J.K. Rowling Breaks Twitter Silence, and Fans Are Not Happy
J.K. Rowling has, once again, fallen under fire on the Twittersphere. This time, the author received considerable backlash for tweeting what appears to be support for Maya Forstater, a woman who lost her job due to transphobic comments she made on her own Twitter account.
Dress however you please.
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
Forstater worked as a tax expert at the Center for Global Development when her contract was not renewed because of her comments regarding transgender people, specifically comments questioning government plans to let people declare their own gender. After it was stated that her employment contract would not be renewed because of her statements, Forstater fired back, saying, “Framing the question of transgender inclusion as an argument that male people should be allowed into women’s spaces discounts women’s rights to privacy and is fundamentally illiberal (it is like forcing Jewish people to eat pork).”
Many Wizarding World fans, including a plethora of celebrities, were quick to call out Rowling’s tweet as offensive and even went as far as calling the author a “TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist). The term “TERF” was popularized in 2008 by blogger Viv Smythe and is used to describe feminists who exclude transgender people based on the notion that “transgender women are not real women.”
I do not stand with Maya for many reasons.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) December 19, 2019
There are thousands of messages from around the world where people have expressed heartbreak and sadness over Rowling’s choice to stand with Forstater in a move they say is alienating trans and non-binary fans of the magical world Rowling has created.
My daughter, who is trans, is a big fan of yours. It breaks my heart to see you post something indicating that discrimination against her is perfectly fine behaviour for an employee.
The world’s most credible medical orgs affirm trans people. Please catch up.
— Amanda Jetté Knox (@MavenOfMayhem) December 19, 2019
Many also pointed out that alumni of the Wizarding World films, such as Emma Watson and Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone), are very vocal about their support of the transgender and non-binary communities.
Others have expressed support for Rowling for taking a stand against something they see as unjust.
Thank you. These are scary times for women who assert their right to recognise objective reality
— Helen Joyce (@HJoyceGender) December 19, 2019
One thing is for sure: “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”