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Old 10-23-2007, 02:40 AM   #76
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I generally do not like to see men or women counseling youth of the opposite sex in private (something I think is under the umbrella of mentoring). This is for several reasons - and one of them is to protect the adult from false accusations. Another reason is that I think it is best to remove sex from being a factor as much as possible in these types of relationships.
Being a teacher, I do see the sense in this. It's sad, but these days you have to be extraordinarily careful.

Anyone who teaches (especially if you're a male teacher) knows basic rules (unspoken or official) about things like keeping your door open when talking to a student of the opposite sex and what not. A heterosexual male teacher spending a lot of time in private counseling or mentoring with a teen-aged girl can be a bit dicey.

That said, the Potter stories speak for themselves. Nothing untoward ever happened between Dumbledore and Harry (unless you're inclined to believe the innuendos of Rita Skeeter types) and the revelation that he's gay does nothing to "automatically" suggest that anything did.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:48 AM   #77
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I also wonder how much Rowling is pandering. If it wasn't such a big deal for her - then why didn't she just say in the story? It's like Margaret Mitchell holding a press conference in 1943 that Rhett Butler was really a Freemason.
Eh. . .I don't know about that. Speaking as an aspiring novelist myself, there's a lot that goes into creating your characters that never makes it on to the page. Some may have heard that she's planning to put out a kind of Harry Potter encyclopedia with all kinds of backstory on many of the characters. (The rumor is that Dean Thomas, I think, is actually this really fascinating guy. . .). In light of how much Rowling has thought about her characters I don't know that this was necessarily a "big deal" trump card she was waiting to play. And my understanding is that she didn't "hold a press conference" to make this announcement. It sounds more like someone asked her a question about if Dumbledore had ever been in love and she answered it. You might be able to argue that she was "pandering" when she decided to "make" him gay in the first place (a kind of "well, I must be politically correct so let me have one of my major characters be gay"), but somehow I don't think so. If she had wanted to do that she would have made it a plot point particularly later in the series. And anyway if she was "pandering", homosexuals weren't the only "interest group" she was "pandering" to. At the very least, I'd argue that Christians, ironically, could be another proported "interest group" as there is some pretty strong Christ imagery, particularly in the last book.

But I don't think she was "pandering" to anyone.
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Old 10-23-2007, 04:13 AM   #78
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I think an underlying theme here is... not the worry that a gay person might molest your child (which is a frankly horrendous repulsive thing to think) but if they are in a mentoring role, and (like a normal person) are happy and content with their life and life choices, they may TAINT your child and ohmygodi'llgetashotgunandkillhimmyself turn him PINK

looking all normal, and having a pictur eof him husband on the desk, and talking to him on the phone, like a normal person instead of the half human sexing disease carrying sicko that people seem to think gay people are.

You're the sick people... for even thinking that, what is wrong with you/your parents and people around you.

Also, kids are the most understanding about love (because as yolland put beautifully, they understand in the most simplistic of terms) unfortunately by the time they get to school, their parents deep centred hatred for gay people (would LOVE to know why) has rubbed off on them and suddenly everything is 'gay' and 'you're a fag' etc

I call them on it, but it means nothing. Being gay or thought of as a poof or a lesbian, is the worst thing that could happen. Now where would they learn that? I have never mentioned gay people, unless in the most positive (for no other reason then it IS positive!) so whos teching them this shit?
Parents. Straight, fucked up, close minded, divorced, coked up, child abusers emotionally and physically and so on. And they're the role models of society while the rest of use (gay, lesibian, transgender and god forbig ATHEISTS) and the scum of the earth.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:11 AM   #79
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There has been one point missed on the 'if yoda was gay' thing....yoda ain't even human...I don't think Luke or Yoda would be each others type

I really can't believe some people are taking offence to Dumbledore being gay
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:30 AM   #80
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Rowling is defenitely NOT pandering. This bit of storyline has been long in coming and there were those of us who suspected---past a certain point. As a lot of people here seem not to be familar with the books, I'll fill a bit of this in.

Dumbledore is a character filled with many charming eccentricities, but until Book 7 it was impossible to read anything into them as regards his character. In Book 6 two small details emerged that in retrospect mean a lot more...to some. In one flashback scene Dumbledore appears wearing a flashy plum-colored crushed velvet suit and his dark hair is elaborately dressed. In another chapter he expresses a fondness for knitting patterns. (Now some fans are also reading into his professed love of socks and his blushing in a scene from an earlier book where Professor MsGonagall compliments him on his earmuffs. Earmuffs?? OH BROTHER. Some suggest that Dumbledore is the "effeminate" type of gay man and there have been some amusing comments about the actor who plays Dumbledore, Micheal Gambon, possibly doing something crazy in light of this revelation about his character, like showing up on the set one day wearing a thong and flashy spangled boots---oh my. I wish!( HP6 is currently being filmed in Britain.)

In Book 7 however things take a turn. We find out many things that change Dumbledore's character for the worse; in the final book he emerges as a very complex character with a troubled past, from, it appears, a very troubled family, instead of just a kindly old man. Most mysterious of all is that when he was 17 Dumbledore had an unrequited love affair with a brilliant 21-yr old fellow student named Gillert Grindlewald who dazzled him with Mein-Kampf like teachings about pure-bloods and power. Dumbledore probably didn't believe half of it, but he was in love and followed his teachings blindly. He would have done anything for Gillert. Mentors? Grindelwald was the mentor. But as it says the feelings weren't returned. There was all sorts of complicated stuff that ultimately involved the death of Dumbledore's sister and his later taking a trip around the world with another student, Eliphias Doge, who, it can be inferred, was more amenable to a relationship. Moreover, since he held himself responsible for his sister's untimely death, it could be argued that Dumbledore never apparently entering--so far as we know--any other lasting relationship, same--sex or not, was his way of doing penance for her death.

What's interesting about this is that some Harry Potter fans have suggested in recent discussions that in Jo Rowling's Wizarding World, the wizards are more tolerant of alternative lifestyles, conscious as they are of their own differences from Muggles, we ordinary folk, magic etc, esp living side by side with them. Well, that apparently isn't the case. Sometimes all too depressingly, Rowling has made her fictional world far too much like our own, even as it is different. This is a quality that many teen and adult fans of the BOOK series have come to love-and paradoxically, some critics of the MOVIES have increasingly come to hate. While readers can take comfort from the lessons to be drawn from people who are at once more and less real than ourselves, moviegoers, (critics reason) still prefer to be swept away in a totally escapist fantasy. In matters like this, honestly, I don't know. It depends on the subject, I guess.

In Chapter 2 of Book 7, one of the principal villains of the series, the tabloid journalist Rita Skeeter (I explain all this for the benefit of people like Irvine who haven't even seen the films) announces that following Dumbledore's death in Book 6, she is doing a new biography of him. This character was evidently Jo's modeling after "revisionist historians" like Tina Brown with Lady Di, that sort of thing. Rita makes the subtle suggestion (in poisonously sweet language that would make you vomit, b/c we hear it on the news every day) that Dumbledore had a dark secret and he wasn't the saint he was cracked up to be and his relationship with Harry was "unhealthy, even sinister" and the reason Dumbledore died was that Harry rose up and finally killed him after years of secret sexual abuse. The pedophile thing. (Harry was a witness to Dumbledore's death.) When Harry reads this article, he feels almost physically ill--though Rowling never says specifically what at. The "pedophile" accusations, or the rest? But the fact that at 16 Harry understands all this suggests Jo is far more mature about what to expose children to than many adults in the Muggle world appear to be. I get the feeling that if Harry was still 12 she'd have let him read the article too.

Of course, all this is suggested in the "coded language" we have all come to recognize on the subject. And we hate Rita even more b/c the information she forced out of her unwilling interviewee (via a spell) was essesinally correct. But not in the motives.

FYI, there's another reason the fundamentalist Christian wingnuts are hitting the ceiling. Rita Skeeter makes another innocous coded "suggestion" in that same chapter of Book 7: that Albus Dumbledore's brother, Aberforth, was tried and found guilty for the crime of bestiality--specifically with goats. In Book 5, in the Hog's Head Inn, Harry and friends briefly meet Aberforth, though they don't know it's him until 2 yrs later in Book 7, where he finally plays a important plot role at the end. (amusingly, in light of all this new revelation, in the Movie of Book 5, we briefly see him--and a goat. Would they have put this in NOW? The actual phrase Jo, through Rita, uses is something like "experimenting with goats" so you really can't tell from reading the book if she means bestiality. For all we know, it could have been that using animals to test new and experiemental magical spells on (similar to the way we use mice and monkeys in laboratories) was illegal in the wizarding world, and that's what he was banished and made an outcast for. That's what thought it meant.

