind is officially messed up! am even considering writing the opposite of the initial idea, about how rowling depicts a wizarding world that’s sexist.

    oh well, lecturer will advise and she should know best. cross fingers. 🙂

  5. I have never read one Harry Potter book or seen one movie. It is hardly an adult subject. It is a kiddy show. And though in the promotions you see male characters, that is easily explainable. These are movies aimed at the immature and young girls. So you have a lot of cute young guys and a few cute young girls to pretend to be empowering the girls whom are watching.

  6. how about homoeroticism and harry’s oedipus complex?:P you know, his unresolved issues with his parents, why he’s so uptight, etc…as you mentioned before, the men (more often than not) comparing wand lengths, harry’s strange ties to voldemort, him being constantly compared to his father…you could also theorise that draco malfoy is homosexual, what with his always being with crabbe and goyle and is also portrayed as somewhat effeminate.

    but yeah, harry potter as affirming the dominant patriarchal discourse and that of masculinity. you could also talk about how while female characters (mcgonnagal (sp?), umbridge, lestrange) are in prominent positions of relative power, they all still serve as deputies, or not long in positions of actual authority.

    🙂 hope it helps some.

    sulz: homo-what? oedi-what? do they compare their wand lengths?! don’t remember that bit…

    your second paragraph makes more sense to self! 😛 it’s certainly an easier route for the paper, with plenty of examples to prove the theory, as you pointed out some already.

  7. The HP one is too easy and less of a challenge to me, but then you get all these strange and insightful bits on philosophy. I’d bet you could find something linking HP to Sade’s works or maybe Nietzsche (Ubermensch/Overhuman and H.P being or becoming it in some way) 😛

    sulz: goat, am not that intellectual! have not been exposed to nietzsche et al. anyway have discussed with lecturer and she recommended the dominant patriarchal bit about harry potter, aka meldee’s angle. it’s enough of a challenge for self, really!

    (thanks meldee! karma for your air ticket, think 😀 )

  8. whee! i love being helpful 🙂 drop me an email if you need help relating it to any theoretical framework.

    but off the bat, i think feminist theorists like judith butler, julia kristeva, luce irigaray and (in terms of film) teresa de lauretis would help some.


    sulz: okay, if am desperate (ie lazy) :mrgreen: may take you up on your offer. those name may come in handy when start researching, thanks much. 🙂

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