Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

A cozy, genteel room to discuss books, authors, and things literary.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
jserraglio
Posts: 6103
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by jserraglio » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:50 pm

CNN

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling has come under fire for expressing support for a woman who lost an employment tribunal over comments she made on social media about transgender people.

Maya Forstater brought a claim against the Center for Global Development and CGD Europe, an international development think tank, after she lost her job as a researcher following comments on Twitter criticizing UK government plans to allow people to self-identify their gender.
Forstater does not believe that it is possible to change sex, and that men who have undergone gender reassignment surgery are still men -- even if the law recognizes them as women. "I don't think people should be compelled to play along with literal delusions like 'transwomen are women,'" she wrote in a private message to a co-worker that was cited in evidence in the case.
The tribunal, making a preliminary ruling in her case, determined that Forstater's views were not protected as a "philosophical belief" under the Equality Act 2010.
Details of the tribunal, held between November 13 and 21, were published Wednesday.
The employment judge, James Tayler, wrote in his judgment that he considered Forstater's view to be "absolutist" and "incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others."
In a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday, Forstater said she believes that "sex is a biological fact & is immutable."
"There are two sexes. Men are male. Women are female. It is impossible to change sex. These were until very recently understood as basic facts of life," she wrote.
Rowling announced her support for Forstater on Thursday, writing: "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. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill."
LGBT rights charity Stonewall declined to comment on Rowling's statement, but addressing Forstater's case, a spokesperson told CNN: "This case was about the importance of dignity and respect in the workplace. Trans people are facing huge levels of abuse and discrimination with one in eight (12%) having been attacked while at work in the last year."
Commenting on the implications of the ruling, Louise Rea, senior associate at law firm Bates Wells, who advised Forstater's former employers, said in a statement to CNN: "A number of commentators have viewed this case as being about the claimant's freedom of speech.
"Employment Judge Tayler acknowledged that there is nothing to stop the claimant campaigning against the proposed revisions to the Gender Recognition Act or, expressing her opinion that there should be some spaces that are restricted to women assigned female at birth.
"However, she can do so without insisting on calling transwomen men. It is the fact that her belief necessarily involves violating the dignity of others which means it is not protected under the Equality Act 2010."
Forstater's attorney, Peter Daly of law firm Slater and Gordon, told CNN: "The significance of this judgement should not be down played.
"Had our client been successful, she would have established in law protection for people -- on any side of this debate -- to express their beliefs without fear of being discriminated against."
People have expressed their disappointment with Rowling's comments about the case on Twitter, with some calling her tweet transphobic. CNN has reached out to Rowling's representatives for comment.
Freddy McConnell, who made the film "Seahorse" about his experience as a transgender man who gave birth, tweeted Thursday that Rowling had misrepresented the judgment.
McConnell added: "Forstater's argument is a dog whistle."
Forstater has set up a fundraising page to pay for her legal representation, which has so far received more than £90,000 ($117,500) in donations.
© 2019 Cable News Network, Inc. A WarnerMedia Company. All Rights Reserved.

david johnson
Posts: 1537
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:04 am
Location: ark/mo

Re: Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by david johnson » Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:46 am

Forstater and Rowling are correct in this.

jserraglio
Posts: 6103
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by jserraglio » Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:21 pm

david johnson wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:46 am
Forstater and Rowling are correct in this.
So say those mired in medaevalism. But, in fact, Kurt Vonnegut, trained as a scientist, is correct in this:
Vonnegut wrote:There are no fewer than seven sexes on Earth, each essential to reproduction. . . . There could be no Earthing babies without male homosexuals. There could be babies without female homosexuals. There couldn’t be babies without women over sixty-five years old. There could be babies without men over sixty-five. There couldn’t be babies without other babies who had lived an hour or less after birth.

david johnson
Posts: 1537
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:04 am
Location: ark/mo

Re: Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by david johnson » Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:11 am

"So say those mired in medaevalism. But, in fact, Kurt Vonnegut, trained as a scientist, is correct in this:" I am not into mire playing. Vonnegut does not really express the topic well.

jserraglio
Posts: 6103
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by jserraglio » Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:08 am

david johnson wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:11 am
I am not into mire playing. Vonnegut does not really express the topic well.
As an American POW in WW2, a survivor of the Allied fireboming of Dresden, a trained chemist, and the author of one of the greatest imaginative works of the 20th century, Vonnegut told us via metaphor that gender may not be immutably fixed for all humans at birth and surely should not be "assigned" to an individual against her will by the State. A basic libertarian principle is at stake there, in case anyone besides me still finds that old-fashioned conservative tenet convincing. Ms. Rowling, for her part, should stick to cashing royalty checks.

