It’s that time of year again when JK Rowling has a new book out and she decides to work the masses with some random bullshit.
JK Rowling, sorry, Robert Galbraith has a new book out this week, which obviously means there’s a new chapter in the TERF* wars.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ll know that JK Rowling has courted quite a bit of controversy over her stance on trans issues.
I’m not going to say I agree or disagree with her, because I really don’t give a rat’s patoot what the media say about her. She’s given her side, the press and social media have their own ideas about what goes on inside her head.
I honestly don’t believe she’s transphobic. I just think she says some stupid stuff that has a tendency to look transphobic depending on your own personal lens.
The whole media circus that got whipped up in the last week about how JK’s new book has a serial killer who dresses up as a woman to attack women in bathrooms, turned out to be a single line about the serial killer having put on a wig and a woman’s coat to evade the cops.
Apparently. I haven’t read it, and I doubt I ever will. Her Strike books are shit, in my opinion. There are many, many far better writers of crime novels, who don’t work the rope-lines of a whipped-up media frenzy every time they have new books to sell.
Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist
It’s not a slur, you big babies. It’s just a descriptor.
You all use TRAs as an insult against trans-rights activists, even though it’s literally just the acronym. This is exactly the same thing.
Peter James’ Roy Grace series is well worth looking at if you’re on the lookout for some gritty crime drama without the added circus. They’re set in and around Brighton and Hove and are really well thought out, compelling reads. You should check them out if you haven’t already. 🙂
Back to JK Rowling though …
I said I don’t like her Strike books, and I doubt she’d care. I’m just one person, and there are thousands of people who do read and enjoy them. I wouldn’t care if she said she didn’t like what I wrote either. And since I’m currently working on a book with my trans kid in which the premise is basically Harry Potter but with no magic, and far more inclusive in terms of race, religion, sexuality, and gender expression, and his parents didn’t die, and his dad actually is a drunk, she would probably have more than a couple of words to say about it if she ever read it.
Actually, you know what, I take that back. I would care if she said she didn’t like it because it meant she’d read it, which would be damn pretty awesome, and anyone who says otherwise is clearly bonkers.
Uh, yeah, so I’m working on a new book. And my kid’s trans. And another of my kids is NB. And I think gender as a concept is flawed. It’s a whole thing in my house, apparently.
And really, that’s the crux of the whole thing with JK. She states, quite rightly, that a person can’t change their sex. This is an indisputable scientific truth. If you were born female, you’ll always be genetically female. It doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t identify as a man. Same goes in reverse.
Sex vs Gender
male / female | sex | immutable
man / boy / woman / girl | gender | fluid
If you still don’t get it, think of it this way, your sex is biological. It’s like eye colour or skin colour. It’s a part of you that you can’t change. You can wear coloured contacts, or bleach or your skin or get a spray tan, but your real eye/skin colour is still genetically the same as it always was.
Your gender, on the other hand, is individual. It’s like religion. You might have been born into a Christian family, and raised that way, but when you’re older you realised it’s just not for you. Maybe you’re inspired to follow the Buddhist teachings, or you realise you’re atheist. All of these options are equally valid. The same goes for gender expression. Just because you were born genetically male and raised as a boy by your parents, it doesn’t mean you necessarily identify as a boy, just as you might not necessarily identify with the religion (or lack thereof) you were raised with.
Again, none of these things necessarily mean I agree with JK Rowling. Especially when she posts tweets like the following:
She reacted to a clickbait headline in the same way people react to the stuff she tweets; namely, knee-jerking. Not to mention that the article she was reacting to quite clearly referred to, and I quote, the hygiene needs of girls, women, and all people who menstruate.
Now, I’m sorry if you feel the need to focus on the last three words in that, but you can’t argue that children shouldn’t be taking puberty blockers in one breath, but then completely invalidate their very personal gender expression in the next by saying that they essentially don’t exist.
I have a trans son. He menstruates. I have a non-binary child. They menstruate. It’s a thing.
I’m female, and I don’t menstruate. At least, not very often. It’s a throwback to me having cancer, and not having a full reproductive system. I don’t care if that somehow makes me not a woman or less of a woman. I never identified as one anyway. I believe in biological sex, but I don’t personally subscribe to any gender. I’m queer, and I’ve never been ashamed of who I am. And I guess by not having a full reproductive system, I’m not technically fully female either … *Insert I’m not like other girls meme*
But if you try to tell me that two of my children who menstruate aren’t valid because they don’t identify as girls, you’d best believe I’m going to have a problem with that, no matter how much we love your wizarding world. (If I baked that birthday cake now, it wouldn’t say Kayleigh.)
Bye for now,