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JK Rowling sees through her enemies Her new book is more than a persecution fantasy

"She has always been listening". Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

"She has always been listening". Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images


September 2, 2022   5 mins

Fifteen years ago, on the eve of the release of the final book in the Harry Potter series, an anonymous hacker calling himself Gabriel sent the following to an anonymised email list: “Dear my brothers, Voldemort killed Hermione.”

The sender, who claimed to have phished a copy of the manuscript from a Scholastic employee, and whose idiosyncratic writing style suggests that English was not his first language, went on to enumerate several other (equally inaccurate) plot points from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In doing so, he hoped to curtail the influence of Harry Potter over “the youngs of our earth”, whom he feared would be seduced into neo-paganism: “So we make this spoiler to make reading of the upcoming book useless and boring.”

At the time, guys like Gabriel were widely derided as villains, malicious hatemongers on a shameful quest to ruin everyone else’s good time. But on Wednesday, within hours of the release of a new crime novel by J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, a user named “opiumteaworld” posted the following on Twitter: “[redacted] is the identity of [redacted] and the name of the killer in #TheInkBlackHeart. Retweet as a form of #NonViolentProtest of J.K.Rowling’s relentless enabling of abusive transphobes and the British media ignoring the desecration and destruction of the Manchester trans memorial.”

In the 15 years since Harry Potter made his final stand against Voldemort, the angst directed at Rowling has evolved from nebulous fears of neo-paganism into a far more sustained and focused rage over her perceived transphobia. But when it comes to the shape the anger takes, very little has changed. Rowling’s haters can’t stop her from writing, and they can’t stop people from reading her writing — but by god, they’ll do what they can to make sure those people don’t enjoy it.

This quest by former Rowling fans to ruin her new book is richly metatextual under the circumstances. The Ink Black Heart finds detectives Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott investigating the fatal stabbing of a content creator, a case that centres on the extremely online activities of a toxic fandom that sprang up around an animated cartoon.

Based on the premise alone, it’s no surprise that the novel has been described by Rowling’s critics as “a riposte to those who fantasise about killing her”. And yet the idea of The Ink Black Heart as just the latest entry into a reactionary pissing contest between Rowling and her critics doesn’t quite ring true. It’s not just the length of the book (who wants to write a “riposte” in the form of a 1,000-page novel when Twitter is right there?); it’s that The Ink Black Heart is such an incisive, even prescient, view into how the fan community surrounding a beloved cultural property turns toxic, turns on its creator, and ultimately tears itself to shreds.

Indeed, for all the claims that Rowling is writing in response to her trolls, it’s those same former fans who seem most intent on insisting that life imitates art. For instance, as soon as The Ink Black Heart was released this week, a fake screenshot was immediately circulated on Twitter purporting to prove that Rowling uses another anonymous account to tweet homophobic content — a near-identical smear to those that dogged Rowling’s fictional murdered cartoonist, Edie Ledwell. If I were to collage a series of posts invented by Rowling for her book alongside real responses to its publication from the anti-Rowling contingent, you would not be able to tell them apart.

Ever since social media began allowing fans to both gather en masse and, on those same platforms, to enjoy an unprecedented level of access to content creators, the balance of power between the people who make art and those who consume it has been volatile. That tension is the basis of the “toxic fandom” dynamic whose trajectory was traced by fantasy author Sam Sykes in a viral tweet from 2017: “1. I love this. 2. I own this. 3. I control this. 4. I can’t control this. 5. I hate this. 6. I must destroy this.”

Directed at the work itself, this dynamic begets all sorts of atrocious fan behaviour. But when the focus of the anger shifts from the work to its creator, the ugliness multiplies — and intensifies. This is especially true for someone like Rowling, whose books defined not just the childhood of fans but their adolescence and emergence into adulthood. More than entertainment, the Harry Potter series taught them how to live — and more than just an author, Rowling represented something akin to a moral authority; if not a parent, then a cool, understanding aunt.

For this reason — and also in light of the extremely online plot premise and early buzz about The Ink Black Heart’s self-referential aspects — I had also wondered if Rowling had finally given in to the temptation to stick it to her critics in her work. As an author of thrillers myself, I know it’s a fine line to walk. (I also know that uncharitable readers will invariably assume that the characters in a book are a stand-in for the author whether they are or not.) It was an issue that Rowling addressed directly last weekend, saying: “I should make it really clear after some of the things that have happened in the last year — this is not depicting [that]”, before adding that the first draft of the book was finished well before “certain things” occurred.

Needless to say, Rowling’s critics refuse to believe this. But I do, and not just because the length of time it takes to plot, write, edit, and traditionally publish a book makes anything else extremely unlikely. (There’s a reason it took more than 18 months for the first round of hastily-written pandemic-themed novels to start hitting bookshelves.) It’s that if The Ink Black Heart were truly what it’s been accused of — a thinly-veiled persecution fantasy about Rowling’s victimisation at the hands of her former fans — it wouldn’t be a good story. It wouldn’t treat its characters, including the badly-behaved, narcissistic, vengeful, and murderous ones, with so much interest, or so much compassion. It wouldn’t be a pleasure to read even after some goober on the internet took it upon himself to spoil the killer’s identity.

But — and this is no doubt infinitely frustrating to Rowling’s haters — it is, and does, all of these things. And while Rowling writes about the internecine warfare among the extremely online with the insight and authenticity of someone who has seen that world first-hand, she does not indulge the urge, so prevalent in these communities, to conclude that all this disagreeable behaviour is motivated by rank bigotry, bad character, or a moral compass skewed irretrievably toward evil. She has, ultimately, a novelist’s eye for the complications and contradictions that lie under the surface of human behaviour. Even the bad guys in this world have good reasons, or at least sympathetic ones, why they do the things they do.

Of course, those railing online against The Ink Black Heart have no idea about that; it’s not only acceptable but something of a badge of honour in cases like this to denounce a book, or decry other people’s enjoyment of it, without ever actually reading it. And there is an irony here: despite her own experiences — or perhaps because of them: crime novelists will literally write a 1,000-page murder mystery instead of going to therapy — Rowling has evidently spent more time trying to understand what motivates someone to devote so much of their life to hating someone on the internet than those same people have ever spent examining their own destructive impulses.

The critics rail away about her narcissism, her ignorance, her refusal to listen. But this book makes it clear that they’re badly mistaken: she has always been listening. Not with the empty-headed deference of the obsequious ally, but in the way that all good storytellers do, as a fly on the wall of the discourse, a keen observer of human affairs. And it is this — not her fame, not her money, but her ability to imagine an internet troll in all his sharp-edged human complexity — that ultimately makes Rowling uncancellable. She doesn’t just know her enemies; she knows them better than they know themselves.


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

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Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

So far I’ve had no interest in Rowling’s books. But I think I might look at this. The irony: they try to shut down an author and they create a new reader.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

The irony: they try to shut down an author and they create a new reader.
I bet she understands that too.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I don’t doubt it for a second!

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Plus one- I had the same thoughts exactly.

Tonis Arro
Tonis Arro
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

Metoo

Janice LeCocq
Janice LeCocq
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I’m going to read it. First of hers for me, too.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

#MeToo

Jim Davis
Jim Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie. But the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling hooked me from the beginning. Just downloaded The Ink Black Heart and am about to dive in. If you enjoy traditional English style crime mysteries this series is for you. But start with the first book which properly introduces Cameron Strike and makes you want more.

