JK Rowling faces backlash after comments branded 'anti-trans'

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: J.K. Rowling attends HBO's "Finding The Way Home" World Premiere at Hudson Yards on December 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
JK Rowling attends HBO's "Finding The Way Home" World Premiere at Hudson Yards on December 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is facing a backlash after comments she posted on social media were branded ‘anti-trans’.

The writer posted a series of comments on Twitter on Saturday (6 June) which have prompted a furious response from many on the platform.

Rowling is no stranger to controversy relating to this issue, with past comments also landing her in hot water.

Read more: JK Rowling to publish new children's book for free

The latest comments came about when she responded to a story with a headline which read: “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

Rowling tweeted: “‘People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

The comment to Rowling’s 14.5 million followers proved unpopular, and have so far led to over 20,000 comments.

In response, the author said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

The comments lead to a furious reaction from followers.

Actress Mara Wilson, of Matilda and Mrs Doubtfire fame, responded: “Really sick of one of the richest and most influential white women in the world being lauded as some great crusader and truthteller for hating on one of the most marginalized groups of people.”

Read more: Jameela Jamil unfollows JK Rowling on Twitter over transgender comments

Singer Mary Lambert said: “You have power and influence. Why would you do this? What does it achieve? Do you feel like more of a woman when you punch down? Are you threatened? Some trans men menstruate. Why does that affect you? Why do you want to police that?”

Comedian Mae Martin tweeted: “I can’t believe that in this moment @jk_rowling has decided the most useful thing to tweet to her 14.5 million followers is wilfully pedantic, gender-critical TERF nonsense.

“The world is full of threats worth fighting against. Trans people are not a threat. #TransWomenareWomen.”