Don’t blame J.K. Rowling for Brianna Ghey’s death
Trans activists are holding the author responsible for the teenager's killing
Cults need enemies. Nothing else can explain the irrational level of hatred directed against the novelist J.K. Rowling in recent years. Her lawyers have taken on the worst offenders, prompting reluctant apologies, but the latest development is a terrifying example of where the forces of malice and unreason have been heading. In tweets that are too vile and defamatory to quote, trans activists are now accusing Rowling of being responsible for the death of a teenager in Warrington at the weekend.
And not just Rowling, although she is the principal target; gender critical feminists have also been accused of having ‘blood on their hands’ in a series of crowing tweets. Obviously there is no connection between Rowling and the fatal stabbing of a transgender girl, which has left a family shocked and grieving. But there is a live police investigation, which means that strict rules exist about what can be reported. Anyone with an ounce of decency would respect those rules, for fear of obstructing a trial or causing further distress to the family. But this awful event is being shamelessly exploited by trans activists, who are using it to attack women who have spent their careers campaigning against various forms of violence.
Like what you’re reading? Get the free UnHerd daily email
Already registered? Sign in
It is clear that abuse of Rowling has shown an alarming escalation in the last few days. Last week gender extremists denounced a new video game, Hogwarts Legacy, because it is based on her Harry Potter novels, accusing it of being a ‘genocide simulator’. People who throw around words like ‘genocide’ have already robbed language of all meaning, but the latest attack on Rowling reaches new levels of spite. She has claimed in a podcast, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, to be released next week that her critics “could not have misunderstood me more profoundly.” The idea that these people are merely showing a lack of understanding is perhaps charitable.
The near-fatal attack on Salman Rushdie last August was a horrible reminder of the dangers attached to turning authors into hate figures. The assault happened 34 years after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Rushdie, demonstrating that the risk created by demonising someone never goes away. Rowling has become the target of a savage campaign that seeks to deny her humanity, a horribly familiar step which threatens to remove the usual restraints that protect us from one another.
Pointing out that she has not said anything ‘transphobic’ long ago ceased to have any impact, because a wildly distorted version of the novelist exists in the minds of trans activists. Prominent people who should have robustly defended her have remained silent or offered support to her critics, refusing to listen to warnings about the violent, intimidating behaviour many feminists have witnessed.
Instead, ordinary people have faced demands from political parties and employers to express support for what amounts to the beliefs of a cult. It’s just been reported that the Scottish Government spent £33,000 on ‘trans-inclusive’ badges for NHS staff to wear at work. Doctors and nurses are not expected to wear badges expressing support for a particular religion, so it’s hard to see why they should be expected to show support for a contested ideology. As it happens, almost half the badges have gone unused.
For too long, politicians and other public figures have failed to examine the ideology to which they’ve signed up. Feminists have been slandered, doxxed and threatened with sexual violence while Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems and the Greens fall over themselves to be ‘trans allies’. Now one of the country’s most famous authors, who is also a generous philanthropist, is being smeared in a way that shames everyone who remains silent. Will they finally speak up — or are they too afraid of losing their shiny pink-and-blue badges?
If this poor boy was murdered for being ‘gender’ non-conforming and possibly gay, that is not the fault of traditional feminists who support everyone’s right to be those things.
If blood is on anyone’s hands, it is on those of people who rigidly support ‘gender’ stereotypes and would rather a boy pretended to be a girl, and was medicated and mutilated accordingly, rather than accepting him as a gay and probably effeminate boy.
Pretending to be a girl didn’t save him and it won’t others. Teaching children that ‘gender’ is nonsense, and that everyone can be themselves as the sex that they are, just might.
Whilst I agree with pretty much everything that you say, I have to disagree on one point, the blood is on the hands of the person(s) who killed this lad.
Correct, but we live in a distorted reality these days.
I will always be a bit skeptical about these kinds of stories because of the Matthew Shepard case in Colorado. It was my first exposure of the media lying about the facts of a criminal murder case to advance an agenda.
