Monday, December 23, 2019

JK Rowling is branded a transphobe in Twitter row after the Harry Potter author posted message of support for tax expert sacked over 'men cannot become women' tweet

JK Rowling has been branded a transphobe and a 'TERF' over her support of a tax expert sacked for saying that 'men cannot become women' on Twitter. The Harry Potter author, 54, faced a huge online backlash after tweeting her support for Maya Forstater after an employment tribunal upheld her dismissal.

The 45-year-old was fired over 'offensive' tweets questioning government plans to allow people to self-identify as another gender.

Rowling has been accused of being a 'TERF' or trans exclusionary radical feminist after claiming Ms Forstater was 'forced out of her job for stating sex is real'.

Using the hashtag #IStandWithMaya, Rowling tweeted: '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'.   

Fans shared their disappointment over Rowling's controversial statement, with the mother of a young trans Harry Potter fan describing it as 'heartbreaking'.

She wrote: 'My daughter, who is trans, is a big fan of yours. It breaks my heart to see you post something indicating that discrimination against her is perfectly fine behaviour for an employee. 'The world's most credible medical orgs affirm trans people. Please catch up.'

Someone else tweeted: 'Woowwww JK Rowling gone full TERF'.

Another person commented: 'JK Rowling is a full-blown TERF and she's saying it with her chest.'

Others posted comment about 'Harry Potter and the transphobe stone' and 'Harry Potter and the Wrong Side of History'. 

The term trans exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) is used to refer to people who do not believe transgender women should be afforded the same rights as cisgender women.

So-called TERFs often cite women and children's safeguarding issues when claiming men who have transitioned to become women do not have the same life experiences as those who have been female from birth and are often slammed as transphobic.  

Yesterday, the Central London Employment Tribunal case upheld the dismissal of Ms Forstater.

Miss Forstater, who has raised £83,000 on a crowdfunding website to pay for her legal fees, and her legal team are now considering whether to challenge the judgement.

Miss Forstater, who worked for the Centre for Global Development, was let go by the think tank after sharing her views on reforms to Gender Recognition Certificates.

The case was viewed as a test of whether gender critical views - that there are only two biological sexes and it is not possible to change between them - could be protected philosophical beliefs under the 2010 Equality Act.

Employment Judge James Tayler rejected that view in his landmark judgment, which said Miss Forstater's views are 'incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others'. 

If the employment judge had sided with Miss Forstater, firms would have been barred from sacking staff if they expressed the belief that there are only two genders, even if some people found that offensive.

However Judge Tayler ruled that there is no legal right to ignore the rights of transgender people, especially as misgendering someone can cause 'enormous pain'.

In his judgement he said: 'If a person has transitioned from male to female and has a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), that person is legally a woman. That is not something [Miss Forstater] is entitled to ignore.

'[Miss Forstater's] position is that even if a trans woman has a GRC, she cannot honestly describe herself as a woman. That belief is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.

'Even paying due regard to the qualified right to freedom of expression, people cannot expect to be protected if their core belief involves violating others' dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for them.'

Miss Forstater, who wrote on Twitter in September last year that 'men cannot change into women', said after the ruling: 'I struggle to express the shock and disbelief I feel at reading this judgement, which I think will be shared by the vast majority of people who are familiar with my case.

'There are two sexes, male and female. Men and boys are male. Women and girls are female. It is impossible to change sex. These were until very recently understood as basic facts of life by almost everyone.

She adds that the judgement 'gives judicial licence for women and men who speak up for objective truth and clear debate to be subject to aggression, bullying, no platforming and economic punishment.'

Miss Forstater's solicitor Peter Daly told the Daily Telegraph the 'significance of this judgment should not be downplayed'.

He said: 'Had our client been successful, she would have established in law protection for people – on any side of this debate – to express their beliefs without fear of being discriminated against.'

Human rights lawyer Adam Wagner told BBC Radio 4's Today programme Miss Forstater lost because the judge said that wrapped up in her belief that biological sex is immutable is an expectation that she will not refer to someone who has transitioned in their new gender. 

He said that it was 'difficult to say' whether the ruling would be upheld, adding: 'The judge has gone very far in trying to resolve a number of very controversial issues and he's also potentially gone beyond the remit of this hearing -which was about just looking at the belief, rather than the manifestations of the belief.'

