J. K. Rowling uncanceled?

April 21, 2023 • 12:30 pm

One of the most ridiculous and offensive instances of cancellation I’ve seen has been that involving J. K. Rowling. Attacked by unhinged trans activists as a “transphobe”, Rowling responded eloquently, rationally, and calmly, and the attacks have simply made the activists look bad.  Like many of us, Rowling is not a “transphobe,” nor feels that trans people should be denied their “rights”—so long as those don’t include the confected “right” to be a biological male invading all women’s spaces (and vice versa).

Rowling is empathic but also a staunch advocate of women’s rights, and her “transphobia” consists of nothing more than the reasonable view that biological men who identify as women should not be allowed to enter those “women’s spaces” that shouldn’t include biological men, namely women’s prisons, women’s sports, battered women’s shelters, or rape counseling. There are no preexisting “rights” there save those arrogated by trans activists themselves. But beyond this limited sphere of access, neither Rowling, I, nor our many confrères want to deny trans people genuine rights, nor to discriminate against them any way, nor to shame them or misgender them. They’re just humans like everyone else.

But that’s not enough, and we all know that because of her stand (and her fame), Rowling has been a magnet for hatred, accusations of bigotry, and, of course, death threats—so many that she says she can paper her house with them.  People boycotted her books, two of the actors in her movies (Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson) basically disassociated themselves from her, and her books were even burned. There are no activists as full of bile and genuine hatred as extreme trans activists (Chase Strangio, an ACLU lawyer, is one example).

In my few optimistic moments, I think the tide against Rowling may be turning as people realize how far the insanity and mischaracterization has gone. This article, from the Torygraph (click screenshot to read an archived version) suggests that the tide may be turning, with Warner Bothers bringing Rowling on board in an upcoming television series, despite the opprobrium of the haters:

A few excerpts:

Amid a backlash against her views on women’s rights and transgenderism, even mentioning Rowling’s name next to her works has been taboo in recent years.

At one event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone last June, a journalist was infamously blocked from asking a question about her absence.

But on Wednesday, executives at Warner Bros Discovery gave Rowling their support as they positioned the Harry Potter TV show as a flagship offering of their enlarged “Max” streaming service.

Casey Bloys, the chairman and chief executive of HBO and HBO Max, dismissed suggestions that showrunners will struggle to find cast members because of her involvement, telling journalists: “That’s a very online conversation.

“We’ve been in the Harry Potter business for 20 years, this isn’t a new decision. We’re comfortable being in the Potter business.”

The decision to work with Rowling again generated instant outrage from trans activists, with some vowing to boycott the show before it has even begun filming.

But it may be a sign that the tide is turning for Rowling and others who have been ostracised by the media establishment for their views on women’s rights and gender.

Brands are facing a growing backlash for wading into trans issues, with the US beer maker Budweiser embroiled in a row over adverts featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and Disney locked in a feud with the US Republican Party for its opposition to “don’t say gay” laws in Florida.

I couldn’t get excited about the Budweiser/Mulvaney dustup because if they want to sell beer using trans people, well, that doesn’t bother me. The vehemence of the opposition—including people making videos blowing away cases of Bud with shotguns, spoke to me of genuine transphobia. Why would they want to do that?

But this bit heartened me, especially the bit I’ve put in bold:

One senior film industry source says the uncancelling of Rowling will ruffle feathers but is ultimately the right call.

“If you look at what JK Rowling has actually said and done, this is a woman who herself was a victim of domestic violence, who was a single mother, and has now devoted herself to women’s rights and helping other women who have suffered,” the source adds.

“Yet because she took a position, out of concern about those issues, she was just completely thrown under a bus.

“I think you are now going to see her redeemed, for a lot of reasons. Hollywood likes to forgive – and particularly when someone is a creative genius like her.”

Another industry source says: “I think you just need to lean into these things, there isn’t any point in shying away as it was always going to raise a few eyebrows.

“Their focus is on involving the best creatives possible to make something that fans will really want to watch. Rowling is undoubtedly one of them.”

I’m not so sure that Hollywood likes to forgive (really?), and isn’t it convenient that she’s being picked up by some people because they can make more money with her on board? As for “there isn’t any point in shying away as it was always going to raise a few eyebrows,” well, that’s the wisdom of hindsight, and doesn’t show much spine.

