What non-Harry Potter fans don’t get about Rowling’s transphobia controversy

The transphobes think her detractors are just random haters who always join any hate bandwagons. The pro-trans group think her defenders are either transphobic Harry Potter fans or zealous fanboys and fangirls who always defend their idols even when they are wrong.

Both sides are right; some people love joining hate bandwagons and many Potheads are indeed a bunch of sentient diarrhea (remember how they treated Katie Leung?). But, they are only partially right. In reality, many of her detractors are also her own fans.

Well, more like former fans who hate her while still loving her works. We hate her because she loves preaching about acceptance through Harry Potter and yet she ends up as a well-known hate preacher. We believe she must be held accountable not only for her bigotry, but also for her hypocrisy.

For many fans, Harry Potter inspires them to be more accepting of fellow human beings regardless of the trivial differences; in fact, a “study” (which must be taken with grains of salt) even claimed that reading Harry Potter decreases our chance of becoming bigoted.

Obviously, it is ludicrous to think works of art and entertainment can single-handedly mould our worldview. But, they certainly can be inspire us to think and feel in a certain way. It is remarkable if you actually know how Potheads perceive the series throughout the years.

It is a popular belief that Potheads started criticising Rowling when she mindlessly extended the worldbuilding through her bizarre tweets. But, their criticism against her and her works had been ongoing for much longer.

In the late 2000’s or early 2010’s, I loved browsing the internet for Harry Potter-related blogposts and sites. Not only I gained more facts about the HP universe (as I still haven’t read the first three novels and I might miss certain details), I also gained more perspectives about it.

And that was when they pointed out the problematic aspects of the series. Hogwarts’ disregard of its students’ welfare (e.g. having Snape ‘teaching’ his students), the mocking depiction of Hermione’s elf-right activism and the nonchalant depiction of love potion AKA magical date rape drug, just to name a few. That was one of my first exposure to critical analyses of entertainment.

Either those potheads got inspired by the moral gist of her works despite the complication OR they were already more progressive than Rowling ever was. Both make sense to me.

It is very easy for us to overlook problematic elements when they are small details or are subtextual; we may take heed of them long after we get the overall moral messages. While it is not always the case, it shouldn’t be a suprise that the younger generation is more progressive than its predecessor.

What’s the point of my babbling?

I do acknowledge that Harry Potter fandom has venomous individuals among ourselves; some undoubtedly defend Rowling’s transphobia (and, again, remember how they treated Katie Leung). But, we should also acknowledge the Potheads who are not only more enlightened than she is, but also have been scrutinising her works long before it was cool to do so.

In fact, if it wasn’t for the potheads, the backlash against her wouldn’t be as severe and, if it wasn’t for non-fans chiming in, the support for her wouldn’t be as strong.

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No, you are not introverted

Extroverts are energised by social interactions, introversion are energised by solitude and ambiverts are in the between. The extroversion-introversion continuum is all about how you gain and lose your energy. It literally has nothing to do with how socially inept you are, how anti-social you are and whether you have anxiety or not.

If you love solitude, don’t envy party animals, but you still can be sociable with the right crowd or adequate amount of energy, then you are definitely an introvert. You enjoy interactions, but they can be draining in excess.

If you are envious of outgoing people and wish you can be just like them, then you are definitely not an introvert. You are an extrovert shackled either by social anxiety or social ineptitude.

I know I am an introvert because social anxiety and awkwardness never make me solitary; social interactions never give me panic attacks and my poor social skills do not stop me from interacting with people I like or interacting for practical purposes. Not to mention that I never envy other people’s outgoingness. If anything, not only I find their lifestyles jarring, I have always hated how I was constantly forced to denounce solitary life.

They may be ignorant people who are willing to learn; in some cases, they indeed are. But, I don’t believe ignorance is the only culprit here. The more I hear anti-introversion comments, the more I take heed of the prejudice.

