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Trans author Juno Dawson perfectly explains why white billionaire JK Rowling’s scathing tweets are anti-trans

Josh Milton June 7, 2020
White, cis billionaire JK Rowling sparked fury for her views on trans folk. So Juno Dawson decoded them to show just how anti-trans they are. (John Phillips/Getty Images/Karwai Tang/WireImage)

White, cis billionaire JK Rowling sparked fury for her views on trans folk. So Juno Dawson decoded them to show just how anti-trans they are. (John Phillips/Getty Images/Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Trans author Juno Dawson cleanly unpacked JK Rowling controversial comments on trans people that have blistered with tension since Saturday evening (June 6).

Amid a series of cascading tinderbox issues, from the coronavirus pandemic to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations as well as less than a week into LGBT+ Pride Month, Rowling, 54, decided now was the perfect time to hit that send button and tweet about trans folk.

Rowling’s Twitter has, over the last few days, been a series of cartoon doodles from fan’s of her book series, The Ickabog. But compliments towards children’s crayon-work took a turn Saturday evening.

The children’s book author took to Twitter to comment on people’s genitalia. She focused a thread on commenting on sex and gender in relation to trans people that sparked fury online.

It’s becoming an increasingly familiar sight for trans folk, watching Rowling comment on their lives. Her actions which have stirred reaction have, in the past, been called “middle-aged moments” by her representatives.

Juno Dawson decodes JK Rowling’s controversial comments on trans people amid Twitter row. 

As a result, British young adult fiction writer Dawson broke down Rowling’s remarks which have erupted into a Twitter firestorm, calling Rowling’s choice of words “linguistic pretzels”.

She wrote: “We’re in a global pandemic. We’re protesting police brutality and racial injustice, and the most famous author in the world is twisting linguistic pretzels to say ‘trans women are not women’.”

Dawson added: “She put a polite veneer on her words, I’d like to break down what she’s saying.

“Sex is real and unchangeable. Trans women are therefore male. Single-sex spaces, therefore, must exclude ‘biological males’,” Dawson decoded.

“Trans women can’t access public life. That is what she is saying.”

Dawson later stressed to PinkNews: “I’d urge Rowling to think about the use of her vast platform.

“This constant debate around trans lives is creating a hugely hostile environment for trans people.

“We get it online and we get it in the streets. Her words have real-life consequences.”

Rowling’s thread was first seeded earlier that evening, when she shared an article in Devex, the media platform for the global development community, with the headline: “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

“‘People who menstruate’,” she responded. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

In the avalanche of tweets that followed, she sought to reassure her 14.5 million followers that she “knows and loves trans people” and claimed that the idea she hates trans people is “nonsense”.

“I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them,” wrote the writer.

“I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans,” she capped off the thread.

Of course, how trans people are experiencing surging rates of anti-trans violence (more than 3,300 trans people have been murdered in 11 years, activists say), lawmakers routinely rescinding or delaying pro-trans policy which is driving some trans folk to suicide, the constant slashing of already threadbare trans healthcare, the daily onslaught of erasure, how prison systems treat trans inmate “inhumanely” according to watchdogs, the dearth of trans voices in politics and media outlets dubbing trans people as “extremists” and “rapists” – none of these are reasons to march, we guess.

More: anti-trans, JK Rowling, Juno Dawson, terf, trans exclusionary radical feminism, trans rights are human rights, trans women are women

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