There’s a bit more heartening defense:

However, since [the attacks on her] Rowling has received support from other quarters.

Last summer, Warner Bros stepped in with a forceful defence of the author when a journalist was banned from asking about her.

“Warner Bros has enjoyed a creative, productive and fulfilling partnership with JK Rowling for the past 20 years,” it said.

“She is one of the world’s most accomplished storytellers, and we are proud to be the studio to bring her vision, characters and stories to life.”

Ralph Fiennes, who played the villain Lord Voldemort, also came to Rowling’s aid, telling The New York Times that the author had faced “disgusting” abuse.

“It’s not some obscene, uber right-wing fascist,” he told the New York Times. “It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’”

Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the films, told The Telegraph in February: “Her [Rowling’s] character has always been to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society… I do wish people would just give her more grace and listen to her.”

But then filthy lucre raises its head again (at least Fiennes or Lynch can’t be accused of pecuniary gain!):

Next to those successes, Warner Bros’ decision to bring Rowling back may be motivated by profit just as much as principle.

The company certainly needs a little magic. It is currently battling the likes of Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Apple for streaming dominance, with the companies splashing huge sums collectively on films and TV shows in the quest for subscribers.

HBO’s combined “Max” service will wrap HBO Max and Discovery+ platforms into a single, bigger competitor, says Tom Harrington, a television analyst at Enders Analysis.

And David Zaslav, president and chief executive of Warner Bros Discovery, says major franchises such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and DC superheroes such as Batman are at the heart of his strategy to woo audiences.

Although I’ve never been a big Harry Potter fan, I’m a huge J. K. Rowling fan, for the woman has courage. Yes, of course she’s a gazillionaire, and has little to lose financially from being canceled, but still, what does she have to gain from speaking out? Nothing tangible but the ability to express what she thinks despite the inevitable disapprobation, hatred that cannot feel good. And of course she’s lost readers. Yet she is not a hater or a transphobe, but a creative force and a caring woman, and that’s reason enough to stop this cancelation now.

It won’t stop, of course, because haters gonna hate.  And through it all, Rowling has never lost her aplomb or dignity, and so the last sentence of the piece is appropriate:

Rowling, her literary agent and Warner Bros declined to comment.

43 thoughts on “J. K. Rowling uncanceled?

  1. HBO Max is already streaming “C.B. Strike”, an adaptation of the series of detective novels by Rowling, originally published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The credits do say Galbraith as the author, but include Rowling in a producer-type role — in any case her authorship is not a secret. (I think there was initially a period when the books were new when it was not public knowledge.)

    Though I am not much of a Harry Potter fan, I have been enjoying these TV adaptations quite a bit, and have started on the first book, “The Cuckoo’s Calling”.

    1. My wife and I watched the C.B. Strike show. We both thought it was pretty good. I had no idea it was based on books by Rowling until a few episodes in I noticed her name in the credits. Not that it would have affected my choice to watch the show, but I was a little surprised at the genre change.

      1. According to Rowling:

        I chose Robert because it’s one of my favourite men’s names, because Robert F Kennedy is my hero and because, mercifully, I hadn’t used it for any of the characters in the Potter series or The Casual Vacancy.

        Galbraith came about for a slightly odd reason. When I was a child, I really wanted to be called ‘Ella Galbraith’, and I’ve no idea why. I don’t even know how I knew that the surname existed, because I can’t remember ever meeting anyone with it. Be that as it may, the name had a fascination for me. I actually considered calling myself L A Galbraith for the Strike series, but for fairly obvious reasons decided that initials were a bad idea.

        Odder still, there was a well-known economist called J K Galbraith, something I only remembered by the time it was far too late. I was completely paranoid that people might take this as a clue and land at my real identity, but thankfully nobody was looking that deeply at the author’s name.


      2. The Strike books are wonderful. Even the first (The Cuckoo’s Calling) had garnered praise before the author’s true identity became known. Several have won crime fiction awards.

        A constant theme is disability and especially the plight of the vulnerable – Strike is an amputee, Robin has a terrible secret that has blighted her life. There’s even a transitioning person in the second book (The Silkworm) – treated very sympathetically, indeed. There’s always characters who have to live with what life has sent them.

