If any of you have spent any significant time online, there is little doubt that you have learned of the silent understanding of social media that states you can share your honest opinion with the world so long as you are prepared to be attacked, ridiculed and demeaned for it. That while the Twitterverse, Facebook, and all other avenues meant to keep us connected do so in incredible and far reaching ways, they also open us up to ‘keyboard warriors’ who have a special knack for taking a simple disagreement of opinion into a full out attack on an individuals character.
No longer is a simple difference of opinion so…simple. And while there are still many who can use this opposing stance as a means for clear and meaningful communication and discussion, in this millennial age it seems and the majority prefer to use it to stomp their feet and throw hate towards anyone with a different point of view.
This, in its simplest form, is asinine to actually truly consider. That to state aloud we like a particular pair in a show, would be to open ourselves to ridicule and hatred by those who dislike that particular couple. That by speaking out about the sexism of television, or the racial bias of casting, we will be attacked for having a voice.
Well, before I continue any further and get to the whole purpose of this particular article, let me just get this one statement out of the way
You are welcome to like what you like, ship who you ship, and prefer what you prefer. That is the beauty of fandom, and the world in general. The freedom and ability to have choices, opinions, and not always agree. But never, in that, do you have the right to demean and abuse others. Hiding behind a keyboard is not a free pass for harassment and hate, and it is something no one should tolerate. We certainly wont.
Now that that is out of the way, I will get to the true subject of this article. She is a woman we admire not only because of her incomparable talent and unique world building ability, but for her unmatched humanitarian and political position in which she is vocal and determined in sharing. And the recent events in which we here at Fangirlish have faced with Twitter trolls and the ever volatile world of opinion makes us even more thankful for her voice.
J.K. Rowling is known to the world as the author and creator of the infamous Harry Potter series. A simple, quiet boy who is destined to change the world, face adversity, and lose those he loves, captured our hearts and our minds no matter our age. Harry Potter is no longer simply a story for children, but a tale for all ages that is so multifaceted it is unlike any other in its genre.
But J.K. is much more than the creator of this beloved world. She is also a strong, vocal woman who frequently speaks out on the inequality of this world, the dangers of ignorance, and the uncertainty of our future. She has taken part in several well documented online battles with trolls and other celebs alike, most notably Piers Morgan on their differing opinions regarding President Donald Trump. This particular war has gone on for quite some time, intermittently, with both sides throwing their respective shade at the other. Even online trolls, former fans, and those who disagree with her stance regarding this questionable and precarious president have taken their swings at her.
But the noticeable difference? Is the skill in which J.K. replies to each message, from Piers and online trolls alike, that leave us applauding.
The attacks vary, from comments regarding her books, her physical appearance, and more often than not, her financial status. This last one confuses us a little, and makes us wonder just who is bothering to use this as a means to attack J.K. in the first place. Anyone who knows her story will know her rags to riches ascent, one which took time, hard work, and yes, a little luck. And yes, now she is the worlds only billionaire author. Yes, she lives in a beautiful home in Scotland, and no longer has to worry how to pay her bills. But remember…she was once just like us. In a few short years prior to Harry Potter being published, she lost her mother, her husband divorced her, she had a child and lived in near poverty on state benefits. She knows the struggles better than most, and for that, has the right to have a voice for those who do not.
Rowling’s sass, eloquently worded and observantly chiding replies to her critics only cause us to love her more. Some, of course, are purely sardonic, but those are usually saved for individuals whose attack is lacking any true merit or even point. Others are counter-points to questions posed by individuals meant to stump Rowling, to which she always has something to match.
Donald Trump is a subject in which Rowling has plenty to say. Recently we observed an ongoing battle of sorts between Rowling and various online trolls regarding the President, and the tweets went on so long we were amazed that Rowling kept replying at all. Since many of her replies were met with uncouth, crass and down right moronic dirt kicking, we would have given up and walked away. But she didn’t. She kept talking, but more so, she kept trying to educate. Because it isn’t about having the last word, or being right. It is about understanding, and trying to enlighten others who wish to silence those they feel are beneath them.
Rowling refuses to allow this to happen, and realizes that the actions and words of America’s President do not affect just the United States. But as the worlds most powerful country, his questionable motives, practices and position has a ripple effect throughout the world, and it is a scary thought of what may come.
She is never silent, she never backs down from those who wish to silence her, and by extension, those she seeks to be a voice for.
We applaud you, Ms. Rowling, for not only giving us the greatest world we all wish to escape to (we are still waiting for our Hogwarts letters, by the way), but also for showing us that we all have a voice. That we may not always agree, that we may be met with hate, adversary, and discord, but that we must always stand up for what we believe in.
Whether it be fandom, politics, equality or whatever we are passionate about, we will strive to emulate your strength with the same class and sass you exhibit every day.