Despite having been informed of what introversion actually is and how to distinguish it from social awkwardness, social anxiety and even anti-social personality disorder, some people refuse to acknowledge its validity as a personality trait. Interestingly, they are never explicit about this.

Their mouths say they acknowledge introversion’s validity. But, from time to time, we still catch them claiming that introverts secretly want to be extroverted, that we secretly prefer social situations over solitude. Worse, they even still perceive symptoms of social anxiety and poor social skills as signs of introversion.

Maybe those people are still consciously anti-introversion; they lie about it because they don’t want to any (deserving) backlashes. Maybe their sentiment is subconscious; they genuinely believe they are accepting of introverts, not realising acceptance requires more than verbal expressions.

Either way, contrary to the words coming from their face hole, they still believe that people like them are the default normal, mentally sound people. They still believe that solitude is an inherently bad thing, simply because it is not for them.

And, no matter how hard they try to hide them, their true sentiments manage to seep through and will always do.

This is a bigger deal than it seems.

If you are already a self-accepting, empowered introvert, you would not be affected. But, what if you aren’t? What if you are still an impressionable and insecure introvert who does not know that introversion is a legitimate personality trait?

I definitely was one. Despite the fact that I was able to socialise on my own accord, I was made to believe there was something wrong with me; I genuinely thought my love of solitude was a symptom. If it wasn’t for internet and its bountiful introversion-related content, it would have taken a lot longer for me to reach self-acceptance.

And yes, I believe how those people treat introverts is an example of bigotry.

Dehumanising your fellow human beings and making them hating themselves simply because of their trivially “undesirable” traits. How is that not bigoted?

Oh and I am never tired saying this: the COVID pandemic has proven how much of a liability extroversion can be. If it wasn’t for extroversions who felt entitled to parties, the outbreak would have been more manageable. Extroverts can also be damaged people.

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Can we stop pretending that every person who helps Ukrainian refugees is moral?

If you help people regardless of backgrounds, then you do have kindness in your heart.

But, we can clearly see people – in this case, westerners and their governments – are picky.

Not long after Russia started invading Ukraine, Europeans were quick to aid the incoming Ukrainians on the borders. The governments were on it to, with high-ranking officials showing supports for the refugees; even the Polish government sent veterinarians to help anyone who brought their pets.

And it is not just Europeans. Other countries like US and Canada also flocked to help. Even their firefighters donated equipment to their Ukrainian counterparts!

And the public discourse – unless one includes Tankies and Putin’s cocksuckers in the picture – is entirely sympathetic to the plight of Ukrainian people. They are perceived as human beings undeserving of such dire situations. No one was making a fuss about the refugees’ age and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Overall, the humanitarianism was unconditional.

Compare that when brown, non-western refugees were involved.

I acknowledege that many people did welcome them with open arms. But, there were also as many as people who greeted them with dehumanising hostility.

They constantly suffered violence on the hands of border patrols of the so-called civilised European countries. Many still live in refugee camps. Countries like Australia and the US think asylum-seeking is a crime comparable to murder. Denmark wanted to take refugees’ possessions as “payments”. Far-right ideologies became even more popular.

And the discourses are just as bad.

There were so many dangerous misinformation about the refugees. When certain refugees committed atrocities, the rest had to endure guilt by association. People genuinely believed the refugees had to stay in their own countries and risked their lives fixing the problems, especially if they were young men (because, even in dire situations, arbitrary gender roles must stay upheld). People would lose their shit when they saw refugees with mobile phones, laptops and expensive watches (because we all know those protect us from violence).

Some people suddenly argued we should focus on more important issues like women’s rights, children’s welfare, homelessness, LGBT+ rights, religious extremism and veterans’ welfare, even though none of them couldn’t give less fuck about those issues prior the brown refugee crisis (and they didn’t seem to mind having white Christians as religious extremists). They tried hiding their lack of humanity by putting on pragmatic or moral masks….. and fucking morons fell for it.

