JK Rowling is being chastised on social media for a new “transphobic” tweet.
On Sunday (12 December), the Harry Potter author tweeted a link to a news story by The Times titled “Absurdity’ of police logging rapists as women” with a caption many have deemed “upsetting and disappointing”.
Police Scotland recently announced that they will record rapes based on the attacker’s gender identity.
Reacting to the news, JK Rowling tweeted: “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penis-ed Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.”
Subsequently, long-time Harry Potter fans, many of whom are members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies, called the author out for implying that “real women aren’t rapists” and “punching down” at a historically marginalised community.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.
The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.https://t.co/SyxFnnboM1
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 12, 2021
Podcast host Rob Rousseau replied to JK Rowling’s tweet: “You literally have a castle and you spend your time doing this”
Noting the ambiguous definition of what constitutes rape in the UK, American YouTuber Kat Blaque tweeted: “Are the only people capable of rape and sexual assault men? Would you define rape solely by penetration? Is sexual violence inherently male?”
Twitter user Charlotte Reigh said: “I never EVER thought I’d see your name & feel anything but magic. But now I see it and I groan and think, ‘Oh, God, what horrible thing did she say about trans people now?’ Please just stop. We’re begging you! It’s so hurtful to people. Please stop causing pain.”
it’s remarkable that she’s doing the “real women aren’t rapists” thing in the middle of ghislaine’s trial https://t.co/BXjkHVnycZ
— (@Liv_Agar) December 13, 2021
JK Rowling began trending in the UK after her tweet was retweeted over 12,000 times and liked over 48,000 times.
In June last year, JK Rowling sparked outrage for posting a series of tweets about menstruation that critics labelled “transphobic”. Taking offence at an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”, she tweeted: “’People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
While many Twitter users supported JK Rowling, there were others – including numerous celebrities like Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness and Harry Potter stars Katie Leung and Rupert Grint – who criticised her comment as “anti-trans”, arguing that transgender, non-binary and non-gender conforming people can also menstruate.
The author’s 2020 novel Troubled Blood also became the subject of controversy last year, as the book centres around a cisgender male serial killer who fetishises women’s clothing, and in one instance in the book, disguises himself as a woman to trick the person he is abducting. Activists said the book’s anti-trans plot line could be harmful to the community.
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
In 2019, Rowling came out in support of researcher Maya Forstater, a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development who was fired for tweeting anti-trans comments like “men cannot change into women”.
At the time, JK Rowling condemned that Forstater was being “forced” out of her job for stating that “sex is real”.