by Joan Smith
Thursday, 8
September 2022
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15:00

Who will defend JK Rowling’s defenders?

Christian Henson was suspended for tweeting in support of the author
by Joan Smith
Christian Henson

It’s magic, though probably not the type JK Rowling had in mind. Composer Christian Henson said something supportive of the Harry Potter author on Twitter and he was gone, just like that, disappeared from the company he co-founded. It’s all in the interests of an “inclusive environment”, according to Will Evans, CEO of Spitfire Audio, whose commitment to inclusivity evidently doesn’t extend to his fellow-director. 

Henson’s cancellation is one of those things that supposedly never happens, according to trans activists. But it is eerily reminiscent of the fate of Rosie Kay, the choreographer who last year was forced out of the company she founded after complaints of “transphobia” from some of her dancers.

“Christian’s going to take a break as we reflect on how to move forward,” Evans announced on Twitter, sounding like a receptionist at KGB headquarters speaking over screams from the basement. Not that anything like that has happened to Henson, I hasten to add, although he might feel that his anxiety about the likely consequences of speaking out about the harm done to children by gender ideology was well-founded. 

“As a parent I can no longer keep my mouth shut about this,” Henson wrote in a tweet that’s now been deleted. “I’m in full support of glinner [the comedy writer Graham Linehan] and @jk_rowling. Please look into this. If you have young children it’s in the post if you have autistic children it’s probably already on your doormat.” It certainly arrived at Henson’s home with full force, just as Rowling’s popularity has been demonstrated once again by the fact that her new novel, The Ink Black Heart, has shot to the top of the bestseller lists. 

Rowling is hard to damage, as her enemies have discovered. She can’t be sacked, her book sales are as buoyant as ever, and being denounced by whining Harry Potter fans merely makes them sound petulant and childish. Less well-known people are another matter, though, especially if they have jobs and mortgages. The fact that someone can be banished from their own company just for mentioning Rowling, and sharing her concern about the medicalisation of children, is evidence of what deserves to be called coercive compassion.

“Be nice or you’re out” is the message. It twists the meaning of common words, so that accusations of “hate” are hurled at anyone who merely disagrees with trans activists. “Hurt” is the latest word to undergo radical transformation, as Henson’s experience shows.  

“Christian’s tweet has caused hurt amongst our community,” in the pious words of Spitfire Audio’s CEO, means that some people disagreed with him. In the real world, people disagree with each other all the time and get on with their lives, where they no doubt have plenty of other things to worry about.

Not in the world of gender ideology, however, where being exposed to opposing views is intolerable. Rowling’s name now has such power to hurt, it seems, that people have to be protected from unexpected exposure to it on social media. And another human being finds himself metaphorically in Siberia, just for daring to write the forbidden syllables.

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Stuart Sutherland
Stuart Sutherland
18 days ago

Sheer cowardice from Spitfire’s CEO! He could have just ignored it.

Justin S
Justin S
18 days ago

What kind of bottom crawling spineless creep is Will Evans.
Great opportunity to shaft his co-founder?

John McGurk
John McGurk
18 days ago
Reply to  Justin S

I thought it a piece of opportunism on Evan’s part too. Just like denunciation was used in Stalinist Russia and China to move rivals on. Sadly the creative sector is full of this bullshit.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
17 days ago
Reply to  Justin S

Yeah, with Spitefire

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
18 days ago

“accusations of “hate” are hurled at anyone who merely disagrees ”
Just further evidence that all the tactics, and the underlying philosophy for the Trans brigade is simply borrowed from quasi- Marxist feminist/black rights/gay rights movements.

Taken on its own, the trans jokers are nothing. But a world where blacks must be elves and clone troopers, girls must be allowed into boy scouts, gay pride must be celebrate, you must pretend women footballers or tennis players are as good as men. And anyone suggesting otherwise (Damore) gets sacked.

Is also a world where you must pretend “trans women” are women, there is no difference between them and normal female athletes, they must be allowed into girls bathrooms, and anyone suggesting otherwise gets sacked.

Fiona English
Fiona English
18 days ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

…except it’s got nothing to do with Marxism, feminism or black rights or gay rights, but everything to do with the culture of rampant consumption and the supremacy of the individual!

Persephone
Persephone
17 days ago
Reply to  Fiona English

100% It’s a backlash against women’s rights, and it’s being used to prop up the very forces of Capitalism that it pretends to seek to oppose.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
18 days ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

“they must be allowed into girls bathrooms”
No they must NOT. They should be castrated for the first offence and crucified for the second, no ifs or buts.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
18 days ago

Could someone please explain what all this ‘trans’ nonsense is about? Until this excellent essay I was completely unaware of it. Here in Arcadia we live a very simple life, in perhaps the most idyllic landscape on earth, untrammelled by any such excitement.
It seems it involves deliberate child mutilation:Is that possible in the Western World in the early twenty first century? Or is it some form of religious cult whose antics I have stupidity misinterpreted and thus inadvertently vilified?

R Wright
R Wright
18 days ago

It is a construct created by a man called John Money. He is worth looking into if you want to find out how far the rabbit hole goes.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
17 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

Many thanks indeed!
What a truly appalling account.
Money deserved to have been hanged, and he would no doubt have made a great colleague of the late (Dr) Joseph Mengele and his Auschwitz cronies.

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
17 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

Thanks for the name – I’ve just read the Wikipedia entry and would recommend that most people would be appalled at the influence of someone so obviously . . . I can’t think of an appropriate word to go here.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter Dawson

Malevolent?

Jennifer Fitz
Jennifer Fitz
16 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

R Wright is either ignorant of the historical facts or deliberately lying as part of a sly agit-prop campaign.

Trans people are NOT a “construct by a man called John Money”.

We have historical records of trans people across cultures & geography stretching back millennia.

Modern research on trans people dates back to Dr Magnus Hirschfeld whose work began in the late 1800s. His huge research library in gay and trans people was one of the very first book burnings by the nazis once they came to power.

Anti trans activists such as R Wright need to stop lying – whether through ignorance or deliberate mendacity – in their efforts to hide the research in & history of trans people. It didn’t work in 1933. It shouldn’t work today.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
16 days ago
Reply to  Jennifer Fitz

Surely these are the people we used to refer to as either “fairies” or “butch”. They were quite harmless and didn’t go around castrating children as far as I recall. So what is the problem now may I ask?

Kathryn Dehring
Kathryn Dehring
17 days ago

.

Last edited 17 days ago by Kathryn Dehring
Chris Emmett
Chris Emmett
17 days ago

Read the interim Cass report and understand why the Tavistock clinic has had to close. This poisoness ideology which flies in the face of truth is well organised and everywhere. Schools, hospitals, prisons, media.. if you agree that a man can become a woman fine, but if you question it welcome to the club of concerned individuals, parents and families who need to protect ourselves whilst fighting back to reveal the nonsense which threatens us.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
16 days ago

Jeez Charles, it’s been written about extensively on Unherd, or are you just joking?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
16 days ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Sorry, not paying attention!

SC Fung
SC Fung
17 days ago

Just watched GB News interview of Andrew Doyle about his new new book on this issue – if all of us don’t fight against this witch hunt and quasi religious movement that seeks to cancel all of us, then humanity is lost. We must all stand up and fight this bigotry. If we let these minority kunts win, then we might as well declare our country a communist fascist state. Unherd and Gb News we support you. JK we support you.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
17 days ago
Reply to  SC Fung

