Hermione Granger Claps Back
In the early days,
they lauded you
for the way you sacrificed my beauty
for intelligence – so brave, that –
a bushy-haired, bucktoothed girl
who did her homework and saved the day
so the boys could come home safe.
Not exactly a hero,
but close enough, right?
Close enough to see the limelight
if not to feel its warmth.
You’d learned from your forebears
that girls don’t sell out at midnight.
Girls don’t get movie deals,
Girls don’t get to be legends, unless, of course
they tie their destiny to some boy
who thinks trauma history and charisma
mean he’s earned his place among the constellations.
Right? Who could blame you
for playing the game
well enough to win?
We are underestimated women. Lies do not become us.
This isn’t a girl power tea party.
I know something of how it feels
to grow up thinking your Creator must hate you -
must want you lonely enough
to make you a Cassandra in your own story,
to write you at the intersection of principled and brave
only to be branded bossy – a boy’s pithy disgust that sticks.
To echo your critics – the one who called you lazy, formulaic, broad –
would be too easy. No, this is a wonderful little bit of spellcraft.
First, you gather a bouquet of everything you’ve ever hated
about another woman, or about being one.
Give the worry seven children and red hair.
Give the ambition a fussy hat and a taste for fascism.
Give curiosity a pair of glasses and lock her up forever. Make us laugh about it.
Give fatness a sadistic streak, but make it a punchline.
Make one really good at sports. Call it a personality.
Give grief a whole book to cry, but make us hate her for it.
Make loyalty an alcoholic.
Give the unapologetic sexuality her own species; make her devious and untouchable.
Give the coded queer a death sentence.
Strip the natural leader of her charisma and make sure no one listens.
Make intuition and perceptiveness a blond, so it’s easier buy her as the ditzy one.
Make intuition and perceptiveness a joke, and pit your women against her.
Make intuition and perceptiveness unstable, and punish them with pity and disgust.
(Do not acknowledge that intuition and perception have always been called witchery.)
Kill the perfect one before the story starts. Make her a mother.
Press them all
between enough pages
to stop a bullet.
They’ll last for generations,
colorful as they day you wrote them,
thin and brittle.
Lifeless, but yours, Joanne,
(What familiar old songs these are.
No wonder men love your books.)
None of us were surprised
that you woke up on the wrong side of history.
No woman you ever wrote
survived without a price.
About the Creator
By day, I'm a cog in the nonprofit machine, and poet. By night, I'm a creature of the internet. My soul is a grumpy cat who'd rather be sleeping.
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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
A real winner… I’m lost for words. 👏🏼
Loved this! It's clear enough my Potter credentials don't compare to yours, Dane, but hopefully without making too much of a fool of myself I'd like to say your extended ruminations on Luna (stanza nine) are first-rate, especially the thought on which you close. It's not often JK herself engages with such questions, and her tirvializing comic aside on the Salem trials is perhaps her most painful moment among many. Stanza eight is superb too - over on the male side of things, I always felt that Renfield surrogate Barty Crouch Junior is another coded queer who, of course, receives the same sentence. What you rightly assert in stanza thirteen was indeed possible to see coming for some time, although that said, the merchandising's going strong to this day. Food for thought, pre-breakfast, so thanks, Dane!
ouch. . . this is lovely. well done, you.
I enjoined this introspection of how an author portrays certain characters or dynamics. Congratulations on placing!
Congratulations on the Top Story and the challenge placement.
This poem is akin to a blind person criticizing Picasso. The fact that Vocal chose this indicates the political biases of their platform.
Wow! I am ready for the march! This is an anthem!
Very cleverly and powerfully presented!
I must apologise, I know JK has been called out for her stupidity, but I don't really follow much of what's happening, but I think your poem tells me everything I need to know. It is so well crafted. Well done.
Also congratulations!! Well-earned for sure!
Woof, this hit me hard. What a powerful, mesmerizing, electric response to J.K. Rowling. So much of her perspective as of late has caused such pain, but it makes sense to revisit all of the harmful stereotypes she had already been supporting, how we should have all seen the misogyny and bigotry that was there. This is so well done. You did Hermione justice, I believe.
I think this should have placed first or second from what I’ve seen so far. Stunning. 💕
Oh nicely done!!! 👏👏👏
Wow! Amazing, absolutely amazing. Congratulations on the runner-up spot in the challenge. I wrote one for J.K. Rowling as well (called “To J.K. Rowling”, if you want to check it out), but it doesn’t hold a candle to yours. Again, congratulations.