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They use raw physical power to beat back their opponents. They break all the rules, mostly the masculine stereotypes associated with the bruiser combat style. Cute Bruisers don’t have time for outdated gender norms, they’re busy punching the world into a better shape.

Contents Gifting Sexism ........................................................................ 4 12 Things Feminism Isn’t ..................................................... 10 Love & Sex ............................................................................... 16 The List .................................................................................... 20 Sex Sells ................................................................................... 28 Is It Feminist? Harry Potter ................................................ 32


Kathleen Winter


‘Pinkification’ is a dumb word that describes an even dumber phenomenon. We see it everywhere and it is accepted and overlooked. It is Lego releasing the same products but in ‘pink’ and without any fire fighters. It’s toy ovens marketed ‘just for girls’ and children’s makeup sets and glittery bicycles. It’s the idea that girls and women will not enjoy or purchase a product unless it appeals to their gender, and the way to do this is to make it pink. Often taking away more active or aggressive elements is seen as a necessary measure, and ‘pinkified’ products prescribe heavily stereotyped and limiting roles for their female customers. Products for children are super bad at this, as their advertising teams tend to apply Pinkification as literally as they can. ‘Girls’ and ‘Boys’ aisles in toy stores are still terrifying, nauseating examples of an unequal gender binary. The flashy pink boxes sell us dolls, makeup kits, more dolls, sometimes cute animals or creepy pretend babies to feed. The blue aisle sells action and adventure, trucks and planes and science kits and sports. We’ve all seen this and we all know it, but we don’t acknowledge exactly how much harm it does. There’s nothing wrong with the colour pink. It’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with a girl or boy being attracted to frilly dresses or sparkly tiaras. What’s wrong is forcing


them to like one or the other. And I’m not using hyperbole here – we really do force them. From before a child is born their room is painted the gender-appropriate colour. Before the kid gets to take a breath their parents have decided what kind of person they will be, based on their barely formed genitals. They’ve decided what sort of toys the kid will like and what colour clothes it will wear – and so has everyone else; the baby shower will be filled with gifts bought from the correct aisle. These are presumptions that will follow the kid until the kid becomes an adult. After a childhood of pink dolls and toy ovens adults will ask: “Why aren’t more women into science and engineering?” And they honestly won’t know the answer. I’m reaching the age where my Facebook feed is filled with pictures of my friends’ babies. A few months ago a pregnant acquaintance updated her status: “We found out the gender today, she’s a girl! I really wanted a boy but I can’t wait to meet my baby girl.” She was disappointed because she thought the potential for what her baby could be – for the type of person it would become – was altered and limited because of its gender. She wasn’t worried about the societal pressures that would be placed on her daughter for being a ‘girl’ – instead she really thought her sex predetermined her personality. Then she went out and bought her foetus some pink booties.


Gender roles are problematic, we know that, but I don’t just want to talk about parents. I want to talk about the rest of us, and about giving gifts. Gift giving is a bizarre and capitalist concept but we love it and most of the time we totally fuck it up. My dad sent me a pink dress for my 23rd birthday. Complaining about a gift is bad taste, it’s rude, but let me complain this once. I am 23 years old and my father – who has known me that whole time – gifted me a pink dress. Haven’t I had time enough to become a human being? Haven’t I had time enough to express interests and hopes? Last time I visited my dad we spent most of the time talking about films and fighting over music. I filled him in on the extended plots of several videogames and he showed me the best places to take pictures in London. Then it came to my birthday and he thought: “What shall I give my daughter? Well, she’s got a vagina, how about a Pink. Dress.” It’s hard to complain about this because he did it with no cruel intent. There was no irony employed when this man bought his staunchly feminist daughter the symbolic pinnacle of Pinkification. He probably had trouble coming up with ideas and resorted to a societal understanding of what my genitals mandate I enjoy. What a dick. Half the gifts we give are just poor taste. They’re for


