JK Rowling has once again sparked fury online for her comments on trans rights, after she responded to a report that Police Scotland was recording the gender of rape suspects based on their gender identity.
The force said it would log crimes as having been carried out by a woman if the accused person wishes to be identified as one - regardless of whether they have legally changed gender.
Commenting on a story published by The Times, the author – known for penning the Harry Potter and Strike novels – referenced and updated line from the dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell.
“War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The penised individual who raped you is a woman.”
It isn’t the first time that Rowling has come under fire for her stance on the matter. She previously expressed support online for researcher Maya Forstater – who lost her job at a think tank for “offensive and exclusionary” language – and criticised the use of the phrase ‘people who menstruate’.
“I’m sure there used to be a word for these people. Someone help me out,” the author tweeted in June 2020.
Weeks later, activist Kenny Ethan Jones responded to the post and said: “Not all women menstruate, and not all people who menstruate are women.”
Can we stop ignoring the fact that sex, like gender, is a spectrum. Stop invaliding people based on bodily parts an… https://t.co/xm7ScKJPjd
— Kenny Ethan Jones (@Kenny Ethan Jones)
In 2018, an article for Refinery29 explained that women don’t experience periods “for many different reasons”.
“Some may undergo early menopause, some have had hysterectomies for medical issues. Some may be transgender, some suffering from eating disorders.
“The reasons women don’t have periods can be complicated and diverse, but don’t take away from one central fact: period or no period, if you identify as a woman, you are a woman,” writers Jess Commons and Bex Day said.
Stars of the Harry Potter films such as Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have come out in support of trans people in the wake of the writer’s remarks.
Ms Rowling’s latest comments, along with the Times article she referenced, have since been condemned by trans people and allies:
@jk_rowling My abuser was a sax player from Texas. And yes, PTSD can leave victims with triggers and associations b… https://t.co/Oue6dxuuRW
J.K. Rowling's new, uh, truth bomb is that women can't be rapists or sexual assailants. How surprising. I really do… https://t.co/13BJr99PBG
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈)
But the author has also received support for her comments, including from controversial conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and Labour MP Rosie Duffield, whose “transphobic”remarks led to two of her staffers quitting their jobs last year:
Call me and my sisters what you want, sideline me all you like, I still won't be silent when things like this happe… https://t.co/VoqQJnYcK1