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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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    Transwomen usually take great pains to avoid looking like a "man in a dress", either by taking hormones or/and adopting female traits such as speech or mannerisms.
     
  2. Robo-Star

    Robo-Star Prince

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    A woman entering a women's space and a man entering a women's space.
     
  3. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    I'm not entirely sure if you're aware of the vagaries of transitioning, at least in a legal sense or the financial cost of transitioning.

    Not trying to be an ass, just want to point out that not every transperson can afford to transtition legally, or even meets the criteria set by cispeople, medically, to change their gender legally
     
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  4. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    I wonder if this concept of men entering womens' rooms is actually a prevalent concern - moreso, say, than police raping women legally, which they can do in three dozen states in the USA.
     
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  5. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    This is a bad argument, unless he wants to defend the idea that speech can never be harmful. That's not going to get very far.

    And if certain types of speech can be harmful, it doesn't follow that banning them is logical because it would prevent harm, since the act of banning them itself could cause greater harm. So even from a utilitarian standpoint the argument fails.

    I don't really have to explain why burning her books do not follow at all from those in this context, do I?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
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  6. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    If @innonimatu wants to make the explicit argument that he doesn't consider what JK Rowling has posted on her blog to be harmful, then he should make that argument. As such, he seems to keep avoiding saying that specifically, and instead keeps making arguments to theoretical concerns of censorship.

    Notably, nobody's making her take down the blog post. As such, she's still not being censored. More on that next.

    And Twitter is a private platform and can do what they want with it. They're still not being censored. It is not censorship in the proper sense. Hence why we have "deplatformed" as a different phrase. Rowling can still write in mainstream publications. Rowling can still write on her blog. Rowling can still attend public forums. She is not being censored in the theoretical event she gets banned from the most weakly-moderated social media site in existence. It is very hard for people to get banned from Twitter if you're a known public figure.

    I don't get why we're stacking up theoretical "censorship" that hasn't even happened against the harm done to trans people by spreading anti-trans rhetoric.

    I've said this before but you seriously need to do some basic research into trans rights in the UK. Even the basic principle of gender recognition is far more involved than just getting a doctor's note. There is a paper trail man, what more do you want? The idea that someone can waltz into a public toilet, assault someone, and claim that they were allowed in there is a common TERF argument (this is not a criticism of you at all - I'm saying where this has picked up mainstream traction).

    I don't want to speak for trans folk as a cis person, but I have seen (so as anecdotal as you want to treat it) many accounts of trans people just suffering from dysphoria because (like Cloud pointed out) they don't have the resources to even begin any form of legal transition (or gender recognition). They suffer - personally. They don't waltz into the public toilet of their choice and risk getting assaulted for not looking like a "real" woman. And people really can't tell a lot of the time. People think they can tell. That's why this diatribe that Rowling promotes is so harmful to trans women, and in fact women in general! It's upholding harassment of women to purportedly "prove" that they're a woman!

    The entire TERF viewpoint is contrived, furthermore, because it's never about stopping women entering a man's space. It's always about allegedly-male abusers invading women's spaces. It's not about equality. It's about discriminating against trans people, and trans women in particular.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
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  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Absent the discussion on what should/shouldn't be allowed, what is the discussion here though? The facts of what JKR said don't appear to be in dispute, so unless the intention is to repeatedly call her out for being rude/unreasonable there's some worth in exploring specific harm.

    Some harmful speech is banned explicitly, such as inciting riots or falsely alarming people of fire. I don't believe what most people say on the internet can meet this standard of harm under normal circumstances, even if most people might broadly agree that a particular person is being mean for no good reason.
     
  8. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I have to assume that the critical mass here is mostly teens, cause otherwise it makes no sense to identify Rowling with what is keeping trans-people down. Certainly media figures pick up on that and do their usual polemics, but logically it is easy to see that Rowling is just one person and as such means next to nothing regarding any issue.
    I mean, should you care if Radiohead take money from Israel, just cause you like their music? Will this make you change your view of the Israel-Palestine situation? Or what Gal Gadot thinks? :mischief:
     
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  9. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    Yes, part of the discussion is exploring the specific harm that what she said can cause.

    No one that I can see is advocating that she be silenced or her books be burned so far.
     
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  10. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    The only surprising thing about this thread is how ardently people are willing to defend some author who they apparently don't care for, whose books are only for children, and who they don't even necessarily agree with. Kinda fishy if you ask me.

    What are those facts? I do not know what you are referring to.

    I mean obviously yes, no? If I found out that my favorite band privately supports politics I find abhorrent, then I will definitely stop buying anything from them merely by virtue of not wanting to support disgusting things with my money.

