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J.K Rowling's New Book Controversy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quick Ben, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. Quick Ben

    Quick Ben In ur docs, stealin ur werds.

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    So the trailer for the new Harry Potter game just dropped and I was checking the comments to see what people thought about it.

    I was surprised to see alot of people expressing vitriol towards the game and claiming the developers/sony were being tone deaf by releasing the trailer and planning to release the game.

    I was genuinely confused about this, so I decided to do some research and I think I might be going crazy because I absolutely do not understand where all this hate towards J.K Rowling and her work is coming from.

    So apparently, she released a new book that is based upon a Serial Killer that dresses as a woman in order to lure and kill women.

    Apparently, this is completely wrong and transphobic because it promotes the idea that transgender people are evil?
    What? Is this absolutely absurd to anyone else? or am I just crazy?

    Since when are creators/story tellers limited in the characters they create and how they choose to depict them?

    Are transgendered people paragons of virtue and morality who can never do wrong? Why should they only be depicted in a positive light in media?

    I am still doing research into the story, but so far I think the reaction has been absolutely absurd and another example of the masses gleefully looking to tear down someone.

    Just an example, an Australian Bookstore will no longer Stock Harry Potter books. What??

    Please, could someone who has more knowledge about this controversy explain to me what is going on here?
     
  2. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Are you new to the whole "JKR is a bigot" thing? This has been going on for years. Popular opinion among Twitteratti is she's a TERF.

    Authors are now limited, as you said, because some things are Forbidden. Full-throated support of all the Tumblr identities or you're the Devil.

    Twitter is full of crazies. Most people outside Twitter won't care.
     
  3. Inkwell

    Inkwell Squib

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    To add some nuance to the discussion, the issue is that until like the late 2000's, the only media representation for trans people was that of a crazy murderer who wears dresses and thinks he's a woman (that or a victim of a hate crime). There's not exactly a wealth of works which present trans people in a more nuanced light, and therefore it's a shame that JKR decides to fall back on an old unpleasant trope. It would have been better if she'd had a sympathetic trans character in the book as well, to balance things out a bit, but the way she's decided to write it is... unfortunate.

    Of course a writer can write what they want, but it is still important to consider if your work may be promoting harmful stereotypes or not.

    A lot of people on Twitter are doing performative outrage, I doubt they care about the issue as much as they seem to do. Plus, Twitter kills nuance, so you can't hold longer and more meaningful debates on it.
     
  4. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Prestigious Tomato ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    It's a problem because JKR is lowkey a supporter of the idea that there's no such thing as trans women, only men who want to pass as women in order to more effectively prey on women. It's not going to stop me from playing the game, or enjoying HP in general, but it's not completely uncontrolled cancel culture.
     
  5. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    This is so silly. If 100 people from among the offended Tumblrinas tried to write a novel with a sympathetic trans character, I reckon at least one could come up with something decent.

    Don't take this to mean I think they shouldn't critique JKR's book, but critique and criticism aren't the same thing.
     
  6. VanRopen

    VanRopen Headmaster

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    She consistently takes to twitter to make political statements, and then consistently gets shit on for them, because that's how the internet works.

    Her favorite issue to complain about is whether trans people exist, which she quite blatantly feels isn't the case. So when she then goes and decides to write a mystery novel involving a "a transvestite serial killer" it's abundantly clear she's falling into the same old "oh god they're gonna rape all our women in the sacred feminine bathroom space" thing that somehow always comes up - and so get's flak for it.


    Her bajillionaire ass is going to be quite fine, and no amount of "tearing her down" is going to meaningfully affect her in any way.
     
  7. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Second Year

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    If I've understood her position correctly, then she's concerned about a huge increase of young girls/women in the UK who want to become boys and is worried that this is because of a high level of misogyny in society, rather than because they're actually trans. She's also rather become focused on a small number of people who have had a sex change and are now regretting this and want to change back. The numbers she's quoting seem quite extreme and unlikely, but the points themselves are probably valid. I read a comment somewhere where someone smart concluded that she's likely fallen down a rabbit hole of statistics and now can't see beyond them.

    And then because of her history as a domestic abuse survivor, she's also very worried about female-only spaces being turned into gender neutral spaces, specifically that men can claim to be women to get into women's changing rooms etc. Unfortunately, with the whole gender/sex debate, she seems to get them mixed up at times and this angers a lot of people. What she's written seems to suggest that she's feeling attacked for expressing that being born a woman and having lived her life as a woman has been challenging etc, and it seems she is (continuing to) receive rape threats/murder threats on social media, which seems to have cemented her opinion that the people she's arguing with aren't legitimate trans people advocates but more of the same misogynists she's dealt with before in her career.

    Unfortunately, she continues occasionally to post about this on twitter rather than let it rest, and also unfortunately, she has seemingly reused the 'Psycho' storyline of a deranged murderer who likes dressing up as a woman.
     