        There’s also a very realistic understanding of the psychopathic mind. I was a prison governor *warden) for 30 years and have met several of the types Joanne Rowling portrays – and she does a really good job.

        I think they’re even better than the Harry Potter books.

    2. The books inevitably contain a lot of subplots etc., including the developing friendship between Strike and Robin, that the TV adaptation lacks, but the latter does a reasonable job of covering the main plotlines. The books could probably do with a bit of judicious editing – the latest so far in the series, The Ink Black Heart, is particularly bloated. But then it would be a brave editor who told JK Rowling that they knew better than she did!

  2. I am glad for that. It is too early to tell, but one can hope for an acceleration of media items that give her voice back. With these may come Pronouncements that she is rehabilitated, popular, and loved by the general public.
    All without her actually changing a single one of her principles.

  3. I love the “may” be motivated by profit. It undoubtedly is. WB is in the toilet and desperately needs this Harry Potter reboot. Give them credit for recognizing that it needs Rowling, and that their current stable of hacks can’t cut it, regardless of the PC credentials.

    It reminds me of a line from the Spencer Tracy movie The Last Hurrah. Tracy has just told his nephew, Jeffrey Hunter, that Hunter’s tightwad boss was once a clansman. He speculates that he left because he was forced to buy his own sheet. “It’s little things like that that drive a man to tolerance.”

  4. I was disappointed by Daniel Radcliffe “distancing” himself from Rowling, given that she’s basically created his career and is, as you say, far from being any kind of bigot. Her whole Harry Potter series focuses on ideals of defending against bigotry and hatred, and the courage needed to do so, and also recognizing that sometimes–as with Harry Potter himself, in the stories–people can be hated and reviled for reasons that are entirely unjust. I’m much more a fan of the books than the movies, but I’ll probably make sure to follow the new series if I can just to support her.

  5. The offense of “misgendering” will soon be expanded to “misaddressing” those who are
    neurodiverse. Individuals who exhibit multiple personality disorder must, of course, be addressed in the plural (ihr instead of du in German, ni instead of du in Swedish, etc.). Those who claim to be Napoleon must be addressed as “Your Imperial Majesty”, those who claim to be the Tsar of Russia as Ваше императорское величество , and so on.

    1. I’ve often thought of the Napoleons (what ever happened to them?) in this context. Do people have a right to be humored?

  6. For a rather well-built case to the contrary perspective (that JKR probably really is a bigot towards trans people), see this recent video by contrapoints:

    1. ContraPoints was given adequate time to make their case in the Witch Trials of JK Rowling podcast series. The two-hour video bloat fest that you posted seems to devote more time to ContraPoints’ costume changes than actually addressing any of the points that Rowling has made as far as I can see. Unless and until people like Natalie Wynn can give a coherent definition of what a woman is without circular referencing and relying on outdated gender stereotypes of dress, behaviour, etc. from the 1950s, it will be hard to take them seriously.

      1. It’s simply not relevant how much time was devoted to her case in that podcast. What matters to the case she makes in this video is what she says and the context she provides.
        The case made in this video, which is almost 2 hours long and you can not have watched in the 35 minutes between my post and yours, has no time “devoted” to costume changing at all. The fact that she is dressed differently for different sections does not take time away from what is being said when wearing those outfits. Nor does her definitions of what a woman is or is not have anything to do with what she says in the video about JKR and the historical and social contexts of the things JKR says and does. Your response is a non-response to anything it contains.

        1. Nor do you mention anything the video contains; you just post a two hour video, expect us all to watch it, and then says it’s a “rather well built case”. Sorry, but you have to make your own case and not make us watch two hours of this stuff. Is Rowling or is she not, in your view, a transphobe? And why? And please be civil towards other commenters. I could just post Rowling’s own interviews on Free Press and say she makes a rather well built case that Rowling is NOT a transphobe. Who is right? The difference is that I (and readers in these threads) have adduced evidence that she isn’t.

          1. 2 hours is a lot of content to sit here and write out, and I think I can’t really do it justice in the same way the video does in a comment. I think one of the most important facts is the historical context provided and explained very well in the video. She calls it framing. To pick an example, the parallels to the discrimination against homosexuals historically, and how JKR today is uncannily like how anti-gay activist Anita Bryant was in the 1980s in many relevant aspects, is something I found hard to explain away.

