J.K. Rowling is once again causing controversy through her transphobic comments. Recently, on Twitter, she shared her opinion about transgender people being criticized by Scottish police for allowing rape suspects to self-identify as female.
The “Harry Potter” author shared an article from The Sunday Times about how police in Scotland are choosing to record rapes by suspects who were AMAB (assigned male at birth) as being committed by a woman should the suspect identify this way. The piece discussed the backlash that this plan received and which Rowling agreed.
Rowling, who has been accused of previous transphobic comments, wrote:
“War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman, referencing “Newspeak” in George Orwell’s “1984.”
She then provided a link to the news article, which stated, “Police Scotland said that they would log rapes as being carried out by a woman if the accused person insists, even if they have not legally changed gender.”
How Did Fans Respond to J.K. Rowling?
Thousands of fans immediately spoke out against Rowling and accused her of having an unhealthy fixation on transgender issues.
“You literally have a castle and you spend your time doing this,” podcaster Rob Rousseau wrote.
“What a weird hill to die on Rowling,” producer Brett Erlich added.
A third person said that Rowling was focusing her attention on the incorrect part of the story about rapes in Scotland, pointing out her prejudice and fixation.
Rowling’s most recent comment was posted hours before the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore debuted on Monday, December 13.
A Brief Snippet of Rowling’s Transphobia
Rowling was the creator behind one of the most popular young adult fantasy series in history (Harry Potter), writing seven books between 1997 and 2007. These novels inspired the massively successful film franchise, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. These three are going to reunite for an upcoming HBO Max special about the success and popularity of Harry Potter. However, they’ve all spoken out against Rowling’s past harmful remarks.
In June 2020, Rowling made headlines when she critiqued a piece that used the inclusive phrase “people who menstruate.”
“I’m sure they’re used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” she said.
Radcliffe issued an extensive statement in response via The Trevor Project, showing his support to the transgender community.
“While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment. Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”
Watson and Grint also followed suit; each made statements of their own.
Who Else Has Called Out J.K. Rowling?
Criticism of Rowling extends beyond the Harry Potter world. In October 2020, Pete Davidson said during a Weekend Update segment:
“What’s wrong with her? She creates a seven-book fantasy series about all types of mythical creatures living in harmony with wizards and elves and the one thing she can’t wrap her head around is Laverne Cox? She’s a national treasure.”
Another person who called out Rowling was “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness, who stated:
“The biggest threats of violence against women has always been cisgender men. Not trans women, unless Jk’s constant transphobic cherry-picked vitriol convinces you otherwise,” the reality star tweeted. “But as trans women are assaulted, deprived of work, killed, and raped JK is safe in her mansion.”