Celebrity

Jonathan Van Ness explains why JK Rowling’s ‘transphobic cherry-picked vitriol’ is just plain wrong

Nola Ojomu December 14, 2021
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Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness and JK Rowling

Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness and author JK Rowling (Getty/Roy Rochlin/Cindy Ord)

Jonathan Van Ness has accused JK Rowling of “constant transphobic cherry picked vitriol” after the author came under fire once again.

The Harry Potter author was criticised after she commented on reports of Police Scotland chief saying the force would not misgender trans people accused of rape with respect to a proposed self-ID law.

“War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman,” Rowling wrote on Sunday (12 December), with a link to an article in The Times.

Her tweet was immediately met with criticism, with many accusing her of further perpetuating anti-trans sentiment, and of ignoring basic facts about violence against women.

As Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness succinctly explained: “The biggest threats of violence against women has always been cis gender men.

“Not trans women, unless JK’s constant transphobic cherry picked vitriol convinces you otherwise. But as trans women are assaulted, deprived of work, killed, and raped, JK is safe in her mansion.”

The 2015 US Transgender Survey reported that almost half (47 per cent) of transgender people will be sexually assaulted in their life.

And despite suggestions to the contrary, research published in 2018 found no evidence that allowing trans people to use the correct single-sex spaces resulted in violence, sexual crimes or voyeurism.

“Fears of increased safety and privacy violations as a result of nondiscrimination laws are not empirically grounded,” the research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy, confirmed.

UK figures released last year stated that out of 122 reported sexual assaults in women’s prisons in the past decade, five were perpetrated by trans inmates.

Meanwhile, the MOJ said that 11 transgender women prisoners were assaulted in prisons in England and Wales last year.

This means that there is a reported sexual assault in a women’s prison committed by a trans inmate once every two years, on average, whilst a trans woman is the victim of a sexual assault in a men’s prison nearly every month.

JK Rowling has cultivated controversy over the past two years after repeatedly placing herself at the centre of the UK’s debate surrounding trans lives.

In 2019, she voiced her support for a woman who pursued legal action to have “gender-critical views” protected under the UK Equalities Act.

The following year, in a June 2020 tweet, Rowling responded to an op-ed that discussed “people who menstruate”.

She criticised the phrasing of the piece and wrote: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

After widespread criticism, Rowling published a lengthy essay on her website, where she laid out her views on trans lives.

She claimed she had “deep concerns” about the “effect the trans rights movement” was having on the education and safeguarding of children.

The author’s comments about the trans community prompted a wave of backlash from the UK’s trans community, Harry Potter fans and even stars from the Harry Potter film franchise.

JK Rowling’s representative declined to comment on the issues in this article when approached by PinkNews.

More: JK Rowling, Jonathan Van Ness, Trans

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