I almost forgot to mention how joyful people were when refugees got killed, almost killed or tortured. A Syrian family lost of their children to a house fire? Less Muslims to worry about. Refugees almost drowned? Funniest shit ever. Refugee children traumatised after getting caged? Womp womp.

I don’t know why I have to compare it to the Middle Eastern refugee crisis. Even the Ukrainian one has bigotry issues.

Non-white people in Ukraine – foreign or not – were prohibited to leave. There were even cases in which black, foreign men were given guns and told to fight for Ukraine. How the fuck is it okay to force foreigners – some of whom never planned to stay in Ukraine permanently – to fight for a country that is not even theirs and yet you allow the white citizens of said country to fucking flee for their lives? One white dead body is too many, any number of brown and black dead bodies is acceptable.

My point is I wish people are honest with themselves. If you hate your fellow human beings simply for being different from you, just say it!

The selectiveness of your empathy, your support or excuses for far-right ideologies, your penchant to fall for misinformation about non-white refugees, it is so obvious you have biases against certain races, cultures and religions. So, why bother putting up that translucent facade of yours?

And no, you don’t need to fear.

If governments implement anti-brown-refugee policies and mainstream media spreads anti-brown-refugee rhetorics, shouldn’t you feel at home in the mainstream society? I mean, it sure sounds you are one of the “normal” ones.

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So, you think the Russians are complicit?

If so, why?

Why do you think the ordinary Russians are guilty of the wars? Do you realise that not only the war has low support among them and the soldiers, they also live under an authoritarian regime and therefore, rendering them politically powerless? Do you realise that speaking out against the government can get you jailed and even killed?

I have to state the obvious because some of you still don’t get it and I don’t know why. Maybe you are a privileged fuck who spent their whole life in a liberal democratic bubble and don’t know how it feels to live under political repression. Or maybe, you are a bigot who will do anything to justify your dehumanising hatred of the Russians, regardless of the facts.

If you are the former, you probably think the Russian people can easily form paramilitary units and topple the government in days. You probably think the Russian people are lazy people whose desire for liberty is as paper thin as your desire to understand fellow human beings.

You probably think The Arab Spring and the fall of the USSR are great examples of how easy it is to defeat authoritarianism, even though the reality shows otherwise.

(I don’t know why I use the word “probably” when you motherfuckers explicitly spew those beliefs)

The Arab world are still packed with tyrannical leaders, Syria and Libya become plagued with instability, Russia in the 90’s was full of political and economic crises and it ends up with a post-Soviet tyrant anyway.

Basically, not only there is no guarantee of better lives, there is also high possibility of even worse ones; those who spend their lives in liberal democracies don’t know the feeling.

As you can see, I believe it is stupid to hold all Russians accountable. But, even if I believe such intellectual retardation, how does that make Americans and their allies?

Americans have way more freedom to oppose the establishment. But, the majority of them chose to support the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, happily consumed pro-war media content and even reelected their president! Even to this day, many Americans still make excuses for the invasions and American media has yet to acknowledge their past sin.

And American allies …

Some actively supported America in the invasions and even committing their own war crimes. Those who were not busy participating could have easily boycotted America and other war participants… and yet, they did none of those.

Despite having the freedom to publicly oppose the wars, to vote every single war-mongering politician out of office, to put every single war-mongering media outlet out of business and having the power to boycott entire countries, they voluntarily choose to support the wars, vote for the war-mongers and keep making them extremely rich and let the war participants unpunished.

I don’t believe all Americans and all citizens of their allies are complicit, just like I don’t believe all Russians are. In this regard, I am consistent. But, some of you clearly aren’t.

If you believe all Russians are complicit, then you should also believe all Americans and their allies are blood-thirsty war-mongers who want their children and children’s children aroused by the sight of white people turning brown people into mutilated corpses.

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“Differences” is not just a bigoted excuse to deny refugees, it is also idiotic

First thing first, your projection is not the reflection of reality. Just because you are shamefully unable to deal with human differences, that does not mean the rest of us share that defect of yours.

