Anonymous asked: Surprised that nobody really pays attention to Hermione's "I never really liked horses" comment about Firenze. Girl's fucking awesome but you know...
Thank you! This is something about Hermione that is actually really important both to her character and on a meta level, yet her fanbase (encouraged a lot by the movies) is desperately invested in pretending that Hermione has no flaws - or even in rephrasing her flaws so that they sound like inherently good things.
Hermione’s ‘horse’ coment regarding Firenze is really only the tip of the iceberg. She also takes Umbridge to the centaurs knowing perfectly well that Umbridge was guaranteed to say something to make them lose their tempers and take the toad into their custody (apparently she likes ‘horses’ well enough when she can use them to solve her problems) but she wasn’t prepared for them to be smart enough to see that she did so on purpose and used them. Nor was she prepared for the idea that she and Harry were old enough to no longer come under the umbrella of ‘innocent’ (seriously, Hermione’s almost 17 by this point - which is of age in the wizarding world) and that the centaurs might actually do the same to them. She’s perfectly happy to give ‘he’s a werewolf’ as a reason for Harry to not trust Lupin in POA, and in OOTP she tries to directly link the opression of house elves to the oppression of werewolves to Lupin’s face in order to gain his support, when the two situations are very different (one’s a sapient non-human species, the other is a group of humans suffering from a disease). She means well with SPEW, but I’ve seen several people label her reaction as ‘white feminism’ - ie telling people how to feel about an oppression she’s never actually experienced. Her patronising ‘you don’t actually know what you want, let me explain to you’ act got her chucked out of the kitchens for her disrespect, and her reddened face in OOTP when Ron calls her out for hiding the hats (potentially freeing elves that don’t want to be free) is a clear indication that she knows what she is doing is deceitful. Yet she’s smug when the hats disappear, as she thinks she’s been vindicated, when in fact she’s offended the elves into not cleaning those places anymore - putting the whole burden on the very elf she lauds for wanting freedom. Hermione constantly tells people how to think and feel about things, and if they don’t feel the way Hermione wants, she’ll try to argue them out of it. ‘Don’t grieve for your pet bunny’s death because Trelawney’s a fraud’ is probably one of the nastier ones in the books - but apparently Ron’s the mean one for pointing out that other people care about their pets more than they care about Hermione’s need to be right.
Many of my followers may be familiar with lurknomoar’s brilliant piece of meta 'Ron is racist - and that's great' with its message of ‘you can be a good person and still absorb some pretty toxic ideas from the society you live in’ - but Ron is not the only member of the Trio to have absorbed some pretty awful prejudices and to have some seriously questionable attitudes. And I think that pretending the sun shines out of Hermione’s ass and that everything is Ron’s fault is disingenuous. This fandom (and again, the movies are at fault) constantly reframes problematic/prejudiced behaviours and beliefs as solely the province of Ron (even going so far as to assign him problematic attitudes that canonically make him very angry when someone else expresses them, such as casually using the word ‘mudblood’), while Hermione’s some shining white (feminist) beacon of respect and acceptance.
TL;DR Hermione can be a prejudiced jerk, and that’s not the end of the world.
This is my favourite