A new podcast asks: Is the Harry Potter author being burned at the stake?
This IS a particularly thoughtful and nuanced piece; and a really good link to Helen Lewis as well as the trans woman, Natalie. Being naturally small-boned and beautiful no doubt eased her transition somewhat but it still had to have been really difficult. The bottom line as usual is whether or not you have the capacity for empathy and/or imagination which a chunk of us obviously just DOESN'T, and although they can't always HELP that, it should absolutely disqualify them from governance.
On this topic I think of what Katie Couric said to a small group of affected young people in a program she did several years ago when all this was "new," that their position DID present a "steep learning curve." Which is undeniable, and as a mature person I think many of late have conflated it with just another trending topic for social media and the generation that subscribes to it, characterized by youthful impetuosity, adolescent angst, and what many of us perceive to be that group's overweening need for attention.
But on that learning curve this issue has developed merit over time and on balance, I now think anything that expands the definition of what it is to be human is actually welcome and quite fascinating. And on the aforementioned governance thing, I feel more and more affinity with the whole LGBT movement all the time because of its pure political value, i.e. its full outing of the right in their truly shocking nastiness, not to mention their habit of going WAY too far as usual.
You've really captured the hypocrisy of J.K. Rowling here but I agree with you that she's been cornered and maybe just needs more time to climb down from a personal blind spot. At some level, as a woman, I have some understanding of where she's coming from in viewing trans women as capricious upstarts to say the least, master appropriaters, and just another incursion by men EVEN here.
I was at a Public Interest Alberta conference in Edmonton a few years ago and a large, sweating trans woman was at every breakout session making her/their case animatedly in a highly agitated, impatient manner. I empathized with such evident emotional distress so sidled up next to her and declared my empathy, which was much appreciated of course, but also caused her to listen. A highly salient point here I'd say. I pointed out my perspective as someone who had been a woman for a long time, when it came to feeling fully respected and equal, she really did kind of need to get in line because there's MAJOR history here, as in "his story."
A great, thoughtful, nuanced piece.
I never weigh in on this, recognizing my own ignorance; but I've sure been left thoughtful by some arguments I've seen. I really like and respect David Roberts, of "Volts.wtf", who podcasts about clean energy. But on Twitter, he vents about every political issue, very much from the "Republicans aren't just wrong, they're horrible" end of the spectrum.
For whatever reason, he took up the issue indirectly, a long Twitter thread on how that guy at CPAC was not just giving himself cover against genocide cries by saying that "TransgenderISM" must be eradicated, he was attacking all minorities, attacking women, since he was really attacking any "ism", like feminism, that works to provide the same rights to minorities as to cis white men.
Below the thread was a pile-on. David was out of his lane, should get back to it, it was terrible that he "parsed" the statement and read a lot more into it, when the right thing to do was just cry genocide, that the "ism" thing was still calling for genocide of all transgender people. Any other take than "condemn the genocide" - even a deeper take - made him not just wrong, but awful, a genocide-enabler.
There must have been 100 comments, not a single one was equivocal, they were just scorching him, one and all. I can imagine that David indeed will get back to his lane, never bring up transgenderism again, even if he does keep commenting on Republican awfulness in other areas.
I just heard Kara Swisher on a podcast, who used to get along with Elon Musk and spoke well of him, saying that "now, what used to be 10% of his character has become 99%". One wonders whether Rowling has changed because she was very stung by criticism and backed into a corner, or if the issue has just been revealing of where she always was.
As a cisgendered old white member of the patriarchy, it is difficult to weigh-in on a discussion about a feminist trying to fight for female rights and transgendered peoples rights to separate gender from sex. All I know for sure is that both have the right to their opinions, neither have been overly respectful of the other, and that society seems to be driven by the shrillest voice rather than by common sense. We must protect our children and some serious scientific study needs to be done to figure what is truly the best for each child.
"There is no wrong side of the schism." I have a feeling this would be proved incorrect if certain points were made.
For the first time I was disappointed in an obvious lack of proofreading.