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Why J.K. Rowling had to be denounced Frenzied activists are driving the cast of Harry Potter to publicly betray an old friend

'How sharper than a serpent's tooth'. Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

'How sharper than a serpent's tooth'. Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images


June 12, 2020   6 mins

With this exciting year almost at the half-way point, it is reasonably safe to conclude that coronavirus has not killed off the culture wars after all. Indeed, with Covid-19 still taking hundreds of lives in Britain each week, the political madness of our age has flared up like never before, a whirlwind that howls afresh each day, the crowds making themselves more and more demented at a faster and faster rate.

We are now at the stage where people are expected to denounce friends or, in the case of J.K. Rowling, the woman who made their careers and to whom they owe everything. The author needs no introduction, but perhaps a lucky few among you have managed to miss our howling culture wars. If so, a summary: where Rowling was once universally lauded for her writing, today an element of the online public purports to believe that the Harry Potter author is an evil bigot.

This is because on that issue of minimal importance but maximal rage – the Trans debate – Rowling has taken the same view that the majority of the British public holds. Which is that while trans people should be afforded the same rights and dignity as everybody else, they do not have the right to redefine biological reality. Specifically, in the case of Rowling and many others, they do not have the right to redefine what a woman is.

Last week the author took exception to the use of the phrase “people who menstruate” in a news report — the headline writer clearly trying to get around having to use the increasingly triggering word “woman”. As Rowling wittily put it:

This brought the ire of trans Twitter down upon her. That whole army of people who used to be men who tell women to shut up, and the people who think they are helping trans people by pretending that biological sex doesn’t exist and that the clownfish is a suggestive comparison for the biological make-up of human beings.

So after a few days of abuse, Rowling published a long article on her website explaining her position, a deeply personal, moving and reflective piece from the heart. So of course people who hadn’t read it continued in their campaign to make the creator of the Potterverse into a persona non grata in what used to be called polite society.

All of this is an average week in the cesspool of Twitter. But the most interesting aspect of the rage against Rowling is not the anonymous trolls and freakishly unemployable individuals who spend their days abusing famous writers on social media: it is the fact that all week the Rowling story has been whipped along by the pronouncements of people who to a greater or lesser degree owe their careers to J.K. Rowling.

The first to break was Daniel Radcliffe. Of course, Daniel Radcliffe owes everything to Rowling. He isn’t an especially accomplished actor, even after all these years of practice. He isn’t noticeably good-looking either, or in any other way naturally fitted for the screen. His superstar career has come about because, at the age of 10, the director of the first Harry Potter film spotted him and thought he was perfect for the role.

So you would have thought that a certain amount of solidarity or even simple gratitude might be in order. But no. On Monday, Radcliffe issued a statement through a Trans charity called The Trevor Project denouncing the woman who made his career. “While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken,” he stated: “as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.”

“As a human being.” Unlike Rowling, obviously.

Radcliffe went on to spout the usual dogma, declaring that “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases etc etc…” Just to further make clear where he stood, he even had the audacity to address some of Rowling’s readers. “To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you.”

As Radcliffe must have expected, this led to worldwide headlines, all coincidentally portraying him in the best possible light. “Daniel Radcliffe speaks out” and “Daniel Radcliffe calls out JK Rowling’s anti-trans comments” were two typical headlines. All of these cast both actor and author in a very specific light — Rowling had done something terrible, while Radcliffe was boldly, heroically and one might also add bravely, calling her out.

Next up was Eddie Redmayne, who played some less-memorable character in the interminable Fantastical Beasts movies, also based on Rowling’s work. Perhaps Redmayne felt especially compelled to speak up because he had previously pretended to be a trans person onscreen in The Danish Girl. A movie from just five years ago that would undoubtedly now lead to questions about why a cis male should presume to approximate the feelings of a trans person by playing one on screen. Anyhow, Redmayne, too, felt condemned to criticise Rowling, and in a statement issued to Variety magazine he said:

“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself. This is an ongoing process. As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.”

Like Radcliffe, Redmayne was rewarded with headlines describing him as ‘speaking out’ and the like. So brave. Once again the media portrayed him as being on the right side against an unspeakable position taken by his elder.

Finally, out came Emma Watson, who like Radcliffe owes her career to Rowling. Since becoming known as Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, Watson has often used her platform to advocate for all the correct causes of the hour. And so perhaps it was inevitable that she should condemn Rowling for her views — but the framing of Rowling was instructive.

“Trans people are who they say they are,” she wrote, making no mention of Rowling’s own revealed traumas: “and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t what they say they are.”

By now it was not just that Watson, Remayne and Radcliffe had ‘called out’ and ‘spoken up’ about Rowling’s views. They had spoken up — as reporter after reporter put it – against Rowling’s ‘controversial’ views. It is a very interesting thing this modern use of the word ‘controversial’, often and indeed usually put in front of a person who holds views which are in absolutely no way controversial.

In fact what polling there is on trans issues suggests that while it is ‘controversial’ to believe that a person who was born a man is exactly the same as a woman, it is not remotely controversial to believe (as Rowling does) that while they are deserving of exactly the same rights and respect as everyone else, trans women are not the exact same thing as biological women. So the commonly held view is the ‘controversial’ one, while the ideas of a small number of campaigners are held up as the only acceptable and non-controversial opinion to hold.

Because of some of the personal revelations made by Rowling in the last week, not least about her own experience as a domestic abuse survivor, there has been a tiny amount of pushback against the three actors who have benefited so much from the work of J.K. Rowling. But the most important lesson has been entirely missed.

None of the three needed to say anything. None of them needed to release a statement. None of them needed to string the story along for another couple of days by denouncing the author in succession. All will doubtless claim that they felt that they needed to in some way, and this claim will most often be backed up — in private — by a plea that they were coming under enormous pressure of some kind.

It is possible that they were. That some of the unbelievably demented activists who operate in this area made the actors feel that their silence was complicity, to use one of the Stalinist phrases which has embedded itself in our culture. But here is the thing — they didn’t need to say anything. They could have remained beautifully silent, as Redmayne has in the past admirably suggested that actors should on political topics. But they didn’t.

As individuals, we all have friends who have opinions great or small with which we are in disagreement. Yet a civilised person does not feel the urge to publicly call out, shame or in any other way have it out with somebody who is a friend or who has been good to you. At the least you will shrug. At the most you might pick up the phone and speak to the person. But the modern instinct is not to do this; the modern instinct is to go nuclear and denounce them in public. It is one of the most unhealthy habits in an age which needs less of them.

I suppose we should be grateful that, at the time of writing, at least the Weasleys haven’t kicked off.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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Fiona E
Fiona E
3 years ago

I am so tired of the virtue-signalling, woke hypocrites that have hijacked society and am so grateful for public figures like Douglas Murray who have the moral courage to stand up to the woke mob and keep me from falling into utter despair at the sheer insanity that is on display at the moment. How can people who profess to be good and kind believe it is acceptable to use dehumanising language like ‘people who menstruate’ or object to words like mother or the dictionary definition of woman being used. I feel like biological women who agree with JK Rowling are being told to shut up, often by men, and that our identities and concerns don’t matter. No wonder so many young girls are deciding they’d rather be men.

Vicki Robinson
Vicki Robinson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona E

Indeed. We need some sort of group/organisation for ordinary people who share the concerns of Douglas Murray and J.K. Rowling. We far outnumber the woke.

Meg Petley
Meg Petley
3 years ago
Reply to  Vicki Robinson

Yes, a non partisan, broad based alliance group on a number of platforms with various payment options for membership to minimize banning and cancelling risks from service providers.
Perhaps in conjunction with membership in Toby Young’s Free Speech Union!
We could call it….
First, do no harm!
A principle that seems to have been trodden into the mud by the stampede of virtue signaling hordes on social media pushing for the cancellation of truth, free speech, common sense and the safety of women and children.

Greg Eiden
Greg Eiden
3 years ago
Reply to  Vicki Robinson

Problem is we mostly have jobs and lives we are living. No time to patrol the net looking for triggers to respond to.

