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New play features ‘interview’ with JK Rowling over her trans views

Melbourne Fringe promises that the “conversation” will be “often illuminating". Credit: Getty

October 16, 2023 - 5:45pm

This week, Melbourne Fringe will host An Evening with JK. For just $28 a head, theatregoers will finally be able to hear how “one of the world’s most celebrated authors become one of the most hated,” as JK Rowling sits down for an “exclusive, hard-hitting, one-on-one interview” with a trans journalist, where Rowling “finally answers the questions she never gets asked, and gives the answers she’s always wanted to give.”

Well. Sort of. 

This will not be an evening with the actual flesh-and-blood JK Rowling, but rather an evening with Anna Piper Scott, a transgender playwright who has taken on the burden of both scripting and reading Rowling’s lines. 

In an interview with The Age, Scott said: “If we all stay quiet until it’s safe to talk about it, it’s going to just become more and more unsafe to talk about. I have to say something now — I think everyone has to say something now”. The playwright went on to describe the play as an act of “empathy”: 

“It’s definitely not a show that’s going to redeem TERFs [trans-exclusionary radical feminists] or anything like that, but I do want to understand how they’ve gotten where they’ve gotten, because a lot of these people they were originally proper feminists arguing for women’s rights, fighting really important battles around abortion and everything like that. And then suddenly, their entire lives become consumed by this one issue.”

Opposite Scott’s “JK Rowling,” a “cisgender” actor will play the transgender interviewer, a gimmick Scott hopes will ensure that the audience’s “natural empathy for cis people is placed on the trans character, and people’s natural distrust of trans people is placed on the TERF character, and we’re able to exploit where people’s empathy normally lies.”

The Age observes that the play’s “interview format allowed Piper Scott to write a conversation where an anti-trans character has their views challenged in a way that doesn’t normally happen”— perhaps because trans activists have a pesky habit of pulling out of debates at the last minute.

“They don’t say what they really mean,” Scott says of gender critics like Rowling. “And if they were just on stage for an hour, they’re never going to let the mask slip, they’re never going to drop that charade, and tell you what they really believe [or] where their beliefs ultimately end up.”

This statement reflects a deeply held belief: that gender critics cannot be trusted to communicate their beliefs clearly, relying on dogwhistles instead. So Rowling’s own carefully chosen words and considered arguments can never be counted as testimony of what she actually believes. Instead, conduits and translators and other mind-readers are required. Activists like Scott have spent the last three-and-a-half years accusing JK Rowling of rampant transphobia — even of having blood on her hands — then disappearing when asked to provide the receipts. 

So it’s terribly convenient to pin “Rowling” down like Scott has done and put words in her mouth. Melbourne Fringe promises that the “conversation” will be “often illuminating, sometimes infuriating, and always candid.” 

No doubt it will be illuminating. Candid? Not so much. 

Believe it or not, scripting your opponent’s remarks and then dressing up as them is not, in fact, a debate. It’s a stunt.


Eliza Mondegreen is a graduate student in psychiatry and the author of Writing Behavior on Substack.

elizamondegreen

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Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
9 months ago

These people are so pathetic. This whole transgender crap has become absolute parody. The reason they’re so intent on doubling-down on this charade is because they’ve invested their entire lives into these dumbass made-up identities. They’re children that can no longer mentally or physically grow up.

Ali W
Ali W
9 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Their mental well-being is 100% dependent on the participation of society at large in their delusion.

Richard M
Richard M
9 months ago

“And then suddenly, their entire lives become consumed by this one issue.”

Rowling has become so “consumed by this one issue” she’s barely managed to write half-a-dozen or so best-selling books and major screenplays in the last 5 years.

I mean, come on Jo, think about something else once in a while!

Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

Maybe she thinks this is more important. She certainly doesn’t need the money.

Filipa Antonia Barata de Araujo
Filipa Antonia Barata de Araujo
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

Checking Google would have spared you the the embarrassment.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

I think your sarcasm may be lost on some.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
9 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

I can certainly think of one group of people whose lives have become consumed with one issue.
Transgender activists.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
9 months ago

Surely this play sails close to the winds of defamation?

Last edited 9 months ago by Ian McKinney
Richard M
Richard M
9 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

I guess that depends on the actual content and relevant Australian law.

I’m sure JK Rowling has plenty of lawyers who can advise.