    If Kanye came out tomorrow saying he supports the Repubs from now on, I would never buy another Kanye album again (note: I don't think I've bought a non-vinyl album in a long time, but that's besides the point).

    If Radiohead did indeed take money from Israel they should be called out for that, and everyone should re-evaluate for themselves if they want to support them financially (or otherwise, after all fans do a lot of unpaid promotion work that is very impactful).

    When you have a big audience and constantly repeat things that are actively damaging to someone's reputation then you are definitely keeping that someone down. That's not even a question. It doesn't matter if her audience is teens or grandmas or politicians, she is clearly spreading the false image of transpeople as sexual deviants who prey on women, and it is als obviously a concerted effort in order to change public opinion.

    No one steps on a gigantic podium, grabs the microphone and makes a political statement without any kind of intention, drive or purpose. Clearly Rowling felt like she had something to say, like her opinions are worth being listened to and being considered, and clearly she's trying to win people over for her side.
     
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  11. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Radiohead did take serious money from Israel, and a year (or more?) ago there was a controversy about their tour there. While I like their music, Yorke had always been a ridiculous primadonna so I wasn't surprised :)
     
  12. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    Phew, lucky for me then that I haven't bought a record since Kid A :D
     
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  13. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Her twitter posts.

    Fair enough, but I'm not seeing how she has more "specific harm" potential than random internet trolls. She's not a person of power and per earlier discussion it's questionable whether she can have any meaningful influence on policy. I could see her being used as an example of a larger issue, but not as an example of someone who has any clear specific harm.

    Actually that does matter. Degree of influence on policy is the primary question in this context.

    Claiming "that's not even a question" does not make the claim true. That requires demonstrating evidence of a substantial portion of her fanbase changing their minds based on her posts (people who are already bigoted would not count, because they'd still be bigoted w/o her posting anything). Absent that evidence, she's just a random internet troll with the same powers and limitations (can join echo chambers and perhaps make individual lives miserable, if someone is foolish enough to listen).
     
  14. Cloud_Strife

    Cloud_Strife Deity

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    This borders on wilful ignorance, she has a massive fanbase and has more influence than the average writer, you cannot sincerely be this naive
     
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  15. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Emperor

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    I think the "Men in the ladies' restroom" thing is mostly a made-up controversy. The restrooms have separate stalls for the toilets for privacy. Anyone entering and making even a poor attempt at blending in shouldn't be an issue unless someone wants to make it an issue.

    Men using the women's locker room might be a legit issue, I dunno. Should a girl have to shower with other girls, some of whom have penises? And then be told that she's the one with the problem? However, that might not be a real issue either; my brother is a school teacher and he says the kids don't shower anymore after gym class, they just use lots of cheap cologne and Axe body spray :p
     
  16. Robo-Star

    Robo-Star Prince

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    And/or evience of a substantial portion of her fanbase not changing their minds when being exposed to further arguements compared to other people.

    Prisons is another one. And rape crisis centers.
     
  17. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    I touched on this in post #202, after which someone frothed in the mouth and took it as suggesting burning her books.
     
  18. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    This is tedious. There is a long tradition in our history of using oration to change hearts and minds. In most of those cases it is impossible to objectively demonstrate that anyone’s mind was actually changed: one day, one year, or ten years after the event, you can never be certain. But there can be no doubt mass politics and propaganda have a purpose.

    So either you must accept that no particular evidence is necessary to show hate speech can influence hate, or take your claim to its logical terminus and suppose that no speech influences anyone.
     
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  19. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    People arguing hate speech does not cause harm have undermined their own argument. If speech does not have social effects there is no point in preserving any free speech to begin with. Unless? the whole argument is just a pretext to insult people...
     
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  20. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    Just so; not to mention we have already seen that free speech is also a function of access to platforms, and someone with as many resources as Rowling also implicitly has access to bigger and farther-reaching platforms. Not everyone uses Twitter or even close, but it’s hard not to see advertisement for productions from her media kingdom.

    And this is all putting aside the fact that she also has written stories where a hero threatening violence and prison rape against a trans woman is glorified. Her bias can not possibly be described as innocuous. It may suit a certain section of the population to pretend that hate does not exist and has no influence, as that hate does not target them, but if hate speech is no problem then we have no reason to suppose any anti-Semitic pamphlet published before 1933 should have been banned. Doubtless the free speech advocates in this thread would find this a troubling notion. But if someone is spending their time keeping anti-Semitic pamphlets running instead of attempting to contribute on their own part to pro-Semitic pamphlets, it’s clear where their sympathies actually lie. They may say “we can do both!” but the contents of this thread bear that conceit out to nothing.

    “Free speech” is the refuge of scoundrels.
     
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