relatives we barely know or acquaintances or workmates and they’re really just token gifts. Token gifts tend to rely on gendered norms more than any. Every year I am gifted more scented soap and body wash than I know what to do with. Apart from making me insecure about my body odour these gifts are simple and feminine and promise to make me smell like 3 types of flower. Token gifts for men tend to be very different. I once sat beside my partner at Christmas – he a fellow nerd and gamer, both of us opening identically wrapped gifts – and watched as he proudly lifted a gaming magazine. I lifted a women’s fashion magazine. It was like a bad joke but it happens over and over again. Gifts are shit, they’re capitalist and shit, but if you must buy something here are some tips. First and foremost consider the person as an individual. Have they ever mentioned anything at all that they like? If not there’s always Facebook – trawl through it, navigate to the ‘likes’ section of their profile. If all else fails (or if you really just don’t care that much) get them some food. Everyone loves food. Chocolate is a fantastic non-gift. And better yet, it’s gender-neutral. Don’t you ever, ever, head to the appropriately gendered isle. If you know a little girl with a genuine, previously expressed passion for Barbies then please, get her one. But if you don’t know the kid (or adult), if you haven’t


even met them or they aren’t even born yet, don’t you dare gender them with brightly coloured crap.


Axel Deventer feat. Kathleen Winter


1 . Feminism isn’t dead

What does this mean, haha. This is fucked. Feminism is dead. Lmao 2 . Feminism isn’t equalism or whatever the

Do you even know what equalism is. It doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia page so it’s actually fake and not real. It mentions an anti-bending organization in the animated series The Legend of Korra (Book 1), though. Also it links to egalitarianism so O.K. that’s what I’m running with. The equalism thing is a comparison noobs bring up whenever they explain why they’re not feminists. Feminists have historic philosophy/dogma/an existing framework of knowledge that we employ to actively combat social inequalities (esp. those based on gender, sexuality, race). Equalism is not an actual movement – also notice that ‘equalists’ are often fellas who don’t want to admit they have privilege. 3 . Feminism isn’t sexist

Your a moron. Sexism is discrimination by people with power against those without. You can’t be sexist towards men ‘cus they have the power……. ‘cus we are in a patriarchy. You can discriminate against them or whatever but it’s not capital-S Sexism. Or even small-s sexism. Google it.


4 . Feminism isn’t exclusive to women 2nd wavers in particular were keen on ‘women only’

spaces which are deffo important in some contexts, but generally us 3rd wavers are pretty into trying to eradicate gender. Men are important allies and single-gender movements can exclude trans-men and -women and that’s trash. That’s garbarge. 5 . Feminism isn’t stupid

Your stupid 6 . Feminism isn’t about hating makeup

Feminism is about the choice to wear makeup. Or not. There’s a whole world out there. 7. Feminism isn’t about hating moms or stay at

home wives Feminism is about having the option to be those things but also others. For a long time women had to be moms. It’s important to also have the option to be underpaid graduates. Or dads. 8 . Feminism isn’t hypocritical

An argument people sometimes level v. feminists is that they’re hypocritical because they espouse images of female


empowerment, pride, etc. but – prepare for epic ownage – vis-a-vis they also claim victimhood. From individual men, the patriarchy, outdated social norms, dads. Well get this it’s possible to promote female empowerment while also recognizing that in society there are systems of oppression. One works as a reaction to the other, ya dingus. It’s not about making women into victims but recognizing that there are some skewed power dynamics in play. 9. Feminism isn’t going to make you ugly

Your black heart will 10. Feminism isn’t about hating men

Christ 11 . Feminism isn’t taking over America

Who is John Galt 12 . Feminism isn’t perfect

Feminism has a pretty bad history of ignoring intersectionality. White feminists in the first and second wave especially othered PoC and trans*, which is beyond fricked. This is still a problem, though, but it’s maybe tough to see when you’re a middle-class white person reading a professionally printed zine set in a 8.5pt serif


typeface with a 12.28pt leading, if you catch my drift, here, haha. But we’re trying to do better. Keep the flame alive.