Just ordered his book

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
18 days ago

It’s the lack of religion that causes this. People are taught as children that being “nice” is one of the highest moral imperatives, but ordinary life gives very few opportunities to demonstrate to others that you’re a nice person. Especially so if you work in management and must deal with the realities of running a company. Being pious used to provide lots of rather arbitrary ways to show that you’re a nice, well socialized person. With those gone, people get desperate and engage in these destructive acts.
If you’re not on the left you can probably handle this because your worldview is that the world sometimes sucks, sometimes being nice leads to bad outcomes for all and so on. On the left, not so much. Result: the moment someone says “here’s an opportunity to show how nice you are” they grab it, unthinkingly. Punishing the person who “hurt” others, who wasn’t “nice”, is a way to show how nice that person is.
Of course it could also be just a way for people on the left to purge non-progressivists. Just as they always have, throughout history. At some point maybe this needs to turned around on them and people need to start getting cancelled for saying woke things. Such people sure are dangerous to have around!

Last edited 18 days ago by Norman Powers
Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
18 days ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

I’ve met plenty of horrible “Christian” people who seem to think asking God for forgiveness on a Sunday excused them for their nasty midweek behaviour. Personally, I think the internet has magnified the problem. Keyboard warriors and virtue signalling, that’s where the problem is.

SC Fung
SC Fung
17 days ago
Reply to  Lindsay Snoman

Exactly that. Before Twitter and FB we didn’t have anonymous abuses or cancel culture. If one were to be confronted with bigots we could have a real fight because both parties’ ID is known. Now, the social networks have failed us by allowing anonymous bigots to attach people without sanction: what happens to good old fashion debates?

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
17 days ago

An interesting description for what the term “gender”(as in “gender ideology”) carries within it, is given by Carl Trueman. He elaborates on a sociological phenomenon call Expressive Individualism. I would call it Gnostic Expressive Individualism.
Expressive individualism is the notion that every individual has an inner core of feelings and in order to be authentic I need to be able to give outward expression – one might say I need to be able to live outwardly consistent with my inner core of feelings. […] My primary responsibility is towards myself and my own authenticity. […] the real me is this inner core of feelings. So the most significant things that can be done to me are the things that affect that inner core of feeling or stop me giving full expression outwardly to that inner core of feeling,…
This ties together four features I have noted from expressions of social justice ideology – the primacy of the feelings of self, and of their full expression/performativity, authenticity and a seeming narcissism or self absorption.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
16 days ago

How ironic, and depressing, that this media company exploits a name, Spitfire, that represents the best of Britain at a time, with the Queen, when we were sticking up for tolerance against tyrants. Now we have modern Puritan tyrants like Evans. Who’ll save us from these bampots?

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
17 days ago

“Spitfire”? More like a damp log.

Les Cook
Les Cook
1 day ago

The last time I looked we are in a country that has freedom of speech and expression!
Stop this madness Christian Henson and JK Rowling are the good guys. I support them both.

Kimberly Robles
Kimberly Robles
18 days ago

hey cool

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
18 days ago

What actually is cool?

Brett H
Brett H
17 days ago

Can we have a bit more?

Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
18 days ago

Wow. Just never ending with the Soviet metaphors. Did a communist hurt you? Like, as a kid? P.S, it is up to the CEO how he runs his company. Transphobia might not be good for business.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
18 days ago
Reply to  Joe Bloggs

Except it’s not necessarily transphobia, though. It seems to be more to do with the treatment of children who experience gender dysphoria, and whether or not there are only two sexes (with the occasional intersex person). You are right about one thing though, unfortunately, it does appear that it is now bad for business to challenge some particular views – or is it? They don’t seem to want to risk it.

harry storm
harry storm
17 days ago

re: “It’s not necessarily transphobia.”
You should remove the word “necessarily”. Supporting JK Rowling and being concerned about children’s safety have nothing whatsoever to do with transphobia. JK Rowling has never uttered a transphobic word, though trans activists desperately want the world to think otherwise.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
17 days ago
Reply to  Joe Bloggs

Let us see how consistent you are. If a CEO should decide that it would be good for business to have an all-male, all-white, all-heterosexual staff, or that any female employees should be young, beautiful and wearing high heels, would you still back his sovereign right to decide?