March 9, 2024

ENGLAND: Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling Will Not Back Down Defending What It Means To Be A Woman. Transgender Broadcaster Reported Her To Police For Misgendering Hate Crime Offense.
written by Camilla Tominey, Telegraph, UK
Friday March 8, 2024

The Harry Potter author is a heroine for sticking to her principles in the face of vile insults and misogyny.

It is absolutely extraordinary that transgender activist India Willoughby reported J K Rowling to the police for a hate crime. The Harry Potter author this week referred to the newsreader and Loose Women host as a man in an argument on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Willoughby, who was born male and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2015, made a complaint to police over Rowling’s posts, declaring that she had “definitely committed a crime”. Saying that she was “legally a woman” because she holds a gender recognition certificate, Willoughby revealed that she had “contacted Northumbria Constabulary”, adding: “I don’t know if it’s going to be treated as a hate crime, malicious communications, but it’s a cut-and-dry offence as far as I’m concerned.”

Northumbria Police has now confirmed that it is dropping the investigation. Why did it take so long? It should never have been given the time of day.

Quick law refresher: “misgendering” is not a crime.

The researcher Maya Forstater successfully brought a case to the employment appeal tribunal in 2021 to establish that gender-critical views are a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010.

So while hostility to someone based on gender identity can be an aggravating factor if a separate crime is committed, misgendering is not in itself an offence. Moreover, Rowling and those who agree with her are completely within their rights to refuse to believe the fiction that you can change biological sex.

As Rowling herself put it: “No law compels anyone to pretend to believe that India is a woman.” Quite.

Now, I’ve got no objection to using people’s preferred pronouns so I’m happy to refer to Willoughby as “she”. But “a woman”? No. It is a simple fact that she is biologically male, regardless of any gender reassignment surgery. She’s a trans woman but she’s not a woman and never will be.

Trans activists have tried their hardest to turn a feeling into fact when they insist: “A trans woman is a woman.” But the truth of the matter is that a trans woman is a man who identifies as a woman.

Willoughby and her supporters might dislike her being described as a man. They might find it at best impolite and at worst deeply offensive. But it is not “hateful” to believe that men are men and women are women. You cannot change biological sex and under the Forstater ruling, it isn’t “illegal” to say so.

It’s ludicrous that I am having to defend these scientifically proven, chromosomally-evidenced truths in a national newspaper but, unfortunately, we live in an era when Willoughby reasonably expected the police to stop investigating offences which really are “hateful” and “malicious” in order to probe the extent to which she feels put out by a woman who disagrees with her.

This is what happens when a vocal minority creates such an environment of fear that the police think they can’t immediately call out an attention-seeking time-waster when they see one.

J K Rowling is not a “transphobe”, either – as inconvenient as that might be to those seeking to label any woman who thinks biological sex is immutable as a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” (Terf).

It’s far from “radical” to believe in just the two sexes. Nor is it “exclusionary”, since Rowling has never denied the existence of trans people nor their rightful place in society – alongside men and women.

She’s simply a gender-critical feminist, who is justifiably concerned for the corresponding rights of women, which she believes are being eroded. I and many other women (and men … and even some trans people) agree with her.

This is what the gender fanatics continually refuse to acknowledge: that there are competing rights here. It’s not all about them, whatever the likes of Willoughby seem to think.

Rowling has been a heroine in all this, because she’s not only refused to be cancelled, but has emboldened many others who feel the same way as her to bravely speak out.

But let’s look at what is really “hateful” about this debate. There is no doubt that Rowling and others like her continue to be the victims of terrible misogyny. Just look at the appalling comments made about her on social media by people who purport to be defined by kindness and progressive values.

Indeed, it is really quite striking that, on International Women’s Day yesterday, when we should have been celebrating female advancement, there was little public celebration of gender-critical feminists like Rowling. The Left hypocritically talks up the importance of “diversity” and “inclusion” while at the same time actively seeking to shame those who have an opposing point of view.

The definition of bigotry is being “obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, in particular prejudiced against or antagonistic towards a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group”. So radical trans activists are guilty of exactly what they accuse gender-critical feminists of. Yet still they arrogantly assume they can occupy the moral high ground, while carrying out these modern-day witch trials.

If stories of gender-critical women being hounded out of their jobs, their universities, and in the recent case of Newcastle United fan Linzi Smith, their football club, aren’t already disturbing enough, we now hear word of a Canadian proposal to impose house arrest on someone who is believed likely to commit a hate crime in the future – even if they have not done so already.

The proposed clause in Canada’s new Online Harms Bill would see suspected “hate criminals” forced to wear an electronic tag and banned from going outside. In Willoughby’s world, that would include anyone who thinks she’s a bloke.

But this former Big Brother contestant has got her own form when it comes to sharp remarks on social media.

I had to block her myself when she responded to one of my posts highlighting a pretty innocuous story I’d written about Prince Harry with the words: “Garbage. Harry has your metaphorical number – while the grubby British Media had his ACTUAL number, and hacked it.”

Referencing my role as royal editor of an ITV daytime show, she added: “Someone else you keep platforming @ThisMorning. Have a clear out.” Nice.

If this is supposed to be what the “sisterhood” is supposed to look like in Willoughby’s eyes, then I’d genuinely rather be a “Terf”.
written by Ryan Smith, Senior Pop Culture & Entertainment Reporter
Thursday March 7, 2024

J.K. Rowling has declared war on a transgender broadcaster, after getting into a public spat over the Harry Potter author misgendering her.

British writer Rowling—who has faced backlash over her stance on trans women for more than four years—has been threatened with legal action by broadcaster India Willoughby, who describes herself as the world's first transgender newsreader.

