The actor – best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series – joined former co-star Daniel Radcliffe and Fantastic Beasts actor Eddie Redmayne in publicly disagreeing with Rowling’s comments.
On Saturday, the author sparked a backlash when she commented on an article titled Creating a More Equal Post-Covid-19 World for People Who Menstruate, pushing back against the headline for not referring to those who have periods as just ‘women’.
She added: “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.”
Many accused Rowling of invalidating trans people, and reminded her that transgender people, non-binary people and gender-nonconforming people can also menstruate.
Emma has now addressed the matter in a string of posts on Twitter, writing: “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.
“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.”
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
She also urged her followers to donate to the Mermaids charity, which helps transgender children, and the women’s fund Mama Cash.
Emma’s tweets came after Rowling shared a lengthy blog post on her website, in which she revealed that she was partly motivated to speak about trans issues because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
In the post, she detailed five reasons, including her interest in “both education and safeguarding” and “freedom of speech”.
Explaining her final reason, she wrote: “I’ve been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor.
“This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember.
“I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage. I didn’t want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too.
“However, a short while ago, I asked her how she’d feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life and she encouraged me to go ahead.
“I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.”
In the blog post, Rowling also said she was motivated to address transgender issues via her Twitter account because of what she sees as an increasingly misogynistic society.
“We’re living through the most misogynistic period I’ve experienced,” she continued.
“Back in the 80s, I imagined that my future daughters, should I have any, would have it far better than I ever did, but between the backlash against feminism and a porn-saturated online culture, I believe things have got significantly worse for girls.
“Never have I seen women denigrated and dehumanised to the extent they are now.
“From the leader of the free world’s long history of sexual assault accusations and his proud boast of ‘grabbing them by the pussy’, to the incel (‘involuntarily celibate’) movement that rages against women who won’t give them sex, to the trans activists who declare that TERFs need punching and re-educating, men across the political spectrum seem to agree: women are asking for trouble.
“Everywhere, women are being told to shut up and sit down, or else.”
Daniel Radcliffe shared his thoughts on the controversy earlier this week, saying he felt “compelled” to speak in support of the transgender community, while Eddie Redmayne said he wanted to make it “absolutely clear” he did not agree with the author’s comments.
Useful websites and helplines:
- The Gender Trust supports anyone affected by gender identity | 01527 894 838
- Mermaids offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences for young people with gender identity issues | 0208 1234819
- LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for LGBT people in Scotland. Text 07786 202 370
- Gires provides information for trans people, their families and professionals who care for them | 01372 801554
- Depend provides support, advice and information for anyone who knows, or is related to, a transsexual person in the UK
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.