Wesley Weekly #2: Inside Doubt

Get it? Like inside out? Haha…ha…ha

Hello, hello! In the famous words of the band Barenaked Ladies: “it’s been one week since you looked at me”. We hope you all are doing well this week!

What You May Have Missed…

Last week, we had our first discussion about doubt. Specifically on whether or not we could trust the Bible in its entirety. Now, this is a controversial topic for some, but we feel that these types of discussions are important to have. Can we really trust every word the Bible says and take every word as definitive? What about when it directly contradicts itself? Add your voice to the discussion in the comments!

This Week

This week, we are once again meeting on Thursday night over Zoom! We will be continuing in our discussion about the reliability of the Bible. If you are interested in joining us, please let us know! Send us an email or leave a comment below!

Our secret project had to get pushed back a few days due to busy weeks in classes, we hope to have it done by the end of this week. We hope we didn’t disappoint you too much!

Prayers and Concerns

Continued wishes of good luck for students during their studies!

đź•Š Is there something you’d like us to pray for or keep in our thoughts? Send us a message and we’ll put it in next week’s issue of Wesley Weekly. đź•Š

Student Thoughts

A Response to JK Rowling Rebecca Gackler

Over the summer, I read the infamous Harper’s letter and the controversy surrounding the fact that JK Rowling was one of its cosigners. Like many recently disillusioned Harry Potter fans, I had been hearing about Rowling a lot in the news lately. To sort out what I was hearing, I decided to follow a link in an article about the Harper’s letter and ended up finding an open letter Rowling had written prior to signing the Harper’s letter. I just wanted to respond in a few ways.

Firstly, I feel it is tremendously insulting that she thinks women without her concerns have never experienced sexism. I’ve never had her exact experiences, true, but I’ve experienced sexism. How dare she insinuate otherwise. Just because someone does not share her views exactly does not mean that they have had the privilege of avoiding prejudice. Secondly, I want to know how she would practically apply what she is saying. She says she has great sympathy for trans people and makes a special note about being empathetic of trans women who have faced violence, sometimes including murder, at the hands of men. That was a very moving part, but what does she intend for these women? She has said that single-sex spaces are important, but it’s clear she’s defining these as spaces for those who were identified as that sex at birth.

In other words, transwomen should not be in women’s spaces. But they also face the threat of violence by men, as she points out, so it would follow that they don’t belong in men’s spaces, either (not to mention the fact that they’re not men). Where should they go? Rowling does not mention gender neutral zones (in fact, she seems to mock gender-neutral concepts in general, such as the choice to call people who menstruate “menstruators”), but is that the solution she is looking for? In that case, is it alright to lump together transmen and transwomen, not to mention agender or non-binary people? Not that she bothers to mention them herself, of course.

I do agree with her that it seems like stereotypes about men and women are sometimes endorsed by progressives, which seems contradictory. I had a film theory professor who, while generally a very progressive individual, insisted on a stereotypical and hard-fast view of masculinity and femininity that made me uncomfortable. Women are taught to be women, she kept reiterating, which, from her descriptions, seemed to imply that if they don’t take to makeup and passivity, they aren’t real women. I agree that things like this merely repackage old stereotypes, but I don’t agree that that means that what makes you a woman is having a period and a uterus. In my opinion, JK Rowling is just as wrong as my professor.

Rowling makes the claim that there is a recent rise in transmen coming out as opposed to the previous trend of a ton of transwomen coming out. I don’t know why this would be, if this statistic is true (she does not mention a source for this). But I think it’s a case of assuming correlation implies causation to link this with the recent rise in misogyny. Sure, maybe occasionally there’s a woman who transitions to avoid sexism, and maybe sometimes there’s a gay kid who wants to transition to avoid homophobia. I’m not saying these things never happen, but it may be dangerous to assume that there is an epidemic of people transitioning to run from society’s ills. For one thing, that disregards the fact that there are plenty of women and queer people who face discrimination yet do not transition. This still happens today, in this age that Rowling claims is full of such pressures.

JK Rowling has said that she’s met trans people – great! She says she feels for them. Alright… But why has she never presented a practical thought about them? And why does she think it’s alright to make snide remarks on social media as a way to stand up for women’s rights? I do not condone the verbal or written abuses she has faced. Name-calling is always hurtful and immature. But I hope she and others who share her stance are open to what I have said and are willing to grow in their beliefs.

Rowling’s letter: https://www.jkrowling.com/opinions/j-k-rowling-writes-about-her-reasons-for-speaking-out-on-sex-and-gender-issues/

The Harper’s Letter: https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/

Statement about Rowling by RFK human rights: https://rfkhumanrights.org/news/a-statement-from-kerry-kennedy-president-of-robert-f-kennedy-human-rights

Rowling’s response to RFK: https://www.jkrowling.com/opinions/statement-from-j-k-rowling-regarding-the-robert-f-kennedy-human-rights-ripple-of-hope-award/

Do you have something you would like to submit? Let us know!

That’s all for this week’s edition of Wesley Weekly! Don’t forget to like and follow our Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter pages so you’ll never miss out!


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