by Joan Smith
Tuesday, 14
December 2021
Reaction
14:20

Why trans activists can’t beat JK Rowling

The author knows exactly when and how to intervene
by Joan Smith
In JK Rowling, women and girls everywhere have an exemplary role model and a mentor.

When JK Rowling was an aspiring author, writing about a boy wizard in Edinburgh cafes, I don’t suppose she imagined she would one day find herself arguing in public about whether ‘women’ can commit rape. Yet in the last few days she has had to call out Police Scotland for an admission that they plan to allow male rapists to ‘identify’ as women, skewing — some would say falsifying — crime statistics. In a tweet, Rowling quoted George Orwell, comparing the proposal to Party slogans in Nineteen Eighty-Four: ‘War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.’

It’s an apt comparison, and very damaging to the increasingly absurd demands of trans activists, which is why it called down another torrent of abuse on her head. Gender extremists hate Rowling not just because she is famous and has a platform, but because her barbs hit home. She uses language precisely, avoiding ad feminam abuse and hyperbole, while they — how can I put this politely? — do not.

Rowling says she has received so many death threats she could paper her house with them, yet she has behaved with dignity and decency throughout. She gives the lie to the frequently repeated claim that the debate over trans rights — more accurately women’s rights, which are under attack from all directions — is ‘toxic on both sides’. What’s more, it’s clear that many people agree with her.

According to opinion polls, most Scots believe trans people should be free to live as they please, but they don’t agree with a key section of the Scottish government’s Gender Recognition Reform bill, which would allow people to self-ID without a doctor’s report. The new law would make it easier to ‘change sex’ — a physical impossibility — than to get a driving licence or adopt a child. It will also, as Rowling’s tweet pointed out, permit male sex offenders to be described in court as ‘she’ — and demand to be housed in women’s prisons.

Police Scotland admitted as much in a response to a question from a former SNP justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, about how they would deal with rapists when the new law comes into force. Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie confirmed that a rapist who was ‘born male, but who identifies as a female’ could be recorded as a woman without even going through the process of getting a gender recognition certificate. This is already happening in England and Wales, where a staggering 436 male-bodied sex offenders were classified as women between 2012 and 2018.

Rowling’s intervention is crucial because this issue, more than trans-identified males demanding to use women’s toilets or changing rooms, is one that exercises a wide swathe of opinion. People baulk at the prospect of vulnerable women prisoners, many of them victims of domestic violence, being forced to share intimate spaces with men who have been convicted of serious sex offences. Rowling has experienced domestic abuse herself, so she knows how unpalatable this is. She also knows exactly how and when to intervene — and that makes her a very dangerous adversary.

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D Glover
D Glover
5 months ago

You’ve been convicted of rape, ‘Madam’
You wish to do your time in a women’s’ prison?
Right, we’ll need to snip a few bits off, then.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
5 months ago

Who can forget the very recent incidents at the Wi Spa in LA. A man identifying as a woman entered the women’s changing rooms and sat displaying himself – intact and aroused – to women and children. The owners of the spa refused to back down from their position that he had a right to be there and this lead to lengthy protests from concerned people. Before long ‘antifa’ (haha) joined in and the protests turned physically ugly.
The last I heard was that the man who identified as a woman was a registered serial sex offender.
Everyone deserves human rights – but not at the expense of the rights of others.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
5 months ago

Everyone does have rights as a human. But with these rights come responsibility to recognise that other people have the same rights and that if you want to enjoy your rights, you must allow others to enjoy the same rights. But people are taught they have rights. They are not taught they need to have responsibility, and that is where it all falls down.
It is not a change in the law we need, it is education in what the law is and actually means for everyone. Then much of this nonsense would stop.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
5 months ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

I’m afraid this whole emphasis on rights is too liberal for me. As a social conservative I prefer custom, and in Britain the custom was for women-only spaces (including on trains) long before there was talk about rights. For centuries (if not longer) most nations have had the intuition that it’s better for men and women to be separated in some situations and this was enshrined in custom, not law. Some cultures take it much too far, of course, with veiling and complete segregation. But generally western nations got it about right in the late 20thC before any concept of human rights intervened.

Last edited 5 months ago by Judy Englander
Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
5 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Human rights have existed in the common law long before the 20th century. The problem in the 20th century is that rights became legislated. As groups representing successively smaller segments of the population demanded legislative protection and got it, the legislators failed to recognize that freedoms collide. Like governments printing too much money and causing inflation, legislation created rights inflation, by granting too many conflicting rights. Thus, the rights of one group infringed upon the rights of another. Unless and until legislators draw boundaries on rights the conflicts will continue.

Last edited 5 months ago by Andrew Roman
Judy Englander
Judy Englander
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

Thank you for clarifying the language. I suspect there isn’t much disagreement between us. I was opposing ‘legislated rights’ by statute and agree, the concept of rights of freeborn people was incorporated in the common law as far back as Anglo-Saxon times. Statute law is rapidly replacing common law and custom, as far as I can see, and creating the problems you describe.

Last edited 5 months ago by Judy Englander
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
5 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

And custom meant that men owned their wives until recent times. I prefer defined rights.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
5 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Good comment.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
5 months ago

Last I heard, the man in the locker room was arrested for exposing himself soon after in another venue where he didn’t have the cover of pretending to be a woman.

Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
5 months ago

Let the lawyers quibble and split hairs until the cows come home, but common sense should decide these matters.

