Guest post: Just another opportunistic joyride on the libelous bandwagon

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Smirky little goon.

What they owe her is the courtesy of actually understanding her stance before going public about her.

It is a sign of the times that the trans activists could simply say “transphobe” and have so many people turn on someone, even in many cases, someone they’ve felt respect for, they liked, they spent time with.

It’s the casual betrayal of someone you’ve been close with (to some degree) for years that really gets me. They don’t want to be linked to the pariah. Not because she actually is one, but because everyone else says she is. Radcliffe, Watson and Grint would have had better access than most to talk to her privately if they felt so inclined. I’m thinking none of them did. If they had, they could claim to have talked with her personally to no avail, and thus acquire even higher trans cred. Seeing how low they’ve already stooped, I doubt they’d have had any qualms about betraying the contents of any such private conversations, had they occurred.

None of these people ready to pillory Rowling for her public statements seem to understand that the rest of us can read what she actually said, and see there was nothing “hateful” or “transphobic” in them. It puts people like Radcliffe at an extreme disadvantage to have to rely on the hearsay of others’ distorted takes on them when confronted by people who have read her words for themselves. We know better. It didn’t have to be that way; they knew her.

Another individual who has tried to save his ass in all this is screenwriter (now producer) Steve Kloves. In writing the screenplays of most of the Harry Potter films, and producing the Fantastic Beasts series, he has worked alongside Rowling for the better part of twenty years. You’d think that if he’d been that close to her for that long, something would have come up. I would think he would be better placed than most to know what she thinks on any number of subjects. If anything had come up in the course of their working relationship, he could have commented on it. But what is he reacting to? Activist-led fallout from Rowling’s public statements. Not the statements themselves, not any interactions they might have had in the time of their collaboration, but the perception that whatever it was she said is “transphobic.” Did he say, “yes, I felt she was transphobic when I was working with her,” offering proof and corroboration to the charges leveled against her? No. He’s just riffing on “trans rights” in conjunction with the baseless smear campaign that failed to address or quote (or sometimes even link to) what she actually said that was transphobic. If he had any additional ammunition to bring to the fight, he would have. But he didn’t. So his lofty “statement” in “solidarity” is just another opportunistic joyride on the libelous bandwagon.

Contrast this to what happened with the accusations against Cosby and Weinstein. Once the lid was off, others came forward with their own stories of abuse suffered at the hands of these two predators. The personal testimonies of those who came forward added details and showed what appeared to be a pattern of behaviour that extended over many years. They were their own accounts, in their own words. It wasn’t the tired repetition of anodyne, boilerplate statements of “solidarity” that added nothing to the substance and detail of the accusations. Had there been a similar outpouring of previously hidden Rowling statements and actions, detailed by people who were in a position to know what Rowling “really believed,” and who were now speaking out with evidence of actual hatred of trans identifying people, then that might have been a clue. If there was more to point at than the careful, malicious, misrepresentation of her public statements, then we would have heard about that. It would have blown up all over trans twitter. Trans activists would not have hesitated to use the most powerful evidence and arguments at their disposal: instead, they were forced to make shit up, because they had to. If any such actual evidence had come up, there would be some reason to suspect that Rowling harboured some pre-existing animosity towards trans people. (That she might now feel some amount of dislike or distaste at trans activists would hardly be surprising, given the treatment she’s received at their hands. Not everyone is as eager as Mike Pence is to lick the hand that’s struck you.)

Rowling’s greatest sin was to expose the lie of “no conflict” between trans “rights” and women’s rights. What little she said about trans identified males was actually very tolerant and compassionate (more so than I would be inclined to be). Most of her statements have been about protecting the rights, safety and dignity of girls and women. Her need to voice her concern showed that she believed that trans demands were a danger to girls and women. She was right to so believe. It is instructive that this was reflexively understood by trans activists as being “anti-trans.” The careful failure to quote exactly what was transphobic about what she actually said is also telling. It would have exposed the fact that what Rowling was saying was reasonable and correct. Better to hide her actual words under your own preferred spin than to give wider exposure to her completely logical, pro-woman position. To rephrase Lewis’s Law, the response to any statement in support of protecting women’s rights against trans demands demonstrates the very need for those rights.

6 Responses to “Guest post: Just another opportunistic joyride on the libelous bandwagon”