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On Wednesday, author J.K. Rowling published an essay on her website addressing the recent and ongoing fervor over her remarks on transgenderism.
Rowling begins the essay by writing about prior statements and actions for which she was designated transphobic, including when she tweeted her support for Maya Forstater, a woman who “lost her job” after allegedly “transphobic” tweets.
The author notes that she’s been interested in “trans issues” for some time for numerous reasons, but that after she followed a woman on social media named Magdalen Burns, she was hit with further backlash:
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 notes that after the backlash she received for following Magdalen, she also received a great deal of supportive messages:
They came from a cross-section of kind, empathetic and intelligent people, some of them working in fields dealing with gender dysphoria and trans people, who’re all deeply concerned about the way a socio-political concept is influencing politics, medical practice and safeguarding. They’re worried about the dangers to young people, gay people and about the erosion of women’s and girl’s rights. Above all, they’re worried about a climate of fear that serves nobody – least of all trans youth – well.
She goes on to explain how she ditched social media for a time, and how she has now been labeled a “TERF,” which stands for “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.” The author also writes about the glut of online abuse she’s allegedly received for her stated beliefs.
However, Rowling then explains the reasons why she’s concerned about “the new trans activism.”
Among the reasons driving her concern are that she funds MS research, an illness that she says affects women differently than men, that she is a defender of “free speech,” and that she is troubled over the “huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning.”
The author writes about the idea that young people might suffer under a potential “social contagion” as it pertains to transitioning, quoting Lisa Littman, a physician. She adds that trans individuals used to move through a “rigorous process of evaluation, psychotherapy, and staged transformation,” but that many of those safeguards seem to be in the process of being removed in the current rush.
Regarding that idea, Rowling notes: “I know transition will be a solution for some gender dysphoric people, although I’m also aware through extensive research that studies have consistently shown that between 60-90% of gender dysphoric teens will grow out of their dysphoria.”
Rowling then writes that when she was young, she felt “mentally sexless,” and wonders, given the vivid descriptions of anxiety, depression, and other issues experienced by trans people, if she herself might have “been persuaded” to transition if she lived as a youth in modern society.
The author then directly bucks the progressive orthodoxy, stating:
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.
Rowling, of course, notes that she wants transgender individuals to be protected, and that she thinks “the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I’ve outlined.”
Referencing the recent tweet that got her in trouble (for which she received much alleged abuse), Rowling says bluntly that it would be much easier to simply follow the trends, tweet the right messages, and “bask in a virtue-signalling afterglow,” but that’s not for her.
Rowling says: “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…”
In the end, the author states that she simply wants women to be able to “speak up” about these issues without getting heaps of abusive and threatening blowback.
To read the essay in full, click here.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Rowling came under fire recently for tweets pertaining to biological sex that some have considered “transphobic.” Actors Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne, both of whom have worked extensively with Rowling, stated this week that they disagree with the author’s remarks.
The tweets from Rowling read:
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.
The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – “hate” trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.
The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
“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,” Rowling concludes.
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