And if you are trying to persuade the general populace, remember your audience: the general public have now gone through several generations of Marxist public education. There is no understanding of civics or history. It is against this that we have to argue and persuade while the other side just cries “racist” or “misogynist” against any argument we might make.

But I like the idea. And maybe there’s a way to rally our side through such an organization: get VERY vocal on selected outrages. Like getting 100 million people around the world to speak out in support of Rowling!

thygatekeeper
thygatekeeper
3 years ago
Reply to  Fiona E

Why do you consider the phrase “people who menstruate” dehumanising? While it is a very literal term it isn’t belittling or objectifying. “People” is a word used to refer to humans and “who menstrate” just describes a particular group of people being referred to. It’s like saying “people who play the piano” instead of “pianist”. I have no problem with people using terms they wish to as the point of language is to communicate and be understood. I didn’t find anyone on either side offensive they just have opposing opinions which is fine, it makes life more interesting when introduced to different perspectives, though opinions cannot be interchanged with facts. (This of course excludes areas of objectivity unknown to humans and thereby deemed subjective). It seems to me that many people are blowing things out of proportion on both ends

Mela King
Mela King
3 years ago
Reply to  thygatekeeper

Because menstruating is one of many things that women not men do and is determined by them being a woman. Likewise we don’t talk about ‘people who ejaculate semen’ – or ‘animals that wag their tails and bark’. There are words for those too. However, it is only ever the word ‘woman’ that seems to be substituted. I wonder why.

Helen Stoddard
Helen Stoddard
3 years ago
Reply to  thygatekeeper

A pianist may be male or female. Menstruation is peculiar to females only, therefore it would be logical to say “women who menstruate”.

campioni
campioni
3 years ago
Reply to  Helen Stoddard

No that is not logical, because it is a tautology: the category ‘women’ has as its normal characteristic that they menstruate (and when they get passed the menopause they do not longer do so), because they have a body with organs for reproduction which men have not, how hard they want to try…….the tactic of speaking about ‘women who menstruate’ allows for the assertion that there are ‘women’ who do not menstruate, ie. transwomen.

Nigel Muirsmith
Nigel Muirsmith
3 years ago
Reply to  thygatekeeper

I find the word “people” somewhat offensive (for reasons too personal for me to go into in a public forum) and would prefer it you could use the term “mammals who walk on two legs and communicate in language and defecate sitting down and who menstruate” so as not to hurt my (and I am sure there are others in this cruel world) feelings.

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  thygatekeeper

Wasn’t Rowling also offering you a ‘different perspective’ ? Why didn’t you relish it like all the other variety you crave ?

lizzzygoode
lizzzygoode
3 years ago
Reply to  thygatekeeper

I’d like to agree but when stating an incontrovertible truth cause this reaction it matters. It actually feels now that to be woman and all the experiences that this entails means nothing, when it matters very much.

carolstaines8
carolstaines8
3 years ago
Reply to  lizzzygoode

Bravo! Wish I could press the like button twice

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago
Reply to  thygatekeeper

So men would presumably be ‘people who ejaculate’…

Being less facetious, the ‘people who menstruate’ formulation, aside from basically reducing women to their reproductive function, would then deny womanhood to people who for whatever reason have stopped. I find it staggering we’re even having this discussion.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

So men would presumably be ‘people who ejaculate’…
Not only men. Transgender women can as well.

prholohan
prholohan
3 years ago
Reply to  thygatekeeper

I think that’s mostly true Fiona. Perhaps an additional relevant point here might be that while both men and women undoubtedly play the piano, only women menstruate. I believe the ‘controversy’ started when someone had the temerity to point that out and in a fairly humorous vein.

Fiona E
Fiona E
3 years ago
Reply to  thygatekeeper

I find it so cold and clinical and potentially dangerous to reduce other people to such offhand terms. I wouldn’t refer to you as ‘a collection of atoms’ as I don’t think it would encourage us to care about and empathise with fellow human beings.

Ross Bowie
Ross Bowie
3 years ago

Yet another excellent piece by Douglas Murray. The fact that these ungrateful actors were sucked in by the “demented activists” supports the view expressed so well by Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes: “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg”.

Anton Nonomous
Anton Nonomous
3 years ago

Its 2020 and not only are we still having the debate about the woman’s right to choose, we now you have men telling a woman, what a woman is…

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Anton Nonomous

Is JK Rowling really a man! WOW!!

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

lol!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

What a splendid resume of this current nonsense Mr Murray. I particularly liked you remark “that issue of minimal importance but maximal rage”.
Mrs Rowling shouldn’t rise to the bait, it only encourages such cretins.
Radcliffe and Watson can be dismissed as educational stunted, but Redmayne should and probably does know better. He, like you, after all had a first class education. There is no excuse for him, a waste one hundred and fifty thousand pounds of education as Kipling might have said.

Robb Maclean
Robb Maclean
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

A scrimmage at a border station,
A canter down some dark defile,
Two Thousand pounds of education,
Dropped by a 10 rupee jezail…

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Robb Maclean

Well done Sir, thank you, splendid stuff isn’t ‘ it?

saramwhite
saramwhite
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

How nice to be a man and able to dismiss the destruction of women’s safe spaces and even their right to name themselves as an “issue of minimal importance”.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  saramwhite

Yes it is!
You should try it, in fact I think you can, if I have understood this ‘ trans’ nonsense correctly?

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  saramwhite

I think what Douglas meant is the ‘feelings’ of transgendered women are an issue of minimal importance.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  saramwhite

Calm down dear its only a fun comment

Sheila Lisster
Sheila Lisster
3 years ago

I wonder what is the best way to support JK Rowling through this, at this time? I really feel for her. She is exceptionally strong, but nevertheless ……….

jazzy
jazzy
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheila Lisster

I think that actually voicing our support, regularly on social media, in conversations and in letters/calls to main media, would be the best. We mustn’t just nod quietly.

Anto Coates
Anto Coates
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheila Lisster

She’s set up a Givealittle page. 😉

Simon Phillips
Simon Phillips
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheila Lisster

I believe her books are selling in even greater quantities.

Dennis Lewis
Dennis Lewis
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheila Lisster

She’ll live.

David Henshaw
David Henshaw
3 years ago

The campaign by trans activists to malign JK Rowling manages to conflate two current, highly irrational, and broadly reactionary (or right wing) phenomena. One, that everything – including biological definition – is merely a personal consumer choice. And two, that truth is whatever you say it is.

David J
David J
3 years ago
Reply to  David Henshaw

Funny that, as personal contact with strongly activist friends and acquaintances has convinced me that it those on the Left that are the reactionary ones.

davidalankavanagh
davidalankavanagh
3 years ago
Reply to  David Henshaw

irrational = reactionary = right wing? Not in my experience. One advantage of being right wing is that you can say to yourself: ‘does that apply to me?’; ‘is that how I feel?’ At least 80%, maybe 90% of the time the answer is no.

campioni
campioni
3 years ago
Reply to  David Henshaw

Both conservatives and the so-called radical left supports transgenderism, it simply shows how women do not count in their form of politics, whether left or right, so as radical feminists we should just ignore both and refuse to fall in the trap it is coming from the “other side” of the political spectrum….common tactic of male politics

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  David Henshaw

‘…..(or right wing) phenomena.) What on earth are you talking about?

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago

“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself.Err..no its not but by all means tell yourself it is but don’t expect me to conform to your worldview .
Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.”well bully for you but asserting it doesn’t bestow it with veracity-other than in your own narcissistic head space.
As DM states correctly its an issue of minimal importance but maximal rage and of significance to a very small minority of 2nd rate actors.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Love the line about Radcliffe not being a very good actor ‘even after all these years of practice’. I wouldn’t know, not having seen any of his films.

Bill Gaffney
Bill Gaffney
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

He is an ok actor. Not a “great” in the sense of an Olivier. Very little range.

Seumas Gibson
Seumas Gibson
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Gaffney

I think of him as a sort of discount Elijah Wood. Is that fair?

Julia Royce
Julia Royce
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

What early promise?

