JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series said that she is returning the award she received from Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organisation after its president criticised Rowling and said she was making 'troubling transphobic statements'. Rowling has been caught in the storm of criticism after her series of tweets in June which she talked about her thoughts and beliefs on the issues of the transgender community.
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
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.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
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.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
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.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
The author faced a backlash from netizens and the LGBTQ community for her tweets which seemed to go against the interest of the transgender community. She had also included some examples where she thought demands by transgender activists were dangerous to women. Since then her comments have been facing a lot of criticism from netizens.
Several stars of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises which are based on Rowling's literary works have also condemned the author for her comments. Celebrities like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Eddie Redmayne have expressed their opinions regarding the same. All these actors have disagreed to her comments made on Twitter.
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
I know you know this because you have been told over and over and over again, but transgender men can menstruate. Non-binary people menstruate. I, a 37-year old woman with a uterus, have not menstruated in a decade.— Aleen 🚀 (@Aleen) June 6, 2020
Women are not defined by their periods.
In response to the criticisms, Rowling tried to clear her stand through her blog in which she said, "I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I’ve outlined. Trans people need and deserve protection. Like women, they’re most likely to be killed by sexual partners. Trans women who work in the sex industry, particularly trans women of colour, are at particular risk. Like every other domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor I know, I feel nothing but empathy and solidarity with trans women who’ve been abused by men.”
“So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. 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,” she added.
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