Yesterday, a UK judge determined that Maya Forstater’s employer was justified in firing her for speaking out against gender identity legislation. Forstater lost her job as a tax expert at the Center for Global Development after being accused of using “offensive and exclusionary” language on Twitter for saying men cannot change into women. She took the case to employment tribunal “to show that no one should be discriminated against for having gender critical views, and talking about them,” and was able to raise more than £85,000 through crowdfunding to pay her legal bills. “All I ever wanted on this was for people to be able to talk about the policy questions around sex and gender identity in a normal, open, democratic way,” she tweeted.
Employment Judge Tayler decided Forstater’s view that sex is immutable “is incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others.” In the judgement, he said:
“If a person has transitioned from male to female and has a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), that person is legally a woman. That is not something Ms Forstater is entitled to ignore. Ms Forstater’s position is that even if a trans woman has a GRC, she cannot honestly describe herself as a woman. That belief is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
Today, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has been accused of being a “TERF” in the past for following the late Magdalen Berns on Twitter, spoke out in defense of Forstater, tweeting:
“Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”
Rowling has received much support online from feminists and other rational thinkers:
Thank you. These are scary times for women who assert their right to recognise objective reality
— Helen Joyce (@HJoyceGender) December 19, 2019
YOU ARE AMAZING
— Julie Bindel (@bindelj) December 19, 2019
You said nothing wrong. Social media is completely overrun by self-righteous bullies who use social justice as a means to intimidate others—especially women—into silence over this issue.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 19, 2019
Thank you for speaking out about this and taking a stand.
It’s time to speak up.
It’s time to be brave.
— gender is harmful (@genderisharmful) December 19, 2019
Thank you for speaking out, JK! I was also fired for speaking about biological from my job as a software engineer. This was “hateful” the article I wrote:https://t.co/V48qX3Iw79
— M. K. Fain (@mkay_fain) December 19, 2019
But she has also been subject to endless vitriol from trans activists and been accused of bigotry and of harming trans-identified people with her words:
JK Rowling retire bitch
— Siobhan Thompson, mysterious European heiress (@vornietom) December 19, 2019
Ow, going full TERF now? Good luck.
— Social Justice Cleric (@jade_wayfarer82) December 19, 2019
Good job on using your huge platform to further marginalise one of the most marginalised groups in society.
— Ruth Pilston (@05rpilston) December 19, 2019
I grew up as a trans child reading your books as an escape. I would often pick out names from characters to give to myself, before I ever felt comfortable in who I was. This decision, to support people that hate me, and want to do me harm. It brings me to tears… Why. Why?
— Noel is entering peak holiday spirit (@notafootstool) December 19, 2019
This is so hurtful to so many people. I cannot believe that someone who wrote books that were so filled w/ humanity would espouse these views.
Let me repeat: you are doing real harm to human beings. Please reconsider.
— Mangy Jay (@magi_jay) December 19, 2019
How do you think it would feel for someone trans to have to go to work every day with someone they know perfectly well hates them or disrespects who they are at such a basic level? That is the definition of creating a hostile work environment
— Louisa 🌈👭 (@LouisatheLast) December 19, 2019
Never thought I would say this but here we are…
Fuck you, J.K.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) December 19, 2019
This is cruel, ignorant, and will hurt more people—and encourage bigots to hurt more people—than you could ever imagine. Hundreds of millions of people, including me, trusted you with our formative imaginations and you have betrayed all of us. You have used your power for evil.
— Heather Hogan (@theheatherhogan) December 19, 2019
Wholeheartedly disagree. I stand with intersectional feminist humans,who recognize that trans women are real women,and against bigots like yourself. Bigotry masquerading as feminism is anything but. Your internalized distortions are helping me to continue dismantling mine.Thanks!
— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) December 19, 2019
A doctor named Eugene Gu took it upon himself to “educate and inform” Rowling that “trans rights are human rights and trans women are women.” He also accused her of “white feminism,” as, apparently, speaking about biology and reality amounts to “white supremacy.”
I’m not here to cancel JK Rowling as a person and stoke mob outrage. I’m just here to educate and inform. Trans rights are human rights and trans women are women. Also, white feminism can sometimes intersect with trans exclusion or white supremacy, which is unjust.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 19, 2019
America’s Top Gaslighter, Charles Clymer, told Rowling she didn’t “understand the first thing about the trans community or the science at play.” He failed to elaborate on the “science” behind changing one’s biological sex.
In fact, the World Health Organization–among countless other medical authorities–validate trans people in their authentic gender identity.
It is quite clear you don’t understand the first thing about the trans community or the science at play.
This is heartbreaking.
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 19, 2019
Actress Patricia Arquette announced, in response, that she did not stand with Forstater, and added:
“I am not afraid of being raped by a trans woman in fact I’m afraid FOR trans women as they have the highest likelihood of being raped in any group. I’m afraid of rapist who are everywhere sadly.”
The irony of so many claiming Rowling’s gentle statement, arguing that one should not be fired for saying that sex is real, is dangerous or hateful is clear to any who reads the responses to her online, and is summarized perfectly by blogger Jane Aldridge, who tweeted that she “hated” Rowling and hoped “something bad happens to her.”
TERFs really exhibit some of the most hateful, hideous, and deranged behavior I’ve ever seen, truly scum of the earth level. Congrats JK Rowling for joining them. What a horrible evil way to use your influence. I hate her and I hope something bad happens to her now.
— Jane Aldridge (@sea_of_shoes) December 19, 2019
Rowling’s words will surely encourage more women to speak up in defense of Forstater, free speech, and women, so let’s give her some love.