Harry Potter: Courtesy & Science vs. The Mob (EP.191)

Harry Potter

Introduction

“Dress however you please,” Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling posted on Twitter, Thursday, 19 December 19. “Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”

In response, Vanity Fair reports: JK Rowling is a TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) was trending within hours, and the conversation continued throughout the day. It led a handful of parents to question on Twitter whether it was appropriate to keep reading Harry Potter to their children, and may affect the way the books and their creator are seen by progressive Americans.

From the Washington Post: “Rowling’s tweet triggered backlash almost immediately, attracting condemnation from individual users and organizations alike: ‘Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. CC: JK Rowling,’ the Human Rights Campaign account tweeted. Replying to Rowling’s tweet, one fan wrote that she grew up reading the Harry Potter series as a trans child, and that the author’s decision ‘to support people that hate me’ brought tears to her eyes.’”

That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode. 

Continuing

J. K. Rowling’s Twitter post is the very combination of courtesy and respect for others and acknowledgment of important science that I strive for in my life, and commend to others in their lives. How is it that others could disagree–and disagree so deeply and loudly?

The woman referred to in Rowling’s tweet is Maya Forstater, a tax expert who lost her job at a UK Poverty think tank after tweeting that trans women can’t change their biological sex. Basically adhering to the argument that has somehow become bitterly controversial: that men are not women, and women are not men. Forstater’s contract as a visiting fellow at the Washington- and London-based nonprofit Center for Global Development was not renewed, according to the Guardian, after they found her tweets to be exclusionary toward trans people. On Wednesday, Judge James Tayler at the Central London Employment Tribunal dismissed Forstater’s claims of wrongful termination, per the Guardian, calling her “absolutist in her view of sex” and her expressed beliefs “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

Struther Martin’s character in the excellent movie “Cool Hand Luke” set the tone for today’s episode. Martin, oh-so-fittingly–is the Captain in a brutal Southern chain gang prison. Luke, “Cool Hand”, Paul Newman’s character who is idolized by his fellow inmates for his independent spirit, has just been dragged in, beaten and broken. As Luke lies there, surrounded by his fellow prisoners, here is what the Captain says. “Run one time, get a set of chains. Run again, get two sets of chains. Won’t be no need for no 3rd set; cause you gonna get your mind right. And I do mean right. Take a good look at Luke here (completely broken and unmoving). Cool Hand Luke.”

A so-called think tank came up with this firing. Someone with the title of judge supported this termination, saying in part, that Forstater beliefs are, “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

The woke world is taking the steps needed to get Rowling’s mind right. Mind you, Rowling has a history of being on the left, including having made  major donations to the British Labour party, and is a self-described anti-Trumper. The world of “I say it, therefore it is true.” will not let up until Rowling–and all of us–have our minds right–completely right, and in full alignment with current doctrine. Here’s another representative tweet in response to Rowling’s defense of the science that observes that sex is immutable: “What, exactly, is to be gained by using your platform to be cruel and exclusionary to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations?

N.B. There is no attempt to argue the science. The only effort is to invoke one of the more recently employed phrases: vulnerable population. Apparently if a group is declared vulnerable, then all science and logic are to be tossed out in favor of catering to this group. Take them immediately to a safe space, and tend to their needs.

I am in full support of how Rowling makes it safe for people to be who they are, “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security.”

Why is that not enough? Answer. Because having people be safe and accepted is not what the activists want.  They want, they demand, total alignment with the dogma of the day. Today’s demand, and the demands are frequently changed, is that we all accept the claim that if you feel like something, that you are indeed, in fact, fully and completely that thing you feel yourself to be. For example, if you are a man, and feel that you are a woman, then, well, you are, in fact, a woman. Never mind that you will never function as a woman with anything from menstruation to menopause, from birthing a child to breastfeeding. Never, none of that will change in the tiniest bit. And the superficial surgeries, paid for by taxpayers or not, change nothing but appearances. 

I can put on a Bill Gates mask for Halloween, and my friends will humor me by treating me like the multi-billionaire, world-changing genius. But I am not going to wear that mask into a bank, and ask for a $20 million loan. And the bank would be daft if it granted me loan. In the same vein, I could dress up as a dragon, and have tons of fun playing that role. But I’d be daft if I tried to get the fireplace going by breathing fire on the stacked wood.

Let’s be sensible, have fun, and, like Rowling, do all that we can to be accepting and embracing. But let’s not be daft.

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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

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Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
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One Response

  1. Alexander H Slocum Reply

    I think J. K. Rowling was saying what matters is our hearts and minds, not biology, and I completely agree. Reading J.K.’s words as evil and firing of Maya for expressing her opinions along these lines because their thoughts are “not worthy of respect in a democratic society” sets an even scarier precedent: the abolition of free speech. Those of us with relatives who lived through the horrors of WWII will understand that to speak out against state-led rounding up of undesirables was to be labeled an undesirable will understand.

    Truly enlightened people will look at statements by J.K.’s and Maya and twist them not to darkness, but evolve them to enlighten and teach such that the authors themselves will light and carry torches for those who cannot.

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