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JK Rowling just conflated trans rights with Donald Trump, incels and pornography. Yes, really

Lily Wakefield June 10, 2020
Hachette JK Rowling conflates trans rights with Donald Trump incels and porn

JK Rowling arrives at the RFK Ripple of Hope Awards at New York Hilton Midtown on December 12, 2019 in New York City. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty)

In a problematic and controversial essay defending her “gender critical” anti-trans views, JK Rowling has conflated trans rights with Donald Trump, incels and pornography.

The essay, which saw Rowling suggest that gender dysphoria stems from mental health problems and confess that she may have transitioned if given the option when younger, was published on Wednesday, June 10.

JK Rowling decided it was “time to explain myself on an issue surrounded by toxicity”, but ended up added more toxicity to an already damaging debate over validity of trans people’s lives and experiences.

In one section of the essay, the Harry Potter author included trans rights in a list of issues that she said meant we were “living through the most misogynistic period I’ve experienced”, alongside porn, Donald Trump and incels.

She wrote: “Back in the 80s, I imagined that my future daughters, should I have any, would have it far better than I ever did, but between the backlash against feminism and a porn-saturated online culture, I believe things have got significantly worse for girls.

“Never have I seen women denigrated and dehumanised to the extent they are now.

“From the leader of the free world’s long history of sexual assault accusations and his proud boast of ‘grabbing them by the pussy’, to the incel (‘involuntarily celibate’) movement that rages against women who won’t give them sex, to the trans activists who declare that TERFs need punching and re-educating, men across the political spectrum seem to agree: women are asking for trouble.

“Everywhere, women are being told to shut up and sit down, or else.”

When unaired Access Hollywood footage resurfaced from 2005 which saw Trump brag about “grabbing women by the pussy”, many said it rendered him unfit for the presidency, but Trump campaign officials passed off the horrifically misogynistic comments as “locker room banter”.

The Trump administration has time and time again moved to roll back LGBT+ rights, from trying to prevent same-sex couples from adopting to banning trans people from serving in the military.

An incel — which is a contraction of involuntarily celibate — is a person who believes that the odds are stacked against perceived to be unattractive heterosexual men who wish to have sex, and that their right to sex is being denied to them by women and attractive men.

The incel “community” is viciously misogynistic, often blaming women for their sexual misfortunes and in some cases even advocating violence and rape.

However, as former head of Stonewall Ruth Hunt recently said, the hatred and abuse directed at trans people now by anti-trans so-called feminists is “equivalent to vitriol against gay men and HIV in the 1980s”.

She added that she was “deeply concerned” that a lot of the commentary from the gender critical feminism movement “comes from a place of unequivocal transphobia”.

“That bad-faith transphobia manifests itself by presuming that trans women are inherently out to deceive, and that trans women are men,” she said.

More: anti-trans, Donald Trump, gender critical feminism, Harry Potter, incels, JK Rowling, porn

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