39 votes

JK Rowling’s latest book is about a murderous cis man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims

22 comments

  1. [16]
    gpl
    Link
    You can’t make this shit up. I honestly cannot understand how people get so attached to the gender binary - even if it is something you are unfamiliar with or haven’t thought much about, once you...

    You can’t make this shit up. I honestly cannot understand how people get so attached to the gender binary - even if it is something you are unfamiliar with or haven’t thought much about, once you learn about it why would you care? It’s equally shocking to me that she would tarnish her reputation so much with a lot of the population that grew up idolizing her stories over something where literally the default was to just not say anything.

    28 votes
    1. [10]
      moonbathers
      Link Parent
      I think she feels threatened by trans women in some way or another. She views trans women as predators and trans men as confused women as she's shown in previous things she's said/written on the...

      I think she feels threatened by trans women in some way or another. She views trans women as predators and trans men as confused women as she's shown in previous things she's said/written on the subject. Beyond that I'm not sure, but trans people tend to be viewed as mentally ill (as in being "cured", and not in the hormones sort of way) or sexually deviant degenerates who need to be "cured" or worse. JK Rowling hasn't said or associated with anything worse than "curing" trans people as far as I know, so that's something at least.

      I can't speak for exactly how she feels threatened, but my understanding is that trans people and sometimes other LGBT people sometimes threaten people's worldview in which everything is the same as it always was, by which they mean everything is the same as they understood it to be when they were kids. It's easier to rationalize "well I'm not sexist so a man should be able to love a man like a woman does" (that logic is the only positive contribution Neil Gorsuch will ever have on my life. fuck him) than it is to rationalize "this person feels like they're a man on the inside, that's not a big deal".

      15 votes
      1. [7]
        RNG
        Link Parent
        This is probably a topic better suited for someone far better informed than I, but it certainly appears that intolerance is often motivated by fear. The fear that LGBTQ folks will dismantle...

        This is probably a topic better suited for someone far better informed than I, but it certainly appears that intolerance is often motivated by fear. The fear that LGBTQ folks will dismantle institutions like marriage and the family unit. The fear that immigrants will out-compete locals for domestic jobs. The fear that a racially integrated society will erode institutions that have placed a certain class of people in a position of privilege.

        The fear doesn't have to be rational, and indeed it often isn't. I was a conservative for many years, and I'd gladly admit that my politics were largely based on the fear of what "x" was going to do to my family/country/religion/institutions. As a leftist, I find my politics largely motivated now by what I perceive as injustice. The political projects of preserving the present (or returning to the past) and confronting/dismantling unjust institutions are projects that are fundamentally at odds.

        8 votes
        1. moonbathers
          Link Parent
          As a wise man once write, ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand :) The fact that people who live in 98+% white areas are the most hostile to immigrants and people of color in general...

          As a wise man once write, ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand :) The fact that people who live in 98+% white areas are the most hostile to immigrants and people of color in general is pretty compelling, and that fear even extends to cities and white people who live there.

          The "they're threatening our way of life!" line goes a long way in certain circles I think, I agree with you. It shows up in every issue, as you've said. I got some campaign mail recently that said the Green New Deal would threaten our way of life even.

          5 votes
        2. [5]
          Eylrid
          Link Parent
          She put out a statement laying out her position. It is fear. Her fear comes from being the victim of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

          She put out a statement laying out her position. It is fear. Her fear comes from being the victim of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

          4 votes
          1. moonbathers
            Link Parent
            I've read that essay and it's a whole lot of hatred wrapped in concern. What happened to her was terrible but there's no reasonable jump from being abused by a man to hating trans people. That's...

            I've read that essay and it's a whole lot of hatred wrapped in concern. What happened to her was terrible but there's no reasonable jump from being abused by a man to hating trans people.

            That's not to imply that you're defending her position, I know you're not.

            13 votes
          2. Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            I got about a third of the way through it before I had to stop reading the first time I was linked this. I started at the beginning again, and while I made it slightly further, I had to do the...

            I got about a third of the way through it before I had to stop reading the first time I was linked this. I started at the beginning again, and while I made it slightly further, I had to do the same thing again.

            Her fear does not justify her actions and misrepresentation of what is really going on. She's painting a very rosy picture for her stance and vilifying the opposite. She's doing nothing but weaponizing fear to push her biased agenda. The way she frames her 'concerns' about de-transitioning and conveniently leaves out any numbers (let alone incidence rate), the way she claims there's a 4400% increase in trans male despite leaving out any time-frame (4,400% since a decade ago wouldn't surprise me in the least, but is probably also true for trans females 🙄) or any comparison... the whole thing just reeks of armchair politically motivated science. You know the kind that republicans push to continue to claim that there's 'not enough evidence' and a 'division among scientists' when referring to climate change.

            8 votes
          3. [2]
            RNG
            Link Parent
            Thank you for linking this, I haven't read it up till this point. The question then comes to: how much intolerance (or bigotry) might one forgive due to traumatic personal experiences? This is...

            Thank you for linking this, I haven't read it up till this point.