Tony Sandy
Tony Sandy
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I have no interest in her books either but I have taken an interest in Salman Rushdie’s non fiction books, since the attack upon him but mainly because I read an excerpt featured in a piece on the author. I wrote to her several times, suggesting arguments that might help her cause but she didn’t even give a courtesy reply, thanking me for writing to her. I liked the Harry Potter films but was never
drawn to her Corven Strike works, even as TV adaptions and this failure to be polite has not enamoured me to her either. It might not be all her fault as she is a friend of Stephen Fry and he has taken a dislike of me because I seem to remind him of a time he’d rather forget or is it my ADHD nature as opposed to his bipolarism? Whatever…

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Sandy

The thing is, it’s not all about you

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Says the man that reads the satanic verses and wears a JK Rowling T-shirt in Bristol just to get a rise out of people. Please don’t pretend you’re not desperate for attention.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I’m making it all about me by expressing my support for someone else? Ok …

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Sandy

It’s hard to know whether this is parody or tragedy.

Jan Hinchliffe
Jan Hinchliffe
1 year ago

That last line:
“She doesn’t just know her enemies; she knows them better than they know themselves.”
Rings very true, I think.

Nicholas Coulson
Nicholas Coulson
1 year ago

Sounds like we may have a Satanic Verses 2 on our hands, updated for our times. Bravo JKR – I look forward to reading it.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I’ve been ostentatiously reading The Satanic Verses in public all over Bristol.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Relatively safe city for that.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I wonder how well-founded my suspicion is that you are Galeti Tavas.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Sandford?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Yes, Sandford = Galeti for sure.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago

Mosque free zone?

adrienne Herbert
adrienne Herbert
1 year ago

Except Salman Rushdie is a very intelligent guy. He has said he has two very close friends who have successfully transitioned lol. Rowling is a religious zealot, a full time paid up Church of Scotland, this is the ‘moral’ basis for her transphobia, intellectually as deep as a puddle.
It doesn’t take a Brain surgeon to realize people like Eddie Izzard have female brains.
Rowling has said she might have transitioned herself if given the option. Guess what she should seriously consider it as she’s writing about transpeople under the name Robert Galbraith lol. She is probably deep in the closet and denying who she is with everything she has.
Joanna if you’re reading this you can be happy you know?
The amount of transpeople is 1.4 million in the USA and 350,000 in the UK. It is highly insulting and abusive to say we are all suffering from mental health problems when we aren’t the ones attacking other people’s existence.

Red Reynard
Red Reynard
1 year ago

Well, I have to say; I didn’t realise not having any transitioned friends would preclude one from being intelligent. I really must check my social list, lest I discover my own intellectual enfeeblement. Blimey!

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago

Go on. I’ll bite. Prey tell how is your’s or Eddie Izzard’s brain like mine? What exactly is it about your brain that is clearly female? I have to ask because the last time I read a trans woman’s definition of being female, the trans woman described a blow up doll. I get identifying as woman is preferable to identifying as a blow up doll but we are not the same.

ira kusa
ira kusa
1 year ago

Have “female brains”
 I genuinely cannot understand how we got at a society to the point where this level of stupid is common place. What is a female brain? Someone that can’t park? Much better at figuring out how to use the attachments on the vacuum cleaner? Shouldn’t be able to co-sign a mortgage? So much better at doing the dishes? FFS

There are human brains. And there are a spectrum of characteristics associated with the influence of female hormonal balance (arising in biological females) on brain development. There is no female brain apart from the one that grew up in a biological female. We can literally witness the point in utero that sex differentiation under hormonal influence occurs. Feelings, behaviours, choices and both conditioned and innate tendencies are not derived from biological males having a “female brain”.

I’m a very masculine biological female in terms of career, academic biases, athletic training, muscle mass, preferring the company, the typical politics, the working and the communication style of men


if I had been more vulnerable, or had had more difficult emotional experiences over a base of less mental resilience, I could easily have been persuaded that I was something I’m not, I’m happy I was defended / not exposed to the trans ideology in which I see teenagers are immersed.

We need to stop normalising mental illness, and put an end to this bizarre body of legitimising pseudoscience.

It’s starting to feel like the “science” Hitler had scientists produce that demonstrated Jews were biologically inferior. The mainstream didn’t call that out either, however ridiculous and wrong it obviously was.

In that pseudoscience they had “Jewish brains”, did you know that? Do you see what this abject nonsense you are peddling will do to actual women in the wrong hands?! If there is a “female brain”, then how can women (How can I?) do “mens’ jobs”?! The things you believe are demonstrably not real. Please stop trying to force the rest of us to go along with saying they are real.

Live however you want, good luck to you, but leave the impressionable minds alone and away from your nonsense, please. Sorry not sorry.

Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
1 year ago
Reply to  ira kusa

Hello. I am very sorry that you feel transgenderism akin to Nazism. I can assure you, transfolk and Nazis are as ideologically apart as two people can be! That aside, you raise a number of other points I’d like to challenge: you mention that you yourself are a ‘very masculine biological female’ and imply that if you had had ‘less mental resilience’ you may have been diagnosed as FTM transgender. This would likely not have been the case, as the path to transitioning and getting that official change would have been very, very vigorous. You would have had to have had gender dysphoria, which may have manifested as being uncomfortable as a woman. You appear to be a perfectly well-rounded and intelligent woman, so I doubt anyone would have diagnosed dysphoria. Simply being ‘masculine’ would not have cut it! Also, there is a period (maybe 1 or 2 years, I forget) where you must live as your chosen gender. For this hypothetical you, this would be at least twelve months where you dress entirely as a man would, use male pronouns and likely change your name to a man’s. This is a hard process for anyone who is not transgender to go through. Being vulnerable does not fit, it is much much easier to not go through this than it is to do it.
Also, you mention ‘men’s jobs’ in regards to ‘female brains’. While I agree that I think ‘female brains’ is an unfortunate turn of phrase (I believe current research shows the differences between gender’s brains are negligible), I don’t quite understand how having a ‘female brain’ would effect employment opportunities for trans women and cis women? What are men’s jobs?
And, lastly, you ask what a female brain is. I would agree with your criticism. There is no female personality or male personality (as anyone who knows more than two women and two men knows!). In fact, the chromosomal differences between men and women are still being studied (it’s frightening how little we know!) so the assumption that men and women are seperate in the sense of how they think is rubbish. There is a fascinating book called Testosterone Rex about the differences between men and women biologically. I highly recommend it.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Bloggs

There is no such thing as a “cis” woman. There are only women, and trans-identified men.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
22 days ago
Reply to  Joe Bloggs

Having transsexual women as friends for the last 50+ years, I disagree. These men were gay at a time when homosexuality was illegal and grew up in pastor families in the “Bible Belt of the USA”! Their own fathers sent them to Argentina and paid for their operations. No gender dysphoris there. They ( all 5 of them emigrated to the UK) at different times in the early 70s and met my mother who introduced them to her family.

They have bern bullied and harrassed by the “trans mob” – their phrase not mine- because they are honest about who and what they are, men presenting as women. No gender dysphoria in any of them. They also still grieve for the lives they could have had if they had grown up in different times and a different place.

They are all decent, responsible human beings who respect women, their rights and their fight for these rights and spaces. And they have akways used men’s, spaces safely. Unlike me who has been assaulted twice by transwomen using women’s spaces.

So pontificate all you want but we are dealing with humans who all have their own stories… The differencecis the thinking of some men who think women are a sub species of the human race and they can do “it better”!

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
22 days ago
Reply to  ira kusa

Thank you. Makes perfect sense to me.

Too Loose Low Trek
Too Loose Low Trek
1 year ago

1.4m? Source?

