Imagine being J.K. Rowling, having the power to move the world with your words, and yet choosing to be a transphobic hypocrite. So much has transpired since Rowling decided to flabbergast the world with a transphobic tweet followed by a slew of ludicrous explanations, each one worse than the other. And yet, Rowling seems to fail at reading the room. Well, as they say, the third time’s a charm! At least the Harry Potter writer must think so. There’s no other explanation for why she’d decide to defend her homophobia with yet another homophobic rant, a full-sized blog post to be precise!
And while I really thought that JKR being a best-selling author would make it difficult for us to contest her points, it’s clearly not the case. Her transphobia oozes out of every single line written in the blog post, where she seems to be so full of contempt for “today’s trans activism.” Not to forget how derogatory the blog and ideology embedded in it happens to be to trans folks with its sweeping generalisations and use of old, problematic tropes. But that’s just the beginning of the problem.
So problematic is the blog post written by JKR that we actually found the need of making a list of all the thoughts as expressed in it. Here’s how JKR went wrong, horribly wrong:
“Radical feminists aren’t even trans-exclusionary– they include trans men in their feminism because they were born women,” writes JKR and wow! Can someone please tell Rowling that trans men don’t even identify as women?
After reading “terf wars” by jk rowling. Gotta say that for being an educated woman, she is REAL stupid and is very irresponsible. She is fucking invalidating so many trans lives! pic.twitter.com/TFx9C3HJzc— Morena 🇵🇷 (@themonis) June 11, 2020
“The UK has experienced a 4400% increase in girls being referred for transitioning treatment. Autistic girls are hugely overrepresented in their numbers,” she writes. Not only has she overlooked the fact that a major reason behind more girls being referred for transitioning can be the hard work that the trans activists have put into impacting a discourse, but she's also being extremely ableist. Autistic people can also be trans, JKR!
The fact that JK Rowling is trying to correlate the numbers of ftm transitions with autistic girls is extremely frightening. By weaponising neurodivergent individuals to disprove trans identities, she’s essentially invalidating an autistic person’s ability to claim their identity pic.twitter.com/nyFNhJSJbb— georgia #blacklivesmatter (@georgiakmri) June 11, 2020
In her blog, JKR has cited homophobia and peer pressure as a reason for so many girls opting for a transition. Not only is that problematic in itself, but she also dismisses trans women as predators who want access into women’s washrooms and transmen as giddy girls who could not do any better than falling prey to peer pressure.
In fact, she goes to the extent of saying “If I’d been born 30 years later, I too might have tried to transition. The allure of escaping womanhood would have been huge.” Mind you this is the same woman who is so conceited with her womanhood that she insists on referring to all those who menstruate as “women,” easily throwing so many intersex people, transmen, and others who menstruate under the bus.
this...... am i reading this right? this...... this is jk rowling saying she's allowed to dehumanise trans people and use transphobic dogwhistles because...... if she was a kid today she thinks she'd be a trans man??? pic.twitter.com/FrQnWyGOKh— ryan john butcher (@ryanjohnbutcher) June 10, 2020
JKR writes “As I didn’t have a realistic possibility of becoming a man back in the 1980s, it had to be books and music that got me through both my mental health issues and the sexualised scrutiny and judgment that sets so many girls to war against their bodies in their teens.”
She very casually equates the changes experienced by an adolescent woman, mental health issues, and women's issues with gender dysphoria without realising the implications of this thought. Just imagine the impact of this idea on a dysphoric child who has always felt at odds with their body. Being LGBTQ+ or trans to be specific isn't a "mental health" issue or a teenage struggle, and you can certainly not ward it off by music and literature!
On why JK Rowling's behaviour is monstrous.— Jumping the snark (@Dani_L_112) June 10, 2020
I work with trans kids. A normal part of the process of understanding who they are is the most horrific struggle with identity a lot of us can only imagine. Self-doubt, despair, confusion, self-loathing, fear of not being 'normal'. /1
She writes, “A man who intends to have no surgery and take no hormones may now secure himself a Gender Recognition Certificate and be a woman in the sight of the law. Many people aren’t aware of this.” FYI JKR, sex and gender are absolutely different ideas and you don’t need to have a certain kind of body to identify with a gender! It’s never a compulsion to go under the knife to embrace one's gender identity! This, by the way, is the same line of thought that makes the latest version of India's Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act essentially problematic.
“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 – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth," JKR writes. This is not "the truth", this is just a fleeting assumption made by her by citing her only trans friend as reason enough to theorise whatever she can about trans folks. In fact, bathroom privileges have been a long-standing problem for trans people and now citing it in this light is only going back in the time and undoing years of hard work put in by queer organisations and folks to address this.
"I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it," she writes. And just to be clear trans activism is not aimed at aiming to erode 'woman' as a class but to make it more inclusive if anything. The idea of biology that JKR is so obsessed with becomes the very basis of a challenge for tans folks by the heteronormative discourses excluding those who don't fall under the binary. This is exactly why social constructionists have started to challenge the idea of assigning sex as a social process and not a natural one. However, it either challenges all the identifications as 'male', 'female', and 'trans' or nothing at all. Womanhood was never a target and, in fact, in case of transwomen a dream the only dream!
idk how to express the depth of hate i have for jk rowling. to be so arrogant. so pompous and self-righteous. so insidiously destructive towards trans people, especially trans kids, convinced it's in the name of feminism. all while being the most famous children's author alive.— Alice Oseman (@AliceOseman) June 10, 2020
We really thought writers were smart (also, sensitive) people JKR! Imagine, inspiring generations of people with your books only to dismantle that legacy with your elitist, transphobic, and highly regressive ideas. Thankfully for us, there still exists sensible artists out there who called out JKR for her problematic mindsets including those who have Emma Watson. This is how she responded to the entire row:
Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
Earlier this week, Daniel Radclliffe had also published a lengthy statement condemning JKR's problematic views. He wrote “transgender women are women' and added, “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."
I hope they could knock some sense into J.K. Rowling as well!
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