Talking About Past Abuse By Husband, J.K. Rowling Responds To Critics With Essay After Transphobic Tweets
J.K. Rowling responded to backlash she has been receiving over transphobic tweets in a 3,800 word essay posted on her personal webpage.
She discussed her viewpoint on those who identify as transgender from her perspective as a sexual assault survivor. There have been allegations that Rowling’s ex-husband had abused her, but Rowling herself had never previously confirmed them until now.
Rowling wrote, “I’ve been in the public eye now for over twenty 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’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.”
Rowling revealed her belief to be that birth sex should be separate from gender and states that she is not transphobic. Many believe, however, that this view in itself is anti-trans.
She said, “I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it. I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single-sex spaces … I’ve read all the arguments about femaleness not residing in the sexed body, and the assertions that biological women don’t have common experiences, and I find them, too, deeply misogynistic and regressive … Women [are told they] must accept and admit that there is no material difference between trans women and themselves … But, as many women have said before me, ‘woman’ is not a costume.”
Rowling’s defense comes after she tweeted a controversial article on Twitter along with the caption, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud? Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Rowling has been facing critics since her tweet on June 6.