Ella Cartwright


“Imagination is quite a hard thing to use, especially once you’ve started looking at porn.” So reads the tagline for Sexual Politics Now, the Auckland University project making people everywhere think twice about their sexual desires. The project is doing the important job of beginning contemporary discussion about the socially acceptable status of porn, with particular attention given to its relationship with sexism. Via workshops, panel discussions, and art exhibitions, Sexual Politics Now is on the ground in Auckland, giving everyday people room to examine and criticise the ripple effects of living in our porn-friendly society. Also researching porn and its social implications are Australian academics and sexual health advocates Maree Crabbe and David Corlett. As guests of Sexual Politics Now, they publicly screened their documentary Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography at Auckland University in mid-September. Featuring interviews with young Australians, Love and Sex placed a magnifying glass on their sex lives and related them back to the nature of today’s widely accessible, mainstream pornography – with predictable, but disturbing, results. Each youth freely admitted to porn consumption. They attested to its prevalence, even in schools; and all had


accounts of the way the sex in porn had affected the way they wanted, or were expected, to have sex. A pattern quickly emerged – the young women felt pressured to engage in practices directly borrowed from pornography, and the men didn’t question their right to attempt them. The sex acts in question were explicitly described, which probably earned the documentary’s R 18 rating in New Zealand. But why are we censoring the discussion of porn, when porn itself is unquestionably freely available? We have no choice but to examine what porn is teaching our youngsters about the power politics of sex (often before they have real life experience), when so many young women feel powerless in their sexual relationships. A recent study showed that 88% of pornographic scenes depicted physical aggression, with 94% of that violence towards women. But why does porn depict sex in this way? Spoiler alert: misogynists in power. Hailed as a revolutionary by the industry, prolific porn producer John Stagliano says that the boundaries of the female performers are deliberately broken on set for ‘authenticity’. “You can’t fake that reaction,” he says. “It’s interesting, real… as human beings, we want to see that.” (He goes on to fondly reference scenes from 1972’s Deep Throat, arguably the most famous porn movie ever made, which was later exposed to be rape). But if we know that consent


is enthusiastically, freely given, doesn’t that mean that Stagliano’s scenes lack consent? And isn’t the lack of consent rape? Well, apparently not. As far as porn culture is concerned, sexual ‘kinks’ like violence are the healthy and sacred expression of our liberated sexual selves. As porn entrepreneur Larry Flynt sees it, “Moses freed the Jews, Lincoln freed the slaves, and I freed the neurotics of the world.” As feminists, we know better. It would be impossible to dismantle the social scaffolding of patriarchy if we are encouraging sexuality that fetishizes rape and abuse, eroticizes inequality, and celebrates submission in women. That’s why projects like Sexual Politics Now are not just important, but truly necessary. Our young people are turning to porn in droves for their sexual education, with tangibly problematic results. In a society that takes the normalcy of porn for granted, we have to ask ourselves – at which point does fantasy become reality?




when I was little I was scared of fires, I woke from nightmares every night convinced everything I loved was burning. so my parents walked me around the house showing me that every fire alarm worked, until I wasn’t scared anymore. the same way that when I became scared of car accidents, my parents showed me how my seatbelt would protect me. when I became scared of burglars, my parents taught me how to lock and bolt the door. but I quickly learned that there was no


alarm or seatbelt or lock that would protect me from being scared of rape. and I know that you don’t want to hear me say that word, know that your automatic response is to cower from that word, know you’d rather I said things like attacked or assaulted, because rape is the reality we don’t speak. but the thing about those nightmares, that I had so long ago, is that they didn’t want to speak of reality either. the thing about those nightmares, that I had so long ago, is that they were never really about fire, only about teaching me the feeling of not being able to escape.