If anything, you can find places all over the world in which people get along with each other despite their racial, cultural and religious differences; there are also places that used to be pluralistic but ended up sectarian thanks to European colonialism. The Partition, anyone?

Second, it is idiotic because Europeans have so many things in common with each other and yet, they have an extremely long history with wars; mind you, the second world war ended less than a hundred years ago. The EU was created as a war prevention effort!

We don’t even have to go back in time. Just take a look at present Europe!

Never mind the non-white, non-Christian and non-European immigrants, many Europeans still have a problem accepting white, Christian immigrants from other European countries! Are we going to pretend there is no widespread anti-Polish and anti-Romanian sentiment? Are we going to pretend there are no far-right people inciting hatred against other European nationals? Are we going to pretend there is no far-right resurgence in Europe?

Heck, no need to talk about immigrants. Even Europeans hate their fellow white Christian countrymen!

Even though The Troubles have ended in Northern Ireland, there is still hostility between Protestants and Catholics. The conflict between Dutch and French-speaking Belgians shut their federal government down for a month. The UK, France, Spain and Scandinavian countries have a track record of erasing regional languages; France is still reluctant to revive them (surprise surprise). Norwegian language has two officially recognised standardised spellings and that also has caused tensions among the Norwegians.

While Switzerland is not ravaged by sectarianism, the Swiss are also infamous for their unwillingness to learn the other national languages, unless there are direct practical benefits; it is reported that they prefer to speak English with the other language communities rather than learning their tongues.

My point is if cultural clashes are the reasons why you reject SOME refugees, why don’t you reject all of them?

Why worried about clashing with those desert people when you are still unable to unite with your fellow white, Christian and European countrymen?

As I have said too many times before, the problem is not the existence of differences, the problem is your pathetic inability to handle even the most trivial ones.

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How to protect your identities from tyranny and extinction

*puts on a mask*

First thing first, you must be a supremacist.

You cannot simply see your identity as the only correct one. You must aggrandise it as the only one blessed either by divine power, nature or both. Every person who thinks otherwise is inherently immoral and you must severely punish them once you are in power! You must also demonise anyone simply for not sharing your identity…… with some exceptions.

If they acknowledge your supremacy and are content with their arbitrarily second-class status, then they are worth keeping. You can utilise those tools as tools to advance your agenda.

The self-veneration isn’t enough. You must also start declaring that the mere existence of other identities threatens yours! Other religions exist? Accuse them of trying to impose theocracies! Other ethnicities exist? Accuse them of trying to impose their cultures upon you! Other sexualities and gender identities exist? Accuse them of sexual perversion! Other races exist? Accuse them of racial genocide; God forbids if your women want to breed with their more attractive men!

It does not matter that you are guilty of what you are accusing your victims of. What it matters is you must fool the masses into believing that those numerically-small and politically-powerless people are their biggest enemies.

After the demonisation, you must actively make efforts to discriminate them. You also must believe that discrimination is not discrimination if committed by people like you.

But, you CANNOT explicitly express that. What you should do is advocating for discriminatory or even genocidal laws instead. Combine that with your demonisation of the others, the message will wordlessly conveyed. That way, morons would not dare to call you bigoted.

If those things are too complex for you (they probably are), just remember this mantra:

My identities good, their identities bad.

Take those words to the heart and chant them repeatedly.

Don’t stop until those words violently replace single cell in your body.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

Repeat until they have completely taken over your entire life.

*takes off the mask*

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How you – a member of the privileged majority – should treat the minorities

*puts on a mask*

First thing first, simply refuting extreme claims about bigotry in your country is not enough. You should completely deny that it ever exists!

Why? Because, if you want something to come true, all you have to do is to believe! The more you believe your country is bigotry-free, the more likely it will be so! It is the secret!

A country is full of bigotry because we don’t enough have positive thinking!

Second, you should listen to everything what minorities have to say. But, that does not mean you should consider all of their experiences valid.

