J K Rowling and the trans furore

Apologies if there is already a thread on this, but I couldn’t find one. For the past few days there’s been a row about JKR posting ‘anti-trans’ tweets; various actors from the Harry Potter films have appeared to disavow her views. I read her essay and I think she makes some good points. But beyond the issue itself, this ‘cancel culture’ seems to be getting more and more out of hand, stifling free speech with threats, harassment, and ruining people’s livelihoods.

My feeling is that someone needs to tell her to shut the fuck up about trans issues on social media. This isn’t a battle you’re going to win and all it can do is hurt your brand. Obviously, we’ve seen this with insanely wealthy and famous people. Every person like that needs someone to tell them when to shut up.

I’m not particularly fond of all trans all the time, but there ain’t no fucking way I’m tweeting about it. I’d be ripped 850,000 new assholes in less than 5 minutes and I’m a nobody. I’ve kept very quiet on social media lately because I’m well aware of the current mood. Instead, I’ll read another racial justice lecture from someone whose idea of diversity was listening to both Beyoncé and Taylor Swift a month ago.

I think she has freedom of speech and can say whatever she wants. On second thought, she’s a Brit so maybe not? Does saying what she says count as hate speech yet? Not against the law yet? I am sure she’s had plenty of people telling her to shut the fuck up. She has the privilege to be insanely rich and nothing is going to change that, and I think she doesn’t care.

What exactly is ‘cancel culture’ - how does the big push to cancel Star Trek for showing an interracial kiss, or for canceling Janet Jackson from the superbowl for the ‘wardrobe malfunction’ incident, or the millions of complaints to the FCC about offensive language fit into your narrative about ‘cancel culture’ being a new thing. How does ‘people don’t want to give me money if I insult them and their friends’ compare to the people who fired the parents of Ruby Nell Bridges Hall for attending a formerly white school, or all of the teachers fired for being gay once they came out of the closet? And where did this idea that the public has some obligation to buy entertainment products that they don’t like even come from - you didn’t have a right to a ‘livlihood’ writing books if you write and promote books that people don’t want to buy before, but it seems like you’re saying that somehow people deciding not to buy anything more from Rowling is wrong in some way.

The fact that people like you are only complaining about ‘cancel culture’ when it affects bigots, and completely ignoring complaints about the stuff I listed above and things like burning Nike’s, boycotting Cheerios for showing interracial couples, protesting because Starbucks made a ‘holiday’ cup instead of a ‘Christmas’ cup, and so on says a lot more about the people complaining than about whether ‘cancel culture’ is good or bad or is getting out of hand. It seems to me that what’s really changed is not there is some new thing called ‘cancel culture’, but that people are now willing to protest shitty, bigoted behavior and instead of protesting things like being black or gay and wanting equal rights.

She made perfectly reasonable points and I bet over half her critics can’t actually comprehend what she’s writing but feel compelled to signal submission and fealty to the online mob.

And yes, there is vocal and rabid minority of illiberal sentiment that has exceedingly disproportionate influence which hypocritically manifests as cancel culture. Unfortunately, folks are too cowardly to make a principled stand.

Sorry, but once you trot out “But what about bathrooms!!!?” any other points you make are null and void.

The main issue for the trans movement is that it requires a certain critical mass of people to go along with it in order for it to continue/succeed. The moment enough people say, “The emperor’s clothes aren’t real,” the movement risks falling apart. It can survive one or a few people criticizing it that way - indeed, there always are some. But there’s never been a trans opponent quite as powerful or well-known as Rowling. She isn’t some blogger typing from her basement, she is the world’s wealthiest (and perhaps best-known) author, with an enormous following. Furthermore, she has been consistently liberal-progressive on just about all other issues, which makes her more dangerous yet to the trans movement.

So the trans movement has turned their cannons on full bore blast on Rowling, hoping she will crack and relent like the others.

Who said anything about an obligation to buy entertainment products? If people want to stop buying Rowling’s books, that’s up to them. I’m talking about trying to silence people with threats, prevent them from holding meetings or speaking, lobbying their employers to get them fired. I admit I wasn’t too bothered when it was holocaust deniers getting banned from giving talks on campus, and Nazi supporters losing their jobs, but now it seems to be anyone who dissents from the current orthodox view.

As for people trying to cancel Star Trek, I have no idea how I would have reacted if I’d been alive at the time. I’ve never even heard of most of the things you listed, but I don’t see anything wrong with people refusing to buy from companies whose views they object to. Have these campaigns made supporters of interracial couples, and non Christians afraid to speak about it publicly?

