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Inside the trans publishing purge Children's authors are silenced for telling the truth

JK Rowling is the tip of the iceberg (Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)


December 9, 2021   6 mins

It’s tempting to imagine the world of children’s literature as a comforting refuge, populated by compassionate people who want to inspire a joy of reading in the next generation. But to children’s poet Rachel Rooney, there is nothing cuddly about the publishing industry: for her, it is dominated by a vicious clique of progressive writers who sniff-out wrong-think and snuff-out careers.

With nine books and several prizes to her name — her debut collection, The Language of Cat, was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal — Rooney’s career has been marked by success. But now it is over, following what she describes as “two and a half years of intensive bullying for doing nothing more than telling the truth”: namely, that there’s something deeply concerning about the prevailing orthodoxy around gender identity.

While JK Rowling might be too famous to cancel, those with heterodox views in the foothills of literary fame have two choices: keep quiet or leave. It’s a lesson not only Rooney has been forced to learn: only last year, Gillian Philip, who used to write animal fantasy novels under the name Erin Hunter, was suddenly dropped by her publishers after voicing her support for Rowling’s views on the importance of women-only spaces. She retrained as a lorry driver, noting that “the haulage industry is far more supportive and inclusive — and a lot less misogynistic — than the world of children’s writing”.

Rooney’s path to creative writing is a story in itself. Following a “toxic relationship” and nervous breakdown that led to her being hospitalised, poetry became her “main tool for recovery”. At 49, she won a CLiPPA (a national award for children’s poetry) for her first collection. After years of working as a teacher, she describes being “catapulted into a second career as a children’s writer”; her books were endorsed by everyone from Carol Ann Duffy to David Walliams.

But things began to change when Rooney felt compelled to investigate why so many autistic teenagers were identifying as the opposite sex. “I was once a gender non-conforming autistic child,” she tells me. “I know how it is to be uncomfortable in your own skin, to hate what society tells you it is to be female. It felt strange to realise that my growing reservations around the simplistic idea that children can be ‘born in the wrong body’ would be seen as being bigoted and hateful. I had always been progressive, even ‘woke’.”

Rooney, undeterred by the hostility she knew might follow, started to gently question whether our understanding of gender identity has become warped — only to find herself unfriended and blocked by a number of children’s authors. Many, she explains, did “get in touch privately and admitted to being too scared to speak out — others said they had been warned off from engaging with the topic”.

But Rooney was determined not to be intimidated. So rather than back down, she decided to write a book to “counter the explosion in titles which told children they might be trapped in the wrong body if they don’t conform to stereotypes”. Through 2018 she worked on what was to become My Body is Me! with the illustrator Jessica Ahlberg. Published a year later by Transgender Trend, a well-established group of parents and professionals “who are concerned about the current trend to diagnose children as transgender”, it challenges sexist stereotypes and promotes a positive self-image.

“It’s a proudly inclusive book,” she says. “We talked in depth about the celebratory message we wanted to get across: we aimed to show a diverse range of personalities, body types and family set-ups.”

Of course, Rooney suspected she would face a backlash — but nothing could prepare her for what happened next. Ahlberg, whose parents Janet and Allan Ahlberg wrote and illustrated a number of best-selling children’s books including The Jolly Postman and Peepo, was for the most part ignored. Rooney, however, continues to be monstered and hounded more than two years later.

She explains that “a core of around a dozen authors, librarians, book bloggers and illustrators” — some of whom have allegedly been encouraged by “committee members in the Society of Authors (SoA)” — have repeatedly “smeared” her online in “an attempt to drum her out of publishing”. She recalls: “Fellow authors discussed my ‘hateful world view’, my ‘transphobia’, my bigoted, exclusionary nature and even my autism.”

Take Clara Vulliamy, creator of the Dotty Detective series and daughter of the acclaimed children’s author Shirley Hughes, described Rooney as representing “an extreme ideology that explicitly targets children”. Vulliamy even went so far as to compare Rooney to Tommy Robinson.

“In her post,” Rooney explains, “Vulliamy tagged an agency that employed me to do school visits, warning them about my views and saying ‘ideologically driven school visits could see us all in deep water’. I don’t think she’d even read My Body is Me and thankfully I had a good reputation at the schools I worked in, so kept that work. Ultimately, all I did was speak out on issues around education, literature, child development, safeguarding and more specifically, the female, autistic perspective. I did so because I care.”