On Sunday, Rowling took to X, formerly Twitter, to complain about men, including those who identify as transgender, being allowed to use female locker rooms. Another X user then sent Rowling a video of Willoughby, asking if she believed "this lady should use the men's locker room."

"You've sent me the wrong video," Rowling responded. "There isn't a lady in this one, just a man [reveling] in his misogynistic performance of what he thinks 'woman' means: narcissistic, shallow and exhibitionist."

When the X user asked how Willoughby could be a misogynist if she "[became] a woman," Rowling hit back: "India didn't become a woman. India is cosplaying a misogynistic male fantasy of what a woman is."

Willoughby responded by saying that she was "genuinely disgusted" by Rowling's comments about her. "Grotesque transphobia, which is upsetting," Willoughby wrote. "I am every bit as much a woman as JK Rowling. Recognised in law, and by everyone I interact with every day. The debate about whether JK Rowling is a transphobe is over."

Defending her position in a follow-up X post, Rowling, who has clashed with Willoughby in the past, said: "Accurately sexing trans-identified men who send misogynistic abuse to women is not discrimination. 'Man' is not a slur. I know a lot of you think the UN should intervene whenever women bruise your egos, but there is no human right to universal validation."

In her own posts, Willoughby accused Rowling of "indisputable transphobic bullying," adding: "If I ever get murdered, you know who to blame. #StochasticTerrorism."

Stochastic terrorism is when public figures incite attacks on individuals or groups without actually calling for such violence.

In a video interview with Byline TV that was published on X on Wednesday, Willoughby declared that she was taking legal action against Rowling, having reported her to the police in Northumbria, England.

"JK Rowling's definitely committed a crime," Willoughby said in the video. "I'm legally a woman, she knows I'm a woman, and she calls me a man. It's a protected characteristic, and that is a breach of both the Equalities Act and the Gender Recognition Act."

"She's tweeted that out to 14 million followers," Willoughby went on. "If you check out the accounts that have been responding to me on the back of that—her trigger—it's absolutely disgusting, putrid. Some of the worst abuse I've ever seen on social media."

When asked about what she planned to do about it, Willoughby said: "I have reported J.K. Rowling to the police for what she said, which I don't know if that's gonna be treated as a hate crime, malicious communications. But it's a cut and dried offence, as far as I'm concerned.

"Transgender identity is a protected characteristic, just as race is, just as sexuality is," Willoughby added. "And the equivalent of what JK Rowling said, calling a trans person a man, deliberately, knowing that that person is a woman—and I am a woman, regardless of what J.K. Rowling says. I've been through everything that's required of me. My birth certificate says female, my passport, all of my documents. I am legally recognised as a woman. And for J.K. Rowling to deliberately, and that is the key word, misgender me, knowing who I am, is grossly offensive."

Rowling hit back in a string of X posts on Tuesday, writing: "Some time ago, lawyers advised me that not only did I have a clearly winnable case against India Willoughby for defamation, but that India's obsessive targeting of me over the past few years may meet the legal threshold for harassment."

Doubling down on her misgendering of Willoughby, Rowling shared screenshots of the broadcaster's comments on a variety of subjects. "I ignored this advice because I couldn't be bothered giving India the publicity he so clearly craves," Rowling wrote. "Nevertheless, we must all do our bit to combat hate, so India will be glad to know I've taken note of his homophobia, racism, and humane stance on immigration."

"Nor have I forgotten India's shocking transphobia," said Rowling, as she shared another screenshot of one of Willoughby's X posts. "It appears to have slipped what passes for India's mind that he's previously called a fellow trans woman a man on this very site.

"Surprisingly for such an eminent legal authority, he appears to have forgotten that the Forstater ruling established that gender critical views can be protected in law as a philosophical belief," Rowling stated, in reference to Willoughby accusing her of a hate crime. "No law compels anyone to pretend to believe that India is a woman."

Rounding out her thread, Rowling concluded: "Aware as I am that it's an offence to lie to law enforcement, I'll simply have to explain to the police that, in my view, India is a classic example of the male narcissist who lives in a state of perpetual rage that he can't compel women to take him at his own valuation."

When contacted by Newsweek, a representative of Rowling declined to comment. Newsweek has contacted a representative of Willoughby via email for comment.

Views on Transgender Issues

Rowling stirred controversy in 2019 when she publicly supported Maya Forstater, a U.K. tax specialist who was fired over tweets that were deemed to be anti-trans.

In an essay published on her personal website in June 2020, Rowling shared some of her views on transgender issues.

She wrote: "When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he's a woman—and, as I've said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones—then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth."

Also in June 2020, Rowling reacted to an article that referred to "people who menstruate," tweeting: "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

While some trans activists branded Rowling a "TERF"—an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist—she stood her ground on the issue.

Rowling tweeted at the time: "If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn't hate to speak the truth."

"I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them," she went on. "I'd march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so."

Several actors associated with the Harry Potter franchise have publicly disagreed with her, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

In July 2021, Rowling stated on Twitter that she had received a "pipebomb" threat amid an onslaught of attacks over her previous statements about trans women.

She has continued to speak out about the way that the internet has "canceled" her, tweeting in support of singer Macy Gray, who in July 2022 made several controversial comments on the definition of a woman.

Gray faced backlash on Twitter, prompting Rowling to write in response: "Endless death and rape threats, threats of loss of livelihood, employers targeted, physical harassment, family address posted online with picture of bomb-making manual aren't 'mean comments.' If you don't yet understand what happens to women who stand up on this issue, back off."

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