            The question then comes to: how much intolerance (or bigotry) might one forgive due to traumatic personal experiences? This is something oft talked about in circles regarding a white person's wariness towards people of color; they had an experience that traumatized them towards people of a specific race. We are intended to infer that this wariness is justified, due to the visceral nature of this person's anecdotal experience.

            One might find it peculiar, the picking out of a specific attribute to be "wary" about whether that be race, ethnic group, gender identity, etc. In the 20th century in the US, black people have been often feared the predators of white women, for reasons that are firmly rooted in the ideology of white supremacy. Would one's experience being victimized by a black person provide them a "pass" to parrot clearly anti-black talking points? Especially within the historical backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement?

            I'd think society would not find that permissible, even in this specific circumstance. I think also we should maintain consistency with someone who uses their personal trauma to further bigoted and intolerant positions on their massive platform.

            6 votes
            1. mftrhu
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              As far as I am concerned, very little, because there is a large gulf between avoidance, irrational or not, and intolerance/bigotry, and while they might have a right to feel safe, so do the people...
              • Exemplary

              how much intolerance (or bigotry) might one forgive due to traumatic personal experiences? This is something oft talked about in circles regarding a white person's wariness towards people of color; they had an experience that traumatized them towards people of a specific race. We are intended to infer that this wariness is justified, due to the visceral nature of this person's anecdotal experience.

              As far as I am concerned, very little, because there is a large gulf between avoidance, irrational or not, and intolerance/bigotry, and while they might have a right to feel safe, so do the people they target.

              On top of that, I'm not convinced their intolerance/bigotry was a result of their trauma, as much as manifested through it by focusing on some ${CHARACTERISTIC} they already consider to be "other".

              This is especially the case when it comes to jk Rowling, or really any cis woman using her trauma at the hands of cis men to defend her vicious attacks towards trans women: those two groups look very different, I doubt they were targeted by the strawmen in drag they depict - which is a deliberate choice, like that of refusing to distinguish between the two - and I doubt their anger is aimed equally at all AMAB people, instead of just those that can't defend themselves.

              In any case, it doesn't really matter. We can call their intolerance justified, caused by an external event and thus not "their fault", but that doesn't justify the harm they go on to cause to already highly-vulnerable populations, certainly not if they don't even try to get better.

              To be even blunter, rabid animals are innocent of the harm they cause, and, as we can't stop them from doing that, we still put them down.

              17 votes
      2. [2]
        mftrhu
        Link Parent
        You can pretty much go down this Anti-LGBT rhetoric Wikipedia page and tick all the anti-gay rhetoric boxes off. "Causing disasters" might have fallen out of use, but pretty much every other...

        Beyond that I'm not sure,

        You can pretty much go down this Anti-LGBT rhetoric Wikipedia page and tick all the anti-gay rhetoric boxes off.

        "Causing disasters" might have fallen out of use, but pretty much every other anti-trans talking point is just recycled homophobia with the serial numbers filed off. "Transgenderism [sic] is unnatural, a mental disorder, a disease, a sinful lifestyle!" are very common statements, like also "it's a Western ill" (some Stalinist UK party was marching hard on that).

        It is definitely conflated with child abuse - see all those people decrying the harms of puberty blockers - and too many people seem to be under the impression that we are out to recruit children, that "force-transing" of GNC children/traumatized women - as opposed to people learning they can transition earlier - is a widespread problem and that mass detransitions will have happened twenty ten five years ago happen any day now.

        A common trope is "I'm so lucky I was born forty years ago, I was such a tomboy growing up, and had I been born today I'd certainly have been forced into transition!", to the point that it makes up a large fraction - if not a majority - of the content on /r/‍detrans.

        The recent articles on womb transplants, also, helped stoke the GC paranoia, with people claiming we'd be coming for their uterus, or deciding to stop being organ donors in case they'll ever be viable for trans women.

        Then, of course, there's the bathroom predator paranoia - generalized to any areas where an AFAB majority might congregate, like locker rooms, shelters and prisons, often coaxed as "you want to force traumatised women into seeing your penis!" - the people ranting about how "they are coming for our sports", always bringing up the same four-five trans or intersex athletes who had some measure of success, and the whole "you can have genital preferences!" debacle.

        8 votes
        1. moonbathers
          Link Parent
          That's a good summary of the common arguments, thank you. I wrote about this a few months ago but it's easy to forget things. I feel bad for all the Millennials who grew up on the series who are...

          That's a good summary of the common arguments, thank you. I wrote about this a few months ago but it's easy to forget things.

          I feel bad for all the Millennials who grew up on the series who are still into it because they have to deal with the fact that the person who created something that has touched their hearts is an absolute trash person and super vocal about it. If someone from one of the bands that I've followed for 15+ years started saying things like JK Rowling has I'd have trouble with it too.

          6 votes
    2. [4]
      wycy
      Link Parent
      I have to wonder if this is one of those things like how the most rabidly anti-gay Republicans end up being caught in some kind of gay act themselves. Has JK Rowling fought with her own gender...

