On 19 December 2019, Rowling tweeted her support for Maya Forstater, who lost her employment tribunal against her former employer, the Center for Global Development. Forstater’s contract was not renewed after she tweeted “men cannot change into women”, and at the tribunal she asserted that her “gender critical” beliefs should be protected under the Equality Act 2010. However, the tribunal judge ruled against her, describing her views as “absolutist”.
On 6 June 2020, Rowling criticised a Devex article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate” instead of the word “women”. She went on to tweet, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased”, while also saying she was “empathetic to trans people”. The term “people who menstruate” is used to include some trans men and non-binary people who also menstruate. The media advocacy group GLAAD called the tweets “anti-trans” and “cruel”, and wrote: “JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.” Several actors known for portraying Rowling’s characters criticised her views or spoke in support of trans rights, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Eddie Redmayne, Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright and Katie Leung, as did the fansites MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron. Actress Noma Dumezweni initially expressed support for Rowling but rescinded her stance following backlash. Radcliffe responded on behalf of The Trevor Project, writing: “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.”
Rowling later published an essay on her website in response to the criticism. She said that she was a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault, and stated that “When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman … then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside”, while stating that most trans people were vulnerable and deserved protection. She also wrote that many women consider terms like “people who menstruate” to be demeaning. Among those who disputed the claims in Rowling’s essay were Mermaids, a charity organisation for gender non-conforming children, who refuted the notion that trans people are predatory, and CEO of GLAAD Sarah Kate Ellis who said it could create a dangerous environment for the trans community.
Also in June 2020, four authors, including Owl Fisher, resigned in protest from the Blair Partnership, Rowling’s literary agency, after the company refused to issue a public statement of support for transgender rights, saying that “freedom of speech can only be upheld if the structural inequalities that hinder equal opportunities for underrepresented groups are challenged and changed.”
In August 2020, Rowling returned her Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) Award, after RFKHR president Kerry Kennedy called her statements “deeply troubling” and “transphobic”. She further argued that Rowling’s words “had the effect of degrading trans people’s lived experiences”. Rowling stated that she was “deeply saddened” to be returning the award, reiterating her admiration for Robert Kennedy, but said that no award “means so much to me that I would forfeit the right to follow the dictates of my own conscience.”
On 15 September 2020, her novel Troubled Blood was released, and received criticism for its portrayal of a murderous cisgender man who dresses as a woman. A spokesperson for the charity Mermaids condemned the novel for “tired tropes” that demonize trans people by presenting them as a threat. A review in The Guardian stated that that character “is just one of many suspects” and that he isn’t “portrayed as trans or even called a ‘transvestite’ by Rowling.”
Cancel campaign title(s):
Cancel supported by: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Eddie Redmayne, Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright and Katie Leung, as did the fansites MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron
However, she has received support from actors Robbie Coltrane and Brian Cox, and some feminists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The radical feminist Julie Bindel stated that Rowling has always been a feminist and has inspired people “to look into issues of sex-based discrimination”.
On 19 June 2020, the Equality Act was blocked in the US Senate after Republican senator James Lankford opposed it, citing Rowling’s essay as part of his reasoning.
Actress Noma Dumezweni initially expressed support for Rowling but rescinded her stance following backlash
On 22 September 2020, Rowling encouraged her Twitter followers to purchase from the Wild Womyn Workshop, an online store run by a co-founder of the lesbian separatist group Get the L Out. A section of the store sells anti-trans merchandise.
On 27 September 2020, a letter in support of Rowling, signed by 58 “entertainers and authors”, including the author Ian McEwan, actress Frances Barber, playwright Tom Stoppard and actor and writer Griff Rhys Jones, was published in The Sunday Times. The letter condemned the “onslaught of abuse” directed at Rowling on social media, describing such behaviour as an “insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend”. Actor Eddie Redmayne similarly condemned the abuse targeted at Rowling, whilst also condemning the “hideous torrent of abuse towards trans people online and out in the world”. In an interview with New Statesman, philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler agreed that Rowling should not be subject to online abuse, but urged people to also oppose abuse, online and in person, against trans people.
Following the threat of legal action, British children’s news website The Day publicly apologised to Rowling after publishing an article that suggested her comments caused harm to and attacked trans people, made comparisons between Rowling’s views and those of Wagner on race and Picasso on women, and called for her work to be boycotted. The publication also agreed to pay an unsubstantiated sum to a charity of Rowling’s choice.
Uncancel campaign title(s): #IStandWithMaya, #IStandWithJKR
Uncancel supported by: Robbie Coltrane and Brian Cox, and some feminists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, actress Noma Dumezweni, 58 “entertainers and authors”, including the author Ian McEwan, actress Frances Barber, playwright Tom Stoppard and actor and writer Griff Rhys Jones
Hypocrisy of cancel mob
This topic is controversial for a reason, you can’t just change biological real world scientific facts with just your ideas, a lot of issues are already highligted, among them:
- Helicopter argument, if you can be whoever you think you are – we should open psychiatric clinics and reject reality to live in absurd world of gods and helicopters and 45-years old men aka 5-years old girls
- Should we allow 45 years old man to be 5 years old girl and play with our kids?
- Whoever you decided you are – doctors will treat you according to your biological gender\sex
- How is it possible to allow underaged teenagers to pick their “new sex” while they are legally can’t have sexual relationships yet?
But the most hypocritical case here is that almost no-one from the cancel mob are ready to cancel entire Harry Porter universe, plot of her brilliant mind and her main income source. Why owners of Leaky Caldron and Mugglenet sites didn’t close them and cancel JK Rowling for real? Hypocrisy thy name.