Early in June 2020, the tweets that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling sent about the transgender community caused a lot of trouble. Fans and stars like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Eddie Redmayne have spoken out against her because of how she feels. Here’s all the information you need:
Just What Did J.K. Rowling Say?
Rowling retweeted an opinion piece about “people who menstruate” on June 6, 2020. She seemed to be upset that the story didn’t use the word “women.” “‘Women who have periods.'” I’m sure there was a word for those people in the past. Help me out, please. Wumben?
That first tweet got a lot of negative feedback, but Rowling didn’t back down. Instead, she wrote more about her views. “Same-sex attraction doesn’t exist if sex isn’t real. If sex isn’t real, women around the world can’t live their lives. I know and love trans people, but taking away the idea of sex makes it hard for many of them to talk about their lives in a meaningful way.
“Telling the truth isn’t hateful,” she wrote on Twitter. “It’s nonsense to say that women like me, who have been sympathetic to trans people for decades because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women, i.e. to male violence, “hate” trans people because they think sex is real and has real consequences.
She went on to say, “I respect the right of every trans person to live in any way that makes them feel true to themselves and comfortable. I would march with you if you were treated badly because you were trans. At the same time, being a woman has changed my life. I don’t think it’s mean to say that.”
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“This isn’t an easy piece to write, and I’ll explain why in a bit, but I know it’s time to explain myself on a topic that’s full of negativity. I don’t want to add to that poison by writing this,” she wrote. “For those who don’t know, I tweeted my support for Maya Forstater, a tax expert who lost her job because of tweets that were seen as “transphobic.”
She took her case to an employment tribunal and asked the judge to decide if a philosophical belief that biology decides sex is protected by the law. Judge Tayler said it was not.”
Rowling says that she learned about trans issues when she was doing research for a character she was writing. Rowling also gave “five reasons why the new trans activism should worry us.” Read the whole thing here.
The Fans’ Anger:
Rowling’s first tweets and the ones she sent after that made a lot of trans activists and Harry Potter fans angry. Many of these people had found comfort in the story of an outsider finding a place where they fit in.
How Celebrities and The Business World Reacted:
Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, was the first star from the series to talk about Rowling’s comments. He did so through the Trevor Project.
“I know that some news outlets will probably try to make this look like J.K. Rowling and I are fighting with each other,” he said. “But that’s not what this is about, and it’s not what’s important right now. Even though Jo is definitely to blame for the way my life has turned out, I feel compelled to say something now as someone who has been honored to work with and contribute to The Trevor Project for the last ten years and just as a person.
Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary takes away the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all the advice given by professional health care associations that know much more about this topic than Jo or I do. The Trevor Project says that 78 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth have been discriminated against because of their gender identity. It’s clear that we need to do more to help transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not hurt them more.
He continued, “To all the people who now feel that their experience with the books has been ruined or lessened. I’m sorry that these comments have hurt you so much. I really hope you don’t forget everything you liked about these stories…. I don’t think anyone can beat that. It means what it means to you, and I hope that these comments won’t change that too much.”
Watson, who played Hermione Granger, also spoke up for transgender people. “Trans people are who they say they are, and they deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are. In a series of tweets, she told her trans followers, “I want you to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you, and love you for who you are.” “I give money to @mamacash and @Mermaids Gender. If you can, you might be more likely to do the same. Happy #PRIDE2020 Sending love x.”
(Watson has also been in trouble in recent months. Some people said she didn’t do enough to support Black Lives Matter when she first posted black squares on Instagram in early June 2020 but didn’t say anything about the cause.
Ron Wesley was played by Grint, and he also made a statement in response to Rowling’s essay.
“I stand with the trans community and agree with what many of my peers have said,” she said. Trans women are women. Grint told the Sunday Times on Friday, June 12, 2020, that trans men are men. “Everyone should be able to live in love and without being judged.”
Also, Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, Ron Grint’s sister on screen, spoke out on Twitter. “If Harry Potter made you feel loved and like you belonged, that love is endless and yours to take without question or judgment. Transwomen are Women. She wrote, “I see you and love you, Bonnie x.”
Redmayne gave a long statement to Variety. He was in Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts series and played a transgender woman in The Danish Girl.
“Respect for transgender people is still a cultural must, and I’ve been trying to learn more about them over the years. “This is a process that never ends,” he said. “As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and trans people, I wanted to be very clear about where I stand.” I don’t agree with what Jo said. Trans women are women, trans men are men, and nonbinary identities are also valid.
I would never claim to speak for the community as a whole, but I do know that my transgender friends and coworkers are tired of being asked about their identities over and over again, which often leads to violence and abuse. They just want to live their lives in peace, and now is the time to let them.
How Does Stephen King Fit Into This?
After the famous horror writer Stephen King tweeted in support of trans women, J.K. Rowling is said to have deleted a tweet in which she gushed about Stephen King.
