JK Rowling slammed for liking tweet branding the use of antidepressants 'lazy'

JK Rowling slammed for liking tweet branding the use of antidepressants 'lazy'

There seems to be a bit of a pattern in JK Rowling's social media presence, when it comes to comments about trans people at least.

She'll make a tiny move – something most people would never even notice – but because she's a huge global celebrity with 14.4 million followers, people pick up on it. After they interpret it to mean what it seems to mean, Rowling then posts some kind of lengthy statement to try and justify her views by confusing people with conflicting information.

This is what happened yet again yesterday, after she was called out for liking a tweet posted on Saturday.

The tweet was posted by a user named "Sophie", who claims in their bio that: "I do not identify as a woman, I identify WITH women".

It's unclear what that means, but it seems like an intentional subversion of trans-inclusive language for the purposes of dogwhistling, especially given Sophie's profile also reads "#IStandWithJKRowling".

Rowling later goes on to imply that Sophie is trans, but we were unable to find evidence of her identifying as such, although there are some tweets in which they discuss taking hormones themselves, but also claim they are "not a gender" and that they do no "claim fantastical feats like changing sex or a new gender", which are typically talking points of so-called gender-critical feminism (which to many people sounds a lot like transphobia).

Sophie's tweet said: "Hormone prescriptions are the new antidepressants. Yes they are sometimes necessary and lifesaving, but they should be a last resort – not the first option. Pure laziness for those who would rather medicate than put in the time and effort to heal people’s minds."

The idea that being trans is somehow a mental health condition that needs to be "healed", is deeply offensive to trans people, and worryingly reminiscent of the way homophobia used to manifest (and often still does) in people who believe queerness can be "cured".

But many pointed out this is also extremely offensive to people who take antidepressants are somehow doing so out of "laziness".

People directed her towards the American Psychiatric Association, which states that antidepressants are recommended as "an initial treatment choice" for people with depression, and asked her to back up the claim she appeared to like which claimed they should be a "last resort".

The World Health Organization states that antidepressants shouldn't be the first line of treatment in "mild" cases or cases in children, but stresses that they can be "an effective form of treatment for moderate-severe depression".

Regardless, the suggestion that people who take medication for depression are "lazy" is highly offensive, as is the suggestion that being trans is a mental health condition which can be "cured". Trans people do not take hormones to be "cured of transness", they do so in order to affirm their gender.

People began tweeting Rowling, presumably flooding her mentions with tweets sharing their personal experiences, both of mental health issues and gender-affirming hormone therapy.

In response to heavy criticism, Rowling posted an 11-tweet thread where she attempted to explain her view. Although it really didn't do much to redeem her in the eyes of critics, especially as she kicked it off my saying that while she's "ignored porn tweeted at children on a thread about their art," she won't ignore perfectly valid and respectful criticism of her comments towards mental health. It seems like a strange take for someone who keeps claiming that we should think of the children.

In the series of tweets she begins by explaining that she has taken anti-depressants herself, but doesn't explain why she categorised them as a "lazy" treatment for mental health issues.

She then makes the thoroughly debunked claim that "young people struggling with their mental health are being shunted towards hormones and surgery". Medical transition both in the UK and the US is incredibly difficult to access.

What we're seeing instead is more representation of trans people which allows young people to better understand what gender identity looks like and being supported in their experience just as cis people already are.

She goes on to compare gender affirming (read: life-saving) treatment for trans people to "conversion therapy", calls it an "easy fix" and closes out by saying that she doesn't "care much" about anyone's opinion of her.

Lots of people pointed out that there are many many causes which would be served by her using her platform.

And that by posting a screenshot of the original post along with the user's handle, she was inciting bullying towards the user.

People also pointed out that if we're going to compare apples and oranges, it's worth noting that antidepressants have more side-effects than puberty blockers do.

People really really couldn't get over the "I ignored porn sent to children" point...

The latest instalment of JK Rowling spreading offensive narratives around trans people comes just days after Harry Potter fan sites distanced themselves from the author for voicing "harmful and disproven beliefs about what it means to be a transgender person”

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