Exceedingly well said, and kudos for correctly gendering the poor kid.
“kudos for correctly
gendering sexing the poor kid.”
I treat “gender” and “sex” as synonyms, and use phrases like “traditional gender role” or “gender stereotype” to refer to what trans activists mean by “gender”.
“Teaching children that
‘gender’ is sex stereotypes are nonsense, and that everyone can be themselves as the sex that they are, just might.”
Teaching children that ‘gender’ is nonsense, and that everyone can be themselves as the sex that they are, just might.
This reminds me of something James Lindsay of new discourses has pointed out. He maintains that there is a military process called “Operational Preparation of the Environment”. In this case it is the establishment of a narrative arc laid down over time and reinforced and amplified by social media. An incident is then waited and searched for, and when it occurs is fitted into the narrative arc and reacted to according to the narrative interpretation. He gives the example of race marxism and George Floyd and the mostly peaceful national riots and protests and the rise of BLM.
Perhaps a similar process is occurring here where the reaction is rioting on social media?
You can be “gay”, but if you have a d**k you are male, or if you have a p***y you are femail. There is no other sex in humans !
You forget that about 2% of humanity is neither clearly one or the other genetically, but rather some mixture of the two. This is a completely different issue to whether or not someone feels “comfortable in the body they were born with”, but both would be solved if people were allowed to simply be who and what they are, without being forced into a false dichotomy.
Well said and appears true to me regardless if it’s a “plan” or just the natural evolution of circumstances.
These people are actually happy that a teen has been murdered because they think it gives them licence. Anyone can see how dangerous this is. Authorities in denial.
Just like Remainers after Jo Cox.
That’s a repellent thing to say and hypocritical. All murder is horrific but there is a particularly dark aspect in the killing of any democratically elected public servant. We desperately need intelligent principled people to govern us, but if they are too scared to do so we all lose, nevermind the erosion to democracy. Jo Cox death was a tragedy for her family but was a terrible thing for all of us. Don’t you dare re-weaponise it here.
Stephen is completely correct, Molly. You should turn your ire towards those who shamefully weaponised Cox’s death in the first place.
Yes, yes! I will never forget a former friend declaring “This is leave” at her death.
Spot on. Viscerally disgusting, isn’t it?
I suppose it does at least add to the growing pile of evidence: that these people care only about winning the argument they’ve started. They clearly don’t care about human beings – either “friend” or “foe” – they only want to burnish their precious preoccupations and grievances. Nothing constructive will come of this, because a cadre of activists are determined to ensure that.
Immediately that I heard that this poor person was trans, I knew that this stuff would happen. The murder of anyone is abhorrent, and I hope that the person(s) who committed this crime are found and punished; at the moment the authorities don’t have a motive, but even it it were a “hate” crime, this should not be a reason not to be critical of the trans movement. If a racist were to be murdered by a self styled anti-racist we would not be saying that criticm of racists is to blame, we would place the blame where it belongs – with the perpetrator.
The poisonous ideology of the violent racist hate group Black Lives Matter was clearly to blame for the “Dancing Grannies” massacre in Waukesha.
Some witches don’t burn. That infuriates the right people.
I can’t get over the fact that most media outlets still can’t bring themselves to admit Rowling hasn’t actually said anything transphobic and what she said has be proven true not just once but multiple times, most recently by the scandal of Isla Bryson!
I can’t get over the fact that you expect honesty and rationality out of most media outlets! 🙂
Isn’t amazing how far the ‘progressives’ have progressed ! Maybe that trans pride ‘swastika’ flag, from last summer, really wasn’t that far off the mark ?
I thought the Pride Swastika was brilliant.
“…because a wildly distorted version of the novelist exists in the minds of trans activists.”
Uhh, isn’t “wildly distorted” applicable to their entire version of reality too?
“Obviously there is no connection between Rowling and the fatal stabbing of a transgender girl”
The victim was a boy.
The extreme trans activists so openly and actively advocate violent retribution against those who are gender critical, they cannot be surprised if their opponents opt to use it against innocent trans youngsters. Maybe that’s what they want, so they can boost their victim status.
