The Insidious Transphobia of “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” by Megan Phelps-Roper

The Insidious Transphobia of “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” by Megan Phelps-Roper

Episode 7: What if You’re Wrong?

The final episode begins with Megan speaking with Stacy Schiff, who in 2016 wrote a book on the Salem Witch Trials because of the “obvious and not so obvious parallels between that moment and basically what we do today on social media,” and because “the ability to slander someone, to just really decimate someone’s reputation very easily was something that was a constant between 1692 and the world in which we were then [in 2016] living.”

Presumably referring to this interview with Schiff, Megan has told disappointed listeners that “the witch trials motif will be clearer by episode 7.” Together with Megan’s other comments about the title, it’s clear that she means that the title will be less one-sided—but there is only one group of people, and one person in particular whose “decimated reputation” we’ve spent any time talking about. In the previous episode, Natalie Wynn did tell Megan she’d been doxed and swatted and “received death threats, mutilation threats, anger, shaming, mockery, any kind of terrible online behavior you can imagine.” All Megan had to say about that was “Oh jeez.” (Notice that there was not a compilation of Megan reading these threats like there was for Rowling.) So I do not think Megan has done a good job of trying to make it sound equally likely that she sees trans people as the target of witch hunts.

This leads us to Megan’s final conversation with Rowling, at long last. It follows one more soundscape of various bits of conversations from the podcast, as if to remind listeners of all the fun we’d been having together over the past six weeks. Megan is here to talk to Rowling about discernment and sharing her own list of 10 “discernment” questions that she’s asked herself in order to be sure her beliefs are moral after how dismally immoral they were for her first 26 years. Megan had written in a tweet and shares in her Twitter Spaces interview with Bari Weiss that “people will be surprised by what she says.” So let’s see.

Digging an abyss

She starts off by asking Rowling, “What do you think is the crux of the difference between what you believe and what your critics say you believe?”

Oh, my God. I mean, the crux. There’s an abyss. I’ve been… I’ve been… I have to laugh because the hyperbole is… is so extreme. I’ve been told I wish for the genocide of trans people. I’ve been told, well, you want them to die. You don’t want them to exist.

J.K. Rowling, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, Episode 7: What if You’re Wrong?

Unmistakably, Rowling is not dumb enough to say, “I want trans people to die,” or as Noah noted that she’s never said, “I’m better than trans people.” But as Monica Hesse said in her essay, it wouldn’t do Rowling any good to just say those things. And actually, just saying it may cause less harm than the things she has done: normalize violent anti-trans rhetoric, support TERFs tied to right-wing causes, imply over and over and over again to her 14-million-member audience that trans women are predators who do not deserve to go to domestic violence shelters when they are harmed, which she knows they disproportionately are.

It’s very entertaining to see Megan bring to Rowling the criticism of indirect bigotry that Natalie Wynn had brought to her:

Direct bigotry is the sort of thing that my family does, being openly contemptuous and using slurs and demonizing people, marginalizing people openly. And indirect bigotry is things like people are just asking questions. They’re just concerned. They’re engaging in debate. “Activists have gone too far. Political correctness. Cancel culture.” In other words, it’s the idea that there are bad actors who can hide behind virtues or less extreme rhetoric, but who are still undermining people’s rights.

Megan Phelps-Roper, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, Episode 7: What if You’re Wrong?

What is Rowling to say except “guilty as charged”? Well, there wasn’t really any way around it.

I see this constantly and that the most frequent example of that is they’re pretending to be concerned about children. It’s not about the children. They really hate trans people. Now, if you’re saying that indirect bigotry is asking questions where you believe significant harm is done, if you’re saying indirect bigotry is standing up for women’s rights, then you know, guilty as charged. I think it is a very bad faith argument to say that people who are asking questions are being indirect bigots, because you know that that itself, in my view, is a very bad faith position.

J.K. Rowling, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, Episode 7: What if You’re Wrong?

Transphobia is not harm reduction

Transphobic talking points have always struck me as odd, because it feels like such a coincidence that all the things they care about—children’s safety, women’s rights—all involve taking away trans rights in order to solve the problem, and yet it’s not about hating trans people at all somehow. (They even said as much about allowing trans women in women’s shelters in an earlier episode.) Would someone otherwise be arbitrarily interested in the fairness of women’s sports and the safety of women’s prisons?

