Note: This article is part of the series ‘Is Harry Potter A Series For Kids?’
First of all I want to make it really clear that ALL the women from the Harry Potter books inspire me. All of them… Whether positive or negative or grey… They are a source of inspiration to me.
I have heard a lot of people speak about feminism and gender equality. It is considered to be the it subject these days. No matter where you go you find people either supporting feminism or bashing it.
Many of the ideas of feminism are completely ridiculous. For many people a strong girl is either a goddess who can make no mistakes or a man in a woman’s body. While describing a strong and independent woman, they end up butchering her so much that she ends up becoming manly and masculine. All the feminine traits are stripped off her as people consider them weaknesses.
In a world where everyone is identifying themselves as feminists, a girl who dares to show her weaknesses and vulnerabilities, is called weak. The one who likes to dress up and look beautiful is vain. The one who has the guts to express her emotions, is an attention seeker and the one who cries, is a cry baby. Everyone is telling her what she should do to be a strong woman and how she should present herself to the world. And in the process of becoming the woman who is considered strong by the world, she loses her femininity.
For me Harry Potter is the most feminist book series I have read. NONE of the girls in Harry Potter universe are what you might call “a abala nari” (a damsel in distress). They are all at par with the male characters, at times excelling them. And I am not talking academically. (Although with Hermione, academic success is a factor to be considered.)
There are no set standards regarding ‘ How a girl SHOULD be…’ No one is judging them because they are girls. The wizarding world created by J.K.Rolwling is by far the most equal universe created. There is no bifurcation in tasks as to what a girl can do and what she can’t do.
None of the girls from the Harry Potter universe are sorry of themselves. Nor are they sorry for who they are. The girls in Harry Potter taught me to be myself. To embrace who I am. They taught me a girl need not only be princess, she can be a warrior too. And to be a warrior she need not lose her femininity. She need not act and behave like a man in order to be warrior.
Harry Potter is a series about “The Boy Who Lived” . But The Boy Who Lived would not have survived if it had not been for Lily Potter, his mother, who stood between Lord Voldemort and her son. Over the course of seven books many women contributed to Harry’s life.
I am NOT trying to say that only women shaped Harry Potter. The men played an equal part. But… Hear me out…
Hermione Granger. Without whom Harry and Ron would not have survived beyond the first year. Hermione is warrior Princess in true sense. She is a easy going person who does not show much aggression normally, but mess with her friends and she will show you who’s the boss.
Have you ever seen anything quite as pathetic?” said Malfoy. “And he’s supposed to be our teacher!”Harry and Ron both made furious moves toward Malfoy, but Hermione got there first — SMACK! She had slapped Malfoy across the face with all the strength she could muster. Malfoy staggered. Harry, Ron, Crabbe, and Goyle stood flabbergasted as Hermione raised her hand again.
“Don’t you dare call Hagrid pathetic, you foul — you evil —” “Hermione!” said Ron weakly, and he tried to grab her hand as she swung it back. “Get off, Ron!”Hermione pulled out her wand. Malfoy stepped backward. Crabbe and Goyle looked at him for instructions, thoroughly bewildered.“C’mon,” Malfoy muttered, and in a moment, all three of them had disappeared into the passageway to the dungeons.
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
Considered a plain Jane by everyone, even her friends, she makes everyone sit up and take notice during the Yule Ball. She does not stand any nonsense, even from her friends.
He climbed into the common room and found Ron and Hermione having a blazing row. Standing ten feet apart, they were bellowing at each other, each scarlet in the face.
“Well, if you don’t like it, you know what the solution is, don’t you?” yelled Hermione; her hair was coming down out of its elegant bun now, and her face was screwed up in anger.
“Oh yeah?” Ron yelled back. “What’s that?”“Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!”Ron mouthed soundlessly like a goldfish out of water as Hermione turned on her heel and stormed up the girls’ staircase to bed
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Ginny Weasley. She is charming and beautiful one can easily mistake her to be a weakling. But the soft and beautiful exterior is hiding a tough girl within. She is strong, not just magically but also mentally. Possessed by the Dark Lord at the age of eleven, and forced to do horrific dark deeds, she went through extreme mental trauma. It must not have been easy for her to leave all of that behind and make a fresh start. But she managed to bounce back.
She faced the Death Eaters when she was all of fourteen years of age when she accompanied Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna and Neville to the Department Of Mysteries in the Ministry Of Magic.
Kudos to Ron (read J. K. Rowling) for not stopping her from coming as she is a girl and his baby sister. Never once did the overprotective nature of her six older brothers stop her from doing what is right.
She fought The Battle Of Hogwarts at the age sixteen. After Harry left Hogwarts to go hunting for Horcruxes, she kept the resistance going with the help of Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom.
( Okay guys I want to make a confession. This post is going to be a lot more longer than I thought it would be. I might have to divide it into two, maybe even three parts. So bear with me please. I promise it will be worth the wait!)
To be continued…