The number one enemy of transsexuals. Her name must not be pronounced

Joanne Rowling insists on the existence of biological sex, warning of the dangers of acknowledging that gender is fluid and can be easily changed. The views she preaches are modern heresy, and there is a price to pay for heralding heresy.

First, either in an antique shop or on the internet, you need to buy used books. Then tear off the cover and title page, as well as the one with the editorial footer and the copyright notice. Once this basic step is completed, you can proceed to re-stitch the pages and bind the book with a new cover. Without the author's name.

The nameless work thus produced is ready to be put up for sale. The price is $170 apiece, and if one wished to have the complete set of seven volumes reworked, one would have to pay $1,200 (whether such an amateur has been found is unknown). Not insignificant, but it must be remembered that the purchaser is coming into possession not of an ordinary mass-printed book, but of a true artistic handicraft. For this is how, as an artist, the author - Laur Flom from Toronto - sees himself. His work is made all the more valuable by the fact that Flom is not motivated solely by the desire for profit, but works from all too ideological motives. At least, that is what he claims.

SIGN UP TO OUR PAGE The whole story seems absurd, yet it is true and, moreover, set in the most concrete of realities. Laurel Flom reworks Joanne K. Rowling's books to remove her name from them. It should be forgotten forever. Flom also offers to perform, as he puts it, 'derowling' on commission. Erasing, apparently, only applies to the author, her books do not, although Ms Rowling's most ferocious enemies are calling to have them burnt.

Life, however, puts a perverse punchline. Among those who have taken Joanne Rowling to her defence is Ralph Fiennes, the film's Lord Voldemort. He-who-must-not-be-named in the wizarding world has sided with She-who-must-not-be-named in the world of the new normal.

However, new norms can and should be ignored when they hurt business. "The Hogwarts Legacy", a video game that was released in February, sold 12 million copies in two months. Bloomsbury Publishing never stopped publishing Joanne Rowling's books. And Warner Bros Discovery, which is planning a Harry Potter series, has invited the author to take part in the production. Does this herald the end of canceling?

Absence in Seattle

The Toronto-based graphic artist's homemade production is just one, and not the most important, manifestation of hostility towards a writer who until recently was loved, admired and almost carried on one's arm. Today she has enemies, not necessarily numerous, but noisy and overly aggressive.

A dozen years ago, at the height of Potteromania, it would never have occurred to anyone that one day the creator of the wizarding world would find herself pilloried. Since then, however, new trends have taken over public life. Joanne Rowling, to her misfortune, insists on the existence of biological sex, warning of the dangers that come with recognising that gender is fluid and can be easily - even without surgical intervention - changed. The views he preaches are modern heresy, and there is a price to pay for heralding heresy. Such is the price of erasure or deletion. It is a modern form of burning at the stake.

The American city of Seattle is undoubtedly one of the world's capitals of innovation and technology, but it does not rank among the great centres of culture. Probably not many people are therefore aware of the Museum of Pop Culture located there. That was the case until the summer. Then, unexpectedly, the Seattle museum found itself on the world's lips with a new exhibition on the magical world of Hogwarts, both in literature and film.

In fact, the museum management has done the seemingly impossible: they have organised an exhibition with Joanne Rowling's books as the basis and starting point, while completely omitting her name. This is not easy to imagine. The viewer meets Harry Potter, his friends, teachers, enemies, the whole world created by Joanne Rowling, he can see the objects and accessories used in the films, but if he or she did not know who created this world (which is otherwise unlikely), one would learn nothing from the exhibition in Seattle.

"I would be happy to accept the idea promoted on the internet that these books were actually written without the author's involvement, argues Chris Moore, curator of the exhibition, in his blog on the museum's website. "But this person is surrounded by too much publicity to ignore her divisive and hateful views.
'Fantasy: a world of myths and magic' exhibition at the Seattle Pop Culture Museum. Photo by Brady Harvey.
The intriguing question remains, however, why the museum management did not announce their idea to the world. Although the exhibition opened in May, the matter only gained publicity at the beginning of August, and only thanks to the inquisitiveness of a British journalist. Which leads to the perhaps legitimate conclusion that the management, bullishly declaring its full support for the curator, may have been afraid of a negative reaction from the people, and this translates into attendance and money.

In their own case

What both stories have in common is not only Joanne Rowling, but also the shared characteristics of the perpetrators: Laur Flom and Chris Moore are both transsexuals. They ascribe to ideological motives, but the truth is that they are acting in their own cause.

For transgender people today, Ms Rowling is enemy number one. The fact that she is not a conservative, on the contrary, is not the slightest mitigating circumstance. After all, she does not reject LGBT people (suffice it to recall the - not explicit, but nevertheless delicate - suggestion that Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, was of a different orientation), and a few years ago she declared that she "knows and loves trans people". All to no avail.

Joanne Rowling also declares herself a feminist and this is an unprecedented case where feminism, although close to the left, turns out to be an aggravating circumstance. The writer can explain as much as she wants about how much women's issues are at her heart. She can prove that these are not just words. After all, last December she opened Beira Place, a centre for abused women in Edinburgh. She finances it entirely herself and has chosen the Celtic goddess of winter as her patron - because winter, she explains, is followed by spring and with it comes new life and new hope.

Since Joanne Rowling insists that femininity cannot be counterfeited, trans activists believe they have every right to destroy it, using the worst tricks, including death threats against her and her loved ones. And so they do. I could tape my whole house with threats, the writer once remarked.

