The Body Shop calls out JK Rowling over 'transphobic' menstruation tweet

Company offers to send Rowling copy of Trans Rights 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 10 June 2020 22:32
JK Rowling in lengthy explanation over transgender comments

The Body Shop has called JK Rowling out for a “transphobic” comment the author made about menstruation.

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

The tweet, which many perceived to be “transphobic,” as cisgender women are not the only ones who menstruate, sparked widespread backlash on social media, prompting Rowling to further elaborate on her views in a lengthy open letter published on Wednesday.

In response to the author’s tweet about menstruation, The Body Shop tweeted a photo of a red canvas bag reading: “It’s bloody natural. #DropThePWord to end period shame” with the caption: “Hey @JK_Rowling here's something we made earlier, we thought you might like one! We've also popped in a vegan bath bomb and a copy of Trans Rights by @paisleycurrah for you to read in the bath!”

While The Body Shop’s tweet appeared to be in support of transgender rights, the statement was met with criticism on social media as many accused the company of “bullying” Rowling.

“Wow, that’s appalling. Bullying a woman online is not a good look,” one person tweeted.

Another said: “What an incredibly unprofessional tweet from a supposedly ethical organisation.”

Others suggested the company was making light of Rowling’s admission that she is a survivor of abuse and sexual assault, which she described in her open letter.

“I’ve been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor,” the author wrote, in part. “This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember.”

According to some customers, The Body Shop’s response was “tone-deaf” and appeared to “mock” Rowling’s past abuse, especially considering the timing of the company's tweet came just hours after the author's admission.

“Hey, everyone, The Body Shop thinks women talking about surviving domestic abuse is something to mock. What a look, eh?” one person tweeted.

“A woman writes about surviving domestic violence and you respond with mockery and sarcasm?” another person responded.

However, others have applauded the company for standing up for the transgender community.

“Thank You for saying it like it is. Menstruation doesn't = woman/womanhood. We are not our bodies, we are more than that,” one person tweeted. “The transphobia in some of these comments is so disgusting.”

Another said: “The Body Shop calls JK Rowling out for her transphobia and people get angry? This. This is the issue people. People support the rights of a white woman punching down at an oppressed minority and think they're being feminist. This is how pervasive transphobia is.”

The Independent has contacted The Body Shop for comment.

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