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Sunday, July 05, 2020

JK Rowling draws ire online for ‘anti-trans’ tweets about menstruation

It soon started a heated debate about sex and gender. Many lashed out at the best selling author and accused her of being transphobic and explained that gender could be different to what is assigned at birth for transgender people.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Published: June 7, 2020 12:47:00 pm
As JK Rowling defended herself the backlash got stronger. (Source: JK Rowling/ Facebook)

Harry Potter author J K Rowling was called out for her recent tweets on menstruation — which many believe are “anti-transgender”.  And as Rowling tried to defend herself, it only worsened things as enraged people pointed that it was also the pride month.

It all started when Rowling commented on an article from Devex, a media platform for the global development community, titled ‘Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate’. “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” Rowling tweeted.

Rowling said she believed that the headline should refer to women instead and people were quick to point out that women are not the only people who menstruate — highlighting lot of trans people do menstruate, while some woman too might not. It soon snowballed into a heated debate about sex and gender. Many lashed out at the best-selling author, accusing her of being “transphobe”. They argued that gender could be different to what was assigned at birth for transgenders.

But things escalated further when Rowling, in another tweet, wrote: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

As the backlash continued, she claimed that she respects “every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them”.

People, most of them Harry Potter fans, said they were deeply hurt and disappointed.  Many are also urging others to boycott her and donate to Black Transwomen fund or any organisation that supports LGBTQ community.

Sex is real. No one wants to erase the concept of sex. What is being discussed is gender which is a different thing. Trans men were born a female, biologically, which, therefore, means they menstruate. Erasing the concept of gender erases the fight all trans people have gone thru

— jota ricar dog (@JRBaefong) June 6, 2020

The LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD responded to Rowling’s comments, saying the author has aligned herself with an ideology that “willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.”

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