JK Rowling deleted a tweet thanking Stephen King after he said ‘trans women are women’

2017 BAFTA Awards - Arrivals

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 The “Harry Potter” creator — who has come under fire for her alleged anti-trans rhetoric — rescinded a virtual compliment from author Stephen King, 72, who tweeted in support of trans people this weekend.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.

[From The NY Post]

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.

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.

J K Rowling at arrivals for 51st Annual...

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid and Avalon Red.

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88 Responses to “JK Rowling deleted a tweet thanking Stephen King after he said ‘trans women are women’”

  1. lola says:

    She should have given Voldemort her birthday and not Harry.

  2. GossipLover says:

    Wow, what a petty, cruel, hateful woman. As an aspiring author I feel so sad that I used to look up to her. 🙁

  3. Tanguerita says:

    At this point I honestly think she is not well. I don’t remember the last time we’ve witnessed this kind of self-destructive behavior from a prominent person – not on drugs. It’s like an itch that she keeps scratching, only that she is covered in bloody sores now.

    • Ana Maria says:

      …I also think she is not well, that this mess could be a sign of something else, perhaps some illness

      • Melody Calder says:

        I agree in that I think there is something else here. I can think of several cases where people who were avid, vocal advocates against the lgbtq community ended up themselves being gay or something in the spectrum. Ted Haggard immediately comes to mind for one. Is orientation she herself or someone close to her is struggling with? She has kids? Maybe I’m wrong but this is beyond just a public stance and verging into self loathing and self destructive behavior

    • Tiffany says:

      So we are still doing this.

      She is a awful, entitled person. Period.

      • lola says:

        This. We should just accept that she’s an asshole and not try to find any excuses for her.

      • Tanguerita says:

        Oh, absolutely. She is abhorrent, despicable person that is cancelled from here to the end of the world. That being said – she’s always been a decent business woman. What she is doing now is Katie Hopkins level of stupid. Like, I want someone to finally sue me – stupid.

      • Seán says:

        It’s just so out of character from how she was a few years ago. She was always so supportive of such causes and only a few years ago said all LGBT people are accepted at Hogwarts. Even though she gets flak for it, saying Dumbledore was gay back in 2007 was a big deal, a lot of progress has been made since then and even still in 2020, LGBT characters hardly ever appear in media directed at children and pre-teens.

        It seems as though in the last 2 years, Rowling has made a U-turn from the person she was in the public eye for 20 years and has gone of the deep end. That’s why people are concerned and wonder if something is going on. Anyone who’s read the Harry Potter books could see that intolerance and prejudice were highly condemned and now Rowling is acting like the villain in her stories.

      • R. says:

        @Tiffany. Yes! She’s alway been self-righteous, but it’s gotten worse over the years. To the point she’s endangering trans lives.

      • Deedee says:

        To Sean; yes, her stance is truly troubling, for if I got nothing more out of HP, the one thing that stood out was that intolerance should not be tolerated.

      • anon says:

        @Tiffany: Some people ALWAYS do this when it comes to white privileged women, theres always a simpathetic excuse.

    • Mich says:

      I’ve wondered the same thing. It is natural to want to give someone you used to admire an ‘out’. On the other hand, she just might be a bigoted, hateful b*tch. At the end of the day, she is trying to cause real harm.

      • Tanguerita says:

        I’ve never admired her and it’s not my objective to give her an “out”. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see her crash and burn, being shunned by everyone and end up broke and alone. An asshole with a mental illness is still an asshole. But most people who had made it as far as she has, usually show a certain level of self-preservation. I don’t know if you or anyone here remembers that strange story about Brandon Truaxe, the founder of Deciem who literally destroyed his life’s work in a matter of a year. He was a very problematic person and when his mental illness caught up with him he could no longer hide his views and it had cost him first his business and ultimately his life.

      • KL says:

        @Tanguerita

        “But most people who had made it as far as she has, usually show a certain level of self-preservation.”

