what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Tessa K » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:11 pm

Oh bl..dy hell, I'm still not getting notifications even though I'm subscribed. What's going on? I'm getting them for other threads.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:12 pm

Maybe it's the forum's way of telling you that no hope can be found in this thread. Flee, flee for your sanity.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:14 pm

purplehaze wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:01 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:44 pm
Rowling's point wasn't about prisons or refuges, it was about language.

She was arguing against the use of inclusive language, either because she doesn't think transmen should be called men or because she doesn't think it's worth considering them in conversations about their health.
Buck Angel, transman. Pinned tweet.

https://twitter.com/BuckAngel

Every time you attack biology you attack my transition. I was born female and transitioned using medical assistance to live fully “male” today. I am still biologically female and will forever be. It is transphobic to say biology doesnt exist.

Saying "people who menstruate" isn't attacking biology.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Piggy » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:15 pm

First post, been registered here a little while, used to be a member of bad science forum (years ago and can't even remember the name I used) and continued lurking occasionally since then. Hello.

I'm female. Being referred to as a 'person who menstruates/menstruator' isn't inclusive to me. It's dehumanising. It reduces me to a bodily function that, for most of history, has been treated as unclean and like something females should be ashamed of. And it's so close to 'person who incubates/incubator' that it disturbs me. So much for feminism and being seen as more than a uterus.

What are we to refer to male individuals in order to be inclusive?

Ejaculators? But females can experience a type of ejaculation.
Sperm producers? But we're not calling females 'egg producers'.
How about 'people who can rape'? Because, in the UK, you need a penis to rape. And yeah, not all men (hence the inclusion of 'can'), but then not all females menstruate.

Somehow, I'm guessing the TRAs on Twitter who happily threaten to rape nonconforming women to death wouldn't be happy with that.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by purplehaze » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:23 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:14 pm
purplehaze wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:01 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:44 pm
Rowling's point wasn't about prisons or refuges, it was about language.

She was arguing against the use of inclusive language, either because she doesn't think transmen should be called men or because she doesn't think it's worth considering them in conversations about their health.
Buck Angel, transman. Pinned tweet.

https://twitter.com/BuckAngel

Every time you attack biology you attack my transition. I was born female and transitioned using medical assistance to live fully “male” today. I am still biologically female and will forever be. It is transphobic to say biology doesnt exist.

Saying "people who menstruate" isn't attacking biology.
Sex is biology. Say it as it is. Females have the capacity to menstruate. That's right. So it should be 'females who menstruate'.

It's quite telling that the NHS have this page on prostate cancer.

The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis, found only in men.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Gentleman Jim » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:27 pm

purplehaze wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:23 pm
The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis, found only in men.
[/b]
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/

Not entirely true
Skene glands share some of the same properties as the male prostate, which is located between the bladder and the penis. For example, both the prostate and the Skene glands contain prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and PSA phosphatase (PSAP), which are enzymes that can indicate the health of the prostate in males.

The discovery that these glands have similarities has led to the use of the term “female prostate.”

So, in a sense, females do have prostates, and female prostate cancer is technically possible. It is, however, extremely rare.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:31 pm

Piggy wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:15 pm
First post, been registered here a little while, used to be a member of bad science forum (years ago and can't even remember the name I used) and continued lurking occasionally since then. Hello.
Welcome, Piggy!
Piggy wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:15 pm
I'm female. Being referred to as a 'person who menstruates/menstruator' isn't inclusive to me. It's dehumanising. It reduces me to a bodily function that, for most of history, has been treated as unclean and like something females should be ashamed of. And it's so close to 'person who incubates/incubator' that it disturbs me. So much for feminism and being seen as more than a uterus.
So, I think I would agree with this perspective if the article had been proposing to refer to women as "people who menstruate" - that would indeed be reductive, dehumanising and offensive. But that's pretty much the opposite of what happened in this case: the article was about making menstruation safer, including tackling the stigma you refer to, for everybody who does it, not all of whom are women.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by purplehaze » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:46 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:31 pm
Piggy wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:15 pm
First post, been registered here a little while, used to be a member of bad science forum (years ago and can't even remember the name I used) and continued lurking occasionally since then. Hello.
Welcome, Piggy!
Piggy wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:15 pm
I'm female. Being referred to as a 'person who menstruates/menstruator' isn't inclusive to me. It's dehumanising. It reduces me to a bodily function that, for most of history, has been treated as unclean and like something females should be ashamed of. And it's so close to 'person who incubates/incubator' that it disturbs me. So much for feminism and being seen as more than a uterus.
So, I think I would agree with this perspective if the article had been proposing to refer to women as "people who menstruate" - that would indeed be reductive, dehumanising and offensive. But that's pretty much the opposite of what happened in this case: the article was about making menstruation safer, including tackling the stigma you refer to, for everybody who does it, not all of whom are women.
But the article did refer to women as people who menstruate.

