I dared to reveal a JK Rowling plot detail – then all hell broke loose
Initially, I missed the furore, as in my view nothing is better for the spirits than long absences from social media. The next day, I discovered that the hashtag #RIPJKRowling was trending, and Jedward, of all people, were expressing pleasure at the thought of the book being burned.
The pontificating from people who had not read the book struck me as absurd, but the hashtag was chilling: malicious and misogynistic. The people who defended the hashtag, by saying that it simply referred to her career, were justifying a totally debased discourse. I would certainly not argue that JK Rowling is deliberately transphobic, and she deserves better.
It was a nasty thing to have precipitated, but it was also inevitable. Some of the reviews that have now appeared since the book was published on Tuesday – such as those in The Daily Beast or Pink News – are of a harshness that I came nowhere near to approaching. If they had been published on Sunday along with mine, nobody would have paid mine the slightest attention. And if my review had appeared later on – this coming Sunday, say – the whole ghastly pile-on would have been sparked by somebody else’s comments by now.
In any case, a backlash began. The journalist Nick Cohen complained on Twitter that The Telegraph had started a “hatefest”, and complained that I had made the “false claim” that the book was “about ‘a transvestite serial killer’”. (I didn’t; I mentioned that there was a transvestite serial killer in it.) Mr Cohen also ...
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