        I agree, and I think I understand where you’re coming from. But I also think you might be over-estimating how ACCEPTED these views are in the U.K., especially in feminist academic circles. Rowling moves in these circles, given her activism on social media and real life philanthropy. It’d be so easy for her to build up a bulwark of like-minded people and then believe any pushback she receives is some kind of fringe element. (I want to stress how very bad the transphobia is in the U.K. without somehow giving the impression the U.S. is some kind of utopia. Certain people in her mentions congratulating her “bravery” are known figures in “lesbian activism” in the U.S. Transphobia exists everywhere, but people I trust assure me the sheer openness about it is on another level in he U.K.)

        Also, Rowling is more financially and creatively secure now than at any other point in her career, despite the fact her work peaked in popularity years ago. Now she has direct control over scripts of new movies, and she has a PRODUCER credit in all the new movies, something she didn’t get until the last Harry Potter film. She is no longer at anyone’s behest, be it a movie studio or a publisher. Writers are rarely (if EVER) in control of their product once it becomes a movie/theme park phenomenon, and it’s taken her this long to manage it. Now is the time when she she can say and do as she please, and yet people will still have to deal with her if they still want those money-making projects to continue. To me, given that and given the hints of these attitudes people have unearthed in her work going back years, that speaks to cold calculation rather than instability.

    • whybither says:

      or maybe she just an asshole and finally high enough/rich enough to not give a fuck and air her real personality?

      • Tanguerita says:

        I don’t agree about not giving a fuck, otherwise this whole giant self-own wouldn’t have happened, don’t you think? She fun-girled King, then deleted, then blocked him. Talk about public humiliation.

  4. JJ McClay says:

    For the life of me, I can’t understand why this is the hill she wants to die on.

    • lucy2 says:

      Me either – it’s strange to me that this would bother her THAT much – I don’t get why she’s so anti-trans, or why she’s doing it in such a public manner, when it is damaging her reputation and brand, and bringing a lot of negative publicity. But I guess bigotry isn’t real logical.

    • CuriousCole says:

      JJ – I came here to say the exact same thing. It’s confounding me because she’s supported gay rights before and made her fortune off something that teaches us not to accept intolerance.

    • calibration says:

      yeah, that’s what I keep wondering. The why of it all. I USED to love her but I just cannot at all anymore.

  5. Molly says:

    Conversion therapy (torture)?! What is going on with her?

    • Snazzy says:

      I know. This is shocking

    • SomeChick says:

      It really is torture. I have a friend who was forced into it (was under 18 so they did the whole kidnapping thing where burly dudes show up unexpectedly and drag you off in your pajamas in the middle of the night). Once someone turns 18, these places cannot legally hold them involuntarily altho they have been known to try.

      The place my friend was sent to did not stop short of physical abuse. It’s vile – needless to say, it also doesn’t work – and parents spend a fortune on it.

      Talk about a PTS inducing situation! I enthusiastically voted against conversion “therapy” when there was a proposed ban being considered in Cali. (It passed!)

      If JKR ever had any marbles to lose, they’re gone now. <- not an excuse!

    • Eugh says:

      She’s sick. Her pen name Robert Galbraith (Heath) is the originator of conversion therapy!

      • SomeChick says:

        WHAAAAAAT?! Whoa. That takes this to a whole new level.
        She has always thought that way. It IS on purpose. Damn.

      • Reece says:

        The multitude of curses I exclaimed after reading this would get me banned if I typed them out.

  6. Kiki says:

    I am really disappointed in JK Rowling, and tk think that I looked up to her for inspiration because she came from humble beginnings to becoming a famous author for children’s novels is remarkable. This is disheartening that she has to resort to insensitive behavior.

    • Esmom says:

      Not just resort to it but insist on it and double down on it again and again. I don’t get it. Disappointment is putting it mildly.

  7. Kay says:

    I think it’s fine to cancel her over her TERFness. But people are reaching when they criticize her books. There are plenty of POC in her books. Should she have named an Asian character Cho Chang? Probably not — but she lifted names for all her characters; it was possible she lifted Cho and Chang and named her that.