and again and again I am told there is a list, that I can create my own alarms and seatbelts and locks to protect myself. if only I could always wear the right thing and talk to the right people and only drink just the right amount. if only my heart pounded at a particularly fast rate if a rapist came near, instead of pounding every time I’m alone on a street in the dark. So you know what? I call bullshit on your list.


there is no list of things you can give me that will keep us safe and that is the real nightmare. the nightmare is wondering if I would scream only to be beaten in to silence, wondering if I would run only to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder. the nightmare is ticking off my own list every day, so that if anything should happen to me I cannot be blamed. the nightmare is not being able to breathe every time I walk past a man alone, and then hating myself for it, for not being able to tell bad from good. but how am I to learn trust when the first question is always:


Were you asking for it? how am I to speak up when the second is always: Are you lying? the nightmare is that in this country one in four women will be raped and I am a girl with three sisters. this nightmare, our nightmare, my nightmare is that I wake screaming every night to a society that is begging me to stay silent.


Note found in a copy of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future by J. Baumgardner and A. Richards, Wellington City Library


Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana


Standard New Zealand media practice is one of our national running jokes; right up there with the homoeroticism of our national sport and our transgressive relationship with ovine. My disaffection with the fourth estate however lacks integrity and I always find myself drawn back into the mire that is news media consumer. Not just because being a feminist requires me to reject apathy but because however hard it is to admit, this social/human project requires communication on a mass scale and unfortunately through a commercial outlet. However, lacking direct dialogue with apn, SkyNews and Fairfax, sometimes I do want to roar at the top of my womyn infused lungs “for fuck’s sake!” hoping one of the three remaining field staff nearby might stop to listen. This reaction was evoked today on the 19th September 2013 over a lunchtime coffee. The New Zealand Herald, in print, (I don’t know if anyone even consumes this medium anymore) decided to run a story on Justice Priestley’s attempt to speak to the jury’s decision on the recent attack of two German tourists in Auckland. Having inhabited the same room as the man my sympathies go out to him. I can’t even tell if the reported quotation finished the man’s bloody sentence in the sound bite space made available to him. But what I can tell looking objectively at the piece, is


the ilk of agenda reeked from it. Quotations from vested interest groups, ambiguous detail, polarising particulars; how the hell do I, does anyone, plot a course though this 300 word piece? You know what did catch my eye? Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. What’s sexier than sex? In fact, “Gasps over judge’s sex-case explanation”. The up-standing Herald editors have already decided your emotional reaction for you. The “sex case” in fact involved an aggravated robbery, coloured by threatening to kill and indecent assault. Sexy right? Catriona MacLennan’s piece that complimented it (page 2 – Stop Blaming the Victims) is an un-refreshing take on a very old idea; an idea feminists were writing about 50 years ago and does not need re-articulation, but still needs repetition, because we know this very clear message still isn’t being received (although this subject is worthy of a separate discussion not appropriate here). And whilst Priestley and his kind (justice system, patriarchy, etc.) get raked over the coals, self-reflection is not in order. Because this isn’t a case about sex. In fact it has nothing to do with people mutually consenting to a positive act of physical expression. It’s about assault; a violent vicious assault against women. Oh, um, I mean “sex”? The Tauiwi Prevention Project, toah-nest, recently released a simple, effective resource entitled


“Reporting sexual violence in Aoteroa New Zealand”. The message for reporters: Get the language right. Assault is not sex. Rape is not sex. And yet these subjects are sexy enough to make front pages, as a lesson to aspiring journalists on a slow news day. And as a media consumer and a woman what’s my lesson? Not only do I statistically have a 1% shot of justice when my “sex” is viciously assaulted, but when my case is lambasted across the front page of a newspaper, because defunct pseudo-feminism junk reporting is the flavour of the month, New Zealand gets to indulge in the “sexiness” of it, primed as they are by these ridiculous buzzwords in a highly-concentrated monopolised media environment. Oi media! There are no such things as “sex crimes” and “sex-cases”. Assault is assault! Let’s stop the victim blaming! And let’s stop shitty journalism pervading oppressive and destructive dialogue about crimes against women. We all get it! Media are a dying breed! There’s no money! No integrity! And we know you are trying to stay relevant! They say sex sells! At least we’re talking about it right?! Well I’m also sick of making excuses and I am also sick of trying to navigate this pernicious misinformation. For fuck’s sake! When will rape and assault stop being sexy?!


