It’s ironic (even providential) to consider that J.K. Rowling’s greatest contribution to the world may not be the infamous Harry Potter book series but, rather, her stand against equating transgender women with real women.
Ever since Rowling’s infamous tweet in which she declared that “sex is real,” transgender activists have hurled every kind of invective against the author, called for boycotts, and have even threatened her and her family on numerous occasions. Most of the corporate media have sided with the activists, dismissing Rowling as a privileged white TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) who has inflicted real violence with her words. Even many of her fans and beneficiaries have denounced her and excluded her from Harry Potter events.
To her great credit, Rowling has yet to retract her words or apologize. For the most part, she refuses to engage with her critics, rightly seeing nothing wrong with what she said. In a recent interview for the new podcast “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” on Bari Weiss’ media company The Free Press, she even belittles the people who say that her refusal to recant her words tarnishes her legacy, remarking, “I do not walk around my house, thinking about my legacy.… You know, what a pompous way to live your life walking around thinking, ‘What will my legacy be’ Whatever, I’ll be dead. I care about now. I care about the living.”
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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In other words, while her detractors fume about the message she’s supposedly sending to future generations, she’ll be busy enjoying her fame and fortune. While her detractors fume about the message she’s supposedly sending to future generations, Rowling will be busy enjoying her fame and fortune. Tweet This
This is an excellent response that all people who run afoul of the woke mob should use. Without resorting to intimidation, compromise, excuses, or deception, Rowling confronts her opponents and puts them in their place. Unlike so many others who collapse under the same pressure, she maintains her position and comes out looking better for it.
This was accomplished in three relatively easy steps that all culture warriors should think about emulating:
First, it’s key to display an abundance mindset, the belief that one has more than enough in herself and thus requires nothing of other people. Rowling is perfectly happy with herself and doesn’t need anyone’s approval or support. Of course, it probably helps that she’s a self-made billionaire and doesn’t really need anyone’s approval to say what she wants. Then again, this fact hasn’t prevented other billionaires and celebrities from caving to the woke mob. Unlike Rowling, these individuals (along with those in the woke mob itself) display a scarcity mindset, demanding affirmation and agreement from everyone around them.
It’s not hard to see which mindset is more appealing. Those with an abundance mindset make no demands and usually have something to offer. Their self-confidence inspires confidence in others and generates a positive environment. By contrast, those with a scarcity mindset are needy and exert pressure upon others. They have little to offer except their insecurity and negativity.
For an illustration of how the scarcity and abundance mindsets work out, one can look at the difference between Prince William and Prince Harry—the former lives up to his title by exhibiting confidence and magnanimity while the latter writes whiny memoirs that give details of his disturbing Oedipal complex and delivers vapid speeches about global warming.
The second step is to give the proper context to the issue. In all her comments, Rowling doesn’t so much defend her comments as keep her focus on women rather than trans people. Without delving into the arguments of transgenderism, she simply asserts the reality of sex and the literal existence of women.
For most people (not just conservatives), it’s not exactly clear how or why this is transphobic. Should she deny the reality of sex and the existence of women? And if she should, wouldn’t that mean the fundamental premise of feminism—that women are a distinct category of people entitled to the same rights and privileges as men—is actually transphobic? Or, is transgenderism simply an incoherent ideology with irreconcilable contradictions?
The third step is transcending the argument and taking the moral high ground. As a result of assuming abundance and framing the issue properly, Rowling’s response wisely dispenses with logic. A leftist herself, Rowling seems to understand that her fellow leftists don’t care much for facts and reasoning, so she just doesn’t bother. It doesn’t achieve anything and it’s beneath her. As Ronald Reagan succinctly put it, “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”
So long as this controversy continues (and it’s been ongoing for nearly three years), her critics will have to be the ones needing to explain where they think Rowling is wrong, since they haven’t really done so yet. However, once they do, they will have lost the argument.
Far from damaging her legacy, Rowling is actually preserving it by not conceding anything. And as the record sales of the aptly titled Harry Potter video game Hogwarts Legacy indicate, her fans are tired of being angry with her and she is winning this fight. She demonstrates the important truth that a creator’s best defense against critics is to keep on creating. Her prosperity and ongoing success are all the proof she needs to show that she is right and the activists are wrong.
Other victims of canceling campaigns—even ones who aren’t fans of Harry Potter—would do well to follow Rowling’s example.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]