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[RD] JK Rowling and Explicit Transphobia

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Cloud_Strife, Jun 11, 2020.

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  1. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    I'm not good at starting topics, but this is an important topic for me, as it has implications for transpeople in general.

    JK Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, seems to have an issue with transpeople; she's not only liked tweets espousing Trans Exclusionary rhetoric, but also has put out a few statements that even with context, are pretty "yikes".

    Her latest foray into the topic is to misgender transmen and then repeat her basic claim that allowing transwomen into female changing spaces is dangerous on the basis of cismen taking advantage of it to sexually abuse women, which in itself is a transphobic argument often used by terfs to scaremonger about transwomen.

    It's genuinely depressing seeing someone with her level of fame, influence and followers tweet what is essentially bile.

    Edit:

    For context here's the argument she's made https://www.jkrowling.com/opinions/...ns-for-speaking-out-on-sex-and-gender-issues/:

    Her insistence that in allowing transwomen into women's spaces you are essentially letting men in is, what i personally believe, an instance of her mask slipping and her showing us all what we truly thinks of transwomen, not to mention this telling passage:

    Where she equates transmen to women, an act which in and of itself is transphobic.

    Now, JK claims she isn't transphobic, even as she repeats arguments used to attack transpeople, but i don't really buy that, not just because she has a history of doing it, but because she's repeatedly doubled down everytime she slips up and reveals how she truly feels.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  2. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I was super-surprised when she chose this hill, rather than just using her voice elsewhere.

    I saw a good example: Hermione was referred to as "she" while she was poly polymorphed as Harry (including the Male bits). So, JK instinctively got it, but rationalized her way out of it.
     
  3. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    What disturbs me is the adoption of right-wing, Christian fundamentalist talking points in order to counter and attack transpeople. It's the same "cisman in a dress wants to enter women's space to rape them, so therefor we must ban all transwomen" and it's a tired pathetic argument couched in bigotry.
     
  4. Arwon

    Arwon

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    I'm at the stage of pretty much just assuming famous British people are TERFs til they prove otherwise. Seems to save time.
     
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  5. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    Yeah pretty much, there seems to be a lot of hate for transpeople in england
     
  6. Arwon

    Arwon

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    New Zealand even gave a trans British person asylum from there
     
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  7. Arwon

    Arwon

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    And yeah nothing she's saying is remotely novel and it's a horribly misguided strawman, but adding her level of prominence to things will hurt a lot of people.

    Dismissing women who disagree with her as not experiencing trauma or assault is also incredibly nasty.
     
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  8. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    She's genuinely a hateful person, tired of people giving her the benefit of the doubt
     
  9. Synsensa

    Synsensa Deity Retired Moderator

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    Anything like this that comes from Rowling is not a surprise to me. It is par for the course. She had her "inspirational" story of becoming the richest author alive, and people naturally assigned virtue to that process (when they really shouldn't have). Once she gained a massive internet platform, she's almost exclusively used it to belittle and profit off of diversity, all the while remaining comfortably in her domestic right-wing perspective. She is boilerplate white female conservative, just with a massive platform that isn't backed by a government propaganda wing.
     
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  10. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Also her main character believed in nearly nothing except getting rid of one very evil person and joining the secret police so what does that tell you about the headspace of someone depicting an uprising with no content
     
  11. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Just read the blog post, and really no idea what the mess is about. It's not so that she's Hitler, and the blog is nuanced.
     
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  12. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    She is just a writer. Imo it is a terrible idea for any known writer to post political opinions, but I can't say I ever cared about JK Rowling anyway.

    Iirc she already had changed that Hermione character to black, no? Either way, her books came one generation after my own (gen X). Good for her for becoming so famous, but writers can also have insignificant opinions on stuff, much like anyone else.
     
  13. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Moderator Action: This is now an RD thread, for what I hope are obvious reasons. Tread carefully, please.
     
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  14. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    I mean, no? She repeats transphobic arguments and points to justify discriminating against transwomen on the basis of what cismen do.
     
  15. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Does anybody actually listen to Rowling on anything? She is an increasingly batty author who hasn't published a good book in over a decade; who frequently tries to gaslight people by saying that Hermione is actually black in the book* (despite being referred to multiple times as being quite pale, and I've never met a black person with frizzy red hair) or that there were in fact Jewish students at Hogwarts.

    *To clarify, I have no opinion on casting a black actress to play her in the theater show.
     
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  16. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    There's a discussion to be had around the restroom. It can easily spiral into transphobism, but it needn't. It has to be a discussion about ratios and harms. Like, what percentage of the population tries to take advantage of any changes to the legislation? And what percentage of the population benefits from changes to the legislation? Who's bearing the cost of each change? Etcetera, etcetera. There will be an intersection of people who well identify as transgender and will also prey on children. And there will be an intersection of people willing to take advantage of changes in laws in order to prey on children. And that's what people will notice as long as the conversation doesn't advance quickly enough
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  17. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    She says there's a problem with the toilets (not exactly a new thing). She doesn't advocate gassing anyone. Which would be more to the level of the media turmoil, TBH.
     
  18. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Nobody tried to Godwin this but you @The_J. Personally, it seems like you're exaggerating the tone of her critics unfairly. She doesn't need to be compared to Hitler to be proven of being transphobic.

    I would recommend looking up published statistics on the subject before suggesting that folks need to be open to a theoretical debate.

    I would also look up existing transition rates, detransition rates and the general difficulty especially in the UK (as is the framing of both JKR's transphobia and her erstwhile allies in this matter are British, specifically) of actually being recognised officially as a trans person. Any framing of "harm to women" (that for some reason excludes trans women - hence the problem with the assumption at its core) that relies on the apparent claim that it's easy to say "but I'm a trans women" (as a defense to being a cis man perpetrating a crime) isn't backed up by the current difficulties trans folk in the UK experience as a part of everyday existence. It's not a defense that would hold up in court, if made up (as a lie) to try and game whatever system transphobes are claiming will be gamed as a result of better rights for trans people.

    There's a lot of information already out there. I'm on the move so I don't have my sources to hand, but this is a great Twitter thread to get started with. It's a sequential rebuttal of a lot of the claims made by JKR, with supporting context and third-party links.
     
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  19. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    She's lumping in sexual predators with transpeople and using the existence of the former to discriminate against the entirety of the latter.
     
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  20. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    I'm not sure I can do much more than to just agree with you here. Yeah, she's wrong and it's weird she is saying stuff like that. But then again, she has always searched for ways to stay relevant. It's just really bad timing.
     
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