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
1 year ago

The amount of transpeople is 1.4 million in the USA and 350,000 in the UK.
Geez! That’s a lot of Crazy people out there!

Last edited 1 year ago by Leonel SIlva Rocha
harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

On the other hand, perhaps you ARE suffering from a mental health problem as you think JK Rowling (or anyone else) is attacking your EXISTENCE. Nobody is. Your pretensions, yes. Your existence, definitely not. And PS: JK Rowling has never said, or even intimated, that trans people suffer from mental health problems. She simply advocates for women-only sex-based spaces.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago

There is no such thing as a female brain. This has been scientifically established. Sex is in the genes, the organs, and the endocrine system.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago

Happily, she is still laughing all the way to the bank.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Long may that continue. We need people like Rowling.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

It just occurred to me that Rowling may play the same role in our current manic world that Charles Dickens did for the first half of the Victorian era and Mark Twain did for the second half — holding a mirror up to society and dodging the rotten vegetables thrown by those who didn’t like what they saw.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

And so are the content creators that attempt to focus our attention on miniscule subject matters like transphobia. Why are we spending so much time on something so remote as “trans issues” when the world is literally crumbling before our very eyes?

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

If you feel no empathy towards transgender people because they’re different to you, that at least explains why you don’t care. I’ve heard a lot of people try to downplay the constant hate and violence transgender people are subjected to, but so far you’re the first to actually describe it as “miniscule”.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

I feel no empathy toward them because they threaten to kill or dox those who are working hard to prevent trans ideology from being codified into law. That this stupidity is so prevalent in education is one of the reasons I left teaching. I can no longer be part of a system that actively seeks to distort children’s sexual identities by promoting life-altering drugs and surgery behind parents’ backs.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Most of it isn’t directed at transgender people but at the ridiculous and nasty transactivists and their allies (like you, apparently) who advocate in their name. Nobody cares what someone calls themselves or what they wear. They do care about being compelled to speak in ways that contradict reality.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
22 days ago

The hate and violence in the UK seems to be a one-way street! Accept “our right to take what we want when we want it” or be called transphobic. This is seen when women try to meet to discuss women’s issues and when the language all women understand is changed to accommodate a tiny minority, who think they are special.

Having a lifetime of knowing transsexual women has coloured my thinking. And yet because we, me and them, believe that women’s rights are important, if that makes me a “transphobe”, so be it. Those shouting loudest are the most discriminatory, exclusive people on the planet and are not the most vulberabke as they like to te the rest of us. Maybe in the USA but not in the UK. Think street homeless women, people with a Learning Disability, people with dementia and other neurological disorders thst they live with every day, quadreplegics… The list goes on. Much more vulnerable and nobody has set up a media movement to make sure their needs are met and views listened to and they are in every film/TV programme!

Maybe time for the “trans mob” and their allies to rethink their ideological campaigning and be honest about what they want. When they fight for their own spaces,maybe we will support as long as they respect the women’s rights that our grandmothers, mothers, aunts and sisters fought a long hard 100 years for.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Because forcing society to deny reality is extremely scary. As Julie Burchill recently wrote, “If the little boy said the Emperor had no clothes today, he’d be arrested for a hate crime.”

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Which is good.

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Yes, and yet she keeps saying she is being cancelled and playing the victim while she keeps attacking.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Why exactly does it bother you as a man that women don’t want to share their toilets and changing rooms with men?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

Receiving death threats for stating simple truths is ‘attacking’?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

So now advocating for women-only sex-based spaces is called “attacking”. Who knew?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I went for a nice 7 mile run round Bristol in my “I stand with J.K.Rowling” t-shirt this morning.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

While ostentatiously reading the Satanic Verses?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

Jeez that would be a tough exercise regime – it’s bleedin’ heavy!

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Err no it isn’t the paperback weighs….. wait a sec… 377gms (13 oz) for you oldies… 🙂

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I’m not identifying as a woman at the moment, and my multitasking capabilities have suffered accordingly.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Oh, you’re wicked! 😉

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago

That was funny, well done!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Haha, yes it was wasn’t it!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

And wearing a MAGA cap.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Good idea. Can’t stand Trump on a personal level, but we must all do what we can to antagonise the woketurds.

Justin S
Justin S
1 year ago

Rowlings critics are composed solely from one group of people – the trans section and their far left ‘allies’.

In effect every attack should be seen as the planned, deliberate, systematic and organised actions of what are mainly militant men and some women in the trans space.

Their objective is not literary or artistic comment or critic – No it’s about destroying a perceived transphobe, silencing her and further making a demonstration of her destruction and vilification and ideally, from a trans movement perspective, shunning her in society.

The trans movement must surely be treated as a hate crime producer, maybe even a proto terrorist movement in the way that the early anarchists were. Negativity, societal divisiveness, double speak, mass delusion and hate appear to be the outworkings of the Transexual delusion and its proponents.

For what at core should really be regarded as a mental health illness in the individual there seems to be a disproportionate focus and energy in the topic and I wonder where that comes from if not a deliberate policy of the far left?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Justin S

Yes, a very, very small group of people who earnestly believe that they are not suffering from a psychosis, but the rest of society is.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

If you’re really trapped in a body that isn’t for you, you have my sympathy; it wouldn’t occur to me to hate or discriminate against anybody for that reason. Why, though, would you go out of your way to erode that sympathy by abusing others? I have no sympathy for abusers, and I don’t think many other people do either. From the point of view of getting the world at large to accept trans people and be sensitive to trans issues, the hate campaign against Rowling is irrationally self-sabotaging.

Let’s hope for the sake of trans people in general that it is indeed a very tiny minority doing this. That presumed minority is giving many who’d never even thought of disliking trans people any number of excellent reasons to detest and be wary of those identifying as trans.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark Kennedy
Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Kennedy

Have you read this entire comment section, making fun of trans people, spreading mysoginy and quite literally minimising the hate and violence transgender people are subjected to every day? Who is bullying who?

Justin S
Justin S
1 year ago

No. You mis use that word. Misogyny is the hatred of women.

Trans men Are Not and can never be women. That is the delusion. Their delusion and the delusion that they are so determined to promulgate to the world.

Last edited 1 year ago by Justin S
Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
1 year ago
Reply to  Justin S

I think you’ve mistakenly confused trans men with trans women. That’s OK. You are right that trans men are not women. They are men. You are correct that misogyny is prejudice against women, although transfolk are rarely the perpetrators of misogynistic behaviour. Women are in danger due to cis men. Women are abused by cis men, they are assaulted and raped by cis men. Perhaps you could explain where you believe trans people are practicing misogyny as a community?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Bloggs

no he got it right. You’re out of your mind stupid. All you have to do is watch video of trans”women” abusing “Let women speak” in New York and it’s clear women are in grave danger from xy transactivists and their stupid antifa allies.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
22 days ago
Reply to  Joe Bloggs

What are “cis men”? Ha ing worked for many years eith convicted sex offenders, guess what, they dont come with tattoos on their forehead saying “Im dangerous , keep away!”

The majority are ordinary blokes you wouldn’t look twice at. And ehile the msjority of crimes agaunst women are perpetrated by men, women dont know which men are decent human beings and which wsnt to harm them.

Why did we fight so long and so hard for single sex spaces where no man is welcome?

As I said above, transsexual women of a certain vintage respect women only spaces and stay away out of respect for the women who use them. When others want to cross the line, we will fight back as is our right. Transwomen can fight for their own safe spaces just like women had to. That is not transphobis, but a recognition of biological reality (most transwomen do not have surgery or take hormones, which mskes them, what?).