There is, however, only so much vitriol a person can endure. And soon Rooney started to struggle with bouts of debilitating anxiety. “It was exhausting. The thought of socialising with people in publishing made me feel physically sick. Poetry was not only my livelihood; it was how I stayed sane. But after the abuse from others in my profession I began to associate it with trauma.”

Then, towards the end of last year, Rooney received an urgent call from her agent to inform her that the publisher of her children’s books was unhappy with her outspoken questioning of gender identity. “I was told that my stance could be considered offensive and that people had been complaining. Two independent bookshops had refused to stock my latest picture book, The Problem with Problems, even though it was entirely unrelated to gender ideology.

“I was told I needed to stop tweeting about the risks to children from gender identity ideology and to remove posts on social media. But I was never offensive, I just told the truth as I see it.” When she refused to be silenced, Rooney was told that her Twitter account would not be copied into any online publicity “in case it sent traffic my way where people might learn of my ‘offensive’ views.”

Soon the campaign to vilify Rooney ratcheted up. Save the Children were bullied by activists into taking down from social media a charity video of Gillian Anderson reading The Problem with Problems. Waterstones was targeted after it posted a video of Tom Hardy reading the same book, though didn’t back down.

But the harassment against gender-critical authors hasn’t stopped. Last week, author Jay Hulme, who identifies as transgender, posted a tweet accusing an unnamed author who “hates that I’m trans and write for kids” of preventing the publication of one of his books. Hulme was supported by Vulliamy, who added: “People within children’s publishing, you KNOW who Jay is talking about.” Rooney wasn’t named, but is confident she was the subject of these posts.

I contacted several of those making accusations against the “unnamed author”. The only person who responded was Hulme, who told me: “I didn’t name the author for a reason — because I don’t believe in pile ons or digital attacks, and so I cannot and will not confirm any names or comment further. Had I wished to expand, I would have done already.”

The SoA also appeared to close ranks. Rather than responding to my enquiry, a press officer directed me to a link to a statement from August which outlined the SoA’s stance on inclusivity. Remarkably, their policy states that SoA will ensure “individuals are supported and able to speak out”.

No doubt Rooney would beg to differ. The repeated smears, sly insinuations and cowardice of the professional bodies have all taken their toll, not least on how her work is received. “People often talk of cancel culture. But there is a more insidious technique at play — one that’s harder to prove but palpable to the receiver; that of ‘Ghosting Culture’. It’s when your book is left off reading lists; when it doesn’t get reviewed; when you are not invited on a panel to discuss it. It’s where organisations you’ve worked with and even long-time friends suddenly avoid sharing publicity about it.”

And yet despite everything — the abuse, the betrayal, the attempts to silence her — Rooney says she has no regrets. She has one more book due in 2022, The Fears you Fear, but it will be her last.

“I can’t work in an industry that purports to care for children yet polices and punishes those who raise safeguarding concerns,” she says. “Regardless of what anyone believes, we should always be free to talk about what’s in the best interests of children.”

However, given her venomous treatment, and that of her fellow authors, it seems unlikely she will be the last victim of the publishing purges. Her story, of overcoming barriers and reaching success in middle-age, is surely impressive; it ought to serve as an inspiration to aspiring writers. But thanks to the stunted vision of those who hold sway in children’s writing, the moral of Rooney’s tale is entirely different: “publish and be damned”.


Josephine Bartosch is a freelance writer and assistant editor at The Critic.