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
5 months ago

Unfortunately, common sense is not yet legislated. The right of a person to self-identify as having any sex or gender that they choose is legislated in many countries and parts of countries like states or provinces. Until that legislation changes there is not much for lawyers to quibble about.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
5 months ago

Thanks for using the correct pronouns to refer to this pervert.

Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle
5 months ago

Expelliarmus wokeus twaddleus!

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Doyle

*wokeum twaddleum.
(Sorry to be a pedant. Latin a-level 40 years ago.)

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
5 months ago
Reply to  Mike Doyle

expellemus subjunctive == let us expel

Neil Cheshire
Neil Cheshire
5 months ago

In Scotland there is now the farcical situation where a male accused of rape can at any time during the proceedings declare himself a female, and if convicted, demand to be sent to a women’s prison. Discrete units for ‘trans persons’ need to be set up within prisons despite the likely claims of ‘discrimination’.

Rose D
Rose D
5 months ago
Reply to  Neil Cheshire

A man convicted of rape belongs in a men’s prison. Why should taxpayers pay for him to have special accommodations?

David George
David George
5 months ago

I thought sanity would prevail but it’s still getting crazier.
The trans activists, out in force protesting a trans’ right to flash her p***s at the women and girls (Wi Spa protests), are one thing; the police pretending that an intact male sex offender belongs in a women’s prison?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
5 months ago

The way it looks at the moment is that you have to be a celeb to make a difference. But who is driving this insanity? It can’t just be the politicians against the whole nation. Everybody sees that it is claptrap but the politicos disagree? Don’t think so.
There has to be a basic agreement to make it happen.

Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I think it is because for many people in the media, universities, etc Twitter has become reality. Even though only 10% of the US population is on it and only 10% of those post anything.

Michael James
Michael James
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

George Orwell observed that some ideas were so stupid that only intellectuals believed them.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael James

Superb.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

What’s driving this insanity? Easy, but hidden behind a lot of word salad. It’s coming from dedicated Marxian revolutionary activists. They have made the long march through the institutions and the well-spring is the university, where the activists made their first fortress and have had the ability to seed their ideas through generation after generation. Everyone-who-is-Anyone has a university degree by this point, and that’s why we see broad support for these ideas across the heights of the culture and societal institutions.
It’s a religion. The core belief is that a Utopia is possible and must be won. The “devil” is the power structures built into our society, which operate to continually serve the Oppressors at the expense of the Oppressed. Thus, society is rotten to its core and must be uprooted and destroyed. Disrupt and Dismantle—everything.
Because every aspect of society/culture is rotten and oppressive, everything which exists and may stabilize society must be disrupted by any means necessary. Their final goal is to destroy the nuclear family (because this is the last and strongest locus of resistance) and one tool is to “queer” every identity that relates to family formation. There is to be NO stable-anything, and so male and female as immutable identities must be denied. Children must be taught from infancy that they may or may not be a boy, or a girl, or something else. Wheeee! Let’s raise They-bys instead of male or female Babys.

Last edited 5 months ago by Sheryl Rhodes
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

This exactly. I would also like to add that it is also about the manufacture of ‘truth’, and who gets to decide what is true or not. Transgender ideology denies individual search for truth and replaces it with a hierarchy that disseminates truth to those at the bottom. It also serves to hijack healthy sexual development in the young thus preventing them from attaining emotional maturity.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

The simple answer is Stonewall. Everyone should listen to this podast series by Stephen Nolan: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/p09yjmph

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
5 months ago

Quite sad to see an astute, articulate, successful woman attacked by a vengeful mob of cretini.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
5 months ago

I STAND WITH J.K.ROWLING.

Karl Francis
Karl Francis
5 months ago

Brilliant piece, couldn’t agree more!

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
5 months ago

This woke stupidity of “my ignorance is just as valid as your knowledge” can only go so far. Soon it will run out of steam, because cold rationality always wins at the end. Never forget: In the long run, world has always got better…

Max Richardson
Max Richardson
5 months ago

This barb of hers isn’t on target at all. On the contrary.

She’s been saying that she’s concerned about attacks on women by trans women. Well, this is exactly the policy that will allow the police to collect data on this. The policy doesn’t imply acceptance of the gender claim. It merely notes that the gender is claimed. That a rape has taken place is, by definition, sufficient evidence that the perpetrator was a biological male.

Furthermore, it isn’t the police that decide which prison the perpetrator goes to; instead it will be the prison service that decides.

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
5 months ago
Reply to  Max Richardson

In some jurisdictions there is a statutory right for any person to self-identify as being of whatever sex or gender they choose. In such jurisdictions I believe that prison authorities would have no authority to decide that a convicted male person who self-identifies as female should be sent to a prison that would otherwise be for women only. If the prison doesn’t recognize this right the prisoner can sue and will probably win both a transfer and some damages.

Last edited 5 months ago by Andrew Roman
Rose D
Rose D
5 months ago
Reply to  Max Richardson

No. The problem is that the authorities have been recording these men AS WOMEN in the statistics. The police et al haven’t been putting in the records that these rapists IDENTIFY as women, but that they ARE women.

Max Richardson
Max Richardson
5 months ago
Reply to  Rose D

You miss my point. Sure, at first glance the record identifies the suspect as a woman, but the fact that the recorded offence is rape makes it clear that the record is not that of a biological female.