And even then, she’s really not. As I’ve said, prisons are not safe places. They should be abolished, but if you want to reduce the greatest amount of harm within them, you would remove the male guards and staff, not the handful of trans women who are even there. And if you want women’s sports to be actually fair, you would advocate for better funding for public education and extra curriculars, for better facilities in underserved neighborhoods, and fighting poverty in general so that girls and women have more time to spend at sports practice instead of working to support their families. It’s also strange that they never mention men’s sports, in which by their logic, trans men would always be losing, but they have no problem with that. In their world, the proper order of things is that trans people stay at the bottom if they are there at all.

Next, Megan asks if Rowling can understand the pain caused by her constant implications that trans women are not women, and her constant support of people who literally say they are not. Rowling replies that “women are the only group, to my knowledge, that are being asked to embrace members of their oppressor class unquestioningly with no caveat.” Which, again, is a way of saying trans women are not women. Trans women are not cis women’s oppressors. (White) cis men are.

Rowling also says more clearly a position which she and her TERF cohort have hinted at: trans women can be considered women, if and only if they have had full gender affirmation surgery. (But she has never advocated for this surgery being easier to get, only more difficult.) Megan never pushes her on it when she calls “pre-op” trans women “a man [who] may have had no surgery whatsoever, but feels himself to be a woman.” She never asks Rowling if she believes trans women are women. But that would be an asinine question at this point. We all know the answer.

Unsafe in your own home

(Trigger warning: sexual assault.) Rowling then cites a Sunday Times article on abuse in unisex spaces, information clarifying which has been public since March 2021, despite her claims to have diligently researched these topics. “The Sunday Times issued a Freedom of Information request from the government. 88% of sexual assaults happened in unisex spaces.” Megan did specify that the data “compared the rates of incidents that occurred in single sex versus unisex changing rooms.”

It’s not surprising that the number is this high when you compare unisex (as in, including cis men) changing rooms and women’s changing rooms. If you compare the percentage of assaults in the unisex changing rooms to the percentage throughout the whole facility as the Times reported, the number drops to 67%. As YouTuber Ponderful calls attention to in her video on this, Britain’s Office for National Statistics estimated that about 150,732 adults had experienced sexual assault in the year ending in March 2018, and The Times themselves had noted that the ONS had only found 120 incidents occurring in unisex changing rooms that same year. Of all reported incidents, 63% percent were in either the victim’s or offender’s home. 0.08% happened in unisex changing rooms. It’s not about keeping women safe.

Fueling the fascist fire

Megan then asks how Rowling would respond to those who say she is “giving fuel to the right.”

She replies that, in essence, “as the left becomes increasingly puritanical, and authoritarian and judgmental, we are pushing swathes of people towards not just the right, it’s pushing them to the alt right” by “defend[ing] the placing of rapists in cells with women.” She sees that “the left is making a tremendous mistake in espousing this kind of, in my view, quasi-religious, incredibly sort of witch-hunting behavior, because there will be people who will just feel when they’ve been shamed and abused and they feel it was unfair. Where are they going to go?” The only way I read it is that she describes herself, blaming her own accelerating journey to the far right on trans people trying to take more than they deserve.

Rowling goes on after the next question:

I haven’t yet found a study that hasn’t found that the majority of young people, children and adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria will grow out of it. Now that I haven’t found a single study that contradicts that and I have gone looking, the majority of children will, if allowed to go through adolescence, many of them will grow up to, not all, but many will grow up to be gay. And they will… their gender dysphoria will resolve. Why then, if that’s the evidence, are we immediately putting children onto an affirmative path?

J.K. Rowling, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, Episode 7: What if You’re Wrong?

They won’t. And they’re not. Desistance is largely a myth that comes from the model which views being trans as a disease. She clearly didn’t look very far. She does, however, cite Carl Heneghan who called gender affirming care an “unregulated live experiment on children.” He’s an anti-masker.

And I would ask proponents of gender identity ideology who are so militant, who are so determined on no debate, I would ask them, What if you are wrong? If I’m wrong, honestly, hallelujah. If I’m wrong, great! People aren’t being harmed. But if you are wrong, you have cheered on. You have come. You’ve created a climate quite a threatening climate, in which whistleblowers and young people themselves are being intimidated out of raising concerns.