You should pick them apart, categorise them by how much they appease you. If they dare to say anything negative about your beloved country, they are the bad ones.

You can also test them and there are two ways of doing it. You can do it “nicely” by asking mean-spirited questions; they can be questions that frame them as perpetual foreigners (e.g. “where are you really from?”) or questions that perpetuate guilty by association (e.g. “why don’t you condemn Islamic extremism/Chinese Communist Party/etc.?”).

If sounding polite is too much work for you, you can test them aggressively by explicitly hurl slurs and violent threats at them.

If they react negatively towards the former, accuse them of being snowflakes who cannot handle legitimately curious questions (even though the questions are clearly made out of ill intent). With the latter, accuse them of trying to taking away your freedom of speech (even though their responses is them practicing their freedom of speech).

If they rebuke you calmly, rebuke them back for being too emotional. If they give you witty comebacks, rebuke them for being mean-spirited and even bigoted against you.

Overall, gaslight the hell out of them. Make them feel like they are the aggressors simply because they demand to be treated like human beings.

If you haven’t guessed, good minorities are those who willingly become our lap dogs, who willingly accept their fate as second-class citizens. They are willing to endure any abuse we hurl at them because they know deserve it.

It is their fault for choosing the wrong religions, ethnicities, sexualities, genders and races. It is their fault for not choosing the right ones.

You – the privileged majority – are the ones with the right labels. Therefore, not only you should feel good about your identities, you must actively tout them as the only morally upright ones.

If you have self-respect, you must behave like a supremacist.

*takes off the mask*

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Moderates, they are not

From time to time, when Muslims are mentioned in online discourses, I see comments like this:

“If Muslim extremists want to behead you, the moderates want the extremists to behead you!”

This obviously scorn-worthy opinion reminds me of a recent blogpost I made, which talks about how reluctant people are to call a physically non-aggressive person a bigot, even when they explicitly call for discriminations and violence against the “others”.

Both cases are similar in that they want to brush off the harsh labels. But, their motivations couldn’t be more stark.

Some people are opposed to calling certain others “bigots” because they want to make the situation looks nicer than it really is. Either they idolise the bigots, or they just want to feel positive all the time because they are too spineless to confront reality.

Meanwhile, those who call some Muslim extremists “moderates” want to make Islamic extremism looks mundane. They want to depict us as the most degenerate creatures, so degenerate that even the supposedly most peaceful among us are still violent. They want to depict the world – at least, a part of it – to be more evil than it really is.

This used to bewilder me. How can anyone do such blatantly dishonest fuckery and think they can get away with it?

Well, that’s because they can.

Yes, there are times when we need to be highly technical with our lies. But, we live in a world where so many people hear what they want to hear, where identity politics trumps truth.

If what you say is what people want to hear, it will spread like the Indonesian wildfire which palm companies started. Your zealous fellow ideologues will also take every single one of your words as the gospels, not to be desecrated by facts.

Unfortunately, if you want to spread lies, simply spewing them is more than enough.

From all of the anti-Muslim bigotry expressions I have encountered, this is one of the most effective; it is very empowering to bigots while also looking very harmless for morons.

I wonder if this kind of bigoted rhetoric has also applied to other groups. From what I observe, bigots either lump their targets as giant monolithic organisations or blatantly depict them as non-humans with deceptively human appearances. I have yet to find expression of bigotry comparable to “moderates being extremists”.

Maybe such thing is common and I am not paying attention. But, I hope this is a rarity. I already have too many reasons to be cynical of humanity.

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So, you think you are anti-bigotry and extremism?

If I ask you what bigotry is, I am sure your answer would be something like, “the demonisation of (an) entire group(s)”. If I ask you what extremism is, I am sure yours would be something like, “the embrace of extreme views and/or actions”. Everyone can get the gist what both words mean.

Well, not really.

If you condemn someone for demonising an entire group of distinct human beings, then you are anti-bigotry. If you condemn someone for justifying the brutalisation of innocent people just for achieving certain goals, then you are anti-extremism.

