Britain’s self-proclaimed “leading progressive political and cultural magazine”, the New Statesman, has just published an ad hominem diatribe on J K Rowling. The 2,500 word essay, initially titled “Britain’s nastiest novelist”, posits that the Harry Potter author has become a “polemical political activist” and “liberal pariah”, in large part because of her views on gender identity.
According to the author of the essay, the Cormoran Strike crime series, written under Rowling’s nom de plume Robert Galbraith, portrays a Britain “populated by paedophiles and domestic abusers, rapists and far-Right terrorists”. He’d better brace himself, then, if he ever reads Val McDermid, whose Wire in the Blood series contain all of the above. The thesis is seemingly that, after assuming the Galbraith pseudonym, Rowling has exposed her “nasty” side. It has not landed well. The essay prompted a kerfuffle on social media, which led to the magazine changing the headline hours later to: “J K Rowling, Britain’s gloriously nasty novelist”.
This is not the first time Rowling has been on the receiving end of such opprobrium. Nor is she the only woman who has been targeted, many of them campaigners to end male violence. Those who rail against “transphobia” will shout women down and accuse us of making the vulnerable feel “unsafe”. They orchestrate campaigns to get us sacked, kicked off college courses, investigated at work, and discredited.
Former University of Sussex professor Kathleen Stock was hounded out of her job and has been subjected to online hate campaigns and abuse, for the “crime” of suggesting that self-ID, where people gain access to spaces and resources of the opposite sex on the basis of simple declaration, needs to be discussed. Dr Stock insists that womanhood is biologically determined and isn’t something people can choose.
The problem facing the trans activist social justice warriors is that the J K Rowlings and Kathleen Stocks of this world aren’t the cartoon villains of their imagining. Rowling was a victim of domestic violence, a single mother, and has devoted herself to women’s rights. She has set up charities to help alleviate child poverty and launched a women-only support service in Edinburgh for the victims of sexual abuse; the only alternative at the time was one run by a transwoman.
In a widely quoted piece in The Scotsman, published in 2022, one journalist explained that, having been tasked with writing a clickbait piece listing 20 “transphobic J K Rowling quotes”, she couldn’t find a single one. “The monster,” she wrote, “is a myth.”
A new report has found that the British public strongly (84 per cent) backs single-sex support for women who have been the victims of rape, sexual assault or domestic violence. Indeed, the uncomfortable truth for the vociferous trans lobby is that Rowling’s views are held by the silent majority of the British population.
Like many, she’s concerned about the medicalisation of trans children. She views men defining what a woman is as the “real misogyny”. Until the Left grasps this, the pattern of ill-judged invectives, followed by humiliating climbdowns, will only continue.
The pervasive climate of anti-Terf (a term designed to undermine gender critics) bigotry means students all over the country can slide down the same path. As just one example, take A Thorough Analysis of JK Rowling’s Bigotry appearing in the University of Newcastle’s student paper. “‘Abhorrent’ really is the only word one can use, when discussing Rowling’s inexcusable comments on the transgender community”, its author says. What comments? That male rapists should not be in women’s prisons?
Like so many keyboard warrior Leftists who do no actual campaigning for change, these individuals take offence at women pointing out that women do not have male genitalia. A number of radical gender extremists have been filming themselves burning Harry Potter books on TikTok, bleating about the trauma of being “a queer kid” desperately let down by their former hero.
Each time these activists pour scorn on decent human beings, almost always women, for daring to speak the truth about gender ideology, they make themselves look more ridiculous than ever. Trans extremists aren’t anti-oppression warriors fighting for the marginalised, they simply take issue with feminism and want to settle a score.