J.K. Rowling needs to stop being trolled for writing the Harry Potter series. It’s time to respect her right to privacy and let her express herself.
After last week’s U.K. court decision in Maya Forstater’s favor, a woman who was fired for asserting that “men cannot turn into women” and “that sex is a biological truth, and is immutable,” I may say this with legal certainty. That decision solidifies our freedom to express our beliefs.
Since Rowling joined the Twitterstorm regarding the definition of a woman in June 2020, Twitter trolls have been having a field day.
She tweeted, “People who menstruate.” “There must have been a term for those folks in the past. Please lend me a hand. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Not everyone thought it was a good idea to diffuse a delicate and tense situation. Furious, some more outspoken transgender lobby members launched an assault. Boris Johnson recently said, “The herd instinct is tremendous, and when the herd moves, it moves,” and I’ll paraphrase that.
The young stars she had made famous lined up to have her canceled. Tweeted Daniel Radcliffe, “Female transgender people are women. Any claim to the contrary robs transgender persons of their identity and dignity.”
Writer Emma Watson said: “Rupert Grint said, “Trans individuals are who they claim they are. Trans ladies are women. Transgender males are men. Everyone should have the right to loving and judgment-free life.”
Rowling vehemently denies the accusations that she is transphobic and has never stated otherwise. She has merely expressed her opinions on what a woman should biologically be.
But such a viewpoint has a price. In the early days of the controversy, Warner Bros., which has made a fortune because of her extraordinary talent, didn’t seem eager to stand by her, sending a statement that read: “Fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace has never been more vital to our organization.” That didn’t strike me as a ringing recommendation.
Fortunately, it appears to be reconsidering. Last month, the business acknowledged that using the justification that Rowling was “not relevant” or “related” to Warner to prevent a journalist from asking actor Tom Felton about her absence from a celebratory Harry Potter event was “wholly wrong.” Who else is essential if she isn’t?
Nobody argues that important topics shouldn’t be open to debate or disagreement. But it is unacceptable for a minority group—any minority group—to try to persuade their opponents to be quiet, especially regarding a problematic issue like this. What if those who adore J.K. Rowling’s magical stories cast Harry Potter’s potent spell on her to shield her from the insults and threats she has already endured for only articulating what so many women feel?
Expelliarmus: Get out of here, trolls!
Counselor and psychotherapist Lulu Sinclair is. The author’s own opinions are presented in this piece.