J.K. Rowling Openly Mocks Cancel Culture
JK Rowling has worked her magic again despite her critics. In an exclusive interview with British journalist Suzanne Moore, the Harry Potter creator talked about the pushback she’s received regarding her feminist beliefs and how they coincide with trans activism. The interview introduced Beira’s Place, a new shelter for female-only domestic violence victims that opened today in Edinburgh and was fully funded by the author.
Although JK Rowling is known primarily as the creator of the Wizarding World, including the Harry Potter series of books and movies and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie franchise, another element of her fame was the fact that she had been a victim of domestic violence. She famously wrote the Harry Potter novels as a single mom living in poverty, only to achieve billions in revenue from the popular fictional universe. Using her power and influence, she has been very outspoken for the rights of women and girls to have spaces where they can recover from domestic violence, and Beira’s Place is her answer to this growing demand.
The ongoing debate about the boundaries between the rights of women and girls and the rights of trans people has illustrated a part of this demand. JK Rowling has staunchly defended the rights of women and girls based on their sex as the Scottish Parliament works toward making these rights gender-based instead. The writer’s outspokenness has seen her accused of various types of bigotry and bombarded with doxxing and death threats, including a threat to bomb her residence.
The backlash started when JK Rowling made a tweet in 2020 that defended researcher Maya Forstater, who was at the time embroiled in a court case regarding her own outspoken belief in the importance of biological sex to women’s rights. Both women are considered bigoted by activists favoring gender-based laws. After JK Rowling made several tweets and a blog essay discussing her views, the backlash against her intensified as activists filmed themselves burning her books and declared her “canceled” as a public figure.
Of these threats, JK Rowling told Suzanne Moore, “The only time I’ve ever made reference to being canceled, my book sales went up. Why am I even laughing?”
“I can’t believe I’m saying these words. But you have to mock them. I do not consider myself canceled.”
She went on to say that it is the duty of people with her wealth and platform to speak out for people that don’t. In the interview, JK Rowling talked about the numerous women that fear for their homes, families, and careers if they speak out in favor of sex in the sex-versus-gender debate. Suzanne Moore herself was pushed out of The Guardian by colleagues who found her feminist views to clash with views on gender-based rights.
Many of her critics claim that JK Rowling could have just remained silent and not risked her beloved reputation to speak out, and they are correct. In the face of the accusations and threats she has received, it is easy to wonder why she continues to speak out and even sink her own money into projects such as Beira’s Place that are certain to be magnets for backlash. The fact that she would rather laugh at the people trying to cancel her is an insight into how she maintains the strength to keep up her activism.