Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Harry Potter Author JK Rowling’s Transphobic Tweet Creates A Stir Again

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been slammed on social media for her latest transphobic tweet.

File photo of Harry Potter author JK Rowling. AP

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has once again come under fire for her recent transphobic tweet. Sharing a Times UK article titled -- 'Absurdity' of police logging rapists as women -- Rowling wrote, “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman”.

The article is a discussion on a recent policy that would allow Scotland Police to log rape cases against women if the accused identifies as a woman irrespective of whether the person has legally changed their sex.

The tweet of Rowling is a mimick of George Orwell’s dystopian novel -- Nineteen Eighty-Four -- that is themed on totalitarianism.

 With her recent tweet, Rowling seems to have reopened another row on gender. Rowling has been slammed by her fans several times in the past for her transphobic expressions. In fact, this was the reason she was not made a part of HBO’s special show, ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: return to Hogwarts’.

Incidentally, Rowling’s tweet came the same day when Fantastic Beasts 3 dropped its trailer, triggering a new debate on Twitter -- whether fans should pay for watching the movie.

Besides the question of whether sexual violence is inherently male, Rowling’s transphobic outlook has also raised another question among her fans -- the art vs artists. People, who have grown up reading her books and watching the movies, feel disturbed with the views and find it hard to relish her art and literature following the reprehensible remarks.

However, this is not the only instance of Rowling’s transphobic barb. The best-seller author’s growing transphobic outlook has drawn flak on social media several other times.

In June 2020, sharing an opinion piece on “Creating a more equal post-Covid19 world for people who menstruate”, Rowling had tweeted, “People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

The tweet was quick enough to draw ire from Twitter folks who claimed that Rowling’s tweet was not exclusionary of transwomen but also cisgender women, who have stopped menstruating.

Following that, in the same month, Rowling came up with another transphobic rant. “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,” she said.

In a subsequent tweet, she attempted to appear as trans-ally and justify her ‘empathy’ towards them.  She wrote, “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,” adding, “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.”

The aftermath of the tweet led to Daniel Radcliffe reportedly apologising to his fans for the “pain caused by the comments”.

Following her glaring tweets on acute transphobia, people confirmed that Rowling is a ‘TERF’ -- trans-exclusionary radical feminist -- a term coined by Viv Smythe, a cisgender heterosexual woman and writer from Sydney.