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why does the writer suffer the ire of transgender activists?


Who Framed JK Rowling? The Boswells School in Chelmsfort (Essex, east of England) has renamed one of its buildings which bore the name of the famous novelist, creator of the Harry Potter universe, on the grounds of ” his views on trans people “.

In the fall of 2021, we reviewed and renamed one of the school buildings following numerous requests from students and staff, as well as a vote from the whole school. explains Stephen Mansell, director of the establishment. A decision stemming from the desire to found “ a vibrant, inclusive and democratic school community, where we encourage students to become independent and confident citizens “.

For the school principal, the removal of JK Rowling’s name comes from ” many requests from students and staff (…) in light of JK Rowling’s comments and opinions “. For several years, the novelist has suffered the wrath of transgender activists. Reason? To sum up, she believes that sex is above all a question of biology.

Rowling dispossessed of her work

JK Rowling’s positions have unleashed a storm that never ends. The author has become a prime target of what is called cancel culture, the desire to erase her name as much as possible from public space. Thus, in September 2020, Warner, which has the rights to the Harry Potter universe, announced a video game based on the saga: “Hogwarts Legacy”. Faced with comments from fans of the saga outraged by the opinions of its creator, the game studio tried to reassure by saying that the game was not developed with the novelist.

READ ALSO: Disney +: Boba Fett caught up with the woke!

The studio even announced that players will have the choice of their character’s voice, whether it has a male or female body. A slightly demago way of putting the activists of the trans cause in their pocket. But attempts to dispossess the novelist of her universe continue today. On Monday December 13, 2021, Warner unveils the trailer for the third opus of Fantastic Beasts, a saga that takes place in the magic universe.

While the trailer for the first opus announced “ JK Rowling invites you in large fiery letters, she is now relegated to the final image of the new trailer, in very small print. The novelist nevertheless holds the reins of the screenplay. Incidentally, it is she who allowed this universe to exist…

The gradual erasure of the writer reached its climax on January 1, 2022. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter saga in cinema, the HBO Max platform broadcast Back to Hogwarts. A special program in which all the octalogy actors met to reminisce. Missing: the creator of the character, sorry. She just appears in archival footage from 2019. According to the Los Angeles Times, “ an HBO spokesperson said Rowling had been asked to give a new interview, but the producers felt the archive footage [de 2019] were doing the trick. HBO did not respond to questions about whether Rowling turned down the new interview, or whether it was filmed before it was ultimately dropped from the edit by the show’s producers. “.

More anecdotally, but no less eloquent, the US Quidditch and the Major League of Quidditch, sports leagues inspired by the sport on broomsticks invented by the author, have chosen to change their names to detach themselves from the novelist. Hide this woman who cannot be seen (or named).

“Betrayal” of the cause of the excluded

To understand this demonstration of cancel culture in large widths, you have to go back to June 6, 2020. On Twitter, Rowling shares an article titled: “ Opinion: Creating a more equal post-Covid-19 world for people who menstruate “. To which she adds, with a touch of irony: “People who menstruate”. I’m sure we had a word for these people before. Someone help me. Women? Do we? Fimmes? “.

For part of the transgender community and its allies, the publication was guilty of transphobia. According to them, gender identity supersedes biological sex – one can therefore be born with a penis but feel like a woman or be born with a vagina but feel like a man.

In a second tweet, the novelist believes: “ If the sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women around the world is erased. I know and love transgender people, but erasing the concept of sex prevents many of them from meaningfully discussing their lives. It’s not hate to tell the truth “. Words which, for its detractors, classify it in the category of ” radical feminists who exclude trans people (TERF).

READ ALSO: “People who menstruate”, “gender identity”… but what is it to be a woman?

On August 27, 2020 Rowling even had to resolve to return the price of the ” Ripple of Hope », presented the previous year by the human rights organization Robert F. Kennedy (RFKHR). Following his remarks on the menstruating people“, the president of RFKHR estimated that the author” reduced the identity of transgender people.

JK Rowling is all the more taken to task as some of her fans see in her speech a real betrayal, on the grounds that her saga conveys a central message: the defense of the excluded. The plot of Harry Potter features wizards born of non-magical people struggling against Voldemort’s supremacist project based on blood purity, but also magical creatures discriminated against because they are considered inferior such as elves, centaurs and goblins .

Older charges

But if the June 2020 tweet set things on fire, JK Rowling has actually, more discreetly, been in the crosshairs of some transgender activists for longer. In 2018, the novelist “liked” (approved, editor’s note) a tweet that depicted trans people as “ men in dress “. His press officer pleads the error ” typical of a person of his age “.

Another object of controversy: the support, in March 2019, of Maya Forstater, employee of an American NGO Center for Global Development, whose contract was not renewed. In question: tweets deemed transphobic. Maya Forstater estimated, in September 2018, that ” radically broadening the legal definition of the term “women” so that it can include both men and women makes it a meaningless concept and will undermine women’s rights and the protection of women and girls “. And to add: I think males are not females. I don’t think being a woman is about feminine identity or feelings. It’s biology “.

After the announcement of the non-renewal of Forstater’s contract, JK Rowling considers it unfair to ” forcing women out of jobs for saying sex is real “. A defense quickly denounced as being, too, transphobic.

But the Rowling case now goes beyond the framework of cancel culture. In November 2021, the novelist announced that three activists ” photographed themselves in front of (his) house, positioning themselves carefully so that (his) address was visible “. Police Scotland have announced that an investigation is underway. In twenty years, Rowling has gone from model for a whole generation to “the-one-whose-must-not-pronounce-the-name”.

READ ALSO: JK Rowling victim of death threats because of her opinions on transsexuality

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