On Sunday afternoon, a group of women met for lunch – and set about cracking the internet. The event was organized by JK Rowling and the attendees were all women’s rights activists accused of having transphobic or gender biased beliefs.
The boozy lunch took place at the River Café, an exclusive Michelin Star restaurant in Hammersmith, west London. It was originally planned for the pre-Christmas period, but was redesigned due to the high number of Covid infections at the time.
The event followed the launch of a women’s rights campaign called Respect My Sex if you want my X, which “encourages voters to ask politicians about their views on sex and gender identity,” she said The times.
Although Rowling had booked a private room, there was nothing mysterious about the gathering. Many of the participants took to Twitter to share photos of themselves hugging and laughing with Helen Joyce, the author of Trans: When ideology meets realitytweeting that it was “a truly joyous celebration of the sorority.”
Who was there?
Guests included journalist and feminist activist Julie Bindel, co-founder of the campaign organization Justice for Women, and Rosie Duffield, the Labor MP for Canterbury who was at the forefront the internal tensions of their party about the conflict between women’s and trans rights.
Also there was Kathleen Stockthe feminist philosopher who resigned from her post at Sussex University because of her views on gender, and Maya Forstater, who famously lost her job in 2019 after tweeting about the difference between gender and gender identity.
Sunday’s event marked the first time Rowling and Forstater met, but it was Forstater’s case that advanced that of the Harry Potter author gender beliefs into the limelight. In 2019, Rowling was accused of transphobia after tweeting “IStandWithMaya” in support of Forstater’s job fight.
Forstater told the Times it was “emotional” to meet the writer, whom she described as her “source of strength.”
Journalist Suzanne Moore, who also attended the gathering, wrote The Telegraph: “I have now read several reports as to why [the lunch] took place. We must be a coven, or start a campaign, or plot.”
But the “real reason,” she continued, was “eating, drinking, and being extremely happy, which I guess never seemed to cross those steely investigative reporters’ minds.”
Pink Messages pointed out that the lunch was being held at the same time as a pro-trans rights demonstration outside Downing Street to protest the government’s decision Exclude transgender people from a UK conversion therapy ban.
“Although Rowling once promised her trans followers that she would ‘march with you if you were discriminated against because of your transgender identity,’ she was nowhere to be seen on the day of the protests,” the publication added.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/society/956404/inside-jk-rowlings-gender-wars-lunch Inside JK Rowling’s Gender Wars Luncheon