The last few weeks have been turbulent for Harry Potter-fame British author JK Rowling, ever since netizens accused her of being a terf after her tweets on transgender community. To add to the controversy, an international newspaper flaunted an interview by her ex-husband with a misogynistic headline that read, “I slapped JK and I’m not sorry.” Also Read - Celebrating Pride: Google Honours LGBTQ+ Rights Activist Marsha P Johnson With a Colourful Doodle
JK Rowling’s tweet that didn’t go down well with many, read, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth . The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense. I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so (sic).” Also Read - Laxmmi Bomb Posters: Akshay Kumar Looks Fiery And Amazingly Mysterious in Raghava Lawrence Directorial
Rowling broke millions of fans’ hearts with her anti-trans tweets and her arguement that discussion of gender identity invalidates biological sex, which many claimed had irreparably damaged their love for the Harry Potter series. Immediately after her tweets were alleged to be anti-trans, a wide criticism followed which even made the author lose out on her fanbase and who claimed ‘cancel’ her and the purchase of Harry Potter books, films or merchandise. Also Read - Akshay Kumar on Playing a Transgender Role in Laxmmi Bomb: This Film Has Made my Understanding of Gender Equality Better
Rowling then took to her personal blog to defend herself by writing ‘Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues’. Although the justifications fell on tone-deaf ears, none could ignore the part where Rowling revealed about being a survivor of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
In a shocking turn of affairs later, reputed news agency The Sun, ran an interview with Rowling’s ex-husband with a misogynistic headline that read, “I slapped JK and I’m not sorry.” Needless to say, it took away whatever little constructive and healthy debate has inspired online regarding the trans issues post Rowling’s controversial tweets.
Surprisingly, trans and non-binary activists supported Rowling and wrote a public letter asserting that even though they disagree with her views, they “stand alongside JK Rowling in this cruel and malicious reporting, which sends a dangerous message to all survivors that their stories are only valid when corroborated by their abusers.”
Calling the newspaper’s approach “abhorrent”, the activists said in the letter to the Sun’s editor, Victoria Newton, “Misogyny is a pervasive force and one that treats survivors and victims of sexual and domestic violence as bylines to their abuser’s story.”