Here’s what seemed to happen: King sent a message from Rowling’s account to his own followers. “Andrea Dworkin wrote, ‘Men often respond to women’s words, both spoken and written, as if they were violent acts, and sometimes they are.'” On June 28, 2020, Rowling sent a tweet. “It’s not hateful for women to talk about their own lives, and they don’t deserve to be shamed for doing so.”
In response, Rowling praised the author in a tweet that has since been deleted. Us Weekly says that she tweeted, “I’ve always admired @StephenKing, but today my love for him reached, maybe not Annie Wilkes levels, but new heights.” “It’s so much easier for men to ignore or dismiss women’s concerns, but I’ll never forget the men who spoke up when they didn’t have to. Stephen, thank you.”
But when a fan asked King how he felt about Rowling’s transphobic comments, King said, “Trans women are women.” Fans on Twitter and Us Weekly say that Rowling deleted her tweet about King soon after it was sent.
Almost a year later, King talked about what happened and said that Rowling also blocked the famous author on Twitter after his tweet. “Jo got rid of me,” the 73-year-old said in an interview with The Daily Beast that came out on May 20, 2021. “She kind of cut me off and all that.
“Here’s the thing: She’s free to say what she thinks,” King said, referring to Rowling’s comments about transgender women. “I just thought that what she thought was wrong. We have different ideas, but that’s just the way it is.”
What Will happen with The Rant in July 2020?
On July 5, 2020, a Twitter user called Rowling out for liking a tweet that compared hormone therapy to antidepressants. Rowling then went on another rant on social media.
“I’ve ignored fake tweets that people said were from me, and I’ve used a lot. On a thread about kids’ art, I have ignored pornographic tweets sent to them. I’ve ignored threats of death and rape. “I won’t forget about this,” Rowling wrote. “You cross a line when you lie about what I think about mental health medications and when you misrepresent the views of a trans woman I admire and stand with.”
She went on to say, “Many health professionals are worried that young people with mental health problems are being pushed toward hormones and surgery when this may not be in their best interests.” Many, including myself, think that we are seeing a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being put on a lifelong path of medicalization that may cause them to lose their fertility and/or full sexual function.
She seemed to question the use of hormones once more. “The health risks of cross-sex hormones have been studied for a long time,” she wrote on Twitter. “Trans activists often play down or deny these side effects… None of that should bother you or make you doubt your own rightness. But if that’s the case, I can’t act as I care much what you think of me.”
On September 14, 2020, an early review of her most recent book, Trouble Blood, caused another round of outrage. Reports say that the book is about a detective looking for a cis male serial killer who dresses as a woman to find and kill cis women. According to Pink News, a review in The Telegraph called it a “book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress.”
People had thoughts, of course. In fact, #RIPJKRowling started to be used a lot very quickly. One user wrote, “She thinks she’s a martyr, and this is her suicide mission.”
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Hagrid’s actor is one of the few from the Harry Potter world to stand up for Rowling. “I don’t really think what she said was rude. According to the Standard, he told Radio Times, “I don’t know why, but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang out waiting to be offended.” “They probably wouldn’t have won the war, right? That’s me talking like a cranky old man, but you just think, Oh, get over yourself. “Get smart, straighten up, and go on.”
On Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson gave the best answer to the whole thing. Davidson joined SNL’s “Weekend Update” on October 10, 2020, to talk about the summer’s controversy. He has a Harry Potter tattoo that he now seems to regret.
“I wish I could go back to when she was young and the worst thing she did was make those Fantastic Beasts movies,” he joked. “There was no favoritism there; those movies hurt us all the same.”
Eddie Izzard Says Good Things About Rowling:
In an interview with The Telegraph, the comedian, who said in December 2020 that she is gender-fluid and prefers the pronouns “she” and “her,” said, “I don’t think J.K. Rowling is transphobic. I think we should check out what she has written in her blog. Throughout history, women have been through so much hell.
Trans people have also been hidden. I hate the idea that we are fighting among ourselves, but it can’t be fixed by waving a magic wand. I don’t know every answer. If people don’t agree with me, that’s fine, but why are we making this so hard?”
There might be a new Harry Potter TV show, and some fans aren’t happy about it. In January 2021, there were rumors that HBO Max was “in the early stages of developing” a Harry Potter TV show. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service and Warner Bros. said this wasn’t true, but fans are still talking about it. And not all of them like the idea of Rowling making money off of a show that might never happen.
Rowling Has Been Receiving Death Threats:
In response to someone who said, “I hope you get a nice pipe bomb in the mail,” she said, “To be fair, there’s really only one place to go when you can’t get a woman fired, arrested, or dropped by her publisher, and canceling her only made her book sales go up.”
“Hundreds of trans activists have threatened to beat, rape, kill, and bomb me. I’ve come to realize that this movement is in no way dangerous to women.”
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