Rowling Response to Ukraine Invasion

The Russian Federation invaded Ukraine last month and the war there continues. I am no Russo-phile, but it is clear that there are no saints leading either country (or the greater powers that use these nations’ leaders as sock-puppets). What to do?

Jo Rowling Murray pulled out her check-book and challenged others to do the same to help “some of the most vulnerable children in Ukraine,” those in orphanages. She didn’t say anything about the injustice or Realpolitik of the invasion, she didn’t browbeat the decision makers in the UK and abroad about their action or inaction, she didn’t make sardonic comments about the vicious way of the world, in which, as Thucydides noted, “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

Not right away at least; she has since re-tweeted messages about the invasion and its attendant horrors. See here, here, here, and here for a sample of those. Her stand, though, what she has chosen to do when confronted by this tragedy, is in essence apolitical, just as her posting The Ickabog for children and families in Covid hysteria lockdowns for free on the internet (and donating all her income from the book sales to charities helping those most hurt by the lockdowns) was all positive and generous. Here Rowling is a challenging example of action in service to a cause without exacerbating or creating antagonisms. I could definitely take some notes here for my own reflection.

I post below re-tweets and responses she made that are about her offer to match all money contributed to Lumos, not to mention paying all their expenses so contributions do not go to charity overhead, to encourage all of us to help.

Having admired Rowling for her thoughtful effort, I feel obliged to sound a critical note about her recent return to twitter. She wrote last year that she had left because she recognized that the medium was not conducive to her mental health. I think that was a fair assessment, maybe something she came to understand in an intervention.

You’ll note, if you make the mistake I did and read the replies to the tweet beneath the headline of this post, which has been pinned to the top of Rowling’s board since 7 March, that most responses are comments on the twitter tear Rowling went on in observance of International Women’s Day, 8 March, and in protest of a pending piece of legislation in Scotland’s Parliament, the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. Reading that still continuing series of tweets, you’ll see  Rowling at her worst — or best, if you enjoy watching her respond to those whose intellectual weaponry and following compared to her own are too often something in parallel with Ukraine’s and Russia’s relative military power.

“But she was provoked! It’s Righteous Anger!” I think it is more accurately described as akin to a giant stepping on nobodies because she can — and it is pathetic bullying, even if, as she explains, she is “seeing red” and not responsible for what she writes (and granting there is seemingly nothing to admire in the people she eviscerates). Speaking as someone who agrees with her for the most part on transgender overreach and has taken no little flak for it, her reaction-tweets and lack of perspective and self-control this month make for painful reading. Goliath is never the role to choose — and those who play it as often as not mistakenly believe they are the David character.

Kudos to her for taking an unpopular stand, speaking truth to power, and for doing everything possible to help those most at risk if the Gender Recognition Reform bill is passed; these are real dangers and many lives will forever be changed for the worst if this legislation is approved. Standing tall against the legislation and those responsible for it is the hard, right thing to do.


Can someone in vicinity of The Presence help her to get a grip? Tell her to stomp on the MPs, political pundits, and medical professionals with whom she has her disagreement all she likes because the cause is important and she has a grand pulpit from which to share her important views contra the woke narrative. These targets are appropriate and of sufficient power and thick skin to bear the brunt of her criticism.

Please persuade her, though, to leave the twitter gadflies for their equally disempowered cadre or blue-check barristers to police. Better to trust that Crusher the Hob-Nailed Boot, the Loser’s enforcer, will get the surplus eventually in the Land of the Lost than for Rowling to crush them herself.

It’s a bit disconcerting, not to say ‘off-putting,’ to be encouraged to stand alongside a tweeting bully — smashing her relative non-entity opponents into nothingness — in opposing the invasion of a country by the Bear Bully in order to help the victims of his use of disproportionate force.

Three cheers again, though, for Rowling’s offer to match contributions up to a million pounds to help the vulnerable in Ukraine and inspiring so many others to give to this important cause. May the money raised somehow shield children without families from the spiraling tragic violence of this war.

And may she learn to only engage her anger and “bully pulpit” with those critics, authorities, and actors on the public stage who are in decision making roles or who have significant power and voice to influence those playing those parts.