            Heck, there is even some “guilt by association” going on. Normally It shouldn’t be an issue who you happen to know. But then there’s how many of such people you know and associate with, and quote, and re-tweet, and “like” etc. And yes, I do think if you associate with too many of the wrong people it starts to not look like accidents, even if you do not explicitly state the same things they are known to have done.

            To bring in an analogy, one has to wonder how many times I should have to quote and like statements by, say, David Duke, or Richard Spencer, and a host of people like them, or model for t-shirts with their slogans or similar things, before it becomes implausible that I don’t share their views.
            Imagine I said “I’m not saying the Jews are behind everything scheming and plotting, you can find no such statement of mine.” But I just so happened to re-tweet a lot of the dog-whistles and go on the podcasts of people who spend inordinate amounts of time suggesting Jews are scheming and plotting.

            To pick just one example of people she shouldn’t be associating with, sharing with approval the demonstrated BS espoused by someone like right-wing lunatic Matt Walsh is a red flag. But hey it’s just one example right?

            No single thing proves it, but it is the totality of the evidence considered that “did it” for me. You can make up your own minds of course, but I think you have to watch the video to do that.

            1. I disagree. I think you can make up one’s mind by reading Rowling and her critics (viz., the Free Press piece). I can’t listen to two hours of cringeworthy posturing before you consider me qualified to make a judgment about Rowling.

        2. You’re making the bad faith assumption that I hadn’t seen the video before you posted it here, Mikkel/b>.

          Wynn’s arguments are also in bad faith; [s]he spends the first god knows how many minutes (nearly half an hour?) irrelevantly burbling on about Anita Bryant and religious homophobia as an introduction, then segues into talking about JK Rowling by claiming that she has written about “transvestite serial killers masturbating into stolen panties”. If there’s even one such character, disregarding Wynn’s use of the plural, in any of Rowling’s work I’d be grateful if you could name both that character and the book! It’s hard to take the hyperbolic nonsense seriously when such glaring lies are told.

          Wynn’s framing of the “Witch Trials of..” podcast series are equally inaccurate, despite personally being given generous time to participate in it. (Have you listened to it?)

          Having already endorsed Bryant being assaulted with a pie, and mentioned, but not condemned, her being posted excrement and bomb threats, Wynn goes on to make light of the numerous rape and death threats that Rowling has received. If you can find any instances of Rowling doing the same to those, like Wynn, on the other side of the debate feel free to post links.

          Ironically, Wynn, born male, claims to be a lesbian. So a straight man then. The perfect demonstration of how homophobic transgender identity ideology is.

          1. The book is called “Troubled Blood” (written by J K Rowling under her alias of Robert Galbraith). The character is called Dennis Creed. He is a serial killer who, in order to lure people into his van before murdering them, dresses in women’s clothes and a wig. The novel says that as a young man he stole women’s underwear and masturbated into it.

            So this appears to be neither “hyperbolic nonsense” nor “glaring lies”.

            Presumably you were so confident that it was a lie for reasons along the following lines: JKR would only have done something so extreme if she did in fact hate/fear trans people as Wynn claims, but I know she doesn’t, so she must not have done it. Contrapositively, since it turns out she _did_ do it you might want to consider revising your opinion of her atittudes.

            (But, also relevant to what this says about her attitudes: there was an actual real-life serial killer who did much the same things, called Jerry Brudos; Rowling didn’t invent that particular combination of behaviours out of nothing.)

            1. The killer wears a pink coat and a wig to approach one victim, which is hardly the same as your claim of him wearing women’s ‘clothes’ – the plural clearly meant to convey an image of full-on cross-dressing – to lure ‘people’ – again with the false plural intended to have us think it’s the killer’s regular modus operandi – into his van. The ‘cross-dressing’ is a minor detail described on just one page of a 900-ish page novel.
              But even if he did regularly don women’s clothing in order to lure victims, that wouldn’t make him a transvestite but something more akin to the trick of certain animals that impersonate females in order to gain access to a dominant male’s ‘harem’. It’s a disguise, a means to an end and not a lifestyle choice.
              That detail does not say anything about transwomen (even if you still want to call the killer a transvestite, transvestitism is not included in the TQA+ ‘community’); the ‘offence’ was concocted by people desperately seeking reasons to vilify Rowling but, just as with the entirely inoffensive statement of Rowling’s that started the future, the vilification is based on acceptance of some very dishonest readings and deliberate misinterpretations of her words, eagerly swept up by ‘allies’ too blinded by ideology and too keen to show allegiance to the self-proclaimed ‘most vulnerable’ minorities in society to actually pause to check the source material before joining the baying mob.

