Monday, June 22, 2020

Hachette Stands against Cancel Culture

Finally, the cancel mob has gone a step too far. Staff members of Hachette UK had refused to work on the latest book by J. K. Rowling. As you know, Rowling has sold something like half a billion books about someone named Harry Potter.

When you have sold that many books, staff that wants to cancel you might get themselves canceled. Now, Hachette has taken a stand. It has told its staff that they do not have the right to protest against authors' views when expressed outside of a manuscript.

Here is the story, reported by the Independent:

JK Rowling’s publisher, Hachette UK, has told staff they are not allowed to refuse to work on her novels because they disagree with her views on transgender issues.

The news comes after a group of employees at the company objected to being asked to work on the author’s new children’s story, The Ickabog.

“Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of publishing,” said Hachette in a statement. “We fundamentally believe that everyone has the right to express their own thoughts and beliefs. That’s why we never comment on our authors’ personal views and we respect our employees’ right to hold a different view.

“We will never make our employees work on a book whose content they find upsetting for personal reasons, but we draw a distinction between that and refusing to work on a book because they disagree with an author’s views outside their writing, which runs contrary to our belief in free speech.”

What was Rowling’s thought crime? Why, she stood up for women, as against the transgender lobby.

Rowling has sparked a great deal of controversy in recent days, after appearing to take issue with a headline about “people who menstruate”. Following a backlash in which she was accused of being transphobic, Rowling then wrote a 3,700-word article on her website explaining that she was a survivor of sexual assault and that helped convince her of the need to maintain women-only spaces.

Rowling had written:

The author was met with a backlash after calling out an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”.

“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she wrote, adding: “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

While many Twitter users supported Rowling for her tweet, there were plenty – including numerous celebrities – who criticised her comment as “anti-trans” and “transphobic” arguing that transgender, non-binary and non-gender conforming people can also menstruate.

And also:

She also argued that biological sex is meaningful and claimed sections of the trans community are “seeking to erode women as a political and biological class”.

How about that: standing up for science.Then again, isn’t there a serious thought crime involved in using the word: menstruate. How did men get involved in that process? Shouldn’t we call them: people who personstruate?


urbane legend said...

Ms. Rowling, who writes fantasy fiction about magicians, tells the truth about the real world, and is criticized by people who live in a magical fantasy world, or believe they do, anyway. That's irony, isn't it?

. . .there were plenty – including numerous celebrities – who criticised her comment . . .

Celebrities; yes, from the entertainment industry and the professional grievance industry. What I don't see is criticism from noted biologists or doctors.

Sam L. said...

I'd go more for "womenstruate". Hachette should tell its employees they have two options: do what we tell you to, or resign.