JK Rowling has responded to transphobic remarks attributed to her saying that she made the tweets in part due to her personal experience as a sexual assault and domestic abuse survivor. The famed author was addressing criticism of her response to a written piece published by an online magazine linked with the people who menstruate.
In a lengthy blog, she revealed that her interest in trans issues originated from her personal experiences as a victim of domestic and sexual abuse and having concerns around single-sex spaces. Actor Daniel Radcliffe was among the host of people that criticized and opposed the idea of Harry Potter author.
Rowling, in a blog published on Wednesday explained the five reasons that pushed her to talk jump into the controversy. These involved her interest in “both education and safeguarding” and “freedom of speech”.
Explaining her final reason, she wrote: “I have been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about begin a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor. This is not because I am ashamed those things happened to me, but because they are traumatic to revisit and remember. I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage. I didn’t want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too.”
“However, a short while ago, I asked her how she would feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life and she encouraged me to go ahead. I am 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 have been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter and Eddie Redmayne of Fantastic Beasts movies have both criticized the author for her comments directed towards trans community. Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the Potter series, said: “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they are not who they say they are.”
The controversy surfaced last weekend, when Rowling replied to a post title on an online magazine site mentioning “people who menstruate”.
“I am sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”, she tweeted. Ms. Rowling received the backlash for her comments but she said she stood by her statement, adding it “isn’t hate to speak the truth”.
“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,” she replied to the criticism through another tweet.
“My life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it is hateful to say so. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.”
In December last year, Ms. Rowling backed and researcher who was dismissed after tweeting that transgender people cannot change their biological sex. In the blog post on Wednesday, the writer speaking her mind said:
“We are living through the most misogynistic period I’ve experienced. Back in the 80’s, I imagined that my future daughters, should I have any, would have it far better than I ever did, but between the backlash against feminism and a porn-saturated online culture, I believe things have got significantly worse for girls. Never have I seen women denigrated and dehumanized to the extent they are now.”