Hermione Granger – Fighting for Strong Smart Women Everywhere

Hermione-brews-Polyjuice

This blog is named after Hermione Granger of Harry Potter fame, and her ability to solve any problem because of her superior research skills and love of books, and her knapsack would hold all this knowledge. As Ron says to Harry about Hermione’s book dependency in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, “Because that’s what Hermione does. When in doubt, go to the library.” Plus she is the perfect mascot for Children’s Librarians everywhere. Yay books and knowledge! 

Hermione and Books

Taken from: https://nary-san.deviantart.com/art/Hermione-and-books-446977341  

I loved her character in the books and even the movies, and I think this woman’s perspective on our spunky heroine is the reason why:

“Hermione is a hero because she decides to be a hero; she’s brave, she’s principled, she works hard, and she never apologizes for the fact that her goal is to be very, extremely good at this whole “wizard” deal. Just as Hermione’s origins are nothing special, we’re left with the impression that her much-vaunted intelligence might not be anything special, on its own. But Hermione is never comfortable with relying on her “gifts” to get by. There’s no prophecy assuring her importance; the only way for Hermione to have the life she wants is to work for it. So Hermione Granger, generation-defining role model, works her adorable British ass off for seven straight books in a row. Although she deals with the slings and arrows of any coming-of-age tale — being told that she’s “bossy,” stuck-up, boring, “annoying,” etc — she’s too strong to let that stop her. “

I adore her and J.K. Rowling for creating her because she is showing us, girls and women in particular, that it is okay to be strong and smart. I don’t think we as women have to take people calling us “bossy” or a “know-it-all”, we are who we are and no amount of societal pressure is going to change that. As Alyssa Yeager blogs about in this article, “Smart women think more, seek questions more, have a viewpoint and argue it more, and are capable of effecting change. Smart women can also generally be seen as a royal pain in the ass in the eyes of some men. But smart women also know that those men don’t deserve them.”

Eventually men will get their act together and realize that brains are just as sexy if not more so than looks, especially as they get older. Or at least I can hold out hope that this is the case. Because the alternative, as explained in this article, “It seems that, even if men say they want a smarter woman, when push comes to shove, they’re not so into women who threaten their own intelligence. Translation: Men who blow off intelligent women might just be protecting their fragile masculine egos,” is pretty sad. 

Back to the wonderful world of Harry Potter. I’ve had a little bit of time to re-evaluate her and the other students of Hogwarts as I have been reading my six-year old son the illustrated editions of Harry Potter’s books 1 & 2 (which are amazing by the way). I haven’t actually touched these books since I started reading the series a few years after it came out in 1997. I actually rebelled reading them at first, as I tend to do with super popular kids series’. I became more open to the idea after some kids I was watching at a summer camp, where I was counseling at during the summer of my sophomore year of college (circa 2001), were going on and on about how awesome the series was. So naturally I wanted to give it a try. Thankfully the library on campus had copies and the rest is history. 

Ron-and-Hermione-GIF-harry-potter-28884196-500-224

A lot of people like to poo poo Ron and Hermione’s relationship, but as I am re-reading the series, and several articles on the two of them, I can see that they are a lot more compatible than some people would have us believe. A lot of this stems from the way both of them are portrayed in the movies, for example making Hermione the heroine with the Devil’s Snare in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets or defending Harry from Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (when it was actually Ron both times) or as Ryann Whelan’s article points out:

“Hermione’s weaknesses are completely glossed over. She can be, at times, overly cautious, judgmental, insensitive to social cues, rigid and legalistic in her perfectionism, and overly rational. The movies depict her as a bossy but endearing know-it-all, but fail to delve into how obnoxious she can come across.”

The author of the previous article also points out how much of Ron’s personality is left out entirely in the films, namely:

“He’s the heart and soul of the trio— emotionally grounded, strategically-minded, generally calm and cool (excepting when spiders are involved -[who can blame him, they give me the heebie jeebies]). He’s trustworthy and honest, always upfront about how he really feels, even if it doesn’t come across politely. He’s truly funny and often the primary comic relief of the series, not simply because of pratfalls, but because he’s got a great sense of humor.”