Isn’t that pretty much true of every movement? If enough people thought black lives didn’t matter, then blm would be in trouble.

If you mean to imply that trans status is more fake or socially constructed than other movements, there are a lot of solid facts to point to that support the current pro-trans beliefs. Gender Dysmorphia is well documented, as well as the marked improvement in trans people’s outcomes when given hormones and social acceptance. Furthermore, there are other phenomena that suggests the mind has some sort of map of what the body looks like that doesn’t always line up with what the body is, like phantom pain in amputated limbs. There is some subjectivity to deciding whether to conform the body to the mind or vice versa, but for trans people, there is a lot of documented success. The anti-trans side likes to point to chromosomes, but there are already exceptions where XX doesn’t always mean woman, and XY doesn’t always mean man, so I’m not sure there’s a good reason to not consider trans people another exception.

If cancel culture truly existed explain why a guy bragging ‘he grabs ‘em by the pussy‘, on camera, could get elected.

It’s for people who are all about making someone they dislike, suck up the consequences of their own actions, but want an out when it’s one of theirs.

I think people are seriously underestimating how much Potter fandom is trans-friendly. This is biting her big-time in those circles.

All the actors are coming out against her is not a good look, either.

The more I read about it the worse it seems. Judging by this article the plan was to get laws passed by stealth, rather than trying to educate and persuade the majority to support them:

Explains why the activists are so desperate to silence anyone who disagrees.

You posted a thread about JK Rowling and mentioned ‘ruining people’s livlihoods’. Since you didn’t specify, I presumed that you were talking about the topic of the thread and not something only distantly related to it. But if you don’t have any problem with the treatment that JK Rowling is receiving for airing her hateful and bigoted views, why make her the subject line of your complaint?

What do you mean by ‘the current orthodox view’, and what are the cases of people getting fired or being left unable to hold meetings or speaking? This is all too vague to meaningfully respond to, and sounds a lot like whitewashing ‘this person called the cops on a black person for existing’ or ‘this person accosted a woman who looked too butch when she tried to go to the bathroom’ into something innocuous.

If you’re not aware of the history of people protesting ads that aren’t christian white people, protesting (and often successfully banning) shows for showing people that aren’t ‘standard’, firing teachers (and plenty of others) for being gay or engaging in interracial relationships, segregation and anti-miscongeneation laws, and the like, then your lack of knowledge is simply breathtaking and it’s no wonder that you think ‘cancel culture’ is brand new.

You’re… you’re seriously asking that question? Do you really not know any 20th century US history? I’m not being sarcastic here, open discrimination against and persecution of blacks, people friendly to blacks, LGBT people, people friendly to LGBT people, non-christians, was incredibly common.

The fact it sometimes fails doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Trump is also a millionaire who can make his views known, and they are very popular with a certain segment of the US population.

I like how this implies that the trans community is a monolithic cabal, presumably plotting secretly in basements how they can deliberately target specific people for specific political aims and outcomes.

Perhaps they rent the conference room from the illuminati.

I’m not so sure. It’s the same as why the sandwich shop in my old office building feels obliged to send me a stupid email with a lecture on racial justice. That way no one will accuse them of being MAGA confederate flag waiving yahoos.

The actors don’t have the billions that Rowling does and they’d like to work in acting. Being suitably outraged is a good career move

I’m not sure that “all the actors coming out against her” really understand the point she’s trying to make however. I’m not sure everyone here does either.

Rowling is worth approximately eleventy bagrillion dollars, so she might not really care if she loses fans.

Feel free to educate us about this then. I skimmed the first third of it and so far it reads like “the internet is very mean to me” and “trans people are icky and will regret it and do baaaad things with their lies”.

She made a few reasonable points (e.g., trans people should be able to live as the gender they identify as and be safe from discrimination and violence, gender-norm conformity shouldn’t be a criterion for gender identity, nobody should be making death threats against people who disagree with them, some percentage of adolescents who identify as transgender, nonbinary etc. eventually change their minds about it). AFAICT nobody is disagreeing with those reasonable points.

But she also made some really irrational claims, such as the following:

  • including transgender women in the category “woman” somehow degrades or threatens cisgender women; :confused:

  • it’s somehow disparaging to cisgender women to refer to people who menstruate as “people who menstruate” or “menstruators” rather than “women”; :confused:

  • not requiring transgender women to physiologically transition somehow increases danger to women from male predators in women’s restrooms etc. :confused: :confused: :confused: (and what happened to not requiring gender-norm conformity in order to qualify as a “woman”?)

Those arguments AFAICT simply make no sense, and I don’t see anything wrong with criticizing the self-described “gender critical” activists who advocate them.