A partial transcript from Episode 21 of THE ART MOVEMENT. Scroll down to listen to the full radio show.
I wanted to share an opinion on a hashtag I saw, which was popular with the interweb. I’m talking about the #IStandWithJKRowling, and it especially referred to her comments about trans women not being real women.
I’m not sure why she has been so vocal and passionate about this issue and I’m all for freedom of speech. I really believe that people should share their views no matter how controversial within a democratic system. But I equally think that said people should be prepared to take whatever backlash results from their statements.
That’s why when Rowling along with other public figures like Margaret Atwood and Noam Chomsky and 150 more people got together and wrote a letter denouncing the “restriction of debate,” I was in favor of it.
It’s also why, I don’t understand how the concept of freedom of speech has been appropriated by the Western World’s alt-right, like I don’t understand how apparently they have appropriated words like boogaloo.
Frankly, what Rowling has been talking about is quite dull to me and I haven’t really explored it fully. I mean, I’m a punk at heart and I just don’t like any types of labels. If it was up to me, if you feel like you’re a woman then you’re a woman. If you feel like you’re a man, then you’re a man. If you feel like you have every gender or no gender, that’s fine.
So, when it comes to the legal systems and human rights, I’m not sure about any of that stuff. But if I was the president of the world, this would be my ethical standpoint on these matters.
As far as the hashtag itself is concerned, while I was born at the right time to grow up with the Harry Potter saga, there was nothing about it that particularly excited me. I tried reading the books and found they just didn’t draw me in. And I even watched the movies but couldn’t get past the first three. It just wasn’t my thing.
Obviously, Rowling is upsetting a lot of her biggest fans with her behavior. Members of the LGBTQ community actually drew on them for a sense of empowerment about who they were. All this, of course, raises the question of once again, whether it is possible to separate the art from the artist.
What I believe is that everyone has a dark side and opinions about life that we disagree with. This includes artists, simply because they are human beings.