Related imageIt’s always fun (read: not) to come across new information about an author that really clues you into some awful behavior or beliefs on their end. I’ve begun to look at things such as this with a sort of reluctant acceptance after a while. You see, no one wants the authors of their favorite books to be bad people. No one wants to realize there are incredibly problematic facets to the writers behind the franchises that we’ve fallen in love with.

And yet, here we are.

I happened across this article today. It basically details a rather impressive (read: unfortunate) account of evidence proving that J. K. Rowling, in fact, supports and believes transphobic ideas. I don’t know how much of a “scandal” this is to the world as unfortunately, trans issues have, at least in my understanding, been degraded and ignored for an immensely long time. For that, I’d like to say that I am incredibly sorry that this is something trans folk are forced to deal with.

So, what can we do about it?

Well, that’s always been an incredibly hard question for me to answer. When it comes to politics, I lose hope pretty frequently. My level of feeling discouraged and feeling hopeful is probably the most bipolar thing about me when it comes to the world (though admittedly, sadly enough I do feel discouraged a lot more than I feel hopeful). But the fact of the matter is that when an author is problematic, supporting them is unquestionably wrong. And that might hurt. I can tell you that it killed me inside when I found out all the ways Cassandra Clare was an awful human being who deserves very little good in her life.

And it took me several years before I finally decided that it was unacceptable to me that I was still reading her books. I was appalled with myself that, even after I’d been made aware of the information, I continued to support her indirectly because I had once enjoyed what she had written (to this effect, a part of me still hopes the majority of it is plagiarized). And it was only in recent months that I actually put a stop to even the smallest amount of support I’d been giving her. As much as I’ve loved her books in the past, I don’t read Cassandra Clare anymore. Plain and simple.

Depressingly enough, the same can almost be said for James Dashner. I was devastated when his name was included among those who had used their high author positions to take advantage in one way or another of women in the industry. I appreciated his apology later, of course. But the fact is that I had loved The Maze Runner. And suddenly I was torn between throwing out beloved books of mine that I’d had for years or keeping them. And I don’t know if that’s an extreme reaction or not. I still have Clare’s books at the moment, sitting on my shelf. I intend to get rid of them at some point, but the fact remains.

So where does that leave us with J. K. Rowling?

Do we throw out her books? Should we leave the Potter world behind? Is it time that we denounce her as an author? For me, it’s a tough one. And the fact is that I personally don’t want to get rid of my Potter books. But at the same time, that’s what I’m doing for Cassandra Clare. And it’s definitely for different reasons, but I can’t determine the equality of those reasons at the moment.

What I do know is that I did a lot more reading on Cassandra Clare before I ever made the decision to give away her books, before I made the decision to stop reading her new works. And I do feel as though I need to read a lot more on this subject as well, though the evidence is incredibly damning thus far. But to start with, I do think it’s worth considering stopping any current support for Rowling until the matter is cleared up more and a further decision can be made. The truth is that what’s been said needs to be considered. And I intend to read as much as I can on the matter before I make a decision.

Transphobia is not okay. Plain and simple. And if that is something Rowling is partaking in, it’s going to be incredibly hard for me to support her. The Harry Potter books are all already finished, so keeping those isn’t really supporting her further at the moment. And I’m not entirely sure if, at this current moment in time, enough people are going to delete the Hogwarts Mystery app, stop using Pottermore, unfollow Rowling, and never go to one of the Potter worlds in response to what has been brought to light. But, I’ll step back and hold off if need be.

It’s devastating. It hurts. And it’s a bummer because I’ve always really wanted to visit one of the Potter worlds at Universal Studios and haven’t had the chance yet. But when the question becomes a matter of supporting what’s right or supporting something abhorrently wrong because I don’t want to lose my entertainment, well…the decision’s not really hard for me there.

The wellbeing of people and their rights as humans are far more important than my own personal entertainment. And that’s my two cents (or 910 words) on the matter.

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17 thoughts on “In Light of the J. K. Rowling Scandal (-ish?)

