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JK Rowling and Ricky Gervais are fighting for common sense in the culture wars

JK Rowling and Ricky Gervais are leading the way in the culture wars, fighting on the side of facts and common sense.
Libby Emmons and Barrett Wilson Montreal, QC

JK Rowling came out in favour of Maya Forstater on Twitter. Since Forstater was fired for saying biological sex is real, and that determination was held up by a court of law, it kind of looks like Rowling is saying biological sex is real, too. And we know what’s wrong with that … it’s “hate speech.”

This is a great opportunity for everyone to freak out. Including moms of trans kids.

Woke fans of the delightful Harry Potter series struck back against Rowling, saying that there was no place for them at fictional magic boarding school Hogwarts.

The Human Rights Campaign weighed in with this pervasive view that is bordering on religious fanaticism.

Religious belief is exactly what trans ideology looks like. The idea that gender is more innate than any other characteristic, physical or mental, and the demand that everyone believe that, whether they are initiated into that religion or not, is a form of zealotry. Those who practice religious faith in the west are barred from forcing their religion on others, from teaching creationism in schools, from pushing prayer in public spaces. Yet trans ideologues have found a back door, proclaiming that to not subscribe to their religious practices is hatred.

This isn’t the first time JK Rowling has come out in favour of the commonly held scientific belief that there are, in fact, biological sexes, most notably, male and female. The denial of Maya Forstater’s employment, all because she has that wacky idea that men and women actually exist, may be the massive stupidity that has finally pushed Rowling over the edge and meant she could no longer hide behind her publicist. These views have gotten her in hot water before, although she’s tried to obfuscate them.

Fans were mad then, too. It turns out it’s just not okay to believe that men and women exist. The courts say so, progressives and Labour say so. And for much of the past decade, women have bowed down to the idea that, out of kindness and compassion, they should deny their own reality to serve others. Rowling’s admission comes at a key moment in this fight for women’s rights.

Noted gender critical feminist Julie Bindel, who was physically attacked for her views on trans ideology earlier this year, couldn’t hide her glee with Rowling’s statement in support of Forstater:

The crazy part is that trans ideologues think their reality is the only one that shouldn’t be questioned. Everyone else’s, apparently, is up for defenestration. Trans reality isn’t rarified, special, and unquestionable, especially when it redefines actual scientific fact.

But it’s just not happening anymore. People are done with the consequences of stating biological realities manifesting in the loss of work, public cancelling, and online vitriol. JK Rowling is standing up, after years of being vaguely on the fringes of possibly joining the fray, and as she takes the heat for these views, she gives courage and cover to so many women who have been fielding the arrows on this.

In a recent interview with Andrew Doyle, Ricky Gervais came out swinging against political correctness and woke censure: “The new puritans aren’t 60-year-old women in twinsets and pearls, the Christian right trying to make us turn off our televisions because they don’t like it. It’s a younger crowd with trendy haircuts, who you’d think would have left-leaning liberal sensibilities, who have invented this new term ‘hate speech.’”

Gervais, too, has been charged with transphobia—he famously spoke out against the malicious activism of transgender woman Jessica Yaniv, who attempted to compel salon workers to wax her testicles and more recently attempted a similar trick with a gynaecologist:

Gervais gave Doyle some interesting advice regarding the woke lobby and the new censorship: “Ignore it … You keep doing what you always did. I’ve lived through probably three phases of new wokeness in my time, it comes and goes and it has different guises.”

In a world of celebrity capitulation to social justice mobs, Rowling and Gervais have shown a better way forward. They are unique in the sense that they are simply too big to be cancelled, and all they’re doing is stating actual scientific fact and standing up for basic civil rights.

Perhaps their bravery in standing up to the mob and speaking truth to woke power will set a precedent for more prominent people to actually speak their minds. Perhaps 2020 will be the year of common sense in the culture wars.

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Libby Emmons and Barrett Wilson
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