J.K. Rowling, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, Episode 7: What if You’re Wrong?

If you’re wrong, no one is harmed? You are wrong. The anti-trans bills that cite you, the TERFs that harass in your name, the parents who fall down the gender critical pipeline because of you and use Desist, Detrans, and Detox as a child abuse manual cause immeasurable harm. Because of you, we lose people whom we cannot get back.

A bit later Rowling actually says something that I agree with. Megan tells her that her critics say they just wish she would listen, to which she replies, “Because they think that nobody could possibly disagree with them if they heard what they were saying.” I think she hears her critics, and she does listen. She just doesn’t care. I never really followed Rowling or her work before this, so I don’t share the shock that many do that she would be this type of person. Well, this is all I’ve ever known her to be.

No one thinks they’re Umbridge

One widely-shared quote comes when Megan asks Rowling how she knows if they are “a Hermione or an Umbridge,” referring to the scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where:

Hermione, the hero, and Professor Umbridge, who is clearly in the wrong, have a showdown in class. Hermione says in a moment of defiance that she disagrees with something in her textbook and Umbridge berates her like, “Who are you to disagree with this expert who wrote this textbook?” and punishes her. Now, to anyone reading this, it is so frustrating and unjust, but I venture to say that no one thinks they are the Umbridge.

J.K. Rowling, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, Episode 7: What if You’re Wrong?

Rowling concurs. “No one ever thinks that. No one else thinks they’re Umbridge.” Megan tells her that “You have these younger critics online, and they see Hermione as standing up to an older person with power, and they see themselves as standing up to you.” Rowling’s odd method of ascertaining that she is not Umbridge is not whether she is perpetuating harmful stereotypes about a vulnerable group, or decreasing human rights for people, or willfully ignoring evidence and statistics. Her way of knowing is simply, “Am I having a lot of fun doing it?” If you’re having fun, you’re Umbridge. She says she’s not, so she’s… not.

From here, Megan finally shares her questions about discernment that she made for herself after leaving the tight-knit religious group. Here are her questions:

  1. Are you capable of entertaining real doubt about your beliefs or are you operating from a position of certainty?
  2. Can you articulate the evidence that you would need to see in order to change your position? Or is your perspective unfalsifiable?
  3. Can you articulate your opponent’s perspective in a way that they recognize or are you strawmanning?
  4. Are you attacking ideas or attacking the people who hold them?
  5. Are you willing to cut off close relationships with people who disagree with you, particularly over relatively small points of contention?
  6. Are you willing to use extraordinary means against people who disagree with you?

As she explains in a tweet, Megan wasn’t really asking Rowling to answer the questions, which is convenient; she is more telling her what questions she uses in her own discernment process. And that’s good because Rowling doesn’t really give any answers anyway.


Finally, finally, it is over. I did ask Megan for comment and she didn’t respond to me. Regardless, she can no longer say to me, “Well, listen to the whole thing,” or “It gets better,” or “Wait till the end.” I have. And you have. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you sitting through this stupidly long blog post. If you’ve made it this far, and you are feeling charitable, I ask that you donate to either Mermaids UK or The Outside Project.

I’ll see you on Twitter.

In solidarity.

18 thoughts on “The Insidious Transphobia of “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” by Megan Phelps-Roper

  • April 17, 2023 at 6:47 am

    You keep using the word “equivocating”, I do not think it means what you think it means. What I think you mean is “equate”.

    • April 17, 2023 at 8:46 am

      Oh my gosh!!! Thanks for telling me. Well they definitely equivocate too! 😅

      • April 19, 2023 at 11:54 am

        Yes they do 🙂

  • April 25, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    It seems like your review of the podcast is mainly about Barry Weiss’s connections to problematic people. I can see why that might lead you to dismiss the podcast as a waste of time, but you say you listened to the whole thing. I’m curious what you found a chance phobic exactly about the podcast itself?