Tim Molloy
Tim Molloy
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

He wasn’t a very good child actor, just a very lucky boy. Now we know he is a spoilt boy.

mpw0467
mpw0467
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Molloy

Wooden sums him up. He gets parts in the hope that Harry Potter fans might boost takings.

jazzy
jazzy
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

He and Watson are particularly bad I think.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  jazzy

Her shrieking emotional harridan of a Hermione convinced me she’d never actually read the books. Radcliffe started off very badly – but at least he improved over time.

Sharon Muench
Sharon Muench
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I saw the first one, and was put off by his extremely wooden performance.

Joy Bailey
Joy Bailey
3 years ago

Shame on them. Now it’s impossible to hold a different opinion to the mob. Debate is shut down and this is very unhealthy. I’m not one of the people (people??) who menstruate because I’m post menopausal. Can someone tell me what that makes me? I identify as a woman; is that ok or should I go back and rethink?

campioni
campioni
3 years ago
Reply to  Joy Bailey

No, you are precisely the model of having to mention as a woman, or female, because there are women who menstruate and some of us women no longer do, but we are all women, ie. females from birth to death!

Caitlin McDonald
Caitlin McDonald
3 years ago
Reply to  Joy Bailey

To say that all people who menstruate are women is not to say that all women menstruate.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago

There are only two genders: male and female. Those sanctimonious prigs who claim that those of us who hold to this biological fact are guilty of something that is not only “controversial” but positively immoral are themselves the standard issue bigots. We do not need luvvies, of all people, to instruct us on what to think.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

There are hermaphrodites who share some characteristics of both sexes.

Carolyn Jackson
Carolyn Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Smith

That is a biological anomaly, not a separate sex.

Julia Royce
Julia Royce
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

Two sexes, many genders. It’s the conflation of the two that is at the root of this nonsense.

Carolyn Jackson
Carolyn Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia Royce

Two sexes/genders. When I was growing up the words were used interchangeably to mean the same thing – ie biology. What has caused all this nonsense is the division of the two, not the conflation as they were always ‘conflated’.

Sharon Muench
Sharon Muench
3 years ago

When I was growing up gender was used exclusively as a grammatical term. Yes, I’m old(er).
Sex always meant what it now means (male/female), but some people are too embarrassed by use it as it also means the sexual act.

Caitlin McDonald
Caitlin McDonald
3 years ago

When I grew up (1980s) sex meant male or female and gender referred to masculinity and femininity. The former is a binary and the latter is a spectrum so of course they cannot match.

The activists used to tell normal people off for conflating sex and gender but now they’re the ones doing it. We are men and women, male and female, because of our sex. Femininity (gender) does not indicate womanhood; femaleness (having ovaries) does.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago

So gender means ‘personality’ then?

lake.int651
lake.int651
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia Royce

Two sexes and two unnecessary sex roles – genders.

ggbrown2911
ggbrown2911
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

Sex, there are 2-Male & Female.

Keith Noakes
Keith Noakes
3 years ago

I agree with your suspicions. I am fairly new to hearing about these spats on social media, but now ask myself whether behind such actions are publicists, agents or charities celebrities support. Or is it the simple narcissism of not bearing to be out of the light of publicity, and if that means denouncing the hand that fed you (most royally), then so be it? What has happened to loyalty and decency? As is noted above, what has happened to quiet silence in the midst of a toxic onslaught?

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Keith Noakes

Maybe her name was Trenor before she became Trevor and opened a project?

Phil Carsley
Phil Carsley
3 years ago

Didn’t JK Rowling merely state the blindingly obvious and scientifically impeccable statement that men who have ‘become women’ cannot menstruate? Hardly a revolutionary or controversial statement, they cannot.
One may consider themselves anything one chooses, that doesn’t mean anyone else has to agree, it certainly doesn’t mean that we should alter scientific reality and fact to appease them.

saramwhite
saramwhite
3 years ago
Reply to  Phil Carsley

She made the blindingly obvious and scientifically impeccable statement that only women menstruate.

Julia H
Julia H
3 years ago
Reply to  saramwhite

And in so doing pointed out that trans men who retain their ovaries, uterus and vagina so they can give birth are not, in fact, ‘men’.

Sharon Muench
Sharon Muench
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

Which some people find “offensive”. These days it is possible to be offended even by blindingly obvious facts. Mother Nature, get thee on the naughty step!

campioni
campioni
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

Yes, they are not, and that was also the opinion of a British judge who refused to allow a trans’man’, who had given birth to a child while transing to become a man (with a moustache, small beard and hairy arms) to be called the father of the child…….see also the transgender propaganda film Seahorse

Jane Robertson
Jane Robertson
3 years ago

“It is one of the most unhealthy habits in an age which needs less of them.” It is enlightening watching this unfold at the same time as reading Hilary Mantel’s 3rd book in the trilogy of Thomas Cromwell, a time when denouncing was just as popular and enthusiastically engaged in and enjoyed along with the subsequent torture, disemboweling and beheadings. Humans don’t change much.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Jane Robertson

Why should they? Evolution is a very slower process, and slower in some than in others.

Jane Robertson
Jane Robertson
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I have no idea why they “should.” Perhaps share your evolution wittering with someone else.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Jane Robertson

What a silly comment.
Are you completely brain dead, angry or both?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

As I have said many times, all these lesbian intersectional groups end up eating each other.

Julia Royce
Julia Royce
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Hardly lesbians, though. The lesbians have been shunted out of any debate as they don’t like male bodies so can’t be proper lesbians as they won’t hook up with men in frocks who still have male genitalia. Apparently, they have “Lady D**ks” and the lesbians should stop being so transphobic and learn to like it.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia Royce

They call it the ‘cloth ceiling’.

andy young
andy young
3 years ago

Glancing through I misread ‘organisers’ as ‘gangsters’. Perhaps not that much of a misread …

Nigel Blumenthal
Nigel Blumenthal
3 years ago

Where this trio of non-entities needs to be criticised is in their inability to withstand the twitterati. Personally, I would just shut down the whole of Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the social media, which have been an overall massive debit to the human race.

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago

This is indeed a symptom of the workings of social media, in which people publicly expressing dissident opinions can be visibly slapped down, un-friended and so forth. In the past fifteen years, people have been accultured to police their own thoughts and to shape themselves into ideological conformity. In another recent essay, Mr Murray quoted Andrew Sullivan’s remark, “We are all on campus now”, but it could be more accurately rephrased as “We are all on Twitter now”. The generation that has undergone this dramatic shift is the generation that started using social media in late childhood or in adolescence (those of us who were already adults were a bit less vulnerable). If you think of how traumatic it can be, at the age of 13 or 14, to be “cancelled” by a friend – it always occasionally happened in real life, as it does now often online – then it scarcely seems surprising how anxious to conform the generation born in the late 1990s, who started to access Facebook as it became a phenomenon around 2010, have become. The problem has been exacerbated as people have become more aware that there is a permanent, searchable record of things one may have thought or said, years ago, and that therefore it is not only what one says today that is held against us, but what one said in the past. With this in mind, the present and recent generation of students have become used to monitoring their comments not only in conformity with present social mores, but in anticipation of hypothetical future ones (always naively assumed, of course, to be more progressive than those of the present).

