Saturday, May 26, 2007

When Fantasy and Reality Collide: Dolores Umbridge and Leslee Unruh

This past week Pandagonians (those that comment on Amanda Marcotte's blog, Pandagon) spent much time and considerable humor posting comments about Leslee Unruh's insane rant on Lybrel. It is a birth control pill the FDA approved recently that the Christian right hates. It simply stops a woman from having her period, and there by (according to Unruh and her ilk) de-feminizes them (us) as is a form of self hate because it would liberate us from what is, after all, a mere "inconvenience."

For me, menses and the possible use of Lybrel, is more than simply ridding myself of an "inconvenience" but freedom from enslavement. (I posted why as a comment on Pandagon The source of our collective delusions may be summed up in one sentence, if you want to read why, you'll have to go there). To hear Unruh call Mary Alice Carr a liar when she tried to talk about women like me, was really more than I could take.

Around 11:02am fellow Pandagonian, Djinna, commented on how someone on Pandagon (she thought) referred to Dolores Umbridge [Harry Potter charter, Order of the Phoenix], helped get a mental picture of Leslee Unruh . I was delighted because I believed, as still believe, it was me, as e I had made the comment weeks before that while reading the transcripts of some wingnut commenting about something or other on Pandagon, I couldn't help but read it in Dolores Umbridge's voice. I didn't know then, how many would get my reference.

Well soon the comments were rife with Leslee Unruh being referred to as [Dolores] Umbridge. I laugh whenever I think about it, because the comparision is not without good reason.

In J.K. Rowling's fifth Harry Potter book, Dolores Umbridge is described as:

[Chapter 8] "He thought she looked just like a large pale toad. She was rather squat with a broad flabby face, as little neck as Unlce Vernon, and a very wide slack mouth. Her eyes were large, round, and slightly buldging. . ."

". . . The witch spoke in a fluttery, girlish, high pitched voice that took Harry aback; he had been expecting a croak."

She is also descirbed as having a false sweetness and sincerity of concern in her voice.

While noticing the physical and vocal similarities maybe (and is) a lot of fun, it certainly isn't nice. But it is more than physical and vocal appearance for which the comparison can be made, it is the overall goal of each.

Dolores Umbridge seeks total control of the students and teachers at Hogwarts.

Lesless Unruh seeks total control over a woman's body and her reproductive health and rights.

Both of them subvert and suppress the truth to gain and maintain that control. And it is that sad truth for which the comparison is aptly made.


Randy said...

BTW, I'm not going to bother pointing this out over at Pandagon, but I suppose it'd be more worthwhile here where Umbridge is subject of the post itself, and where (no offense!) there's less traffic. Apparently, it's Dolores, not Delores. Not that I know a thing about Harry Potter, but when I went trying to look her up on Wikipedia, I had a bad time finding her. Fortunately there was one misspelling there, too.
If it makes you feel better, MikeEss was the only one to spell it right there. :)

Clytemnestra said...

No offense taken, it may just be the difference between American and British spellings. But I will correct it. Thanks!