  • May 9, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Rebekah,
    Thanks for this post. It led me to actually listen to the podcast and move beyond the limited perspective I had received from the Sam Harris’ interview with Megan. It also led me to listen to the Contrapoints response, which was very helpful. I recognize the significant effort that goes into putting together a lengthy post like this. It was clearly a labor of love and you offer many good observations on how the podcast does not live up to the fair-handed intentions espoused by Megan. That said, some aspects of the post caught my attention for less noble reasons, so I want to offer what I hope is received as friendly, constructive criticism. I really don’t want to misrepresent you in any way, so if I have misunderstood something then please let me know.

    To start, I want to note that your many valid points are more likely to be summarily dismissed by readers who think that you are acting in bad faith – which I assume you don’t want. Your passion comes through loud and clear, but it appears to come with a serving of hyperbole and speculation which can be easily interpreted as a less severe version of the bad faith activism that the podcast is critiquing. To clarify what I’m referring to, some examples that caught my attention are:
    1. On the first page, you (drawing from Caelan) accuse Megan of selfishly using people as mere plot devices in her story, then go on to impugn her knowledge of how to counter bad ideas and equate it to what the rest of us figure out in kindergarten (more on this below – she may know more about this than you think).
    2. For Episode 1, you speculate that Megan was coached by the Free Press on what to say and then question her honesty about the “highly, highly” doubtful origins of the letter for which you’re “almost positive” you know the origins. The dot joining which you use to reach that speculation is reminiscent of conspiratorial thinking.
    3. For Episode 4, you reinterpret Rowling’s statement that biological women “require certain protections” into an assertion that trans women don’t need protections (I believe she acknowledged this need at some point), and interpret the discussion of Karen White instead of cis men’s crimes as evidence that “they’re not concerned about women’s safety” (rather than just the consequence of focused discussion), and take Goldberg citing the need for clear delineations as evidence that she “doesn’t care” “that trans people are fighting for their lives”. These do not read as fair and accurate interpretations. Beyond that, the listing of advertisers in this episode is, whether you intended it or not, going to be interpreted as an endorsement of “cancel culture” by virtue of being read as a suggestion to boycott them.
    4. On the last page you claim that they (presumably Megan and Rowling) prefer a world in which “trans people stay at the bottom if they are there at all“. Regardless of your intention, this reads as if you think they might actually want to eliminate trans people altogether.

    Again, you’ve made a lot of good points in this post, but I raise these observations because I assume you want those points to be received without being seen as misrepresenting people and acting in bad faith. Which leads me to my second critique…

    I may very well be wrong, but it also felt to me like you were not only criticizing Megan’s approach in the context of the podcast, but were also leaning toward skepticism of the open dialogue strategy in the context of social justice issues in general. I infer this from the observations above, in the quotes you select from Caelan, and in your handling of Megan’s response to Natalie’s “indirect bigotry”. Though Natalie’s video shows how antagonistic activism isn’t anything new (contrary to many claims), the mere presence of that behavior in past successful movements does not infer that it was necessary for their success.

    More practically, there has been a fair bit of work to study persuasion, in both the individual and larger social contexts. If you are not already familiar with David McRaney and his “You are not so smart” podcast, I recommend taking a look. If you want your activism to be effective then I suggest that he is a voice worth listening to. In case you haven’t already guessed it, the most effective strategies have a lot in common with Megan’s idealism and stand in opposition to more antagonistic methods. While it is important for a movement to grab the public’s attention, not all attention is good for the success of the movement.