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1473
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by Holden Fourth » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:17 pm

This is not about whether or not Forstater's views are correct or not, but her right to express them privately. Of course, those who disagree with her also have the right to express their contrary point of view.

The uptake of all this for me is that we are no longer able to comment on something we don't believe in and that censorship of our views is irrevocably being forced upon us. I suspect that Rowling is championing this, not Forstaters opinions. The 'thought police' from George Orwell's "1984" is far closer than we imagine.

We've had a similar case here in Australia involving sportsman Israel Folau. A devout christian, he posted on his instagram page

"Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, thieves, atheists idolaters, Hell awaits you. Repent!

This was picked up very quickly by the media and his employers, the Australian Rugby Union, canceled his $AUS4 million a year contract citing a breach of said contract. The media were once again complicit in not fully reporting the whole issue, choosing to focus solely on the homosexual angle while ignoring the other six named by Folau.

Folau contested this claiming that these were based on his religious beliefs. He also said that his intention was that hopefully some of those named would actually repent! The ARU, worried about sponsorship money had a knee jerk reaction. Folau sued them for more than $10 million.

The upshot was that the other week, Folau got a substantial payout from the ARU. In other words common sense prevailed. How many ordained ministers preach similar views every Sunday to an audience that is tune with them? Should they be told that this is not allowed? Should the Imam at the local mosque be compelled to not state that all non-muslims are infidels and therefore will not go the heaven?

Being an atheist (and on Folau's list in this and a couple of other areas) I simply see his statement as deluded but as he was not openly critical of any of the groups, why should he not be able to make it.

david johnson
Posts: 1537
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:04 am
Location: ark/mo

Re: Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by david johnson » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:39 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:08 am
david johnson wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:11 am
I am not into mire playing. Vonnegut does not really express the topic well.
As an American POW in WW2, a survivor of the Allied fireboming of Dresden, a trained chemist, and the author of one of the greatest imaginative works of the 20th century, Vonnegut told us via metaphor that gender may not be immutably fixed for all humans at birth and surely should not be "assigned" to an individual against her will by the State. A basic libertarian principle is at stake there, in case anyone besides me still finds that old-fashioned conservative tenet convincing. Ms. Rowling, for her part, should stick to cashing royalty checks.
The state has no business assigning nor altering gender. Your plumbing decides what you are, your behavior is up to you.

jserraglio
Posts: 6103
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by jserraglio » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:30 am

david johnson wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:11 am
The state has no business assigning nor altering gender. Your plumbing decides what you are, your behavior is up to you.
Where I hail from, agents wielding varying degrees of State authority intuitively assign and memorialize gender every single day, which in practice, I agree, usually works out fine. Plumbing is as plumbing does.

But there are exceptional cases in which the BRAIN establishes WHO one is, not some superstitious belief that one's tubes determine definitively "WHAT one is." In those instances, the State in all of its manifestations should butt out.

david johnson
Posts: 1537
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:04 am
Location: ark/mo

Re: Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by david johnson » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:33 am

Biology = superstition? Odd to hear that one. We shall never agree. Merry Christmas :)

jserraglio
Posts: 6103
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Author J.K. Rowling under fire for transgender comments

Post by jserraglio » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:55 am

david johnson wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:33 am
Biology = superstition? Odd to hear that one. We shall never agree. Merry Christmas :)
"Biology = destiny": that's superstition. Where I think we disagree is about gender being a social construct as well as biologically determined.

So what the hell, to all seven genders of humanity, a merry xmas!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests