Good leftists should apparently have guilty consciences about enjoying Harry Potter, at least according to this commentary. You see, J.K. Rowling ultimately can’t free herself from essentialist racist and sexist stereotypes. We can only hope for better from her in the future:
The hierarchical, patriarchal undertones of the fantasy genre will likely be lost on children caught up in Harry’s quest to defeat the evil Lord Voldemort. The series is great fun, and I wouldn’t deny anyone the pleasure of reading these books. But the politics of Harry Potter, while broadly anti-authoritarian, are far more complicated at the level of individual identity, and cannot be described as progressive. Perhaps this is why science fiction is ultimately a more radical genre than fantasy. While fantasy looks backwards for its myths and mores, sci-fi looks forward. So here’s hoping the next J.K. Rowling washes her hands of Tolkien and, perhaps in her next series of books, popularizes Madeline L’Engle instead.
I should add that
this story might put paid to libertarian readings of the septology. And this isn’t terribly penetrating, but it’s on the right track, I think. For a loving lengthy version of this argument, go here, but only after you’ve read the book.