The saga of Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling continues.
A while back, a woman in the UK named Maya was fired — as per the Independent — “over a series of tweets questioning government plans to allow people to self-identify as another gender.”
Amid a courtroom challenge, the judge wasn’t impressed:
“[Maya] is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The approach is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
Maya responded to her loss, “Men and boys are male. Women and girls are female. It is impossible to change sex. These were until very recently understood as basic facts of life by almost everyone. … This judgment removes women’s rights and the right to freedom of belief and speech.”
J.K. got word of the case and commented thusly:
“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”
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
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
That didn’t go over well with some folks, and there was also this:
LGBTQ advocacy group @glaad says they reached out to @jk_rowling's PR team and offered to facilitate an off-the-record discussion between the best-selling author and members of the trans community. Rowling’s reps declined. More here: https://t.co/77D6sR8Ldm
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) December 19, 2019
More recently — as relayed by RedState’s Kira Davis — J.K. saw a headline which dreamed of a “more equal post-COVID world for people who menstruate.”
She remarked with the following:
“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
“I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”
“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.”
That led to a revolt at her publisher: Some staff reportedly declared they would no longer work on her new book, The Ickabog.
Well, now — as per The Guardian — four authors have resigned from Blair Partnership, the literary agency representing J.K.
Four LGBTQ+ authors — Drew Davies, Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir, Fox Fisher, and an unnamed individual — published a short essay. The point: They’re troubled by the agency’s neutrality over J.K.’s junk.
They made clear — withdrawal is a heavy move:
“This decision is not made lightly, and we are saddened and disappointed it has come to this. After J. K. Rowling’s — who is also signed to the agency — public comments on transgender issues, we reached out to the agency with an invitation to reaffirm their stance to transgender rights and equality. After our talks with them, we felt that they were unable to commit to any action that we thought was appropriate and meaningful.”
According to the quartet, free speech isn’t free — it requires structural evolution:
“Freedom of speech can only be upheld if the structural inequalities that hinder equal opportunities for underrepresented groups are challenged and changed.”
The #Writers4TransRights pledged their support:
“We would like to particularly extend our solidarity to the trans community at this time, many who might feel vulnerable, alienated and unsupported right now. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. This is a particularly difficult time when it must sometimes feel like the world is closing in on you. We want you to know that you are not alone, that there are many people who will always stand by you and fight for you and that better times are coming.”
Blair Partnership has since responded to the group exodus. Here’s part:
“We are disappointed by the decision that four clients have taken to part ways with the agency. To reiterate, we believe in freedom of speech for all; these clients have decided to leave because we did not meet their demands to be re-educated to their point of view. We respect their right to pursue what they feel is the correct course of action.”
Re-education seems to be an increasingly popular concept — trending more powerfully, perhaps, than freedom of speech.
As for Rowling, I’d guess there’s more to come. I predict further backlash — unless the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them scribe reveals that J.K. stands for Just Kidding.
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