Hillary Clinton warns Democrats JK Rowling Effect could derail them at midterms
Hillary Clinton has said that Democrats' insistence on focusing on transgender issues and criticizing JK Rowling could cost America its democracy, and them the 2024 election. Clinton insisted that Democrats are busy focusing on the wrong issues.
Clinton's remarks came during an interview with the Financial Times reporter Edward Luce. "Democrats seem to be going out of their way to lose elections by elevating activist causes, notably the transgender debate, which are relevant only to a small minority," Luce said. "What sense does it make to depict JK Rowling as a fascist?"
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"We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy, and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window," the former first lady and 2016 presidential candidate said. "Look, the most important thing is to win the next election. The alternative is so frightening that whatever does not help you win should not be a priority."
Clinton's remarks came days after President Joe Biden attacked 'ultra MAGA laws' and signed an executive order for rolling back a wave of anti-LGBTQI+ legislation. He condemned hundreds of these laws that discriminate against gay and transgender people. Signing the executive order designed to roll back the impact of over 300 laws, the president described it as a battle for the soul of the nation.
The executive actions unveiled on June 15 demand that the Department of Health and Human Services work with states to expand gender-affirming care. It directs the department to expand access to youth mental health counseling and strengthen non-discrimination protections in the foster care system. The department is also supposed to clarify that federally funded programs cannot offer 'conversion therapy', a practice that seeks to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
JK Rowling has faced backlash over her views on transgender rights on several occasions. The 'Harry Potter' author came under fire after she said 'biological sex is real.' She later denied allegations of transphobia, saying she is just concerned with ensuring that single-sex spaces are preserved so that women's safety is ensured. She has also insisted that spaces such as domestic abuse shelters should remain open only to non-trans women, considering safety reasons.
With the massive backlash, JK Rowling has clarified time and again why she supports trans people and respects them but does not agree with them. She has spoken about the concept of sex being erased and how that would negatively impact women as it "removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives." She had earlier said, "If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. 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."
"The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women - ie, to male violence - ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences - is a nonsense," she had said, adding, "I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so."
Clinton spoke as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez persisted with gender-neutral terms for women, such as "people who menstruate" and "pregnant people". Although the terms are meant to include people who are transgender and non-binary, a number of women felt the modern terminology erases them. Clinton's comments also came shortly after the international swimming authority, FINA, announced that transgender women can compete in the organization's women's races only if they completed their transition by the age of 12.