And despite what Hermione says in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, about Ron having “the emotional range of a teaspoon”, he so much more than that. I mean think about it, you’re stuck between the famous Harry Potter (who despite his everlasting friendship with Ron is still the most well-known person in the wizarding world) and the cleverest witch at Hogwarts, Hermione. It’s possible you would feel a little bit out of place, not to mention being the youngest brother in a wizarding family whose siblings have already accomplished so much. Ron tends to use humor to deflect from his own insecurities and worries. 

Ron and Hermione compliment each other. Yes she is serious, whip smart and in-charge, but she needs someone she can relax with, who calms her down and makes her laugh. Who better than someone who co-owns a joke shop? 

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30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 7-9

So I am apparently bad at remembering to do these day of, but I figure at least they are getting done.

Day 7: List 10 Songs You are Loving Right Now

  • Ed Sheeran Shape of You – Current fav song
  • Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland – Promiscuous – throwback to undergrad days
  • B’52s – Love Shack – fav song growing up, even karoake’ed this song in undergrad once
  • Usher Yeah! – another throwback to undergrad
  • MC Solaar Bling Bling – no idea what he is saying, just love the song and it always cheers me up when I listen to it
  • The Raveonettes – Love in a Trash Can – fav song ever of theirs, on my happy mix for a reason
  • The Chainsmokers and Coldplay – Something Just Like This – just discovered this one
  • Ariana Grande – Focus 
  • Flo Rida – My House – this one both me and my 5 yr old love for different reasons
  • DNCE – Cake By the Ocean – crank this one every time it comes on the radio
  • Aerosmith – Cryin’  – throwback to my youth, loved that song then and now – has kind of become one of my theme songs lately

Day 8: Share Something You Struggle With

Self-Confidence/Self-Love: Truthfully I have struggled with this forever. I had it the first two years of high school, then I moved the middle of high school to a completely different school in a different state and I went from being somewhat cool to the new awkward kid who according to a friend that I got to know better in college “the obsessive loner”. I’ve always been self-conscious about my body ever since I got snubbed because of it in middle school by the person I thought was my best friend (who I was also in love with), and it has been a very love-hate relationship based on the atmosphere around me. And yes, I know I need to love myself before anything but it has taken me a long time to learn that. It got better in undergraduate and very good the first year of graduate school when I finally came into my own. It kind of took a nose dive the first time I got dumped by my ass**** of an ex-boyfriend who I later learned was pretty much using me in undergrad. So I decided to have as much fun as possible when I was in Scotland in grad school, when I got my first sassy short haircut. There were a lot of gorgeous smart guys that year and I had a good time getting to know them, even if not all of us saw eye to eye as well as I would’ve liked. 

When I first met John, I felt on top of the world and on top of my game. Even more so when we got married, had Liam, and for awhile things were amazing. Then I started to lose sight of myself. It wasn’t him and me separately anymore, but us as a couple, and I really lost sight of myself. I am just starting to gain myself back and practice some self-discovery to see who I really am and what I want. I realized in the beginning of the last eight months that I need a lot of work and I’m working through it one day at a time. It’s funny because I know friends and acquaintances have said “What are you talking about? You are so full of confidence I’m jealous sometimes,” and all I can say is that “Yes, I can be an exuberant person, but that doesn’t always equal self-confidence.” I’ve always described myself as an extroverted introvert, meaning I have moments of both depending on mood and what else is going on in my life. 

Day 9: Post some words of wisdom that speak to me

I adore quotes and have been collecting them since I was little. I found this one recently and it really applies to my life right now: 

Plot Twist

This one from Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu says it all about God and his views (sorry folks, I believe in a benevolent God not a vengeful one): 

Desmond Tutu quote

Had to include one from Neil Gaiman, my favorite author. He always has some brilliant quotes as well, including this one: 

Mistakes - Neil Gaiman quote

And what librarian would I be without a book quote, lol. I love this one from Lyndon B. Johnson that I found recently that I’ve added as my tag line on my personal email: 

Most Effective Weapon