    • ethy says:

      There are not plenty of POC in her books LOL.

    • Tiffany says:

      Disagree. Her showing her ass justifies what problems that were there before and ignored.

    • Tanguerita says:

      Come on, her books are incredibly problematic: gender stereotyping, manipulative grown-ups that get celebrated, no LGBT+ Characters (no, Rowling making Dumbledore gay on twitter and after she earned all the money, doesn’t count), almost no non-white characters (and absolutely NONE of consequence). And they are badly written, but that’s beside the point.

      • bettyrose says:

        I’m not here to disagree with any of this, but Dumbledore wasn’t outed on twitter. It was a plot line in the final book. It was left out of the movie, so I sometimes wonder if people are only referring to the movies when they critique Harry Potter.

      • Tanguerita says:

        @bettyrose sorry, you are right, I completely forgot about it!

    • Yup, Me says:

      “Plenty of POC”? Your standards are entirely too low.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Plenty of POC?! What books were you reading?! Or do you think that a couple of Asian characters is “plenty”??

    • Market Street Minifig says:

      So at @Kay you wanted an opportunity to repeat the offensive character name and you did it not once but twice. Feel better?

  8. Girl_ninja says:

    Opposing conversion therapy? There is no end to we cruelty and close mindedness. Wow.

  9. Michael says:

    I always assumed she was a fairly left leaning, open minded person. I know she had a massive lack of diversity in her books but that did not surprise me. Now it almost seems like she is trying to destroy the image she built up all those years. I also am wondering if she was this person all along or if she has some emotional or mental issues

    • Erinn says:

      I lean towards the idea that she always had these thoughts, and just didn’t feel emboldened to share them before. I mean, just the way the that the whole “Dumbledoor is gay” thing came about. It was like ‘yeah, he’s gay, I just didn’t include it in the books’ and now it’s moved to ‘yeah he’s gay, but that movie that focuses relatively heavily on him won’t show that either’ – I feel like she’s never really cared that much about anyone who wasn’t a white, cis gendered person. The rest of society is more or less an afterthought to her.

  10. BlueSky says:

    JKR is an example of the problematic a-hole in this book I’m currently reading. A so called feminist but only fights for straight white women.

  11. OriginalLala says:

    Now she also supports conversion therapy?!?!? holy crap, this woman is sick. Also, as a Canadian she can kindly taker her anti-LGBTQ, trans-hating ass out of our politics.

    • Miss617 says:

      I think she just supports conversion therapy for trans kids and opposes this bill because it would ban that alongside banning gay conversion therapy. Either way, it’s disgusting.

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Maybe she’s not a real woman at all. She might be experimental AI.

  13. SM says:

    So petty. She will only praise the authors she admires only if their values and opinions align with her own. I hope she understands that it gives everyone else to block her and her work too.

  14. Tiffany says:

    So the very benefits that helped her leave abusive situation (she was on assistance that allowed her to sit in a cafe and draft the first HP while her children were at school) she does that want for trans men and women. Okay then.

    Next will come every non white person not receiving the same security, just you wait.

  15. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Imagine being this bigoted and hateful that you’re willing to blow up your entire legacy and reputation over it. JK is the ultimate rich white Karen who think because she’s rich and successful her opinions are valid. But I’ve BEEN knew she was trash back when she defended Johnny Depp and called Amber Heard a liar.

  16. Sigmund says:

    It is really shocking to see her show her true colors like this. I would never have expected this a few years ago.

  17. Mich says:

    My oldest friend’s child is trans. I watched that child struggle his whole life with his gender identity. The breast binding in his high school years led to some gruesome issues in our humid climate but that pain was more bearable than being trapped in the wrong body. My friend is a Christian Evangelical but she loves her child and understood he would likely commit suicide if his identity wasn’t approached with the respect and seriousness it deserved. The happiest I have ever seen that child (now a young adult) was when he woke up from his double mastectomy. He faces a lifetime of societal abuse and potential danger because of who he is and would be in far more peril if he was a trans woman. I have very, very nasty things to say about JK Rowling and her cruel, self-righteous hate campaign.