    1. Definitely! It’s not something to make a quick decision for. You can really only decide once you have as much information as possible. I think the snopes article was incredibly useful in pointing out that the evidence isn’t a confirmation of her views. Which is true. I think it excludes a commentary on complacency, though. Rowling may have her own reasons for following those people that aren’t related to transphobia. But she’s also a smart woman. And she’s smart enough to recognize that supporting a transphobic person supports transphobic views as a result. I hope it was a situation where she was unaware of how they were problematic and once she becomes aware as a result of the articles she will rescind her support for them.

      1. You are right. I don’t understand why she hasn’t made a statement distancing herself from those views. By now she is surely aware of the situation?🤔

      2. I would assume so. Unless she’s on vacation or something, idk. It’s possible she’s talking to her PR team. I know that happens sometimes? Either way, I’m keeping a look out.

    2. Cassandra Clare’s stuff is pretty extensive. There’s a lot of people she’s bullied and hurt. She had a huge plagiarism scandal on multiple occasions. And she tried to get someone expelled from her university for upsetting her. There’s a lot more to it, but I was immensely shocked when I read it. Clare has a good lawyer, though, so she does a lot to get it all covered up as much as possible.

  1. I love that you wrote about this. Besides not reading her further books or giving the ones you already have away, I think supporting trans rights and organizations that help trans people can be a good thing to do as well. We can’t always help the things we enjoy or the things that have helped us in some way (I know Harry Potter has helped a lot of people get through tough times), but we can support the people who are being hurt. Thank you for addressing this topic. I don’t think I’ve seen any other blogs cover it yet.

      1. Yes, it cannot be fully determined if she is transphobic. But I don’t think you can also say, without a shred of a doubt, that she does not hold transphobic views. Innocent until proven guilty is fine, but the fact of the matter is that there is evidence for her supporting transphobic people. And that is a problem. I’m still waiting to hear her response, of course, because this isn’t something to instantly make a flash judgement on. You have to know all the facts. That said, I’m going to lose significant respect for her if she continues to support people who are transphobic. Her reasons for supporting them do not negate the support and the fact that it makes her guilty of complacency.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! That’s all really helpful and I wish it had been a thought that came to my mind when I was writing this. I’m kind of surprised no one has mentioned it, just cause these are serious allegations and she’s a big name author. But I think I can also understand a little, since I know how much it hurts to find out awful things about an author you like. Plus, super fans jump on the defensive a lot when stuff like this happens.

    1. Thanks for the link! I definitely need to do more reading about it before I make my final decision. And I agree with a lot of what the article says. Still, I do hold it against her that she follows transphobic people. I don’t particularly care what other reasons there might be to follow them, those are negated immediately when you are made aware of their problematic views in my opinion.

      Now, if she’s unaware, fine. But since she obviously will be made aware now since the allegations have been made, I really don’t think there’s an excuse to continue following.

      So, theoretically, I get that following a Trump supporter doesn’t mean I follow Trump, but the second I find out someone I follow supports him, I unfollow. Those kind of beliefs are unacceptable and if I support the person who believes them, I am complicit in them continuing it. And I personally do not think that is okay to do.

      1. Did you read the link? Snopes is the oldest and most reputable fact checking site on the internet. “Phaylen Fairchild’s claim that the writer had in June 2019 “confirmed [her] stance against transgender women” was false.”

      2. I did read it. And I’m not saying that it confirmed anything. But the fact of the matter is that though there might not be any confirmation, there is evidence that she supports transphobic people. Maybe it’s for a different reason, but that doesn’t make it okay. I don’t support people who support Trump because I find it to be an unacceptable act. And if I did support those people, I would be complacent in allowing them to believe I have no problem with their stance. And that is not something I consider okay. So, if Rowling does consider to support those people, even if it’s for another reason, I find that problematic.

      3. Understood. I’m just not sure that she actually did support these people. That’s all I’m saying. It just doesn’t fit with what we know of her, and Snopes does seem to believe the charges are false.

      4. Which is fair. I still have a lot of reading to do before I make any decisions. And I’m waiting to hear her response as well.

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