              1. It may be that Wynn’s description is overstated. On the other hand, your description seems to err in the other direction. I don’t have a copy of the book to check in detail myself, but the brief article at https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2020/sep/15/rowling-troubled-blood-thriller-robert-galbraith-review (which is warning _against_ reading too much into Rowling’s description of Creed and his actions) quotes the book as describing Creed as a “genius of misdirection in his neat little white van, dressed in the pink coat he’d stolen from [his landlady] Vi Cooper, and sometimes wearing a wig that, from a distance, to a drunk victim, gave his hazy form a feminine appearance just long enough for his large hands to close over a gasping mouth” — which to me, at least, seems to be implying exactly the sort of regular m.o. that you say she isn’t. (You don’t say “sometimes” about something that happens only once. In a paragraph saying “X, and sometimes Y”, you _certainly_ aren’t saying that X happens only once.)

                I agree that “transvestite” seems like an imprecise description. From Rowling’s description, Creed may not actually be a transvestite. He merely (1) claims that he is one in a situation where doing so might help deflect suspicion of a crime, (2) is described as having a “sexually ambiguous persona”, (3) dresses in women’s clothes on various occasions, and (4) masturbates while wearing stolen women’s panties, and those things indeed do not necessarily make someone a transvestite. But I’m not sure “serial killer portrayed as having various transvestite-ish behaviours” is all that different from “transvestite serial killer”, and just as these descriptions of Creed are[1] a minor detail on one page of a 900-page novel, so the word “transvestite” describing Creed is a minor detail taking about one second of Wynn’s more-than-900-second YouTube video.

                [1] To be clear, I haven’t checked that this is right, but I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t believe you.

                As I said before, Rowling modelled these attributes of Creed pretty closely on those of an actual real-life serial killer, which I think makes this less evidence of hostile attitudes to, let’s say, people with male-looking bodies who represent themselves as being female, than if she’d made him up entirely out of her imagination. But I do think it’s fair to take it as _some_ evidence, along with the other evidence from e.g. what she says and retweets on Twitter. She’s not the screaming hater some people portray her as, but she’s not the voice of sweet benevolent tolerant reason some other people portray her as either.

            2. There are good historical precedents for views like those of reader g. Does anyone remember Jonathan Demme, Jame Gumb, and “The Silence of the Lambs”? GLAAD complained before the 1992 Academy Awards (where the movie swept the big five) that “The killer in the movie is a walking, talking gay stereotype…He has a poodle named Precious, he sews, he wears a nipple ring, he has an affected feminine voice, and he cross-dresses. He completely promotes homophobia.”


              Like the Creed character, Gumb also lured his female victims into his van using a disguise. He then killed and skinned them as part of his metamorphosis into a woman. Demme himself said, “We knew it was tremendously important to not have Gumb misinterpreted by the audience as being homosexual. That would be a complete betrayal of the themes of the movie. And a disservice to gay people.” According to the director, Jame Gumb was not trans, he was just desperately trying to escape his abusive past by becoming someone other than himself.


              Nevertheless, critics of the day thought this gave us insight into the homophobia of Demme. Today, because Demme is a man and says all the right things on Palestine etc., he gets a pass on the transphobia charge, and no one parses his films to learn “what this says about [his] attitudes”.

              OTOH Rowling thoughtfully explains her views and how she came to develop them (including through suffering domestic violence at the hands of a man)


              And she expresses nothing but solidarity with people who have gender dysphoria. But because she insists on sex-based rights for women, mind readers like g insist that we can’t take her word for it, and that we can infer from her book characters that Rowling hates trans people and wants them dead.

              There are people in the world who really do hate trans people, but Rowling is not one of them.

              1. The real-life so-called “Cambridge Rapist”, Peter Samuel Cook, was apprehended cycling away from the Owlstone Croft nurses’ hostel, where he had stabbed a young woman. He was wearing a long blonde wig and was also found to be in possession of women’s clothing and lipstick. Police searching his home discovered more female clothing and make-up as well as ether, with which he had subdued his victims.