ovicto01
ovicto01
3 years ago

Douglas Murray is one of the best writers I know. He always seems to gauge the true essence of the ‘madness of crowds’, to coin the title of his latest book. It always strikes me how those on the Left who claim to fight for equality and freedom seem to want to compel those who do not hold their views – whether it be by threat, shame, and even legislation – in order to believe as they do. It seems to me, therefore, that what they are engaging in a modern day inquisition , where they are the regnant priests who need to cleanse the world of “sinful” beliefs. The issue is not that those that choose to identity as transgender deserve to be free from abuse – that is an obvious given for any group (why one should need to keep on reiterating this, as if mere disagreement is necessarily connected to abuse, is itself ridiculous; it is obvious that this equivalence is merely a ruse to shut down debate) – but rather, it is an issue of forcing the vast majority of people who accept the plain and obvious male and female distinctions – which are not merely dependent on social and cultural training but are also driven by fundamental biological mechanisms that are by definition beyond the realm of socio-cultural factors – to recant their sin of self-determining belief in favor of the one that is neither self-evident, nor, as far as I can see, justified by any compelling argument. Most of what I hear in the public defence of transgenderism is labelling, name-calling and hate speech against those who simply disagree, and disagree on self-evident grounds. It is not the self-evident position that needs to justify its position, but the position that is not. Indeed, why should non-believers be accused of bigotry – it is not the non-believers that are trying to compel others into any belief beyond what they accept but rather the “believers”. If transgenderism was so compellingly true, I wonder why there is the huge failure on the part of its proponents to present compelling evidence and arguments to convince the rest of us, or, in the spirit of liberalism, leave those who “disbelieve” free to do so, whilst they can remain free to believe theirs. I thought that was how rational thought and democratic freedom ought to operate. But then, maybe I am being naive. Perhaps we no longer live in that kind of society any longer. Perhaps, what we are really entering into is a Nietzschean post-modern dystopia where all previously held moral values, rules of rational consistency and deductive argument, are evaporating before our very eyes, and have been doing so for some time. Perhaps what we are witnessing is probably the end, or near the end, of that process. Perhaps, if we were there at the beginning of that process and were miraculously transported to the present, we would recognise how far down the road, and therefore how close to the end of that process, we really were. It is therefore no wonder why those like J. K. Rowling, Jordan Peterson, Douglas Murray, among others, feel that the madness is so caustic and becoming so pervasive on so many different fronts that they have no choice but to fight back. Perhaps, if we wish to see the survival of the society we truly believe in, its time we all do the same. For, as Murray himself argues, in his book The Strange Death of Europe, it may not always be there.

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  ovicto01

I would not necessarily link JK Rowling with Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray with regard to issues beyond transgenderism: surely the great irony of all this is that Rowling was consummately ‘progressive’ in her views until this furore blew up.

Meg Petley
Meg Petley
3 years ago

I read J.K Rowling’s piece on her website, it’s such a well written, caring summary of the most concerning aspects of transactivism.
I forwarded it to a dear friend who identifies as a christian, progressive feminist, cultural marxist,
so we’ll see how that goes…
I have been following this topic with alarm, as I see it as the perfect storm of simultaneous attacks on truth, language and the rights of women and children.
Ironically 4th wave feminist voices cheer on all of this seemingly unable to see or acknowledge any negative consequences of the legal and cultural changes they are helping to push into school curriculums, sporting codes, prisons and children’s health care facilities.
Trans you tubers Blaire White and Rose of Dawn are pushing back on these issues as are other voices from the conservative side of the aisle.
As a long time leftist this issue and many others have caused me to spend a lot of time re examining many of my beliefs.
After abandoning current feminism, questioning green adgenda politics and watching the divisions in society crack open into fiery chasms thanks to hate filled identity politics, I now consider myself to be politically homeless.
When I look at the groups and individuals fighting against this tide of intersectional craziness they tend to be Christian groups, conservatives of all stripes, old school feminists, comedians, intellectual atheist writers and increasingly, the LGB cohort of the alphabet ‘community’ …..
Who would have thought?
Not me that’s for sure!
As I don’t fit into any of the above criteria myself, I have to consider myself as an ‘adjacent auxiliary ally’ to a truly interesting, diverse and courageous bunch of talented human beings.
Thank you for your witt and insight Mr Douglas Murray, best wishes, please continue poking the oar of truth into the machinery of chaos.

Lorelei Hunt
Lorelei Hunt
3 years ago

Thank you for the clearest exposition of this whole sorry mess that I have read all week. Yes of course – none of those actors needed to say anything.

Laine Andrews
Laine Andrews
3 years ago
Reply to  Lorelei Hunt

If 4 out of the 5 child actor lottery winners now as adults savage Rowling, the silence of the 5th will be condemned by the twittermob of birdbrains as “consent for Rowling’s viewpoint” so of course they’re in a race to save themselves.

Julia H
Julia H
3 years ago

Too late. Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood have joined the pile on. Unprincipled, self-important wretches.

ProveThe Negative
ProveThe Negative
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia H

Would have expected it of Luna. But Ginny….please. I really thought she was more normal than that. Very disappointed.

Vicki Robinson
Vicki Robinson
3 years ago

If J.K. Rowling isn’t right-on enough, who on earth is? I doubt anyone can live up to the woke movement’s standards. How long before they begin to turn on each other in a big way?

Kate H. Armstrong
Kate H. Armstrong
3 years ago
Reply to  Vicki Robinson

Hopefully ( in answer to your last question) very, very, soon. Let them devour each other as they are attempting to ‘devour’ the hard-won ‘rights’ of biological women.
How dare they …. ignorant, ‘wannabe’s’, interested only in the belief that ‘all publicity is, good publicity’. Did all their mothers have male genetalia? I sincerely hope the milliions of admirers/readers of JKR’s excellent writing, prove them wrong. First by boycotting any filmic production in which any of their names appear.

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago
Reply to  Vicki Robinson
Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago

I have yet to hear how someone biologically male can ‘know’ they are a woman without an explanation full of anachronistic stereotypes about what being a woman means that in any other context would lead to similar cancelling and condemnation.

Carolyn Jackson
Carolyn Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

It’s always puzzled me too. I’m a woman and can’t possibly tell you what it feels like ‘to be a woman’ I can only tell you what it feels like to be me. The same as any woman – or man for that matter. We don’t have ‘groupthink’. All women don’t all slap on make-up, obsess about shoes and handbags, wear low cut, tight dresses, love shopping, etc. I wear jeans, t-shirt and walking shoes every day. I hate clothes shopping with a passion so most of my clothes are years old.

Kathy Lang
Kathy Lang
3 years ago

SPOT ON! It’s meaningless to talk about women – or men – as a group with identical feelings or behaviour patterns. People are PEOPLE, and the great enemy here is STEREOTYPING. Age, gender, culture, creed, colour, race – all are shorthands to save us the trouble of thinking. Each of us is different, and integrity matters. And I personally would add – each of us is a child of God no matter what stereotypes people emphasise.

Paul Blakemore
Paul Blakemore
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

I recently heard of a lad I went to school with who had just become a ‘lady’ (we are both nearing 60). There was a photo/essay piece in the Observer that included her (as I believe one must say) and she remarked ”I was never very good at being male” which to me seemed very revealing.

opop anax
opop anax
3 years ago

What a tonic you are, Douglas – thank you! Your writing – and sanity – staves off despair. I think one of the Weasley’s has now joined the lynch mob, btw.

Bill Gaffney
Bill Gaffney
3 years ago

Men who think they are women and vice versa have a screw loose and I don’t “have” to respect anyone and could care less what others think of me.

Vengeful Fruitcake
Vengeful Fruitcake
3 years ago

Daniel Radcliffe is the luckiest man alive. The Harry Potter films might have been more bearable if its three child stars had been replaced after the first or second outing – after which the acting required more than simply looking worried and running around. Rupert Grint seems the most grounded of the three, if only because he hasn’t assumed that the world is interested in his political views.

Vengeful Fruitcake
Vengeful Fruitcake
3 years ago

Wrong about Grint.

D Glover
D Glover
3 years ago

Too late, he’s spoken
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

Julia H
Julia H
3 years ago

He’s also piled on now. FOMO perhaps?

ProveThe Negative
ProveThe Negative
3 years ago

Ginger revenge

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago

I have long felt the biggest evil in our society today is Twitter. It is the enemy of reasoned debate. And is a driving force for an unbalanced polarised society based on trite phrases. #bantwitter#don’tbetwits

ProveThe Negative
ProveThe Negative
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Yes. A forum for vacuous, infantile narcissists.

Joy Signmeuplease
Joy Signmeuplease
3 years ago

If you are able to deplatform, censor, dox, assault, cause job and career loss, issue rape, torture and death threats to someone who disagrees with you – all without consequence –
YOU ARE NOT OPPRESSED!

kevony
kevony
3 years ago

Excuse me. First ever post on this site. What a profound statement you just made. Can’t disagree with any of it. Why are we doing this to ourselves?

