Hermione is one of the most important characters.
For one thing, Fudge was an incompetent leader. And Scrimgeour was also portrayed in a negative light. This goes to show that just because a man is the leader, doesn't mean they're the best fit for the role.
Also, Bellatrix Lestrange was Voldemort's deputy. His most important follower.
McGonagall was a leader, not only in being Head of Gryffindor House, but in being Deputy Headmistress and Headmistress of Hogwarts at different times.
Dolores Umbridge was Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic and worked her way up to Hogwarts High Inquisitor and even Headmistress at one point.
I think we're blaming Jo for a problem SOCIETY has created.
It's not up to her to make her books feminist, to please everybody else.
It's all about how society interprets it, which is an utter waste of time because one of the prevalent themes in the Harry Potter series is EQUALITY.
Another angle is that because she has rooted Harry Potter into realism as much as she can in terms of discrimination, hatred, love, friendship, equality, etc. then she did make the majority of the leaders male, because that's how society actually is.
She doesn't follow Harry. Harry isn't even a leader. He's just the protagonist. There's a difference between being loyal and following someone. Hermione and Ron are loyal friends, and Harry's the one everything happens to, 'cause he's the protagonist. And sometimes Hermione and Ron have even had to stop Harry in his tracks and make him think. Hermione has taken charge of the situation at times, and she's always been independent. She created S.P.E.W., even though her friends thought she was wasting her time. Luna's also a very independent character. I think characters like Hermione and Luna send a very positive message to girls, and to anybody, about being yourself and standing up for what you believe in.
If a girl reads this book and thinks,"Well, I sure won't amount to anything in life!" Well that's just ridiculous. Not everything is a signal. It's a story. Not a political statement. You're right: my gender suffers the most. But that doesn't mean I'm going to start scrutinizing everything to make sure there are just as many females "leading" as there are males. I don't find it sexist, because I still see prominent female characters, even if they're not in politics or the ultimate position of authority. It's not as if we see the degradation of women anywhere in the books. Ok, Scrimgeour could've been a woman. But he isn't even important! Other than the fact he's rude and formidable. I just don't think it's fair to call a series sexist if we're going purely by numbers. When I write, I'm not going to be worrying about whether the important guys outnumber the leading girls.
I respect your views, and you do make very good points. I still see it as a coincidence, though, or not a problem at all. It's all about interpretation. I see strong, independent female characters that are admirable and decent role models. I don't see an underlying message of the inadequacy of women in leading roles.
She doesn't follow Harry. Harry isn't even a leader.
I think characters like Hermione and Luna send a very positive message to girls, and to anybody, about being yourself and standing up for what you believe in.
Ok, Scrimgeour could've been a woman. But he isn't even important!
When I write, I'm not going to be worrying about whether the important guys outnumber the leading girls.
See, this is what I mean. You're reading far too into it. You're actually putting these characters on a power scale. It's a story, not a political statement. No one is meant to take these books as an example of the perfect society. It all goes back to the same thing. You won't be happy unless there's a "5" female, because you think it has an underlying message, when really, there isn't one! There is no degradation of women. Not having a woman be a leader does not count as degradation. It does not imply that women are not as competent as men. It's just how it happened. Interpretation is opinion, not fact, and that is why I do not see sexism.
I see where you're coming from- don't get me wrong- I just don't think your argument fits this particular series, because of what I mentioned earlier: a prevalent theme is equality. Not the condoning of the -isms, but the condemnation of them, which makes it hard for me to believe that sexism could have even a vague presence in these books.
See, this is what I mean. You're reading far too into it. You're actually putting these characters on a power scale. It's a story, not a political statement. No one is meant to take these books as an example of the perfect society.
You won't be happy unless there's a "5" female, because you think it has an underlying message, when really, there isn't one!
I see where you're coming from- don't get me wrong- I just don't think your argument fits this particular series, because of what I mentioned earlier: a prevalent theme is equality.
Of course it conveys values and norms, but words do no harm unless people let them do harm. For example, if girls think Twilight is the perfect example of romance, we have a problem. If girls realize this isn't a healthy relationship, there is no problem, and Meyer's words do no harm. If HP is sexist, and someone thinks HP society is perfect, so they think sexism is positive, that's obviously NOT GOOD. But since I see no sexism, a world of fiction is still a world of fiction, and I mostly see only positive lessons and morals, this is a moot point.
And I never put them on a power scale, neither consciously nor unconsciously. I think the majority of fans didn't either. It's a story. I wasn't thinking, "Hmmm, when are we going to see a female leader?" I was more preoccupied with their hunt for Horcruxes. In fact, I'd never given sexism a second thought regarding this series, because I didn't even NOTICE there were more leading male characters. It's not important. (I obviously noticed them, as in, I am aware that there are more males than females, but I don't think anything of it.)
Well, that story's a far cry from HP. I could write another paragraph on equality being a theme in HP, but I presume you already know. And it's not as if J.K. Rowling said: "A THEME IN MY BOOKS IS EQUALITY." No, it's just there. It's not a claim, it's not an opinion, it's a fact. So, Jo is favoring equality, without claiming to do so.
Hermione- JK Rowling said that Hermione Granger, furthered the rights of subjugated creatures, such as house elves, in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures before joining the magical law enforcement squad J.K. said that Hermione, is "pretty high up" in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, despite the fact that she laughed at the idea of becoming a lawyer in the scene with Scrimgeour in Deathly Hallows.
Ginny- JK said that Ginny Weasley, stuck with her athletic career, playing for the Holyhead Harpies, the all-female Quidditch team. Eventually, Ginny left the team to raise their three children -- James, Albus and Lily -- while writing as the senior Quidditch correspondent for the wizarding newspaper, the Daily Prophet.
Fleur- I do aknowlage the fact that she did not do very well in the Tri wizard Tournament, but lets think about Harry another contestant. Without Hermiones (and by the way HERMIONE THE GIRL!) help he would not have been able to summon his broom and get the dragons egg. Without Dobbys help with the dillyweed (i think thats what it was) he would not have been able to rescue Fleurs sister and Ron from the lake. And in the last tournament he was just lucky he didnt get attacked by Krum, and Fleur did. If Fleur had the help Harry did, she probably would have won.
Lilly Evans- She was a very talented witch and she was excellent in potions, she probably could have become very powerful in some type of job at th ministry but she had to go into hiding and then DIED SACRIFICING HERSELF FOR HER SON!!!
Tonks- She was always an active part of the OOTP and she died FIGHTING AT THE HOGWARTS BATTLE. SHE NEVER EVEN GOT THE CHANCE TO SETTLE DOWN BECAUSE SHE WAS FIGHTING VOLDEMORT!!!
Have a good day :)