A Harry Potter event was canceled at an upcoming book festival in New Zealand over headline-making comments the best selling author J.K. Rowling made, in which she said only women can menstruate.
Organizers of the Featherston Booktown Karukatea festival in New Zealand, which will be held on May 6-9 have canceled an interactive Harry Potter quiz — which had been very popular at past events — according to a report by Stuff.
Rowling has faced backlash by transgender activists for saying only women can menstruate. The author has also been labeled a “TERF” (trans exclusionary radical feminist) — a term referring to feminists who are considered too “radical” for even left-wing activists, as they do not believe that a biological man is a woman.
In a lengthy essay Rowling wrote last summer, responding the attacks she has received from transgender activists, Rowling said, “I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it.”
“It isn’t enough for women to be trans allies,” she continued. “Women [are told they] must accept and admit that there is no material difference between trans women and themselves.”
“But, as many women have said before me, ‘woman’ is not a costume. ‘Woman’ is not an idea in a man’s head. ‘Woman’ is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive,” Rowling said. “Moreover, the ‘inclusive’ language that calls female people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanizing and demeaning.”
Featherston resident and feminist activist Jenny Whyte told Stuff the organizers’ decision not to have the Harry Potter quiz at the festival is ironic.
New Zealand on Wednesday said the defence force will now oversee the country’s quarantine facilities and strengthen border requirements, after a slip up allowed two people with coronavirus to move around the country.
New Zealand on Tuesday lost its COVID-free status when two women who had been given permission to leave quarantine early on compassionate grounds after arriving from Britain tested positive for the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was appointing the Assistant Chief of Defence, Air Commodore Digby Webb, to oversee all quarantine and to manage isolation facilities, including the processes of exiting people from these facilities.
Ardern said Webb can seek access to military logistics, its operational expertise and, if needed, personnel, for running of the quarantine facilities.
A painter has been jailed in New Zealand after he broke lockdown rules by entering a coronavirus quarantine facility and hugging a friend who was isolating.
Jesse Courtney Welsh, 33, from Morningside, Auckland, received a six week prison sentence after hugging a friend who was isolating after returning home from Australia, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Welsh appeared at Whangārei District Court yesterday after previously pleading guilty to being unlawfully in an enclosed yard.
The minister in charge of managed isolation, Megan Woods, told RNZ’s Morning Report: “At the moment we have 75 rooms available in Jet Park and 100 extra that could be brought on. We’ve certainly got capacity.”
A written response from MBIE’s spokesperson to Newsroom’s query about plans if Jet Park Hotel reached capacity didn’t mention the extra 100 rooms: “We are always working to align capacity with demand and are always looking at what requirements will be necessary to safely accommodate future arrivals.”
The spokesperson said setting up a new quarantine facility would take work.
“Managing more than one quarantine facility will require a significant multi-agency response to ensure the health and safety of the returnees and facility staff. This will involve central and local government officials, along with NZDF, police and security representatives working together to manage the facilities and provide health and wellbeing support, security and assistance to guests, hotel staff and other government agency personnel.”
All confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand will be placed quarantine facilities from now on.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced the change at a press conference on Thursday, moments after revealing there are 13 new cases of coronavirus linked to an outbreak in south Auckland.
The use of quarantine facilities marks a major departure from how positive cases were managed by health officials when New Zealand was last at level 3, as cases earlier in the year were told to simply self-isolate in their homes.
Authorities in New Zealand have said that they will put all new coronavirus infectees and their close family members in “quarantine facilities.”
The new measure was announced by Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield during a press conference yesterday.
“All cases, confirmed cases, are to be managed in quarantine facilities,” said Bloomfield, adding that the move showed “how serious we are about limiting any risk of ongoing transmission – even in self-isolation and including to others in the household.”
“This will apply to any cases and also to close family members who might be at risk,” said Bloomfield.
In a separate video, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made it clear that anyone in the quarantine facility who refused to take a coronavirus test would simply be held there for at least 14 days.