J.K. Rowling Faces Backlash for Transphobic Tweets About Menstruation

Mehera Bonner
Photo credit: John Phillips - Getty Images
Photo credit: John Phillips - Getty Images

From Seventeen

  • J.K. Rowling felt the need to fire off several transphobic comments on Twitter over the weekend.

  • The Harry Potter author is getting a ton of deserved backlash, including from GLAAD.

Yesterday, J.K. Rowling felt the need to hop on Twitter and fire off several transphobic tweets in the middle of Pride Month, and at a time when the country/world is protesting racial injustice. The Harry Potter author shared an article called "Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate," and was apparently hung up on the phrase "people who menstruate."

"I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out," she said. "Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

She then added the following:

"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."

Rowling's tweets understandably sparked a lot of backlash on Twitter, with comments like "How can someone who had enough imagination to write one of the best selling fantasy novels have such a narrow mind?" and "Women are not defined by their periods." Here's a sampling with some important explanations as to why J.K. Rowling is straight-up wrong:

Meanwhile, GLAAD tweeted "JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people." The organization also suggested followers support a list of orgs that support help Black trans people.

Here's to hoping J.K. Rowling spends less time tweeting and more time educating herself.

Here are guides for how to demand justice right now, how to find mental health resources if you're a Black woman, how to talk to your relatives about Black Lives Matter, how to spot a fake protest story, and how to protest safely.

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