- Transgender YouTubers are voicing their thoughts about JK Rowling’s latest comments about transgender activism hurting women and lesbians.
- Creators such as Jamie Raines and Kat Blaque have spoken about such comments many times before.
- Blaque said in a video she wasn’t mad about the comments, but she doesn’t believe Rowling can have those opinions while not considering herself transphobic.
- Raines said he wasn’t sure if Rowling had been misinformed in the past, but he now feels she was just testing the waters before being completely anti-trans on her public feed.
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JK Rowling went on a Twitter rant this week about how transgender activism can hurt women and lesbians, and the transgender community on YouTube has a lot to say about it.
Rowling has been vocal about anti-trans issues in the past,such as tweeting support for a researcher who lost her job for saying “men cannot change into women.”
In her latest Twitter spree, Rowling acknowledged she was being labelled as a TERF – which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist – and suggested that trans people are “erasing the concept of sex.”
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” she wrote. “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.”
She also shared an article and took issue with the fact it had consciously referred to “people who menstruate” rather than assuming that everyone who menstruates identifies as female.
“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she said. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Transgender YouTubers have posted videos in response to Rowling’s beliefs.
Kat Blaque: ‘Time to read another book’
Activist and creator Kat Blaque said she wasn’t upset or angry with Rowling. She was merely surprised that people thought she would feel any other way because she’s “already made her positions on this clear.”
“I believe that JK Rowling is completely within her right to express these things,” Blaque said. “I think that she has the right to go onto Twitter and say that she thinks that sex is real and everyone who has a menstruation cycle is a woman. I think that is her right. She can say that out loud and proudly. But I don’t think she gets to say that and somehow not be transphobic.”
Blaque then discussed transphobia, because she’s known many people like Rowling who on the one hand say they love and support transgender people, and on the other say their identities and lived experiences are not valid.
“The baseline of transphobia is an outright rejection of a transgender person’s identity,” she said. “The article that she shared deliberately uses the term ‘people who menstruate’ to be inclusive of trans and non-binary people who do have menstruation cycles. And that was a deliberate choice.”
She said by Rowling going out of her way to counteract someone who was trying to be inclusive of transgender people, and considering the phrase “people who menstruate” as an attack against women, she can’t claim she’s in support of trans and non-binary people.
“The thing is most people aren’t saying that women aren’t oppressed by their sex, that’s not an argument anyone has made,” she said.
Blaque said people have to consider that part of fighting for the trans community is working to deprogram a lot of the language that excludes them.
“I don’t call a lot of things transphobia,” she said. “But I think it’s silly to say something like this is not transphobia. When you’re trying to say the only people who menstruate are women, you are alienating transfolk. You just are.”
She said Rowling’s feelings have been made clear now so it’s time to move on, and it’s “time to read another book.”
Watch the full video below.
Jamie Raines: ‘We really don’t need to erase the gender of trans people in this way’
Jamie Raines, who goes by Jammidodger on YouTube, has spoken about Rowling’s comments about the trans community in the past.In a new video, he said he had essentially given her the benefit of the doubt for a while because he wasn’t sure if she was misinformed about trans issues.
However, he now feels Rowling was just testing the waters before being completely and vocally anti-trans on her public Twitter feed.
“We’re in the middle of a pandemic, we’re in the middle of protesting for Black Lives Matter, and it honestly hurts my soul to see that despite all of this existing crap that we have going on in the world at the minute, this is what she decided to use her platform for,” Raines said. “This being transphobia.”
He said Rowling’s comments were hurtful towards trans people, partners of trans people, and supporters of the whole community.
“Firstly, no one is trying to say that sex isn’t real,” he said. “In my opinion, this is just a very weak thing said by anti-trans people to make trans people seem illogical.”
Raines continued, saying sex is not what defines a person’s gender and the argument that sex is the be-all and end-all of someone’s experience is very backwards.
“And why the hell does it matter?” Raines said. “Trans men and trans women are not trying to say, ‘Look at me I’m cis-gender.’ We’re not trying to hide our journeys. We just want to live our lives as the gender we know we are. So transphobes splitting hairs on this outdated and exclusive terminology is, quite frankly, getting very boring.”
He said, “same-sex attraction” is another term used to try and invalidate trans people because it attempts to label trans men as women and trans women as men. Using that logic, Raines and his fiancée Shaaba, who is a cis-woman, would be a lesbian couple.
“Transphobes try to use sexual attraction based on sex and not gender as a way to justify their discrimination,” he said. “It’s so old. Grow up. Move on. It’s not right. We really don’t need to erase the gender of trans people in this way.”
Watch the full video below.
Jessie Gender: ‘Being part of a vulnerable group does not allow you to harm those who are even more vulnerable than you’
Jessie Gender was also confused that Rowling decided that right now was the moment to go “full-blown TERF” and “attack transgender people on Twitter.”
In her video, she explained how Rowling’s comments and the trans-exclusionary radical feminism ideas that she supports are harmful to all women in general.
TERFS, or gender-critical feminists, operate on the belief that someone born with XY chromosomes is always a man and thus an oppressor, and someone with XX chromosomes will always be a woman and therefore oppressed.
Gender explained this makes sense in general, because men tend to be among the most privileged in society, and women are constantly fighting for equal rights, “but the issue comes in that TERFS regimentedly and inflexibly define these roles to the point of ignoring facts and ideas, simply to target trans people,” she said.
Much of what defines womanhood is not biological, but social and cultural, she explained. Transgender women not only face sexism for presenting as female, but also discrimination for being trans.
For example, according to a survey by the National Transgender Centre for Equality of over 27,000 trans people, 30% of respondents reported being fired, denied a promotion, or were mistreated in the workplace, 47% of respondents had been sexually assaulted, and 40% had attempted suicide.
“But these are all things that gender-critical feminists espouse,” Gender said. “Even more so, they are militant about it. They have actively called for casting out trans women from women’s shelters, for example. Places that trans women need to go to and are often the ones who most need to use women’s shelters because they are almost always the ones who are discriminated against in a group.”
Some TERFs go so far as to side with far-right groups because they agree that trans women are not women and trans men are not men. This, Gender said, means they are vocally supporting groups who often attack women’s rights such as having access to safe abortions and contraception.
“Because for TERFs, the point is not to fight for women’s rights, but to attack transgender people,” she said. “That is the point of being a TERF. In order to make themselves feel powerful and in control in a world that sadly does treat women, and specifically lesbians, and most TERFs are lesbians, like crap.”
She said she understands that feeling like a victim can make people want to lash out, but that isn’t an excuse.
“Being part of a vulnerable group does not allow you to harm those who are even more vulnerable than you,” she said.
Watch the full video below.
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