Steve Walser 0
Steve Walser 0
1 year ago

The trans are bullying children, that’s who.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

It’s JK Rowling who is subjected to hate and violence every day from transactivists and their allies. Who would dare do so to trans people minding their own business, especially in this climate?

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
22 days ago

Mmmmmm…

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Justin S

“Negativity, societal divisiveness, double speak, mass delusion and hate appear to be the outworkings of the Transexual delusion and its proponents.”
And the mutilation of children. We’re talking about sadistic paedophilia.

Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I do find some arguments against the transgender movement more credible than others. That its proponents are paedophiles is…laughable. If you are worried about the rise in younger children transitioning at such an early age, I would join you. Those below the age of consent should not be able to medically transition – and guess what, they can’t! Not in the UK, at least.
Also, societal divisiveness is not something transfolk want, how could it be? Transfolk want to be accepted as normal members of society and of their respective genders. This is not negative to me, nor delusional. I don’t see any Orwellian subtext, yet perhaps you could point it out for me? Hate being a central part of the transgender movement is even more unrealistic. The transgender movement do not hate Rowling, they fear her.

Z 0
Z 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Bloggs

Um, it’s common for hate to be based on fear, whether rational or not.
—–
I think this discussion is getting muddy by treating every trans person as if were one of the loud trans activists. But trans folks do not comprise a monolith, much less clones of the most publicised activists.
They everyday non-activist trans folks I’ve personally known have been “just folks” trying to deal with their lives, individually as easy or hard to get along with any any other diverse group.
The trans activists, like most of today’s activists, are on average not a representative sample of the community on whose behalf they claim legitimacy. Today’s neo-progressive activism appeals to certain personality types, within every “identity group”. When somebody identifies as an activist today, that tells me that most likely they are trapped in confirmation bias and certainty of their moral superiority (with exceptions). This seems to be true of most trans activists as well.
I do not hold all trans people accountable for what the extremists say and do. I know many are embarrassed. And I don’t expect that they are supposed to muzzle the activists who would speak on their behalf – most are busy trying to forge a complicated life, and cannot afford to be hated by the activists; they are more vulnerable than anybody else. Most of all, they don’t have the personality traits of the strong activists, to want to form into a different kind of activists against the current activists.
To take an example, consider trans women athletes.

Transfolk want to be accepted as normal members of society and of their respective genders

Ah, there’s the rub. Activists believe that acceptance can be coerced through power over others, while most of the ordinary trans folks I’ve known strove to earn acceptance and respect. One wants workplace rules, social rules, and legislation which forces everybody to perceive them as they wish to be perceived (including things like “accepting” that some penises and testicles must be perceived as female genitals, even by Lesbians). The other tries to pass and to fit in quietly.
The large bulk of reactivity is due to the behaviors of prominent activists, not due to regular trans folks. I have not found ordinary trans folk to be any more or less hateful than the rest of the population, but some of the trans activists do seem to be very hateful people, in reading what they write (not relying on what other write about them).
I keep those separate. But if one conflates all trans people into a blob, then one can make statements like “Trans folks hate/ do not hate JK Rowling”, which can be true or false depending on which group within trans people one has in mind.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
1 year ago

A very perceptive article. For what it’s worth, my daughter and her friends were among those who camped outside book stores, eagerly awaiting the release of new volumes in the Harry Potter series. Rowling herself is too intelligent and empathic (just listen to her commencement address to Harvard students) to be guilty of the cartoon level nastiness her self-identifying enemies claim motivates her. These same enemies have revealed themselves to be abusive and mean-spirited enough to take the edge off my enthusiasm for trying to understand them, but kudos to Ms. Rowling for her efforts in that direction. Between her purported phobias and character deficiencies and theirs, I’m grateful my daughter was exposed to the former.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark Kennedy
Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Kennedy

I was one of those children that stood in line to buy her books. Her books about acceptance, challenging power and accepting people that are different to you. Then she started saying transgender people were just doing it as an excuse to get into women’s toilets so they could rape them. It would be hard to say anything more vile than what Rowling has said for herself. I’d rather not try.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago

“So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.” JK Rowling
if you could take your head out of you bum for one second and read what she actually said and not what social media has told you that she said then you will see that she hasn’t said trans women are rapists, she said self ID opens the doors to all men including predators. Of course she may feel differently now that she has received death and rape threats from trans people and their allies.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lindsay S
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Thanks for dealing with the wokey.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Ah, a millennial. That explains a lot.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

A child.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Exactly. An angry entitled boy.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago

That’s a rather lurid claim; might even be libellous. Can you provide a reference for Rowling having stated this?

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
1 year ago

In short, you’re a disappointed fan who’s convinced Rowling has betrayed her principles. It’s therefore doubly ironic that you can read a review article of a book about “how the fan community surrounding a beloved cultural property turns toxic, turns on its creator, and ultimately tears itself to shreds,” and fail so abysmally to recognize yourself in it. You’ve amply confirmed my suspicions about your lack of reading comprehension, along with the author’s contention that, when it comes to grasping the nuances of Rowling’s motivation and the depth of her insight into the motivation of her attackers, “those railing online against The Ink Black Heart have no idea about that.”

Having zero inkling what the article’s about, and no apparent interest in the case its author is trying to make, you’re consequently unable to contribute anything relevant to the issues raised. All you see here is another occasion to ritually denounce those you’ve painted into the wrong corner of a black and white virtue war–a war which provides the attackers with so little in the way of legitimate grievances that they’re reduced to manufacturing enemies and the evidence of their misdeeds, all while portraying themselves as victims. It’s the cartoon nature of the misunderstanding (and the tedium of the robotic parroting) that accounts for the downvotes, Gareth, not any animus against trans people. Not only is the war itself spurious, you haven’t even grasped that this isn’t a front in it. If you devoted less energy to posturing and insulting people’s intelligence, and more to understanding what’s at issue in the article, perhaps you’d earn an upvote or two. Prattling on about “accepting people that are different” makes a point that neither Rowling nor anybody here is contesting.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark Kennedy
harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

She never said that. Everything you state above is false.

Andy B
Andy B
1 year ago

Of course the article fails to make a distinction between true fans and those who join to cause trouble. Rowling’s “toxic fandom” are not her fans, they are those who jumped on board her pro-feminist tweets as a community, and are now outraged at her pro-feminist tweets that have not moved with the times to be pro-trans-anti-feminist.
Take a look at the Tolkien fans. The fanbase there cannot be described as toxic, or wanting to control the writings. They are trying to protect it from similar incursion of newcomers changing the story to be “woke” political messaging.
Many other fanbases are similar, Archcast (on YT) talked about “gatekeeping” where he said many fanbases are criticised for this as a badf thing, by those who want to join the fanbase in order to bend it to their political view as a propoaganda tool.

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy B

For all her faults, J.K. Rowling has been vehemently pro-feminist her entire career. She was a victim of sexual assault and has spoken out about male violence several times. She even used it to justify her transphobia. But it’s amazing that you’re choosing to rebrand her as both a TERF and a mysoginist so she fits your ideology better. I wonder what she would think if she realised these are her supporters now.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

By repeatedly calling her a transphobe you’ve outed yourself as an illiterate moron unworthy of argument and worthy only of the disdain so appropriately directed at you here. Enjoy!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy B

This is currently happening with the Lord of the Rings fan base and Amazon’s Rings of Power. LotR fans are lambasted for being bigoted and outdated for not agreeing with Amazon’s corporate take of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. It’s been decided Tolkien was a racist and it’s Amazon’s job to rectify his work.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julian Farrows
Anna Knowles
Anna Knowles
1 year ago

Not an exact parallel, but isn’t there an echo here of those who sought to destroy Salman Rushdie and The Satanic Verses? ‘Progressives on the right side of history’ and followers of a seventh century death cult seem to have the same vengeful mindset.

