J.K. Rowling Accused Of Invalidating Trans People With Controversial Tweets About Menstruation And Biological Sex

The Harry Potter author has faced a huge online backlash.
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

J.K. Rowling has sparked a huge online backlash after posting controversial tweets about menstruation and biological sex, which have been criticised for invalidating trans people.

On Saturday night, the Harry Potter author tweeted an online article, entitled ‘Opinion: Creating a more equal post Covid-19 world for people who menstruate’.

Sharing it with her 14.5 million Twitter followers, she wrote: ”‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Rowling then followed this up by tweeting: “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.”

Rowling was accused of erasing trans people, as thousands of people responded to her tweets.

Rowling then added to her Twitter thread, saying: “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.”

However, many people quickly pointed out that trans people face frequent discrimination and violence, especially Black trans women, who people are currently fighting for as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

American LGBTQ+ rights organisation GLAAD also condemned Rowling’s tweets, calling them “inaccurate and cruel”.

It posted on Twitter: “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.

“We stand with trans youth, especially those Harry Potter fans hurt by her inaccurate and cruel tweets.”

Back in 2018, the Wizarding World creator sparked a backlash when she was seen “liking” a tweet referring to transgender women as “men in dresses”.

Towards the end of last year, she was criticised when she spoke out in defence of Maya Forstater, who had been accused of using “offensive and exclusionary” language in a number of tweets relating to proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow self-identification.

She said she had “accidentally pasted in” a sentence, which appeared to be from an article about transgender activist Tara Wolf.


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