JK Rowling vs Steven King: Clash of Titans (or whatever)

VS

tl;dr:

  • JK Rowling posted a pro women’s voices thread
  • Stephen King retweets it because it’s a valid AF thread
  • Rowling writes a flowery Tweet of praise for King’s support of women’s issues
  • Stephen King fans demand King explain his feelings about transwomen because they view the RT as supporting Rowling who has revealed herself to be transphobic
  • Stephen King responded to fans that transwomen are women
  • JK Rowling deleted her Tweet of praise reinforcing her transphobia in a petty AF manner
  • People attack King for “Throwing Rowling under the bus”
  • I don’t understand how promoting women’s voices and supporting transwomen are mutually exclusive issues
  • Ultimately its just internet drama and nobody should care

 

Forewarning: I do NOT use gender and sex interchangeably. I use Men and Women (and as a trans-masc enby, I know those are not the limits to gender expression) to mean identifying gender. I use Male and Female to identify body structure. Male and Female bodies are not the same. I’m sure there’s better terminology for this, but as I mention later on, people who have vaginas require a different set of care and treatment than those who have penises. This does not in any way reduce the validity of one’s identifying gender. You are who you are, but your body will always need care specialized for its form. Even trans people with bottom surgery need a different set of care from their CIS counterparts. I ultimately think we need better universal terminology, but that’s a discussion for another day. Your body does not determine WHO you are, it just determines the kind of care you need. You are you and you and your struggles are valid ♥

 

The Rant

My time on Twitter isn’t what it once was. I used to live on that platform trying to build a social empire but that’s since imploded for some reason so I barely give a crap about what I post there or what goes on in the Twitterverse (I actually have another post about that soon that’ll PROBABLY cost me followers and ruffle some feathers but who cares!).

Well, I made the darn diddly doodly mistake of taking a peek at the trending tab. There it was:

SHES AT IT AGAIN

Oh lawd what she doin’ now? Is there a hitherto unknown TRANS CHARACTER in her franchise? Is she trying to appease the masses like the shill she is?

HAHA NOPE! And I’m not gonna lie, I love it.

Here’s what went down, as vaguely researched from other more diligent information gathering sites.

JK Rowling posted a Tweet thread about how men react to women’s opinions as if they are acts of violence against them sourcing the late Feminist Andrea Dworkin’s works. The thread itself boils down to men not taking women seriously because they feel like a woman with an opinion counter to their own is a threat. This is a generalization, of course, but it does occur in the wild. There is validity to this thread. Women are often overtaken by male voices even with very woman/female-centric issues. Yes, this is an issue, and Rowling is not wrong for bringing light to it.

So what went wrong?

Stephen King retweeted her thread. He saw the validity in the statement that men need to take women’s concerns more seriously and actually sit down and listen rather than write off woman/female issues as hysteria. That’s a great move. Amplifying this issue is great. It could open some eyes and ears.

Rowling saw this as a vote of confidence in her latest female-bodied centric tirade of who is and isn’t a woman. In response, she sang a long Tweet of praise for King’s support.

According to The Mary Sue, the tweet read:

“I’ve always revered @StephenKing, but today my love reached – maybe not Annie Wilkes levels – but new heights. It’s so much easier for men to ignore women’s concerns, or to belittle them, but I won’t ever forget the men who stood up when they didn’t need to. Thank you, Stephen.”

After this, fans began calling out King’s retweeting of Rowling’s tweet. They accused him of siding with a transphobe and they needed to hear his opinion on transwomen. Like any civilized human who just wants to settle the crowd, he simply responded with:

Rowling’s response? She deleted the Tweet of praise.

Look. Women’s voices needing to be heard is not an issue in a vacuum. One can support transwomen while acknowledging that women as a whole need their voices elevated and heard. It is fair to acknowledge that there is an issue among males, specifically those in power, recognizing the unique condition of female-bodied autonomy. I did not read the entirety of Rowling’s thread, but since it was her reaction to King’s Tweet that created controversy, and not the thread itself, then I have to assume the thread was legitimately addressing a real problem in the world. To me, it seems really strange that these two concerns have to be mutually exclusive.

But that’s where Rowling’s transphobia really begins to shine.

Dear JK Rowling. That you would have such a visceral reaction to a man, who supported you by retweeting a thread on women’s voices needed to be heard, suggesting that transwomen are women (GOD FOR DUCKING BID), clearly makes you…

Drum roll, please!

