We sent this letter to J. K Rowling yesterday in support of her courageous stance on women’s and children’s rights.
We are Safe Schools Alliance UK. We are writing to thank you for speaking out; it is very much appreciated, especially since you did so in full knowledge of the consequences you would face.
We hope that our letter, written in solidarity, conveys our respect for your compassionate and well-thought-out position, which you have courageously published despite the toxicity surrounding this issue. We have seen the screenshots of the abuse tweeted directly to you and also attracted more than usual to our own twitter account when we shared your ‘answers’ piece. We know what you have been subjected to. Our members who are public have been doxxed and libelled. The members of the group who are not public are anonymous from fear: fears for their safety, fears for their livelihood, their children, their mental health or even just fear of being judged. Fear is no way to live.
The answers piece resonated with many of our members for many different reasons. Some of our members have friends or family who are trans, some have children who are transitioning, who they are desperate to support, but scared to reach out for help for fear of what that ‘help’ may entail. Our group contains teachers, psychologists, other health & education professionals, people with years of safeguarding experience. Some of us have been following this for years, others for only one or two, many of us were ‘radicalised on Mumsnet’.
Many of our members knew or admired Magdalen; we were all deeply saddened by her death. An inspiring, quick witted woman who was gone far too soon, she had so much more to offer the world but her legacy will live on. We are pleased to learn that you were in contact.
We too are worried about the dangers to young people, gay people and about the erosion of women’s and girl’s rights. And above all, worried about a climate of fear that serves nobody – least of all trans youth – well. We are horrified at the unpicking of long established safeguards for children. Many of us have personal stories to tell about how this movement has affected us or those we love personally, particularly children. We have many lesbian and bisexual members and many of us are parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans-identified children. None of us are well served by the current situation, particularly children. We are desperately worried.
We would like to thank you for your work in supporting women prisoners, survivors of domestic abuse and children. Some of our members also have stories of surviving domestic & sexual abuse, and we are all concerned about the vulnerable women in prisons; women who as a society we failed to safeguard as children and continue to fail now that they are adults. Many of these incarcerated women will have children and they too are being failed, so the cycle continues.
We too are extremely concerned about freedom of speech. A climate where concerns cannot be openly raised and discussed is not conducive to effective safeguarding.
Our members have met with, spoken with and listened to the stories of several detransitioners. We have been in tears at what society has allowed to happen to these girls and our impotence to stop it happening to yet more.
So thank you. Thank you for speaking out, for sharing your pain to protect the vulnerable. We don’t imagine that was in any way an easy step to take or decision to make; this has been a strain on many women’s mental health.
We look forward to a better future for our daughters and for our sons and for all children. We hope that that is your legacy: magical as Harry Potter is, that would be even better.
Tanya Carter and Tracy Shaw
On behalf of Safe Schools Alliance UK