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Knowles

Salman Rushdie spoke out against power, and ended up being murdered for it. He tried to change the status quo and gave his life for it. Rowling wants to preserve the status quo because she finds trans people uncomfortable. They are not the same.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Salman Rushdie is still alive. Rowling wants to stop men pretending to be women in order to access female spaces.

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
1 year ago

“Salman Rushdie spoke out against power, and ended up being murdered for it.”
Oh Boy! 🙁

Lina Safro
Lina Safro
1 year ago

Gareth, your entries come across as poorly informed and poorly educated. Please stop. Repeating generic statements which have been debunked as delusions serves no purpose, coming across as tone-deaf grandstanding. Enough already.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
22 days ago

Has Salman Rushdie died? Please provide his obituary …

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Knowles

Progressives are nothing but the opposite. Wokeism and their Far-Left mentors and supporters have deeply regressive, Anti-Science, Anti-factual mindsets. Just like their 7th Century Medieval buddies!

Last edited 1 year ago by Leonel SIlva Rocha
harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

I wish I had thought of that analogy. It’s absolutely correct.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
1 year ago

Thank You.The book sounds fascinating and I can’t wait to read it. I’m looking forward to reading your new book, too.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

The only hurdle is the page count…

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Exactly what I was going to say! So many books nowadays are far too long. Editors would have shortened them in the past to make them more concise and readable beyond the first 150 pages with a flick to the end..

Mike Dearing
Mike Dearing
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Snowflake 😉

William Simonds
William Simonds
1 year ago

One wonders if columnists and commentators didn’t react to and quote tweets and other social media posts if said posts would simply just die. Don’t get me wrong…I think this is a fine article. But still…I wonder if the tweetverse is nothing more than the sound of a tree falling in the forest, except that it is recorded and passed on to the non-tweetverse by well intentioned commentators. Perhaps if we ignored it, it might go away. Just a thought.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

No. I’m not taking woke filth any more, and I’m saying so.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Well said. It does appear that what passes for journalism these days is merely repeating what you’ve read elsewhere.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

I think that’s what Germans and even Jews thought in the 1930s as Hitler rose to power.

This week an Irish teacher has been suspended by his school, with an injunction applied by a court, and threatened with jail next week – because he refuses to use preferred pronouns.

Do nothing, ignore it, and it’ll just get stronger.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Exactly. We’ve got to get nasty with the paedos pushing this nonsense.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Was this in the UK or the ‘Emerald Isle’ may I enquire?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

Ireland, but there’s a little more to this story than meets the eye.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Can you précis the details? Or is it far too convoluted?
I gather the chap concerned has the name ENOCH

wonderful!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

From what I gather the teacher in question comes from a family notorious for initiating litigious law-suits. He was suspended for arguing against using transgender pronouns, but faces possible prison time for refusing to leave the school grounds during his suspension claiming that he just wants to be able to continue doing is job.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Thank you so much.
He sounds like a traditional Irish martyr, the country used to be full of them.

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

…A group of people being denied basic human rights, subjected to violence, threats and slander in the media…and you’re saying they are the Nazis, and the ones attacking them are the Jews….Hitler was very outspoken about the “threat” Jews posed to society. Many Nazis were imprisoned and claimed they were being persecuted for “speaking their minds”. Played the victim, while attacking. But I never thought I’d actually see someone compare transgender people to Nazis. It’s a funny old world…

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

You know perfectly well that he’s comparing the behaviour of the Irish legal system, not transgender people, to the Nazis. Your blatant and facile straw manning is entirely typical of trans activists, and is why you richly deserve the mockery you complain about. At least try to argue in good faith, then the rest of us might take you seriously instead of treating you as a clown.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

Wanting to push self-castration and breast-binding on to children too young to know what sex is while threatening death to those who might object to this? You’re right: nothing Nazi-like about it.

Buddy B.
Buddy B.
1 year ago

Who is being denied basic human rights? Trans identified people have the same rights as every other person in the U.S. and Britain. More than 22,000 Americans were murdered in 2021, less than 50 of those were trans. If you do the math you will find that the murder rate for trans women is lower than that of the general population. The majority were killed by someone that they had an intimate relationship with, meaning their gender identity had nothing to do with their deaths. When you make these kinds of easily refutable claims, then compare the atrocities of Holocaust to the realities of being trans it’s hard to take you seriously.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Please indicate which “human rights” are being denied trans people, or STFU. And nobody’s comparing trans people to nazis. Only the rabid transactivists – and their idiot allies – who purport to speak in their name.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

“Perhaps if we ignored it, it might go away. Just a thought.”
Thats the mistake we’ve made. It doesn’t go away, you have to call it out.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago

The media also ignored the vandalism of the Manchester Arena memorial guardian by sympathetic enrichers so there is no need for trans to feel special.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

And the media ignored the memorial to the victims of the St Petersfield massacre which itself took over 100 years to be put in place, they should consider themselves lucky they haven’t had to wait over 100 years to get a memorial!

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Our media ignores everything these days. All we get is this silly fake voting beauty contest,Love Island and what Mrs Sussex Pudding just said. I follow various youtubers who tell me what is going on in Europe,mainly things I would have learned from the BBC and other MSM even 30 years ago but not now.

Quetzal Seventyseven
Quetzal Seventyseven
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Ffs even Pink News admits that the Manchester Trans Memorial tree caught fire because someone dropped a cigarette into it at a Pride event
Embarrassing 8!
I think they should have been relieved that the media ignored this.

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2022/08/30/nation-trans-memorial-fire-manchester-pride/

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

I don’t think asking for people to accept they exist makes trans people “special” personally. They are asking to be accepted as human beings, and it is amazing how many people think they have the right to deny them that.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago

I haven’t seen anyone deny them there right to exist or their human rights. The argument seems to be more along the lines of what is the definition of a woman. You will find that most biologically female people say that it is defined by ownership of a functioning/once functioning vagina. Not wearing high heels, dresses or make up or simply saying you are one. Apparently that makes me transphobic as I should know that actually I’m merely a mentruator. You speak of denial of rights but this isn’t a denial of human rights, it’s who qualifies for women rights and apparently that is no longer us, mentruators, formly known as women!

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Ha ha! well said! 😀

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Perfect.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

they’re addicted to this “accept they exist” bullsh*t, when nobody has ever denied it.

Ruari McCallion
Ruari McCallion
1 year ago

Good analysis.
I saw something this morning on Twitter – a more restrained load of bile than usual. Someone suggested the quoted tweets looked dull and all written by the same person. Another respondent beat me to it in observing that the nasties looked very much like those JKR has received regularly over the past few years. My initial thought was that she’d simply copied & pasted!
Ms Rowling has had a heck of a lot to put up with the last few years.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

I am currently reading the book. I am finding it hard to plough through all the detail about Twitter and online gaming, because it is not a world that I inhabit, but I am sticking with it because it is important and because there are some wonderful parts that make me laugh out loud. I am particularly amused by her demolition of the ‘mental health’ and ‘chronic pain’ identity cult, which is more arcane and insidious, but possibly even more damaging, than the ‘gender’ nonsense.

