Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Author, Heal Thy Words

With everything happening in the world (An Incomplete Recap: ongoing global pandemic, massive economic downturn, wildly corrupt and morally bankrupt administration with fascist authoritarian tendencies, righteous civil unrest against systematic police brutality and racism – and, yes, all of these are connected), you’d think a formerly universally beloved children’s author who has made legit a billion dollars by telling kids that friendship, bravery and magic can defeat any evil would have better things to do with her time. But amidst all of this, Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling has decided the most pressing thing to speak out against right now is *checks notes* trans people. Wait, I can’t be reading that right? Nope, sorry, I am reading that 100 percent correctly. J.K. has come to the defense of TERFs right now at this particularly striking moment of history. I mean, I guess we should have seen this coming. She also came to the defense of Johnny Depp, of all people.

I don’t know if something happens when you become so rich that literally no law, no government, no authority can change the comfort of your life (I mean that would explain why every tech billionaire appears to be nothing more than a high-functioning psychopath), but damn has J.K. been on consistently on The Wrong Train of late.

Her TERF defense came as a series of tweets from this past weekend where she appears to have taken offense to the phrase “people who menstruate” in an article headline about COVID-19’s impact on access to menstrual health resources.

Now this is not the first time J.K has let her TERF flag fly. In December 2019 she showed her true colors in what only the most charitable reading could be considered TERF-adjacent tweet showing support for a U.K. researcher who lost her job for being transphobic and saying that people cannot change their biological sex.

So here she is, again, stepping up to the plate for the wrong side of history and needlessly not to mention cruelly picking a fight with hands-down some of the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community. A trans or non-binary person being able to live her, his or their best life does not diminish my ability to live my best life as an out lesbian cis woman. Cis queer or straight women and trans/non-binary people are not enemies. We are, and should only ever be allies. Oppression is not a competition. Equality is not a race. In fact, it’s not achieved until every single person crosses the finish line.

I’m sorry to see that someone I once respected has decided her duty is to punch down, instead of up. Author, heal thyself. Accio, empathy.

p.s. If you feel like coming here and spouting some “TERF is a slur” nonsense, I will delete your comment because it’s my blog and that hateful bullshit can fuck off forever.


Anonymous said...

I don’t think that this new division of people who are actually saying the same thing and fighting for the same rights is a discussion that can constructively happen as it is going. Trenches are being dug deeper and real harm is taking place to everyone who engages no matter their heart intention. We are all losing here as far as I can tell. Just like dividing left so the right ends up winning.

Those who hate women identifying and presenting people are gleeful no doubt watching us tear each other apart and accomplishing nothing. I expect you to erase my comment. I get that there’s ‘no room’ for any dissent. I simply wish there was a way to unite and heal this massive split between folks who want better for females, women, cis and trans. People are so scared in both camps and fear is not a productive place from which to negotiate careful ententes.

Trans lives matter. Vulnerable people (& all people) in our society deserve to be protected by our systems (we know this is broken) and laws should be carefully and thoughtfully enacted. We can do better. We need to do better.

Anonymous said...

^ I should correct that to say not dissent but rather anything that isn’t an outright endorsement of the states position. I agree with you. And also I don’t condemn Rowling. I don’t particularly like her for other reasons but the words posted above to me don’t erase Trans people. I acknowledge my place and privilege as an ally of trans friends and a member of the community.