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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hermione Granger’s feminist influence on Emma Watson

    With Emma Watson’s speech at the U.N. spreading the message of ending gender inequality and reaffirming her status as a positive female role model, the “Harry Potter” starlet announced the creation of He For She, a movement to promote gender equality on a global scale. Her fictional counterpart in J.K. Rowling’s beloved books, Hermione Granger was a feminist too, even if we didn’t quite catch it from our fifth or sixth read-through of the series.

    1. She takes pride in her education. The resident genius of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, although she got a lot of grief for it, Hermione was known to always be seen with a book in her hand. It was her research on Nicolas Flamel in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” her knowledge of the Polyjuice potion in the “Chamber of Secrets,” her Time-Turner (given to her for outstanding academic achievement) in the “Prisoner of Azkaban” and getting nearly perfect grades on her Ordinary Wizarding Level exams that evidenced her outstanding prowess as a student. Hermione truly understood the merits and privilege of an education and never let it once go to waste during her entire academic career.

    2. She doesn’t play dumb to get people to like her. Having book smarts, she never let someone make her feel inferior for knowing more than they did. Despite the potential harassment that comes with being the smartest person in the room and people’s general dislike of “know-it-alls,” Hermione served as proof of the empowerment that comes from knowledge. She maneuvered her way out of dangerous scenarios throughout the course of the novels, particularly those involving the Dark Arts and Lord Voldemort. She’s truly the brightest witch of her age, and was almost sorted into Ravenclaw instead of Gryffindor. Although her future in the Wizarding World is a mystery based on the last book’s ending, one can assume she probably ended up as a pretty well-respected intellectual within the wizarding community.

    3. She stands up for what she believes in. Ahead of her time in terms of magical creature rights and much like her real-life counterpart, Hermione created the Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare during her fourth year of school to protest the indentured servitude of an entire race. House-elves are basically born to be servants for humans, an injustice which Hermione clearly saw as morally wrong despite the general public opinion. Campaigning for the rights of those without a voice, Hermione was more open-minded than most of the students who allowed the injustice to continue without protest, not to mention she once punched Draco Malfoy in the face for being such a wanker.

    4. She is “one of the guys” just as much as she is a girl. With two guys as your best friends, retaining your femininity can seem a challenge at times. Hermione, however, never let gender distinctions get in the way of the triumvirate she formed with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. Besides some brief arguments and the occasional romantic drama storyline, like that whole debacle over who was taking who to the Yule Ball, the three friends have truly always been there for one another in the face of true evil and adversity. One of the most magical parts about the books is the power of great friendship overcoming most obstacles and transcending gender boundaries.

    5. She’s a good role model. Hermione Granger is intelligent, clever, a great friend, a leader and someone worth looking up to, as tested through her various trials and moral tribulations throughout the novel. Not once did she let herself be pressured into going against her better instincts and sense of justice. A true feminist among wizards and witches, 10 big kudo points to Gryffindor.


    Follow Alexandra Paletta on Twitter.

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