I don’t know if you all know this, but JK Rowling is an excellent writer. She has built fantasy universes and written about complex mysteries in her PI series which stand many tests of logic so she knows how to craft an idea that will stand up to scrutiny from readers.
THIS IS WHY SHE IS A VERY DANGEROUS TRANSPHOBE.
I am a cisgender woman and I don’t write about Transgender rights or Transgender experiences regularly, so I don’t want to try to be the Voice Of Calling Out JKR On Her Transphobia when so many better qualified people have done it before me. I suggest you read We The Mudbloods (which is written in several parts) and Andrew James Carter’s twitter thread if you want to see some well-documented responses to her Transphobia.
(NOTE: PLEASE READ THOSE AND THEIR REFERENCES IN THEIR ENTIRETY BEFORE DEBATING ME because they are filled with the sources I’ll use in any debate and so it’s easier to just skip the middle man.)
BUT. I do want to address it publicly again because this week she did something she rarely/never does. She promoted a product from a small business owner who…SURPRISE SURPRISE…also sells a bunch of transphobic shit. Here is JKR’s tweet:
And on the surface, BECAUSE SHE IS GOOD AT CRAFTING/WRITING, this seems like a good tweet and at first glance that store just sells a bunch of feminist stuff but then you dig deeper and you see all of these wonderful things.
Listen, she has a HUGE platform. She would NEVER promote a business without thoroughly vetting it. She doesn’t just tweet about things she buys every day, I’ve been following her since she’s been on Twitter (I mean, I don’t anymore…obviously) and she never just randomly promotes a business. THIS WAS DELIBERATE. This is her way of saying, “I support these ideas,” without coming out and claiming she hates Trans people because she keeps swearing she has tons of Trans friends who agree with her.
So many of these products reinforce the transphobic ideas and mentalities that cause transgender kids to have higher suicide rates than their cisgender counterparts. It angers me to the core of my being.
She also retweeted this recently:
Here’s the thing. On the surface, if you don’t follow a lot of Trans activists or know any Trans people or keep up with any Trans news, this sounds right. Like, “Oh man, big men on teams with small women is an injury waiting to happen!”
But there are a lot of reasons why this argument is dangerous to a lot of people, not just Transgender people. Here’s the thing, there are always going to be cisgender women who are bigger than their teammates. Women who were born with a vagina and identify as a woman so – to this guy and JKR – a “real” woman. (Ugg. I feel gross even typing that.) Now imagine that woman gets recruited to play rugby as a child because some coaches recognizes how helpful her size will be and she excels at the sport. But then, at some point in her athletic career, this guy is in charge of her rugby league. He sees how big she is and he says, “Are you really a woman?” and she says, “Yes.” What is he going to do to make her prove it?
The “defining gender by size” is a dangerous road to travel for ALL women. It’s just like the bathroom debate, trying to say that only cisgender women can use a women’s restroom…how are you going to prove that? And what if a Trans woman takes the very expensive and terrifying route to get gender affirming surgeries, then is she finally “allowed” to do things these people originally banned her from? Why HER? Just because she has the money and doesn’t mind the risk of those surgeries but her Trans female friend who is poor and scared of major surgery doesn’t deserve the same respect from society?
There are no statistics anywhere that support cisgender men faking being Transgender women at any rate worth sacrificing the health and safety of the 1.4 million adults (as of 2016 I believe) who identify as Transgender. There are no statistics anywhere that support the potential harm allowing a Transgender person to use the bathrooms of which they feel comfortable, that would counterbalance the damage of the opposite.
Not to mention how all of this messaging screws up the mental health of Transgender children and teens everywhere. ESPECIALLY COMING FROM THE AUTHOR OF THEIR FAVORITE BOOKS.
I actually added a sticker to my car in case there is ever a question of where I stand because I love Harry Potter, but I vehemently disagree with the author.
Ugg. I just find her Transphobia upsetting because it’s done so dangerously. She crafts her words and her responses in a way that makes someone who is not close to the issue think, she has a point. Which is why I keep using my platform to remind people that I disagree with her because there is a LOT of pro-Harry Potter content on my site (Trust me, I’ve been going through my archives, remember?) and I don’t want there to ever be a doubt where I stand.
TRANS MEN ARE MEN. TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN.
I also made this. Feel free to steal it.
P.S. I’m keeping the comments closed on this post because I don’t have the time to make sure people aren’t using my comment section to push more damaging and transphobic responses. I know too many young Trans and GNC (gender nonconforming) people that I want to protect from more proliferation of toxic ideas. If I can’t monitor the comments to protect from that, I don’t want to leave them open. Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any responses.