The signs are everywhere.
She’s wearing a much brighter liberated shade of lipstick in all of her press photos.
She’s speaking out against a monolithic oppressive entity with every word into the void.
She will not be constrained, refuses to be silenced by the forces of power.
The problem is the oppressive (and repressive) power JK Rowling is speaking truth to, is trans people. Trans people and all those who support them.
In JK Rowling’s personal late in life coming of age story, trans people are a secret cabal, a shadowy power elite with nefarious aims.
How should we handle this as a society?
Someone on Twitter speculated J. K. Rowling started her transphobic campaign as backlash against her vociferous, consuming fans.
J.K. Rowling fans, most of whom are my age or younger, are often associated with the trans power elite currently oppressing her.
“She never got to write her Adult novels, or be taken seriously as a serious Adult writer,” said this person on Twitter, definitely trans but not necessarily a member of the trans power elite. “And all of her rage about this is coming out as transphobia.”
Before J. K. Rowling became a gender crusader, there was a joke about her on Twitter.
The joke started when she announced Dumbledore is gay,
and made fun of the endless content she produced, divorced from further novels or context, long after the last Harry Potter book came out.
This was the fodder that eventually created The Cursed Child, “fantastic beasts and where to find them,” Harry Potter World at Disney Land and Disney World.
There were many permutations, but it went something like this:
J. K. Rowling spins the gigantic wheel that sits behind her desk again and again.
“Hagrid... is pansexual....and later joined ISIL,” she tweets, then sighs.
Mark Walsh, a popular and controversial figure in the world of “embodiment” held a conference in October, a big one. One that attracted huge names like Tara Brach, Gabor Mate, Alanis Morrisette.
Embodiment is all about being your best self, about being able to deal with your emotional reactions and nervous system so that you can show up as the person that you truly want to be.
The goal is to avoid getting hijacked by old scripts and stories, displacing your emotions onto the wrong people.
As many people said at this conference, including Peter Levine, Bessel Van Der Volk, and a number of other famous embodiment dudes, trauma can leave us trapped in time, always trying to fight or flee something that happened years and years ago, rather than standing up for ourselves in the present moment.
Embodiment is powerful because it allows us to engage with and stop that involuntary time travel — to return to the present, be our best selves, and face our fears.
The conference was extremely profitable.
A few days into the conference, Mark Walsh and the people who put the conference together were criticized for not giving BIPOC, trans, and other speakers enough space in the conference program.
In the first days, Mark Walsh apologized.
But then he got defensive, pointing to the number of BIPOC and trans speakers in the lineup.
Then, he started posting on Instagram — angry, emotional screeds.
He got defiant, called the conference revenue “fuck you money,” that meant he didn’t have to pander, to get approval from others.
Finally, his last post was calm — maybe even “embodied”.
It was sent to the entirety of the conference goers, and undoubtedly approved or at least read by a number of other people involved with the conference.
In it, he said only that the embodiment conference would be taking a different approach for the future, using its resources more thoughtfully.
It was different from his usual writing style, which teeters right at the cusp of defiant and excited.
It was an email that you could tell came after a lot of self reflection, deep thinking, and consideration of values.
Though it didn’t include the phrase “fuck you money,” the overall message was similar: the embodiment conference (and Mark Walsh himself) couldn’t be “everything for everyone,” + had to make tough choices about who and what it wanted to be, instead of trying to ceaselessly earn validation or approval.
It seemed self-actualized.
To consider “trans people” similar to Dolores Umbridge in status, power, and impact is predicated on a classic cognitive error — one that confuses short term emotional discomfort for hierarchy, power structure, the ability to cause harm. The cognitive error that embodiment is supposed to help with.
Even Caitlyn Jenner, a trans woman so fabulously famous and wealthy that very few trans people claim her, does not have the power, the reach, the net worth of J. K. Rowling, not even a 10th of it.
The main difference between trans people and JK Rowling is that trans people do not have “fuck you money.”
At the end of the third Harry Potter book, Harry Potter travels back in time to fight the Dementors, faceless monsters with no desire to do anything but consume. He fights them off with a Patronus, an embodied happy memory that stops his fear and brings him back into the present (well, the past present) so he can be his best self.
The Patronus destroys the Dementors, their desire to consume.
It’s worth mentioning here that Harry Potter definitely had “fuck you money,”even if he didn’t have parents.
Maybe it’s just because they’re both British, but it seems like JK Rowling is self actualizing in the same way Mark Walsh did. She’s finally owning her “fuck you money,” her ability to make choices without focusing on the approval + validation of others.
Though Rowling long passed the threshold of “fuck you money,” sometimes it takes a minute for our psychology to catch up with our reality. Especially when you’re producing constant content, spinning the wheel, trapped in time.
But now that she is branded a trans exclusionary feminist, JK Rowling’s contracts with many major media monopolies are in question.
Without demand, there is no longer the ceaseless need for new Harry Potter content.
No need for people pleasing, making media conglomerates or her all-consuming Dementor fans happy.
The more JK Rowling hates trans people, the freer she is.
Sounds like self actualization to me.