Caitlin McDonald
Caitlin McDonald
3 years ago

Yes! If you are cheered on by the world as you attack and sometimes destroy the supposed oppressor… the power and privilege is not where you think it is.

Mark Bretherto
Mark Bretherto
3 years ago

“A movie from just five years ago that would undoubtedly now lead to questions about why a cis male should presume to approximate the feelings of a trans person by playing one on screen.”
The obvious answer being, like transwomen, every fibre of his being (with the exception of some of his sperm cells) is male.

Peter Hamilton
Peter Hamilton
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Bretherto

He’s also an actor. It’s what they do.

Mike Spoors
Mike Spoors
3 years ago

Presumably in the current cultural Covid-19 void the 3 of them are what is euphemistically known in the trade as ‘resting’. Rather like all the other Outrage Warriors with currently too much time to kill. Reputations if nothing else. How does it go ‘The Devil makes work for idle hands’? Not to mention idle minds.

Rowli Pugh
Rowli Pugh
3 years ago

These actors made millions thanks to Ms Rowling. It is a sad reflection on them that they lack the wisdom and maturity to be grateful and silent.

Salma Abraham
Salma Abraham
3 years ago

I can’t remember the last time I read an article like this.
An excellent piece..

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

In political jargon, a useful idiot is a derogatory term for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause’s goals, and who is cynically used by the cause’s leaders.

Useful idiots + Social media = Stupid

Jonathan Buttery
Jonathan Buttery
3 years ago

Excellent and important article that hits the nail on the head. The majority view at large, I am sure, is as stated therein and the clamour of the trans activists should not be taken as the mainstream just by the fact that they are shouting louder. I have no issue with the rights that trans people have but you cannot ignore fundamental biology – that is all JKR was stating. I feel very sorry for her being singled out for such criticism, particularly by these three actors. They should be ashamed – and should have stayed silent.

tjosephus
tjosephus
3 years ago

You spoke too soon…..I wake this morning to see that Rupert Grint has now come out with the same old stuff……

Carolyn Jackson
Carolyn Jackson
3 years ago

“Because of the number of unarmed black people killed by American police
in recent years it seems fair to ask where some wider culpability might
lie”—————-The number of UNARMED black people killed by police last year in the USA was ten. Just because they weren’t armed doesn’t mean they weren’t dangerous. They were attacking the police – a couple of them tried to run them down with a car. One was shot accidentally in a fight with the police. There were 19 unarmed white people killed in the USA by police. There were 48 police killed in the USA last year. This shows what a lie this whole BLM is based on. After all they don’t care about black lives taken by black people do they?

crannogstudios
crannogstudios
3 years ago

Well said, this whole thing is insanity. Every event is now weaponised and guess who the target is?

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago

It is easy to be swayed by the argument due to the amount of news coverage and outrage each incident generates. It is interesting that normally cautious and well-researched Douglas appears to have slightly fallen for this. Still it does appear that the propensity for gun violence in America does up the stakes somewhat so there is obviously an issue, just perhaps not quite the one we are being told to focus on. I am glad Douglas is still holding the line and questioning what is going on in his usual articulate and fair-minded way. I have also been enjoying listening to black conservative commentators on YouTube who have a different view of things and are are taking a lot of heat for doing so from white liberals (which appears to be racist in itself) and other black people. It is truly brave right now to openly dissent, so I support them on principle.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago

“”Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative”

Drop the word ‘transgender’ and you have the attitude of every sectarian gangster, every mafioso, every pavement thug.

Rybo Adders
Rybo Adders
3 years ago

Good article. Agreed; I can’t imagine that this “calling out” of friends or associates would be tolerated in polite society – yet. This puerile behaviour rather reminds me of the cult classic film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but that was fiction wasn’t it?

rosalindmayo
rosalindmayo
3 years ago

Thank you for a thoughtful respectful and courteous article -in our dire and desperate times- where courtesy and integrity are almost absent in so much that is said. The Today programme this morning added to the frenzy and rage implicitly condemning JKRowling .
My worry and concern in all these ‘identity’ politics’ arguments, and others is- How will ‘we’ ever find the ways to listen, to learn speak with care and thoughtfulness and creativity, and to shape and articulate better, and less impoverished and shallow narratives and conceptions of ourselves and our human subjectivity in all its differences and complexity.

jazzy
jazzy
3 years ago

Thank you for this clear, measured and sane analysis of the cruel stupidity of the woke, which seems to be particularly extreme among actors! I would like to see more journalists and individuals actually voice their support for Rowling and others who stand against the vicious wing of the trans lobby (and it is particularly nasty and violent) rather than just quietly nodding. i already have on social media but will do so more now.

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Bunch of tiresome actors need to let us all know who good and proper they are.
Just because you are an actor does not give you a inherent intelligence to see the truth ! If anything it gives you an over Inflated sense of your own importance and the ability to never shut up about it.

bruce048
bruce048
3 years ago

Loved this!!! You rule, Douglas!!!

Matthew Wilson
Matthew Wilson
3 years ago

I suppose we should be grateful that, at the time of writing, at least the Weasleys haven’t kicked off.

Actually, I believe Rupert Grint aka Ron Weasley did join in with the show trial-style denunciation of JKR.

Nice of these luvvies to raise their profiles at the expense of the woman responsible for boosting their careers no end.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago

While I agree with Rowling on this issue, she is not entirely innocent of the Twitter pile-on herself. Splitters!

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson
3 years ago

Despite Covid it seems that we do not have enough ‘real’ problems to challenge us sufficiently.
So we use our progress to address absurdities instead.

Truly, we are spoilt children.

lizzzygoode
lizzzygoode
3 years ago

The day will come where ignorant, and supposedly educated bigots, such as these three ‘actors’ will find themselves on the receiving end of this sort of pea brained vitriol. As you say, silence was what is needed, especially in these precarious and it would seem acceptably delusional times.
It will come to them.

Matt K
Matt K
3 years ago

Too late, Douglas. The Weasley’s are bang up for it.

Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
3 years ago

How right you are Douglas

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
3 years ago

A big fan of Douglas Murray, Jordan Peterson and their ilk, the world is in need of some intellect and reasoned debate and the immediate and complete dismantling of the woke and identity politics culture. To think we’ve arrived at a point in our evolution where women are described as ‘people who menstruate’ is appalling, derogatory and gives a clear indication of the twisted and pervasive nature of identity politics. It needs to be stopped in its tracks, i wish more people would take the stand and put these virtue -signalling idiots back in their box.To think without her they would be nothing is all the more insulting to a women….who is asking nothing more than to be called a women…..and then has to explain why…FFS….Stop the world i want to get off.

Janet Inglis
Janet Inglis
3 years ago

Trans wxmyn are women, apparently.
And women are now menstruators in this new world of self identify.
So it’s okay to strip every women of the one aspect of their lives that has the biggest effect on how they live and hand it to men under the ultimate false pretence. That humans can change sex.
JK Rowling hasn’t stated anything radical or untrue. Where are all the pontificating celebrities who know this now?
They’ll happily beat us around the head for not being vegetarians, or for using too much fossil fuel, but where are they when it comes to backing up the undeniable truth of human biology?
I guess they’ve worked out pretty quickly that most of their biggest supporters would give them the JK Rowling treatment.

David J
David J
3 years ago

Surely the answer is in the chromosomes?
We are each made of trillions of individual cells, and every single one of them has an XX or XY chromosome inside, thus defining whether we are male or female.
It’s not just our sex organs, what sex we think ourselves to be, or what sex we would like to be.
Or… am I missing something?

Caitlin McDonald
Caitlin McDonald
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

It’s not as simple as XX XY as I have discovered”there are lots of variations and so to commit to that distinction is to admit to multiple sexes. Then of course few of us have witnessed our chromosomes yet have no trouble identifying ourselves and each other as male or female.

The proper distinction is ovaries or testes. It all became beautiful clear when I read an article by a biologist. Of course, male and female are a breeding pair (even if sometimes the breeding equipment is faulty). This is why the sexes are distinguished from one another.

