Rowling's Row with Trans Supporters Continues with Deleted Tweet

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday June 30, 2020

"Harry Potter" author JK Rowling's Twitter tiff with trans people and their supporters seemingly continued with the deletion of a tweet in which Rowling had thanked American horror author Stephen King after King retweeted one of Rowling's comments, UK newspaper The Independent reports.

The Independent noted that:

Rowling shared a quote from the late feminist and writer Andrea Dworkin about how men treat women's opinions as if they are "acts of violence", in a post that must have resonated with King, who retweeted it on his own feed.

That retweet earned King thanks from Rowling, who sent out the following on Twitter:

"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."

But that moment of gratitude seemingly evaporated, along with Rowling's tweet thanking King, when King subsequently offered his own support for the transgender community, declaring that "Trans women are women."

The ongoing Twitter war started earlier this month when Rowling sent out tweets critical of an essay that referred to "people who menstruate," evidently meaning cisgender women.

Tweeted Rowling:

"I'm sure there used to be a word for those people," the famous British author tweeted. "Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

In a separate tweet, Rowling opined:

"If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn't hate to speak the truth."

Rowling followed up with:

I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I'd march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so."

Others evidently disagreed. GLAAD came out against Rowling's comments, stating, "JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans." A number of actors who have starred in films based on Rowling's works publicly disagreed with the author, including "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe.

In a June 10 blog post, Rowling doubled down, writing:

"I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode 'woman' as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it."

The controversy has even affected Rowling's as-yet-unpublished book, "The Ickabog." According to reports, Millennial staffers at "Harry Potter" Rowling's publisher, Hachette, have said that they may not be willing to continue working on that upcoming title.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.