J.K. Rowling Triples Down on Transphobic Rhetoric
You think when author J.K. Rowling heard the line “you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” she put that quote on her dream board? Because her Twitter presence for the last few years (which has only brought more attention to the existing problematic issues in the Harry Potter series) makes us think so, especially when it comes to how she has spoken about trans people.
Now comes a tweet that triples down on her transphobia.
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
Some background. The person Rowling is invoking in her tweet is an alleged human being named Maya Forstater. According to LGBTQ Nation, Forstater’s job decided to not renew her contract when they found her saying “offensive and exclusionary” language about transgender people in her tweets, like “men cannot change into women” and framed discrimination against transgender women as something that “hurt mens feelings.” In response to being let go, she made a complaint saying that her language was protected under the U.K.’s Equality Act.
Sadly for her, a judge ruled that “being transphobic is not a protected class and that her anti-transgender viewpoint ‘creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’ that is ‘not worthy of respect in a democratic society,’ so her employer had a right to let her go.”
Oh, because this matters, according to The Guardian, Forstater was a visiting fellow “at the Centre for Global Development (CGD), an international thinktank that campaigns against poverty and inequality.”
So while the screenwriter for the Crimes of Grindelwald has chosen to make this sound like a woman being put upon by the government, this is about a woman facing the consequences of her hurtful language. This is J.K. Rowling adopting transphobic language in the same way that Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro do and she should be embarrassed.
I wish I could say I’m surprised, but again this was the person who defending Johnny Depp by saying she had some kind of insider knowledge and then never dropped a single receipt. It is sad to watch your heroes turn villainous, but thankfully my only hero is Usagi Tsukino and she would never. Still, I grew up with Rowling’s books, they are a cornerstone of my life still and I would say to fans of her work, it’s okay to just remove her from it. Let’s be real, the last three books showed how the series outgrew her initial concepts and if you still want to love Harry Potter, keep doing it, but just be aware when they tempt you with those special editions.
To her trans fans, I’m really sorry you have to keep dealing with this.
There is nothing wrong with you if you choose to divorce that something from its original creator and continue to love it on your own terms. The idea that anyone could own a world is a recent construction, demanded by capitalism. It’s not innate.
— Seanan McGuire (@seananmcguire) December 19, 2019
Yup. And for JKR to write a book series about someone who is hunted/persecuted due to a core aspect of their identity & about the importance of finding a supportive community in the face of ignorance and persecution—then to not get how damaging TERF ideology is… So depressing. https://t.co/FgiyL0ehHE
— Mo Ryan (@moryan) December 19, 2019
It’s so strange to me that someone with enough imagination to portray people irreverently drinking a potion to turn into someone of a different gender somehow refuses to recognize the enormous body of scientific and medical experts validating trans folks w/ evidence.#JKRowling
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 19, 2019
Someone please take away the keys to JK Rowling’s Twitter account pic.twitter.com/aD0ddVqDMk
— Yes, You’re Racist (@YesYoureRacist) December 19, 2019
If you would like to read an awesome children’s series by someone who is an ally I’d recommend the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. His books include multiple LGBTQ characters and an author who tries to actively correct his mistakes when he makes them. In comparison, Rowling has only doubled down on her mistakes and has used her adventures in screenwriting to further illustrate that she is not adept at crafting characters outside of her white British prep school environment.
(via LGBTQ Nation, image: John Phillips/Getty Images)
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