Attention Harry Potter fans! Today’s guest post from, Ilana Fromm, is for you! #TeamHermione
Last month, everyone’s favorite geek-turned-gorgeous child star, Emma Watson, made waves at the United Nations. As the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Watson took the stage at the HeForShe Special Event in support of gender equality.
Before the beautiful Brit got political, her big break came as the frizzy-haired, overachieving, annoyingly smart, Hermione Granger. And yes, Hermione might have been a bit of a feminist too.
With two boys as her best friends, Hermione sometimes struggled to hold her own. Beneath her know-it-all exterior, she faced the insecurities of being a Muggle-born as she worked hard to ensure her greatest fear, failure, would never come to fruition.
Though it is clear that the entire series intentionally revolves around the Boy Who Lived, Hermione surfaced as a role model from the beginning. In a world where too many young girls strive (and starve) to be (and look) like the woman who grace magazine covers, Hermione screamed girl power years before Watson spoke out against gender inequality.
She Doesn’t Need A Man, But Doesn’t Hate Them Either
Although Hermione spent all of her free time with Harry and Ron, she proved time and time again that she could stand on her own two feet. In fact, from as early as the first book, it was clear that Harry and Ron depended on Hermione to save their necks countless times. In theSorcerer’s Stone, while Ron flew into a complete panic at the clutches of Devil’s Snare, Hermione remembered that light kills Devil’s Snare, saving Ron’s life for what was surely not the last time. Although Harry is the proclaimed hero of the series, Hermione’s heroism is clear as her intelligence and uncanny recall often save the trio. Furthermore, Hermione proves that being a strong woman does not equate to male bashing, as Watson made clear in her speech that feminism has incorrectly become synonymous with man hating. Hermione taught us that our value does not stem from the absence or presence of a man in our lives, but we can find some of the most sincere friendships in our male counterparts.
She’s True to Herself
A quick Wikipedia search of Hermione Granger yields characterizations of her encyclopedic knowledge, prodigious intellect, and bossy tendencies. Like Hermione, Watson found her tenacious personality at times dismissed as “too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men, and unattractive, even” as she said in her speech. As the ultimate girl-power role model, Hermione was never afraid to come off too strong or, as Snape dubbed her, an “insufferable know-it-all.” From earning Gryffindor extra points for her knowledge in Herbology to enrolling in extra subjects despite her friends’ ridicule, Hermione showed us that knowledge really is power. She refused to hide her intelligence, always caring more about her studies than what her peers thought.
She Fights For What She Believes In
Here’s where Emma Watson really took a page out of J.K. Rowling’s book. Hermione emerged in book four passionately advocating for those less fortunate, which in the world of witches and wizards, happened to be house elves. In the Goblet of Fire, Hermione founded S.P.E.W., the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, determined to change the way elves are treated. Again, despite serious mockery from her friends, she stuck to her beliefs. Later in the series, Hermione showed she was willing to literally fight for what she believed in, as she facilitated the creation of Dumbledore’s Army. Maybe Watson was channeling Hermione as she stood at the United Nations Headquarters and quoted English Statesman, Edmund Burke, saying, “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.” Well, Hermione refused to stand around and do nothing, teaching us that we must take action to make a change in the world.
She’s A Badass
If there was any doubt that Hermione is an incredible feminist icon, the fact that she’s a total badass solidifies it. She’s basically a certified genius but can also rock pink taffeta like it’s no one’s business. She’s a fiercely loyal friend with an indomitable strength even the Cruciatus Curse can’t break. Last, but most certainly not least, who can forget when she delivered a bone crunching punch to Malfoy in The Prisoner of Azkaban. Because seriously, as Watson stated, “if not now, when” was someone finally going to give Malfoy what he deserved.
Ilana Fromm hails from Westchester, New York, where she was raised on Disney movies and Nicholas Sparks novels. She spent the last four years at University of Wisconsin-Madison eating her body weight in cheese curds and falling head over heels in love with the Midwest. With a bit of wanderlust, Ilana has two goals in mind for wherever life takes her next: become the next Carrie Bradshaw and conquer every brunch spot in the city of her choosing.