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Judging from Harry Potter Lexicon's summary of the Hogwarts Quidditch teams, it's clear that Quidditch is a sport that is inclusive and which both boys and girls want to play. Gryffindor in particular had Katie Bell, Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet as their star trio of Chasers whilst Ginny Weasley and Demelza Robins also played for them. (Indeed, Ginny went on to play professionally.) Cho Chang was Seeker for Ravenclaw for a number of years.

Yet from the (admittedly limited) information we have about the Hufflepuff and Slytherin teams, it seems that their teams were male-only. Is it reasonable to make an argument from silence in this case?

Is it likely that the Hufflepuff and Slytherin teams didn't allow girls to join?

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The teams did indeed have female players, but they were non-canon

The mentioned female members of the Hufflepuff team were:

  • Maxine O'Flaherty
  • Heidi Macavoy
  • Tamsin Applebee

The mentioned female members of the Slytherin team were:

  • Lucinda Talkalot
  • Emma Vanity
  • Jody Jackknife
  • Jo King (possibly)
  • Winky Crocket (possibly)

None of these individuals is from book canon. They all hail either from information in the films, or video games.

Some national teams seemed to have many female players

The Irish team, for example, had Moran and Mullet, which at two players out of seven is fairly consistent with a fair selection process.

Mullet:

As Mullet shot toward the goal posts yet again, clutching the Quaffle tightly under her arm, the Bulgarian Keeper, Zograf, flew out to meet her.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Moran:

Dimitrov shot straight at Moran, who had the Quaffle, nearly knocking her off her broom.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This is book canon. We therefore can supposes that Quidditch is fairly equitable in general.

So why no one on the Hufflepuff or Slytherin teams in canon?

  • With Hufflepuff, sufficiently few members were mentioned in canon that we cannot reach much of a conclusion about the gender makeup of their team. Specifically, we only know of

    • Cedric Diggory (whose death was a tragic accident)
    • Summerby
    • Zacharias Smith
    • Cadwallader

    A Quidditch team has seven members, and these players are present at different times, so we just don't have enough information.

  • With Slytherin, things are different. We know a rather large number of their players, and they are all male. In light of the rather severe degree of prejudice shown by many Slytherin students, this would not be particularly surprising, but the prejudice of the wizarding world is primarily against Muggles, Muggle-borns, and nonhuman magical creatures. Wizarding Britain, at least, had far more gender equality than its nonmagical counterpart—for example, Artemisia Lufkin was elected Minister for Magic in 1798.

    Out of universe, one can speculate. Perhaps JKR saw the Slytherin team as largely interchangeable, so it was "Draco plus a bunch of random muscle-bound lackeys."

    But in-universe, why would this be the case? I think even Slytherin house would not have been particularly sexist, given the prevailing attitudes of the Wizarding World.

    I can think of three possibilities, but they are largely speculative.

    1. The Slytherin Captain for most of that period, Marcus Flint, may have been particularly misogynist himself. Thus, despite prevailing attitudes in Wizarding Britain, he may have excluded female players from his team.

    2. Flint may have preferred the largest players for whatever (poor) strategy he was using, which led him to select only male players.

    3. Although JKR only mentioned male players because of her view of the Slytherins as generally interchangeable, we can invoke God of the Gaps and say that the players she didn't mention were female (as films seem to have done).

  • 1
    Slytherin in particular were shown (in the films and books) as playing an especially muscular game. Presumably that would favour male players. – Valorum May 15 '16 at 20:36
  • @Richard - Particularly if Flint were prejudiced as well. Personally, I can't think of why he didn't pick Pansy Parkinson. – Adamant May 15 '16 at 20:37
  • @Richard, Angelina did describe Crabbe and Goyle as "the usual gorillas" before knowing anything about them in Order. Which indeed suggests men. Although, now I think on it, there are female gorillas... – The Dark Lord May 15 '16 at 22:13
  • 3
    @Jonah You say "poor" strategy, but hadn't Slytherin won the cup for years prior to Harry's arrival? – Skooba May 18 '16 at 13:07
  • 1
    @Skooba - I suspect there was a lot of cheating involved. The Slytherin players aren’t portrayed as very good at Quidditch, but we do see them cheating a lot. As for the merit of the strategy, selecting only male players rather than the best players would a priori be a bad idea, but it would seem particularly bad in Quidditch, where height and muscle mass are a disadvantage for the positions of Seeker and Chaser. – Adamant Jul 10 '17 at 4:51

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