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J.K. Rowling's Haters Would Have Sided with the Bad Guys in Harry Potter
How is anyone surprised that Rowling opposes an authoritarian movement?
With Hogwarts Legacy set to be released on February 10, the calls for people not to buy the game based on the work of “transphobic” author J.K. Rowling are growing louder and more shrill.
It is heartening that these calls seem to be falling on deaf ears. The hotly anticipated game has already claimed the top-selling spots on Steam, Xbox, and PS5 (I myself have ordered the Digital Deluxe Edition for Xbox) and is sure to take 2023 by storm.
Still, the shaming and guilt tripping of those who have or plan to buy the game continues.
What’s interesting about Rowling’s most fervent detractors is that they display the kinds of authoritarian impulses that the Wizarding World author essentially spent seven entire books critiquing.
Those who wonder how Rowling could write the books she did and then come out as strongly as she has against gender identity ideology clearly never understood what they were reading.
The Harry Potter series has many themes, to be sure, but the plot itself revolves around a fight against authoritarianism.
First, we have the figure of Voldemort, who is so feared by witches and wizards that they can’t even bring themselves to say his name. Voldemort is a psychopathic, murderous tyrant who seeks to implement an autocratic regime. He wants control, and he scapegoats “mudbloods” or “muggle-borns” (those who don’t come from a magical lineage) to attract his Death Eater followers and gain power.
The Ministry of Magic also holds excessive power in the Wizarding World. It has the main newspaper, the Daily Prophet, under its thumb, and it has an inordinate amount of influence over Hogwarts, both of which become even bigger problems when Voldemort returns.
Initially, the Ministry of Magic denies that Voldemort has come back and uses the Daily Prophet to slander and discredit Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore, who are trying to warn of his return.
After Voldemort takes control of the Ministry of Magic, he is able to use its overarching rule to establish a Muggle-Born Registration Commission and round up muggle-born witches and wizards. The Ministry of Magic also creates a Hogwarts High Inquisitor to take control of the school and keep an eye on Dumbledore.
The older I get, the more amazed I am at how J.K. Rowling was able to weave a harrowing story of creeping totalitarianism into books about a boy wizard.
Most of it went over my head as a child, but a lot of it stuck with me and informed my later thought. As did my parents’ experience under communism and my maturing understanding of why they worked so hard to move to Canada, where they could be free (and where they, unfortunately, see the same authoritarian impulses starting to take hold).
The gender identity movement is fundamentally authoritarian—alarmingly so. It is absolutely no surprise that Rowling sees it for what it is.
Her most rabid haters pretend that the magical world of her creation is a realm where they can do whatever they please. They self-servingly imagine that the strong themes of friendship, loyalty, and love in the Harry Potter series mean that this is a world where they could dictate their personal ideology and have everyone else accept it with open arms.
To them, “kindness” means “do what I tell you.”
This couldn’t be further from the message of the books, which are diametrically opposed to control and coercion.
Gender identity ideology coerces speech through the use of preferred pronouns. It also destroys our definitions of words like “man,” “woman,” “male,” and “female,” making it impossible to communicate clearly, freely, and truthfully.
Even worse, it attempts to coerce and control our very understanding and perception of men and women. Human beings have evolved to tell the difference between the sexes in less than a split second. We can do this accurately for the vast majority of people. And yet, for the sake of this movement, we have to pretend that we don’t have this innate ability.
Gender identity ideology even has its own scapegoats: “TERFs.”
The acronym ostensibly stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminists” (which is inaccurate, as radical feminists fight for all women, even those who are trans-identified). However, gender ideologues use the term to target any women who have concerns about the impact of this movement on women’s rights and on other vulnerable groups like children and LGB people.
Of course, gender activists flip all this on its head and pretend that trans people are actually the scapegoats of TERFs.
Since when have a bunch of middle-aged women (who trans activists claim TERFs mostly are) been the biggest threat to gender non-conforming males? Or, really, any kind of threat at all?
No, not everyone who disagrees with Rowling is literally Voldemort. Many people who think they disagree with her don’t actually have any idea what her position is. They are misled, and I’m not saying that they would have all become Death Eaters in the Wizarding World.
And even if they know and understand exactly what Rowling means but simply disagree with her: well, they have every right to.
However, those who are calling for the burning of her books, who are imploring others not to buy Hogwarts Legacy due to her supposedly hateful, bigoted, and transphobic views—these are the kinds of people who would have taken part in the attacks on Harry and Dumbledore.
Meanwhile, the ones who have branded Rowling a “TERF” and think that it entitles them to send her death and rape threats, the ones who intimidate and even assault women for daring to speak about our concerns—these are the kinds of people who would have gleefully joined in on rounding up the “mudbloods.”
Yes, you little tyrants, you are the bad guys. You see nothing wrong with silencing people who disagree with you and using threats and violence to do it. You would have supported the most evil wizard the world had seen for hundreds of years, and you would have done it happily.
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