People, Not Ideas
A scrapbook of thoughts.
In a recent op-ed in The New York Times — often referred to as ‘the paper of record’ — former Books Editor Pamela Paul assured her readers that she looked at “all of [J.K.] Rowling’s books … and came up empty-handed” when trying to find examples of Rowling’s supposed anti-trans bigotry — that is, of course, if you overlook the time Rowling publicly mocked trans-inclusive language, as well as if you overlook Rowling’s claim that trans women are an attempt to erase women; also, of course, if you overlook the time Rowling promoted a store that sold virulently anti-trans merchandise, which itself shouldn’t obscure the multiple times in which Rowling has suggested that trans individuals are simply criminals, and on and on and on it goes … you get the idea.
The examples listed here are pulled from a Twitter thread put together by Chris Sosnowski, which we’ve posted a link to above.
Here’s how I addressed the matter on Twitter the other day:
There is a difference between educating yourself on a topic versus using your platform to ask to be educated on that topic, oftentimes using vague, ill-defined rules that can never actually be satisfied in practice. There is a difference between using your platform to ask to be educated on a topic versus using critical reading skills that might actually fall well short of that term, whether it’s in defense of J.K. Rowling —
— or in a years-late defense of a book regarding a situation you, yourself helped create —
I’ve had writing workshops with trans women. I’ve grabbed coffee with trans men. The world didn’t end.
All this being said, with all these scraps of links scattered throughout this post, maybe we could summarize what this post might be attempting to say: there are people going about living their lives; there are others who are interested in punishing these people for living their lives; and then there are those who only seem capable of registering the general tone in the air, how that tone makes them feel, and — apparently — nothing more.