Harry Potter – Gendered?

Harry Potter

Today, a girl in my daughters class asked my daughter “Why are you reading Harry Potter – that’s a boy’s book”.  My daughter doesn’t care – she reads Harry Potter because she likes the story.  But I’m confused – is Harry Potter really considered a boy’s book?  If so, why?

The only thing I can really think of is that the gendering madness has reached a point where everything children do must be gendered, and hence a gender choice must be made for HP. It’s absurd, of course – why would HP be considered gendered?  Sure, like so many children’s books it tends to cast boys as active and girls as passive, but it’s far from uniform (HP has a refreshing number of examples of girls in the active role), and anyway that’s such a cliché that it’s hardly specific to boy’s books.

Either way – it’s annoying  that 10 year old children worry about this rather than just reading the books they like.

Gerry Rafferty, RIP

I was never a fan or anything; in fact, I can recall just one song – Baker Street. But that one song – it’s one of those songs that has managed to take up so, so many neurons in my brain. Before today I had not heard the song for probably 25 or 30 years, but it’s instantly recognizable, right down to knowing exactly how the sax solo goes, nodding along with the tempo changes, and singing along with the lyrics.

Why, you ask? No idea. It’s not the song – it’s an OK ballad, but no more. It could be the classic sax solo, but more likely it just happened to be part of the soundtrack to a very impressionable part of my life (last few years of public school), much like Meatloaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell”, another (set of) song(s) I’m not a big fan of but can nevertheless remember every note of.

From the same period I remember countless songs by Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones, and on and on, but no surprise as I’ve been listening to these songs over and over for the past 30+ years. But “Baker Street”, it was not a song I had any conscious memory of, not a song I’d every go listen to, and as far as I know I do no own a copy of it. And yet, the second I clicked on that youtube link it was there, perfect recall – a long with a fuzzy-warm positive feeling. The brain is a wonderful and weird organ.

Gerry Rafferty died today in Bournemouth, of liver failure, after a long period of illness. He was 63.

(Update: I posted about cover versions of Baker Street)