N Sarah
N Sarah
1 year ago

Finished today, loved it and found the Twitter and gaming info enlightening…there’s a lot of online hate

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago

Now I really want to read that book.

David Batlle
David Batlle
1 year ago

Everybody sees through J.K. Rowling’s enemies

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
1 year ago

The book arrived in the post this week. Pre-ordered ages ago. Looking forward to reading it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Miriam Cotton
Philip Gee
Philip Gee
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

I just reserved the book from the library here. 20 people before me in the queue. Also reserved Kat’s book.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Is it just me, or is J.K.R. one of the most attractive middle-aged women on earth?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Well she certainly beats those other notorious ‘Botox beasts’, Nancy Pelosi and Judith Keppel.

N Forster
N Forster
1 year ago

Nancy is a bit older than middle aged.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

I think Nancy looks fantastic for 150!

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

😀 😀 😀

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

She is easy on the eye.

David Owsley
David Owsley
1 year ago

Of course there is always the chance she is the ‘hacker’ known as Gabriel…
That said she is becoming increasingly sensible. How amusing the the extremes are uniting Left and Right (yes, yes I know they’re meaningless these days). All she has to do now is stop donating to labour and she’ll be almost perfect 🙂

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  David Owsley

I don’t even mind her Remainer-dom. She was never one of those snobs calling us gammon.

Mike Dearing
Mike Dearing
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Oh dear

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Dearing

Sorry.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

I think that Isaiah has a point with respect to JK Rowling,
“[she] shall mount up with wings like eagles; [she] shall run and not be weary; [she] shall walk and not faint.”
And how.

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago

I read her first non HP book A Casual Vacancy and I didn’t like any of the people in it,but that’s not the point,I did like the social observation. In fact I enjoy books be they funny like Sophie Kinsellas(they’re not all funny),or more gloomyish if they’ve got lots of social observation,that’s my term for when the author points out things about our lives that are so “normal” to us we don’t even notice. It’s strange reading a novel even set in the 1980s,no mobile phones or is that personal spies.
I never read detective fiction or TV versions mainly because I always lose the plot and never care who did what to whom but I’ll read this for the “social observation”.
Its an unpleasant facet of human nature,including me,that when we come across beautiful things we want to own them,control them,like a toddler catching a vibrant butterfly we want that beauty in our hot little hand and thus we kill it. We want that imaginative,cool,and totally hip content creator to rate US,to be our best friend,to GET that we are their psychic twin and frustratingly they put out boundaries and fend us off! It’s been a problem for creators since the beginning of time,wasn’t Dionysus the first victim,is that the right name. At least painters,writers etc can retreat to their work. Youtubers are on public display a lot more,its the nature of the “job” they have chosen. How strange to start doing YouTube as a sideline to your other career and find out that YouTube has become your career. I often wonder how it felt when pop singers (old fashioned term) who thought it was just for a couple of years then they’d have to get a proper job realised they would be doing this for the rest of their lives.
My last remark(too many already) I’ve got overloaded with things I’m not supposed to approve of,and things I am supposed to approve of. I no longer want to think according to other people’s agenda and now I’ve removed the BBC from my life I don’t have to. I don’t like Sexual Depravity in any of its forms,and please don’t say,”ooooh don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it you joyless Mary Whitehouse clone” because I have so that’s how I know it’s horrible and should be hated. Now,you’ll go,”oooooh you’ve got no moral authority”. See,damned if you do damned if you don’t.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  jane baker

“Now,you’ll go,”oooooh you’ve got no moral authority”.”
You won’t get that reaction from me. I think you’re right.

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
1 year ago

Reminds me of Stephen King’s Misery. Except that now the fans don’t have to wait for the author/victim to happen to have a road accident near them …

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago

Actually, when Stephen King released Misery under a psyuedenym he didn’t tell the whole world. He was trying to prove he could write well enough that his books would do well even without his fame. Rowling is just doing it so that she can pretend it isn’t really her when it flops.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Miaow.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

What a cretin you are.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith
1 year ago

I wonder how many of those who want to silence Rowling in one moment go on to defend freedom of speech in another.

Paul Fry
Paul Fry
1 year ago

As Eric July constantly says, “Monetize your haters.” Rowling is merely doing it long form.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

Sounds like an interesting book. Toxic fan communities have always been an underutilised vein. Tumblr and Twitter loons waging war over a character’s skin colour, the Steven Universe debacle and the Ghostbusters 2016 culture war are ripe for examination.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Why would anyone waste their valuable time on earth to do that? 🙂

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Because some people are interested in the psychology behind cult behaviour.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Succinctly dealt with.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
1 year ago

Several of the comments initially posted here (including two of my own) have mysteriously disappeared, though I can’t recall anything in them that would come close to contravening ‘community guidelines’ regulating civil discourse.
 
Is this kind of moderation, if that’s what it is, routine on UnHerd? I haven’t encountered it before.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Kennedy

I’ve noticed that with mine and others responding to posts in another story: The Democrats Green Agenda Is Hurting California.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Chuck Pergiel
Chuck Pergiel
1 year ago

Nicely done. Harry Potter blazed a trail through our house 20 years ago. It was great stuff, but it was 20 years ago. Funny how true believers cling to their hate.

Sheryl White
Sheryl White
1 year ago

I’m reading it and loving it. Thanks for this insightful article ♄

0 0
0 0
1 year ago

I like the series; this book is no exception. The characters are interesting and it has kind of a noir-ish feel which is fun. This one used a heavy “text” oriented style to display content, as if one were looking at a screen, that took some getting use to but was relevant to the story.
She’s a very good storyteller and has a brilliant eye for character dialog and development. That one author can write two different genres so well is quite unusual.
Hope the book sells well, not just for her, but for the toddlers who scream she’s evil.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

Please address: why are comments disappearing?

Too Loose Low Trek
Too Loose Low Trek
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Existential threats.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

More comments removed. What is the explanation?

ira kusa
ira kusa
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Mine too

Too Loose Low Trek
Too Loose Low Trek
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Onanphobic.

Retanot King
Retanot King
1 year ago

When is Rowling going to understand that what is happening is a culture war between cultural Marxists and its hanger-ons, against anyone to the right of Stalin, including the decent liberal-left? She is very naive in this dynamic and does not seem to understand where culture ends, and where ideology and political philosophy begins. She unconsciously keeps it at the cultural level, and ends up playing to their rules, when there is little cultural about this conflict in the first order. Ethics is not culture, politics is not culture, and economic materialism, the root of all dynamics, is not cultural.
Someone please coach her out, or she will either have to submit, or will have to tune out and stop being a fighter. She will never win, given her methodology. And with that she will waste her massive platform away – which is exactly what the baddies are hoping. So sad. Even 18 y.o. Greta has figured that climate change is not about the environment. It is about power, socialism, and anti-capitalism. But our Rowling is still stuck in the morass of subjective and emotional gender debates.

Last edited 1 year ago by Retanot King
Retanot King
Retanot King
1 year ago

When is Rowling going to understand that what is happening is a culture war between cultural Marxists and its hanger-ons, against anyone to the right of Stalin, including the decent liberal-left? She is very naive in this dynamic and does not seem to understand where culture ends, and where ideology and political philosophy begins. She unconsciously keeps it at the cultural level, and ends up playing to their rules, when there is little cultural about this conflict in the first order. Ethics is not culture, politics is not culture, and economic materialism, the root of all dynamics, is not cultural.
Someone please coach her out, or she will either have to submit, or will have to tune out and stop being a fighter. She will never win, given her methodology. And with that she will waste her massive platform away – which is exactly what the baddies are hoping. So sad. Even 18 y.o. Greta has figured that climate change is not about the environment. It is about power, socialism, and anti-capitalism. But our Rowling is still stuck in the morass of subjective and emotional gender debates.

