Bleats

Why JK Rowling's Transphobic Tweets Are Harmful To LGBTQ Youth

"It isn’t hate to speak the truth."

2020 has been the year of catastrophic bushfires, a global pandemic and new levels of police brutality and yet, over the weekend, JK Rowling tried to make it even worse with some transphobic Tweets. 

The GOAT team dive right into the whole JK Rowling anti-trans debacle on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

In a string of Tweets, JK Rowling has denounced the transgender community by spitting incorrect statements to her millions of followers. It began when the Harry Potter author critiqued a publication over their use of the term “people who menstruate” instead of “women”. She said, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

After receiving some feedback, she continued to incorrectly label the transgender community as a group of people who want to remove the concept of “sex” completely, saying: “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased… I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

Now, while anti-LGBTQIA+ statements often appear on social media sites, it hits especially hard when the person that it’s coming from is one of your biggest idols, just ask King Princess. In an Instagram post, King Princess openly responded to JK Rowling’s comments, on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

King Princess declared “I am not the person you will find calling out people on the internet, but that being said this one is personal.”

King Princess begins her statement by talking about what the Harry Potter books mean to the LGBTQIA+ community. She said, “First of all, I don’t think especially now, that you realize the accidental queer haven you created in your books for so many kids within the LGBT spectrum. Right now you are telling countless trans/femme kids that they basically didn’t deserve to be a part of that Utopia. That you pretty much negate the presence of their identities in this world.”

King Princess continued by discussing JK Rowling’s insertion into the narrative, saying: “And the worst part of all is that you feel attacked? You feel like your womanhood is attacked by a movement towards trans equality? What does this AT ALL have to do with you and your womanhood and why do you feel so angry?”

King Princess then continued to discuss how JK Rowling’s opinion on the transgender community contributes to the upholding of antiquated systematic privilege.

King Princess continued, “Do you see that by talking you are refusing to listen to a group of people are being murdered, beaten, and left unprotected by the law every day. Because I know, and so many others know that you, as a white cisgender woman, have had a lot more years of systematic privilege and power than trans folks. Separating cis women from trans women is exactly what allows this systematic privilege/hierarchy to continue. So please ask yourself why you are talking, why you are disrupting this movement with your confusing words, and why, as a writer, you feel the need to attack a group of people who most likely sustained your business for many years.”

Ultimately, JK Rowling is not only someone with a large platform, but she’s heavily influential on adolescents. With her Harry Potter legacy under her belt, there has and always will be plenty of children and young adults that look for her opinions on things, which make these comments (and all the other times she’s been problematic) particularly difficult to comprehend.

Honestly, JK Rowling, please for everyone’s sake, stop the transphobic Tweets on social media. Even Harry Potter himself has asked you to.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app. 

Dude Comes Out Of 75-Day Silent Retreat, Who's Gonna Fill Him In?

Okay, where do we start?

2020 has been one hell of a year, so can you imagine being on a silent retreat and missing it all?

We’ve had devastating fires across Australia, a global pandemic which has affected millions of people around the world, we’ve seen dangerous protests erupt in America and most of us have adjusted to a new daily routine as a result of social-distancing restrictions. It’s crazy what can happen in a matter of months. 

For more on the Black Lives Matter movement, make sure you check out this episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…

And while the past few months have felt like a lifetime, some people have completely missed it. Introducing: Daniel Thorson. In March, this 33-year-old podcast host took a trip to a Vermont to spend 75 days living in a remote cabin to live in complete silence. And after spending over two months off the grid, he has one question for the world “Did I miss anything?”

Um, how do we put this, yes? Yes, you did.

Us trying to work out where to start.

Daniel Thorson began his silent retreat on the 13th of March, which was before the Australian Government had announced any social distancing laws and subsequently way before America had done so. So, given this American missed not only the pandemic, but also the Black Lives Matter protests which are all over his home country at the moment, we’d hate to be the guy that has to fill him in. 

You have to hand it to Twitter for being so nonchalant about his departure. After he asked if he had missed anything, he was hit back with “Haha no it’s all been cool” and “not much.”

But now that he’s been back for a few days, we’re getting the vibe he’s getting used to a new way of life. He took to Twitter to say, “People at the grocery store seem more anxious than I remember.” Gosh, if only he’d been there to see the toilet paper drama

Daniel Thorson is part of the Buddhist Geeks movement. Here, he takes part in regular peaceful demonstrations and uses silent retreats as a medium to recollect his thoughts. On Twitter, he described that much of what he did on his retreat revolved around walking, meditating and drinking tea.

In an interview with The Times, Daniel Thorson opened up about being hesitant about leaving, saying “There was a collective traumatic emotional experience that I was not a part of…”

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Never Forget When The Spice Girls Called Out A TV Host For Blackface

"It's the 90s!"

The Spice Girls gave many, many iconic interviews when they were at the height of their fame, but perhaps none were as memorable as this one. In 1997, the Spice Girls called out a group of people doing blackface on the Dutch TV show, Laat de Leeuw. 

We broke down the topic of women in music on this episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…

While the Spice Girls were travelling around the world, conducting promo for their first album, they stopped by Laat de Leeuw, a Dutch TV show hosted by Paul De Leeuw. Here, Paul De Leeuw introduced the Spice Girls to a group of people dressed up as ‘Zwarte Piet’ to ask the Spice Girls some fan questions. For context, ‘Zwarte Piet’ translates to ‘Black Pete’, it’s a character which is known as the Dutch version of Santa Claus in The Netherlands and is rooted in Dutch culture. 

However, as Paul De Leeuw brings out the group of people, the Spice Girls are visibly unimpressed and disappointed, especially Mel B. Scary Spice immediately says “I think they shouldn’t paint their faces. You should get proper Black people to do it, I don’t think that’s very good,” she says as she mimics a cutting sign to someone backstage, presumably to try and end the interview. 

She’s not alone though, the other Spice Girls members are audibly heard to back Mel B up. As Paul De Leeuw tries to argue with Mel B about how this blackface is rooted in Dutch “culture,” Mel C yells “This is the ‘90s!” and Geri Halliwell screams “I think you should change it, I think you should change it and update it.”

It’s truly an awkward moment to watch, especially as Mel B’s face drops mid-interview, showing her sadness at the situation. Ultimately, you’ve got to hand it to this group. They stood up against blackface on a tv program with the host and the entire studio audience against them. We recommend watching the full clip here. 

The ‘Zwarte Piet’ character first appeared in an 1850’s book by Amsterdam schoolteacher Jan Schenkman. The reason for blackface of ‘Zwarte Piet’ is because the Christmas character is meant to look like they have just climbed down a chimney. In recent years, the character has been subject to much criticism. Cities in The Netherlands (including Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Maastricht and Antwerp) have since introduced an alternative ‘Zwarte Piet’ that doesn’t use blackface. As the should have.

Spice Girls shutting down blackface? We love to see it. For more on the Spice Girls, make sure you check out the time that they released a song you couldn’t even buy.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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