It’s sad seeing bestselling authors like J.K Rowling embroiled in real world battles. I mean she’s had it all as an author. It’s the dream come true that very few writers ever realize. I wrote a few books, some were reviewed pretty well (and no, not shills, not friends and family only), but none sold enough for me to even be a rounding error on J.K Rowling’s most recent royalty statement. Jealous? Sure, what author wouldn’t be? I tried. Maybe I’ll write some more books someday, because I do love fiction writing.
In the meantime, I write here on this blog, though. I’m happy with that. Stay with me, we’re about to slay some dragons …
First, one more thing about me that’s important to point out. I’m probably in the smallest of smallest minority that has never seen any of the Harry Potter movies or read any of the books. Sacrilege! I know, I know, but can still appreciate and marvel at what Rowling has done and the popularity of the series. Maybe I’ll watch one of them someday. If you have recommendations, feel free to hit me up in the comments below.
Those wizard fantasy type books just haven’t ever really been my wheelhouse. I’d rather play Dungeons & Dragons the RPG game than read stories about wizards and magic. That’s not saying I dislike fantasy fiction, no way. It’s just not a genre that I’m super attracted to. I have read and enjoyed some fantasy — a lot.
Understanding that, I don’t have a dog in the J.K Rowling versus the trans community fight. I’m not a fan of Rowling’s work or writing, just a fellow author admirer of her success.
I’ve read plenty of stories about the conflict here and there and it seems like Rowling, despite obviously having great talent with words, has bungled up her messaging on the subject. I’m not sure what’s she’s trying to say or where she’s benefitting from the position she’s taking.
It wasn’t until last summer that Rowling really made her anti-transgender feelings clear, when she released a lengthy screed on her website outlining her “fears” of “trans activism.” For a woman who made billions using the written word, it was a shockingly unreadable piece, full of pseudoscientific nonsense to dress up undeniable bigotry. It was also a pivot sure to shock her audience. The “Harry Potter” series was beloved by readers because it preached messages of tolerance and inclusivity. The evil Voldemort and his followers are characterized as believing in wizarding purity, an unsubtle stand-in for eugenics. And yet, here was the woman credited with turning a whole generation of readers into progressives, suddenly, and loudly, declaring that intolerance was sometimes acceptable. Worse, Rowling hasn’t let it go, circling back every few weeks to remind everyone that she is still dedicated to the transphobic cause.HBO Max’s ‘Harry Potter’ streaming plans would give J.K. Rowling an undeserved platform
Intolerance is a terrible, unacceptable position to maintain. We should accept other human beings for what they want to be, so long as they do not hurt, infringe or impose upon others — period. I begin stepping off with any group of people when they start trying to tell me what to do, how to think and how to behave. There is some of that being sent J.K Rowling’s direction, but I see the argument for why this is happening.
Rowling has a right to her opinion, however wrong-headed or right she feels it might be, but she shouldn’t be trying to impose her beliefs on others. That’s where she’s most wrong here in my eyes. I could be off here, as I haven’t done deep research on this conflict. Maybe she’s not trying to tell the rest of us how to think involving the trans community, just trying to explain her position better?
One thing is certain, you can’t always get good information following news stories. You have to dig beyond those stories. Full disclosure: I haven’t done that here.
Whatever the case, it seems like it’s a bigger battle than anything I’ve heard about in the Harry Potter series — at least in the last year or so anyway. Or maybe I’ve got this all wrong.
We’ve talked on this site before about implied support for misdeeds — which is tangentially related at best, see: The Mike Tyson Dilemma – does promoting those who’ve done bad in the past imply support for their misdeeds? and Disgraced Sexual Assaulter Roman Polanski Wins Award at ‘French Oscars’. It’s nothing this severe, though. Having a controversial opinion isn’t the same as committing a violent or disgusting criminal act. Still, the point is Harry Potter is safe as a creative work no matter what J.K Rowling says or does. Might not be as popular or revered, but the work itself should stand on its own merits.
Oh, and I haven’t seen Fantastic Beasts either.
If I’ve got this wrong, please feel free to correct my thoughts on this in the comments area. Please keep it civil, as always, and if I follow up your comment with a comment, let’s have a reasonable discussion. Can we do that? We keep a respectful house here and don’t need any blood on the walls — except when speaking about horror 🙂