Trevor Q
Trevor Q
3 years ago

I was horrified to hear my good name has been appropriated by these people.

Zoe Sturgeon
Zoe Sturgeon
3 years ago

In fact what polling there is on trans issues

Is there any link to this polling, I haven’t found any good numbers and dislike it when people use vague qualifers or unsourced numbers.

Gio Con
Gio Con
3 years ago

I do think we’re on the precipice of a new Dark Ages.

Jess Davies
Jess Davies
3 years ago

I think some of the most devoted Harry Potter fans are young people who have gender confusion – who have probably been hurt not so much by JK Rowling’s tweets, but by the furore they set off among adult fans. I’m appalled by how activists in this area encourage young kids to feel that any adult who questions this ideology in any sort of way “hates” them. Also appalling is the extent to which suicidal ideation among young people is used as a weapon in this debate.

I think anybody connected with a franchise where children are the main consumers probably feels a lot of responsibility towards that fan-base, and I do believe Daniel Radcliffe probably thought he was doing the right thing by those fans. He could have delivered a positive message to them without mentioning JK Rowling at all.

Charlie Johnson
Charlie Johnson
3 years ago

Tuck it in. Swing it about. Pretend you haven’t got one. Pretend you have got one.
As a representative of the great unwashed….no one really gives a damn either way……

donlindsay8
donlindsay8
3 years ago

Unherd has become essential reading for me because of the quality of its material and, frankly, because the content resonates with my own ideologies. However, it troubles me that there are so few, in fact practically no, challenging voices in the comments on any article.
I visit this kind of site to be educated and informed and this cannot happen in an echo chamber. I always like the line, “that’s interesting, what makes you think that?” response. So please Harry, Hermione and Newt, give us some insights into why you think like you do….

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
3 years ago

I really enjoy Douglas Murray and the likes of Jordan Peterson, identity politics and the way in which Marxism is pervading our society is alarming and is only going to end up in one place and it won’t be pretty for anyone. I do wish the white bleating left wing liberals would actually take the time to think about their actions and virtue signalling before the post their sycophantic drivel in the desperate hope to be liked, applauded and woke. Wake up.

Peter Morrell
Peter Morrell
3 years ago

I comment as a retired Circuit Judge. Were I presiding over a trial of China or WiV for manslaughter (causing death through negligence to a criminal degree), on this circumstantial evidence, together with the evidence of the attempted suppression of the outbreak at its inception by the Chinese Government, I would rule there was sufficient to constitute a prima facie case for the jury and leave it to the jury to decide whether it was proved beyond reasonable doubt. Whether it would convict. of course, I could not comment!

Geoff Cox
Geoff Cox
3 years ago

There’s an old American joke.

How do you know when an actor is a Republican? Ans: He doesn’t talk about politics.

Nigel Diepering
Nigel Diepering
3 years ago

What a pleasure to have Douglas Murray so eloquently making the sensible case that needs to be made. Thank you

Simon Phillips
Simon Phillips
3 years ago

The big reason the second rate actors felt they had to speak up is because their careers, such as they are, would suffer if they are either silent or say the “wrong thing”. If JKR never sells another book it won’t affect her career too much, even if her sanity might go downhill.

Hence the wokery. Definite whiff of McCarthyism going on here.

clairearcher12345
clairearcher12345
3 years ago

Thank god for JK and others willing to speak up for common sense, free speech and an agenda of dignity for all. What a storm in a teacup. Pandemic, unemployment, missed diagnoses of fatal diseases and yet this stuff takes up the headlines.

V Vichara
V Vichara
3 years ago

To the three Harry Potter actors who are not acting (possibly)

Objective reality is subjective

But one’s subjective reality is objective

Hmmm…

So very subjective of you

Which I mean quite objectively

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago

Maximum noise from a minimalist group. If you have a male appendage you are a man . End of.

Dave Tagge
Dave Tagge
3 years ago

Mr. Murray mentions Stalin, and I’m clearly not the first person to point out that the various demands of the woke Twitterati have a whiff of ritual Communist Party pledges (such as the Chinese Cultural Revolution) to them.

Looking at Eddie Redmayne’s statement:

“______ remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself. This is an ongoing process.”

I think that we should start to engage in some multiple choice fill-in-the blank statements. Take a quote, put in the form above, and ask which it was:

(a) A Chinese Communist official saying “Xi Jinping thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, building on Deng Xiaoping Theory and Mao Zedong Thought”

or

(b) A chastised celebrity agreeing with some aspect of the woke belief system.

saramwhite
saramwhite
3 years ago

“Issue of minimal importance”? Not to women whose rights to the safety, privacy and dignity of single-sex spaces when they’re naked, semi-naked or vulnerable and even their right to name themselves are being destroyed.

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
3 years ago

Joining protests is quick and easy. Changing the culture and conduct of a police force will take time and be difficult.

Meg Petley
Meg Petley
3 years ago

Thanks for this article Graham and for your advocacy in this area generally, it’s a brave thing to stand up against cancel culture.
This issue for me is ground zero of all the intersectional cultural madness issues as it directly impacts the health and safety of women and children via the bastardization of truth, language and common sense leading to bad legal policy decisions.
I don’t think many people are against increasing the understanding of and support for trans people but society and the legal system need to find ways of doing this without harming women and children.
Self ID is bad policy, as you pointed out there are NON trans predators who will seize on this legal opportunity to gain access to the vulnerable.
Well intentioned people who say that this isn’t a concern because who would bother going through with all that in order to have greater access to victims are naive and willfully ignorant.
Laws are written, on the whole, to restrain the behaviour of societal outliers, not the average person.
Predators have gone to all the trouble of becoming foster parents, priests etc throughout history.
The no one would bother line, doesn’t withstand scrutiny, wolves have always been prepared to don sheep’s clothing.
Equally disturbing is the pushing of large numbers of distressed and confused children down a now well established path to permanent hormonal change and surgery based on their percieved inability to fit into narrow, sexist gender norms that earlier forms on feminism spent so long trying to displace.
As a childhood tomboy, I am glad I was born and raised before all this gender insanity started, I fear the next development in this area will be the forced removal from the home of gender confused children whose parents differ with the reccomend ‘treatments’ being pushed.
Supporting children with couselling and a wait and see approach without hormones etc goes against the standard affirmation model and is now being equated to conversion therapy.
Laws are being formulated around this now in Australia which would mean that NOT affirming your child patient or your son or daughter’s perception of their gender would mean you were practicing conversion therapy and you could lose your job, or even more chillingly, your child.
Martyn Illes from the ACL has some good you tube videos on all this on Facebook and YouTube.
It’s hard to imagine how all this came about and the trans activistism seems to have entrenched itself so quickly in all the key areas.
I think that part of the problem is that any pushback to all this is fragmented between different interest groups and individuals.
It seems to me that an international, broadbased, bi partisan alliance with a social media network on various platforms to minimize the risk of banning would be fantastic.
Members could be encouraged to join Toby Youngs free speech union at the same time to help protect them personally and to encourage bravery.
I’ve been on YouTube for a year or so now and I’ve seen a lot of the people I follow starting to appear as guests on each others channels discussing cultural, political and legal concerns.
Trigernometry, Sargon, Zuby, Tim Pool, Jordan Peterson, Megan Murphy, Arielle Scarcella, Posie Parker and Rose of Dawn are some of my favorite Youtubers
Douglas Murray is doing fantastic work and I was very impressed with J K Rowlings latest piece on Trans ideology on her website.
Surely the mass pushing of untested medical experiments on children is a line that we can all stand united against together?
Thanks again for all your efforts.
Meg

George H
George H
3 years ago
Reply to  Meg Petley

As this piece is seven months old, I wasn’t expecting the only comment on it to be from three days ago.

I’m probably (based on the people you list as among your favourite Youtubers) quite a bit further to the left than you are but I simply cannot see anything progressive at all about an ideology fundamentally based on the assumption that a person who exhibits what you very rightly identify as an “inability to fit into narrow, sexist gender norms” somehow has to be ‘repaired’. Not only is it not progressive; it is deeply regressive.

tmglobalrecruitment
tmglobalrecruitment
3 years ago

The one thing I do not understand is why anyone sane bothers with Twitter, and furthermore engages with the lunatics that inhabit it.

