J.K. Rowling, famed author of the Harry Potter book series, is continuing to speak out in defense of women against transgender activists. She is also speaking up for the protection of children against transgender medical interventions.
Rowling made her most recent comments on an episode of The Free Press’ podcast “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling,” where she was asked to respond to her critics who accuse her of “bigotry” for believing that biological men cannot become women.
Rowling replied that she has compassion for those struggling with actual gender dysphoria – defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity.”
But even their definition is not scientific. Sex is not “assigned” at birth – it is recognized by doctors and medical professionals based on objective biological criteria.
However, Rowling said that what has been occurring in recent years is a “new movement” that is “pressing for something different, very different.” She added:
This movement has argued, continues to argue, that a man may have had no surgery whatsoever but if he feels himself to be a woman, the door of every woman’s bathroom, changing room, rape center should be open to him. And I say no. I’m afraid I say no.
We are in a cultural moment where that individual’s hurt is being prioritized over the hurt of women whose rights and boundaries are under sustained assault. And I think it’s interesting to ask why the pain of one group is being prioritized over the pain of other groups.
But this is the great irony of the “women’s movement.” Gender politics is erasing the real needs of women. This is why Rowling argues transgender activists are pushing a cause that is “deeply misogynistic,” and said that though she counts herself as being on “the left,” many of those on her side of the political aisle are “increasingly puritanical, and authoritarian, and judgmental.”
“We’re dealing with children, in my view, being persuaded that a solution for all distress is lifelong medicalization,” Rowling said. “There’s no playing with this, experimenting with this and not suffering harm.”
I genuinely think that we are watching one of the worst medical scandals in a century.
I would ask proponents of gender identity ideology … if you are wrong, you have cheered on, you’ve created a climate, quite a threatening climate, in which whistleblowers and young people themselves are being intimated out of raising concerns.
Rowling has frequently spoke out on this issue starting three years ago, when she originally published an article on her website explaining her reasons for addressing gender ideology head on.
She offered many reasons for being worried about the “new trans activism.”
She has two charities, one supporting women as survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, another service at-risk children. Trans politics allows dangerous men access to such women and children.
As a former teacher, she is concerned about health and wellbeing of young children.
As an author, she is deeply concerned about issues of compelled speech with pronoun codes.
And she is worried about the many young women who are ashamed of their womanhood.
However, the main reason the Rowling said she felt compelled to speak up is because she herself is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault – something she had never before revealed. Rowling wrote:
I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.
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 … then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside.
Rowling lamented that it would have been far easier for her to go along with gender ideology. “There’s joy, relief and safety in conformity,” she wrote.
However, she added:
[As] endlessly unpleasant as its constant targeting of me has been, I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it.
Rowling’s courage on this issue is significant, especially because she is a liberal-leaning feminist on other issues.
But in our day, there seems to be a sort of ideological realignment underway. Various liberal individuals and groups like Rowling and the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), for example, see eye-to-eye with conservatives on the issue of transgenderism.
Perhaps that’s in part because the issue of performing transgender medical interventions on children is a “civilization-determining reality.”
Though conservatives may not agree with Rowling on many political topics, it’s clear that she is one of the most high-profile and courageous voices speaking truth on this extraordinarily contentious issue.
For that, Rowling deserves all the credit in the world.
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