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ACLU Lawyer: J.K. Rowling ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Feeding Genocidal Impulse’
Author J.k. Rowling arrives at the RFK Ripple of Hope Awards at New York Hilton Midtown on December 12, 2019 in New York City
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

On Sunday, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union issued a Twitter thread targeting Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for her stance on transgender issues, calling her “dangerous” and accusing her of “feeding a genocidal impulse that already exists in government and within individuals.”

Chase Strangio, who served as a lead counsel for transgender U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning, tweeted:

It would be nice to ignore the Harry Potter person but the rhetoric being used on her massive platform is feeding a genocidal impulse that already exists in government and within individuals. She is dangerous. Situating the trans subject and the trans body in the contested discursive space the way she does pulls the conversation around transness into the posture of working to locate the legitimate trans subject.

The idea being that we must defend against the allegation that too many trans people in the world reflects a problem (that is after all her point). And in so doing we cede the conversation to cis people and institutions. And perhaps most insidiously, in so doing, we give the false impression that sexed bodies are things only trans people have. By obscuring the larger structural impulses behind bodily policing and the violence of the sex binary, we ensure the continuation of these structures.

The fear that a trans person – of any age – might actually love and embrace their body is what drives JK and others. They don’t want to just make it harder for us to survive, they want to destroy any joy we might feel in our journeys.

Rowling has been pilloried for her views on transgenderism for over a year; in June 2019 the feminist site The Mary Sue noted that Rowling followed “trans-exclusionary radical feminists” on Twitter and complained, “If we buy the new books, see the new movies, play the new games, or buy the new merch, we’re not just giving money to a TERF (although we are doing that too). We’re giving money to someone with a gigantic platform who is serving to normalize transphobia for her audience, many of whom are young people.”

In December 2019, Rowling was attacked again after tweeting, “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?”

In June 2020, after the incessant attacks on her, Rowling published an essay on her website in which she argued:

It isn’t enough for women to be trans allies. Women must accept and admit that there is no material difference between trans women and themselves. 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.

She concluded, “I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class … ”

Strangio was taken to task for espousing views that would seem antithetical to the original perspective of the ACLU, which was to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person … ”

Social media targeted Strangio’s remarks:

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ACLU Lawyer: J.K. Rowling ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Feeding Genocidal Impulse’