If you want sane, rational debate it is the wrong forum.

tmglobalrecruitment
tmglobalrecruitment
3 years ago

good point clearly not him

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
3 years ago

What is an actor or actress?
It is a person who is mainly unable to think for him/herself but can only repeat words written by someone of greater intelligence and education.

V Vichara
V Vichara
3 years ago

The proposition is that masculine and feminine identity is not equivalent to gender identity.
Yet there is an insistence simultaneously that they are not equivalent
(I born a man identify as feminine)
and are equivalent
(though born male and identifying as feminine, I want others to see my conscious identification with femininity as objective female identity).

So they want it both ways: that their inner sense of identity, which they say is not defined by the objective categories of male-female be treated and accepted by the world as objective.

Hence the attack on Rawling because her statement challenged their insistence that the individual be granted the right to determine objective qualities defining what is male and female. They want their self-determining decision to be accepted by the world as objective.

Is this confusion, a rebellious self-sovereignty, a radical self determination? Or does it express a conflict within human reason: the insistence upon freedom, or self determination, and the necessity to have an identity, definition, in the world, and the effort to reconcile these or have them in agreement?

In this case it means that masculine or feminine inner sense be freely lived even if not in agreement with birth identity(gender), and that this freedom of self determination by inner sense be recognized within objective worldly categories, hence a person born male who says he is a woman is a woman. The world then must bear with the opposition, or reconcile the opposition, between freedom and identity with respect to masculine and feminine and male and female identity.

Caitlin McDonald
Caitlin McDonald
3 years ago

Yes. I feel the same way she does about transism but am most unlike her politically, being centre-right, which involves being anti-feminist. Women to the right don’t tend to worry too much about female spaces since we are not frightened of men in the first place. I do not sympathise with modern feminists about men.

Paul Carline
Paul Carline
3 years ago

Regrettably uncommon sound common sense …

Paul Carline
Paul Carline
3 years ago

Why are people not seeing through this blatant and crude attempt to sow disunity and dissension across society as part of a “divide and rule” strategy that seems to me like a modern version of the Tower of Babel legend – a ruse to generate a mass inability (or even desire!) to understand each other.

James Sinclair
James Sinclair
3 years ago

Fully agree with all this. The point about the use of the word ‘controversial’ is salient…..another one fondly used by the media is ‘divisive’. If 99 people agree on something and 1 doesn’t, it’s not divisive or controversial for the vast majority is it. The consensus within most media outlets, Twitter and noisy celebrities (I.e. those with the greatest platforms) is currently thoroughly disconnected from the opinions and values of most of the British public. They can’t win a calm, rational debate so they don’t allow it, and pretend there is no other legitimate viewpoint. The question is, how do we get our voice back with the existing broadcasting monopoly?

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago

Bloody hell, the moderator is picky here.

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago

What can I say in the comments?

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago

It looks like everything posted is moderated in advance. free speech anyone? Unherd by name, unheard by nature.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
3 years ago

The correct word to describe Radcliffe, Redmayne and Watson is ‘shits’. A word that should be used more often.

prholohan
prholohan
3 years ago

Unfortunately, it seems the Weasley’s have joined the fray! Better not make any ginger references for fear of adding fuel to the fire. I think the article sums the situation up very well and that any position these days, however well nuanced and articulated will be savaged by the activists if it doesn’t tow the line, however surreal that is. Don’t forget the observation that Rowling was making initially was only that women menstruate which you wouldn’t have thought was particularly radical. In the land of the cyclops the two eyed (wo)man is in mortal danger and all that. In the continuing fall out form this absolute non-event it seems a school in England has dropped a naming association with her as she is no longer considered a good role model but curiously retains one with Freddie Mercury, as debauched as he was undoubtedly brilliant.

Bill Gaffney
Bill Gaffney
3 years ago

All DemocratSlaveryParty Politicians are traitors to the Constitution. I stopped voting for DemocratSlaveryParty POLs 42 years ago. Until then I had been a Yellow Dog Democrat. I took oaths for 30 years to defend the Constitution against enemies, foreign and domestic. DemocratSlaveryParty POLs are the latter and in a few cases lately the former….

Peter KE
Peter KE
3 years ago

JKR is correct.

Peter KE
Peter KE
3 years ago

Why do we need to just defend our history. These activists bigots need to be shown for what they are. Our world would have very little of worth or progress without the efforts of our fathers from the early ages of Anglo Saxons and Europeans to the present time be it litterateur, philosophy, science or democracy. The left wing activists be they XR or BLM happily attack democracy but are cowards in the face of china and other non democratic states.

W. P.
W. P.
3 years ago

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless actor!

There is something grimly amusing in watching those hectoring the public to ‘follow the science’ at one & the same time insist surgical mutilation a woman makes.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
3 years ago

‘So I find it hard to love Wagner’s music: an aural monument to an Aryan vision whose end point was the Final Solution.’

Please don’t confuse the works themselves with the perverted use to which they were put after the composer’s death.

Zoe Sturgeon
Zoe Sturgeon
3 years ago

It is interesting that this characterises Eddie Redmayne as just having a bit part because he doesn’t fit within the “they owe their careers to her” narrative

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

Zoe speaks of the Anti-Semitism of Dickens and Trollope. It can also be found in the great Dostoyevsky. His biographer Kjetsaa writes that Russian messianism (Dostoyevsky believed that Russia should liberate Orthodox South Slavs from the Ottoman yoke) turned into chauvinism and thence into Anti-Semitism. It pollutes both “A Writer’s Diary” and his final novel, “The Brothers Karamazov”.

NoToMisogyny JustNo
NoToMisogyny JustNo
3 years ago

Too late, Ron Weasley has already joined them. You might call the TRA movement the last acceptable women bashing outlet of the left. So many men, trans women who are male no matter what shitty “research” they keep spamming around, and libfem handmaidens threatening Rowling and calling her c***. If feminism believes that violence against women is wrong, how can we allow for males to advocate violence against people who don’t believe their delusions? At first it was we know they aren’t actualy women but be kind and inclusive, now it’s we’ll witch hunt you if you don’t believe the gender religion.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago

The worst aspect of the cultural cleansers is their insufferable smugness. It hasn’t occurred to them that, in 200 years time, both they themselves and the people who they would like to see memorialised in new statues will be found to be morally deficient in some way that we, today, cannot yet imagine. They think their views are both correct now and will remain correct in perpetuity. How arrogant.

donna.stevenson73
donna.stevenson73
3 years ago

I 100% support JK Rowling but don’t think this piece does her or the women’s cause any favours. Why would you think that commenting on a person’s looks, or their ability to do their job as an actor, is helpful or right? If you want to fight the words of her critics you shouldn’t do it by lowering yourself and your readers to this kind of hatchet job. It’s beneath you.

Dave Tagge
Dave Tagge
3 years ago

Pretty good article. Some other points worth noting here:

The specifics of policing and criminal justice in the U.S. are largely a state and local matter. There are vastly more people in state prisons than federal prisons, for example: about 6 to 1, which rises to about 9 to 1 if we include local jails along with state prisons.

Large U.S. cities are overwhelmingly run by Democratic politicians – in some cases African-American Democrats – and have been for decades.

There’s a lot of memory-holing about just how broad the support was for a lot of “tough on crime” policies in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and just where that support came from.

