In a bizarre tweet by the beloved Harry Potter author where she refers to trans rights advocates as “rapist rights activists”, all JK Rowling said was “compelling a woman to call her rapist or violent male attacker ‘she’ in court is state-sanctioned abuse” right? Wrong!
I just wish she would shut up for five seconds but while she simply refuses to do that I am going to continue using her name recognition to talk about bigotry, propaganda and how it all works. Such as the extremely common tactic of transphobes massively playing down what was actually said after they receive backlash or criticism for it. Often resulting in defenders crying out “All JK Rowling said was…”
But it’s not all JK Rowling said, it’s never all of what any of the people this line has been used to defend said or did. There’s always significantly more to the story that is deliberately being left out for the purposes of making the bigoted argument stick.
According to Rowling herself “all JK Rowling said was that compelling a woman to call her rapist or violent male attacker ‘she’ in court is state-sanctioned abuse” – which she posted along side two images of someone hoping she dies or gets poisoned and another person saying she has called all trans women rapists with her original message.
A very small sampling of what happens when you say on Twitter that compelling a woman to call her rapist or violent male attacker ‘she’ in court is state-sanctioned abuse. pic.twitter.com/HhuPz4igz2
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 5, 2023
Ignoring the death threat adjacent tweets because no? Don’t send people tweets like that what is wrong with you? What kind of awful person does this? FORESHADOWING ALERT. Is the second person’s tweet claiming she has said all trans women are rapists bang out of order? Well… no… no it isn’t. It’s not totally accurate but it’s a lot closer than the “all JK Rowling said was…” brigade would have you believe.
The context of this situation explains a lot. In her original tweet Rowling posts a screenshot of an article titled “Right to choose gender pronoun a ‘matter of respect'” which talks about South Australia being the latest to endorse the use of preferred gender pronouns in court. The article is paywalled but honestly the screenshot captures everything that’s said really ie that its a “matter of respect” and integral to “ensuring public confidence in the proper administration of justice”.
I don’t see any where in this article where it suggests that victims of crimes would be forced or compelled to be respectful of the person who did a crime to them, irrespective of the crime. The article appears to read as though this is guidance for the court and gives an example that Judges may receive documents including pronouns in square brackets after people’s names.
In fact this has since been clarified by Chief Justice Kourakis who said; “It does no more than allow lawyers and others to inform the court of the correct pronunciation of their name and their preferred gender pronoun so that proceedings are conducted respectfully,” he said. “However, the presiding judicial officer retains control over all forms of address used in court.”
“A victim of crime would never be asked to address an accused person in a way which caused the victim distress,” he said. “I would prefer that social media commentators took the time to properly inform themselves before pressing the send button, but my only concern is to assure the South Australian public that Ms Rowling’s anxiety is completely unfounded.”
Even when trans people are victims to crimes we have had to go through court proceedings where we are constantly misgendered by the court because of some silly law or guidance somewhere. This minor change aims to improve that experience for them alongside making sure that the much smaller camp of transgender criminals get a fairer feeling trial. This is a progressive change that is pretty much exclusively advocated for by transgender people.
So yes, to jump from this to “rapist rights advocates” is 100% JK Rowling calling transgender people “rapist rights advocates”. She is outright saying that the things trans people are arguing for work to benefit rapists as if the only way to stop rapists is to be a prick to transgender people on the internet.
All JK Rowling said wasn’t some guff about compelling victims of serious sexual offences to respect their rapists pronouns because that was literally never on the table until she imagined it was as a means of attacking progressive guidance mostly aimed at supporting transgender victims of crimes – a lot of which happen to also be sex crimes as the commenter she went off at had pointed out.
JK Rowling equating all trans women to rapists. Fun times.
TERFs are a cult that continually escalates the stakes in its followers to the point where they will openly call for the killing of trans people. Kellie Jay Keen-Minshull already does, and Rowling is not far behind. pic.twitter.com/MV2oNvSzUH
— Jessie Earl (@jessiegender) November 4, 2023
This isn’t by, any stretch of the imagination, a new tactic. The “all I did was” thing was happening long before “all JK Rowling said was”. If you want to read another example of this my friends over at Trans Safety Network have also got a piece covering it. It’s far more in-depth than mine and I can’t recommend it and their work in general enough!
FORESHADOWING PAYOFF INCOMING. My personal favourite example of this is, funnily enough, related to JK Rowling and her bigot essay a few years back. As you may recall, her tweet announcing her foray into being a dick head on the internet to trans people was a defense of Maya Forstater in which Rowling claimed Forstater had been fired for simply “stating sex is real”.
But for those of us who tuned into Forstater’s tribunal we know that not to be the case as her actions and behaviour extended far beyond simply having a belief about sex. She also did things like bring pamphlets into work from FairPlayForWomen – and organisation who once publicly hoped that should it ever become possible for transgender women to get pregnant that our “foetus would invade the hosts’ body and proliferate like 1,000 cancers [evil grin]”.
For the avoidance of all doubt; that “[evil grin]” is literally part of the tweet they sent.
How can you ask us to respect either you or them when they are hoping we get a thousand cancers? pic.twitter.com/RzAPPGLZBJ
— THROBBING GIRLDICK (I exist) (@notCursedE) February 12, 2022
I’m happy to call out that one random autistic queer and say “don’t do that, it’s shitty and bad” – but I’ve never once seen anti-trans activists, even the ones pretending to be the polite kind, address horrific anti-trans messages like this. In fact, less than a week ago Rowling was snidely tweeting in defense of Posie Parker’s hate rally in Australia – the same Posie Parker who has said things like “women who call themselves men should be sterilised”.
The message received is coming through loud and clear; trans lives are okay to treat this way. You can idly threaten us with inhumane treatment for merely existing! You can outright hope that we get the worst potential version of one of the worst human diseases for daring to trying to start a family. Hundreds of thousands of people’s legal rights – whether they are victims or perpetrators of crime – are unimportant and can be ignored in favour of potentially annoying like 7 rapists.
But don’t you dare openly hope that something bad happens to the people who want all of the above! How terrible of you! Fighting back like that! Don’t you know it’s much easier – for them – if we all just roll over and take the kicking?