Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is in hot water after defending a researcher who was fired for writing transphobic tweets.
Rowling tweeted on Thursday stating that she stands with Maya Forstater, the tax expert who lost her job at a thinktank after tweeting that transgender women cannot change their biological sex.
"Dress however you please," Rowling wrote. "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"
Dress however you please.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
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
After the tweet, which clearly disappointed many fans, Rowling's name began trending along with the term TERF, which stands for trans exclusive radical feminist. Many people, including the Human Rights Campaign organization, began decrying her defense of Forstater as anti-transgender.
Trans women are women.— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) December 19, 2019
Trans men are men.
Non-binary people are non-binary.
CC: JK Rowling.
I’m not here to cancel JK Rowling as a person and stoke mob outrage. I’m just here to educate and inform. Trans rights are human rights and trans women are women. Also, white feminism can sometimes intersect with trans exclusion or white supremacy, which is unjust.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 19, 2019
Yup. And for JKR to write a book series about someone who is hunted/persecuted due to a core aspect of their identity & about the importance of finding a supportive community in the face of ignorance and persecution—then to not get how damaging TERF ideology is... So depressing. https://t.co/FgiyL0ehHE— Mo Ryan (@moryan) December 19, 2019
Tired: Dumbledore is gay but there’s no evidence in any of the books.— Camp as Christmas (@Philip_Ellis) December 19, 2019
Wired: JK Rowling is a full-blown TERF and she’s saying it with her chest. pic.twitter.com/jC2j7UNZx6
I and every other cis person have so much to learn/do to support the LGBTQIA+ community. I learned every damn thing I know from friends and allies in the Harry Potter fandom, a community we built with stories & lessons from JK Rowling, who somehow continues to not fucking get it— Proma (@promawhatup) December 19, 2019
Over the years, there's been concern that Rowling holds anti-transgender views, after she was criticized for liking transphobic tweets. This latest incident seemed to confirm to many that the beloved book author is using her platform to highlight these views.
On Wednesday, The Guardian reported that a judge ruled Forstater's opinions were "absolutist" and did "not have the protected characteristic of philosophical belief."
"I conclude from … the totality of the evidence, that [Forstater] is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment," the judge said. "The approach is not worthy of respect in a democratic society."