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Culture

J. K. Rowling Declines to Apologize to Wokescolds

J.K. Rowling at a gala performance of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child parts One and Two, in London, England, in 2016. (Neil Hall/Reuters)

I assumed J. K. Rowling would cringe, beg forgiveness, and assent to approved re-education techniques after a Twitter mob and the Woke Enforcement Agency that is Vox went berserk during the holiday season about a comment Rowling had made on Twitter. Rowling supports Maya Forstater, a British woman who lost her job simply for stating she believed sex is immutable and binary. This wouldn’t be much of an issue except a British court agreed that it was proper to fire Forstater and chastised her in the bargain, saying she was guilty of creating “an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment,” which “is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

As Megan McArdle notes in her column, though, if you incur the wrath of a woke mob, one option is simply to decline to give in. So far, that is what Rowling has done. She didn’t remove the tweet, didn’t apologize for it, and declined a meeting that GLAAD tried to set up with her to change her mind. McArdle points out that in an earlier generation, it was the prudish Mrs. Grundys who attempted ruthlessly to police speech, but after a while people simply decided to ignore them. The Mrs. Grundys were humiliated and slipped away.

This Sunday, Ricky Gervais, who chimed in in Rowling’s defense and has been even more public (and very funny) about refusing to accept that a man can become a lady simply by saying so, is hosting the Golden Globes. It really only takes a few highly visible figures to refuse to bow to the mob to strip it of its power. We’ll see if this trend continues.

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