a debate between Kathleen Winter and Katie Galt



Welcome to the first ‘Is It Feminist’ Debate. Our topic tonight is Harry Potter (For clarity we are focusing on the books rather than the films)

f \\\\Galt Winter Galt

My name is Kathleen and I am arguing that HP aint Feminist my name is katie, and i’m arguing that HP is feminist. Well Katie how do you feel about opening up the debate okie dokie! harry potter is a feminist text because it encompasses a wide range of female characters. the story doesn’t focus solely upon stereotypical “strong female characters”, but instead introduces a huge diversity of different ladies who all play varyingly important roles throughout the series. harry potter shows us a cast of female characters with a range of different personalities and morals. female characters are also not pigeonholed into dull stereotypes. they all possess their own motives, and personal power. hermione granger is book-smart and powerful; ginny weasley is athletic and witty; luna lovegood is sincere and thought-provoking; bellatrix lestrange is terrifying and determined. female characters play a very vital part in harry potter’s


Galt t Winter o

story. they fight with him, for him, and against him. okay, done. phew! Harry Potter is definitely a vast text. There are a lot of freaking books and they get bigger as you go. It’s not surprising that there are a lot of female characters in there. But my problem is with your final point: “female characters play a very vital part in harry potter’s story. they fight with him, for him, and against him.” My key argument is going to fall back on the title of the books. They are titled ‘Harry Potter’. Harry Potter is the protagonist and Harry Potter is a white boy brought up by a middle class family who inherits a whole pile of cash and is also ‘the chosen one’. There is nothing feminist or progressive about Harry himself and this is absolutely 100% his story. No matter how ‘strong’ or ‘independent’ or ‘complex’ the women in Harry Potter are (and this is debatable); they are still side characters. I am tired of women being side characters. We have our own stories and Harry Potter does not tell those stories. Harry Potter is the story of a white. Man. Encompassing a range of female characters as side characters isn’t enough to make a text feminist. It does little to challenge our perceptions of men-as-protagonists women-as-support which are mainstream in media and even wider society.


yeah, “harry potter” is definitely about harry potter, but i disagree that the story is entirely his. HP would not have



made it further in the story without the aid of his female friends, and he wouldn’t have survived even the first book if it wasn’t for hermione granger helping him out of the devil’s snare. harry’s story is about a white dude on a quest but it’s also about how people he’s met and befriended have impact upon his decisions and his wellbeing. and a lot of his character was shaped by the women and girls around him.


Okay, let’s talk about Hermione, because I think Hermione tends to be lauded as the ‘feminist hero’ of Harry Potter First off, I want to point out that we’re talking about the ‘aid’ of his female friends. We’re talking about Hermione ‘helping’ Harry Potter. She - just like all of the other characters, men or women - is defined by her relationship with Harry. I also want to talk about how Hermione’s talents validate her as a character and as Harry’s friend. We have our core Trio - Harry, Ron and Hermione. Two dudes and a girl. Ron has no particular talents, he’s the every man, the kinda dorky guy who is loyal and therefore worthwhile despite nothelping-very-much. Hermione, the one girl, is the opposite. She is painfully intelligent, unusually diligent, book-smart, naturally skilled, you name it.