However, between all the dark secrets about Dumbledore's family, and this latest speaking event with Jo, I can't be sure. The evangelicals are also hitting the ceiling because, besides the reply Jo gave to the fan who asked the question about Dumbledore ever falling in love, "(answer: "Well, I've always thought Dumbledore was gay, and that he was in love with Gillert Grindelwald"--cheers from the audience, then she said, "well, if I had known it would make you so happy, I'd have told you earlier!" I don't know about that, she knows Americans too well) Another fan asked her specifically what Aberforth was banished for. What did she mean with the goats.

To this Jo shut right up and gave absolutely no answer. She just asked for the next question. Which she usually never does--she always gives some kind of answer, even if it involved a plot secret from a later book, she'd always give at least a clue. The fact that Jo refused to address this question has led many to believe that Dumbldore's brother did commit bestiality. If so, THAT is quite shocking stuff for a kid's book. Things like this actually become more believable in light of things like Rowling's dark backstory about Dumbledore and Aberforth's younger sister, Ariana, whom Jo in not so coded language this time inferred was gang-raped by three young men at the age of 9 and she was damaged for life, physically and otherwise, by this and her complications from this also led to her death. Their father avenged this brutal act by going after the three men, killing them, and he later died in prison.

Charming family history. But you pity Dumbledore even more now.

Then on top of all this you now will have people reading things into Chapter 37, "King's Cross", a strange chapter where Harry has an out-of-body experience wherehe wakes up naked, hears a thumping noises, thinks he is hearing something "shameful", wishes for robes, instantly puts them on, and then who should walk in but Dumbledore and they have a long conversation. I can't get into what they say or what the thumping noise is b/c it involves the plot of the whole series, this is a key chapter----again this is for people like Irvine--Sick-minded puritanical types will read into this and say that this is a masturbation scene and that Harry secretly harbored feelings for Dumbledore all along and he was bi, he loved Dumbledore before Ginny or anyone else.

To which people like you, Irvine, would say, "SO WHAT?" and I agree, but we're talking about sexuality issues in kid's lit and the reason that the fundies are up in arms is that all this stuff just exploded in Book 7 almost out of nowhere, though if we go back through the books now we see she has dropped clues here and there. And sometimes it's off the mark, people DO read too much into it. Still, Jo did not prepare people for this, so even people who are open-minded or try to be like me it IS a bit of a shock! It will just take getting used to, that's all!

And regarding kid's lit--Disney has sanitized everything, but my God, if you go back and read the origional Andersen and Grimm's Tales, it would have had Freud crying in his beer. Wow! Talk about more stuff you can read into than the drop of a hat!!!!

Oh..I may as well suggest one more sexual metaphor in Harry Potter 7 that I'm shocked so few fans have picked upon. When Lily Evans, Harry's future mother, meets Snape for the first time. It's on a playground, 9-yr old Lily and her sister Petunia are playing in front of a large rosebush. She picks a rose, and calls to Petunia, "Look, see what I can do!" She uses magic to make the petals of the rose she is holding in her palm open and close, open and close. ( She is just learning that she has magical powers--Petunia does not.) She is still doing this, looking down at the flower, when out jumps 9-yr-old Severus Snape from the bush, where he has been hiding, "greedily" watching her. (Now, if this isn't a "vagina" metaphor"....in light of the fact that soon after, Snape teaches her about magic, he already has a crush on her, and later fallsin love with her....)
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:36 AM   #81
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I think the uneasiness comes from the fact Dumbledore was a mentor while Harry was coming of age - a central theme in the books - and not just babysitting him at the nursery.
But then I honestly have to ask again - what is it about your thought processes that takes you down this road whereas most of the rest of us just don't at all arrive at that conclusion, nor does it occur to us to wonder or feel uneasy? Could you mentor a daughter of mine in a relatively private setting, for years, without wanting her sexually or having something untoward happen? Because I truly have NO such tendencies towards young boys whatsoever, there is no sexual attraction there and it doesn't even occur to me that they're sexual beings. So I don't walk around assuming that mentor-type relationships immediately have something underlying them that's questionable.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:39 AM   #82
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Yeesh...sounds like a lot of straight guys here are downright perverts. Remind me to keep my future children away from all of them!
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:42 AM   #83
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Originally posted by maycocksean
Eh. . .I don't know about that. Speaking as an aspiring novelist myself, there's a lot that goes into creating your characters that never makes it on to the page.
Umberto Eco wrote a wonderful essay on this subject, related to the process of writing "The Name of the Rose." It's published with the latest paperback edition of the novel.