              2. Mike, it seems like you’re making guesses at my opinions and attitudes that go some way beyond what I actually said, and your guesses are not only uncharitable but wrong. E.g., that I think we can infer from Rowling’s characters that she hates trans people and wants them dead. I don’t, as it happens, think that.

                I _do_ think there’s some hostility going on there. If so, some of it is probably the usual thing where people get on opposite sides of a political fight and end up hating each other for the hostile things they’ve done, and everyone can say “well, I only did X because they did Y first”, and “I only did Y because they did Z first”, and “I only did Z because they did A first”, and so on through more iterations than anyone has patience to track, and _really_ those “only”s are a bit bogus because people love having excuses for being nasty to their political enemies. Anyway, I don’t for a moment believe that Rowling wants trans people dead, and I don’t think “hates” is a good word for what I conjecture her attitude to be.

                (So if I don’t think Rowling hates trans people, why did I say what I did about JezGrove maybe revising his beliefs about her attitudes? Because I can’t make sense of JezGrove’s confidence that Wynn must be telling “glaring lies” — given that in fact Rowling did do pretty much what Wynn claims she did — other than in terms of the sort of argument I conjectured he had in mind, and I don’t see how to make such an argument work _without_ something as extreme as “hates/fears”. And I think that in fact (1) the argument doesn’t in fact work — Rowling could have written what Wynn said she did _without_ having attitudes so extreme that anyone should think it impossible for her to have had them — but (2) to whatever degree it does — it’s true that the more negative Rowling’s feelings about trans people, the more likely it is that she might write hateful characters with trans-y attributes — the fact that Rowling did put that character in her book should move our guesses at her attitudes in the “yup, she has a negative attitude” direction. Not all the way to “hates trans people and wants them dead”, for sure, which is why I said not “you should think that Rowling hates trans people and wants them dead” or anything like it, but the much more restrained “you might want to consider revising your opinion of her atittudes”.)

    2. His overdone voice puts me off especially when he cracks back down into his male register. So spit on me. But I did listen to the whole thing, albeit with frequent pulses of the +15 sec button.. He starts with the premise that anyone who says, “Transgender women are men” is a bigot and how could anyone think otherwise? Beyond that there is no further development of his argument. He just repeats over and over again the claim that rejection of the factual truth of the central claim of trans-gender ideology, that transwomen are women, is the definition of bigotry. OK then, by that definition of bigotry, I’m a bigot. [Edit: and a transphobe. And so is JKR? To be honest I don’t know if she does and he never actually says that she does, just implies it]. So what? From listening to him, I’m a bigot if I dwell on unpleasant facts, like criminality, about any identifiable group. So I came away convinced that there is no such thing as bigotry at all. Like racism and hate, it’s whatever your opponent says it is. So the response is to just not give uptake to either term. I feel so much better now. Great job, contrapoints.

      He’s right on one point. There is not much scope for convincing. Unlike them, our side won’t silence with violence. So we have to defeat them in legislatures (just as the Anita Bryants and Andrea Dworkins were defeated) if we care enough. Different political systems will have to do that in their own way.

      My favourite moment was when he sneered at an opinion by someone using the handle “large_gamete_producer” without a hint that he “got” the irony in the expression.

    3. To talk about Rowlings she starts off by talking about …. Anita Bryant!!!!!!!

      That was enough for me. LOL! Goodbye.

    4. I watched this, painful as it was, and I still have no clue what exactly Rowling has done or said that is transphobic. At least not in the common sense viewpoint. If you argue that believing in the reality of biological sex, and that females have a right to single-sex spaces, is by definition transphobic, then why bother with a 2 hour snoozefest?

      The conflation of Rowling with Anita Bryant was cheap and lazy, and says a lot about the intellectual incompetence of Contrapoint’s audience. The attempt at “guilt by association” was laughably thin, and again, why bother? Surely it must be possible to actually quote something transphobic that Rowling has said?

      The character in Rowling’s book is not a trans woman. Just an ordinary male using a female disguise. The idea that using characters like this is transphobic is again, laughably stupid. If the guy was using a wheelchair, would that make Rowling abelist too?

