As you may have read on Twitchy Tuesday night, there was quite a big to-do on Twitter about a letter with 150 progressive signatories that was to be published in Harper’s Magazine’s letters section in the October issue. Ironically, the letter was ostensibly about the growing cancel culture on the Left — such as the New York Times’ editorial page editor being forced out after printing an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton — and its concern was that “free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.”
As Twitchy reported, though, signatories started to drop like leaves from a tree when they saw who else had signed the exact same letter, as was the case with author Jennifer Finney Boylan.
I did not know who else had signed that letter. I thought I was endorsing a well meaning, if vague, message against internet shaming. I did know Chomsky, Steinem, and Atwood were in, and I thought, good company.
The consequences are mine to bear. I am so sorry.
— Jennifer Finney Boylan 🐕 (@JennyBoylan) July 7, 2020
One of the problematic names on the letter was “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who’s been branded a transphobe for believing a woman and a trans woman are not the same things.
Rowling was probably responsible for quite a few lefties asking to have their names removed from the letter about open-mindedness, and she gave Boylan some advice with a witch’s flair:
You’re still following me, Jennifer. Be sure to publicly repent of your association with Goody Rowling before unfollowing and volunteer to operate the ducking stool next time, as penance. https://t.co/SgjGDt1dcF
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 8, 2020
— Andrew S. (@shoutingboy) July 8, 2020
Holy shit, JK Rowling is a low-key savage and she seems willing to die on the hill of free speech.
It's one worth dying on. Please don't back down. https://t.co/W239jtuv7c
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) July 8, 2020
By the time all the squabbling is over, she’ll probably be the only name left.
You are the hero we needed.
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) July 8, 2020
This all started because you said women menstruate, right? I mean… it's true. What's the problem?
— I didn't vote for him, so think of a new retort (@jtLOL) July 8, 2020
Jk Rowling said women menstruate (I know: shocker) but apparently that isn't common knowledge to some people so they're mad… Plus this is what she said about trans people: pic.twitter.com/SfSk3o4Y9e
— Stan JK Rowling 🇬🇧 (@fx_tsc) July 8, 2020
Please update if Jenny unfollows. I like to watch the real-time groupthink compliance action.
PS. Keep on keeping on, JKR. Our daughters need role-models like you.
— Vanessa 🕸️ (@NeedaGin) July 8, 2020
You continue to handle everything so beautifully, and it's such a relief for those of us who feel the same way to have ideas publicly articulated so well, and to see your bravery in standing firm and not cowing under the pile-on. Thank you.
— Brogan (@Brke90) July 8, 2020
You are the world's most badass woman JK!
— Helen Joyce (@HJoyceGender) July 8, 2020
Please absolutely destroy these people.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 8, 2020
JK Rowling taking on cancel culture & speaking the TRUTH about transgenderism is the best part of 2020 politics so far.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) July 8, 2020
— Jane🏁 (@52degreesN) July 8, 2020
— Maxine Waters' Glasses (@maxinesglasses) July 8, 2020
My God I love you so much.
— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) July 8, 2020
I support JK Rowling
— coronavirus (@GladmirPutin) July 8, 2020
Excellent response. #IStandWithJKRowling
— 𝓁𝒾𝓈𝒶 🌺✨ (@olrazzledazzlin) July 8, 2020
So, she signed a letter about putting an end to cancel culture and got cancelled? Very on brand for 2020 Twitter.
— Del Preston (@Del_Preston) July 8, 2020
Huge respect to you for standing firm and being true to the principles of social justice, freedom and decency you have long championed. Inspirational.
— Matthew d'Ancona (@MatthewdAncona) July 8, 2020
It’s genuinely lovely to see this being done with such grace, good manners, and yet so effectively.
— Anthony Potts (@Anthony_Potts) July 8, 2020
She should definitely think about doing some writing.
— DaveCovidDave (@davecoviddave) July 8, 2020
It is incredibly disappointing when people throw you under the bus to save themselves from the baying mob. But that’s on them and their character. You are on the right side of history Joanne and we got your back. ❤️❤️
— la scapigliata (@lascapigliata8) July 8, 2020
I can’t even imagine how exhausting it must be to try to appease everyone all of the time…
— Zuzus Petals (@zuzuspetals89) July 8, 2020
Your writings have captured generations, old and young, while creating avid readers born in 1991 and beyond. Your stance on “cancel culture” makes me more of a fan. Thank you for standing strong. It’s crazy.
— Myra (@myra539) July 8, 2020
The parallels to the witch trials are getting too on-the-nose to be believed. “She signed her name on the devil’s letter! She keeps the company of known witches!”
I want to shake everyone who ever read The Crucible and asked “how could everyone go along with that??” This is how.
— Tom de Guerre (@threecatpileup) July 8, 2020
Oh my god pic.twitter.com/D38ACe6Xtb
— Hayley (@HippyDippyHay) July 8, 2020
Rowling isn’t backing down and it’s glorious.
* * *
Rowling got some support from a big name:
I praise J.K. Rowling for standing her ground.
She is a hero of our times. She is not transphobic and neither am I. This fight to preserve the free exchange of ideas is worth having; to protect the hard-won rights of women but also to uphold the principles of our free society.
— Ayaan Hirsi Ali (@Ayaan) July 8, 2020
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, @Ayaan. If all the people with public platforms who’re messaging me to say they agree with us but are too scared to stand up found their bravery, we’d have an army. https://t.co/b4PZSXmYpp
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 8, 2020
Too good not to include:
I signed the Harpers letter because there were lots of people who also signed the Harpers letter whose views I disagreed with. I thought that was the point of the Harpers letter. https://t.co/ozFsAmXq9R
— Malcolm Gladwell (@Gladwell) July 8, 2020
‘It isn’t HATE to speak the truth’: J.K. Rowling causes SO MANY meltdowns tweeting about how women are actually WOMEN https://t.co/bMcD70HTSB
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 7, 2020