https://www.devex.com/news/sponsored/op ... eR.twitter

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:49 pm

No, it included women within a wider group of people who menstruate, specifically in an article about menstruation and hygiene. Transmen are not women, they are men. And they menstruate.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Piggy » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:50 pm

I never said I'm a woman.

I said I'm female, which could be woman/ciswoman/transman/genderqueer/non-binary/etc. I have female body parts. And that is my female perspective, as a person with a female body. Reducing me to something my uterus does once per month (if I'm lucky) is exactly what happened in this case.

There are plenty of females who are fine with this, all across the gender identity spectrum. Equally, there are plenty of females across the gender identity spectrum who are not OK with this.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by purplehaze » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:55 pm

Gentleman Jim wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:27 pm
purplehaze wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:23 pm
The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis, found only in men.
[/b]
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/

Not entirely true
Skene glands share some of the same properties as the male prostate, which is located between the bladder and the penis. For example, both the prostate and the Skene glands contain prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and PSA phosphatase (PSAP), which are enzymes that can indicate the health of the prostate in males.

The discovery that these glands have similarities has led to the use of the term “female prostate.”

So, in a sense, females do have prostates, and female prostate cancer is technically possible. It is, however, extremely rare.
Skene glands are external, they surround the opening of urethra and the clitoris and help to cleanse the vulva. The prostate is internal.

Perhaps you are confusing Skene glands with Bartholin glands that secrete mucus to lubricate the vagina and are homologous to bulbourethral glands in males.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by purplehaze » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:57 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:49 pm
No, it included women within a wider group of people who menstruate, specifically in an article about menstruation and hygiene. Transmen are not women, they are men. And they menstruate.
So the transman Buck Angel is wrong?

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:01 pm

Piggy wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:50 pm
I never said I'm a woman.

I said I'm female, which could be woman/ciswoman/transman/genderqueer/non-binary/etc. I have female body parts. And that is my female perspective, as a person with a female body. Reducing me to something my uterus does once per month (if I'm lucky) is exactly what happened in this case.

There are plenty of females who are fine with this, all across the gender identity spectrum. Equally, there are plenty of females across the gender identity spectrum who are not OK with this.
I apologise if I inadvertently misgendered you. I thought you were referring to Rowling's suggestion of replacing "people who menstruate" with "women", but it sounds like we both agree that that would be wrong?
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:02 pm

Piggy wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:50 pm
I never said I'm a woman.

I said I'm female, which could be woman/ciswoman/transman/genderqueer/non-binary/etc. I have female body parts. And that is my female perspective, as a person with a female body. Reducing me to something my uterus does once per month (if I'm lucky) is exactly what happened in this case.

There are plenty of females who are fine with this, all across the gender identity spectrum. Equally, there are plenty of females across the gender identity spectrum who are not OK with this.
If this was an article about survivors of rape, offering services for survivors of rape regardless of gender, that wouldnt reduce all survivors of rape to that fact alone, nor would it be seen as a call for them to be called that as standard in all contexts. And had JK Rowling posted a sarcastic tweet about how they should be called women, it would be ignorant of the many men who are victims of rape.

