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Compel 'Em to Include Women in the Sequel
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June 25th, 1890 — The Leaky Cauldron, Evening

Ivy was well on her way to getting drunk in her favorite corner of the Leaky Cauldron. Right now, the drink was mitigating her bitterness at not being on Britain's team for the Quidditch World Cup. The requirement that the team's beaters be male was a total insult. As far as she was concerned, she could go toe to toe with any of those bastards and win, but her opinion of herself was not the only one that mattered. Her loud protests fell on deaf ears, leaving her to fume on the sidelines. It was a familiar tale for any working woman, but that didn't make it sting any less. At least Gus had made it, so there was a reason for her to keep up with what was going on. Still, that wasn't the same as playing. Ugh.

Ivy's expression was already dark and brooding, and it became even more so when she caught sight of a person reading a paper with the Cup as a headline. "Rubbish," she grumbled, louder than she should have. "Absolute rubbish." For a moment, she quieted down. The moment lasted precisely seven seconds.

Directing her ire at the holder of the paper, Ivy started, "Don't you think it's outrageous that tryouts were so limited?! What're they afraid of?! That the male players might be outclassed by a group of competent women?" Whether the person agreed or not, Ivy was spoiling for a fight. Or a least a chance to complain extensively.

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Merry had come to the Leaky Cauldron for a meal. Usually, there was food at home but Fallon had been working long hours these past days so Merry hadn't been in the mood to cook just for herself. Besides, the Leaky Cauldron had a great English Breakfast. It could keep you full for an entire day.

Someone had left their Daily Prophet issue on the table she'd occupied and Merry read it idly while she waited for her food to arrive. There was some drunk person making noise ever so often but she paid them no mind. Until they started shouting at her.

Merry placed her newspaper on the table, ready to snap back at them, until she realized that she recognized the disgruntled person. Even though she was dressed like a man, Merry recognized her as a Harpy. She felt somewhat more sympathetic now but that still didn't mean that she'd pet her on the head for being an obnoxious drunk. Couldn't she be one of those morose drunks, like Merry?

‘‘Maybe they're afraid those competent women will get overemotional, as women do,’’ Merry replied in a deadpan sort of way. The Harpy really wasn't making a good case against that. In any case, Merry felt more supportive of her than the patriarchy. She very well what it was like to be a woman at the boys' club.


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Ivy gave the woman who responded to her a 'whose side are you on anyway' sort of look. Generally she knew better than to expect solidarity from all women. Plenty of them were perfectly content with being housewives and mothers, as though there were no higher callings to pursue in life. However, her tipsy brain was more of a stubborn optimist. No matter how they might disappoint her with their patriarchal complicity, Ivy still thought women were more reasonable than men. Perhaps this woman could be converted.

Of course, Ivy did not consider whether or not there was actually a need for 'conversion' because she was taking the woman's words at face value.

"Tuh! Like men aren't overemotional beasts who allow themselves to be led around by their genitals and foolish pride." Ivy made no mention of the fact that she was a particularly proud person as well. "Besides that, I'm not overemotional. I'm passionate. There's a difference. And it makes me an excellent player, especially in my position." She preened for a moment and took another swig from her pint. Indeed, her pride was probably obvious enough without her saying a thing. "I just think we ought to have the same opportunities. S'not like Britain will fall into the sea on account of gender equality."

She eyed her new conversation partner, taking in features which she would find attractive in another context. Such a shame that this wasn't the right venue for playful flirtation.



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Merry agreed. Men tended to have terribly fragile egos. He'd had plenty of experience with that during her auror training years. Some of the tutors couldn't stand the presence of women at the program. They doubted a woman's ability to be a capable auror. Merry also suspected that her mentor wouldn't have considered her ‘mentally unfit to be an auror’ if she was a man. Hadn't they sensed the crazy in that Scrimgeour man when he had become an auror?

‘‘Don't forget we were made out of Adam's rib,’’ Merry commented in that same overly serious tone. If this was Fallon, she would have realized by now that Merry wasn't being serious. ‘‘To keep him company, no less. 'Tis foolish to ask for equality when we were never made on equal terms.’’
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Ivy's eyes narrowed, her expression a mix of confused suspicion, before some the drink rushed to her head and filled her with warmth. She relaxed and barked out a laugh. Fine. She could play along with this to some extent. "Women are certainly made of stronger stuff than some spare rib. What an amusing superstition." She paused to entertain the notion. "If God intended for us to be mens' company, He could've done a much better job at making them bearable. Or useful." Aside from producing children, Ivy couldn't think of a single thing the less fair sex was absolutely necessary for. She could certainly spend her entire life without them. "But perhaps the truth is simply that there are some exceptional women who prove the inferiority rule." She smirked. "What do you consider yourself?"

@Galatea Merrythought


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#6
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If anything, the biblical tale on the origin of the sexes proved that both of them were needed. If men were so great and could do everything themselves, then God would have never made women. That being said, for many, a woman's purpose was to have children. They said so as though having children was an easy thing. Merry knew that her mother had sacrificed a lot when she was forced to have her. She was a smart woman. She could have finished Hogwarts on a scholarship and done something better in her life than work odd jobs while being looked down upon for having a bastard. Merry didn't want children but she didn't disrespect the women who did. In fact, she didn't want children because they seemed like too much hard work for her.

Merry took her time considering the woman's question. ‘‘I can take care of myself,’’ she finally replied with a shrug. ‘‘But that's because I had to. If I was born to some wealthy lord, I would likely do embroidery all day.’’ The thought of that made her cringe. In any case, it was necessity that caused for people to be exceptional or not. ‘‘It's hard to be exceptional, as you say, when you're only expected to have children and that's looked down upon.’’


#7
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Ivy didn't believe in anything that wasn't right in front of her and her morals (those few that she held) were rather black and white. There was little room for nuance in her world, which sometimes did her a disservice. She was stubborn, though, and it was difficult to change her mind once she'd made it up. As much as she understood how the cards were stacked against women, she also judged some for not doing enough to help themselves or not being vocal about gender injustice. Those who survived by conforming ... well, Ivy couldn't understand that. All things considered, she'd lived a privileged life where her eccentricities and views were tolerated. Encouraged, even, at times. It would likely take years before she truly understood why other women made different choices to her because she'd been shaped under such free conditions. This woman, though, she comprehended part of what Ivy did not.

"Well, far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter what you could have been. It matters what you are." She paused to rub at her chin, a habit she had when she was thinking on something. "My family's done alright. Mum wanted me to do the whole debutante, marriage, babies thing. I could've, but that didn't sit right with me. I had the potential to do more than that. Every woman does. It's a matter of seeing yourself as more than an incubator. There's nothing wrong with having children but there's certainly far more to life and I don't see why you can't do both. Hard as it may be, it's possible."

To Ivy it wasn't about being exceptional, despite her wry commentary. It was about being human, worth more than housework and "feminine pursuits".


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