JK Rowling has (once again) shown her backside on Twitter. This time, I’m not sure the fandom will ever be able to look at her the same way again.
Can we start calling JK Rowling “JK Hydra”?
I know, I know. I’m crossing the streams. Harry Potter and Marvel are two entirely different universes. Nevertheless, I’m making the argument that this is the absolute perfect new name for someone who once brought so much joy to so many of us. Why? Because nothing has been this much of betrayal of fandom since Captain America was briefly Hydra.
In fact, this is infinitely worse because it’s real.
For those who don’t know or who have blissfully erased this from their memories, back in 2016 Marvel created a huge rift in the fandom by deciding to portray Captain America as a dedicated Hydra agent. Fans assumed this was a clone or mind control, but some very senior Marvel people insisted that this was the original Captain America and he was freely and of his own volition choosing to serve Hydra. They asked fans to “give the story a chance” and swore up and down that this was real.
Obviously, making a character created by Jews in response to Nazi Germany part of a group of Nazi supporters did not go down well. The fandom was massively divided. I myself canceled every Marvel title on my pull list and didn’t add any back until the entire storyline was over because I didn’t want any of it to creep into a book I was otherwise enjoying.
In the end, Marvel did what we all thought they’d do and brought forth a “real Cap” fix-it. They still insist this is where they were going the whole time, and maybe it was. Even so, they marketed the storyline so badly it’s just as bad as if they had actually made The Real Captain America a Nazi.
Captain America, who had previously been the shining unsullied Paragon of what America aspires to be, is now tainted (just a little, I still love him). Having read the end of Secret Empire, I think this would not be the case had they not pushed so hard to convince fans that there was no trickery going on and that the real Captain America was definitely willingly with Hydra.
Cut to this morning, when JK Rowling made a Tweet firmly planting her flag in a TERF camp. Here’s the tweet.
Dress however you please.
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
Maya Forstater is a woman who made some transphobic posts about how trans women shouldn’t be allowed equal treatment as cis women because “it’s not fair.” She was subsequently fired by her employer (a think tank, so it’s absolutely relevant to her job performance). She attempted to sue for a huge amount of money on the grounds that… I don’t know, she should be allowed to create a hostile workplace for her transgender coworkers?
Don’t worry, we’re not all the way in the Darkest Timeline yet. She lost.
Anyway, this specific situation is causing a lot of previously unknown transphobes to out themselves. I can’t say with complete honesty that we didn’t sort of suspect this about JK already. She has been a problematic figure ever since she discovered Twitter, and a lot of us have been trying to ignore it so we can enjoy the books we love.
But now she’s openly and proudly set against trans folk having equal and fair treatment.
There’s no going back now. This is happening. JK Rowling has made the Hydra Cap leap: she has taken that step past which we can never look at her the same no matter how much backtracking the public relations people do.
Even worse, it doesn’t appear as if JK even thinks she did something wrong. She is in fact outraged that someone was fired for transphobic comments and that this is the more important part of this story, and she tried to dress it up with a pretty little peaceful thoughts introduction to her hateful tweet.
I’m frankly devastated, and I don’t use that term lightly. I feel the same sort of betrayal as I felt when I saw the panel where Captain America first says “Hail Hydra.” I say very nearly because, of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve had to have a talk about JK Rowling so well it’s upsetting it is not a sudden shock of betrayal.
Like I said, though, this is worse. I don’t think we’re getting a “haha, not really, but wouldn’t that be crazy?” fix-it twist for this story. I think JK Rowling is just an unrepentant transphobe. Gail Simone sums it up best.
Well, fuck. https://t.co/I1Z1dzK7zA
— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) December 19, 2019
Me too, Gail. Me too.
Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and game enthusiast. She can talk fandom in five languages, and her proudest nerd moment so far was presenting original research titled “Gender, Sex, and Werewolves” at an international anthropological conference. Her first game, None For Me, is due out from Calico Games early next year.
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