Obviously, the vast majority of rape survivors are women. But being more inclusive where it's relevant isn't a bad thing.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:03 pm

purplehaze wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:57 pm
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:49 pm
No, it included women within a wider group of people who menstruate, specifically in an article about menstruation and hygiene. Transmen are not women, they are men. And they menstruate.
So the transman Buck Angel is wrong?
No, he's right. You're the one saying he's wrong.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Gentleman Jim » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:12 pm

purplehaze wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:55 pm
Gentleman Jim wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:27 pm
purplehaze wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:23 pm
The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis, found only in men.
[/b]
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-cancer/

Not entirely true
Skene glands share some of the same properties as the male prostate, which is located between the bladder and the penis. For example, both the prostate and the Skene glands contain prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and PSA phosphatase (PSAP), which are enzymes that can indicate the health of the prostate in males.

The discovery that these glands have similarities has led to the use of the term “female prostate.”

So, in a sense, females do have prostates, and female prostate cancer is technically possible. It is, however, extremely rare.
Skene glands are external, they surround the opening of urethra and the clitoris and help to cleanse the vulva. The prostate is internal.

Perhaps you are confusing Skene glands with Bartholin glands that secrete mucus to lubricate the vagina and are homologous to bulbourethral glands in males.
The Skene's glands are homologous with the prostate gland in males, containing numerous microanatomical structures in common with the prostate gland, such as secretory cells.[2][3] Skene's glands are not, however, explicit prostate glands themselves
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by warumich » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:33 pm

purplehaze wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:26 am
I find the term cis offensive. It's not inclusive.
All gender identities matter!
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Piggy » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:35 pm

Being more inclusive is good.

The language is a mess.

Just as I wouldn't actually make a collective reference to 'people who can rape' to include everyone with a penis, 'people who menstruate' is clumsy and it alienates a lot of those people being referred to. It is, to me, disturbingly close to 'people who incubate/incubator'.

I'll be straight with you here. I have a female body. As a child I would be referred to as a 'tomboy'. I don't really identify with any of the gender labels, but if I had to choose I'd be probably be genderqueer, but that still doesn't really feel right.
TW: Spoiler:
I'm more comfortable around men than women (no real idea why). I personally am fine with shared spaces, but I have female friends who are deeply uncomfortable with them for numerous reasons (escape from domestic violence being a major factor for one of them). I also have a transwoman family member and genderqueer friends. I want everyone to feel safe and welcome and it honestly feels impossible.

I don't know what the answer is.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Tessa K » Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:21 pm

Piggy wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:35 pm
Being more inclusive is good.

The language is a mess.

Just as I wouldn't actually make a collective reference to 'people who can rape' to include everyone with a penis, 'people who menstruate' is clumsy and it alienates a lot of those people being referred to. It is, to me, disturbingly close to 'people who incubate/incubator'.

I'll be straight with you here. I have a female body. As a child I would be referred to as a 'tomboy'. I don't really identify with any of the gender labels, but if I had to choose I'd be probably be genderqueer, but that still doesn't really feel right.
TW: Spoiler:
I'm more comfortable around men than women (no real idea why). I personally am fine with shared spaces, but I have female friends who are deeply uncomfortable with them for numerous reasons (escape from domestic violence being a major factor for one of them). I also have a transwoman family member and genderqueer friends. I want everyone to feel safe and welcome and it honestly feels impossible.

I don't know what the answer is.
Hi Piggy

You're right, the language is a mess. Although these discussions have been going on for some time now, we're still really in early stages of finding definitions let alone trying to encompass people self-defining, sometimes using language in a different way. On a one to one basis it's easier because we can ask people what terms they want us to use but in general discussions it's much harder and sometimes people with the best of intentions trip up.

That's assuming individuals have found words to describe how they see themselves. Genderqueer and genderfluid people have always existed, for example, as well as people who feel they don't quite fit within standard definitions or don't want to be labelled as they see that as reductive and restrictive. I think I'd see myself as a female outlier but I wouldn't expect anyone else to immediately understand or use that term. (and yes, also a childhood tomboy)

As someone with all kinds of friends, some more socially mainstream than others, I'd go for inclusivity ever time but it's still important to discuss these matters and understand why some people become aggressively upset.

