argument top image

Should Harry Potter be "canceled" because of J.K. Rowling's transphobic statements? Show more Show less
Back to question

Prolific writer J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has gained infamy in recent weeks for her Twitter statements on transgender issues. Amidst a cultural debate about “cancellation,” this has been brought to the forefront. Should the Harry Potter series be disregarded as a response to its authorial bias?

No, the Harry Potter series should not be “canceled” Show more Show less

J.K. Rowling has recently garnered widespread attention for her transphobic statements, but this does not mean her work is not pivotal for many young people.
(1 of 3) Next position >

J.K. Rowling is not transphobic, so neither she nor Harry Potter should be canceled

Rowling has made controversial comments regarding gender identity, but her statements were never attacking individuals or a whole group, nor intended to be harmful. The extreme reaction to her comments reflects society's tendency to dramatize intent and peer judge culturally relevant activities.

The Argument

In her own words, J.K. Rowling has expressed how her views on gender binary are derived from her own experience with sexual violence and domestic abuse.[1] To criticize her history and the history of so many victims is to invalidate their experiences. She has said that she wants to protect young people, including trans youth, and that her interest in gender studies is not meant to be harmful in any way. She has done immense research on the subject in an effort to supplement her opinions, none of which advocates for the harm of trans people in real life. She also is not asking for people to accept her opinions or research outright but merely believes that other women should be allowed to hold similar beliefs without fear of public retribution or online abuse. Any reader is allowed to have a response to her opinion, but dictating public reaction proves why modern discourse can be so policed.[2]

Counter arguments

If transgender people feel like Rowling's statements put them and their right to exist at risk, then Rowling cannot, in turn, invalidate them. Her argument pits one victimized group (victims of gendered violence) against another (transgender people) rather than attacking the common roots of disparity and marginalization.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.jkrowling.com/opinions/j-k-rowling-writes-about-her-reasons-for-speaking-out-on-sex-and-gender-issues/
  2. https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 27 Oct 2020 at 19:37 UTC

Explore related arguments