Let´s Celebrate J.K. Rowling for Having the Courage to Speak Up Against the Trans Police
In order to keep up to date with my cultural criticism, I´m secretly following different Facebook threads. Recently there began to pop up some angry posts about the author of the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling. The main message was that she was a transphobe. Such a title sounds very serious, and if you have lost your ability of critical thinking, it is easy to let yourself be carried away by thought distortions such as groupthink and communal reinforcement.
As a person who is quite familiar with “Feminism as Fascism”, I immediately recognized common concepts in the shitstorm. I knew that such shitstorms often are orchestrated by feminist fascist ideologists, whose media of activism is the internet.
I began to do some research. Luckily enough, Rowling has herself written an answer to the shitstorm: J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues.
And the shitstorm is bad, really bad. Apparently, Rowling herself knew what would happen before she started her activism. She writes:
I mention all this only to explain that I knew perfectly well what was going to happen when I supported Maya. I must have been on my fourth or fifth cancellation by then. I expected the threats of violence, to be told I was literally killing trans people with my hate, to be called cunt and bitch and, of course, for my books to be burned, although one particularly abusive man told me he’d composted them.
So, what is Rowling´s “criminal” act? Because it sounds like she has done something criminal, doesn´t it?
Well, she supported “Maya”. Rowling writes:
For people who don’t know: last December I tweeted my support for Maya Forstater, a tax specialist who’d lost her job for what were deemed ‘transphobic’ tweets. She took her case to an employment tribunal, asking the judge to rule on whether a philosophical belief that sex is determined by biology is protected in law. Judge Tayler ruled that it wasn’t.
Shortly said: Maya did the “criminal” act of tweeting about that there is a biological difference between men and women.
All the time I’ve been researching and learning, accusations and threats from trans activists have been bubbling in my Twitter timeline. This was initially triggered by a ‘like’. When I started taking an interest in gender identity and transgender matters, I began screenshotting comments that interested me, as a way of reminding myself what I might want to research later. On one occasion, I absent-mindedly ‘liked’ instead of screenshotting. That single ‘like’ was deemed evidence of wrongthink, and a persistent low level of harassment began.
Months later, I compounded my accidental ‘like’ crime by following Magdalen Berns on Twitter. Magdalen was an immensely brave young feminist and lesbian who was dying of an aggressive brain tumour. I followed her because I wanted to contact her directly, which I succeeded in doing. However, as Magdalen was a great believer in the importance of biological sex, and didn’t believe lesbians should be called bigots for not dating trans women with penises, dots were joined in the heads of twitter trans activists, and the level of social media abuse increased.
Rowling stepped back from Twitter for many months both before and after tweeting her support for Maya, because she knew it was doing nothing good for her mental health. She only returned because she wanted to share a free children’s book during the pandemic. Immediately, activists who clearly believe themselves to be good, kind and progressive people swarmed back into her timeline, assuming a right to police her speech, accuse her of hatred, call her misogynistic slurs and, above all – as every woman involved in this debate will know – TERF.
If you didn’t already know – and why should you? – ‘TERF’ is an acronym coined by trans activists, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. In practice, a huge and diverse cross-section of women are currently being called TERFs and the vast majority have never been radical feminists.
No, because radical feminism is precisely the ideology behind the trans police itself. It is a new rhetoric trick. What is radical feminism?
In an article from Skeptical Inquirer, March/April 1995, the American feminist philosopher Noretta Koertge, writes about her worries for the development of feminism.
She writes that a Rip Van Winkle of feminism, who might have fallen asleep in the 1970s, would have been astounded over the opposite attitude, which is dominant among academical feminists today. The thick-skinned and strongly armed Rosie Riveters (reform feminism) have become replaced by moralizing Sensitive Susans (radical feminism), who individually are trying to find new ideological splits in the so-called “patriarchal, racist, colonistic, eurocentric, cultural dominion discourse”.
