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Bayana Davis

Bayana is a writer and content creator born and raised in Oakland, California. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Black Girls Create and cohost of the #WizardTeam podcast. She is a fierce advocate of critical fandom, the increased representation of Black women in media, time travel, dragons, and avoiding the AI apocalypse. You can generally find her fangirling and agonizing about writing on Twitter at @yanawroteit.

1 Comment

  1. khalulu
    07/24/2016 @ 2:20 AM

    I don’t know Dr. Who, but I agree that the House Elves are really problematic and I’m glad to see this analysis. Rowling seems to have gotten the House Elves from British folklore about brownies or hobs, who would quietly help out around the household or farm in the night IF THEY WERE NOT OFFENDED. If they were offended, they would make trouble instead, or leave. They liked to be left food but were offended if that was called payment. If they were given clothes, they left. You can see how she took some of those things – but then messed up. The brownies and hobs were still independent agents, and if they didn’t like you, they didn’t help. They could leave if they wanted. They didn’t have masters, or punish themselves. They weren’t slaves with severe internalized oppression. She got an interesting sub-plot out of Dobby, but by making him such an outlier, and all the other elves so scandalized by his desire for freedom, the story falls into that "happy slaves" fallacy you described so well.

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