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Harry Potter on Disablity

Rowling has said that werewolves are her metaphors for HIV-positive people. They are shunned and the condition can be transferred to someone else and that's pretty much it, because HIV-positive people don't turn into monsters in the moonlight, and Rowling really doesn't seem to be trying to destigmatize it at all. But that's the deliberate representation of disabled people and ableism in Harry Potter.

There are disabled people in the HP-universe, though, who are more "universally disabled" and don't quite fit in. And if their family are staunch believers in normalcy they are frozen out.

If you happen to be a Squib you will be treated as subhuman by the Wizarding community at large, and just giving you a demeaning job is seen as an act of charity. People feel sorry for you and you are supposed to be grateful for this. It is taken for granted that people (real people, as in magical people) bully you for their own amusement and if you can't "take a joke" even your author will accuse you of being an inherently bitter person.

In an "autie-biography" by and about an aspergic Danish model she wrote that her aspergic ten-year-old proudly declared that she considered aspies to be Purebloods and allistics to be Muggles, which is probably fine for a ten-year-old, but it struck me as odd that a grown woman doesn't remember the fascism that is HP blood purism. The real representation of ableism goes unaddressed by the author, though, and that is the "purism" of regular Wizards toward Squibs.


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