Let us briefly recall - because these are well-known issues - that it all started four years ago with the case of Maya Forstater, who lost her job at the Centre for Global Develepment think-tank when she said that gender is a given and cannot be changed. "How can you fire someone for telling the truth?" - Joanne Rowling asked at the time. A few months later, she famously posted an ironic post on Twitter mocking the new phrase 'menstruating people'. "I'm sure there's a name for them. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Joanne Rowling also believes that women's toilets, changing rooms, hospital wards and women's prisons need to be closed to so-called trans women, as their presence can be dangerous. She is also unspoken in her opposition to Scotland's recent new Gender Reassignment Act (which, by the way, has "gender recognition" in its newspeak), which makes things much easier, including lowering the age and virtually eliminating medical requirements.

Tell us what you think about her...

Taken together, all this should hardly come as a surprise, given that compulsory tolerance, instrumentally treated, has become an effective tool for stupefying people, and it takes considerable courage to stand up against it. Joanne Rowling has the courage, and because of her unique position, she has become a bit of a litmus test: tell me what you think of her and I'll tell you who you are. Such a question is sometimes asked in surprising circumstances.

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When a politician vies for party leadership and the post of prime minister, he expresses his views on economic, foreign or social issues, but he does not have to confess what he thinks of Michel Houllebecq, Elena Ferrante or Haruki Murakami. In fact, no one asks him about it. Meanwhile, during the recent Scottish National Party leadership election, candidates were asked what they thought of Joanne Rowling. Is she, in their opinion, Scotland's national treasure? Humza Yousaf, the winner in that race and the current Scottish Government leader, replied that she was, but stipulated that "the books are great, but on trans rights I fundamentally disagree with her". This kind of question, whatever the intention behind it, is nevertheless an ennoblement and the writer actually has a right to be proud.

What is different are the results of a poll recently conducted by the editors of the 'Scotsman' newspaper. Readers were asked to choose those Scotsmen who have had the greatest impact on the fate of the world. Among the seventeen chosen in first place was - how could it not be - Robert Burns, a poet adored by Scots. There are King Robert the Bruce and writer Walter Scott, as well as thinkers and inventors who undoubtedly greatly influenced the development of the world: James Watt, Alexander Fleming, James Maxwell and Adam Smith. Among our contemporaries are popular comedian Billy Connolly and tennis player Andy Murray. But there is no Joanne Rowling.

Although the question was phrased clearly, readers were apparently driven more by the importance of Scots to Scotland. For what impact could Andy Murray, for example, have had on the world? Joanne Rowling to the contrary: with 500 million copies sold worldwide, 'Harry Potter' has strongly influenced youth literature in recent years. After all, the huge rash of children's and young adult books with magic elements - books that generally lag far behind the Potter model - did not come from nothing. The inspiration is clearly visible.

It is hard to imagine that such a popular writer would not have received any votes, how many, however, is unknown. Would she have been among the highlights a few years ago? Probably yes, perhaps even just behind Robert Burns.

Witch trials

Joanne Rowling has not, after all, followed in the footsteps of numerous people who, when criticised for their views, beat their breasts, explaining that they were misunderstood. She does not apologise - but clarifies. In fact, she admits that it would have been easier for her if she had let it go and not joined the discussion on transsexualism. She shares such reflections with viewers of her podcast, which she has eloquently titled: 'JK Rowling and the Witch Trials'. In them, she reveals, among other things, how transgender ideas were very questionable to her, even though they were packaged in a very liberal form.

"Time will tell if I did the right thing," she says in one of the episodes. - All I can say is that I have thought everything through very deeply and that I have also listened to what the other side is saying. And I am convinced, absolutely convinced, that there is something very dangerous hidden in these ideas and that it must be opposed."

Among those whom Joanne Rowling could not at all count on to understand were the actors playing the leading roles in the Harry Potter films, led by Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, repeating the worn-out slogan that anyone can be anything they want to be. The film's Hogwarts, however, is simply divided: the students are against, the teachers for. The wizards of the older generation took the side of the creator of the magical world.
Helena Bonham-Carter, a.k.a. the film's Bellatrix Lestrange, and Ralph Fiennes, Lord Voldemort, took the writer's side. Photo: WARNER BROS / Planet / Forum
- "This whole hunt for Joanne Rowling is awful," Helena Bonham-Carter, who plays the role of Bellatrix Lestrange, said in an interview with the Sunday Times. - After all, she is entitled to her views." "What happened to her is distasteful," was Ralph Fiennes in an interview with the New York Times. Also on Joanne Rowling's side was Scottish actor Brian Cox, playing one of the leading roles in the TV series Succession, according to whom "erasure is a modern version of Maccarthianism".

Guilt in the trans field is treated with deadly seriousness, so it is no surprise that in recent years Joanne Rowling has been sidelined even where her presence seemed obvious. As such, she herself decided not to take part in the TV anniversary show put together by HBO Max to mark the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film. The film Fantastic Beasts did not include her name at all.

But something has started to change. The Warner Bros studio has no intention of following suit. The Potter series is a huge undertaking, spanning years of rich material - and Joanne Rowling will be its executive producer. "We've been in the Potter business for 20 years and we're comfortable with that," - emphasised Casey Bloys, head of HBO and HBO Max, which are owned by Warner Bros. So, on behalf of the networks, he sprinkled his head with ashes. The studio bosses are not afraid of the trans activists, who are already threatening them with a boycott. Which may prove that the trans community has not sensed that it has crossed the red line beyond which terrorising the public ceases to be effective.

London's Daily Telegraph puts it succinctly: after a time of erasure for Joanne Rowling comes a time of de-erasure. Let's add: maybe not just for her?

– Teresa Stylińska

TVP WEEKLY. Editorial team and jornalists

– Translated by Tomasz Krzyżanowski
Main photo: The year is 2005 and JK Rowling is at her peak. Her books are selling millions of copies worldwide and the promotion of the next in the series, 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince', was held at Edinburgh Castle. Photo by David Moir / Writer Pictures / Forum
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