Last edited 1 year ago by Retanot King
Freddie Miles
Freddie Miles
1 year ago

It’s more about being honest with one’s self than listening when it comes a genuine search for answers regarding the source of perceived undeserved hostilities. The use of twitter for sensitive subject matter is likely to be understood as a provocation given that’s usually the MO there so it’s no surprise that poking bears results in ugly retaliation. Given this is hardly news the question has to be asked was this the desired result? There’s this thing called ‘cry bullying‘
.

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Freddie Miles

I’ve heard of that. JK Rowling does that on twitter all the time. I heard she wrote an entire book about it actually.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

You realise that your bitterness towards Rowling is because she said something you didn’t like. That’s all, and not even about you personally. If she really was the transphobe you colour her as then I imagine her latest book would be in that vein. So you create a straw man to satisfy your dissatisfaction with another’s opinion.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Freddie Miles

But there’s also this thing about challenging people of falsely accusing you.

John K
John K
1 year ago

What does “extremely online” (used twice) mean? Is this Brit slang?

Too Loose Low Trek
Too Loose Low Trek
1 year ago
Reply to  John K

It means: bangers and mash.

Che Padron
Che Padron
1 year ago
Che Padron
Che Padron
1 year ago
Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago

Did you really just compare transgender people to neo-pagans? J.K. Rowling said transgender people shouldn’t be allowed into women’s toilets because men would use it as an excuse to rape women. There’s nothing “perceived” about it. She is terrified of transgender people, so transphobic by definition. She uses her influence to attack one of the most misunderstood and marginalised groups of people in society. I’m sorry that you feel that supporting someone who already has such power and influence already is a useful or meaningful use of your time.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

Did she just compare transgender people to neo-pagans? No, she did not.
“the angst directed at Rowling has evolved from nebulous fears of neo-paganism”

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

“one of the most misunderstood and marginalised groups of people in society”
Nonsense. They’re one of the most privileged groups of people in society. They’re so privileged they have become more visible in a decade than homosexuals were over half a century. Their activism and egocentrism can hardly be avoided.

Diana Roussel
Diana Roussel
1 year ago

If you want to reduce ‘her enemies’ to the most cringe-worthy and unhinged who actually espouse violence towards her, sure. Then the last line of this makes sense. But the reality is that by signal boosting transphobic voices that full on support trans eliminationism, and by painting us all as sexual predators, her words and actions do actual harm to a community of people. The fact that Rowling gets criticism and rejection from a lot of her fanbase that identifies as trans or a trans ally should be something she expected and anticipated, if she indeed knew us too well.

Personally, her recent public embracing of transphobia feels like a way to keep her name in the news, since it’s been many a moon since Harry Potter came out and while she’s certainly been milking it since then, she hasn’t ever matched anything close to that success, even with forays into literature for adults. So, punching down on a community that already has so many haters (many even on this comment section right now, hello!) seems to be her way of staying relevant.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
1 year ago
Reply to  Diana Roussel

(?) I just had a stroll through the comments thus far posted (it’s not too big a set to browse), and don’t see anything even vaguely construable as evidence of hatred toward the trans community. Consequently, alas, your claim only tends to reinforce the perception that the case against Rowling is equally evidence-challenged.
 
Have you considered the possibility that, since you so clearly misunderstand the views expressed here, you may be misunderstanding Rowling’s as well?

Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Kennedy

You must have missed the comments comparing transgender people to Nazis, neo-pagans, or the people literally saying transgender people should shut up and go away.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
1 year ago

I had a second look, and I’m still missing those comments. What I see aren’t posts objecting to trans people but to a specific activist movement that uses bullying (and predictably counter-productive) tactics to harass an obviously blameless victim. This malicious group even goes so far as wanting to spoil the reading experience of its victim’s readers, an astonishing and perversely indiscriminate bit of mean-spiritedness.
 
Could it be that your own reading comprehension is every bit as challenged as Ms. Roussel’s manifestly is? Your posts suggest this is a possibility… but they also suggest the kind of paranoia that sees attacks on trans people in an inkblot, the way others might see creeping socialism or hidden satanic messages.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark Kennedy
Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

Are those comments really there? Can’t see any mention of Nazi, except where you try to twist a comment and someone tried to suggest Rowling’s said trans people were neo-pagans, which she did not do.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Gareth Nicholas
Gareth Nicholas
1 year ago
Reply to  Diana Roussel

Thank you for some sanity. I hope you too appreciate the irony of all the comments talking about bullying and being silenced, when the only comment I’ve seen supporting transgender rights (aka human rights) has been heavily downvoted.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

As a regularly downvoted contributor to Unherd, may I suggest that people have the right to disagree with you, and even to demonstrate this publicly? If you find this kind of thing too stressful to bear, it might be better if you stayed out of debates that seriously threaten your peace of mind, rather than hold the rest of humanity responsible for managing your feelings.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

If you mean Diana Roussel’s comment, then it was more an attack on Rowling than support for transgender. Unless you’re of the mind that attack is the best form of defence.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago

Transgender aka human rights. I think you need to think that through. There are 30 articles in The Declaration of Human Rights.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Diana Roussel

‘Signal boosting’is a meaningless buzzword used to demonise political opposition, like ‘dogwhistle’ or ‘punching down’. Transvestites these days are a privileged class, backed by NGOs, massive corporations, the entire commentariat and the entire political eatablishment. There is no punching down on them

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Diana Roussel

Can you please explain what a ‘transphobe’ is?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Someone who disagrees with Diana Roussel.

Zompie
Zompie
1 year ago
Reply to  Diana Roussel

This comment section really doesn’t in any way make this all look better, does it. There’s a difference between disagreeing with someone and name calling (or even worse, horrible comparisons that you have mentioned and others seem to not be able to see). I agree with you. There are some people, the minority, amongst the population that are making threats against the life of someone they disagree with. That is not acceptable. However, I feel the people here do not have the experience or understanding of how the narrative told by people like JK Rowling, whether intentionally or not, affects those who happen to be trans (and i am referring to her past history of tweets, not the book in question).

They most likely don’t care. I say that because humans only tend to become interested in something that directly relates to them. And I’m not even saying that as a criticism – we’re all guilty of that. However emotive language and an “us vs them” mentality can get people caring, passionately so, by playing on instincts that we have not evolved out of. I wish people could all just come together and listen to each other. We might not always agree, that is fine. But being hateful – that can lead to dangerous places (as seen with with the death threats she’s received and those who are critical of her have also received
etc). It helps no one. Please remember people, the media, and politicians, are currently latching onto the trans story (which has somehow become politicised even though we’re talking about someone’s autonomy over their own body) in the same way they did back before the 2000s with gay men and lesbians. It is all to get a buck out of you. To rile you up to keep you reading.(and yes by commenting here I’m helping that but I’m hoping my comment will cool down the heat and so will be worth it). Surely no one here wants to be taken for a ride by the media, manipulated into focusing on certain subjects or thinking a certain way?