They are in progress with a systematic undermining of the intellectual values of the free education. Young women are being made alien towards science in many ways. One of the strategies consists in redefining, what counts as science. Instead of for example telling about great female researchers such as Emmy Noether, Marie and Irene Curie and Kathleen Lonsdale and their struggles – and triumphs, the radical feminists, in their account of the history of science, now accentuate the contributions to it from midwifes and from the claimed arts of healing, which herbal cultivators and witches mastered. Instead of motivating young women to prepare themselves to a line of technical subjects by studying science, logic and mathematics, they now teach the students in womens studies, that logic is a tool, which men use to dominate with.
These women refuse rationality and critical thinking, and claim that this is inconsistent with ”womens way of knowing”. These feminists characterize themselves as ”subjective knowers”, who are characterized by ”a passionate rejection of science and male scientists”. These ”subjectivistic” women regard the methods, which you use in logic, as ”alien territory, that belongs to men” and consider ”value-intuition as a more safe and productive path to truth.”
Usually, radical feminists are supporting the sociological reductionism called social constructivism. They are in other words basing their ideology on scientism. In connection with gender issues, the claim is that gender is a social construction. In my article, Constructivism: The Postmodern Intellectualism Behind New Age and the Self-help Industry, I wrote that social constructivism comes in a weak and strong version. The weak version accepts the existence of a material world. The strong version is a kind of socio idealism. It claims that the whole of the physical world also is a social construction. These two versions can be seen reflected in the gender discussion, where the weak version claims that gender is a social construction, but not the biological differences. The strong version claims that also the biological differences are socially constructed. However, it is difficult for the weak version not to slide over in the strong version, or discriminate between them.
As usual, the whole thing is directed from The United States of America. And, as in New Age, a whole global tendency is directed by American gurus. And a main guru behind the gender discussion is Judith Butler, an American “philosopher” and gender theorist whose work has influenced political philosophy, ethics, and the fields of third-wave feminist, queer, and literary theory. Butler is best known for her books, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990) and, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex (1993), in which she challenges conventional notions of gender and develops her theory of gender performativity. This theory has had a major influence on feminist and queer scholarship.
Butler´s books are charactericed by the same postmodernist nonsense language, which I wrote about in my article: The Sokal Hoax. They are on the level of a first year philosophy student with a far too big ego. But she is an American, and therefore automatically listed on the top of the list of the most important people in the world.
In the same style as American New Age gurus, she, and her political correct followers, are supported by Hollywood, which we daily, through the medias, are programmed to believe is the new Pantheon of gods. We see a paradox here. On Rowling´s publisher house, several employees have quit their job as a protest against Rowling´s “crimes”. The three actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who in the movies play the leading roles as Harry, Hermione and Ron, have publicly dissociated from Rowling and declared their strong disagreement with her viewpoints. In fan circles many talk about a boycott. Several fans regret that they at all have supported Rowling by buying her books and invested in her universe.
How can you regret Harry Potter? Well, if you have found a political ideology instead, in this case: postmodernism, and the hidden Stalinism, which in these years more and more is coming up to the surface.
The actors owe their career to Rowling, but their statements are in USA (and therefore most of the world) being taken as greater sources of wisdom than the person who have thought out the wisdom of the Harry Potter books; a wisdom which the actors in the movies just are repeating, and, as we shall see in this article, haven´t understood.
What are the precise reasons for, that Rowling has begun talking publicly about trans activism? Let´s go into it. She writes:
So why am I doing this? Why speak up? Why not quietly do my research and keep my head down?
Well, I’ve got five reasons for being worried about the new trans activism, and deciding I need to speak up.
Firstly, I have a charitable trust that focuses on alleviating social deprivation in Scotland, with a particular emphasis on women and children. Among other things, my trust supports projects for female prisoners and for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. I also fund medical research into MS, a disease that behaves very differently in men and women. It’s been clear to me for a while that the new trans activism is having (or is likely to have, if all its demands are met) a significant impact on many of the causes I support, because it’s pushing to erode the legal definition of sex and replace it with gender.
The second reason is that I’m an ex-teacher and the founder of a children’s charity, which gives me an interest in both education and safeguarding. Like many others, I have deep concerns about the effect the trans rights movement is having on both.
The third is that, as a much-banned author, I’m interested in freedom of speech and have publicly defended it, even unto Donald Trump.
