Guest post: A Soros-like boogeyman for the transactivist set

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Beneath contempt.

After four years of criticism, online fury, abuse, threats of violence, and even book burnings, her faith in her own position is undimmed.

Rowling’s position is that sex is real and that the rights of women and girls are worthy of, and in need of respect and defence. Is there now some reason that she should abandon this position? Is she wrong to believe these things? If so, why and how is that the case? If anything, her experience of these last few years (her “lived experience” I daresay), would only reinforce, rather than weaken her beliefs, and rightly so. O’Connell is dismayed that Rowling has not caved in to the bullying and intimidation with which the former is clearly aligning herself with this piece. Rowling does not love Big Brother.

…Rowling attempts to explain why she chose to make this battle over the rights of an oppressed minority her life’s work.

Here again we see the inherent narcissism and dishonesty of trans activism in play. Rowling’s comments have been explicitly pro-women. The battle she’s fighting is for the rights of women and girls; see above. But women are not allowed to have their own needs and interests. We are told that there is “No conflict” between women’s rights and trans “rights.” Anyone claiming that there is only wants to harm trans people: there can be no other reason, because NO DEBATE! Women’s rights are only a dog whistle. Women don’t really need or want single-sex prisons, hospital wards, rape crisis centers, toilet and changing facilities, sports teams, or short lists. Nope. Not at all. The only women agitating for these absolutely unnecessary and unwanted things are obviously racist, fascist, TERF bigots. One’s inability to see this means one is likely one of these TERF bigots as well, and at risk of being treated as such. Whether she knows it or not, O’Connell is part of this self-righteous, inherently misogynistic tradition of denying the needs and rights of women. As others have been pointing out for some time, if the rights of women are “anti-trans,” then trans “rights” are anti-woman. Trans demands can only be fulfilled at the expense of the health, safety and dignity of women. Rowling knows this. It is shameful that O’Connell does not.

She makes a convincing case that backlashes against individual women online are meant as a warning to all women.

But what distinguishes her from other victims of online witch-hunts is that Rowling waded into this intentionally.

Goddamn right she did. O’Connell is correct that she didn’t have to do this. Rowling could have sat back and left the fight to others. But, it is entirely to her credit that she did not, and that she stood up for the rights of women and girls. She read that warning correctly, and decided to fight against it. Imagine if she had not. Imagine how much worse things would have been if she’d taken the easy road, heeded that warning, and stayed quiet; or worse, if she’d joined in against women, like so many others, including O’Connell here.

Rowling knew that her position gave her a degree of protection and insulation that most other women do not have. But only a degree. I’m sure she had few illusions as to what she was doing; she saw what was happening, and yet still felt compelled to speak out. But not without risk. She willingly drew the hatred and hostility on herself, lifting, to some extent, the threat to other, more vulnerable women, and offering an example of principled resistance to violations of women’s boundaries. She offered herself as a scapegoat and target, showing the ugliness and ruthlessness of her opponents. When she refused to recant, or back down, or shut up, they turned Rowling into an all-powerful, Soros-like boogeyman for the transactivist set, someone whose every utterance killed trans kids by the score, and who was plotting and financing trans genocide. Fortunately, Rowling is too big to cancel, and she leveraged that power and privilege to fight for all women, even O’connell, even though she would choke on the words if she were to admit it.

Does O’Connell not see that trans activists were also free agents in this conflict? Did they cross no lines in their statements? Or were they correct and innocent in their reflexive issuing of death and rape threats, the accusations and smearing, the lies and calumny? Maybe they were simply so carried away by their passion that they couldn’t help themselves? No, those were choices too. How unintentionally prescient that Rowling says through Dumbledore “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” And, “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” She chose well. She chose right. All Rowling did was say “Yes” to women, and “No” to men. Trans activists did all the rest. Their response simply proved Rowling’s point: to paraphrase Lewis’s Law, the reaction to statements in favour of women’s rights proves why we need women’s rights, undoubtedly peaking many, many people. That Rowling’s wealth and privilege did not lull her into a complacent passivity and inaction is a testament to her character. In that sense, this is very much “her life’s work,” of which she can be justifiably proud.

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