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
9 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

Yes, potentially. And JK Rowling should sue, if that’s what the play does.

Neil Cheshire
Neil Cheshire
9 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

Australia is the ‘defamation capital of the World’ with the bar being set relatively low. JKR would have to sue within a year if she wished to take action on any defamation that occurred.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
9 months ago

So a man pretending to be a woman gets to pretend to be a different woman as well. Got it.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
9 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

And pretend what that different woman actually believes and says.

Joyce Brette
Joyce Brette
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Anna Piper Scott, a fat, unfunny man with lipstick and a wig.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
9 months ago

Behold how reality bends to their will!

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
9 months ago

He insists we see him as a she so it is only a step further down the route of imposed fantasy that he creates a pretend JK Rowling to best in debate rather than debate the real JK Rowling. Somehow I think the fantasy world created by JK Rowling that we all accept as fantasy is likely to be more compelling than the imposed fantasy by this monomaniac author.

Ben Scott
Ben Scott
9 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Aha, yes. The old “I identify as JK Rowling” trick.

It’s my lived reality and I can do as I want!

(Stomps off sucking thumb….)

Julian Bell
Julian Bell
9 months ago

On behalf of normal Australians I apologise for this nonsense.

Andrew H
Andrew H
9 months ago

Petulant man-child throwing his toys out of the pram yet again. JK Rowling is a warrior and legend.

sam parker
sam parker
9 months ago

This “play” is just fictional rubbish. He’s made up whatever he wants JKR to supposedly say. Why this should be taken as entertainment & not lying propaganda I don’t know.

Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
9 months ago
Reply to  sam parker

it could be interesting, finding out what he thinks she thinks he thinks…

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
9 months ago

And still people want to argue that people with gender dysphoria aren’t delusional, then why do they keep acting so crazy?

Last edited 9 months ago by Benjamin Greco
Steven Carr
Steven Carr
9 months ago

Anne Piper Scott is very fat. I bet you never would have guessed that!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Does he/she/it have blue hair too?

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
9 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

“Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them”

George Scipio
George Scipio
9 months ago

It’s hard to imagine a more inauthentic event. Fake – all the way down, and nothing more than feeble signifying to the converted. But bad faith is the stock in trade of transgenderists. Gender dysphoria is a disorder. No one has ever changed sex. Happily, Rowling cannot be cancelled.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
9 months ago

If this were to be staged in the West End it’d surely be advertised as a Farce?

Richard M
Richard M
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“No (Biological) Sex, Please! We’re Non-Binary.”

David McKee
David McKee
9 months ago

“For just $28 a head…” Or just $20, if you are an Aborigine. I expect they’ll be thrilled. Considering how much white guilt came out in the recent referendum, I expect the Aborigines could demand that the theatre paid them, as part-reparations for colonialism.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

Demanding that the theatre pay them to watch this garbage would be entirely reasonable.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
9 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

Do you get the discount if you pretend to be an Aborigine, seeing as he’s pretending to be a woman?

R S Foster
R S Foster
9 months ago

…the magnificent M’s Rowling should use her considerable resources to sue this individual and everybody else involved in every English-speaking jurisdiction on earth… because it will certainly be recorded and effectively “published”, and is by definition libellous…

…she should (legally)…utterly destroy everyone involved…

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
9 months ago

Will they have an actual strawman (strawoman? strawperson?) play the part of Rowling in this play?

Colorado UnHerd
Colorado UnHerd
9 months ago

Ms. Mondragon is spot on: A stunt, indeed, and profoundly upside down, in the manner common of gender ideologues.
JK Rowling has spoken perfectly clearly for herself; the arrogance of Scott in presuming to speak for her — to school her, one assumes — is emblematic of the narcissism of this movement.
Rowling remains a greatly admired author among thinking people. Only gender cultists who can’t tolerate intelligent, principled dissent from their delusional world view — so clearly reflected in this activist playwright’s remarks — would perceive her as hated.

0 0
0 0
9 months ago

A performance that is hardly innovative fringe art. My grandkids could do better.

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
9 months ago

Sinister …. activists really ‘know’ what people are thinking? Really ? Due to their mind-reading skills ? I bet they also really know who is a witch – despite the claims of others not to be a witch…

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
9 months ago

“Rowling’s own carefully chosen words and considered arguments can never be counted as testimony of what she actually believes. Instead, conduits and translators and other mind-readers are required.”
This is the tactic used by the Left against everyone on the Right for decades now. And the “conduits and translators” are always radical Leftists themselves.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
9 months ago

Can JKR sue for defamation?