The treatment of JKR is metaphorically comparable to the treatment of the Colston statue - she's been knocked off her pedestal and chucked in the harbour for unacceptable behaviour.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by lpm » Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:25 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:21 pm
The treatment of JKR is metaphorically comparable to the treatment of the Colston statue - she's been knocked off her pedestal and chucked in the harbour for unacceptable behaviour.
Jesus Christ.
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Tessa K » Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:26 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:25 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:21 pm
The treatment of JKR is metaphorically comparable to the treatment of the Colston statue - she's been knocked off her pedestal and chucked in the harbour for unacceptable behaviour.
Jesus Christ.
I didn't say it was a good thing, just drawing a comparison.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:36 pm

Piggy wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:15 pm
First post, been registered here a little while, used to be a member of bad science forum (years ago and can't even remember the name I used) and continued lurking occasionally since then. Hello.

I'm female. Being referred to as a 'person who menstruates/menstruator' isn't inclusive to me. It's dehumanising. It reduces me to a bodily function that, for most of history, has been treated as unclean and like something females should be ashamed of. And it's so close to 'person who incubates/incubator' that it disturbs me. So much for feminism and being seen as more than a uterus.
But that is the pertinent category. They are talking about the needs of people who menstruate regarding menstruation, ie cis women, nonbinary people and trans men who menstruate. Cis women, nonbinary people and trans men who don't menstruate aren't the focus of the article, which is why the term is reasonable
What are we to refer to male individuals in order to be inclusive?

Ejaculators? But females can experience a type of ejaculation.
Sperm producers? But we're not calling females 'egg producers'.
An equivalent would be "people with prostate glands" in a discussion of who is at risk of getting prostate cancer.

Or to put it another way, if I want to talk about wheelchair issues, I'll use the term "wheelchair users", not "people with physical disabilities", as there's a whole range of people with physical disabilities who don't use wheelchairs, and some elderly people who do may not consider themselves disabled.

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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by lpm » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:16 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:13 am
lpm wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:05 pm
They've made us look like idiots saying things like people who menstruate, they've made us look like lunatics saying rapists must always be moved to women's prisons and they've made us look cruel for insisting physical males can work in women-only places like rape centres. Is this really the way to win friends and influence people?
This paragraph can only make sense to someone who puts radically different values on the wellbeing of cis and trans women.

Where do you think female sex offenders get sent? Where do you think men who sexually assault men get sent? I knew a lad back in school who ended up working as a prison officer, on a women's wing. Preventing sexual assault was one of the toughest parts of the job. Only cis women there. And we know that trans women do atrociously in mens prisons. Prisons already have to deal with the presence of people who have sexually assaulted people of the same gender as the rest of the inmates, this wouldn't change a damn thing.

And trans people can already be excluded from single sex spaces under the 2004 act if it is a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate end. Making GRCs easier to get won't change that. The example given in the act is group counselling for female victims of sexual assault. Of course, if we're talking centres as a whole, rather than individual counselling sessions, you easily run into a problem where, in order to protect cis women from having someone in the same damn building with different genitals, you block trans women from having any access to support. That would only be an acceptable tradeoff to someone who places rather different values on the wellbeing of cis and trans women.
I don't know where your misogyny comes from - that's a matter for you and your mirror during a long, hard look - but using the excuse that women in prison are already getting sexually assaulted anyway is yet another low point.

But I'd rather be practical than go through shameful rhetoric. In the UK opinion polls show very high support for trans rights*. People agree trans rights are human rights and believe trans lives matter, and want trans people to be protected from male violence, and want trans people to live the lives they want free from discrimination. So why is our society failing to progress? It's a political question - progress fails when conservatives can sit on the status quo without being met by a coherent political response pushing for change.

We've all learned to our cost in recent years that being both right and popular isn't enough - right wingers trample over us and impose unpopular measures that damage us all.