The fourth is where things start to get truly personal. I’m concerned about the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning (returning to their original sex), because they regret taking steps that have, in some cases, altered their bodies irrevocably, and taken away their fertility […]
Rowling hereafter mentions one of the researchers, who have been fired due to that the trans police has been after them. The researchers´ “crime” is to have warned against detransitioning. Rowling mentions the American physician and researcher, Lisa Littman, who warned against the internet as a central place where the trans activists work.
In a paper in PLOS One, called Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria, Littman mentioned Tumblr, Reddit, Instagram and YouTube as contributing factors to Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, where she believes that in the realm of transgender identification ‘youth have created particularly insular echo chambers.’
Littman´s article was hereafter “peer reviewed” by the trans police. Criticism was voiced, and two weeks after publication, PLOS One responded by announcing a post-publication review of the paper. In March 2019, the journal concluded its review and republished Littman's revised and corrected version. On the same day as PLOS One announced its post-publication review, Brown University retracted its press release promoting the study.
In other words: Littman´s paper caused a furore. She was accused of bias and of spreading misinformation about transgender people, subjected to a tsunami of abuse and a concerted campaign to discredit both her and her work. The journal took the paper offline and re-reviewed it before republishing it. However, her career took a similar hit to that suffered by Maya Forstater. Lisa Littman had dared challenge one of the central tenets of trans activism, which is that a person’s gender identity is innate, like sexual orientation. Nobody, the activists insisted, could ever be persuaded into being trans.
Note that we here, in a paradoxical self-contradiction, has to do with some kind of gender essentialism. Gender essentialism is what social constructivists traditionally are against. But such self-contradictions are typical for feminist fascists.
The argument of many current trans psychotherapists is that if you don’t let a gender dysphoric teenager transition, they will kill themselves. They induce the word “suicide” into your mind. This is a though distortion called False Dichotomy. It works with words such if/then, and with only two possibilities, without mentioning the many other alternatives. It is typical for ideologists to use such NewSpeak techniques.
Let´s have a look at how the trans police has succeeded in stopping other research that has pointed towards other truths than their own ideology.
Kenneth J. Zucker is an American-Canadian psychologist and sexologist. He was named editor-in-chief of Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2001. He was psychologist-in-chief at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and head of its Gender Identity Service until its closure in December of 2015.
As a professor in psychology, Zucker had for decades been a leading voice in the elucidation and treatment of children and youngsters with trans dysphoria, that is: transgender. But then transgender activists accused him for wanting to “convert” his patients and overrule their true identity. And in 2015 he was fired as leader of Toronto´s Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic. He was – and still is – one of the transactivist´s foremost objects of hate. But Zucker sued his employers and has got 550.000 $ in compensation for illegitimate firing as well as an unreserved apology, when an examination showed that there wasn´t any basis in the accusations.
In an interview with the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen (July 3, 2020), Zucker says (my translation from Danish to English):
“This field is in the most poisoning way politicized. But at the same time there are questions, which researchers can get in trouble asking. Questions which are essential in order to ensure the best possible treatment of trans dysphoria, but which transactivists don´t like due to purely ideological reasons.”
He is not alone. Several professionals directly say that pressure from the cultural strong translobby affects both research and treatment with great human consequences for the treated. The British psychiatrist Marcus Evans says that there exists a de-facto censorship regime, which he believes is harming children. In 2019 he left his seat in the board of directors of Tavistock Center, which is the British healthcare system´s treatment unit for children with trans dysphoria. The resignation happened as a protest of what Evans characterizes as an actual medical failure.
Supported by worried parents, ten of Tavistock´s fifty practitioners went to the direction with complaints about, that children down to nine and ten years, without adequate psychiatric evaluation, were pressured to sex change with the use of hormone therapy; interventions where the long-term effects are completely unknown.
“The direction completely refused to relate to the worries”, says Evans and underlines that Tavistock practices so-called affirmative care. This approach is invented and promoted by LGBTQ-organizations, and is about that you without consideration support the child´s wish about changing sex, because the very questioning about whether it is about gender identity or something else, is seen as a lack of accept and therewith harmful. This if of course based on the same subjectivism and relativism as the main ideology itself.