      But the problem with Contrapoints is the usual one with trans advocates. They are cowards. They have nothing to say on Isla Bryson. Is this person a trans woman or not? If transwomen are women then why are they not up in arms about her being in a male prison. If they think it’s ok for her to be in a male prison, then clearly, transwomen are not women.

  7. As is often said about others who fell out of grace with the public, she cried all the way to the bank. She also created books in the glorious English language and literary tradition, those supposedly for children but feasted on by adults: Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Wind in the Willows….all the wonderful (in the literal sense),spirited, literate and quirky fantasies that are now shelved alongside the great earlier writers and poets of the English tradition, arguably the greatest literary treasures in the world. Rowling’s gift is a gift to the world and to the future. Store her books in a safe place along with the other literary geniuses. Our grandchildren will tell their children that they were alive during Rowling’s reign. What a wonderful memory to pass on.

  8. Amongst Rowling’s other numerous charitable endeavours, she recently set up Beira’s Place in Edinburgh. https://beirasplace.org.uk/about/

    Thanks to Scottish government funding requirements, all other rape crisis services are “trans inclusive” meaning that women using them can’t guarantee that they won’t encounter a male-bodied person. (Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre (ERCC) is led by a transwoman, Mridul Wadhwa, who has said that women need to “reframe their trauma” if they have a problem with sharing the service with transwomen. More than 90% of transwomen still have penises and under Scotland’s proposed self-id laws there would be no gatekeeping of accessibility.)

    Because Beira’s Place is entirely funded by Rowling it is not bound by such funding restrictions and can operate as the UK’s Equality Act 2010 exceptions intended. (Under the exceptions a transsexual, even if they possess a gender recognition certificate changing their legal gender, can be excluded from single-sex services and facilities that don’t match their sex at birth provided that doing so is a proportional means of achieving a legitimate aim. Public toilets, changing rooms, and rape counselling services are given as specific examples – as is an employment restriction that would have prevented Wadhwa being appointed if ERCC had chosen to apply it.)

  9. I’m not so sure that Hollywood likes to forgive (really?)

    Depending on definitions, the Hollywood “blacklist” era lasted between a decade and 12 years, but I’m sure that for some individuals it lasted longer. [edit : added link]
    Isn’t there another fight brewing between “Hollywood” industry and the writing industry – which will no doubt result in dozens of hundreds of people going back onto dozens or hundreds of blacklists – if they ever came off the blacklists after the last writer’s strike.
    The tricky thing about blacklists is keeping reference to them out of the computers, whose records can come back to bite years down the line.

  10. As I believe I mentioned in an earlier thread: I kept hearing about Rowling being a transphobe, including from some good “trans-ally” friends. So I looked in to “what has JK Rowling actually said?” and listened to the Witch podcast.

    Then, looking for counterpoints I ended up on a site which had many anti-Rowling commenters. The article on the site was exactly the type of bad faith, demonizing strawman Rowling rightly complained about in the podcast. I mentioned I didn’t necessarily agree with everything Rowling argues, but I carefully pointed out why it misrepresented Rowling and “what Rowling actually argued was…”

    I was immediately branded despicable, and soon I was banned from commenting.

    They were so utterly un-self-aware of their bad faith reasoning, assumptions and how perfectly their actions supported Rowling’s point, it was remarkable.

  11. A few months ago the video game Hogwarths Legacy based on the Harry Potter world was released. There were some video game outlets that banned discussion of the game and there was of course talks in forums about boycotting the game. Despite that, the game has performed exceptionally well, evidence that the most vocal are not always representative of the majority. I wonder though, if the game had performed poorly, if Warner would have been so willing to bring Rowling back.

  12. The description above of the dispute doesn’t give a good understanding the conflict. Fundamentally, it’s about whether the English word and concept of “woman” should be considered PRIMARILY as the social meaning versus the biological meaning. Note that everyone intuitively understands those two concepts very well. Take the following sentence:

    “In prison, a man who is not enough of a man, can end up the woman of a man who is more of a man”.

    Native English speakers don’t find this confusing, and grasp the meaning immediately. But someone with severe autism might find it incomprehensible – “Is that claiming prison can cause a producer of small mobile gametes to suddenly produce large immobile gametes? And where does “enough” or “more” factor in – do you mean a count of the number of small mobile gametes?”

    The sports and shelters and everything else is downstream from this.