In this case, progress is being destroyed by purity tests and online abuse. Many trans supporters express concerns about a topic - entirely legitimate concerns like "What about my daughter in Top Shop changing rooms" or "How do we stop women being raped in prison" or "What happens to elite sport". There might be good answers to these questions which would reassure trans supporters, but this isn't what concerned people get. Instead they are attacked for using the wrong language or bombarded with a slogan. Asking these questions is deemed heretical. Questioners are to be destroyed with online abuse for deviating from the single approved line. Transwomen are women, so they will be in the changing room, they will be in women's prisons, they will be in sport, and no further questions must be asked.

As a practical political matter, how does responding "you're putting radically different values on the wellbeing of cis and trans women" help? You start with widespread support among the public that trans rights should be improved, then tell those allies they are transphobic and not valuing trans people. It's political lunacy to attack your own supporters for being insufficiently pure of thought, or for asking banned questions, or using unapproved form of words. How is it anything but massive incompetence to wreck the support coming from liberals, left wingers, progressives and radicals?

The damage is coming from the extremists, not the moderates. There will continue to be concerned questions from allies, and these need proper answers, not accusations that allies aren't pure enough, aren't using the correct words, aren't valuing trans people sufficiently.

Why don't you try again? Imagine a liberal trans supporting member of the public who's worried about male violence being inflicted on a sex offender in prison who identifies as a woman, and who wants this person to be supported while serving their sentence, but who is also concerned about women prisoners if the sex offender is transferred. What do you say to address those concerns? Don't say this liberal is failing to value the trans woman sufficiently. Don't say women prisoners get assaulted by women anyway. Don't say transwomen are women and raising the concern is an act of violence against trans people. How do you answer the concern?



*83% of people self-describe themselves to be “not prejudiced at all” towards transgender people, 49% view prejudice against transgender people as always wrong. https://www.bsa.natcen.ac.uk/media/3935 ... entity.pdf
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by Stephanie » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:45 pm

So why is it, if there are legitimate concerns, that Rowling, and several people on this thread, have focused on the language used?

And why then, when Fishnut posted information trying to address some of the concerns that have been raised, did people go back to talking about language?
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Re: what the hell is wrong with JK Rowling?

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:49 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:16 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:13 am
lpm wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:05 pm
They've made us look like idiots saying things like people who menstruate, they've made us look like lunatics saying rapists must always be moved to women's prisons and they've made us look cruel for insisting physical males can work in women-only places like rape centres. Is this really the way to win friends and influence people?
This paragraph can only make sense to someone who puts radically different values on the wellbeing of cis and trans women.

Where do you think female sex offenders get sent? Where do you think men who sexually assault men get sent? I knew a lad back in school who ended up working as a prison officer, on a women's wing. Preventing sexual assault was one of the toughest parts of the job. Only cis women there. And we know that trans women do atrociously in mens prisons. Prisons already have to deal with the presence of people who have sexually assaulted people of the same gender as the rest of the inmates, this wouldn't change a damn thing.

And trans people can already be excluded from single sex spaces under the 2004 act if it is a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate end. Making GRCs easier to get won't change that. The example given in the act is group counselling for female victims of sexual assault. Of course, if we're talking centres as a whole, rather than individual counselling sessions, you easily run into a problem where, in order to protect cis women from having someone in the same damn building with different genitals, you block trans women from having any access to support. That would only be an acceptable tradeoff to someone who places rather different values on the wellbeing of cis and trans women.
I don't know where your misogyny comes from - that's a matter for you and your mirror during a long, hard look - but using the excuse that women in prison are already getting sexually assaulted anyway is yet another low point.
This is a ridiculous accusation and you should be ashamed. The point I am making is that prisons already have structures in place to deal with sexual violence. It is not misogynist to note this, nor to note that cis female sex offenders against women go to female prisons, and cis male sex offenders against men go to male prisons.

And I'm not interested in any bl..dy lectures on strategy from someone who on trans rights and sex worker rights has clearly chosen to side with the conservatives and reactionaries. The answer to "how do you protect cis woman prisoners from trans woman offenders while in prison" is "the same way you protect cis woman prisoners from cis woman offenders while in prison".

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