“As far as I can see”, says Evans, “then it is clinically seen both lazy and irresponsible. We know from research, which, for some years, has followed children and youth with gender dysphoria, that around three quarters of them are stopping identifying themselves as transgenders. Moreover, we know that we are talking about a group of children and youth, of whom many are fighting with psychiatric problems. Many have disorders on the spectre of autism, many have experienced early traumas or are, in different ways, confused. If the goal is to help the patients with their gender dysphoria, we are, as doctors, committed to look at each case and investigate what is lying behind”
Moreover, as already mentioned: Kenneth Zucker says that we see a growing category of patients with gender dysphoria which we haven´t seen before. It is about young teenage girls, which suddenly out of the blue claim they are transgender. They divide from the ruling and known pattern of transgenders, who have a lifelong story with gender dysphoria, starting in early childhood. In Britain the number of referred girls raised with no less than 4400 percentage between 2006 and 2016, and it made the, at that time, minister of equality, start an investigation of the area. But, as Marcus Evans finds, no one have heard about it since.
The only researcher who has dared to go into this particular phenomenon is the above-mentioned Lisa Littman. She was silenced by the trans police.
Zucker sees the attacks on researchers, who talks against the trans ideology, as part of a more superior intellectual McCarthyism. Something similar was going on during the Metoo campaign. McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. The thought distortion Proof by Ignorance was central. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false or a proposition is false because it has not yet been proven true. This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes the possibility that there may have been an insufficient investigation to prove that the proposition is either true or false.
This is of course a paradox. McCarthysim was characterized by heightened political repression and a campaign spreading fear of communist influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents. Because the trans ideology is rooted in postmodernism, and therefore in Marxism and Stalinism.
Rowling continues telling her own story about being a woman, about violence and sexual assault, revelations which could have been celebrated as courage during the #Metoo campaign, but which now is discredited. I won´t repeat it here, but will advice people to read it themselves. One radical feminist (Amalie Schroll Munk), in an article in Weekendavisen (“Da Magien Forsvandt”, English: “When Magic Disappeared”, June 26, 2020), is even ridiculing it.
But, as many women have said before me, ‘woman’ is not a costume. ‘Woman’ is not an idea in a man’s head. ‘Woman’ is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive. Moreover, the ‘inclusive’ language that calls female people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanising and demeaning. I understand why trans activists consider this language to be appropriate and kind, but for those of us who’ve had degrading slurs spat at us by violent men, it’s not neutral, it’s hostile and alienating.
Which brings me to the fifth reason I’m deeply concerned about the consequences of the current trans activism.
I’ve been in the public eye now for over twenty years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor. This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember. I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage. I didn’t want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too. However, a short while ago, I asked her how she’d feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life, and she encouraged me to go ahead.
I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.
As we have learned by now: the trans police works on the internet, and one of the methods, besides indoctrinating young girls, is to raise a shitstorm against critics. Rowling writes about the shitstorm (while she was looking at pictures children had sent to her due to her new book!):
Late on Saturday evening, scrolling through children’s pictures before I went to bed, I forgot the first rule of Twitter – never, ever expect a nuanced conversation – and reacted to what I felt was degrading language about women. I spoke up about the importance of sex and have been paying the price ever since. I was transphobic, I was a cunt, a bitch, a TERF, I deserved cancelling, punching and death. You are Voldemort said one person, clearly feeling this was the only language I’d understand.
The fact is that Rowling is acting as a true reform feminist, and her action is in complete compliance with the protagonists in her books. The antagonists in her books, on the contrary, seem very similar to the trans police.
In her article, Feminism and Equal Opportunity: Hermione and the Women of Hogwarts, the professor in English and Theatre Arts, Mimi R. Gladstein, writes about how reform feminism is a central theme in the Harry Potter books. Gladstein writes:
Hermione Granger is by far the most important female character in the series, so it is not surprising to learn that she is based, in part, on her creator. Asked why she chose to make her main character a boy, Rowling explains that a heroine might have been nice, but that Harry was “almost fully formed” in her imagination when she began writing what she envisioned as the first on a series of seven books. That, she explains, is why her protagonist “isn´t a Harriet instead of a Harry.” Rowling adds that she created Hermione as a key figure in the series, “they couldn´t do it without Hermione.” Hermione is “a very strong character, but then she´s based on me.” Rowling gave Harry some of her own characteristics – she wore thick glasses as a girl – but she says that she was perceived as being very bossy and often the brightest one in her class, and those traits she gave to Hermione (page 50 in the Harry Potter and Philosophy book).
