Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Trans

JK Rowling invokes history of sexual assault while peddling widely debunked myth about trans people in single-sex spaces

Lily Wakefield June 11, 2020
JK Rowling sexual assault - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

JK Rowling attends the press preview of 'Harry Potter and The Cursed Child" at Palace Theatre on July 30, 2016 in London, England. (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

JK Rowling has revealed that she has a history of sexual assault, but has used it to argue against the rights of trans women to use single sex spaces.

Rowling spoke out about her history of sexual assault and an abusive relationship in an essay defending her “gender critical” anti-trans views.

For the fifth in a list of reasons for her “deeply concern about the consequences of the current trans activism”, she wrote: “I’ve been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor.

“This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember.”

Rowling said she felt “protective” of her daughter from her first marriage, and “didn’t want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too”.

But she said her daughter had given her permission to share her experiences, and said: “I managed to escape my first violent marriage with some difficulty, but I’m now married to a truly good and principled man, safe and secure in ways I never in a million years expected to be.”

JK Rowling claims she wants to keep ‘natal women’ safe from sexual assault in single-sex spaces.

JK Rowling continued: “However, the scars left by violence and sexual assault don’t disappear, no matter how loved you are, and no matter how much money you’ve made. My perennial jumpiness is a family joke – and even I know it’s funny – but I pray my daughters never have the same reasons I do for hating sudden loud noises, or finding people behind me when I haven’t heard them approaching.”

She said she had chosen to speak out now “not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine”.

Her solidarity undoubtedly could help many women, but the points she moved onto also ostracise many others.

She said the women she was offering solidarity to had “been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces”.

Rowling admitted that trans women were “vulnerable” and “most likely to be killed by sexual partners”, but went on to say: “At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe.

“When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, Gender Confirmation Certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones [editor’s note: JK Rowling is factually incorrect on this] – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”

But it is not “the simple truth”.

In 2018, an anti-trans group admitted that it had “concocted” the “bathroom predator” myth, the idea that sexual assaults will increase if trans people are allowed to use single-sex spaces, as a fear-mongering tactic.

Research has found that there is no evidence for the claim that allowing transgender people to use the public facility of their choice would increase violations of privacy and crime.

More: anti-trans, domestic violence, gender critical, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, sexual assault, single-sex spaces, trans women

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon