Harry Potter: Is the Gryffindor Common Room Incredibly Sexist or What?
Let’s get to the real questions: can a Hogwarts common room be sexist? Of course, it can — but not in the way you’d expect. Don’t worry about it, we didn’t go insane.
The Harry Potter series has been around for many years now, and over time, its fan base only keeps growing. Despite the first book dating back to 1997, millions of people all over the world still adore this series and make sure to reread and rewatch Harry Potter on a semi-regular basis while new generations of fans grow up.
In the recent past, however, both Harry Potter and its author, J.K. Rowling, have faced quite a few controversies after not passing the test of time in the eyes of some fans. We’re pretty sure you’ve all heard about those situations and the speculations that arose from them, so we won’t dedicate much time to them here.
Instead, we’re here to address another (absolutely crucial, we assure you) issue: why is the Gryffindor common room at Hogwarts so unbelievably sexist?
On the one hand, we’re joking, of course: there’s no real controversy here. On the other hand, though, there is a certain detail about this House’s common room that caught fans’ attention and allowed them to call the Hogwarts founders sexist.
The thing is, the founders put special charms on the stairs that lead from the common room to the girls’ bedrooms. These stairs prevent any boys from entering, effectively sliding them down in a hilarious fashion, and we don’t have a problem with that. However, we do have a problem with the stairs to the boys ’ bedrooms not having such enchantments!
According to Hermione Granger, the founders likely considered girls to be more trustworthy in this regard and saw no need to prevent them from going into the boys’ bedrooms. This almost sounds reasonable until you realize how sexist it actually is: apparently, boys should not enjoy the privacy and safety that girls have by default in their bedrooms.
Clearly, this is the issue of the founders being pretty ancient wizards who judged people — and genders — based on their times. And clearly, the founders were somewhat correct — if there had been any incidents, the stairs to the boys’ bedrooms would’ve been later enchanted by the next generations of teachers.
However, this was still a blatantly gender stereotype-based assumption, and while Hermione could barge into Harry and Ron’s bedroom anytime, Ron had to suffer the humiliating slide down when he tried to reach Hermione in hers.