Speaking on what implications this could have more widely, Mr Wagner said: 'It's difficult to say because it's such a developing area but it's quite a wide-ranging judgement that effectively says if you have a belief which requires you to misgender somebody then that belief won't be protected, so you could potentially be disciplined for expressing that belief - even if expressing that belief does not lead to you in the workplace actually misgendering someone, it's just the risk of misgendering.

'What I don't think it does is prevent people having a debate about whether for excample changing the law to bring in a different kind of rule for how you transition under the Gender Recognition Act.' 

At the end of September 2018 Miss Forstater said on a conversation on Slack: 'If people find the basic biological truths that 'women are adult human females' or 'transwomen are male' offensive, then they will be offended.

'Of course in social situations I would treat any transwomen as an honourary female, and use whatever pronouns etc...

'I wouldn't try to hurt anyone's feelings but I don't think people should be compelled to play along with literal delusions like 'transwomen are women'.'

In the full judgment, Judge Tayler considers whether the Claimaint's core belief that sex is immutable 'lacks a level of cogency and cohesion'. 

He says Miss Forstater 'largely ignores intersex conditions' and the 'fact' that biological opinion is moving away from an 'absolutist' approach, and that there is 'significant scientific evidence' that her belief is 'wrong'.   

The judge continues: 'I consider that the Claimant's view, in its absolutist nature, is incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others. She goes so far as to deny the right of a person with a Gender Recognition Certificate to be the sex to which they have transitioned.

'I do not accept the Claimant's contention that the Gender Recognition Act produces a mere legal fiction. It provides a right, based on the assessment of the various interrelated convention rights, for a person to transition, in certain circumstances, and thereafter to be treated for all purposes as the being of the sex to which they have transitioned.

'In Goodwin a fundamental aspect of the reasoning of the ECHR was that a person who has transitioned should not be forced to identify their gender assigned at birth.

'Such a person should be entitled to live as a person of the sex to which they have transitioned. That was recognised in the Gender Recognition Act which states that the change of sex applies for 'all purposes'.

'Therefore, if a person has transitioned from male to female and has a Gender Recognition Certificate that person is legally a woman. That is not something that the Claimant is entitled to ignore.'


Non-Partisan Group Calls on Amazon to Drop Scandal-Plagued SPLC

Big tech and the media routinely cover for the scandal-plagued far-left smear factory the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), but a new non-partisan initiative has launched a campaign urging Amazon to drop its reliance on the corrupt liberal group.

Since its creation two months ago, the New Tolerance Campaign (NTC) has inspired more than 2,000 Americans to demand that universities and influential companies like Amazon hold themselves to "consistent standards of tolerance." NTC "promotes 'unbiased tolerance' by encouraging organizations, businesses, elected officials, and government agencies to maintain clear standards of acceptable conduct."

In that spirit, NTC has rallied Americans against Amazon's decision to rely on the SPLC's biased "hate group" accusations to exclude organizations from its AmazonSmile charity program. NTC reminded its followers that the SPLC faced a devastating scandal back in March involving claims of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. That scandal led to the firing of the SPLC's co-founder, and it broke open even further as employees came clean about being "part of the con," exaggerating hate by padding the "hate group" list and "bilking northern liberals" into cutting big checks. The SPLC has millions in offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands.

"New Tolerance Campaign is dedicated to calling out the unequal application of tolerance in mainstream American culture, which has become far too common in recent years. AmazonSmile’s use of the SPLC is a clear case of this ongoing problem," an NTC spokesperson told PJ Media on Wednesday.

"In addition to several very serious internal scandals related to sexual harassment, racial discrimination and the use of off-shore bank accounts that undermine the organization’s integrity and credibility, the SPLC has a well-documented ideological bias that is reflected in its 'hate map,'" the spokesperson explained. "By relying on the SPLC as the only non-government arbiter of who can participate, AmazonSmile is perpetuating that bias in a way that passes it on to their customers, some of whom may not realize that their options are being shaped by one particular ideological viewpoint, while also lending its own reputation to an organization with questionable ethics and practices."

NTC is new, but the organization is already making an impact. "In only two months since New Tolerance Campaign launched, we’ve empowered over 2,100 advocates to send over 4,000 messages to companies calling on them to apply their tolerance standards equally," the spokesperson said.

NTC does not just launch pressure campaigns against liberal bias. The organization has also targeted Truman State University for refusing to allow a student to start an animal rights group on campus, and it urged American companies to divest from companies that support the Chinese surveillance state and the oppression of Uyghur Muslims.

