London Ladies Liquid Lunch-TERF Tea: Rowling Revels, Reels Out RIDDIKULUS!

J. K. Rowling had a few friends out for lunch in London the other day, at the River Cafe no less. You can read all about it in Suzanne Moore’s article for The Telegraph, The Truth About My Raucous Lunch with J. K. Rowling.‘ Join me after the jump for thoughts on the timing, the photographer, and the implicit messaging of scheduling this get-together the week of the Secrets of Dumbledore roll-out!

(1) Party Planned for Some Time: Suzanne Moore tells us this wasn’t an impromptu meeting. “We had all been waiting for this lunch for a very long time. JK Rowling had asked a number of women who have supported her and each other during the great ‘gender wars’ for a slap-up Christmas lunch.” That was cancelled because Dr Murray thought it was a bad idea with respect to Covid (he’s a Super-VAXXer, alas — see his retweets here and here of ‘Vaccine Medico-Heroes with Sleeves Rolled Up;’ funny —  or not — now that 90% of Covid deaths in the UK are among the vaccinated). The guests still received “goody bags” instead, but the lunch was postponed, not cancelled.

Who was invited and why this gathering? Moore, again:

Yet us would-be ladies who lunch, including of course the alleged “international network of powerful lesbians” seem to have formed a little support group as each of us have been under attack at various times. Maya Forstater, Rosie Duffield, Kathleen Stock, Julie Bindel, Joanna Cherry, Alison Bailey and Bev Jackson: all of us know what it’s like to open Twitter and see nothing but abuse and “Die Terf ” threats. This undiluted misogyny in the name of trans rights is mostly not perpetrated by trans people at all but by their so-called allies, often very alienated men.

But the lunch with this bunch of women finally did happen and I have now read several accounts as to why it took place. We must be a coven, or launching a campaign or plotting.

The actual reason? To eat, drink and be extremely merry, which seems never to have occurred to these steely investigative reporters.

And that, it seems, is exactly what they did!

(2) But Why Now?

This is, frankly, a wonderful gift of Rowling, a present for herself and those women fighting the “undiluted misogyny in the name of trans rights” and who have endured cancellation, de facto blacklisting, and too often loss of position and income. As outliers who suffer ostracism what a delight for them to be able to experience community and to celebrate the victories for which their courageous stand is largely responsible.

The timing, though, is curious.

I will assume that The Presence has a team of planners that keep her “book” so she is not double-scheduled and that these folk know the various goings-on of her three ring circus — Lumos-Volant responsibilities, writing deadlines, publishing promotions, even movie premiere tasks and appointments. Forgive me for guessing that when this event was re-scheduled last December that Rowling, Inc., knew very well that it would drop right in the week that Secrets of Grindelwald was scheduled to be rolling out in over 60 markets around the world.

Which suggests she planned this celebration, a very public one in an upscale venue known to all Serious Strikers (have we been to any other restaurant as often? Only The Tottenham is a more frequent stop), and with photographers. Professionals with cameras.


Patricio Tarantino shared this in his Daily Prophet report from the Secrets premiere:

The event started at 5:30PM, giving one hour and a half for the celebrities to walk on the red carpet and meet the fans. The screening started at 7PM. However, J.K. Rowling appeared on the red carpet around 5:10/5:15PM, signed some books and posters for the fans in the crowd pen, and left the place. She did not stay for the screening.

I am not sure if it was her decision or Warner Brothers’ decision. I’d say both parties wanted it to be that way. For example, she was cut from the recording of the live stream.

Before the film began, the producers, David Yates (director) and the cast introduced the film from the stage (interesting for me: David Yates and the producers thanked the whole cast and crew but they did not mention Jo…).

Rowling has been cut out of the Secrets of Dumbledore roll-out, in other words, or insisted that she would not participate, or both sides agreed it would be best if she made an appearance so her no-show wasn’t reported but she didn’t hang around to answer questions or endure abuse from hecklers.

I want to think, especially in light of the River Cafe gathering scheduled as it was, that she wanted to make a statement about who her friends are, who she admires, and who she wants to celebrate and spend time with and be associated with as kindred spirits.

It’s not the producer, director, actors, and actresses who threw her under the Omnibus. It is this collection of ‘hags,’ dikes,’ and ‘uppity women’ who refused to comply and to submit to the mob of misogynists who cannot define ‘woman’ but want to erase single-sex spaces and sports. Rowling set up this event originally to support her cohorts and fellow sufferers — and, when it had to be rescheduled, set it right in the midst of Warner Brothers Week and made sure it was well covered and thoroughly documented with photographs. I’d say it was a big ‘F— You!’ to the Davids and the cast of Secrets except its genius is not to make it about them at all.


One of Rowling’s most well known externalizations of inner phenomena is the Boggart, a fantastic beast that takes the form of your greatest fear, a remarkably effective defensive mechanism. The way Professor Lupin taught his Defense Against the Dark Arts classes to defeat this boggey-man was the spell, “RIDDIKULUS!,” one said while imagining the Boggart in a risible form. Laughter, in brief, is the cure for the fears that haunt us — and, as important but neglected, the means to defeat those who would frighten us by invoking our fears.

Why have we got to the position we are in now when the medical establishment, legislators, and media think it not only prudent but necessary to give puberty blockers to pre-adolescents and adolescent children with gender disorders? ‘Necessary’ as in parents need not be notified, counseling is forbidden, even made illegal, and these life-changing drugs and surgeries are approved without the care one would expect when dispensing medications and treatments that cannot be reversed.

We are here because a crowd of Woke puritans frightened academics, reporters, and doctors into an inability to define ‘man’ and ‘woman.’

To that gaggle of Know Betters, Rowling and friends yesterday sent a loud, even drunken “RIDDIKULUS!” I think they did it for themselves primarily, to cast away the lingering effects of being beaten down by so many for so long, but the photographers who were present were there to amplify and broadcast that spell far and wide. Let the twitterati hear Rowling and her friends laugh at them and feel cast down; let the cowardly and prudent see the celebration of the brave and take heart.