JK Rowling accused of transphobia – again. This time for defending ‘feminist’ fired for anti-trans views
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has voiced her support for a woman who pursued legal action to have “gender-critical views” protected under the UK Equalities Act.
The writer, 54, hasn’t tweeted since September, but made a surprise return to come out in support for Maya Forstater, who was plunged into a landmark case which tested whether anti-trans views would be considered as a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equalities Act.
Forstater’s employer, the Centre for Global Development, had hired her on a series of short-term contracts as a researcher which were not renewed after a dispute about her tweet in September 2018 which said: “Men cannot change into women.”
Forstater branded it as a “feminist test case” on her Twitter, yet judges ultimately ruled that such views would not be protected. A ruling welcomed by many LGBT+ activists.
Following the outcome, Rowling expressed her support for Forstater, inciting a wave of backlash from trans folk and allies alike, accusing Rowling of “transphobia” in a take dubbed by one campaigner as a “gross mischaracterisation”.
What did JK Rowling write exactly?
Following the outcome of the test case today, Rowling issued a short statement on her Twitter outlining: “Dress however you please.
“Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Dress however you please.
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
“Live your best life in peace and security.
“But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”
Rowling then added the hashtags: “#IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”
She was announcing her support of Forstater after judges stated that “gender-critical” views – a phrase often deployed to defend trans-exclusionary feminism– are “not worthy of respect in a democratic society”.
Moreover, Rowling’s tweet came after she came under fire for a similar situation in which she followed a “proud transphobe” on Twitter alongside when she liked a series of tweets that called trans women “men in dresses.”
Her representatives told PinkNews in 2018 that the latter was down to a “clumsy, middle-aged moment”.
While Forstater herself also acknowledged Rowling’s tweet, writing: “We are all crying.
“This is all I wanted for Christmas.”
‘This hurt to read’: Twitter accuses JK Rowling of being a ‘TERF’.
Within minutes of Rowling’s message, her name quickly became a trending topic on Twitter alongside the tag “TERF”.
Countless LGBT+ Twitter users shared their responses to Rowling, with many criticising her stance, calling it “unacceptable” as well as describing their own “heartbreak” at the beloved children’s book author stating such views.
“This hurt to read,” one user wrote.
“The implications of your statement are huge for the trans community. Hogwarts was a shelter for us weirdos and oddballs but it seems we are no longer welcome.”
JK Rowling's tweet offers insights to what trans antagonist rich white cis women think trans women are all about – dressing up and trying to have sex. As if its a perversion, deviance or fetish. Its archaic as much as ignorant.
— Bolli Grinchevik (@LaSouvarine) December 19, 2019
This is SUCH a dangerous precedent to set. Especially now that white supremacism, racism & the far right are gaining power & ground…to contribute to this global culture war against progressive values and LGBTQ communities is totally unacceptable. I implore you reflect.
— Shahmir Sanni (@shahmiruk) December 19, 2019
well its finally happened. JK Rowling has taken the mask off and shown everyone what trans people have been telling you for years: she's a terf.
maybe believe us next time we tell you someone is crypto? pic.twitter.com/V17h9phGZ5
— sinéad naoimh ⚧ 🦀🍾 (@sineadactually) December 19, 2019
“Trans people are real. Intersex people are real. Bigotry is very real,” wrote another user.
“Denying trans and intersex people’s rights and identities is dangerous and unacceptable.”
Important to also note – 'Woman being fired for stating sex is real' is a gross mischaracterisation of the facts of the case. https://t.co/6IngbusEM3
— 🏴 Craig 🏳️🌈 (@kalonite) December 19, 2019
Well, she finally said the quiet part out loud.
This is really heartbreaking for a lot of folks.
If Harry Potter is ruined for you, I completely get it.
I’m going to try to hold onto the magic I’ve found in fandom, the original text, & the magic others have created around it. https://t.co/7beiYgJRBT
— Jeff Spirit 🎅🏼❄️ (@jackisnotabird) December 19, 2019
“My daughter, who is trans, is a big fan of yours,” a user said.
“It breaks my heart to see you post something indicating that discrimination against her is perfectly fine behaviour for an employee.
“The world’s most credible medical orgs affirm trans people. Please catch up.”
how do u live ur best life in peace and security if there are other people constantly debating ur right to exist, sneering at ur struggles and smearing u as a pedo or a rapist based on nothing but the fact ur gender identity is not ~the norm? just say ur a terf and go https://t.co/LmLS4DG06C
— G (@oneofthosefaces) December 19, 2019
Maya Forstater did not lose her job because she campaigned against the GRA. She did not lose her job because she believed in biological sex.
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) December 19, 2019
And several users contrasted Rowling with Harry Potter film star Emma Watson, who last year unabashedly came out as an ally to trans folk.
Furthermore, one of the largest LGBT+ rights advocacy groups, the Human Rights Campaign, even commented on the ensuing row over Rowling:
Trans women are women.
Trans men are men.
Non-binary people are non-binary.
CC: JK Rowling.
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) December 19, 2019
And, in what is Twitter’s legal obligation, people made a lot of memes:
Tired: Dumbledore is gay but there’s no evidence in any of the books.
Wired: JK Rowling is a full-blown TERF and she’s saying it with her chest. pic.twitter.com/jC2j7UNZx6
— Camp as Christmas (@Philip_Ellis) December 19, 2019
jk rowling: expecto transphobia
— deck the halls with boughs of corry 🛸 (@notcorry) December 19, 2019
Rowling’s representatives declined to comment when approached by PinkNews.