The Silencing of J.K. Rowling

Rowling
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A few years ago J.K. Rowling was one of the most popular women on the planet. She was adored by millions for her enormously successful Harry Potter book and movie series. She was also sufficiently politically correct that All the Right People feted her. She could do no wrong.

But no longer. Now she’s regularly attacked on social media and reviled by the press, politicians, and pundits. She’s persona non grata even at the 20th anniversary celebration of the first Harry Potter film.

What was Rowling’s crime? Did she torture puppies like Dr. Fauci? Did she run a sex trafficking ring like Ghislaine Maxwell? Did she “accidentally” kill someone like Alec Baldwin?

No, all she did was “believe the Science.” Specifically, the fundamental scientific fact that a man is a man and a woman is a woman. For this heinous crime she has been cast out of respectable society, treated as a social leper and an extremist.

Rowling’s reputation began to change radically in December 2019 when she defended Maya Forstater, a tax specialist who’d lost her job for supposed “transphobic” tweets. Then on June 6, 2020 she tweeted a response to an article that included the phrase, “people who menstruate”:

‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?

This simple statement of proper syntax (and proper biology) revealed to the world that Rowling was definitely a “transphobe.” At the time many people (myself included) assumed that she would quickly cave to the public backlash and issue a craven apology asking forgiveness for her terrible sin. After all, that’s what woke celebrities do, right?

But Rowling didn’t cave. In fact, she doubled-down, arguing that the transgender movement was bad for women. For this she was labeled a “TERF,” an acronym normal people can be forgiven for not knowing, as it means, “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist”—in other words, a feminist who thinks supporting women means, well, supporting actual women, not fake ones.

Rowling wrote a long defense of her views on her personal website, and although she even stated that she believes in the existence of more than two “gender identities,” all that mattered to the Twitter mobs was that she wouldn’t bow to the transgender golden calf and force everyone to treat transgender women exactly as biological women. She had to be cancelled. 

Why does this matter? After all, Rowling is a billionaire who doesn’t have to worry about losing her job and not being able to support her family. She can live in luxury for 10 lifetimes. Why should regular people care about her being cancelled?

The treatment of Rowling is a very public microcosm of the Culture of Fear that’s taken over the western world, a Culture of Fear promoted and enforced by the incestuous marriage of media, Big Tech, large corporations, academia, and government (a.k.a. the “Woke Axis”). The Woke Axis has a united vision for the future, and pity anyone who dares challenge it.

When I was young we used to feel sorry for citizens of the Soviet Union because they weren’t allowed to speak freely—the wrong word to the wrong person could bring a KBG officer to the door. Anyone who questioned the Soviet communist government, even in the slightest, was in danger of losing his livelihood and maybe even his life.

Something similar has developed in today’s world, not from a single authoritarian government (although the Culture of Fear empowers authoritarian governments), but from the Woke Axis and the “democratic” mobs that do its bidding.

If you say or share on social media the wrong thing—be it a factual statement on gender, a condemnation of sinful sexual behavior, or a hesitation to believe all of the COVID narrative—then you risk your job and your friends. Your life can be ruined as easily as the Soviet family’s life was ruined when dad was taken away in the middle of the night. If any informant for the Woke Axis makes your WrongThink public, it may very well be the end of your life as you know it.

This deeply oppressive Culture of Fear is only growing. At first it was the Twitter mobs who came after you, now it’s Twitter itself who will censor you. Big Tech is the most public arm of the Woke Axis, but all its arms will work together to discredit and silence anyone who dares challenge The Narrative about sex, medicine, and science. And most people don’t have the resources of J.K. Rowling to fall back on.

The Culture of Fear allows a small group of people to force radical cultural change on the populace. A recent survey showed that 75% of Americans believe there are only two genders. This might sound like good news, except if that poll were taken 10 years ago, we all know the number would have been very close to 100%. And I think most people would be surprised that the number is as high as 75%, since the Woke Axis makes it seem as if only a few retrogrades don’t accept their New Biology. And that in turn makes the actual number continue to plummet, as no one wants to be considered part of that ostracized group. 

By labeling anyone who disagrees a bigot and working to cancel him from society, the radicals who comprise the Woke Axis are able to push the Overton Window of what is “normal.” People wear down and begin to actually believe black is white and up is down. 

How do we stop the Culture of Fear and resist the Woke Axis? Well, the most obvious answer is to follow the words of Our Lord, “Be not afraid” (Matthew 14:27). We can be assured that there is a Power greater than the Woke Axis, a Power that does not rule by fear, but by love. Christ said that we should not “fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). The Woke Axis, at this point, can only kill careers and reputations, and it will never be able to kill our souls. 

Practically, this means we go out into the deep and directly resist the Culture of Fear. We speak up in social and professional situations when falsehood is being peddled as truth (and we use our real names when doing so). We assist those who lose their livelihoods for speaking the truth, spiritually and financially. We refuse to endorse the lies that pervade our culture. 

And we resist the Woke Axis. We do all we can to stop supporting the entities that make it—media, Big Tech, large corporations, academia, and government. This isn’t easy, as the Woke Axis’ tentacles reach far and wide. But detach ourselves we must if we are going to topple the Culture of Fear. 

Faults notwithstanding, J.K. Rowling is to be commended for largely standing up against the Culture of Fear and staring down the Woke Axis. But it will take millions of individuals refusing to be afraid for the Woke Axis to be defeated. Only then will we be able to live again in freedom, without constantly looking over our shoulders wondering if simple statements of facts will lead to our cancellation.

[Photo Credit: John Phillips/Getty Images]

Eric Sammons

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Eric Sammons is the Editor-in-Chief of Crisis Magazine and the Executive Director of Crisis Publications.

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