      I have to wonder if this is one of those things like how the most rabidly anti-gay Republicans end up being caught in some kind of gay act themselves. Has JK Rowling fought with her own gender identity her whole life such that it's causing this weird backlash effect? Being this rabidly anti-trans is just downright weird.

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        Eylrid
        Link Parent
        She was the victim of domestic abuse and sexual assault and is projecting that trauma to trans women It's understandable why she feels the way she does, but taking it out on trans people is deeply...

        She was the victim of domestic abuse and sexual assault and is projecting that trauma to trans women It's understandable why she feels the way she does, but taking it out on trans people is deeply unfair.

        6 votes
        1. RNG
          Link Parent
          In the context of the Civil Rights Movement in the US, there was a narrative that racial integration would lead to the victimization of white women by black men due to "their nature." If a white...

          In the context of the Civil Rights Movement in the US, there was a narrative that racial integration would lead to the victimization of white women by black men due to "their nature." If a white woman used their personal anecdotal experience to further this reactionary counter-movement to the Civil Rights Movement, one would be justified in condemning such an action while still maintaining sympathy for their personal trauma.

          I think that there is significant overlap between this situation and the furtherance of this bigoted fiction of trans people choosing to transition for the purpose of victimizing cis-women by JKR.

          8 votes
      2. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Don't do this to me... don't make me have compassion for her 😓😥

        Don't do this to me... don't make me have compassion for her 😓😥

        3 votes
    3. vegai
      Link Parent
      Could it be that she's deliberately writing these books as a middle finger to her detractors? The whole issue has been overblown quite a lot in social media, supposedly due to her huge popularity.

      Could it be that she's deliberately writing these books as a middle finger to her detractors? The whole issue has been overblown quite a lot in social media, supposedly due to her huge popularity.

      2 votes
  2. [3]
    FishFingus
    Link
    Someone else on Twitter raised the idea that this makes it look like her previous transphobic rants and essay were essentially for the purpose of drumming up book publicity. I don't feel bad about...

    Someone else on Twitter raised the idea that this makes it look like her previous transphobic rants and essay were essentially for the purpose of drumming up book publicity. I don't feel bad about referring to her as Joanne Karen Rowling.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      gpl
      Link Parent
      What is the significance of referring to her as Joanne Karen as opposed to JK?

      What is the significance of referring to her as Joanne Karen as opposed to JK?

      3 votes
      1. FishFingus
        Link Parent
        It's a term for out-of-touch bigots and people who throw their weight around. She's quite on board with using her lawyers to curb other people's free speech, so I think the second part fits too.

        It's a term for out-of-touch bigots and people who throw their weight around. She's quite on board with using her lawyers to curb other people's free speech, so I think the second part fits too.

        2 votes
  3. skybrian
    Link
    The Telegraph review is behind a paywall and a lot of other articles aren’t actually reviews. There is a brief review in the Guardian but it doesn’t say anything about transgender issues.

    The Telegraph review is behind a paywall and a lot of other articles aren’t actually reviews. There is a brief review in the Guardian but it doesn’t say anything about transgender issues.

    1 vote
  4. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    Another Guardian article today: JK Rowling’s Troubled Blood: don’t judge a book by a single review [...]

    Another Guardian article today: JK Rowling’s Troubled Blood: don’t judge a book by a single review

    The Telegraph review chose to go big on Creed, describing him as “a transvestite serial killer”, and asking “what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues” would make of it. But Creed is just one of many suspects – and without giving too much away, he is not the main villain, nor is he portrayed as trans or even called a “transvestite” by Rowling.

    [...]

    Perhaps some will still consider this depiction transphobic, given Rowling’s rightly widely criticised views on trans people. It is, at best, an utterly tone-deaf decision to include an evil man who cross-dresses after months of pain among trans people and their allies. But there is also reason to be wary of any moral outrage stoked by the Telegraph, a paper that generally doesn’t shy away from publishing jeering at the “woke crowd”, or claims that children are “put at risk by transgender books”, or attacks on “the trans lobby”. And we should also be wary of how one review has been reproduced without question by countless newspapers and websites, by journalists who have shown no indication of having read the book themselves.

    3 votes
    1. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      And the part you conveniently left out

      And the part you conveniently left out

      Instead, he is a man who had “camouflaged himself behind an apparently fey and gentle facade”. Having been abused as a child, Creed begins watching women undressing in secret at the age of 12, stealing women’s underwear and wearing it while masturbating. On one work night out, he puts on the coat of a female colleague and sings a song. He has “a convivial, sexually ambiguous persona that worked well with the drunk and lonely”; when a stash of jewellery is found hidden below his floorboards, “he said he’d bought it because he liked to cross-dress”. In reality, this was a lie to cover that these were trophies taken from his victims.

      Creed is described as a “genius of misdirection in his neat little white van, dressed in the pink coat he’d stolen from [his landlady] Vi Cooper, and sometimes wearing a wig that, from a distance, to a drunk victim, gave his hazy form a feminine appearance just long enough for his large hands to close over a gasping mouth”.

      5 votes