JK Rowling Condemns Police For Allowing Sexual Assault Suspects To ID As Female
After previously being in hot water for transphobic statements, Harry Potter author JK Rowling has once again caused controversy by slamming the decision of Scottish police to allow suspects of rape to identify as women. On Sunday, an article from The Times of London entitled “‘Absurdity’ of police logging rapists as women” was posted by Rowling to her Twitter account, which boasts a following of over 14 million users.
Above the link to the article, Rowling wrote “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman,” referencing George Orwell‘s dystopian science-fiction novel 1984. The article states “Police Scotland said that they would log rapes as being carried out by a woman if the accused person insists, even if they have not legally changed gender.” This move was reportedly in conjunction with proposed laws that would “make it easier for people to self-identify as whichever sex they want.”
Rowling received over sixteen thousand quote tweets to her post, which were primarily aggrieved replies from fans that accuse her of possessing an unhealthy fixation on trans issues. One such reply came from Twitter user @mimeisthai98, who asserted “You’re making it hard for people who claim you’re not transphobic, which, in the end, might not be bad.” Another exasperated response to the contentious post came from @jean_turgeon, claiming “I’ve been trying to defend you for a while. But I can’t anymore. You’re getting no more support from me.”
Nevertheless, the 56-year-old author gleaned a barrage of supportive replies from fans (including many noted feminists) that agreed with her position and commended her “courage.” Author Milli Hill wrote: “There are some areas in which biological sex matters, and rape stats are definitely one. Thank you for continuing to wake people up to these issues. #sexmatters.” Conversely, many replies lampooned the absurdity of the situation; shedding light on the manner Rowling chooses to utilize her massive platform. Rob Rousseau, producer and host of The Insurgents podcast tweeted: “You literally have a castle and you spend your time doing this.”
Rowling was first accused of transphobic remarks in June of 2020 when she mocked an article from Devex entitled “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.” She took to Twitter, remarking “People who menstruate, I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” Rowling has since been labeled as a TERF, or Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist, which is a term used to describe feminists that exclude the rights of transgender women from their advocacy of women’s rights.
Harry Potter star Emma Watson publicly opposed Rowling’s early anti-trans utterances, tweeting “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.” Additionally, Rowlings’ controversial views excluded her from being a part of HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts retrospective special.
In an interview with Good Housekeeping last year, Rowling stated that she has been flooded with supportive messages responding to her beliefs and that she received nonstop letters after speaking on trans issues. Despite the clear dissent expressed towards Rowling on Twitter, she asserts that over 90% of these messages and letters ” reportedly have been positive.”
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