I absolutely could not go through an entire month of talking about fictional characters that left their influence on me without talking about Hermione Granger. Like many older millennials, I grew up with a new Harry Potter book coming out every year and like many in my peer group began to wonder why Harry was the hero of the story at all! She’s the one that did most of the work, after all.
In some ways, Hermione is my frame of reference for the subtle ways gender inequality plays out in our everyday lives. Are you a harder worker, smarter, and more loyal than the men and boys around you? Well then, better be prepared to not be taken seriously at all for most of your life. Also (and I say this despite liking Ron quite a lot) prepare yourself to have a partner that is not your equal in a lot of ways and will probably quietly undermine you as a result.
In other ways, Hermione also shows us that there is value in doing your best and being yourself. She shows us that living by the mantra “those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind” is a solid one to live by.