Liberals have long warned about the SPLC's deception and corruption, but in recent years conservatives have led the charge. In recent decades, the organization has become shameless about accusing its political opponents of being "hate groups" on par with the Ku Klux Klan. The SPLC's "hate group" strategy began with lawsuits that bankrupted KKK groups, but its blacklist has expanded to include mainstream conservative and Christian organizations. Former SPLC spokesman Mark Potok declared that the SPLC's "aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them."

The SPLC's Scandalous History on Race

In 2012, a deranged man targeted the Family Research Council (FRC), which the SPLC accused of being an "anti-LGBT hate group." He intended to shoot everyone in the building and smear Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches in their faces. He failed thanks to the bravery of a security guard who sustained long-term injuries. The man was convicted of terrorism charges and told the FBI he targeted FRC because of the SPLC "hate group" list.

FRC and the American Family Association bought an ad in The Wall Street Journal warning Big Tech and the media not to trust the SPLC, specifically addressing Amazon with their concerns.

AmazonSmile lets shoppers direct 0.5 percent of their purchases to charity. Yet this admirable program relies on the SPLC's discredited "hate group" list to exclude conservative and Christian organizations. Amazon did not respond to PJ Media's request for comment.

The AmazonSmile blacklisting came to light in 2017, when D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) filed a lawsuit against Amazon and the SPLC after getting booted from the program. While the suit was dismissed this year, DJKM filed an appeal in October.

The blacklisting extends far beyond Amazon. Payment processing companies have cut off organizations like the Ruth Institute; Mastercard and Discover banned JihadWatch; Chase Bank has suspended the personal accounts of conservative activists like Enrique Tarrio, the black leader of the supposedly white supremacist Proud Boys. Hyatt Hotels, Eventbrite, and PayPal have blacklisted ACT for America. Even Mar-a-Lago canceled an ACT for America event under pressure from the SPLC.

The far-left group accused Maajid Nawaz, an anti-terror Muslim reformer, of being an "anti-Muslim extremist." Nawaz sued and the SPLC settled, offering a very public apology and paying $3.375 million to his nonprofit.

In addition to DJKM and Nawaz, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, Baltimore lawyer Glen Keith Allen, and former heroin addict Craig Nelsen have sued the SPLC for defamation and various other claims. The CIS lawsuit was struck down because it attempted to shoehorn a defamation claim into racketeering, but it will likely be re-filed.

In the Nelsen case, a judge allowed the plaintiff to enter the discovery process, giving the former heroin addict access to the organization's documents. The SPLC had falsely claimed that Nelsen "wasn't convincing anyone" that his drug recovery program was open to men of all races.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian nonprofit branded a "hate group" by the SPLC, told PJ Media that more than 60 organizations are considering their own lawsuits against the SPLC.

Shamefully, media outlets like CBS News, The New York Times, the Miami Herald, and the Palm Beach Post have buried the SPLC's scandals even while reporting on SPLC pressure campaigns in recent months. YouTube has also restricted videos exposing the SPLC's corruption.

Companies like Amazon should not be treating this scandal-plagued, politically-biased, and legally compromised organization as if it were a reliable arbiter of hate. Click here to read more about New Tolerance Campaign's initiative and consider signing this important petition.


Christmas market with live reindeer is cancelled after animal rights activists complained it was CRUEL

A Christmas market featuring live reindeer has been called off after animal activists complained children would 'cause great distress' to the animals. 

Organisers at Canopy Market in London have abandoned plans to hold the children's event after receiving comments about alleged cruelty from Freedom for Animals.

Fabio Diu, who runs the market, said: 'We did get comments about concern over using reindeer and for us animal welfare is critically important and something we take very seriously.'

Canopy have featured live animals from 'an educational point of view' and decided reindeers were not in keeping with their values.

Freedom for Animals have forced seven more reindeer events to cancel, including Winter Funland in Manchester, Knutsford Christmas Weekend in Cheshire and the Christmas lights switch-on at Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire.

Animal group Northern Unity protested outside Raby Castle in County Durham as families visited a reindeer display.

Protester Kathy Barley, 57, told The Times: 'Transporting these animals is very distressing. They are kept in bright lights with lots of noise. Kids will stick their hands through.'

They are calling for a boycott of live reindeer events as they claim the animals suffer anxiety, low fertility and high calf mortality.

Tor Bailey, campaign manager of Animal Aid, claimed the reindeer are 'not props to be paraded around and used for entertainment'.

This comes just days after the RSPCA warned reindeers should not be used at Santa's grottos because they get too stressed.

