To think you can undermine women’s rights and disappear JK Rowling is magical thinking

“Things are not quite as they appear” it says in the trailer for the film Fantastic Beasts: The Secret of Dumbledore. Indeed so. “Warner Bros Invites You” it says on screen. Where to? To a world created by J K Rowling it seems, but the writer herself is now not mentioned. Her name has mysteriously vanished. As if by magic. 

Luckily, the woman herself refuses to disappear – dropping strategic tweets to remind us that she refuses to be silenced for championing the rights of women. Which has made her an enemy of many. 

The latest blow up row occurred when Rowling tweeted, referencing Orwell “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual who Raped you is a Woman”. She was referring to the news that Police Scotland has confirmed that it would record rapes by offenders with a penis as carried out by a woman if they identified as female, regardless of whether they had legally changed gender. 

Rowling, like many, is aghast at this decision for a number of reasons: The idea that a rape victim may have to refer to her rapist as “she” in court, the chance that this person then, if convicted, be put into the female prison estate, the privileging of a rapist’s sense of identity over the actual violation of a woman’s body. That’s just for starters.

For holding such views as these Rowling is seen by some as evil incarnate. Any woman who does not go along with increasingly bonkers gender ideology – where people can self-identify as whatever gender they choose, even if they don’t “have a full gender recognition certificate”, is subject to bullying, harassment, threats to their livelihoods and their lives. I know of what I speak and I have had only a tiny fraction of the abuse that Rowling gets. 

When men speak up about these issues as thankfully some do, they are not publicly vilified in the way women are. The blatant misogyny of so many trans activists is astonishing. It’s important to make a distinction between trans people, most of whom are perfectly reasonable, and their so-called allies who live on social media, the bearded brocialists whose sole purpose is to destroy individual women. 

The stereotype of the predatory trans person is a problem of course. Most trans people just want to get on with their lives. Yet the tiny minority who are a threat to women are the reason many of us want to keep our single sex spaces. When only 1 per cent of sexual offences are carried out by women, this move by Police Scotland could skew the crime statistics. 

Women who have been abused simply do not want to be around people with male genitalia.

This is why the issue of self-ID is so fraught. It means anyone can say they are a woman without obtaining a GRC, a Gender Recognition Certificate, which requires someone living as the opposite sex for a couple of years. Some trans people find this humiliating and I agree the whole process should be made easier. Fundamentally though Rowling believes, as I believe, as Western science believes that sex is immutable. Being a woman is not just a feeling in some man’s head. 

Rowling thinks for herself, pays a huge amount in taxes and gives to many charities, but she has not forgotten what it was like to be a poor and stigmatised single mother. She has written about being a victim of male violence in a past relationship – women don’t on the whole, “forget” male violence however successful they become. 

Rowling goes her own way – she courted controversy in 2014 when she was vocally against Scots Independence, she was also anti-Brexit. The SNP though, led by Nicola Sturgeon, who claims she “is a feminist to her fingertips”, clearly wants to appear more “radical” than Labour and is using trans rights as a totem. 

This all serves to encourage a constant stream of abuse aimed at Rowling and Warner Bros obviously now thinks her name taints the very brand she created. The actors she made famous have lined up to betray her. Not such fantastic beasts after all. 

On Twitter there is the usual trashing from delusional fools who love Harry Potter but now want to destroy his maker. Their identities are indeed confused. One wrote of her “sh*tty failed franchise”. 

Funny that. As I just had to meet a friend in Kings Cross where, as ever, excited children were queuing to get their picture taken on Platform 9¾ and the Harry Potter shop was full. 

You can leave Rowling’s name off a trailer but you cannot ignore the real world, where most of us know that the rights of women are more important than the rights of rapists. You can call the likes of Rowling and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists), but you cannot deny their power. 

But in reality TERF stands for Tired of Explaining Reality to Fools, doesn’t it? 

To think you can undermine women’s hard-won rights and disappear the likes of JK Rowling is magical thinking indeed. 

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