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Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago

Why would anyone employ a person who is ‘woke’? They seem totally toxic socially and to any work environment. Instead of getting on with the job in good humour, they would down tools and undermine colleagues at the merest hint of wrong-speak, undercutting the business to promote their agenda. An office can’t operate with that level of festering distrust in its midst.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Woke is a cosy club where nobody is allowed to stand out. Mediocrity has to employ mediocrity so as not to look, er, mediocre

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

The ‘woke’ people in any workplace are always the ones who actively promote themselves by talking about ‘inclusion’. Not of people who don’t agree with them though!
I work for a public sector organisation where the new thing is ‘bringing your whole self to work’. We are constantly bombarded with blogs about people’s ‘identities’ and who they do, or do not, sleep with. I recently made a comment on one of these abhorrences that I had absolutely no desire to ‘bring my whole self to work’ and I had no wish to know about the ‘whole selves’ of others. I would like work communications to be about work and, as long as people do their jobs and behave professionally, I have no interest in what they do at home.
There were no responses to this. I suspect it didn’t compute with many. I am 61 and partially retired, I have a postgraduate qualification in Employment Law, and I have no fear of making general statements, although I am careful not to attack individuals. Many, younger, people agree with me but are too scared to speak out.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago

Good for you for speaking out! It’s terrifying to be employed these days because most people don’t have a safe way to resist woke policies.
I’m an attorney too; I took an early retirement when a far-Left progressive District Attorney took over the office where I worked. But I still get my continuing legal education credits via the classes that the DAs office offers at a very low price so I may be in a position one day (when we go back to in-person training, if that actually happens with Eternal Covid) to be confronted with some super-woke presentations. I fantasize about having to introduce myself in today’s woke, “whole self/identity categorical fashion.” Since people are now expected to divulge all sorts of personal info along with their names, it would be hilarious to really lay it out for the audience:
“Hi, I’m Sheryl! I’m 1/32 Native American and 31/32’s of myself apologizes to my Native ancestors for stealing the land upon which we stand. I identify as heterosexual although there were some bi-curious moments in college, and also identify as a woman on account of the two babies who dropped out of my womb and the gallons of milk that were produced by these sweater-puppies right here. Now, let’s talk about menopause….”

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

An amusing introduction. I am retired so don’t have to indulge in such a ritual.
However, I thought the old one drop of blood rule still operated in the US at least to those who wish to claim membership of one of the oppressed minorities. Surely with 1/32 Native American blood you are entitled to claim full membership of oppress status – certainly ahead of Elizabeth Warren.
How come you don’t mention your preferred pronouns- surely your not yet up to speed there.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

As far as the Native American ancestry, I did mention it from time to time in the past as just an interesting artifact of having come from Appalachian stock, where such a genetic mixture isn’t super-rare. If only I had known that I could have become a professor at Harvard Law School had I highlighted this fact!

Shauna Hunt
Shauna Hunt
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Appalachian stock isn’t bad! I’m of Appalachian descent, too. We have Melungeon names and physical features in my line.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago
Reply to  Shauna Hunt

Shauna, hey there! Appalachian ancestry is definitely cool. I seriously think that it’s where I get my stubborn streak.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

How come you don’t mention your preferred pronouns- surely your not yet up to speed there. ]]]]
I have thought a lot about what my preferred pronouns would be if I chose to advertise them.
After learning that the neo-pronoun “hir” is pronounced “here,” I’m leaning towards my label reading: Hir, Their, and Everywhere.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Thank you for that: easily the most astute and amusing comment I’ve so far seen this morning (being in NZ). Perfectly captures the prevailing lunacy: the last sentence in particular made me laugh aloud.
I’ve also noticed the rash of pronoun demarcations, etc., appearing on colleagues’ email footers and shuddered inwardly. Refusing to participate, I still have sufficient working life ahead of me and a strong enough sense of self preservation to clam up on the subject and play “Birdbox”. Can’t shake the fear that I’ll be approached at some stage over my non-compliant attitudes. God help us, when and where will it end?

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

Where will it end? It won’t until people resist. Laws protecting people from being forced to reveal personal information and from being subject to compelled speech might help.
Being forced to participate in these identity-disclosure games is truly horrifying when it comes to their application to children. Why is it so hard to see that it’s NOBODY’S BUSINESS what goes on in a child’s head? It’s nobody’s business what (or if) a child thinks about their “sexuality.” Leave them alone!
Just because it comes in the guise of teaching doesn’t make it any less invasive, harmful, and creepy. For clarity, imagine that the school bus driver or janitor was asking these same sorts of questions of children.