Dr Ros Clubb, senior scientific manager in wildlife, said the animals 'get stressed very easily and are very susceptible to many health and welfare problems'.

People attending the live reindeer events 'may not be able to spot the problems until it is too late'.

The semi-wild deer are not the same as deer native the UK which means it is more difficult to meet their needs.


Party for workers now can’t stand them

In the process of making themselves supremely woke Labor in Australia and Labour in Britain also have made themselves unelectable.

Caroline Overington

I was listening to the car radio a few days back when a woman came on and said: “Politics should be like the underwire in your bra.” I can’t remember who was hosting but whoever it was kind of choked, then said: “OK.”

The caller went on: “You want to know the government’s there, doing its job, but you don’t want to be conscious of it. You don’t want it to be irritating.”

Probably this caller was not the first person to come up with this analogy — probably it will turn out to be somebody famous — but the lady had a point, I thought, so allow me to labour it.

Most of us, when we’re young, don’t need much support (Are we still talking about bras? No, but then again, maybe.) Anyway, most young people are perfectly capable of getting some kind of starter job. They date, they travel, they hopefully save some money, then it’s time to get married, and so begin the child-rearing years. You’ll be needing your bra, ladies.

You also will be tapping the government for extra support, things such as healthcare and the maternal child health nurse; or else paid parental leave, family tax benefit and the childcare rebate: the point being the underwire is there when people need it.

Problems begin when politicians decide that it’s not enough for them to take care of the basics — the economy, national security, the roads, the schools — but to interfere unnecessarily in people’s daily lives.

In the process, they offend, or irritate, almost everyone.

All parties are guilty of this, but in the process of making themselves supremely woke Labor here in Australia and Labour in Britain also have made themselves unelectable. Labour/Labor used to mean jobs and job security. They were for workplace safety and eight-hour days and holiday loading and flexible hours.

Now they’re for — well, they’re apparently into berating their own base about how stupid, sexist, homophobic and racist they are.

Where is the evidence?

Most families in Britain and here in Australia are probably a bit like your own: one of the kids is gay, or else it will be one of the cousins, or else you’ll have a couple of guncles in the wings. Who gives a hoot? Nobody.

Imagine the bloke scratching his armpit on a building site trying to make sense of the idea that he’s a homophobic pig and therefore he should vote for the party that says so.

You think he cares whether his brother’s daughter wants to marry her best friend in a ceremony where the french bulldog wears a tuxedo? Knock yourselves out, is his likely response.

Labour was likewise convinced of the stupidity of its own supporters. They wanted Brexit, so their party ran against Brexit. Where is the logic?

In a similar vein, why does Labour/Labor insist on running leaders that people hate?

Here in Australia, Bill Shorten was unpopular — actually, no, talk to people, and they’ll tell you “I can’t stand him”.

I can’t stand him! There’s not a lot of wriggle room there. I can’t stand him means: if you run him, I will not vote for you. And so they ran him.

Because of course they did. Because they’re also arrogant. You don’t like him? Well, you’re having him.

Shorten’s base also comprised many people who had worked hard for many years as teachers, nurses, librarians and truck drivers to build up a nest egg. They’re now retired, and they were making a few thousand dollars a year from franking credits, meaning they’ve got some nice, safe Commonwealth Bank shares.

Shorten proposed to take the benefit from them. But that’s the money they put in cards for the grandkids at Christmas. As policy goes, it was absolute madness.

They did it anyway.

The bit they seem to forget is, people can turn up at the voting booth and say: well, to hell with you. I’m not voting for you.

You’re not? Of course, you are! You always have, your parents did, their parents were coalminers, you think you’re going to vote Conservative?

I am.

You’re not.

I bloody well am.

There’s only one way for that argument to end, of course. People are now wondering if Labor/Labour can ever come back. They say that every time there’s a landslide: oh, it will take a generation. Not necessarily.

The circumstances that allowed for Boris Johnson’s victory, and indeed that of Scott Morrison, were as precise as they were unique. They could well lose next time around. Donald Trump, on the other hand, will win a second term, and then he will probably put up daughter Ivanka for 2024.

Their first female president! Just not the one they thought they were getting. Democrats will look for people to blame — the media, especially — but actually, it’s not the media biased against them. It’s the electorate biased against them.

Traditional supporters are never gone forever, however. They can swing back in behind the party, with barely a moment’s notice. All the party needs to do is listen to people’s concerns, and respond in a way that makes voters think it understands. Bring them back to the bosom, as it were.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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