What I Have Against Dan Radcliffe's Penis
Okay. You. Stop with the joke that's in your head right now. I know you and I know what you're thinking. And I don't mean what you think I mean with the title of this post.
So let me explain myself.
Here I am, a married woman of a certain age, and an avowed Harry Potter fan. So of course you realise that the publicity pictures of Naked Dan Radcliffe--Harry Potter in the movies--would find their way to me somehow. (And no, I'm not going to link to them from here, because they are of questionable legality in the United States, him being 17 and all.)
Being a married woman who took a couple fine arts classes, I've seen a few naked men in my time. The male reproductive organ isn't new to me by any stretch (ha!) of the imagination.
Being a person who goes to the movies on occasion, I'm also aware that actors and actresses routinely appear in more than one role (if they're both good and lucky.)
Thing is, one of the things that I believe has made the Harry Potter franchise so successful across all generations is the fact that it tables discussion and exploration of sexuality in favour of other themes. So much of modern fiction (even Young Adult literature) is now so overtly sexualised that it has become very difficult to find entertaining books about themes like courage, honesty, friendship, romance and sacrifice without bringing the question of sex into play. With Harry Potter, JK Rowling created a world where the sexuality of characters was wholly incidental to the telling of the tale.
Of course, that hasn't stopped the sexualising of the series from any number of fanfic authors, wistful virgin teenagers and others. But that fanfic exists in its own ghetto and doesn't encroach upon the canon experience.
Dan Radcliffe's twig-n-berries, on the other hand, does. He's the face of Harry Potter and still appearing as Harry in at least one upcoming film. I know he doesn't want to be typecast as Harry Potter forever, but to mind as long as he is still playing Harry Potter, he is associated with that role. And flashing a picture of "his" (or some photoshopped model--the jury is still out on that) penis around the internet casts a bit of a red light upon what should be a non-sexualised experience.
I think it may be old-fashioned of me, but I do believe there is a time and a place for sex and the expression of sexuality. I think now is perhaps not the time and Harry Potter newsgroups are perhaps not the place for Dan Radcliffe's sexuality to be so overtly explored.
Ironically, the play which started this whole thing, Equus**, is all about the psychic pain of passion and teen sexuality and the force of nudity.
**In case you haven't seen it, I'll offer my one-sentence summary:
"I have no life so I made up a fixation about horses and then tried to have sex in front of the horses and couldn't get it up so I poked their eyes out and now this shrink thinks my fantasy horse world is cool."
I like Peter Shaffer a lot, but I have always profoundly disliked this play.