    Lastly, though I have no stake in being a Megan Phelps-Roper apologist I thought it would be interesting to try and steelman her approach with this podcast:
    1. If she is in fact aware of the research noted above (as I would guess) then the grace she extends to the gender critical viewpoint can also be seen as her engaging in the kind of dialogue which is necessary to gain the trust of those who hold that perspective, which makes them more open to the alternative viewpoints that are shared.
    2. While the series title does lend itself more to the implication that Rowling is the witch than the witch hunter, let’s not forget that (a) Rowling’s fame is based on witchcraft, (b) Megan’s background was deep in the anti-witchcraft era of Harry Potter, (c) witch trials are classic examples of mob justice, which is a prominent theme of the series, and (d) a catchy title is important to downloads. She has said the title was intended to be open to interpretation, including directly stating this in the first episode. In the absence of unambiguous indications to the contrary, we should not assume that is a lie.
    3. As far as I know, Megan doesn’t have any kind of history that puts her in the same camp as Rowling on gender issues. Guilt-by-association is a precarious criteria for pigeonholing somebody, especially when the association is in a context where she explicitly tells us that she is trying to not take a side. Even if you think she failed in that goal, your perspective on that is not a reliable insight into her intentions.
    4. Megan’s history of being heavily focused on the promotion of open, civilized conversation regardless of ideological differences is good reason to believe her when she says that her goal in this case is no different, even if the end result does not appear to be as balanced as she thinks it was. As noted previously, to say that she is the “epitome of bad faith” is mind-reading her intentions.
    5. Rowling is the centerpiece of the project and its success is likely dependent on Rowling’s approval. If she pulled her support, it may not have ever been released. That’s a tough line to walk and will inevitably bias the result in favor of not alienating her.
    6. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I read you as saying that Megan’s past has given her a “dangerous lens” because it causes her to mistake the expressions of pain and hurt in the more aggressive interactions as equivalent to the expression of hateful dogma from her time at Westboro. The distinction between emotional responses and hateful dogma is fair, but it also does not mean that there is no dogmatic rhetoric to be found on the trans-activist side. I think Natalie did a good job of acknowledging this, and we shouldn’t assume that Megan is also not aware of this distinction even if it was not overtly addressed in the podcast (though perhaps it was and I just don’t recall).
    7. While episode 7 does not feature Megan confronting Rowling with vigor, the questioning of Rowling was such that – in my opinion – Rowling was cast in a far less flattering light than she was in the first 5 episodes. If that’s a legitimate observation then that is a telling way to end the series.

    Sorry for the length of this comment. I hope you can appreciate that I’m not trying to be adversarial and why I would think it was worth sharing these observations.

    • June 15, 2023 at 11:46 am

      Hi Travis, thanks for your comment and for waiting for my reply! I’ll do my best to address your points below.

      1. While I did speculate about the podcast’s origins, I don’t think it’s wrong or conspiratorial to do so. I laid out the clues that led me to that (tentative) conclusion because Megan’s alleged letter was never released, or even described in detail, and so I don’t think my hypothesis is a great stretch. But at the end of the day we don’t know for sure, and I wish we had more information.
      2. Rowling does acknowledge in her essay discussed in chapter 5 that “Trans people need and deserve protection. Like women, they’re most likely to be killed by sexual partners. Trans women who work in the sex industry, particularly trans women of colour, are at particular risk.” Barring the obvious implication here that “trans people” are not women, she follows this whole section with “At the same time,…” leading into fear mongering about men in women’s restrooms. So that contradicts what she said here which is that “[our sex class] is the basis for our oppression” during a discussion about domestic violence. She implies that trans women cannot suffer the same oppression as cis women, which is based in their “sex class.” Regarding the listing of advertisers, you can interpret that as cancel culture if you want to. Brands should suffer consequences for being featured in transphobic podcasts. Finally, I disagree that the interpretation of correctional officers causing more harm than Karen White was not fair and accurate. I believe it was more than fair, and wholly accurate.
      3. Yes, I believe that they “might actually want to eliminate trans people altogether.”
        (Next numbered list!)
      4. Sorry but I don’t buy this explanation of the title as ubiquitous. Overall in your analysis I think you are taking Megan at her word too much. Maybe it’s not a scientifically provable fact, but I don’t think she is genuine—that’s probably the biggest difference between your view and mine. (a) I think HP being about witchcraft ties to the idea of Rowling being a witch even more (b) Megan said her family didn’t have anything to do with the anti-HP mania, and she was allowed to read it (c) I think this point also lends itself to Rowling being the witch, that’s why it’s a prominent theme (d) I agree. To your description of “the absence of unambiguous indications to the contrary” what frustrates me about the podcast as a whole is that there isn’t really anything unambiguous. It’s all open to interpretation, so this is my best educated attempt to interpret it.
      5. You might be interested in Caelan’s video. They list some transphobic or transphobic-ish tweets Megan’s liked in the past. I don’t think that proves anything, but it starts to raise a little red flag.
      6. I think that takes us back to the problem of making a podcast that is featuring J.K. Rowling in the first place.
      7. Of course, everyone has biases and their own dogma. Whether Megan is aware of the distinction or not, she really goes out of her way to exaggerate similarities between WBC and trans people/allies, which is not fair.
      8. I didn’t find episode 7 particularly interesting, but instead pretty predictable. I was surprised that Natalie was featured in ep 6 and that her good points were platformed here at all, so maybe there was no going back after her segment as seeing Rowling as positively as we might have in earlier episodes. My biggest problem with episode 7 is the way it was advertised as “Rowling’s opponents will feel they’ve been vindicated after hearing this!” which was not at all the case.
      • July 24, 2023 at 1:01 pm