If you actually talk to these people, you’ll realise that they’re just like you. It actually sickens me how the media use people like this. Hidden, yet in plain sight. So please, discuss with people who think differently to you – ask questions. I try to make sure I do this, and luckily I have a family that allows me to do just that. That’s also why I’m here, reading this article about something I believed I may not like. I also use an app called groundnews that allows you to compare headlines on the same subjects, and see which media companies are ignoring particular stories and how they’re talking about them. Sometimes it hurts to read something you disagree with, but it’s important to do so. Only then can we get our heads out of cyberspace and back to real life. And yes, this is coming from a Liberal, trans individual who agrees that she would have written this book before “it” happened and that it doesn’t help for people to latch onto this idea that the two are linked. If anything, writing this book may have inspired the way she reacted to what happened.

Also I did note some comments about how transexuality is a mental health issue that needs to be cured. There is a cure. The treatment is to either transition or live as whoever you wish to be. Now, you may prefer a cure that forces people back into something that makes you more comfortable, but that has not proved successful (conversion camps – i mean whether they have tried to force people to convert sexuality, gender, race politcal leanings, religions etc those methods have been shown to not work in the long term). This actually reminds me of how women wanting to work, cut their hair, do “manly things” and wear pants or act “unladylike” were sectioned and labelled mentally ill and hysterical.

People who are trans go through despair, as they consider “am I delusional?”. They do go through that. It’s something people outside that experience don’t realise. They’re not blind to their sex (although perhaps some very enthusiastic individuals may give that impression). When the whole world is telling you you’re wrong then you do tend to start to wonder if you’re insane. But there’s a great quote, i cant remember what from, where a group of sailors go to their captain in a panic “you must tie us up. We’ve gone insane!” And the captain looks at them and says “You are not insane, as an insane person doesnt question their sanity”. People who transition, can not do so willy-nilly. It’s an incredibly long and drawn out process to ensure you are not insane. They have to wait for years for a medical transition and have to be assessed numerous times by different doctors. This is the same process followed by children (in fact I think things take longer for them because they can’t have certain things done till they’re adults.) They also have to have proved they are willing to “live” as a man or women, before all of that – which means for many, when they quite obviously don’t look like the gender they are transitioning to, they have to dare to be themselves (dress how they will dress, change their name, change their pronouns, act how they will have to act) in a society that is incredibly hostile towards them. That’s terrifying. I mean could any of you do that? This is a path that is built through determination and resilience. And that goes for people who don’t medically transition as well, who fear they will be abandoned by their friends and family. Who are scared to be themselves for fear of violence (look at the statistics for that) or rejection. No one would actually want to be trans in this society (in other society’s and throughout history trans people have been received differently). That doesn’t mean though that they’re not happier being themselves. That’s like saying you don’t want to be a woman because we’re in a patriarchy. You cannot become trans just as much as they cannot become like you. Except for the majority of trans people, they’ve had to pretend to be just like you in order to not be attacked or abandoned. Imagine if you had to pretend to be the opposite gender for the entirity of your life?

These people have felt this way from a young age, before the modern words for what they were existed. They’ve always known something is different. And it’s not to do with “oh I like playing with dolls” etc . It’s to do with how you see yourself. Who do you see when you think of yourself? I think perhaps this is just something some people will never understand. I could make simplified comparisons but I think its just better to say, some people are colourblind and others are not. It doesn’t mean people who are colourblind don’t exist (or that they have a mental health issue). Or Aphantasia – some people can’t imagine things in their head whilst others can. There isn’t a way to scientifically confirm this yet. But I have no doubt that their are people who can’t imagine with images and their are people who can. I mean biology is so incredibly complex and we don’t understand half of what goes on in the brain. It doesn’t mean that everyone who is able to imagine images in their brain when reading a book are somehow delusional.

If anyone made it till the end, congrats!

Down votes will prove my line of thinking right, up votes will prove my hopes are right. And no votes will be less hassle

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Zompie

I think most of us are empathic enough to understand the position of trans people. But you seem to be making a case for the attacks on Rowling. And in some way you’re missing the point of the article. It’s not anti trans, it’s an article about how she’s responded to the world as she’s experienced, or observed it, with a book. Actually it’s about the response to her writing the book. Which I think would be the same whatever the book was about.
“However, I feel the people here do not have the experience or understanding of how the narrative told by people like JK Rowling, whether intentionally or not, affects those who happen to be trans (and i am referring to her past history of tweets, not the book in question).”
What are you more concerned with, the book or the comments? Why do people here not have an understanding of how Rowling’s narrative affect trans people? And what exactly is that narrative that you give yourself a bit of leeway by saying may be intentional or not. Well is it or isn’t it? Or is the so-called “narrative” something that’s been created by the media, who you regard as part of the problem? As you said,” Surely no one wants here wants to be taken for a ride by the media.”
The world is not telling trans people they’re wrong. What people are resisting is how trans narratives impact on women and mothers to the point where people equivocate when asked to define a woman. How do you think women might feel about that. Are you able to empathise with them?

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Zompie

Down votes don’t prove anything except that someone disagrees with you, and that’s the problem,

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Zompie

Thanks for a constructive engagement.

I’d like to raise a few points, though.

  • People who declare themselves to be trans are undoubtedly not in an enviable place. But it is not necessarily the trans feeling that caused the distress in every case. If you are highly distressed, cannot make sense of yourself or your place in society, feel it is all a disaster (as many teens will be, for various reasons), then you can latch on to being trans as an explanation for what was otherwise nameless. This can give several advantages: It gives an explanation, a reason, and hope. It gives you an automatic group of supporters. It explains why all the suffering is someone else’s fault, the people who refuse to accept you. And it gives you the right to demand that other people change in order to make you comfortable. This may not be the case for you, personally, but it could explain some of the sudden explosion in people who identify as trans.
  • The incredibly long, drawn-out and cumbersome process to live as trans is becoming a lot easier now, in many cases. Many talk about how they can change their pronouns and clothes and get immediate support from friends, internet, schools, clinics etc. – to the point where some de-transitioners wonder why they were carried on a conveyor belt (as it were) to sex changes with no one saying ‘stop, wait!’. You cannot both say that transitioning should be easy and supported and at the same time that only the truly committed will ever do it because it is so immensely difficult.
  • Everybody wants to live in a world where the roles and assumptions fit them. But as the roles and assumptions apply to all of society, this is largely a zero-sum game. For the vast majority of people, sex and gender are intimately linked, and the words and group identities apply to both. If you identify as a woman, have a p***s, and do not menstruate, you may well want to live in a world where ‘woman’ refers only to self-identification. Other people, like JK Rowling, may feel that they share a group identity that includes all females and excludes p***s-havers, and feel very much excluded in a world that tries to reduce their group to merely ‘people who menstruate’. And there are a lot more like her than there are like you. Ultimately this is a question of power: Who gets to set the norm, and who have to abide by definitions that do not fit them. I can perfectly well understand why you would want your own (minority) norms, word meanings, etc. to dominate over the (majority) of people who do not find them natural. But could you not at least acknowledge that JK Rowling has as much right to fight for her norms as you have to fight for yours? And maybe consider some kind of compromise?
Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Diana Roussel

I don’t hate the trans community. I just hate the woke parasites exploiting them.

Sam .
Sam .
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Funny that you say you don’t hate the trans community, yet you say
“And the mutilation of children. We’re talking about sadistic paedophilia.” and seemed to call out in another comment that the trans community are a bunch of paedos. Putting kids on puberty blockers (should they ask) is easily reversable and can help save lives (what with trans/lgbtqia people being at higher risk of suicide)
How does anyone wanting to change their gender affect you. Honestly.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam .

” (what with trans/lgbtqia people being at higher risk of suicide) “
Higher risk of suicide than who?

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Sam .
Sam .
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Than their non lgbtqia peers. It’s mostly observed in teens but it affects every age group.