Well, not quite. You are anti both IF you apply those attitudes to literally every person, including yourself.

If you condemn certain Muslims for being extremists and yet you justify the killing of innocent Muslims by American government OR you condemn American foreign policy and yet you justify the deaths of Americans in 9/11, you are not anti-bigotry and extremism.

Not only you see those groups as nothing but giant monoliths, you believe it is acceptable for anyone to kill the people simply for sharing “membership” with the bad apples. Not only you are anti to neither, you embrace them.

So many people have accused me of complicity to bigotry and extremism. Why? Because I defend not just myself, my fellow Muslims, my fellow Indonesians, but also non-Muslim and non-Indonesian fellow human beings from proudly malicious generalisations.

My accusers believe the only way to fight bigotry and extremism is to stereotype and even incite violence against entire groups. When I call them out, they always deny it. But, they always throw the accusation at me only after I denounce their stereotyping and incitement, not because I explicitly and implicitly justify the evil they supposedly condemn.

Yes, supposedly. It is very apparent they hate the immorality only when it is perpetrated by the wrong crowds; if the perpetrators are the “right” people AKA their allies and themselves, they would paint their immorality as praise-worthy, truth-telling politically incorrectness.

Call me radical. But, you cannot be anti-something when you love embracing that something.

Oh, and I also acknowledge both words are loaded. I do agree they shouldn’t be thrown around easily. But, I am confident I am utilising them appropriately.

I have encountered so many people who insist someone cannot be bigoted if they are not violent. Thankfully, unlike them, my standard isn’t that low.

If you have dehumanising beliefs about the “others”, you are bigoted. If you believe the end justifies even the most violent means, you are extremist.

If you are neither, why are you okay with such thoughts nesting in your thinking organ? Heck, why are they there in the first place?

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So, you think you experience religious bigotry?

If I ask you to define it, I am certain your answer would be something like “demonisation of (an) entire religious group(s)”. That should be clear-cut enough. But, of course, every human has their own thoughts, even wrong ones.

If someone thinks you and “your people” are complicit of immorality simply because you share a generalised label with the perpetrators (e.g. Muslim or Christian), then you definitely experience bigotry, regardless of how explicit or implicit it is.

But, do you know what is not religious bigotry? Condemnation of the bad apples!

I have encountered so many Muslims and Catholics who are unable to differentiate the two. Some of my fellow Muslims think it is bigoted to trash on Taliban, ISIS and the likes. Some Catholics I have encountered also think it is bigoted to trash on the sexual predatory-complicit Roman Catholic clergy.

Neither is bigoted because both target a very specific fragment of each group; that should be obvious enough. But, for some reasons, people get too defensive about it.

Maybe they are insecure about their own moral integrity, they feel personally attacked by condemnations meant for others. Or maybe it is something sinister.

It is possible they actually agree with the bad apples, which they consider to be the true believers. It is also possible they believe we should defend those who share labels with us, regardless of how immoral they are.

To call either one morally undignified is an understatement.

Or maybe, they are just simply a bunch of pitifully insecure beings. But, even that can bring horrible consequences.

The defensiveness compels others to have those aforementioned dark assumptions. We are lucky if the others are fellow believers. What happens if they are the bigots?

Our defensiveness makes us look like we are supportive of the bad apples or, worse, we are the bad apples! You cannot blame anyone for having such perceptions! If you are neither, why would you get defensive when people condemn the bad guys?

Don’t get wrong: bigots are a bunch of cunts. They will always dehumanise the “others”, regardless of the facts; hear what they want to hear, see what they want to see.

But, at the same time, we shouldn’t exacerbate the problem by perpetuating the stereotypes. It is no biggie when we are the only ones affected. But, bigotry is a form of collective punishment; if you misbehave, those who share labels with you will suffer the consequences… and vice versa.

You may think the defensiveness helps defending people like you. In reality, what you do empowers the bigots; you give them even more ammunitions.

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