    Rowling is on the side of “primarily biological meaning”. That’s the whole controversy from her well-known tweet:

    “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

    This gets strawmanned over it’s false that “is a woman” 100% implies “menstruates” (e.g. age, health).
    But the dispute is if it’s true that “menstruates” 100% implies “is a woman”
    (because menstruates is a biological function).

    1. In English, has there ever been a time until quite recently when being an “adult female human” was not considered a necessary condition of being a “woman”? A time when the social meanings of being a “woman” did not assume the biological as a given? Do we know of any language—living or dead—that lacks a word for “adult female human” and instead favors words that primarily reference social roles divorced from biology? What is the evidence that should persuade us to overturn centuries of language usage in the cases of men / women defined principally as adult males / females? Presumably, we have discovered something of which earlier generations remained ignorant: what are those discoveries?

      As to your example, should a male prisoner refer to another male prisoner as a “woman”, it doesn’t change the primary definition of a “woman” any more than referring to another male prisoner as a “dog” would change our primary understanding of what it means to be a canine. I am quite aware that language changes, it evolves, up becomes down, down becomes up. But we are not discussing organic change with these matters; we are discussing ideologically-driven attempts to compel change. It is not an accident that the sectors of society that most readily adopt these language change games are also those that are most status conscious and within which praise of peers is the coin of social and professional advancement.

      1. Doug – again, my point is that a social definition of woman, which is not the biological definition, isn’t something recently invented. It has always existed organically. How much emphasis to give that meaning is another question. But it would be wrong to think it had no relevance. This isn’t the time or place for a long discussion of the topic, and it isn’t my particular issue anyway. Note briefly though, one thing which gives me pause is much of what you say could have also been said just recently about same-sex “marriage”. The analogous claim would be that “marriage” was always opposite-sex, with much railing against the supposedly very bad people who were trying to change that against biology, etc. Also note it wasn’t unknown for male-male couples to get asked “Which one of you is the woman?” – biologically nonsensical, but very clear as a matter of social definition. In general, one need not take the most extreme position on anything in order to believe there’s a complicated conflict.

        CBE – whole books are written about that!

    2. From “The Sopranos”:

      Wise guys: ‘So, was he pitching or was he catching?’

      Tony’s daughters boyfriend: ‘He was catching,’

      Wise guys: ‘Oooooooooohhhhhhhh!!!!!’

    3. Interesting. In the prison example you created, the idea of “woman” seems to be: is the “receptive” or “penetrated” partner in sex. Ditto for the Sopranos reference below.

      I understand the idea. But I also think that receptive sexual partner=woman=weak is foundational to persistent sexism.

      In addition, we know it’s simply not true.

  13. “I couldn’t get excited about the Budweiser/Mulvaney dustup because if they want to sell beer using trans people, well, that doesn’t bother me.” – J. Coyne

    It wouldn’t bother me either if the transperson in question weren’t Dylan Mulvaney, whose caricaturesque histrionic demeanor is an utter embarrassment both to normal transwomen and to women.

  14. The wokerati tried to derail ‘The Super Mario Brothers Movie’ for month’s before it’s release. Because Chris Pratt belongs to a conservative church. From Forbes yesterday:

    “Universal’s ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ will top a massive $830+ million at the worldwide box office this weekend, after a huge opening weekend and impressive second weekend that both exceeded expectations. It now seems certain the Nintendo video game adaptation will hit $1 billion as a top contender for highest-grossing film of 2023 by year’s end.”

    Pratt has more likeability in one smile than the woke have in their entire collective pinched-faced angst. As does Rowlings.

  15. Rowlings is 100% right, I hope she indeed will be de-deplatformed.
    I’m very much with Abigail Shrier’s observation that SOGD is not gender dysphoria at all. It is young females not happy with their bodily transitions in puberty. I think anorexia nervosa and SOGD are basically the same thing. And then there is the premium of victimhood. I find the channeling of these problems into ‘gender dysphoria’ (with hormone ‘therapies’ and surgery) close to criminal.
    On the other hand, -a very different phenomenon- I think male athletes wanting to compete in female competitions are just cheats. They went through male puberty, and are, I think, in most cases not really gender dysphoric. I just don’t buy that, I’m sorry to say. Even if they are really gender dysphoric (I think most of them are not), they still are cheats.

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