    • Tanguerita says:

      I just finished reading “The vanishing half” by Brit Bennett: one of the characters is trans and the topic is handled with such a tenderness and care, and deep understanding it had me in tears times and again. Rowling can go fuck herself. I’d be happy to never hear her name again.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I’m so happy to hear that your friend put her child’s well being (physical and mental) above her adherence/devotion to her religious rules. so many parents do not.

  18. Miss Grace Jones says:

    Transphobia is such an idiotic, nonsensical belief. Arguments about them being a danger to women or doing it for attention make zero sense if you take one look at their life expectancy.

  19. Mich says:

    Can I just add that JK Rowling, self-appointed protector of cis women, defended Johnny Depp vociferously.

  20. Chickaletta says:

    Why is JK so triggered by the notion of trans women being treated as women? Seriously. Has she explained what threatens her about that?

  21. Gutterflower says:

    What a garbage human.

  22. Michelle says:

    It was the happiest day for me to begin the HP series with my young daughter. We were halfway through and I decided to take a break to get some other books in our rotation. She’s asking to return to the books all the time and I feel like…I’m going to have to her we can’t return to this HP world. Or finish it and don’t bother to return when my son is old enough? Never watch the movies? How do I tell her something she loves isn’t something we can return to? I can barely tell myself. I only can because I’ve already had my years with it and fully understand now how awful Rowling is as a person. Any advice is appreciated.

    • Ennie says:

      Try not to support it buying stuff from the movies, or spending anymore money on it. I can listen and watch without paying, the problem with some fans is that they want memorabilia or going to The theme park, they pay to her, so nope, not supporting her.

      • Michelle says:

        Thank you to everybody who so thoughtfully responded to my question of how to continue reading HP with my kids. I agree especially with KL’s point to expose them to everything and discuss their thoughts and mine on what is acceptable to our values and not.

    • Annabel says:

      But… does an author have to be a decent person in order for you to love her books? I’m asking seriously. I write books for a living, and it’s always seemed to me that the relationship my readers have with my books has nothing to do with me. Like, if they love or hate my book, that’s between them and the book. I don’t really see myself as part of that equation.

      I find JK Rowling appalling as a human being, but her books have meant so much to so many people, and I personally wouldn’t hesitate to let my kids read them when they’re old enough. Although if they wanted to engage with her as a person (e.g. by sending her a fan letter) that would be a different story and we’d have to have a conversation about her awfulness.

      • The Recluse says:

        That’s a tough one. I’m a writer, too. Self-published via lulu.com and kindle.
        I guess it can come down to whether those questionable qualities show up as well in the books in a manner that clearly promotes them as a positive or attempts to reinforce old harmful stereotypes. And if these writers come from a previous era or century then their time has to be taken into account as well as their flaws. Looking at you, H.P.Lovecraft.
        I think i am going to give my Potter books away. I have already unfollowed Rowling.

    • KL says:

      Michelle, the absolute best thing you can do — and I don’t just mean making the best of a bad situation, but the absolute BEST — is to teach your children empathy and analytical thinking. They’re going to read a lot of good books by terrible people. They’re going to be inundated by political and social propaganda. You can’t shield them from all of it. It’d be so nice if you could! But it’s impossible. And it would make them dependent on you, in a way. It’s much better to give them their own tools. (You probably know all of this in your bones, I just want to reinforce it.)

      The Harry Potter books are rooted in empathy, despite their author. You can talk about them while you read them — not even punitively, like, “this is part is bad and we shouldn’t like it,” but to open up the freedom to discuss and critique something even when you love it. You can talk about your own opinions and ask for hers, you can be very clear how upset you are about Rowling’s stance when you feel your children are old enough to understand it. All of that will benefit them so much more than just being told they can’t get the opportunity to enjoy something that literally MILLIONS of people enjoy and use as a major cultural touchstone. I was brought up with kids who were barred from or forbidden a variety of what their parents saw as bad influences — it never quite works out as intended.

