JK Rowling criticised over ‘transphobic’ tweet about menstruation

'People who menstruate”. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,' says Harry Potter author

Olivia Petter
Monday 15 June 2020 12:04 BST
JK Rowling criticised over ‘transphobic’ tweet about menstruation.mp4

JK Rowling has sparked outrage over a series of tweets about menstruation that critics have labelled “transphobic”.

On Saturday, the Harry Potter author shared a link to an article titled: “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

Rowling commented: “’People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

The author’s remark was immediately met with a backlash from people calling her “transphobic” and pointing out that it’s not just cis-gendered women who menstruate.

“Trans Men who haven’t transitioned still menstruate.” one person pointed out.

Another added: “I know you know this because you have been told over and over and over again, but transgender men can menstruate.

“Non-binary people menstruate. I, a 37-year old woman with a uterus, have not menstruated in a decade. Women are not defined by their periods.”

Rowling followed up her tweet with another comment in which she criticised the idea that a person’s biological sex is not real.

“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. 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,” she wrote.

“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women — ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences — is a nonsense.”

Rowling added that she supports transgender rights and took issue with being labelled a “TERF”, a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

“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,” she wrote.

The LGBT+ rights organisation GLAAD responded to Rowling’s comments, explaining that the author’s tweets align her with ideologies that “willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people”.

GLAAD urged people who might be angry with Rowling for her comments to familiarise themselves with organisations that support black trans people, such as Black Trans US and UK Black Pride.

Rowling has been criticised for expressing similar opinions in the past.

In December, she sparked a backlash for supporting a researcher who lost her job after saying a person cannot change their biological sex

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