  8. Ankan

    Ankan Professor

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    I haven't had a chanse to read the book yet, but from what I've understood, it's not about a murderer that likes dressing up as a woman. Rather, it's something that happened once and is then then blown out of proportion. Feel free to correct me if you have read it.

    Even then, I personally think almost none of the response I've seen is warranted even if you were to assume the worst of Rowling and her intentions. Reading the rape/murder threats and the extreme amount of bullshit people are posting only makes me feel more sympathetic to her views.
     
  9. PomMan

    PomMan High Inquisitor

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    She's been making transphobic comments for a while, posted an essay on how trans-rights improving would mean women would be attacked, and then wrote a book where a man pretends to be a woman and attacks women where the women feel safe from men.

    Its pretty obvious why people aren't happy with her right now.

    EDIT: For clarity, there's nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a character doing the things she gets them to do, the wrongness comes from the fact it's perpetuating a myth spread by transphobic people to discredit and restrict the rights of trans people. It would be like having her write a black man who's a stupid drug dealer rapist mugger <insert other caricature of black people that racists believe> after she posts saying that she doesnt like the idea that black men are getting increased representation or something.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
  10. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    There's a couple of bad points being made with respect to the new book.

    1. The character in question dresses up as woman as a disguise to commit crimes; he is not actually a transvestite (i.e. someone who cross-dresses because they like wearing clothes associated with the opposite gender).

    2. Even if the character was a transvestite, transvestites are not trans people. A transvestite's gender identity is not contrary to their biological sex. They just like to cross-dress.

    There is a rhetorical trick where people like to re-frame certain assertions as concerning existence or right to exist. But it's important to see through this (admittedly quite transparent) rhetorical flourish. The argument is deployed in two ways, each of which is wrong for different reasons.

    Firstly, people say that laws regulating gender or sexuality are laws which concern that person's right to exist. This is obviously wrong; they are laws which determine what behaviours a person is permitted to express; alternatively they are laws which place people into certain legally recognised categories. None of this concerns that person's existence. When someone proposes rounding up all trans people and executing them, then we can discuss existence.

    Secondly, people say that certain individuals like JKR do not recognise the existence of trans people. Again, this is obviously wrong. No one disputes the existence of people who identify as trans. What is disputed is whether those people's claims about sex and gender are factually, logically, or morally correct. Saying someone is wrong is not the same thing as saying they don't exist, even where the thing they are said to be wrong about concerns the correct characterisation of their self-image.

    And before anyone jumps on this post to make arguments as to the correct positions as to the factual, logical, or morally correct position as to sex/gender, please note that I have made no comment on the merits of those various arguments and recommend that such discussion is kept within the thread we already have for that topic. The purpose of this post is simply to ensure people are accurate in their speech when discussing the topic at hand.
     
  11. PomMan

    PomMan High Inquisitor

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    That's really missing the point, but in a way that shows you're not transphobic yourself. The reason its a problem is that those are the perceptions of trans people that Transphobic people have, and its perpetuating and normalising these ideas. Obviously the character isnt like a real trans person, but thats the way trans people are shown to be.
     
  12. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    Quite apart from her twitter statements, there's also this from one of the earlier Strike books:

    Source.
     
  13. VanRopen

    VanRopen Headmaster

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    They dispute the existence of those people as trans. You know, the topic of discussion.

    Nobody suggested she thinks they’re all cryptids.
     
  14. Garden

    Garden Chief Warlock

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    This is BS. Read her statement on her website. She clearly believes trans people exist.

    "I want to be very clear here: I know transition will be a solution for some gender dysphoric people, although I’m also aware through extensive research that studies have consistently shown that between 60-90% of gender dysphoric teens will grow out of their dysphoria. Again and again I’ve been told to ‘just meet some trans people.’ I have: in addition to a few younger people, who were all adorable, I happen to know a self-described transsexual woman who’s older than I am and wonderful. Although she’s open about her past as a gay man, I’ve always found it hard to think of her as anything other than a woman, and I believe (and certainly hope) she’s completely happy to have transitioned. Being older, though, she went through a long and rigorous process of evaluation, psychotherapy and staged transformation. The current explosion of trans activism is urging a removal of almost all the robust systems through which candidates for sex reassignment were once required to pass. A man who intends to have no surgery and take no hormones may now secure himself a Gender Recognition Certificate and be a woman in the sight of the law. Many people aren’t aware of this."

    "I’ve read all the arguments about femaleness not residing in the sexed body, and the assertions that biological women don’t have common experiences, and I find them, too, deeply misogynistic and regressive. It’s also clear that one of the objectives of denying the importance of sex is to erode what some seem to see as the cruelly segregationist idea of women having their own biological realities or – just as threatening – unifying realities that make them a cohesive political class. The hundreds of emails I’ve received in the last few days prove this erosion concerns many others just as much. It isn’t enough for women to be trans allies. Women must accept and admit that there is no material difference between trans women and themselves."