Eco's level of backstory detail was downright astounding!
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:06 AM   #84
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But then I honestly have to ask again - what is it about your thought processes that takes you down this road whereas most of the rest of us just don't at all arrive at that conclusion, nor does it occur to us to wonder or feel uneasy? Could you mentor a daughter of mine in a relatively private setting, for years, without wanting her sexually or having something untoward happen? Because I truly have NO such tendencies towards young boys whatsoever, there is no sexual attraction there and it doesn't even occur to me that they're sexual beings. So I don't walk around assuming that mentor-type relationships immediately have something underlying them that's questionable.
Apparently humankind functions in a constant state of uncontrollable sexual feelings, thoughts, and actions. Or is it only humankind who happen to be gay that functions in that way?
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:13 AM   #85
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Could you mentor a daughter of mine in a relatively private setting, for years, without wanting her sexually or having something untoward happen? Because I truly have NO such tendencies towards young boys whatsoever, there is no sexual attraction there and it doesn't even occur to me that they're sexual beings.
Really. I feel the same way, and have ZERO attraction to children. I'm at an age where even people in their early 20s seem like "children" to me too...heh.

I'd like to think that most people have no latent sexual attraction to the children that they're around...but I get the sense like a lot of the heterosexual men around here are constantly holding themselves back from wanting to have sex with them. If that's the case, then you guys have the problem, and stop scapegoating homosexuals for your own perversions!
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:29 AM   #86
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This was in an article I read, granted those are people in their 20's and 30's and 50's but I just don't think that the reaction of teens and younger would be all that different. What makes it different perhaps is what adults put onto it-kids don't have those kinds of prejudices. What is exactly "wrong" with mothering and nurturing? I never read any of the books but from what I gather they are great for kids. Beloved and popular and nurturing has nothing to do with orientation-again it's about the kind of person someone is.

It totally came out of left field. I never would have thought of it, but it makes sense after the fact. ... I really want to read the book again," the New York Daily News quoted Nikole Kniesel, 28, an executive assistant from Queens, as saying.

Another thing that became clear was that the character remained as beloved and popular as ever.

Terry Hannon, a 55-year-old truck driver, said: "It's a fictional character. People are reading too much into it. It's probably going to upset the Christian right, but I'd still let my kids read it."

Muriel Rosa, 36, a hospital worker from Brooklyn added: "I think it's awesome he's gay. I think he has a big heart and is mothering and nurturing."


Does anyone here honestly think they never had a teacher or administrator who was gay? I'm sure I did, and NONE of them ever did anything inappropriate that I knew of. The problems I had or was aware of were with straight male teachers.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:47 AM   #87
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Originally posted by AEON

I think the uneasiness comes from the fact Dumbledore was a mentor while Harry was coming of age - a central theme in the books - and not just babysitting him at the nursery.
But why, is it that his gayness may rub off on Harry? Hmmm, wizards do dress quite extravagantly...

Or is it this on going theme in your threads about men not being able to keep it in their pants?

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I also wonder how much Rowling is pandering. If it wasn't such a big deal for her - then why didn't she just say in the story?
Not much of a reader or writer are you?
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:44 AM   #88
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Yeesh...sounds like a lot of straight guys here are downright perverts. Remind me to keep my future children away from all of them!


and given the fact that most molestation happens at the hands of a heterosexual male, combined with all these stories of hot straight women sleeping with 13 year old boys, it seems that the only conclusion that i can draw is that children must only be raised by loving lesbians.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:28 PM   #89
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Originally posted by Irvine511




and given the fact that most molestation happens at the hands of a heterosexual male, combined with all these stories of hot straight women sleeping with 13 year old boys, it seems that the only conclusion that i can draw is that children must only be raised by loving lesbians.


...or that heterosexual people are the majority and so there are more probabilities of there being a heterosexual sex offender?
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:45 PM   #90
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...or that heterosexual people are the majority and so there are more probabilities of there being a heterosexual sex offender?


is that what you were thinking at the beginning of this thread?
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