R Wright
R Wright
9 months ago

There are Australians stupid enough to pay to watch a straw woman getting pecked at by crows for hours when they could go to the countryside and watch it for free.

William Cameron
William Cameron
9 months ago

Writing a play putting false words in your opponents mouth is a new low for the trans folk.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
9 months ago

La mauvaise foi typique de ces pervers-ci.

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
9 months ago

This stunt sounds like a natural progression of the Transgender Language Reclamation and Sole Authority project. If even JKR “doesn’t mean what she says”, then how can any less-than bestselling author be trusted to mean what we say? When even our most considered and considerate utterances of the required “Be Kind” variety can be translated as the inauthentic hate speech of bigoted transphobes. Thus are claims validated of “trans genocide” and ultimate victimhood, as intended by even the most innocuous utterances. Especially as compelled speech: we can be accused of “not really meaning it”. This is the existential weak spot for all narcissists: authoritarians are seldom loved. Remember that Queer Theory aims at world domination by the most aggrieved. “We demand that you love us and REALLY MEAN IT! OR ELSE!”

Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
9 months ago

Plenty of times when I comment people tell me what they think I am saying and then rubbish it, so it’s nothing new

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

So what you’re really saying is . . .

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
9 months ago

This sounds quite psychotic.

Thomas Clark
Thomas Clark
9 months ago

Move over Franz Kafka. Here’s Anna Piper Scott.

Wal For
Wal For
9 months ago

“Opposite Scott’s “JK Rowling,” a “cisgender” actor will play the transgender interviewer, a gimmick Scott hopes will ensure that the audience’s “natural empathy for cis people is placed on the trans character, and people’s natural distrust of trans people is placed on the TERF character, and we’re able to exploit where people’s empathy normally lies.””
So a man plays Rowling and the Interviewer is played by a person acting the part of a character who is also the opposite sex of the actor but who identifies as the sex that the actor actually is.
What a profound teachable moment that will be! Is there anything our Trans betters won’t think of to enlighten us moral inferiors?

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
9 months ago

That has got to be ultimate Straw Man argument!

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
9 months ago

We´re dealing with the ´gendered mind´ here which belongs to both psychology and literature. The only way to treat gender dysphoria is likely to be through psychoanalysis, taking apart self-perception from childhood, determined by family relationships and outside association with the socios.
JK Rowling could offer a contribution to the debate of the role of fantasy in children´s lives. Otherwise, so-called biological sex comes into the equation largely in weighing up women´s rights with those of new minorities.
Of course, it´s worth analysing the ´fetishes´ of modern transgendrism too and perhaps return to solidarity with the dysphoria of adult transsexuals, over-18s, as they go on their medical journey.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
9 months ago

The f*cking gall of these people.

David Morley
David Morley
9 months ago

Believe it or not, scripting your opponent’s remarks and then dressing up as them is not, in fact, a debate. It’s a stunt.

It really depends on how good the playwright is, and I would withhold judgement until I had seen it. It’s a tough job seeing the other side of any issue, so credit to the playwright for at least trying. If it fails it fails – but is it any worse than the rigid battle lines adopted by TERFs?

Last edited 9 months ago by David Morley
Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Is Robert Winston a ”TERF”?

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

This play isn’t merely a play though, is it? It’s the acting out of a dodgy fantasy on stage.

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Aye, but bullshit is still bullshit, even in a pretty frock.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
9 months ago
Reply to  Leejon 0

You can put lipstick on a pig … but it’s still a pig. As one infamous politician said.

David Morley
David Morley
9 months ago
Reply to  Leejon 0

Have you seen it?

I watched Prima Facie, and concluded that though the acting was amazing, the script was patchy, the central scene implausible and the implications for the law dangerous. But I watched it and based my conclusions on that. And I’m happy to accept other people will disagree, and that my views need to be supported by argument.

You (and many others) are dismissing something you haven’t even seen.

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Was Rowling in the play? No.
Did Rowling write her own words? No.
So I say bullshit!

