JK Rowling: from magic to the heart of a Twitter storm

The author of the Harry Potter books now finds controversy raging around her in the press and social media that began with one tweet on gender rights

A simple story with a happy ending, with evil unmasked and defeated, has great appeal, especially if there are grim threats and obstacles to negotiate along the way.

For two decades JK Rowling has not only delighted readers with this sort of tale, but also stood as living proof of triumph over adversity, having written her children’s books hopefully, inside that Edinburgh cafe, in an effort both to keep warm and to earn a new life for herself and her baby daughter.

Now, Rowling’s legions of admirers are waking up to the complications of the real world, one where no individual is safe from re-evaluation, and context is all. Continue reading

JK Rowling to share first two chapters of new novel today

JK Rowling has announced on social media that she’ll be sharing the first two chapters of her forthcoming new book, The Ickabog, at 3pm today (Tuesday, 26 May).

Chapter 1

King Fred the Fearless

Once upon a time, there was a tiny country called Cornucopia, which had been ruled for centuries by a long line of fair-haired kings. The king at the time of which I write was called King Fred the Fearless. He’d announced the ‘Fearless’ bit himself, on the morning of his coronation, partly because it sounded nice with ‘Fred’, but also because he’d once managed to catch and kill a wasp all by himself, if you didn’t count five footmen and the boot boy [ . . . ]

JK Rowling “The Ickabog

Continue reading chapter 1-2

Backlash after JK Rowling supports woman fired for transgender comments

JK Rowling has come out in support of a researcher sacked in a landmark case after tweeting transgender people cannot change their biological sex.

Maya Forstater lost her job in March after she posted tweets opposing government proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act to allow people to identify as the opposite sex.

Ms Forstater, 45, who worked as a tax expert at the Centre for Global Development, an international think tank campaigning against poverty and inequality, took her case to an employment tribunal on the grounds her dismissal was discrimination against her beliefs.

Employment Judge James Tayler dismissed her claim saying her views are “absolutist in her view of sex” and “incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others.”

Responding to the ruling, Harry Potter author 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?”

She added the hashtags #IStandWithMaya and #ThisIsNotADrill.

Rowling’s name trended on Twitter prompting debate.

Many people claimed Rowling is a “transphobe”, and the phrase “JK Rowling is a Terf” – referring to the term trans-exclusionary radical feminist – also trended on the platform.

A Terf describes feminists expressing ideas other feminists consider transphobic, including trans women are not women.

However, others welcomed the author’s comment, with many joining her in using the hashtag #IStandWithMaya.

Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Sharron Davies, MBE, tweeted: “The Sex we are Is a biological reality. A scientific fact. Where as Gender today is a social construct, an ideology, a feeling, totally changeable. I believe we cannot change sex but can Live happily expressing ourselves outside of any stereotypes.

Ms Forstater has raised £83,000 via crowdfunding for her legal fees and is considering appealing the judgement.

Judge Tayler concluded Ms Forstater was not entitled to ignore the legal rights of a transgender person and the “enormous pain that can be caused by misgendering a person”.

The dispute was a test case on whether a “gender critical” view – a belief there are only two biological sexes – is a protected “philosophical belief” under the 2010 Equality Act.

Ms Forstater argued “framing the question of transgender inclusion as an argument that male people should be allowed into women’s spaces discounts women’s rights to privacy and is fundamentally illiberal (it is like forcing Jewish people to eat pork)”.

Source: Backlash after JK Rowling supports woman fired for transgender comments – The Scotsman

Hollywood-worthy gems in the UK – from medieval forts to Harry Potter beaches

AS the UK continues to sizzle in the sun, it’s the perfect time to take a well-earned staycation – but where to start?

Award-winning British movie location expert Tom Howard has shared what he believes are some of the country’s most exciting ‘hidden treasures’.

Tom has years of expertise in the world of film and TV, on movies and shows like The Night Manager and A Monster Calls, where his 9-5 involves locating the most breath-taking and beautiful parts of the British Isles.Exclusively for Premier Inn, Tom has opened up his professional notebooks to create a list of ten less well-known locations that he believes are perfect for a 2018 summer staycation.He said: “The primary duty of a location manager is to discover places to film which are interesting, unique and not often in the public eye – from a castle on a hill in the middle of Scotland to a heritage railway in eastern Lancashire.”These really wonderful destinations may not be the first place that travellers think of but, trust me, they are well worth a visit.” [ . . . ]

Continue at THE SUN: Hollywood-worthy gems in the UK – from medieval forts to Harry Potter beaches

Harry Potter Tourism Is Ruining Edinburgh

The city is full of horrible gimmicks about a celebrity wizard.

What happens when we die?” is one of the existential questions that humans have puzzled over since we first grew aware of our own mortality. Few of us can ever have contemplated that our name might be seized from our gravestone by a bestselling author, assigned to a fictional evil wizard and our final place of rest transformed into a vacuous bucket list novelty for fans of a popular fantasy franchise

That is, however, the fate which has befallen Thomas Riddell, who died in Edinburgh in 1806. His grave, nestled within the city’s Greyfriars Kirkyard, has become a pilgrimage for hundreds of visitors every day, who trek to the site to see an inscription that possibly inspired the naming of a character in a book.

Riddell’s name, you see, is a bit like that of Tom Riddle, otherwise known as the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort, the primary antagonist of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. On another tombstone nearby, someone has scrawled “Sirius Black, 1953 – 1996”, a reference to another series character [ . . . ]

Source: Harry Potter Tourism Is Ruining Edinburgh