Last edited 2 years ago by Sheryl Rhodes
Richard Parker
Richard Parker
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Quite so: a critical mass of opposition is needed. When quizzed by some self appointed witch-smeller pursuivant, asking “And you are
?” would be a good start. Taking them too seriously is just drinking the kool-aid, though they are still a clear and present threat, I agree.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Yes, it’s all a bit of a character test for all who think they would have been brave enough to speak out against the Nazis.If one can’t resist compulsory personal pronouns and bringing you whole self to work why would one think one would have rested the far more threatening Nazis.
Fortunately as I am retired I don’t have to face that test.
It requires a certain intellectual countervailing fanaticism to resist “compelled speech”. The sort that Jordan Peterson brings to the table, but not so many others. The tendency is to shrug and say to oneself: “ What does it matter. If they are so keen on it why not just go along with the whole madness”. That is why the fanatics tend to carry the day.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

Yes I couldn’t help chuckling out loud too – to my wife’s puzzlement when I explained it was about preferred pronouns. She is long retired and isn’t into reading about this sort of nonsense so it made no sense to her.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago

I work for myself as an engineer, just slightly older than you. All of my work is in the Third World where wokeness hasn’t yet taken off. I couldn’t do what you do. Every sane person I know tells me stories about how woke ideas cover laziness – using woke excuses to avoid work.
In India the caste system rules. Some are low and some high. The high treat the low with extreme cruelty. We are the opposite. The cleverer workers who really work have to bow to those who are lazy and want to talk about themselves.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

“Talking about themselves” is the very essence of woke culture. Self-absorption is the inevitable disease produced by the acute individualism of our time.

Fermented Agave
Fermented Agave
2 years ago

“I work for a public sector organisation where the new thing is ‘bringing your whole self to work’.”
Sounds Inclusive and Fun until you show up wearing a MAGA hat.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
2 years ago

Well said. I am so glad I retired 4 years ago.

chris4
chris4
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gourley

More important that you speak out then? Those in work have a lot to lose.

chris4
chris4
2 years ago

I agree, it seems ‘whole self’ is extended to family responsibilities and working from home exacerbates this. A recent call with my bank was deferred several times due to childcare issues. I tried to understand, and have some symapathy for lack of good childcare etc but in the end my priorities as a customer were being ignored.

M Harries
M Harries
2 years ago

I too work for a public sector organisation. Our services involve working cooperatively with the police. I’ve recently received an email from one officer where ‘she’? included her personal pronouns ‘she/her’ in her closing. This left me feeling ill at ease to say the least. I am on contract and will respond expressing my objection to her on my last day, when I’ve nothing to lose. This is what I find somewhat comforting; I will have an opportunity to object without jeopardising my employment prospects.

Having said that, any subsequent contract posts on offer will no doubt be out of bounds for me. Why would the company take the chance of having the hassle of dealing with me rocking the boat? What for? Like anyone else, their HR department wants a quiet life. This is the ‘ghosting’ phenomenon in action I suppose.

It is fascinating to see how powerful ‘ghosting’ in various guises can be. We have huge swathes of the population, particularly many political and cultural elites, accepting this glaring TRA gaslighting as a small price to pay for a quiet unencumbered life!

mmccrory11
mmccrory11
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

My business partner and I own a business here in the deep, Deep South. We are definitely not woke, but accidentally find ourselves with a staff of five: two are Caucasian, one is black & white (like the cookie), one has a mother from Spain, one is an Indian who speaks Southern and an Indian language. Of the afore-mentioned people, one is homosexual, two are overweight, two are in therapy, and one is Jewish. Everyone expresses opinions and viewpoionts; no one is offended. Our faux wokeness just goes on and on….

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
2 years ago
Reply to  mmccrory11

Thank God
there are others

Seriously, good on ya, nice to know there are pockets of surviving normality out there.

Sean Penley
Sean Penley
2 years ago
Reply to  mmccrory11

Sounds like you are simply hiring on merit and unintentionally getting a diverse group. Which is of course the very definition of racism these days. I have a feeling it won’t be too long before we can look back and laugh. Billiam Clinton seemed very sincere about being PC in his early presidency and the media seemed to believe it was an important thing. Before he had even left office the conventional wisdom seemed to be that it was all ridiculous and even he wasn’t making any real effort to appear PC anymore.
Of course he wasn’t progressive, he was just playing a role. We’ve seen what the progressives can do before, they haven’t even yet become quite as bad as they were last time around. But they overplayed their hand so far back then that they were sent underground for a century. Hopefully this time it will be longer.

