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JENNY HJUL: JK Rowling is pariah-in-chief in transgender activism world – when is this vendetta going to end?

JK Rowling is latest celeb to fall foul of trans lobby.
JK Rowling is latest celeb to fall foul of trans lobby.

Another day, another woman subjected to threats and abuse for having the temerity to uphold an essential truth.

This time it is JK Rowling, again, who has had to call in the police after her home address in Edinburgh was revealed online by three trans activists.

The group targeted the Harry Potter author because she has become pariah-in-chief in the world of transgender activism.

Sometimes referred to grandly as a culture war, this is in fact a vicious campaign orchestrated by tiny minority interests who bleat, disingenuously, that their rights are threatened by Rowling and others who dare to stand up to them.

‘Portrayed as a bigot because she defends rights of women’

Rowling, a Labour supporting, progressive philanthropist without an illiberal bone in her body, is portrayed as a bigot and transphobe because she defends the rights of women.

Her robust insistence that biological sex is real and not to be confused with gender identity, which can be adopted at will, has been getting her into trouble for at least the past two years.

Following the latest incident, on Friday last week, she said she had received enough death threats to paper her house.

She also said she would not be silenced.

“The best way to prove your movement isn’t a threat to women, is to stop stalking, harassing and threatening us,” she tweeted.

Rowling said she had “watched appalled” at the intimidation of women for refusing to accept that the concept of gender identity should replace that of sex.

One woman left her job two years ago after a series of tweets saying that men cannot change into women.

Maya Forstater eventually had an employment tribunal ruling against her overturned, when a judge decided her beliefs did not seek to destroy the rights of trans people.

When is this vendetta against women going to end?

Joanna Cherry.

It has already claimed the career of the respected philosopher Kathleen Stock, hounded out of Sussex University, and almost ended that of the SNP MP Joanna Cherry.

Cherry admitted recently that she considered quitting politics over persistent attacks, often but not always online.

She has had to seek police support after threats from constituents. In one case, the perpetrator was a fellow member of the SNP but Cherry said her party has yet to publicly condemn him.

In February, she said she had been targeted for 18 months by “mainly young men within the party who seem to have a problem with middle-aged lesbians who support women’s sex-based rights”.

In the past week, Cherry has raised a new complaint with her party, asking the justice secretary, Shona Robison, to investigate a government backed-charity that she says is subjecting her to a McCarthyite witch-hunt.

The Equality Network, which receives almost £500,000 from the taxpayer, accused the MP for Edinburgh South West of promoting conversion therapy.

Cherry had argued in a newspaper article that girls who are unsure of their sexuality or gender identity should “be able to discuss, with professional support if necessary”, whether “they might be gay, straight or trans before they embark on life-changing treatment”.

In twisting her words, the charity was deliberately generating hostility towards her, said Cherry who, sure enough, then had to endure yet more online bile from trans zealots.

‘They believe they’re fighting on behalf of their entire sex’

The women in the vanguard of this ugly row tend to be on the left or centre left or apolitical; many, though not all, are lesbians; and they would probably all describe themselves as feminists.

They don’t give up, despite the personal cost, because they believe they are fighting on behalf of their entire sex, many of whom are more vulnerable than they are.

Kathleen Stock, in an interview with The Times, said the UK government’s proposal in 2018 to reform the Gender Recognition Act and introduce self-identification, thus erasing ‘male’ and ‘female’ categories, had vast implications, especially for women.

“My bête noire is middle-class academics sitting around making decisions that impact on women in prison,” she said.

Westminster has since abandoned these plans, but the SNP is ploughing on, despite only one in five Scots agreeing that men who classed themselves as women should be allowed in women’s spaces, according to a recent poll.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The SNP is to address social media conduct at its conference this weekend, with a motion calling on the party’s National Executive Committee to “provide advice and guidance on what constitutes online abuse”.

Given that the party is riven with feuds, particularly over trans rights, that go largely unchecked by the SNP hierarchy, there is not much hope of protection for women in the firing line.

Rowling has reportedly received support from the prime minister’s official spokesman, who said: “I don’t think any individual should be targeted in that way.”

At the time of writing, Nicola Sturgeon had said nothing.