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.
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
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.”
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.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
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”.
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.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
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.
Really sick of one of the richest and most influential white women in the world being lauded as some great crusader and truthteller for hating on one of the most marginalized groups of people
— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) June 6, 2020
Dear JK Rowling,
U just defined “Sex” as the experience one has by their reality. Therefore, how do U not understand #Trans people are saying that’s EXACTLY How they also Define their “Sex” / “gender- identity”. It’s not for you or anyone else to define someone else’s experience https://t.co/TVW5EP7Pk8
— DanielNewmaη 404-737-1636 (@DanielNewman) June 7, 2020
I say this as someone who literally has your words tattooed on my skin: I am begging (not demanding, but pleading with) you to please stop using your platform in this way. You are actively hurting children who admire you with your words—the very thing that drew them to you.
— Ashlee Latimer (@ALNL) June 6, 2020
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 willfulness. It’s incredibly disappointing.
— Brad Walsh (@BradWalsh) June 6, 2020
Also, it’s a scientific fact that intersex patients with a 46 XY karyotype, who are by definition genetically male, have gotten pregnant and even given birth. Unfortunately, doctors have erased the existence of many intersex patients through genital mutilation surgeries at birth.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) June 6, 2020
We’re not saying sex isn’t real. We’re saying it’s different from gender. My assigned sex at birth was male. But I identify as a woman. Sex is in the fun bits. Gender is in the brain.
— Nicole Maines (@NicoleAMaines) June 6, 2020
You’re a great writer. This is a good time for you to become a great reader.
— Patrick Thornton (@pwthornton) June 6, 2020
Hey JK as you claim to support trans rights and this is a historical moment where we are globally discussing the impact of white supremacy on Black People, please share some of your $650million mega wealth with this charity. https://t.co/3WoGduRuSE
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) June 7, 2020
JK Rowling is showing herself for who she’s been the whole time – a feminism-appropriating radical transphobe. The fact she picked Pride to expel her hateful sludge once again only underscores her hatred.
Don’t give her another cent. https://t.co/0QlvhEGBmR
— Riley Black (@Laelaps) June 6, 2020
a lot of LGBT kids grew up with Harry Potter as their escape from the real world, JK Rowling pandered to us. what she said is gross and invalidating to so many of the fans, and i want to just wanna say thank u @MsSarahPaulson for being our lgbt mom who stands for up everyone. https://t.co/Gu2PrAlWIg
— elijah daniel (@elijahdaniel) June 7, 2020
Literally NO ONE said the concept of sex or womxn is erased.
The only thing erased here is YOU erasing the legitimacy of trans folks.
Please reconsider where you stand here, for trans folks and for so many who used to idolize you.
— Maddy Eisenberg (@maddyeisenberg) June 6, 2020
Your transphobia is beyond disturbing, disappointing and harmful. Your attempts at weponizing Lesbian issues to further this TERF rhetoric are frankly embarrassing. And your hateful stench has ruined Harry Potter for me.
A Proud, Trans Supporting, Dyke
— KITTENS (@iamKITTENS) June 7, 2020
it wouldn’t be 2020 if harry potter wasn’t canceled
— traitor joe (@phoebe_bridgers) June 7, 2020
Christ, you are such a colossal disappointment.
— Liam Dryden 🍊 (@LiamDrydenEtc) June 6, 2020
what’s insane is that jk rowling essentially raised us to stand up to her bigotry
— katie jo (@katiejoyofosho) June 6, 2020
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
I decided not to kill myself because I wanted to know how Harry’s story ended. For a long time, that was all that kept me alive. Until I met my husband who helped me learn to love myself and to want to live. You just insulted him to my face. I hate you.
— Kate Beetle 🏳️🌈 (@scary_library) June 6, 2020
JK Rowling thought we needed 7 Harry Potter books but only 2 genders
— Jared Goldstein (@heyjaredhey) June 7, 2020
This is beyond terrible. The Harry Potter Series has meant so much to me growing up and even now. I don’t understand how the person that created that magical world can think this way? #disappointed 😔 https://t.co/dibzycUrTx
— Elle 👋🏻 (@32nellemai) June 7, 2020
Of all the nonsense to spout during #PrideMonth, this is really competing for the worst.
There’s so many levels of wrong in this argument, starting with her confusing and conflating sex with gender. https://t.co/KKZKXCZC3L
— Ara Wagoner📱🏰🎶 (@AraWagco) June 7, 2020
That’s interesting, because I have endometriosis and an IUD in place to treat it, and therefore, I no longer menstruate. I haven’t had a menstrual cycle since early high school, and I’m 21. I guess I’m not a woman anymore? :/
— 🌈 BLM // ACAB 🌈 (@royallyqueer) 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.”
JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.
— GLAAD (@glaad) June 7, 2020
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