D Ward
D Ward
2 years ago
Reply to  mmccrory11

I work in the city and in my team of 7 i am the only indigenous English. In terms of religion we have 3 muslims, a Hindu, a Lutheran, a Catholic and me; in terms of nationality we have in addition to me a person from Pakistan; an Ozzie; a Portuguese; a South African; from somewhere in the Carribean and a German. We get bombarded by the FCA that we must be “diverse and inclusive”. I wish they would stick to protecting vulnerable people from fraud.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

Quite right to stop children reading her books it might be a terrible shock to them when they open their Guardian to discover the author holds transphobic opinions. Children are so curious but easily shocked by revelations of ugly truths that their sex can’t be changed.
Please note the ironics.
What a nest of snakes.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Sadly you’ve felt you had to make the irony explicit, even to Unherd readers. That’s how pernicious this discourse is. You did capture the agressive stridency of this nonsense though.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

It has to be said, many people here are constantly very close to the downvote button.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I downvoted you as a joke. I sincerely don’t mean it.

Bruce Hill
Bruce Hill
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I downvoted you. That’s a, I say that’s a joke son.

Richard Goodall
Richard Goodall
2 years ago
Reply to  Bruce Hill

You get an upvote for the quote

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

I upvoted you to show my individuality.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Like a cry in the wilderness 😀

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

Some UnHerders are American.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
2 years ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

True, I hesitated for a heartbeat before reading the second to last sentence!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Nest of snakes aptly describes these awful people.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I had a quick search, but couldn’t find any Guardian articles about Rachel Rooney. It’s a pity really, because it would have been interesting.

My heart goes out to her for the way she has been treated

Last edited 2 years ago by rodney foy
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

There was a news story the other day about how Scotch Nits had threatened a Scottish baker and tried to ruin her business after she gave the PM one of her products at a Christmas market.
In support, I went to her website – https://clootiemctootdumplings.com/ – to try to order one. Imagine my delight to find that so many other people have had the same idea that she’s sold out her entire production until the middle of February!
If you buy kids’ books – or indeed any kind – and come across this sort of nonsense, the answer is to buy the book and to boycott those of the hate mob (if there are any). If you are given an offensive lecture or an insulting sermon by a woke company’s advertising, boycott the company’s products. These riffraff need to be hit in the pocket.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I too responded to this story by ordering two of her dumplings (no pun thank you) and some tablet too – and she’s got such a full order book they won’t be delivered until February.

Mathilda Eklund
Mathilda Eklund
2 years ago

Just ordered a bunch of her books!

Michael James
Michael James
2 years ago

It’s virtually the defining feature of totalitarians that the thing they most want to suppress is truth. They ‘speak power to truth’, as it were.

Last edited 2 years ago by Michael James
Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael James

‘Speak power to truth’ – that’s spot on. I’ll use it if you don’t mind.

Martin Dukes
Martin Dukes
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael James

Oh, I like that!

Madeleine Jones
Madeleine Jones
2 years ago

This is such an important article. It’s baffling that Harper Collins, who is owned by News Corp, dropped Philips. If I voiced her views on Sky News Australia, I’d get no backlash from News Corp. But under a children’s imprint? That’s crazy.
Considering the cultural power of traditional publishing, now is the time for alternative publishing houses. Self-publishing gets expensive fast and most magazines won’t review your book.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago

In my experience, publishing is populated with bitchy young women who know nothing but are certain they’re on the “right side”. Gone are the smart, talented men with experience, a history of success, and an eye for talent who used to run the industry. I can’t read much of the dreck being published now.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago

I suspect that’s true in many industries (and education).

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago

They have been shamed into disappearance because “male toxicity” and need for “more women’s voices.”
.

Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
2 years ago

As I read this article I felt myself becoming more and more angry at the treatment of Rachel Rooney. Your idea of alternative publishing houses is a good one if there is someone out there to finance it.
Also much of what has been written about Rachel could be classed as hate speech and should be reported. Somehow we have to find ways confronting the wokes and using the law as they do could be effective.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago

JK Rowling could afford it.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I bet it still hurt though, especially when those reptilian three young actors that she gave their careers and supported them so kindly through those vulnerable early years.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hilary Easton
Helen E
Helen E
2 years ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

I agree. Say their names: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and the other one, the ginger. Rupert somebody.
Reptilian doesn’t begin to describe their traitorous careerist behavior. But I repeat myself: they’re actors.
JK Rowling is a towering creative, whose works will enchant long after these three numbkins disappear.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
2 years ago

Absolutely, surely there must be some way to legally counter this victimisation and slander.

I contend it is slander to call someone transphobia for stating a demonstrably true fact, and damages should be awarded of it can be shown to have cost then financially. Does the law really not protect us from this?

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

It’s interesting just how much of the woke energy has gone into the trans thing. Before it erupted, I think we all thought the targets would be quite different. Another round of man bashing looked on the cards, and in academia I think we all expected evolutionary psychologists to be the target.
If this bizarre turn had not happened, I can’t help wondering whose books would be being burned, and who would be cheering round the bonfire.

Hersch Schneider
Hersch Schneider
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Agreed. Rooney even described herself previously as ‘woke’.
Suddenly the monster turned on those who helped create it, and it’s thoroughly amusing to sit on the sidelines for once and watch all this madness unfold

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
2 years ago

E.g. J.K. Rowling.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

if you’ll join me in donning a tin foil hat for a moment, i think James “Jennifer” Pritzker has a lot to do with why Trans is the mania de rigueur, as the saying goes “follow the money”.

im not familiar with the below website, so not sure what their bias is but they have a chronology on Mr /Ms Pritzker involvement.
https://4thwavenow.com/2016/07/11/follow-the-money-trans-billionaire-makes-new-1-million-grant-to-chicago-pediatric-transition-clinic/

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Thanks for that link

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

True, and if I was a conspiracy theorist I might visualise a cabal of anti-feminists in smoke filled rooms dreaming up a way that they could revenge themselves and bomb feminism back to the stone age.

I see their eyes lighting on de Beauvoir’ s statement that ‘a woman is made not born’ and saying “that’s it! We’ll hoist them with their own pĂ©tard.” It was a stroke of genius.

I hope you’re happy now, Mr Morley, I suspect you of being the ringleader.

Christina Dalcher
Christina Dalcher
2 years ago

Oh, I hear this message loud and clear. The “ghosting,” the online vitriol (usually from people who haven’t read the book), the being dropped by agents, the warnings about what you post on social media, and
ultimately
the (sometimes polite, sometimes not) phone call from that publisher who once thought you were a rock star saying “So sorry, but we can’t publish your next book — it might alienate some people.”
I’m not complaining for myself. I’m fortunate to be an older author with a wide range of interests and hobbies. But I’m really sad to say that Rachel Rooney’s experience is probably only one of hundreds, most of which we won’t hear ever hear about.

Dapple Grey
Dapple Grey
2 years ago

‘Two independent bookshops had refused to stock my latest picture book, The Problem with Problems’
Which independent bookshops? They should be named so people can refuse to buy books from them.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
2 years ago
Reply to  Dapple Grey

Excellent idea!

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

It’s worse today.

It’s publish and be harangued.

John Tyler
John Tyler
2 years ago

Good article! It’s not original to say so, but to anyone who has read around the subject of China’s Cultural Revolution the parallels are striking. Especially notable is the way in which a minority of ‘activists’ can so frighten the majority in any profession to self-police against things they secretly recognise as both extreme and vicious.

In a communist dictatorship it is easy to end once the decision is made that permanent cancel-culture takes on a life of its own and is therefore counter-productive to ‘the party’. It’s more difficult in a democracy, where you can’t simply deactivate the activists by sending them to forced labour and informing everyone that they were counter-revolutionaries and the party never agreed with them.

Michael James
Michael James
2 years ago
Reply to  John Tyler

But the woke can rely on cowardice, which is in abundant supply in democracies.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael James

Perhaps there are additional variables to explain this phenomenon? Ideological possession as in true believers (who accept the tenets of queer theory) in gender identity ideology; those who inappropriately expand their compassion beyond its applicability; those who view reality initially through feelings that distort the nature of the issue etc, etc?

