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The Insanity of Being Unable to Tolerate a Different Opinion to Your Tribe, or What Exactly Did JK Rowling Do Wrong? – Episode 74

In this episode, Dara wades into the murky waters of the discourse around transgender identity and language, and who is or isn’t a woman. The focal point for the discussion is the recent Twitter row that erupted in the wake of Graham Norton’s framing of cancel culture, the support he got from Billy Bragg, and the anger it inspired in JK Rowling.

Looking at the history of the apparent controversy, Dara concludes that Rowling was extremely unlucky to find herself in the crosshairs of a woke-think armageddon. It is another issue that centres on subjective versus objective realities, and epitomises everything that is broken in public discourse. Dara wonders if it is a generational affliction and what role the internet has played in facilitating a particular flavour of violent misogyny.

Before any of that, Dara talks about the impact on him of Rob Delaney’s recently published essay on personal grief after the death of his 2-year-old son. He looks at his own thoughts around becoming a father and the intensity of fear and love connected to that experience. He follows that with a brief segue to bizarre seaside conversations with strangers that seem to only happen when he’s in a state of undress.

JK Rowling 2020 piece defending her position on transgender language and issues: https://www.jkrowling.com/opinions/j-k-rowling-writes-about-her-reasons-for-speaking-out-on-sex-and-gender-issues/

Glamour.com article from October 2022 detailing the history of the controversy: https://www.glamour.com/story/a-complete-breakdown-of-the-jk-rowling-transgender-comments-controversy

Suzanne Moore 2020 article explaining her experience of being shut out over her trans commentary: https://unherd.com/2020/11/why-i-had-to-leave-the-guardian/

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