#MondayMotivation: Our Woman of the Week is J.K. Rowling!


Every Monday, Culturess chooses one woman in pop culture to be our Woman of the Week.  These women inspire and empower us to kick ass, take names, fight the good fight, and live our best lives.  Today, our Woman of the Week is J.K. Rowling!

Who among us doesn’t love Jo Rowling? Be honest; besides your mom, is this the woman who shaped your childhood most? Because she was for me. At a time when we were at our most awkward and unsettled, J.K. Rowling’s books were there as a refuge. No matter what, we could always rely on Harry, Ron, and Hermione to be there for us. But that’s just the start of the things this incredible woman has done to make the world a better place.

J.K. Rowling grew up in a middle class family and had personal struggles for most of her life. Her mother suffered from MS and passed away before Rowling had written her iconic book series. Rowling herself lived in poverty during the beginning of her adult life. During the time she was writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Rowling was a new mother and newly separated from her husband. She was unemployed, on welfare benefits, and had been diagnosed with clinical depression.

Rowling’s life was clearly not easy, but it didn’t stop her from writing. Twelve publishing houses rejected her manuscript for Harry Potter at first. But when an editor at Bloomsbury gave the first chapter to his daughter, her enthusiastic demand for more led him to take a chance on Harry Potter. Naturally, the rest is history. The series exploded, becoming an international phenomenon. Many have tried to explain the success of Rowling’s series. As a woman who once dressed up as Hermione for three Halloweens in a row, I can say that I believe it was that she treated us children like real people. It was the first thing I read that acknowledged that there are bad and evil things in the world. And it was the first thing I ever read that made me feel like I could beat them.

But the success of Rowling’s incredible work has only increased her ability to help others. She previously was named a billionaire by Forbes, but was taken off the list in 2012 because she gave so much money to charity that she was no longer a billionaire. The list of her charitable contributions is practically endless. She has given money to organizations to promote children’s welfare, MS research, and the fight against poverty. She founded several charitable organizations, most notably Lumos, which works to help children in institutions and orphanages, many of whom are not actually orphans, find or reunite with their loving families.

Not only does Rowling contribute tons of money to help make the world a better place, she endeavors to use her platform to do the same. J.K. Rowling is famous for being vocal and open about her political views. She campaigned against “Brexit” and works to emphasize compassion towards others. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, given the content of her books. Harry Potter is a story about acceptance, about fighting for the rights and lives of every person, no matter how different they are from you. It is about overcoming forces that seek to tear down others based on things like heritage or class. Even Albus Dumbledore said, “We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” So it is very fitting that Rowling now uses her fame to advocate for the rights of and the vulnerable.

J.K. Rowling is so inspiring in so many different ways. First of all, she worked hard and overcame the obstacles she faced early in her life to become one of the most successful writers in history. Secondly, her work and its emphasis on compassion have created a generation that understands and accepts differences of others. And she uses her money and her platform to promote the rights of the disenfranchised. We didn’t know when we picked up our first Harry Potter books that she would be such an incredible role model. But we are endlessly glad that she is.

Thank you, J.K. Rowling!

Next: #MondayMotivation: Our Woman of the Week is Mindy Kaling!

You can find J.K. Rowling’s work here:

Harry Potter:  If you haven’t read Harry Potter, what are you doing with your life?  Get the first book on Amazon or literally anywhere else!

Cormoran Strike novels:  Rowling’s latest venture, a crime fiction series published under the name Robert Galbraith, can be found on Amazon and other booksellers!

Lumos:  For more information about this charity, founded by J.K. Rowling, visit their website and consider donating!