Are you honestly suggesting that people (mostly women)who reject the lies of the trans cult bear ANY responsibility for this poor child’s death?? I look forward to the truth being told about this young man and his killers when the case comes to court. He was, shall we say, a deeply troubled individual. Parallels with George Floyd come to mind. Vile threats and accusations on social media are of course unpleasant but I hope they don’t translate into actual violence.
“A wildly distorted version of the novelist exists in the minds of trans activists”
More like the activists live in a wildly distorted version of existence. There’s no point trying to reason with the delusional.
In Australia some of the adherents of the cult are prominent presenters on tv and radio. Recently on a programme called The Project we learned that it is immoral to buy that video game. This is a country that ridicules religious figures who make statements about moral matters.
“Doctors and nurses are not expected to wear badges expressing support for a particular religion, so it’s hard to see why they should be expected to show support for a contested ideology.”
I have a GP appointment this coming Monday. I think I will wear my “I stand with J.K.Rowling” t shirt.
What has changed in the last 40 years is that teenagers and those in their early twenties are prepared to stab people to death when previously it would have been a minor altercation. Even gangsters such as Billy Hill did not commit murder becuse they feared the punishment from The Law.
That is what happens in a post-truth world of “subjective reality” or moral relativity. Isn’t progressivism fun?
Kudos for correctly, in my view, calling this ideology a cult. A gnostic cult in my view.
Doctors and nurses are not expected to wear badges expressing support for a particular religion, so it’s hard to see why they should be expected to show support for a contested ideology.
Again, kudos for this. Both religion and gender identity ideology are belief systems. So pressuring people into wearing a badge that supports a belief system, is pressuring them participate in a symbolical ritual act that signals assent to a belief system they do not accept nor believe. That is coerced conversion.
Fundamentally disagree that you should even entertain the question in your headline. Of course JKR is not responsible for two children stabbing another. To even say “don’t blame her” is to admit the question is sensible.
“because a wildly distorted version of the novelist exists in the minds of trans activists”
That’s far too charitable. Some of them might indeed be deluded — the useful idiots — but the woke clerisy know perfectly well that they are lying. These people are outright evil. Never in history has so much hate been perpetrated in the name of love. Never so much exclusion in the name of inclusion.
I agree but arguably you should not be commenting either.
A new term for everyone to use: ‘FERT’ – ‘feminist exclusionary radical trans-activist’. I know, ‘radical trans-activist’ is repetitive, but I wanted to stay as close as possible to the inspiration.
Don’t see how you can call yourself a feminist when your ‘feminism’ treats some as more equal than others. Maybe grumblers are onto something when they say TERF shouldn’t be a popular term; maintaining that a group of people is subhuman doesn’t seem like a very feminist thing to do at all. Call them mentally ill, delusional, whatever you’d like, any extension of that flavor of idea looks pretty bleak to me! TER it is! I think it’s already caught on in some circles, too. Hope that helps 🙂
All my warmest wishes to this poor child’s family and friends.
Here’s a suggestion for Emma, Rupert and Daniel: as you fanned the flames of this inferno of vicious spite against JK Rowling and must therefore accept at least partial responsibility for the current hysteria, why not issue a joint statement saying ‘enough is enough……stop the death threats against her……this is not how you persuade someone to agree with you….this is what fascists do to people who disagree with them’. How long are you willing to let this continue? What outcome do you envisage?
You have made your squillions from JK Rowling’s creativity. Time to be adults and say enough is enough.
This is addressed toward commenters, too, because I’m only one person and not trying to go on a sweeping crusade in Rowling’s barnacle heap.
What on Earth? A literal child was killed, who wanted to live and express herself as she was most comfortable, and you think that a person with such massive influence that she’ll never know that you, I, or any of the miserable lot in this comment section exists, hasn’t very recently stuck her hand in this pie and helped create a divisive, negative atmosphere that it’s totally okay to direct violence towards trans folk for… wearing clothes that make them comfortable? For wearing their faces how they’d like? For… what crimes, exactly, apart from existing, and trying their best to do it comfortably? Doesn’t everyone try to do that regardless? Literally anyone can commit crimes against humanity, so let’s not start with that.