    "I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I’ve outlined. Trans people need and deserve protection. Like women, they’re most likely to be killed by sexual partners. Trans women who work in the sex industry, particularly trans women of colour, are at particular risk. Like every other domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor I know, I feel nothing but empathy and solidarity with trans women who’ve been abused by men."

    "So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth."

    "On Saturday morning, I read that the Scottish government is proceeding with its controversial gender recognition plans, which will in effect mean that all a man needs to ‘become a woman’ is to say he’s one. To use a very contemporary word, I was ‘triggered’. Ground down by the relentless attacks from trans activists on social media, when I was only there to give children feedback about pictures they’d drawn for my book under lockdown, I spent much of Saturday in a very dark place inside my head, as memories of a serious sexual assault I suffered in my twenties recurred on a loop. That assault happened at a time and in a space where I was vulnerable, and a man capitalised on an opportunity. I couldn’t shut out those memories and I was finding it hard to contain my anger and disappointment about the way I believe my government is playing fast and loose with womens and girls’ safety."


     
  15. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    This is precisely the rhetorical flourish which I was decrying. When you avoid misleading or loaded phrases and state the positions clearly, they are as follows:

    Trans person: "I am a person whose gender does not match my biological sex."

    TERF: "You are a person who thinks their gender does not match their biological sex, but your conception of sex and gender are wrong."

    The trans person's claim does not concern their existence, but rather their characteristics. The TERF's opposition does not deny the trans person's existence, but the correct characterisation of those characteristics.

    "Existence as trans" is an inaccurate phrase to describe the nature of the disagreement between trans activists and TERFs. It is a phrase used not for its clarity but rather precisely for its ability to obscure the true nature of the debate.
     
  16. Inkwell

    Inkwell Squib

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    But what the TERF means by saying "you are mistaken about your conceptions of sex and gender" boils down to "ergo, you do not exist as trans but rather just a confused man/woman who is taking hormones". They deny the trans person's right to exist as a transgender woman/man, and instead say that they should exist as a confused cisgender man/woman. Even if they don't say it at first, it always boils down to "...and therefore you aren't what you say you are and what you say you are cannot and should not exist".
     
  17. VanRopen

    VanRopen Headmaster

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    The “conception of sex and gender” in your TERF definition is the existence of transexuality.

    Like, have you never engaged in the changing room/bathroom nonsense discussion? The entire premise is that trans women are rapist men just pretending so they can get close to victims. The whole thing is meant to delegitimize transexuality as a concept - that is, to say it doesn’t exist. Under this framework there mostly are no transsexuals. They don’t exist. What does exist are a bunch of rapists in wait. That’s the whole point. Unless the UK is somehow radically different than the US, it’s first and foremost a culture war keystone to talk about how the filthy liberals are gonna let the queers rape your daughter.


    JKR’s lengthy statement, which I have read before, isn’t an example of such but Twitter doesn’t lend itself to any kind of nuanced discussion of any damn thing, and she blunders into shit like that Forstater thing for no reason.
     
  18. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I am a brown haired person.

    Imagine someone comes up to me and says that in fact my hair is blond.

    Is that person denying my existence? Clearly not. They are disagreeing with my view on how I should be described.

    I exist. I have certain characteristics, one of which is brown hair. A disagreement about my characteristics has no impact on my existence.

    The concept of "existing as" is nothing more than a conflation of two separate concepts (existence and characteristics) into a single phrase, but that act of verbal conflation does not mean that the concepts become logically mixed.

    To say "I exist as a trans person" is nothing more than saying (i) "I exist" and, (ii) "I am a person whose gender and biological sex differ". Since no one is disputing the "I exist" part, ultimately all that is the subject of discussion is "I am a person whose gender and biological sex differ."

    All you do when you introduce the phrase "exist as" is mislead, as it makes it sound like people disagree as to (i) when in fact the only disagreement is regarding (ii).
     
  19. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    @VanRopen

    The statement pasted above suggests that JKR is concerned about the actual predators that could game the system, she's not denying the right of trans people to transition, she didn't even express a preference for ignoring them, it reads like full throated support, blunted by fear of predators taking advantage of decreased, eh, burden of proof? required to become legally a woman. Wonky wording but I lend folks itt the benefit of doubt that ya'll understand my meaning.

    Debating TERFs as a whole seems to step outside the subject of the thread, and honestly it seems like OP's question has been answered thoroughly. I suggest if we're gonna keep talking, we move this to the Gender Dysphoria thread.

    https://forums.darklordpotter.net/threads/gender-dysphoria.39033/page-11

    Link to the thread
     
  20. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Prestigious Tomato ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    That statement is very different to the impression I got after reading another time she spoke on the topic. After I brief search I've been unable to find the tweet/post/thing that I remember though.
     
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