*Cha Cha on the Rocks—Straight up and a little shaken.
Have you listened to the Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling yet? (Available wherever you listen to podcasts.)—They lucked out with the name. “Witch Trial” is exceptionally on point for the author of Harry Potter.
Through the podcast, I’m meeting J.K. Rowling from the beginning.
“Huh?” she said to her twenty-five-year-old self when, seemingly out of nowhere, she had the idea for a book: an orphan boy who realizes that he’s a famous wizard meant for a great adventure.
“I’ve got to write that,” she said. And she did. Over the next seventeen years.
I can hear the awe in the author’s voice as she recants this story. For seventeen years she worked on Harry Potter before approaching publishers.
I am inspired by J.K.’s intuition and dedication.
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Now on trial, J.K. describes what her life was like during those first few years. She was pregnant and trapped in an abusive marriage. When her daughter was born, she fled the country. A single mother on welfare, J.K. kept writing.
She says that getting Harry Potter published was one of the best moments of her life. But with the rising media attention and fandom, she knew that it was only a matter of time before he found her.—The most successful author of all time lived in fear that the man who abused her would do it again, this time in front of their daughter.
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Did you know that J.K. Rowling was a woman? The publishers insisted on calling her J.K. because “Joanne Rowling” was too girly. They were worried that little boys wouldn’t want to read books written by a woman.
J.K. Rowling is on trial because she spoke up. No one likes when women speak. Especially when they speak the Truth.
I’m not saying, “Believe all women.” Women can be liars. Men can be liars. But a man cannot be a woman.
There, I said it. I’m not afraid. I am proud to say what I believe. I am proud to support women. WOMEN!!!
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Do you think wearing a dress qualifies one as a woman? Should I feel like less of a woman because I’m wearing jeans and a flannel?
Do you think breasts are what make a woman? Esteemed gentleman, I give you, the Bro. … or was it the Manssiere?
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A woman’s body is like the Titanic. A ship with power, elegance, and depth. Who wouldn’t want to take a spin in that? But the Titanic sinks! And (in this analogy) not just once. Cyclically. Every 28-35 days, she hits that metaphorical ice burg and starts retaining water. If your ship don’t sink, I’m sorry, but you are not a woman. Period.
Periods are exhausting. A woman loses on average 30 to 40 milliliters of blood each cycle. For three to seven days, vital fluids leak from our bodies. The blood is rich, thick, deep red.
Tampons are disgusting. Only a woman understands the urgency of needing to change a tampon. Or the tedium when you’ve just put a new one in, but forgot and peed so now the string is wet. Have you ever pulled out a mostly dry tampon? It scrapes the walls of your inside.
Sanitary pads are worse. The Diva Cup makes me gag to think about it.
* * *
Your honor, the Diva Cup is inadmissible.
Sustained. Moving on.
* * *
The Trial continues, and I learn that the first women’s safe house opened in the U.K. in 1971.
I try to imagine myself living in a time before there were laws against domestic violence, sexual assault, and rape. I would be about my mother’s age now.
Today, women are respected and protected more than ever because our mothers and grandmothers fought for our right to be safe. J.K. herself was part of that movement. I cannot fault her for wanting to protect us. We are her daughters.
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In Episode Six of the Witch Trial, we hear testimony from the prosecution. The first witness is a trans woman named Natalie Wynn, whose YouTube channel, ContraPoints, has over 1.6 million subscribers. Wynn is known as a whip-smart commentator and has been featured on prominent platforms such as the New York Times and recognized as culturally significant by the US Library of Congress.
Present at the Trial, Wynn spoke clearly and confidently. I listened to her interview, genuinely wanting to understand her perspective. As she spoke, I couldn’t help but wish that J.K. was also on the line. And that I was listening to a conversation, instead of a one-sided interview.
I imagine that I am Natalie Wynn, a transgender woman who feels deeply betrayed by J.K. Rowling. Then I remember, that I am the host of ContraPoints, a critically acclaimed YouTube channel with 1.6 million followers. A chill runs up my spine, as I feel a surge of responsibility followed by excitement. On my next live stream, I extend an invitation to J.K. Rowling. She accepts! She’s giving me an exclusive. We talk on-the-air for over three hours. Our conversation changes the world.
I take a moment to grieve this fantasy as I return my focus to the Witch Trial. The real Natalie Wynn is not willing to converse with someone who disagrees with her on a fundamental level. ContraPoints is cognitive dissonance disguised as critical thinking. This is disappointing.
* * *
Cha Cha, you might get in trouble for saying these things!
If I’ve offended you, that’s your prerogative. To be offended.
To be honest, I’m a little offended myself.
Thank you, J.K., for standing up.