Harry Potter Author JK Rowling Accused Of Transphobia Over Recent Tweets
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has found herself in hot water after posting a series of tweets about women and menstruation. The uproar started after the Harry Potter author called out the use of the phrase “people who menstruate” when she shared an opinion article with that wording on twitter.
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
The writer had an issue with the wording of the headline for the opinion article, which read, “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.” The article was written for Devex, a “media platform for the global development community.”
“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” Rowling tweeted Saturday evening. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Twitter users were quick to call Rowling out for appearing to define a woman as the only person who has a menstrual period. Her followers pointed out that many people who identify as women, such as transgender women and women who have gone through menopause, may not get their periods, while some people who do not identify as women may still menstruate, such as transgender men and some who identify as non-binary.
“I know you know this because you have been told over and over and over again, but transgender men can menstruate,” tweeted user @Aleen. “Non-binary people menstruate. I, a 37-year old woman with a uterus, have not menstruated in a decade. Women are not defined by their periods.”
“What happens when women enter menopause? What about women who had hysterectomies? Who don’t menstruate because of hormonal issues? Are they not women?” user @coherentstates fired back. “Nothing you say stops trans women from being women.”
Trying to difuse the situation, Rowling posted an additional series of tweets Saturday night to defend and explain her earlier statement.
“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,” Rowling tweeted. “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.”
She claimed she has been “empathetic to trans people for decades” and called accusations that she hates transgender people “nonsense”.
She added: “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.”
Rowling also noted she had spent the last three years “reading books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists”.
Her seemingly offensive tweet sparked a series of angry responses, with the phrase “JK Rowling is a TERF” now trending on Twitter. TERF is an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.