Are you aware that people exist in a broad spectrum of culture, class, and gender expression outside of your bubble of perception? Brianna Ghey never got a chance to live a full life. Even if she wanted to change her mind about her presentation later, as would be her complete right to do, that choice was permanently taken away from her, along with every other. No style, no dreams, no joy, no nothing.
It seems people like the remoras under this article and JKR won’t ever care, and it’s pitiful, and of course you are more likely to stay that way because people like me call anyone anything at all for excusing rhetoric that helps get kids killed and it’s scary. Brilliant. Better to keep your head buried in the bloodied sand than think for a moment that maybe murdering people for how they look and act is not just, huh? I’ve been on that side of the coin before, too. Life must be so hard when people don’t want to fit into your world and aren’t actively threatening your life. You’re either a murderer or you’re not, but sitting back and excusing murder of a child because you ‘disagree with their lifestyle,’ well… isn’t that just a happy little trophy for your wall? But hey, that video game sure looks good. My life is just so much worse not playing it. Gosh.
If you think it’s alright to act as judge, jury, and executioner, then by all means, I have nothing to offer. I cannot understand why you wouldn’t just allow someone their peace and comfort when they’re quite literally not bothering you beyond how they don’t fit in your self-defined exclusive boxes. You can’t say that you are so saintly and tolerant if you’ve said your peachy piece here or anywhere else. How is some stranger, some child’s self expression any of your own business? Do you work for Vogue? PR? Are you selling something?
Spending any amount of time judging and condemning a teenager, especially a dead one, seems a pretty sad way to go through life, personally. What does it matter she was “troubled?” Shouldn’t you be more concerned that some scum of the earth snuffed out a life over this? A lot of people here seem alarmingly pleased that this person is dead, an actual child just attending school, and so many can still sit there calling the LGBT+ community and allies a cult? I truly fail to see the logic that the spooky enigmatic trans rights activist troupe out there ready to poison your kid’s minds (The horror! The freedom of self expression! Oh I am faint!) are more responsible for an atmosphere that says it’s okay to kill somebody than… A nauseatingly rich, influential author and IP-owner beating around the bush about ideas such as that an entire group of people are a) totally clockable (they’re not), b) more likely to be predators (did you even know about trans people before maybe 10 years ago? Also, society is definitely completely idyllic outside of LGBT issues), and c) don’t deserve help, are merely delusional and should be punished/ restrained/ “corrected/cured” based on… what aspects, exactly, that aren’t extremely sexist in and of themselves? Additionally, what’s giving you all feelings that you know this complete stranger of a dead child better than she knew herself? Intentionally mislabeling her posthumously is… so sweet, really.
At the end of it, it’s all about respecting the people you know and love and taking a chill pill, and not through clenched teeth. It’s alien to most anyone commenting here, I’d wager, to have a massive megaphone and platform and use it to decry an already marginalized group of people who are surely, definitely living how they do because they want so badly to live in fear every day that some psycho is going to murder them because they decided to play bounty hunter with made-up, unwritten rules and real people whose crimes include not following them. Good lord. Certainly every victim of a crime is just asking for it.
TL,DR; Circling back to a lot of people here seem alarmingly pleased this person is dead. A lot of the audience here also seem to be siding with JKR. Her words and platform have certainly not drawn any of you together to express your appreciation that thankfully, someone said enough is enough and taken similar rhetoric to heart so much that a child gets to be executed for it. Great work!
It’s not directly her fault, obviously not, but she’s said quite enough. Plenty of people have blood on their hands without having ever held a knife.
She is their Wicker Man. This is something I am willing to risk censure for in any public forum. I support JKR and the gender critical movement and nothing will change that.
I am heartened that the ‘Hogwarts Legacy’ referendum was won by the forces of light. The would-be boycotters were thoroughly crushed.
Join the discussion
To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.
Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.Subscribe