For example, the 1994 federal crime bill was supported by a lot black mayors, many black pastors/community leaders, and a majority (though not all) of the Congressional Black Caucus. The U.S. murder rate roughly doubled between the 1960’s and 1990’s, and the overall violent crime rate roughly quadrupled. Inner-city African-American neighborhoods were hit disproportionately hard by this increase, and have also disproportionately benefited as murder and violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped by roughly half since that time.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

Well said, Douglas.
Take a listen to the June 13 edition of Day 6 with Brent Bambury on Canadian Broadcasting Corpn. Radio. Bambury’s take on the J.K. Rowling controversy is to interview a hideous-looking South African drag queen, Karla Beauty Marx, who says she is appalled by the hateful violence, violent hate, blah blah blah disseminated by Rowling. Puppy dog Bambury, useless as ever, never pushes back to ask her to justify anything she says. Rowling’s essay is mentioned but never properly discussed. We only get this South African non-entity’s baseless slurs on the author of the Harry Potter novels. If you were looking for evidence to build a case for defunding the CBC, this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

andrewdevinerattigan
andrewdevinerattigan
3 years ago

On a whole range of issues, our media, including the ‘impartial’ BBC that we are forced to pay for, instruct us that the opinions of a large swathe of the population are ‘controversial’, while they the enlightened ones hold the true and correct views.

Tom Hawk
Tom Hawk
3 years ago

Out of interest peaked by the fuss, I looked up sex determination. It seems the normal arrangement is XX for female and XY for male. But there are a number of recognised anomaly’s. YX females, XXMales or even XXYY!!! It ognised that some people who look famale are in fact male but their testies did not migrate during growth.Some people are hermaphrodite.

It must be truly terrible to be born with such a condition. I feel we should be very kindly towards such people. If they want to self identify to something approaching where they feel they should be, then out of humanity we should not condemn.

But to scream down anyone who acknowledges that if you are born XY you cannot become XX is more daft than insisting the king can tell the tide to stop rising.

Kathy Lang
Kathy Lang
3 years ago

As an enthusiastic follower of Douglas Murray since the first article I read, I agree with every word – except the word “less” in “It is one of the most unhealthy habits in an age which needs less of them” – which just goes to show the thin line between truth and prejudice. (Well, SOMEONE had to lighten the tone…)

Jon Luisada
Jon Luisada
3 years ago

“that is to try replacing the word ‘white’ with the word ‘black’ and vice-versa.”
did that on one of Owen Jone’s tweets….got blocked.
Where do I collect my medal? 😉

lisaxxdavidson
lisaxxdavidson
3 years ago

Here is something else that I completely don’t understand. Why does J.K. Rowling change into a horrifying and dreadful creator of evil characters? With her new name, Galbraith, she has really created an entirely different person. She even says she loves the nightmares that she gives herself. So, this sexuality thing is almost irrelevant. Why is she having such a major psychological trauma?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

This subject appears to go on and on. Obviously the majority are on Rowling’s side as a transgender man is obviously not a woman. Surely that is evident even for the simplest of persons. I would just ignore it apart from the fact that they are demanding their rights to invade women’s private places which should just be for real women. That is the real danger of all this.

Greg Eiden
Greg Eiden
3 years ago

A wise man once said “I’d rather lose an argument than lose a friend”

It would be nice if we could move in that direction. But of course in online commenting, we rarely if ever are dealing with friends, people we have met in person, actually know and like. But why not presume they could be friends in how we converse?

Ann Lord
Ann Lord
3 years ago

I’m 69, have ovaries smaller than peas, started the menopause at 42 and haven’t menstruated for years. I now find out through social media that I’m not a woman! Can someone PLEASE HELP ME as I’m desperate to explain to my daughter what I am and that I didn’t find her in the cabbage patch!!

Caitlin McDonald
Caitlin McDonald
3 years ago
Reply to  Ann Lord

The claim is that
“anyone who menstruates is a woman

The claim is NOT that
” anyone who doesn’t menstruate is not a woman

Alan Matthes
Alan Matthes
3 years ago

I cannot imagine the trauma that women must suffer when after menopause they discover that they are no longer women.

Caitlin McDonald
Caitlin McDonald
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Matthes

The factual statement that anyone who menstruates is a woman is not a claim that all people who don’t menstruate are not women.

E Wilde
E Wilde
3 years ago

Do you seriously think someone as talented as Emma Watson, who already had many head starts in life (beautiful, posh white girl), owes her entire career to JK Rowling and Harry Potter ?

susanmarypowell.sl
susanmarypowell.sl
3 years ago
Reply to  E Wilde

Her acting career she does.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  E Wilde

Beauty, as they say, is in the “eye of the beholder”.Have you
thought of ‘Specsavers’?
Haddington School, Brown University (failed), posh? No, had it been Wycombe Abbey and say New College, then yes.
White girl, guilty as charged!

cnash.mail
cnash.mail
3 years ago

The difficult thing to explain about this whole mess is that it stems from what is at best a misunderstanding by neutral parties, and at worst a wilful obfuscation by anti-trans activists. Douglas’s statement “[trans activists] do not have the right to redefine what a woman is” is the crux of the argument – the problem is that they never claimed to want to do this in the first place!

Nobody is arguing that sex is not determined by biology. Not even trans people, who are fully cognizant of their own biology and sex. What they’re also aware of is their gender identity, which is a separate thing.

I won’t go into too much detail as to why all of Rowling’s arguments are based on fallacies, untruths and deliberately-obfuscated anti-trans propaganda; I’ll leave that this this Twitter post, which does an excellent job:
https://twitter.com/Carter_

Guglielmo Marinaro
Guglielmo Marinaro
3 years ago
Reply to  cnash.mail

Nobody is arguing that sex is not determined by biology. Not even trans people, who are fully cognizant of their own biology and sex.

Quite. And a man is an adult male, and a woman is an adult female. The words male and female refer to their sex, which is determined by biology.

That is why trans women are not women, and why trans men are not men. As for non-binary identities, those are just a foolish fantasy.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  cnash.mail

Why not state here why Rowling is committing fallacies rather than referring to Twitter which is a useless platform for detailed argument.

NoToMisogyny JustNo
NoToMisogyny JustNo
3 years ago
Reply to  cnash.mail

There’s no misunderstanding, you’re behind on what’s happening in discourse. And your claim that they never wanted to define what a woman is is a blatant lie, just look around online. Of course, trans people are not a monolith and there are sane ones who acknowledge you can’t change sex. Leaving aside the word “women”, actually, you’ll find in the twitter and online universe that there is a spectrum of trans right activist delusions ranging from the looniest transgender people can literally change their biology and chromosomes to become female to begrudging yes sex exists but is not important. I refuse to let a male mansplain to me why sex-protected spaces and the ability to speak about my sex is important.

rowansebastiangray
rowansebastiangray
3 years ago

One has to wonder why someone who is utterly uneducated on a subject feels compelled to write such utter drivel as you have, sir. At least if you feel so sudden to express your opinion on a subject to your research, talk to both sides, target than just spout your populist rhetoric that has zero base and in fact zero content in this debate. I hope you feel that you have earned your p***s pride with your aggressive tone and sweeping disrespectful choice of words to not one but a multitude of groups in this one piece of garbage. I hope you feel you slept better last night knowing that you’ve added your uneducated views to a debate that has absolutely nothing to do with you. I rest knowing you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of history as so many others of your ilk. That you choose to ignore an opportunity to learn something over wasting your time writing this most disgraceful piece of journalism, adding your name to the unimportant list of unimportant cisgender authors who noone will remember for repeating populist bigotry.

From a very well educated and very well paid transgender man who has done better in life than you or your readers, sir, and who carries his manhood with a lot more dignity than you.

Jane Robertson
Jane Robertson
3 years ago

Funny, thanks for the chuckle

Barnaby Rudge
Barnaby Rudge
3 years ago

I think you lost any remaining any empathy at the personal insults sign off. Of course a sure fire way to win the argument is such a declaration, sir.

NoToMisogyny JustNo
NoToMisogyny JustNo
3 years ago

Talk to both sides won’t work when one side is being told Shut up Terf and trans women are women is the baseline. TRAs assumes they can educate the other out of wrongthink. We’ll use pronouns, but no one gets the privilege of forcing people to believe their/he/she delusions.

susanmarypowell.sl
susanmarypowell.sl
3 years ago

Nice tirade. I’d be interested in what point you are trying to make? What criticism of this piece do you have? A reasonable argument why Rowling is wrong would be nice.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Self praise is no recommendation.
You should have been taught that during your childhood.
What excuse, if any, can you offer?