• Handsel Publications

Why I don't think J.K. Rowling is trans-phobic

Updated: Sep 10

I don’t think J.K. Rowling is truly transphobic (and neither does Eddie Izzard, btw). Ms. Rowling’s issue appears to be that she wants to protect girls and women from men who gain access to traditionally female-only areas such as restrooms and locker rooms, simply by stating they’re a woman.

Apparently in Scotland, a man – regardless of whether he’s taking female hormones or intends to have sex-change surgery – can get a Gender Recognition Certificate, which legally recognizes him as a woman, with no requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

Ms. Rowling, having suffered an assault as a young woman, is sensitive to the issue of keeping girls and women safe from sexual attack. It appears her main concerns are with individuals who insincerely and for nefarious reasons want to be recognized and treated as women. Additionally, she’s concerned that teenage girls are prematurely jumping to trans surgery when they have lesbian or bisexual inclinations. Advocating for an exercise of caution does not make someone "anti-" something.

Keep in mind that news headlines and people on social media tend to sensationalize – and even falsify – issues because sensationalism and even hatred, unfortunately, gets sales, views, clicks, likes, shares, and followers.

Lest you think I’m biased, I am – in favor of LGBTQI rights. A few years ago, the US president continually justified his anti-LGBTQ executive orders by saying that protections based on “sex” in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant “biological sex.” I had known for 30 years the biological nature of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and that each develops on a continuum rather than a coin-flip. This creates a mosaic of male-female characteristics, each on a sliding scale. Contributing factors can be complex, and so can the result. Although the material had been readily accessible for three decades, the general public still appeared to be in the dark ages.

I did more research; I wrote a book. I received additional research information from a neuroscientist who heads up multiple international teams of brain researchers. With his team's new article, his book, and yet further research, I updated the book. It’s based solely on biology, neurobiology, and endocrinology research, yet is written in layman’s terms that any of us can understand.

I can’t speak to the politically-correct and polite terminologies, nor to the sociological aspects of what it’s like being LGBTQI – because I’m not. What I am, is incensed by the general public’s tendency to criticize groups and individuals for something of which they (the public) have no knowledge, and an education system and media that keeps them in the dark.

The book goes through the developmental processes of sexual development in the fetus, including sexual orientation and gender identity. It addresses the factors that influence this development. And it explains the difficulty in defining any of them. The book can be read in less than an hour.

To more directly explain each of the elements of L, G, B, T, Q, and I, I created a website that does exactly that. Again, these articles are written to be short, to the point, and easily understood by anyone who can read.

As far as gender identity or the issues surrounding being trans - after hearing people tout “just go with the genetics” or “just go with the anatomy” it was clear that those so proclaiming had no idea of the possible complexities of either proposed solution. I wrote a shorter book – an ebook, additionally published as an article (The complexity of defining someone’s “sex”) on this site. In layman’s terms it describes the potential complexities in defining an individual’s “sex”.

I don’t provide a simple solution, because I don’t believe that there is a simple solution. I won’t get drawn into a debate about what trans people should or shouldn’t be allowed to do. If I had to offer an opinion regarding the sports issue, it seems simple common sense: trans women sports and trans men sports. Bathrooms? Do what was done at a place I once worked: provide a small gender-neutral bathroom with a locking door. These are already often provided as restrooms where those with infants can use a changing station for changing diapers. (Sometimes solutions can be straightforward when one hasn't pre-determined that there is no solution.)

With such strong opinions in these matters and legislation in the balance, everyone voicing an opinion, proposing legislation, voting, writing news articles, or simply posting on social media should educate themselves before spreading what they think they know (or what they don't care that they don't).

If you’re interested in any of this:

The book is Not a Choice, author PJ Paulson (color interior paperback on Barnes and Noble only; the paperback on Amazon has black-and-white (B&W) interior; hardcover also available). Its full title is Not a Choice: What you weren't taught about the biology of sex and gender.

Website: notachoice.net.

Article: https://www.handselpublishers.press/post/the-complexity-of-defining-someone-s-sex and its associated ebook (currently a short read in Kindle only): He, She, or They: How do you define “sex”? What they don’t teach you in school, author PJ Paulson.

JK Rowling’s explanation of her presumed transphobia: https://www.jkrowling.com/opinions/j-k-rowling-writes-about-her-reasons-for-speaking-out-on-sex-and-gender-issues/

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