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Kat Rosenfield vs. transgender people

Kat Rosenfield is an American writer and “dissident feminist” whose work frequently appears in conservative outlets.


Rosenfield earned a bachelor’s degree from Drew University in 2003. Rosenfield worked in marketing and publicity before becoming a reporter at MTV in 2010. Rosenfield has done freelance work in pop culture.

Rosenfield is an advice columnist at UnHerd, and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast with Phoebe Maltz Bovy.

Cultural criticism

In 2020, Rosenfield signed the so-called Harper’s letter with many prominent gender critical voices, including Meghan Daum, Caitlin Flanagan, Michelle Goldberg, Sarah Haider, Jonathan Haidt, Katie Herzog, Phoebe Maltz Bovy, Steven Pinker, Katha Pollitt, J. K. Rowling, Jesse Singal, Bari Weiss, Matthew Yglesias, and Cathy Young.

Like many trans-suspicious writers, Rosenfield claims to be part of a left-wing but “heterodox” movement standing up against cancel culture to speak the truth.

There’s a loose but growing coalition of lefties out there, artists and writers and academics and professionals, who’ve drawn sympathetic attention from conservatives after being publicly shamed out of the progressive clubhouse (that is, by the type of progressive who thinks there is a clubhouse, which is of course part of the problem). It’s remarkably easy these days to be named an apostate on the left. Maybe you were critical of the looting and rioting that devastated cities in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by police in 2020. Maybe you were skeptical of this or that viral outrage: Covington Catholic, or Jussie Smollett, or the alleged racial abuse at a BYU volleyball game that neither eyewitness testimony nor video evidence could corroborate. Maybe you were too loud about the continued need for due process in the middle of #MeToo. Maybe you wouldn’t stop asking uncomfortable questions about the proven value of certain divisive brands of diversity training, or transgender surgeries for kids, or — come the pandemic — masking. Maybe you kept defending the right to free speech and creative expression after these things had been deemed “right-wing values” by your fellow liberals.

When Bari Weiss and team went after a Missouri children’s hospital and its gender clinic with some questionably obtained medical records of children and adolescents, Rosenfield sided with the unsupportive parents:

In a piece on author and anti-trans activist JK Rowling, Rosenfield makes the oft-used false equivalence of Christians protesting Rowling’s occult themes and trans people and their supporters protesting Rowling’s vocal support of anti-transgender activists:

In the 15 years since Harry Potter made his final stand against Voldemort, the angst directed at Rowling has evolved from nebulous fears of neo-paganism into a far more sustained and focused rage over her perceived transphobia. But when it comes to the shape the anger takes, very little has changed. Rowling’s haters can’t stop her from writing, and they can’t stop people from reading her writing — but by god, they’ll do what they can to make sure those people don’t enjoy it. 

This framing was later used by Megan Phelps-Roper in “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling,” a podcast apologia produced by Bari Weiss.


Rosenfield, Kat (August 9, 2021). How cancel culture hurts the Left. UnHerd

Rosenfield, Kat (October 27, 2022). Why I keep getting mistaken for a conservative. National Review

Rosenfield, Kat (September 2, 2022). JK Rowling sees through her enemies. unHerd

Rosenfield, Kat (September 10, 2020). How Do I Stop Being a TERF? Persuasion

Rosenfield, Kat (November 6, 2023). Women’s sport should be a ghetto. UnHerd


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