J.K. Rowling Defends Transgender Comments, Receives Absolutely No Support

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J.K. Rowling has spoken out in defense of controversial comments she made last week about transgender individuals.

And, in response?

The author continues to get shut down.


On Wednesday, the Harry Potter creator published a personal essay in defense of the transphobic Tweets that landed her in scalding hot water just a few days ago.

In the piece, Rowling also shared that she is a survivor of sexual assault.

"I know it's time to explain myself on an issue surrounded by toxicity. I write this without any desire to add to that toxicity," Rowling began.

"I've met trans people, and read sundry books, blogs and articles by trans people, gender specialists, intersex people, psychologists, safeguarding experts, social workers and doctors, and followed the discourse online and in traditional media."

J.K. Rowling Premiere Pic

This past weekend, Rowling posted a number of very polarizing messages in which she explained why, in her view, only people born as biological women menstruate.

She wrote them in response to an article that discussed how transgender women ought also to be included in this group.

To Rowling, such "inclusive language" is "hostile" towards women.

rowling huh

As she continued in her blog entry, Rowling delved deeply iinto her beliefs, citing that she is "concerned" about "the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning."

She added:

"I've wondered whether, if I'd been born 30 years later, I too might have tried to transition. The allure of escaping womanhood would have been huge."

In a long rebuke of the author who came up with the character that made him famous, Daniel Radcliffe fired back at Rowling this week, writing simply that "transgender women are women."

rowling tweets

"As many women have said before me, ‘woman' is not a costume. ‘Woman' is not an idea in a man's head. ‘Woman' is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive," Rowling continued yesterday.

"Moreover, the ‘inclusive' language that calls female people ‘menstruators' and ‘people with vulvas' strikes many women as dehumanising and demeaning.

"I understand why trans activists consider this language to be appropriate and kind, but for those of us who've had degrading slurs spat at us by violent men, it's not neutral, it's hostile and alienating."

From there, Rowling wrote about her past of domestic abuse and sexual assault, explaining how the trauma of surviving such experiences has shaped her feelings about women's rights and transgender issues.

A J.K. Rowling Picture

"I've been in the public eye now for over twenty years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor," she wrote.

"I 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."

"I'm mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who've been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces," Rowling continued. 

"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."

J.K. Rowling Snapshot

Rowling obviously hoped that opening up in this fashion would open up the minds of critics to her viewpoint.

But it's almost done the opposite.

Emma Watson, who starred as Hermione Granger in the popular film adaptation of Harry, has Tweeted in reply:

“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.

"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."

J.K. Rowling Pose

Warner Bros., meanwhile, has also responded to the ongoing controversy.

“The events in the last several weeks have firmed our resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues,” the company said in a statement to Variety.

“Warner Bros.’ position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world.

"We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all.

"We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content.”

J.K. Rowling on the Red Carpet

Rowling, for her part, sounds undaunted.

"I have a visceral sense of the terror in which those trans women will have spent their last seconds on earth, because I too have known moments of blind fear when I realised that the only thing keeping me alive was the shaky self-restraint of my attacker," she wrote of her assault.

And she concluded:

The last thing I want to say is this. I haven't written this essay in the hope that anybody will get out a violin for me, not even a teeny-weeny one.

All I'm asking – all I want – is for similar empathy, similar understanding, to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats and abuse.

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