      In terms of more recommendations for those other books you’re rotating: Robin McKinley, Diana Wynne Jones, and Lloyd Alexander were my favorites as a kid. I haven’t read but hear wonderful things about the Percy Jackson and Series of Unfortunate events books, and their authors. I don’t think it’s at all an issue for your kids to love Harry Potter; I think a big issue is when people love any property to the exclusion of not only alternatives, but to the exclusion of questioning it or its author’s intentions.

      • ennie says:

        Exactly, we don’t know most of the deep secrets of many writers or important people in our history. I still love Edgar Allan Poe, despite his terrible troubled life and sins. Louise Marie acute seemed quite racist when she was describing the immigrant poor family, and still some of her characters are inspiring. Quite a few politicians my country’s history were good/great fro some things and terrible, awful in others. The winners write a different story. Nowadays any person with fingers write their thoughts and that makes terrible and god people come together. I am thankful for Stephen King, and others, and disappointed by Rowling, but I amthanful for Harry. Snape is a troubled horrible antihero, and his actions made me cry and love him while acknowledging that he was not a good person, Kylo Ren comes to mind. HE redeemed himself in a way, but it was not enough for him to earn a free life. He had to go, and these are characters.
        KL said it best upthread.

  23. Ennie says:

    I am nos ashamed that we share the same birthday. Still love Harry, and I think he’d support the oppressed no matter who they were.

  24. Ennie says:

    I don’t know why I can’t edit, should be I am NOW ashamed

  25. Sarah says:

    Although it’s tempting because HP means A LOT to a great many people (myself included), resist the urge to make any kind of excuses for Joanne. She has all the money in the world to seek out educators, therapists, PR, etc. She’s been showing us exactly who she is for a good while now. Believe her.

  26. Lively says:

    How can you have all the wealth and status that comes with it… yet go after such a small Group of people that face hate every day.
    Does she feel her “womanhood” is being take. Away ?? Like I really don’t understand her point.
    Just shut the hell up

  27. Rapunzel says:

    Transphobia, especially towards trans women, is based on fear. Women like JK have been raised to believe that men want to attack them, and the right wing media has them convinced trans women are men in a skirt who want to get in the ladies room to rape them.

    It’s part and parcel to that generation’s belief that women are natural victims of men and men are natural predators.

    • EditorM says:

      @Rapunzel An interesting take, that may be what is rattling through her head. I’m sorry to see her go out like this, though.

  28. Eugh says:

    I know everyone is on the same page here but Disclosure on Netflix was a really good documentary. I think only JK could watch this and not have any sympathy or clarity on the topic.

  29. Suzieq359 says:

    This is very personal for her. I think a man she was in love with left her for a trans woman and she can’t get beyond her personal hate.

  30. Veronica S. says:

    She’s either going through something and intentionally self-sabotaging or she’s just so wealthy and removed from reality now that’s it has completely gone to her head and removed her ability to function sensibly. Maybe both. Exhausting. Social media was a mistake to give some people.

  31. Liz version 700 says:

    She could walk away at any time and stop this discussion which continues to show how horrible she is, but she seems to be determined to stay in the spotlight and show her ugly every day. What a dreadful person.

  32. Maida says:

    Very happy to see Stephen King say unequivocally “trans women are women.” Rowling’s need to block him for doing so speaks volumes about her obsessiveness and victimization complex around this issue.

  33. Delphine says:

    You know how the biggest homophobes sometimes turn out to be gay? That’s the vibe I’m getting from JK. A couple things really stand out. She made a comment that if she could have transitioned into a man when she was younger she probably would have, and she seems particularly obsessed with trans men. Me thinks the queen doth protest too much and maybe she’s really a trans man but deeep in the closet and in denial.

    • Suzieq359 says:

      I had the same thought, too. Who knows she may havd even undergone the conversion therapy. Her response is just too personal and unwarranted.

  34. Kkat says:

    So she was always a TERF and told us by using the name Robert Galbraith

    Robert Galbraith Heath is the father of conversion therapy, there is no way that’s a coincidence

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