        First time reader here, and I think Travis R made an excellent point about:

        “To ostart, I want to note that your many valid points are more likely to be summarily dismissed by readers who think that you are acting in bad faith – which I assume you don’t want. Your passion comes through loud and clear, but it appears to come with a serving of hyperbole and speculation which can be easily interpreted as a less severe version of the bad faith activism that the podcast is critiquing.”

        What kind of blog is this? I found it on a top list of best skeptics blogs, but it reads more like bad faith activism to me. What I’ve read so far isn’t true skepticism, which makes me worried, because bad faith activism is dangerous to me and my feelings, in fact it is hate speech towards my feelings. I would like you to stop it if you would please.

  • May 12, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    I left a comment here a few days ago that included a couple links and so was held for moderation. Wanted to alert you in case it slipped your attention.

    • May 12, 2023 at 5:41 pm

      WordPress had flagged it, so I didn’t see it. Thank you for taking the time to write it! I look forward to reading it when I have a little time 🙂

  • June 16, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    Thank you for responding even after all this time. I honestly never intended to spur any kind of debate with those numbered points. The first list was just an attempt to backup the claim that you were sometimes characterizing people with uncharitable attributions that go beyond the information we have, and which can therefore appear to be the kind of “bad faith” engagement that the podcast was in part critiquing. The second list was an attempt to show an example of how one could offer a more charitable interpretation of Megan’s position.

    Regardless, I want to highlight the part of the comment that was between those lists. If I could have a redo, I would drop the lists because those clearly were not helpful. I should take my own advice. The larger goal was to encourage you to become familiar with the research around persuasion and how people’s minds change because I sensed you leaning into a more antagonistic approach which I understand to be counterproductive to effective activism. You are welcome to disagree with that assessment, but I thought it was worth sharing that perspective. If nothing else, I recommend looking at adding David McRaney’s most recent book to your non-fiction reading list, and\or his podcast to your rotation.

    • July 11, 2023 at 10:23 pm

      I understand you think you know a lot about this subject matter because you listened to a podcast, but it doesn’t seem to have occurred to you that your tone is very condescending and dismissive.

      It is certain that, at the very least, Phelps-Roper lacks the expertise or journalistic ability to provide a thorough portrayal of Rowling and the people who oppose her (VERY OBVIOUSLY) transmisist agenda. It is even more certain that Rowling herself hates trans people. I do not consider this language to be too strong. She is funding Posey Parker, a genocidal transmisist who is very open about her desire to force trans people to detransition, and if they won’t do that, throw them in prison. Or worse. And she is willing to throw absolutely everything else under the bus in pursuit of this goal, including women’s reproductive rights. She’s also willing to associate with a woman who started a sexual relationship with a minor (who could not consent under the law in many places) and got pregnant by that child, simply because that woman is as openly hateful of trans people as she is. Rowling is long past the “a few concerns” stage of things, and we should not allow her to pretend her motives are pure.

  • July 5, 2023 at 7:44 pm

    I think it’s important to critique ideas where important matters of justice are concerned, but to use the inflammatory words “insidious” and “transphobic” is so clearly hyperbolic that it makes you appear unserious. It gives off the aroma of click bait and performative outrage that is such a turn off to anyone not already convinced. If you are preaching to your own choir, I hope it’s gratifying.

  • September 1, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    I recently listened to the podcast. In many ways I was disappointed with it (and pissed off by it), as well as with Megan, considering her past. While she seeks to avoid repeating the sins of her past, she wound up in the opposite extreme doing the exact same thing. I’m also working my way through the series to analyze them deeper.

