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Good summary of the harassment of Rowling to show those who are unaware?

(7 Posts)
TheChampagneGalop Mon 22-Jun-20 19:05:54

Hi all, does anyone know a good article that I can share with people that have no knowledge about these issues? A summary of the harassment of JKR, her "controversial" opinions and also how Body shop got involved?

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CaraDune Mon 22-Jun-20 19:11:54

There was a good one in one of the Irish newspapers - maybe someone can remember the link.

nauticant Mon 22-Jun-20 19:22:16

You're probably after more explanatory detail but if you want to see in its raw form what JKR said and the responses she got, there's this:*@rebeccarc*/j-k-rowling-and-the-trans-activists-a-story-in-screenshots-78e01dca68d

It is definitely not safe for work.

GrossePois Mon 22-Jun-20 19:31:49

Hi. This is the Irish one I copied and pasted when it was posted on here. I think the original article was behind a pay wall.

This was an article original published in the Irish Independent and outlines the current discussion surrounding trans rights.

“Can’t we discuss this without the mobbing?”
Stella O'Malley

Gender politics is a complex subject which needs to be discussed with thoughtfulness and honesty, writes Stella O'Malley.

The extraordinary events surrounding JK Rowling in the last few days are difficult to follow but they have highlighted an issue largely ignored by the general public: the controversy surrounding gender politics.

Now Rowling, well known for her left-leaning politics and philanthropy, has been vilified as "a transphobic bigot", perhaps more people might be motivated to grapple with the politics of gender identity?

In many ways, it all began with Pippa Bunce, who expresses a female gender identity for half the week and then expresses a male gender identity for the other half of the week. "Put simply, I like to dress up as both gender forms and I embrace both parts of myself equally."

In 2018 Pippa Bunce was listed as one of Britain's top 100 women in business and Maya Forstater, a tax expert who worked at a think tank, discussed this issue on Twitter. "I have no problem with men wearing dresses, but we don't need to confuse acting in a stereotypically feminine manner with being a woman!"

Forstater's tweets were reported by some of her colleagues for "non-inclusive language" and subsequently her contract was not renewed. She took a case to an employment tribunal saying that "no one has the right to compel others to make statements that they do not believe". The judge disagreed and Forstater lost the case.

In response to this, Rowling decided to enter the debate and tweeted on December 19, 2019: "Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who'll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill."

Rowling declaring openly that she was not a believer in gender identity theory unleashed the wrath of a vitriolic mob. Gender identity theory maintains that a person is the gender they declare they are and it is not for anyone else to have a view on this. In a tolerant society, this seems a reasonable concept and many people agree with it. The problem is that some people - including some trans people - argue that children (anyone under the age of 18) are too young to decide their gender and they should not be able to make decisions that can involve irreversible medical procedures.

Some also claim that gender identity theory allows dangerous men to freely self-declare their identity in places such as prisons and refuges.

Perhaps the biggest problem with gender identity theory is that it does not seem to tolerate people who don't accept it.

In response to her tweet, Rowling was declared a Terf- a trans-exclusionary radical feminist. She was also called a "hateful, spiteful, ignorant hag" and "a transphobic whore who needed to be punched", among the thousands of angry tweets in which violence, rape and misogyny were notable themes. There were many public burnings of her books.

Then, last month, Rowling published a free book, The Ickabog, for children, during the pandemic. She invited children to send in their drawings and spent some weeks commenting on Twitter about them.

In the midst of this, she accidentally copied and pasted a quotation into a tweet about a nine-year-old child's drawing. Many of us know the horror of sending a message to the public rather than to a private person. For Rowling, with 14.5m followers, the horror must have been intense.

"I love this truly fabulous Ickabog, with its bat ears, mismatched eyes, and terrifying bloodstained teeth! In court, Wolf claimed the Facebook post in which he'd said he wanted to 'f**k up some Terfs' was just 'bravado'. #TheIckabog."

The court case to which Rowling inadvertently referred dated back to April 2018, when 26-year-old trans woman Tara Wolf was convicted of assaulting Maria MacLachlan, a feminist in her 60s, at Speakers' Corner in London.

It emerged during the case that when Wolf heard about a proposed meeting to discuss gender identity, she had posted: "Any idea where this is happening? I want to f* some Terfs up, they are no better than fash [fascists]."

Rowling deleted the tweet and apologised: "I'm going to say this once and I'm going to say it calmly and politely. I certainly didn't mean to paste a quotation from a message about the assault of Maria MacLaughlin [sic] into a tweet to a child... However, I am not … ashamed of reading about the assault. You should know by now that accusations of thought crime leave me cold. Take your censorship and authoritarianism elsewhere. They don't work on me."

Twitter almost combusted and she was vilified and accused of "literally killing trans people".

A week later Rowling decided to confront the issue head-on with a series of tweets. In the first, she responded to an article that used the phrase "people who menstruate": "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

She then went on to tweet: "If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn't hate to speak the truth.

"I respect trans persons' right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them... At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so."

The insults and outrage seemed to reach a pinnacle and the general public, who have been mostly unengaged about this complex issue until now, began to scratch their heads and wonder whether it was true that the author of the Harry Potter books was a transphobic bigot.

Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played Harry Potter, responded with an open letter disavowing Rowling's views: "Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people."

Rowling, who had previously been known as a defender of minorities, a billionaire who pays her taxes and had founded Lumos, a charity for children, responded with a 3,670-word essay that explained her reasoning.

She pointed out that she has been reading about gender issues for some years and described her concern for the 4,400pc increase among girls attending gender clinics. She wondered whether, had she been born 30 years later, she would have tried to transition.

"The allure of escaping womanhood would have been huge. I struggled with severe OCD as a teenager. If I'd found community and sympathy online that I couldn't find in my immediate environment, I believe I could have been persuaded to turn myself into the son my father had openly said he'd have preferred."

Rowling also pointed to the over-representation of autistic girls among the teenagers who are seeking to transition, and the increasing numbers of people now de-transitioning.

In the essay, Rowling revealed that she is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault (Two days later, The Sun decided to capitalise on this revelation by tracking down her ex-husband and leading with the headline "I slapped JK and I'm not sorry").

Rowling explained in her essay that she had never spoken about it previously out of respect for her daughter. She concluded: "So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe."

Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter films, didn't seem to have been moved by Rowling's essay and subsequently tweeted her support for the trans community: "I want my trans followers to know that I… see you, respect you and love you for who you are."

Rowling must feel exhausted and beaten by this topic, having excavated very private details from her life in an attempt to appeal to a sense of humanity from her detractors. Equally, thousands of people report feeling devastated by her words.

History has taught us that if there is any hope for resolution we will need, as a society, to engage with difficult issues with thoughtfulness and honesty.

Rowling has been brave to speak her mind and this has highlighted the problem with cancel culture and online mobbings.

Is there any hope that we can soon begin to discuss complex issues without descending into a brawl?

Theterrible42s Mon 22-Jun-20 20:15:22*@tom*_farr/j-k-rowling-and-the-trojan-horse-of-misogyny-db618814d9de

I liked this a lot, I've been sending it to select people (not found the courage to share it publicly...yet)

PollyTunnel Mon 22-Jun-20 20:19:06
This article has a pleasing summary of the whole issue.

TheChampagneGalop Mon 22-Jun-20 21:10:26

Thanks everyone. Those disturbing collections of tweets will certainly peak more people.

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