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
2 years ago
Reply to  John Tyler

Re your last sentence, we can but dream …

Will Cummings
Will Cummings
2 years ago

The next step is to retroactively apply transgenderism to history in order to highlight the contributions of famous women like Louis Pasteur, Genghis Khan, and Karl Marx.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago
Reply to  Will Cummings

I swear George Washington was a woman – her wore wigs and stockings after all.

R MS
R MS
2 years ago

Name the names.
It’s intolerable that people can throw this filth at other anonymously.
Let them defend their views and actions as best they can. And then let the rest of us judge.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago

JK Rowling needs to pick up the baton and help protect her colleague authors being bullied out of publishing. Maybe start her own publishing house supported by blogs and podcasts.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

That would be fantastic.

Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

She may not have the kidney for it, as they used to say in politics.

William Cameron
William Cameron
2 years ago

Why dont companies tell both the trans nutters to get knotted ? What are they frightened of ?

William Hickey
William Hickey
2 years ago

You have to admire the dedication and ruthlessness of the believers who profess our new pseudo-religion, and their strategy.

They’ve taken the same passive-aggressive tactics of slander and black-balling that they developed to purge right-wingers from the universities and implemented them into journalism and publishing. Faculty lounge Iagos, triumphant.

The genius of the campaign is that nobody can effectively complain, because the conduits of opinion have all been conquered.

It’s as if Joseph McCarthy and HUAC were raging on and Hollywood was blacklisting, but Edward R Murrow couldn’t appear on CBS or have an op-ed printed in a major newspaper.

It points up the undeniable truth that in a post-modern social media age, control of the means of communication is the first order of business for a revolutionary.

And that for a rebel the only solution to the Gordian Knot of silent, intertwined media manipulation by the zealots of Woke is Alexander’s.

Hail, Pinochet!

Last edited 2 years ago by William Hickey
Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

In the very first paragraph, you have unnecessarily hyphenated two verbs (snuff out and sniff out), but ‘wrong-think’ is just fine because that’s a noun.

You quote Rooney as saying “
. admitted to being too scared to speak out — others said they had been warned off from engaging with the topic.’ And so here ‘speak out’ and ‘warned off’ are, as printed, correct.

I am reminded about what Becket had said (or written): um, I think he wrote, “I can’t go on. I must go on.” Anyway, you wouldn’t write that as:
“I can’t go-on. I must go-on”, would you?

“Get out” and “get-out”, an example I use, mean completely different things. But when uttered, they have a different emphasis in pronunciation, moreover. On discovering Santa stuck in the chimney, you would not have much hope of dislodging him saying “Get-out Claus!”
You must tell the old, drink-laden sod “Get out Claus!”

I’m sorry for haranguing you on your, is it punctuation or grammar, I don’t know. But I have noticed a recent trend where compound verbs are increasingly getting hyphenated, and compound nouns less so. “You can top-up here” and “Get a top up here”, for example, respectively.
What’s going on? Is it a hidden push to show, to signal, that the order of things can be up-ended, that the world can be turned upside-down?
Note me hyphens at the end there!

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

I did find them odd when reading, but didn’t really give them much thought, until I hit your comment 😉

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrea X
Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
2 years ago

Reminds me of another Beckett one, fortunately less known than ‘I can’t…’.

‘A moralist is one who scratches himself when someone else has the itch.’

Good main article.

Last edited 2 years ago by Dermot O'Sullivan
David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

Or who scratches someone else when he has the itch!

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
2 years ago

In answer to your question, it’s both punctuation and grammar: technically, there are grammatical differences indicated by punctuation. But you’re quite right about the goings-on that are going on.

Martin Dukes
Martin Dukes
2 years ago

Thank you for your wise guidance in these matters. I’m reasonably competent in my native tongue, but I recognise that I still have much to learn and I enjoy seeing correctives of this nature. (I look forward to learning whether my punctuation is at fault here).

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Dukes

Ha!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

Many, she explains, did “get in touch privately and admitted to being too scared to speak out…”

This is just as evil as the people who make baseless claims of transphobia, albeit a far more spineless, cowardly kind of evil.

Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Unfortunately, courage is rare. A small minority of the French were involved with the French Resistance, and many of them were fringe characters already: unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, variegated perverts. Most people who have something significant to lose are damned afraid of losing it.

I’m a Christian, and I think many of us sense that the diabolic is promoting this madness. Even people who don’t have much to lose, or who do, and are ballsy enough to risk it, tend to be intimidated by the darkness which they sense is there. What ought to be ridiculously easy, pointing out that Emperor is wearing the Emperesses’ clothing, is made much harder by it.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob Taylor

I think the problem with ‘courage’ re cancel culture is what can you usefully do that doesn’t get you cancelled? And, when you are shut down, lose your position and voice, who’s listening then?

This author should be adopted by one of the Gender Critical groups. Her own experience, particularly regarding autism, is invaluable. I am personally convinced that a majority of transitioners are on the autism spectrum. Their feeling of ‘not fitting in’ and tendency to be non-conforming perhaps explains why they choose to present as ‘other’.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
2 years ago

Does anyone know a publihing house dedicated to writers who are not seduced by genderology?
If not, shall we set one up?

Last edited 2 years ago by Miriam Cotton
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago

“Snip, snip…. and Bob’s yer’ Auntie”…..

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

Well no, if self identification prevails no need for snip snip. Just Bob was your Uncle now he’s your Auntie and he might revert back at any time. All a bit confusing to the nephew I would have thought.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago

It is quite strange that a comment (one I made below) regarding the publishing of views on transgenderism is itself await approval for publishing lest, I assume, it falls foul of an official, orthodox line on this issue. I hope the latter is not the case.

Last edited 2 years ago by michael stanwick
David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

Usually it’s just a word. Something silly. Even a word entirely relevant to the topic.

Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
2 years ago

This is, of course, not a new problem.

Montaigne wrote that, “
after all, it is rating one’s conjectures at a very high price to roast a man alive on the strength of it.”

He was writing of the witch-hunting frenzy that gripped Europe in the 17th century but Aldous Huxley, who supplies the quotation, in The Devils of Loudun, is explicit that the targets may change: delete witches; insert Jews, Kulaks, (and now JK Rowling, Rod Liddle and all those who won’t sign-up to the Trans lobby’s bullshit) but the method is the same:
“They turn their theories into dogmas, their bye-laws into First Principles
and all those who disagree with them into incarnate devils. 
.[It] makes it possible for them to indulge their ugliest passions with a clear conscience and in the certainty that they are working for the Highest Good.” (The Devils of Loudun, Chap 5).

Last edited 2 years ago by Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
2 years ago

This is, of course, not a new problem.

Montaigne wrote that, “
after all, it is rating one’s conjectures at a very high price to roast a man alive on the strength of it.”

He was writing of the witch-hunting frenzy that gripped Europe in the 17th century but Aldous Huxley, who supplies the quotation, in The Devils of Loudun, is explicit that the targets may change: delete witches; insert Jews, Kulaks, (and now JK Rowling, Rod Liddle and all those who won’t sign-up to the Trans lobby’s bullshit) but the method is the same:
“They turn their theories into dogmas, their bye-laws into First Principles
and all those who disagree with them into incarnate devils. 
.[It] makes it possible for them to indulge their ugliest passions with a clear conscience and in the certainty that they are working for the Highest Good.” (The Devils of Loudun, Chap 5).

Last edited 2 years ago by Simon Diggins
Andy Griffiths
Andy Griffiths
2 years ago

So an author dares to write children’s books about learning to have peace with your body, that it’s OK to be a girl and enjoy doing ‘boyish’ things etc, and has concerns about children’s safeguarding – and these things are regarded as hateful? What the actual **** is wrong with these people?

Andy Griffiths
Andy Griffiths
2 years ago

So an author dares to write children’s books about learning to have peace with your body, that it’s OK to be a girl and enjoy doing ‘boyish’ things etc, and has concerns about children’s safeguarding – and these things are regarded as hateful? What the actual **** is wrong with these people?

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
2 years ago

Maya Forstater, Allison Bailey, Rachel Rooney. All witch-hunted by a gang of mean girls. But Clara Vulliamy is in a different league. Shameful.