JK Rowling came “out” as a TERF last year. That’s an acronym for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, also known as a white feminist who hates trans women and doesn’t think transgender people should be any kind of protected class, even knowing that transgender women are often targeted with violence, abuse and harassment. Rowling made her public entrance into TERFdom last year, but over the past month, she’s gone off the deep end. She ended up writing a despicable essay where she – a rich, cisgendered white woman – poured scorn on the very idea that transgender people might be more persecuted than her. She came across, to me, like an unhinged bully and a petulant a–hole twisting herself in knots to justify her increasingly nonsensical arguments about gender.
So what’s new? The basic gist is that Rowling, over the course of defending herself, quoted the late feminist writer Andrea Dworkin. Stephen King retweeted Rowling’s Dworkin quote, and Rowling sent him a tweet of thanks. When one of King’s followers asked him if he agreed with Rowling’s anti-transgender spiel, he said no and that trans women are women. And then… Rowling deleted her tweet thanking him and blocked King. *deep sigh*
J.K. Rowling’s Rolodex is getting smaller and smaller. The “Harry Potter” creator — who has come under fire for her alleged anti-trans rhetoric — rescinded a virtual compliment from author Stephen King, 72, who tweeted in support of trans people this weekend.
The exchange began when British Labour Party MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle claimed Rowling was using her experience with domestic abuse as a weapon against trans activism. Rowling, 54, found herself in hot water starting last December when she spoke out in support of Maya Forstater, a woman who claimed she was fired from her job for raising concerns about trans women using the women’s restroom. She later penned an essay defending her controversial stance that trans rights are overshadowing women’s “hard won sex-based rights.” In the essay, she revealed she had experience with the trauma of sexual assault and domestic abuse. In a nine-tweet diatribe to address Russell-Moyle’s accusations in Tribune Magazine — for which he later apologized — Rowling elaborated on her position.
“As I stated in my essay, my primary worry is the risks to vulnerable women. As everyone knows, I’m no longer reliant on communal facilities, nor am I likely to be imprisoned or need a women’s refuge any time soon. I’m not arguing for the privileged, but the powerless,” she tweeted Sunday.
She concluded the thread with a quote from feminist activist Andrew Dworkin: “Men often react to women’s words — speaking and writing — as if they were acts of violence; sometimes men react to women’s words with violence. It isn’t hateful for women to speak about their own experiences, nor do they deserve shaming for doing so.”
Soon after, King retweeted Dworkin’s quote, which apparently pleased Rowling.
“I’ve always revered @StephenKing, but today my love reached — maybe not Annie Wilkes levels — but new heights,” she wrote in a now-deleted tweet, Newsweek reports. “It’s so much easier for men to ignore women’s concerns, or to belittle them, but I won’t ever forget the men who stood up when they didn’t need to. Thank you, Stephen.”
Based on this interaction, fans of King soon asked him to clarify his stance on Rowling’s “TERF” — “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” — tweets. “Yes. Trans women are women,” King responded.
Author Jodi Picoult, who wrote “My Sister’s Keeper,” also entered the debate when a fan, in support of Rowling, asked her to weigh in. “Sorry … although I understand that women who experience trauma are indeed to be empathized with, I also believe that trans women are women — and if put into ‘male only’ spaces run a much greater risk of violence and death,” she tweeted.
I’m including a copy of the now-deleted tweet below. I’ll paraphrase several comments I saw from people a lot smarter than me: if Rowling was making an argument in good faith, why would she have deleted her tweet thanking Stephen King? He didn’t @ her and he didn’t criticize her directly. All he said was the same thing Eddie Redmayne and Daniel Radcliffe said: trans women are women. This is no longer an argument about Rowling’s rights as a cisgender woman or the rights of cisgender women in general (hint: it was never about that). It’s now about Rowling just being so transphobic that she deletes a tweet directed at another author because HE believes trans women are women. Oh, and she blocked King on Twitter too.
surely JK didn’t delete that pic.twitter.com/5MVQ7HGJC3
— inabber (@iNabber69) June 29, 2020
JK Rowling unfollowing Stephen King and deleting her tweets in support of him because he said trans women are women proves she is specifically anti-trans in case you were under the impression that someone who writes for a living was just badly explaining a fair point
— Sarah (@Sazem96) June 29, 2020
Also: JK Rowling supports conversion therapy. If you told me that she thinks gay kids should be locked in closets for years, I would believe you at this point.
JK Rowling just liked a tweet opposing a bill that will criminalise conversion therapy (both sexual orientation and gender identity) at the federal level in Canada.
If you were on the fence or thought people were overreacting before, now is the time to take a stand. pic.twitter.com/GQwUt9gug8
— Simon Whitten (@Simon_Whitten) June 29, 2020
Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid and Avalon Red.