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Nikki Black

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    Nikki Black commented  · 

    I am sending this correspondence after reading your recent article regarding tweets written by bestselling author JK Rowling. In these tweets Ms. Rowling made controversial statements such as; “I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of *** removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn't hate to speak the truth.” She also appeared to take offense to an article, and was met with a lot of vitriol in the online community. Your publication (and many others) wrote an article addressing this backlash and Ms. Rowling’s controversial comments.

    I write this email because it is my firm belief that your article was lacking in a comprehensive and insightful analysis of the discussion and journalistic integrity. Despite the portrayal of trans issues in mainstream media, the debate JK Rowling alluded to in her tweets has been waging on the internet and in the western world for some time. You may not be aware of this, as many important voices in this discussion have been “cancelled,” no platformed, and vilified, perhaps by your very own colleagues. I found your unwillingness to present those unheard voices to be problematic at best, and grossly irresponsible at worst.

    Your article referenced many tweets and letters by fans of Rowling’s work expressing their disappointment in her “transphobic” stance. However, you failed to reference how many of the replies aimed at Rowling were extremely misogynistic, hateful, violent, aggressive, and even threatening. If you would like to see some of them in the words of their authors, I invite you to visit this link:

    Your article further failed to mention why so many feminists do oppose “trans rights.” Which is a very important note to the discussion, as it would help explain Rowling’s viewpoints and the many replies in support of her statement, which also went unmentioned. Trans activism is not calling for basic human rights, they are demanding women’s rights and the appropriation of women’s language and ability to define ourselves. That is vastly different than human rights and an important point of discussion. Women are a marginalized group within western society and globally, which should afford them basic protections from those who pose a risk to their physical safety. Trans “rights,” as they are presently being fought for, is actually the right to take those spaces away from women, which is why many women oppose these “rights.” It is not, in fact, hateful, or transphobic, to demand language with which to define and protect ourselves. It is often said that you cannot fight racism by pretending race does not exist. The same is true for sexism. It cannot be fought by ignoring, redefining, or appropriating our biological realities or the dangers we face as a result. None of these arguments or discussions were mentioned in your article.

    Your article also failed to mention that many women, myself included, are not comfortable being referred to as “people who menstruate” and, in fact, find being reduced to a biological function highly offensive. It seems that the author of the original article, and your publication, failed to consider the feelings of actual women while trying to cater to the feelings of a small percentage of the population. Many women find phrases such as this, as well as the term “cis,” very reductive and offensive. You further failed to mention that the word ‘TERF’ is a highly offensive slur often used to incite and encourage violence against women. None of which was explained or examined by your article.

    This irresponsible piece presented one side of a nuanced and important discussion as though it were settled fact. This is not only lacking in honesty but insults the intelligence of your audience. Journalists and their platforms have a duty to present all relevant information fairly and honestly and allow readers to formulate opinions with the information presented. Silencing the voices of women speaking up for their rights and concerns is not a new practice, but it’s one you’ve chosen to continue with this article. You cannot “believe women” when it suits you and silence them the rest of time and claim your platform supports them. You either believe women and listen to their voices, or you do not. With your ill-informed article you fail to lift up the voice of one of the most influential and successful women in the world. Role models the likes of Rowling are few and far between for women and a misrepresentation of her stance is shameful. This conversation gets closer and closer to the light, with the help of JK Rowling, and when it gets there you will be a publication that shut down debate and the voices of women.

    I would implore you to learn more about the discussion before penning knee-jerk articles

    Nikki Black supported this idea  · 

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