Author J.K. Rowling came under fire on Saturday for a series of transphobic tweets which began when she tweeted an article about a more equal post-COVID-19 world highlighting the issues facing vulnerable communities. The article pointed out that “an estimated 1.8 billion girls, women, and gender non-binary persons menstruate,” which Rowling took issue with.
Tweeted the Harry Potter author: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Rowling faced immediate backlash on social media, but went on: “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. 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. 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.”
This wasn’t Rowling’s first time at the transphobic rodeo.
In December 2019, Rowling sparked a firestorm, ending a weeks-long Twitter silence to show support for a researcher who had been fired from an international thinktank over a series of transphobic tweets, one of which asserted, “Men cannot change into women.”
And as far back as 2017 she’s been “liking” content deemed as transphobic.
Rowling’s latest remarks prompted GLAAD to denounce her: “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.”
Rowling later tweeted and quoted an article about how the LGBTQ community attacks its own, specifically lesbians.