I may be well into my twenties, but I will shamelessly admit I love Harry Potter. Ever since I first read The Sorcerer’s Stone (I’m from the US; it will forever be “The Sorcerer’s Stone” to me), I’ve been amazed at how the answers to almost all of life’s problems can be found by escaping to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world.
So when I recently went to a talk by the incredible Clementine Ford and heard her say “internet trolls are like boggarts,” my little feminist heart was doing cartwheels. Because you know what? She’s absolutely right.
Let’s break it down. Class is in session, witches.
Boggart: A formless thing that hides in dank, dark places (such as a wardrobe) and transforms into whatever will most torment you. Defeated by casting the riddikulus spell and banishing it back to where it came from.
Internet troll: A formless thing that hides in dank, dark places (such as its mother’s basement) and transforms into whatever will most torment you. Defeated by being called out and blocked/banished back to where it came from.
That’s part one of this brief lesson. Now to part two.
Closely related to the internet troll is the broflake. Also known as a manbaby, this creature of formless principles that hides in dank, dark places (such as alt-right message boards or 4chan or Reddit) or on the fringes of much less dank and/or dark environments (such as women’s rights marches) transforms into whatever it thinks will most torment you. Similar to a boggart, while it likes to torment others, it can be defeated by the slightest perceived provocation, despite its macho posturing.
To defeat the broflake, one need simply present it with the image of a woman, either real or imaginary, being kickass. This may include: women in a comedy film, women on the packaging of paper towels, a woman in a science fiction TV show, a woman in a comic book, women at a meeting with other women, women at a gym, and literally anything a woman can be imagined doing.
Beware, however: it will shriek and wail throughout its demise.
So there you have it. Broflake = internet troll = boggart. Wands at the ready.Support Villainesse