Winter t o

It’s common in young adult media in particular for ‘the female friend’ to be talented or skilled in some way. It’s like she has to have a purpose. She never gets to be the ‘everyman’ like Ron Weasley. She never gets to just exist.

o Galt a W

She has to have a purpose. nah, i disagree. when we first meet hermione granger in the philosopher’s stone, she comes off to us as presumptuous, and an insufferable know-it-all. she comes to join harry’s group through the friendship that they extend towards her when saving her from the troll that gets into the bathroom on halloween. hermione granger’s relationship with harry potter is defined by their friendship, not by her skill, or her smarts. she is first and foremost their friend. she is allowed to exist in their group as a normal young lady. they don’t keep her around for her proficiency in magic. and for me to be able to identify with her as a young girl reading the series for the first time, she didn’t have to have a purpose. she was the same age as me, and was attending a crazy awesome wizard school, and i loved her for it. hermione granger is worth so much more than her skill, or her relationship to harry potter.


I agree, hermione is a great character with a lot of potential. I loved her as a kid. But I think her treatment in the books is damaging. Let’s take a look at the philosopher’s stone.



At first her knowledge isn’t lauded. She’s a pain, a ‘know it all’. She’s just another example of a smart girl being cut down for it, being shown to be unlikable for being aggressive and confident. And then comes the troll. Despite Hermione thinking she’s the shit (how dare she), when a big scary monster shows up she freezes. She is too frightened to fight back. And guess who has to save her -the two male main characters. Only after they have ‘saved’ Hermione, only after she has been put in her place, shown that she isn’t as capable as she thought, that she can’t get by without male help - only then does she become their friend. Part of their trio. Only then is she allowed to express and enjoy her skills and talents - by using them to aid Harry Potter. I think this series of events, and the characters painfully gendered reactions, are not feminist. I think that Hermione is a potentially awesome character, and that she should have been the protagonist. But she isn’t.


i agree that the books would have been totally awesome had hermione been the protagonist! unfortunately, she isn’t, but this doesn’t make her any less of a feminist character. throughout the books we get to see hermione in different ways. hermione is clever, she is emotional, she is feminine, and sometimes she gets into trouble and needs help. she gets to be all of these things at once without losing herself to any of them.



hermione is allowed to express herself as she pleases, and


she doesn’t let anybody tell her that she isn’t allowed to do

o Winter

otherwise. Even if Hermione herself could be a feminist, even if there are other ‘feminist’ characters in the books, the world of Harry Potter is ruled by men. *white men There are more male characters than female characters. There are more male characters in positions of power. There are so few people of colour that I can count them on one hand. A man is the key antagonist, he is the head of government (in both muggle and magical worlds), he is the school headmaster, he is the greatest wizard in the world. He is the default choice.


okay. i think that while women in harry potter are not necessarily directly in positions of power within the group, they still have equal footing with male characters in power rather than a back seat to them. dolores umbridge holds complete equal footing when it comes to main antagonist; her slow rise to power and the way she abuses that power once she obtains it is unnervingly realistic, and entirely sadistic; she is just as bad - if not worse - than lord voldemort. bellatrix lestrange heads the death eaters, and exerts power over the other members of the group.



and professor mc gonagall actually becomes headmistress at the end of the seventh book, taking control of the position of power formally held by severus snape.


Well. “women in harry potter are not necessarily directly in positions of power” is an understatement.

Galt a WWinter

it’s obviously not as fantastically feminist as women being directly in power And you cannot be on equal footing if you are -literally- not equal in your role


in fact, it falls short, and is entirely disappointing; women don’t hold main positions of power in the series. but they aren’t dumbed down, or forced into ‘secretary’-type roles. they are still just as important.


I think you’ll find that woman literally are put in secretary roles. But let me address your examples. Umbridge is a pretty cool character, except that she is so feminine that her femininity is almost evil. The pink everything, the pictures of kittens, they’re almost shown to be psychotic. Femininity itself is demonized. And she is in no way equal to Voldemort. Voldemort is the antagonist from before book one. He was there when Harry was a baby, killing his whole family. Umbridge cut Harry’s hand a bit and was really harsh about school rules. She was a great (minor) antagonist, but let’s not



pretend she has anything on Voldemort whose name most


characters are too afraid to speak out loud.


