JK Rowling, in case you didn’t know, is the best-selling author of the Harry Potter stories. She has been the focus of news reports over the last few years for what are being called her ‘anti-trans’ or ‘transphobic’ views, and has been denounced as a TERF (a Trans-exclusionary radical feminist, for those not in the know on the most up-to-date slurs) for holding some pretty standard views on the reality of biological sex and the dangers of placing male prisoners in female prisons.
Rowling, who is a feminist, provides a few examples of reasons given for labelling women as TERFs: “the mother of a gay child who was afraid their child wanted to transition to escape homophobic bullying, to a hitherto totally unfeminist older lady who’s vowed never to visit Marks & Spencer again because they’re allowing any man who says they identify as a woman into the women’s changing rooms.”
She has refused to stay silent despite increasing attempts to both de-platform her, cancel her and, most recently, to intimidate her in an overt and physical manner. According to Rowling, a trio of trans activists ‘took pictures of themselves in front of our house, carefully positioning themselves to ensure that our address was visible’.
The group then made sure to put the photographs on the internet, ensuring Rowling’s home address was known widely – to attract similar ‘brave’ souls no doubt, but also to put the frighteners on Rowling.
Rowling wasn’t to be cowed and released a statement, “I have to assume that Georgia Frost, Holly Stars and Richard Energy thought doxxing me would intimidate me out of speaking up for women’s sex-based rights. They should have reflected on the fact that I’ve now received so many death threats I could paper the house with them, and I haven’t stopped speaking out.”
Doxxing is a relatively new term and not everyone will be familiar with it. I wasn’t until recently. Its definition is: (verb) search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the internet, typically with malicious intent.
This is a standard strategy of the social justice warrior. Rowling’s response is brave. But not everyone can afford to be so brave. Often doxxing is not done as a physical threat. It is a phenomenon that has grown on social media with great speed. It is a central part of cancel culture and used by tolerant progressive liberals more than any other group, in their guise as social justice warriors.
It is not in any way progressive. It isn’t liberal. It isn’t tolerant. It isn’t social. It isn’t any means of seeking justice. It is the opposite of all these. And not a tactic that any warrior would be proud of. It is possibly the most cowardly form of engagement – done from afar, often anonymously.
To give credit to Rowling’s intimidators, they at least had the gumption to physically turn up at her house and take a picture. The usual tactic is for a keyboard warrior to hide behind his (it is very often a him) computer screen, often hiding behind an alias identity, to pick out someone they want to silence, to cancel, and if they can, get the bonus round of getting them sacked from their jobs.
Lisa de Pasquale, in The Social Justice Warrior Handbook, though satirical, covers the modus operandum of the SJW looking to get their target fires:
“Armed with your evidence, be it a social media post, photo of a personal item of a coworker that you find offensive, or comment from a professor, contact the person’s superior. Communicate that you speak for all who were disturbed, offended, or otherwise made feel uncomfortable by the target’s action. Given that many are afraid to speak out, it is perfectly reasonable for you to claim to speak for a larger group of victims’.
“Once you have a meeting or social media engagement from the person’s superior exaggerate the damage that has been done. Retweet other complaints while tagging the superior and/or company. Retweet and tag sympathetic members of the media. Include a hashtag that conveys the action you are demanding. (such as #fire____) or amplify the person’s small action into a major societal ill (such as #EndLowKeyRacism).
“Once you have created a public relations problem with a relatively small social media community, present the case for how this online outrage could translate into a larger public relations problem with a community that actually matters, like clients or customers. Remember that you don’t have to demonstrate that business has been lost been lost but that it could. When someone declares on social media that “I will never shop at ___ again” there is no way to know whether they ever did in the first place…
… once the PR problem that you have created and nurtured has resulted in at least two hours of no public response from the company, suggest that this could all be fixed if the target is fired. Finally after the company has taken the appropriate action and fired the target, insist that it is not enough. Amends must be made via a public apology…”
While JK Rowling, one of the wealthiest women in the world, can afford to be brave and call the bluff on this type of intimidation, the average Joe or Joanne cannot afford to do this. The SJWs know that small business – and sometimes big ones – do not want the internet storm that false outrage and hashtagging can bring.
They want it to go away.
They know, and the SJWs know, that smears of the latest ‘ism’ however distant from reality, have a tendency to stick, even just a little bit. There are some things that are easy smears – create a whiff of racism or homophobia, throw a pinch of transphobia into the mix, even try a little bit of fundamentalism. Heck, these days, just call someone a Christian. It can work. It does work.
There is no need to find any wrong action, all that needs to be found is a scent of wrongthink, cast an aspersion, throw in a label, and tag that person’s employer and start to make a bit of a stink among a small group of fellow SJWs.
This is a standard plan of action, and they know that it works. It works on the national scale where commentators are cancelled when there is the slightest hint of a smear. Employers want no association and they want the problem to go away quickly.
The target also will want the problem to go away quickly. They have bills to pay. They have a job to keep. They often have a mortgage or children to feed. They have to choose to go silent or to lose their jobs. They can’t afford to lose their jobs. Often that choice is already gone. Taken away in a heartbeat. Reputation trumps reality.
Being seen to be saying the right things, to be with the zeitgeist in the age of internet, for fear of going viral for the wrong reasons, is paramount. Brand is everything. No one wants a toxic brand and the SJWs are masters at manufacturing toxicity. The smell of an accusation lingers a lot longer than freshness of truth. A lie can be halfway round the world before truth gets its boots on. Often it just won’t bother lacing up. The socks can be thrown out instead of making the effort to lace up the boots instead. It is easier.
Employers will look to the ‘disrepute’ argument if the actual smear is not sticky enough. They have to protect the reputation of their organisation. That reputation is nearly always one that shouts ‘tolerance’, ‘diversity’ but recoils from tolerance when progressive orthodoxy is transgressed. And that orthodoxy is ever changing, as many even radical feminists are starting to find out.
The SJWs have nothing to lose really. They can hide behind anonymous accounts and destroy lives. In the current climate, as Gloucester in King Lear tells us ‘As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.’
For many of the SJWs it is a sport. They sit on their little social media forums, curtains closed, unwashed and unhealthy, hunting for scalps without the courage to face their targets, to look them in the eye. They claim to be compassionate. But they have none. They have only their dogma.
They set themselves up as their own little inquisition and they harvest the power of fear. They don’t see their target as a person. They are the little boys pouring salt on slugs at night. They are the teenagers who beat puppies in a sack. They are the jilted who post pictures of their exes. They are bullies.
But they can smell the fear. The internet is their Colosseum. They are not down in the sandpits facing the animals. They are in the stands, sitting in their silken robes, fantasising about themselves fighting the big animal, mastering the sword and the shield, with skill and courage. They are the accountant that wants to be a lion-tamer in Monty Python’s famous sketch.