Tag Archives: Holly Lawford-Smith


When Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out in the UK on June 26, 1997, their author was almost thirty-two. I had been that age since March. The seventh Harry Potter book came out ten years later. I don’t remember when I heard that the series had become a sensation, but I did wonder if one day I would try to see what made the books so popular.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, on a cluttered table

Now I have read the first two books in the series, in part because their author has become popular as a figure of hatred for people who adored her books as children.

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Sex and Gender

A certain thesis is reasonable to me, and yet it would seem to anger persons whom I wish to respect. I am trying to understand why it does.

The hypothesis of the homunculus in the sperm
by Nicolaas Hartsoeker, 1695

Perhaps the manner of expression of the thesis is the problem. Thus one person tweets:

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