Her death - she was dragged away by Centaurs into a forest in an almost comic end. Voldemort’s final showdown with Harry wasn’t as comic. He was treated with much more respect as an antagonist worthy of fear. I don’t think this is a reasonable comparison at all. Bellatrix is always-always- serving Voldemort. She is his secretary (with a liberal definition of the word). And McGonnagill - I love her, even though I can’t spell her name. But she doesn’t take on a high position of power until the end of the last book. Until that time that mantel is held by a man. And then, another man.


i disagree (re: mcgonagall). she heralds gryffindor house, and has always had that position of power up until the battle of hogwarts, which is something that she takes charge of personally. she is a strong and ethical person, and has always been a power figure for harry to look up to, and to ask for help and to rely on.


New point: Though women are often given positive qualities: “smart, loyal, ‘strong’”, their roles and behaviour tend to be gendered, as are those of the men. The world of HP is very similar to ours in terms of gendered power roles. A number of fanartists have done HP ‘gender swaps’. A gender-swapped HP world would look remarkably different, and remarkably more feminist.



Imagine if the Weasley twins were sisters who played pranks and always stuck together. Imagine if Snape was a woman, a cold but ultimately heroic ‘villain’. Imagine if Harr(iet) had been saved by the power of her father’s love. Luna is a flighty, thin blonde boy. Neville is a young girl who avenges her slain parents. Hagrid is a huge, hairy woman who is more into animals than people. Draco is a sassy girl whose mom is like the number 1 death eater. These are simple changes but they expose the assumptions we’ve made about HP characters’ gendered roles.


i don’t think that gender roles are confined to individual genders. boy characters have feminine qualities just as girl characters have masculine qualities. and i don’t want hermione to be a boy. i don’t want any of the girl characters in harry potter to be boys. the girl characters in harry potter are allowed to be girls and to be feminine while still kicking a ton of ass. ginny weasley is allowed to express and experiment with her sexuality, and when her brother gives her shit for it she immediately knocks him down.


I don’t want them to be boys either. I want them to be given the same importance and power as boys. I don’t want characters like Ginny to be defined by their (in this case, sexual) relationship to a boy. There are ‘strong female characters’ (i.e., woman who seem almost like real human beings) in HP, but the extent to which



Harry Potter is lauded as a feminist text shows us exactly how


low our standards are.


That ‘strong’ female side characters exist in the Harry Potter world is what fans applaud and call feminist. But existing in the periphery is not enough. It is the bare minimum and something we should see in every piece of media. (man i just realised we should fully have talked about racism. Maybe it’s worth having a round two)


(oh my god can we not talk about racism. harry potter is so racist, all i’ll be able to do is wince and nod and go “yep you’re right)

Winter Galt

(hah, okay SUMMARIZE YO) (I’M TRYING IT’S JUST DIFFICULT WHEN I MOSTLY AGREE THAT YOU”RE LIKE 90% CORRECT) ok, well i think that the harry potter series is feminist in nature. it isn’t a paragon of feminism, but it still has many attributes of feminism. the series allow females to be in positions of power and exist as diverse and strong characters with equal footing to the male characters. male characters display feminist and feminine traits, and are shaped and influenced by female characters around them. when it comes to feminism, harry potter is more of a ‘good start’ than a ‘real’ feminist text; there is space for improvement in several fields.

The Bruiser team works hard and we play hard, especially because the new Pokémon game just came out. What we’re saying is we’re pretty busy and we need your help to fight the good fight. Send us contributions for the next issue – we accept anything you can hashtag ‘feminism’. Essays, poems, visual art or fanfiction. Get in touch at, or check out our hip online brand: – ♥ The Bruisers

Cute Bruiser issue 4, October Cover by Katie O’Neill, Supported by


Cute Bruiser is Wellington City’s No.1 most prime feminist zine. CONTENTS: Gifting Sexism / 12 Things Feminism Isn't / Love & Sex / The Li...