Gladstein further writes that the close friendship of Harry, Hermione, and Ron is central to the series, projecting an image of equality among the sexes. The Three Musketeers, possible the most famous trio of literature, are all male. Many other couples or trios in popular literature, such as the Hardy Boys, are also all male. Moreover, if the protagonist is male, often so is the sidekick as in Quixote and Sancho or the Lone Ranger and Tonto. While a female´s presence in the key friendship of a novel is not unique, the ease with which the trio act towards each other highlights how natural equality is in Potter´s world. No one thinks twice about this friendship. Hermione is not a lesser member of the group, she is not just a sidekick to Ron and Harry, but an equal and essential member.
Hermione often acts to rescue Harry and Ron at crucial junctures in the plot. From the first book, where her magical ability saves the trio while they are hunting down the Sorcerer´s Stone, to Order of the Phoenix, where Hermione saves them all from the tyranny of professor Umbridge, Hermione´s power is clear (page 51).
Hermione can take care of herself. She does not wait for her male friends to defend her when Malfoy insults her.
Gladstein writes that as a sign of Hermione´s moral maturity, she shows concern not just with her own situation, but also for the freedom of others. Gladstein writes:
Like the early nineteenth-century feminists who allied with abolitionists to free the slaves, Hermione is distraught about the plight of house-elves, telling Ron and Harry: “It´s slavery, that´s what it is!” (GF, p. 125) – (page 54).
In something of a reversal of the popular stereotype that the male is rational and the female emotional, Harry and Ron are sometimes masses of emotions, while Hermione is the calm voice of reason (page 55).
More evidence of the high value of equal opportunity on Rowling´s world is the co-educational student body at Hogwarts. Girls and boys alike get invitations to be part of each new class. When the prefects are announced, there is a boy and a girl chosen from each house, but it is not a matter of affirmative action or even commitment to diversity – it is a matter of merit. Illustrating Mill´s “perfect equality,” boys and girls are equally able to meet the same high standard to be a prefect (page 56).
Rowling, in her depiction of the professional staff, is also an equal opportunity author. There are the admirable and the questionable among both sexes.
Lastly, two of the four founders of Hogwarts are witches, Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw.
With the attacks on Rowling we are now seeing a manifestation of a very real threat against those rights of women, which reform feminists have accomplished through decades of hard work. Add to this the threat against children´s rights, and the attempts of silencing Rowling´s freedom of speech. And this threat against the rights of women (children´s rights, the freedom of speech, etc.) is even supported by Hollywood actors and publishers. It tells something about the degree of rhetoric and manipulation postmodernists are using. George Orwell has, in his novel 1984, shown us how surrealistic it is.
Let´s raise a counter-storm against this threat. Let´s celebrate J.K. Rowling for acting like a true Hermione. Let´s celebrate her for once again having brought our attention to the threat against true magic.
J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues, by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and Philosophy – If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts (Open Court, Popular Culture and Philosophy series, edited by David Baggett and Shawn E. Klein).
Best-selling children's author Gillian Phillip is sacked - after adding hashtag 'I stand with JK Rowling' to her Twitter handle amid bitter row over transgender rights (the hashtag is: #IStandWithJKRowling. I will now use this hashtag widely, and suggest others to use it in the celebration of J.K. Rowling).
Other pop culture files on Harry Potter:
Why the name change from "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in the UK to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in the United States?
Related texts on postmodernism:
Constructivism: The Postmodern Intellectualism Behind New Age and the Self-help Industry
The Sokal Hoax
Feminism as Fascism (free booklet)
Related texts on the Matrix Conspiracy´s spread of subjectivism and relativism on the internet:
The Return of the Sophists
Is Facebook a Matrix Machine?