‘Shame on you’: Fans turn on JK Rowling
JK Rowling is facing widespread backlash from once again after posting a series of tweets about sex and gender.
The criticism started after the Harry Potter author called out the use of the phrase "people who menstruate" by sharing an op-ed article with that wording on Twitter.
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
After receiving backlash for the tweet, Rowling doubled down on her stance and pushed back against accusations of transphobia.
She claimed she has been "empathetic to trans people for decades" and called accusations that she hates transgender people "nonsense".
The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women - ie, to male violence - ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences - is a nonsense.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
She added: "I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I'd march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so."
Rowling also noted she had spent the last three years "reading books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists".
"Never assume that because someone thinks differently, they have no knowledge," she wrote.
Within an hour of publishing those tweets she was trending on Twitter and had received thousands of responses.
People were quick to call the author out, with labelling her views "offensive" and some claiming she was "actively hurting" people with her words.
Actor Sarah Paulson also commented on the controversy, telling Rowling "Goodnight and shut up".
it’s interesting how you’re able to be so wrong and offensive over and over and over again (but ultimately not that interesting)— Eva Victor (@evaandheriud) June 6, 2020
Im ashamed as a transwonan who grew up on your books to have ever called myself a fan, this tweet spits on all the trans kids who escaped into your books— The Morrighan (@3folkdone) June 6, 2020
Charlotte Clymer from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) also condemned her tweets.
"The vast consensus of medical and other scientific experts validate trans people and urge affirmation of us. Your own country's medical organisations have said as much," Clymer wrote.
"You don't love trans people, and certainly don't care about us.
"BOTTOM LINE: if you respect science and you respect women's rights, you respect the rights of trans people to be validated and affirmed in our authenticity."
US musician Brad Walsh said Rowling's comments were "incredibly disappointing".
"You're a smart person. How do you not yet understand the difference between sex and gender? The only way I can possibly explain your ignorance at this point is wilfulness. It's incredibly disappointing," he wrote on Twitter.
You are embarrassing. The world is reckoning with white supremacy and police brutality and you’ve decided to use your massive platform to gender police? (Btw, gender and sex aren’t the same thing. Look it up.)Your books meant so much to me but you are disgraceful. Shame on you.— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) June 6, 2020
What's the point in using a platform of 14 million followers for this? In pride month???— SEBAS (@sebasgmouret) June 7, 2020
Please. The existence of trans/non binary people does not make you less of a woman... stop feeling attacked and read about "gender". Please do.
This isn't the first time Rowling has faced accusations of transphobia.
It came after British think tank researcher Maya Forstater lost her job when she said "men cannot change into women" on social media.
Rowling offered her support to Forstater on Twitter.
She wrote: "Dress however you please.
"Call yourself whatever you like.
"Sleep with any consenting adult who'll have you.
"Live your best life in peace and security.
"But force women out of their jobs for stating that [biological] sex is real?"
Her tweet sparked a series of angry responses, with the phrase "JK Rowling is a TERF" trending on Twitter.
TERF is an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
Originally published as 'Shame on you': Fans turn on JK Rowling