- 08 Jun 20
Human rights organisations have expressed dismay at her comments.
Numerous high-profile artists have spoken out against JK Rowling in the aftermath of her controversial statements on Twitter last night.
On Saturday afternoon, the 54-year-old author shared an opinion article from a global health website titled "Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate" and displayed her disagreement with the phrase "people who menstruate."
"If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased," Rowling wrote.
"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."
Numerous followers pointed out that transgender activists do not argue that sex as a biological concept is not real, they merely point out the differences between gender and sex.
"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," 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."
‘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
The black, trans community have a life expectancy of just 35-years-old as a result of the epidemic of murder targeting this subsection of the LBGTQ+ group. With Black Lives Matter movement protesting against racial prejudice around the world, many questioned why Rowling would choose this week to target a marginalised community.
Her comments have since faced backlash from much of the internet, with musicians such as Hozier, Halsey and King Princess expressing their solidarity with the trans community on Twitter.
Rowling's fear of "erasure" as a woman is the same fear which Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists believe in, and the author has recently made less of an effort to hide her support of this group of people than ever before.
"Trans rights are human rights," Hozier posted to his Twitter page.
"I don’t know who might need to hear this today but you are loved, you are seen and you deserve to be happy and respected for who you are and the God given life you live. Solidarity, Love and Happy Pride Month."
Halsey, who is both part of the LGBTQ community and biracial, also took a strong stance:
"Imagine writing a generation defining series about a youth uprising that defeats a tyrannical monster motivated by the preservation of “pure blood” and looking at THIS time in the world and going, 'Hmm...yep. I’m gonna invalidate trans people',” Halsey wrote on Twitter.
Non-binary artist King Princess wrote a letter to her Instagram page expressing her disappointment in the beloved author of the Harry Potter book franchise, arguing that excluding people from a magical world goes against everything her series stood for.
"I am not the person you will find calling out people on the internet, but that being said this one is personal. JK Rowling...why I find your comments so disconcerting, damn there are so many reasons. First of all, I don't think especially now, that you realise the accidental queer haven you created in your books for so many kids within the LGBT spectrum. Right now, you are telling countless trans/femme kids that they basically don't deserve to be part of your utopia.
"That you pretty much negate the presence of their identities in this world," the American multi-instrumentalist added.
"And the worst part of all is that you feel attacked? You feel like your womanhood is attacked by a movement towards trans equality? What does this AT ALL have to do with you and your womanhood and why do you feel so angry? Are you scared that the inclusion of trans femme people somehow erases you?
"Do you see that by talking, you are refusing to listen to a group of people who are being murdered, beaten and left unprotected by the law everyday? Separating cisgender women from trans women is exactly what allows this systemic privilege/hierarchy to continue."
Noting the privilege afforded to Rowling as both a white woman and cisgender person as well as someone of immense wealth, the singer-songwriter (real name Mikaela Straus) argued that choosing the Black Lives Matter protests to make her points against the trans community was dangerous.
"So please ask yourself why you are talking, why you are disrupting this movement with your confusing words, and why as a writer you feel the need to attack a group of people who most likely sustained your business for many years?"
If you want to direct your rightful anger over JK Rowling's latest anti-trans comments into something positive, support orgs that help Black trans people like @MPJInstitute, @blacktransusa, @TransJusticeFP, @Genderintell and @ukblackpride
— GLAAD (@glaad) June 7, 2020
Rowlings transphobic comments have been condemned by Human Rights Watch and GLAAD, among others, since she tweeted her support of Maya Forstater in December. Forstater was fired due to transphobic tweets, after she lost a court case against her former employer.
Her latest tweets come after videos circulated on social media showing the attack on black, trans woman Iyanna Dior by a violent mob of men in Minnesota.