A transphobe! *Wheel of fortune COME ON DOWN theme*

People showed up in the comments quickly condemning King’s support of transwomen. Some siting some seriously bad actors. I’m not knee-deep in the trans community, but as it would behoove feminists to back away from transphobes, it would behoove the trans “community” to condemn threats of violence against CIS women. Transphobes or not. It does nothing to further their acceptance of us. Others had the strange perception that he’d thrown Rowling under the buss. That as a man of power, giving a boost to Rowling’s thread, he was doing good. But as soon as he gave his thoughts on trans rights, he was a goon. Again, I do not think these issues are mutually exclusive. I firmly believe that both need and deserve attention. I VEHEMENTLY believe that women’s voices need to be taken more seriously and their bodies belong to them and only them. I also believe that transwomen face threats in this world that need serious addressing. Some of these threats coincide with those faced by female-bodied people. I really don’t see how King retweeting a pro-female thread and then saying he supports transwomen makes him a hypocrite. Interestingly enough, even though Rowling deleted her praise Tweet, King still has her thread on women’s voices on his timeline. Food for thought.

This all still comes as a bit of a shock after Rowling seemingly bent over backwards to retroactively shoehorn in LGBTQ+ characters into her multi-billion-dollar Harry Potter franchise. You’d think she’d at least try to scuttle her transphobia so she’d still be the champion of a generation of fiction. But nah. Lady’s doubling down and going hard.

I wasn’t kidding when I said I admire that. So many people in her place would be backtracking trying to redefine their words or claim they meant something else. Not here! Not good ol’ JK Rowling! This dame be sticking to her guns while aiming them directly at innocent transwomen who just want to exist! Contrary to that GOAT statement, she is not, in fact, inciting violence so please just keep it in the metaphorical realm. Rowling is, ultimately, allowed to express herself however she wants. Everyone is. If people react poorly, that’s just the way of the world. I honestly appreciate her not back-tracking and while I still hold some resentment toward her, she may have earned an ember of respect from me.

At the end of the day, transphobia says two things:

Transwomen are men in disguise trying to violate women in intimate spaces

Transmen are confused little girls who just need to get their heads straightened out

And don’t think I’m blind to people abusing the idea of being trans to do heinous things. I hope the world can see the difference between someone who just wants to live their life and someone who co-ops the struggle of an entire portion of the population to further their own morally bankrupt goals. Don’t fall for that shit, people. Transwomen are not predators, but predators may pose as transwomen. This is a very dangerous slope that we cannot lose sight of. We must protect real transwomen and call out and reject predators who wear that mask.

This all stemmed from her talking about the term “People Who Menstruate” when talking about the healthcare needs of, well, people who menstruate. She claimed that it was a washing-out of the term “Woman” (in an incredibly condescending manner, might I add) because only real women menstruate. She found herself in more than one catch.

The first, obviously, is revealing her transphobia.

The second, and this one I really like, was women who DO NOT or CANNOT menstruate coming out like: “Are we not women?” I was DECEASED when I saw that.

FACT: Your ability to menstruate does not make you any more or less of a woman.

Hell I menstruate and at one point in my life it almost killed me and I don’t identify as a woman.

Maybe there’s a better term for “People Who Menstruate”, but if I’m being 100% honest, women who do and women who don’t menstruate do require different care. Biology is biology. Different bodies need different care and ones that do menstruate need a different set of care than those that do not. It’s just gosh dang diddly doodly science, my dame.

Let me clarify something here at the end of all that. TERF stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists. One can be a TERF all they want. I’m not saying you can’t be. I’m just saying being open and public with clear transphobia isn’t gonna score you any points.

It is foolish to think that there aren’t inherent issues and abuses unique to female bodies. These bodies have long been used and abused throughout history and continue to suffer from male-dominated legislations that do nothing but strip them of their bodily autonomy. Yes. This is real. This is an issue transwomen would not be familiar with, but if they learn about the struggle and decide they want to help fight for better female-bodied autonomy and protections, you’re a damn fool to not welcome them aboard. You’d welcome a CIS man to the fight, so why not a transwoman?

Trans rights and Female-body rights are both things that need to be fought for. I don’t think it’s impossible to fight for both at the same time.

Look. I know I know, I’m really adding nothing to the conversation, but dagnabbit, I might just be a little bit riled up. My feathers might have been ruffled. My jimmies may have been rustled. My panties in a twist. This was more an exercise of expression than insightful commentary. I hope it was at least a fun read.

P.S. I know Stephen King isn’t exactly a perfect saint and could very well just be saying shit to say shit without believing it, but hey, its what we see that matters and he may yet prove his actions are the opposite of his words. Who knows. I’ll probably be writing something about him someday…

1 thought on “JK Rowling vs Steven King: Clash of Titans (or whatever)”

Leave a Reply