While I support the trans community, I don’t support all of the hatred that J.K. Rowling has recieved because, for all her faults, she is a solid Labour supporter in the UK and supports progressive causes on almost every issue. With Marine le Pen across the channel in Calais and Boris Johnson commanding a Trump-like following, there is only so much animosity I can muster for J.K. Rowling. While she does have power, J.K. Rowling would not support gross human rights violations against the trans community and if the Tories are becoming increasingly authoritarian and pro-austerity and the bread lines from Manchester to Belfast lengthen, the term TERF means nothing to me. In the end of the day, J.K. Rowling does not support violence against the trans community and as important as their fight is, democracy, the environment, and poverty are more important issues and on those she is on our side.
While Winston Churchill seemed to be tacitly liberal about homosexuality, Bernard Montgomery was so homophobic, he opposed the repeal of Britain’s sodomy laws in the 1970s. Yes, the lead British general for the war in Europe was a homophobe who wanted gays to be incarcerated. And on the 5th of June, 1944, had I learned that, I would have done absolutely nothing about it. As Nazis are literally back, the transphobia of a Labour megadonor does not bother me enough to court martial her in the metaphorical army against fascism. Watching the left drag her to the wall and execute her by firing squad not only worries me for its lack of empathy, which cancel culture has, but that we are taking one of our greatest British assets down in the face of encroaching fascism.
I won’t deny that her views on the trans community contribute to a degree of violence against them and their suicide rate but bankruptcy and poverty do those things much more and, given their marginalization, affect the trans community more. The trans community would rather have a living wage and affordable housing in the face of TERF slander than not have those things while never being deadnamed by fellow liberals. For the record, this wave of rancor for J.K. Rowling is not being spent on the Tories who, of course, by and large, have worse transphobic views. The left is demanding orthodoxy from its inevitable martyrs and if they get what they want, every man, woman, child, and nonbinary in the movement will die without a heretical belief but they will be dead nonetheless.
Daniel Radcliffe’s recent statements should have gone like “I don’t support her views but Johnson is our Trump and le Pen is across the water. As long as she supports the Labour Party and most of our causes then she is a comrade in the fight for liberal democracy, for the environment, and against poverty.” In the end, they forget who the real enemy is. The ship is going down and just like on the Titanic, if we obsess over the proper order of the genders on the lifeboats more people will die. For our intents and purposes, gender doesn’t exist, and ensuring the Maslow’s Needs of everyone is our primary aim, followed closely by defeating fascism and protecting the environment.
* Since this article was published, JK Rowling has opened a cis-women’s only clinic for rape victims. While I don’t retract this article, it is crossing a line if she is refusing treatment to male and trans rape victims out of spite. At the level where she is just against pronouns, that’s mostly harmless but denying care to rape victims as a political statement is deeply contemptible and inexcusable.
One thought on “On the J.K. Rowling Transphobia Controversy”
Marginalizing people is abhorrent, especially when it comes to the truly trans here.
I don’t believe in babying them. I think that lowered expectations hurts them just like the worst commentators do here. (I am specifically mentioning “talk radio” in the US, which generally just pisses me off in an intellectual way).
I don’t think that violent words or violence itself is proper. It shows a bad hand and it makes everyone on both sides a loser.
I wanted to thank you for your bits on Rowling. I don’t think that she has malice in mind.