+
upworthy
Most Shared

This depressing Hogwarts acceptance letter is going viral. You should read it.

Can you fathom the wizarding world of Harry Potter without Hermione Granger?

It's a thought that's horrified plenty of people online this week.

Gaining steam under the #WithoutHermione hashtag on Twitter, Potter fans discussed all the bone-chilling ways the series would have been different without its leading witch.

The consensus? The books would have been an awful, incomplete tale that left the magical world a complete mess.

Fans are pondering the unnerving premise thanks to an acceptance letter from Hogwarts' Professor McGonagall that went viral on Sept. 1.

"We are pleased to inform you that you have been added to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Waitlist," McGonagall begins. "Unfortunately, we are not able to allow you to come to Hogwarts at this time."

[rebelmouse-image 19530763 dam="1" original_size="750x971" caption="Image via The HP Alliance." expand=1]Image via The HP Alliance.


As the letter goes on to explain, getting waitlisted at Hogwarts wasn't a reflection on the applicant's abilities — it was a reflection of their gender.

"Around the world, thousands of girls are not permitted to attend school or are unable to finish their schooling due to discrimination, tradition, poverty, or violence," the professor noted.

The faux-acceptance letter was sent out by the Harry Potter Alliance for a new campaign in conjunction with She's the First encouraging supporters to use the hashtag to spread the word.

"What would the wizarding world look like without Hermione? What about without Luna? Or Ginny? Cho? Angelina? Tonks? McGonagall?" the campaign website reads.

"Hogwarts doesn't work without witches. Harry's story falls flat without heroines. Yet all over the world, girls and women are being kept out of classrooms and losing the chance to lead."

She's the First is focused on helping girls around the globe overcome the barriers they face in reaching graduation day.

Unique cultural challenges keep girls and young women out of the classroom. Factors like early marriage and high costs associated with schooling disproportionally affect girls, hindering them from gaining economic independence and pulling themselves — and thus, their families and communities — out of poverty.

"Girls are more likely than boys to remain completely excluded from education despite the efforts and progress made over the past two decades," a 2016 report by UNESCO found.

Photo by Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images.

That's why groups like She's the First are so instrumental in making a difference.

The organization funds scholarships and mentorships for girls in developing countries, as well other basics that students need to stay focused on their studies, like medicines, school uniforms, and healthy food. And you can get involved too.

Share the Hogwarts acceptance letter on social media, learn more and expand She's the First's efforts around the globe, and stay up to speed on the issue by following Potterwatch — an online effort by the Harry Potter Alliance to promote a variety of social justice causes.

"If the Harry Potter series has taught us anything, it’s that back to Hogwarts means back to action," the campaign's website reads. "So hop on the Hogwarts Express — it’s time we make sure that everyone can get on board."

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

Keep ReadingShow less
Heroes

This quick-thinking teen cleverly befriended a woman's kidnapper to rescue her

Malyk Bonnet did a very brave thing: He listened to his gut.


You've probably been there. You're out and about and you see something that just feels ... off.

"Should I step in? ... But it's not really any of my business. ... And I'm not even sure they need my help..."

Keep ReadingShow less

A mother confronts her daughter for judging her friend's weight.

A 42-year-old mother wondered whether she did the right thing by disciplining her 18-year-old daughter, Abby, who disinvited a friend from vacation because of her weight. The mother asked people on Reddit for their opinion.

For some background, Abby had struggled with her weight for many years, so she went to her mother for help. The two set up a program where Abby was given a reward for every milestone she achieved.

“Four months ago, she asked that I don't get her any more rewards and add it up to her birthday gift, and for her gift she wants a vacation I will pay for, for her and her friends instead of the huge party I had promised for her 18th. I said OK,” the mother wrote.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

This mom's empowering selfies show off life with an invisible illness.

She's reclaiming her confidence and sharing what it can really mean to be a mom with Crohn's disease.

All photos by Krystal Miller, used with permission.

Krystal, Arabella, and Lukas.


There are a lot of hard things about living with Crohn's disease. Not being able to talk about it might be the worst one.

Imagine being constantly tired, but in a way that even 15 hours of sleep a day can't cure. Imagine going to dinner, but every time you eat something as simple as a roll of warm bread, it feels like it might've had broken glass inside of it.

Then, it's time to go to the bathroom. Again. Is that the fifth time this hour or the sixth? You've lost track. It's a running joke now — your friends think it's funny, but nobody really talks about what happens when you step away. Because, really, you look fine. Just tired.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

A school assignment asked for 3 benefits of slavery. This kid gave the only good answer.

The school assignment was intended to spark debate and discussion — but isn't that part of the problem?

A school assignment asked for 3 "good" reasons for slavery.



It's not uncommon for parents to puzzle over their kids' homework.

Sometimes, it's just been too long since they've done long division for them to be of any help. Or teaching methods have just changed too dramatically since they were in school.

And other times, kids bring home something truly inexplicable.
Keep ReadingShow less




As much as we'd like to pretend every phrase we utter is a lone star suspended in the space of our own genius, all language has a history. Unfortunately, given humanity's aptitude for treating each other like shit, etymology is fraught with reminders of our very racist world.

Since I have faith that most of you reading want to navigate the world with intelligence and empathy, I figured it'd be useful to share some of the everyday phrases rooted in racist etymology.

Knowledge is power, and the way we use and contextualize our words can make a huge difference in the atmospheres we create.

Keep ReadingShow less