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

We TERFs just know that sex is a biological objective fact. If you think upholding objectively verifiable facts is a “rigid battle line” no wonder no transideologist will actually debate. Money has been offered by rational people who think facts are more important than feelings, and the TRAs always dip out at the last minue.

R S Foster
R S Foster
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

As far as I can see, the “rigid battle lines adopted by TERFs” is that a bloke in a frock is a bloke, no matter what he wishes was true. This is not any kind of battle line…it is an observable scientific fact…

Last edited 9 months ago by R S Foster
Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

“…rigid battle lines adopted by TERFS” ? What does that mean?

R Wright
R Wright
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Do you really think a tranny is going to be able to successfulfy articulate the worldview of their existential Manichaean foe, the dreaded TERF, in a fair and balanced way? They are completely incapable of understanding them.

David Morley
David Morley
9 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Unfortunately few of the players on either side of this debate seem capable of understanding the other side. Or even being willing to try. Perhaps, as in other areas of conflict, they just prefer hate.

Fiona English
Fiona English
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

If you read JKR’s essay on the matter, you will see that this is not, nor ever has been, a both sides as bad as the other situation. What’s more, it’s not even a case of there being ‘two sides’. There are many different reasons for people recognising biological reality – some – those on the conservative right (many of whom are misogynists out and proud) believe that our sex determines how we should behave (gender) while those on the political left (not the misogynists who have been hiding there) believe that our sex is not destiny in terms of what we can do and how we can live. For such people, and I include myself, gender identity is probably the most conservative, not to mention sexist and homophobic, ideology we have seen in perhaps 80 years.

Fiona English
Fiona English
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

The problem with your perspective, and I do understand your desire to be fair, is that the writer will not be putting JKR’s actual arguments across, he’ll be putting his own version of them as if they were hers. This could amount to defamation, we will have to see. If he really wanted to explore the issue, he would agree to enter into a real dialogue with those he disagrees with. The offer has been made countless times by countless women but the answer has so far been #NoDebate.

David Morley
David Morley
9 months ago
Reply to  Fiona English

Hi Fiona. Thanks for two really reasonable posts.

I’m honestly not sure any real debate will ever take place between these two sides. I have little experience of trans activists, but plenty of feminists. It’s a generalisation, but I have rarely found them open to any form of debate. Like most activists they are absolutely sure of their own rightness, and interpret any disagreement as an attack.

If I’m honest, my belief that trans activists are unlikely to be reasonable is based largely on my direct experience of feminist activists. They look like peas in a pod.

My own position is that the distinction between sex and gender is largely ideological rather than factual. Since personality is significantly determined by genetics, then average personality differences between the sexes are also likely to be so. It’s not firm science yet, but it seems likely that 50% of the average personality differences between men and women will be due to genetics.

Trans ideology is rooted in feminism, and in my view has inherited the same kind of muddle headed ideological thinking. It is their very closeness that is part of the problem. Heretics are always hated more than those of a completely different religion.

Wal For
Wal For
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

There has been no debate because trans activist will not sit at the table and articulate their position. “No Debate” is one of their slogans for heaven’s sake. Numerous times women have invited trans activists to publicly discuss the issues, but the TRAs consistently decline. It is likely because their position is contradictory and incoherent.

I don’t believe you have dug deep into this. You use a derogatory term for the women who question this homophobic and misogynist ideology. Whatever the source of your lack of knowledge and understanding of this issue, I encourage you to come back to this exchange when you have had a serious look at the writings and actions of both groups.

Last edited 9 months ago by Wal For
Chris J
Chris J
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Trans ideology stems from a man called John Money. He coined the terms gender role, gender identity and sexual orientation. He was testing anti-androgen medication in the mid sixties.

He was not a feminist.

Your argument against feminists is just standard men’s rights ideology.

Vir Raga
Vir Raga
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Once again, we have an argument based on the view that feminism is monolithic. There are various feminisms, just as there are various political ideologies, and differing trans gender ideologies, too. I hold views you might describe as TERFy, and I’m in harmonious communication with transsexuals who, like me, oppose irreversible surgeries and medications for children and who agree that women, and particularly lesbians, should be allowed spaces where no adult human males are allowed.

starkbreath
starkbreath
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

How gutless thou art.

Wal For
Wal For
9 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

What “rigid battle lines” might those be? That men aren’t women?

Last edited 9 months ago by Wal For