June 18, 2020

Why I'm not throwing out my Harry Potter books or my Erin Condren planner.

* This post is going to be a bit long. I apologize in advance. I wasn't sure I wanted to publicly say anything about these two topics but I felt like it might be helpful to some. As with my other post about the Black Lives Matter movement, please be respectful. If you decide to join in on the conversation think before you speak and don't cause harm to other people, myself included. 

Why I'm keeping my Harry Potter books and my Erin Condren planner.

2020 seems to be the year of the offended. Almost every time I log onto social media I'm bombarded with some new controversy that is starting huge debates and causing a lot of hurt.

I do not discuss these things lightly.

I do not think they are funny or ok. It seems that everyone has been very selfish these past few months. Everything is all about #1 and if someone does or says something they don't agree with, they take a personal offense. 

Now, I'm not agreeing with the choices of JK Rowling or Erin Condren. But I do not feel that what they have said and done warrants the reaction that has come about. Calling people names is not helpful. Thinking that you know the exact circumstances behind their decisions, and then reacting as if you do, is also not helpful. 

I don't know why JK Rowling became so offended by the phrase "people that menstruate". I don't necessarily like how she responded to the phrase. Nor do I like the way the Harry Potter community has responded to her. I have two articles from both sides of the story that I would like to share with you. 

This one is from CBS. And this one is the original one I read from The Scotsman. The CBS article is on Rowling's side and The Scotsman article is on everyone else's side.

I will let you read those articles and make your own decisions on the whole topic. There is merit to both sides of the argument. As a cis-woman, I can really see where Rowling is coming from. I have from time to time felt very invalidated because I'm not trans or gay or lesbian or bisexual. And that's just not ok with me. I should be able to feel proud of my straight sexuality. I should never be made to feel that I should change my mental state or my body. These are just my thoughts on the matter. I just don't feel that the outcry is justified. 

Going forward, I will not be throwing out my Harry Potter books. I will not be getting rid of the movies or my merch. Because Harry Potter does not equal JK Rowling and vice versa. In my mind, J K Rowling is separated so far from Harry Potter that they don't even coexist in my head. 

I will continue to support small businesses that make and sell Harry Potter themed merch. I'm not going to deprive a family of income just because the author is controversial.

I will continue to reread Harry Potter and have my movie marathons. I will introduce my boys to the magical and amazing world that is Harry Potter. Because Hogwarts is home to everyone. It belongs to us.

Now, on to the whole Erin Condren controversy. 

If you don't know anything about it you can check out this article on Easy Reader News. Fair warning this article gives the whole thing a very positive vibe. It's not positive at all. What happened is not something to be applauded. Unfortunately, this is the only source I have on the whole thing. 

Basically what happened is that over 1,000 people broke quarantine law to celebrate the graduating class of 2020 from Mira Costa High School by walking a pier. They did not practice social distancing and very very few students had masks on.

I think this is outrageous and reckless and extremely selfish.

From the article, I learned that Erin Condren, her daughter, and her son, and even some school officials sanctioned this behavior. 

I do not agree with this behavior in the least bit. The fact that the parents did not try to stop this, and were even encouraging it, is shameful. Shame on them for not being actual adults and partying like they were also 18. 

I know that quarantine has been so hard on people. Social distancing is hard. But it's something that we have collectively experienced. It's not something that only a small group of people have had to endure. The whole world is in this together. So breaking quarantine in this way just completely blows my mind. 

Of course, I am disappointed by the choices of the parents and children. More specifically that such a big leader in the planning community would let her children act in such a way. All last week she was advocating for blm and this week? Potentially causing sickness and even deaths for her children and their classmates and by extension their classmate's families. 

BUT. Her choices do not reflect my personal beliefs. I don't know her thinking behind this decision and it seems she was not alone as all of the parents in attendance of this "march" were not stopping it. 

My only hope is that the right authorities will step in and there will be some consequences for their choices. Maybe they will begin to learn to think about who their actions will affect before they charge in blindly. I pray that none of them gets sick. I hope they stay healthy. I don't wish harm on any of the people, children or parents, that were involved.

Calling Erin Condren a bitch isn't helping the situation. Calling the students privileged, selfish brats is not helping. You don't know them. You know nothing about them. Don't pass judgment on something you don't understand. Spend more of your time worrying about yourself and how you can be the better person. You disagree with the march, that's fine. I do too. But don't degrade yourself by calling names and getting so worked up over something you have no control over. BE THE BIGGER PERSON.

My decision to keep my Erin Condren planner and to continue purchasing the company's products is my choice. I don't expect you to do the same thing as I do. If you can't in good conscience continue to use Erin Condren products, then don't. 

But before you throw that $80 planner in the trash, take a moment to calm down and really think about the issue. I for one don't have extra cash laying around. Throwing my unused and brand new teacher planner in the trash is just not a wise decision for me. I just can't do it. If it's something you can do, then by all means please do. But don't slander the name of someone you really don't know anything about. 

I know that we all hold community leaders to a higher standard. After all they didn't become that popular by having a subpar book or product. But, we are all human. We all make mistakes. We say and do the wrong things all the time. If you aren't going to hold yourself to the same standard that you hold the community leader to, then to me your opinion is not worth very much. You can't expect people that you don't even know, and that don't know you, to live up to a standard that even you can't emulate. 

The standard I'm talking about is to be perfect all the time. To always say and do the right thing no matter what. NO ONE CAN LIVE UP TO THAT STANDARD. Not you. Not me. Definitely not Erin Condren and JK Rowling. Because we ARE HUMAN. We will always always always make mistakes.

I really feel that these two issues should be non-issues. People need to stop overreacting and actually use their brains and common sense before throwing their words out into the world. You can't take them back. Oh sure, a comment can be deleted, an article removed. But someone somewhere read or heard your words. They were still affected by what you said. 

Think before you speak. It's so important to think about who your words will affect. 

In the wise words of Thumper:

"If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all."