    I literally stopped episode 1 within about 15 seconds to investigate the sponsor. Fire ( The first red flag for me was the free speech absolutism. This is often an indicator of an agenda-driven mission that claims high ideals, but is limited in it’s scope to just being anti-woke. I read the article on their lawsuit against CA. I picked a single quote to investigate, “persons that say they are ‘not a racist’ are in denial.”, and followed it down a rabbit hole. The first thing I noticed was Fire is extremely loath to link to outside sources. This tells me that seek to maintain control over the narrative, via echo chamber. The quote I picked was cut down from a much longer sentence (which is why I left the period in their quote):
    “Persons that say they are ‘not a racist’ are in denial of the inequities and racial problems that exist.” (Taken from I. X. Kendi’s book “How to be Antiracist”)

    Fire’s misquote means people who claims to not be a racist are denying that they are. The real quote means they’re denying the existence of inequities and racial problems. Those are two vastly different things. I don’t agree with the full sentence either, but Fire changing the context is outright lying and manipulation. (I don’t agree that saying your not a racist is denial of the problems. Racism, at it’s core, is literally the belief in the superiority of one’s race, everything else is a manifestation of that belief. One can simultaneously believe their race is not superior and know that inequality and racism exists. People who aren’t racist can also be infected with racist ideologies that permeate our society repeated ad nauseum – think “Affirmative Action is reverse racism” – and not even realize the origin or full context of these ideologies.)

    One shouldn’t be surprised about the lopsided presentation of the podcast given it’s sponsorship. Megan literally sold out. It’s funny how quickly she went down the “dark web” hole. It does have a tempting message that seems shiny and logical on the surface. Until one begins to ask certain questions and doesn’t take them at face value. Smart people are very intelligent at rationalizing their irrationality.

    I do believe that JKR doesn’t intend harm, but her extreme focus driven by her horrific past blinds her to the suffering of others (rather than enhancing empathy) and limits her “research” to only that which confirms her biases. Along with the huge array of logical fallacies she commits, she is incapable of understanding that the people who once vilified her didn’t become her allies, they’re using her to justify their hatred of LGBTQ people. If conservatives can separate the T from the rest (a tactic that has taken hold in recent years), then they can separate the rest and regain the ground they “lost” and usher back the pre-Stonewall era of bigotry and hatred that they enjoy so much. Many conservatives and christians don’t even realize that there are eugenicists hiding within their ranks. They play the long game and keep their messages of hatred alive. JKR doesn’t seem to even be aware how she continues to feed this insipid infection of society. I am in no way excusing JKR, ultimately, she made the choices that have hurt a lot of people and has continues to remain willfully blind to broader reality.

  • September 9, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    “The Free Press is an anti-trans publication with a record of distorting and excluding information that doesn’t fit their harmful narrative”

    The amount of projection in this diatribe is something to behold. Even more ironic, considering the latest blog titled, “On Writing White” is coming from a privileged white who regurgitates white talking points in the most white way possible.

    You came in with a conclusion, then perused through The Free Press looking for “evidence” to support your conclusion.

    Bari Weiss didn’t leave NYT because it was “not conservative—or centrist—enough for her” — she said she left because NYT did not defend her against alleged bullying by colleagues and caving into Twitter critics. This folks, is the self-described “critical thinker” and “skeptic,” who couldn’t bother to spend a few minutes to fact-check — but that of course, wouldn’t fit her narrative. She needs to smear her opponents (how dare someone be critical of my religion?) Then she goes on ranting about FIRE because, gasp, they support free speech! You know free speech — the thing that’s part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Well, little Miss whitey here doesn’t like free speech or Universal Declaration of Human Rights — it hurts her narrative when people can talk back and criticize her ideology. She prefers to go back to the 19th century when fanatic whites like her were free to proselytize and force her religion on others without resistance. Ah, the good ‘ol days!

    You know what is “harmful?” A “movement” where its members harass women, who regularly send death and rape threats to women, who use emotional blackmailing, who try to silence critics and get them fired. It’s not surprising that depression among girls and women has skyrocketed, and now white liberal women are the most unhappy group in the country. Congrats — this is the accomplishment of your “movement.”

    The rest of the non-WHITE Western world completely rejects your gender ideology — perhaps should stop excluding this information that doesn’t fit your backward narrative.

  • December 7, 2023 at 5:36 am

    I note that Rebekah Kohlhepp is a Middle Class, Heterosexual, CIS, White Woman. Need any more be said?


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