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JK Rowling Reignites Twitter Backlash With Overtly Transphobic Tweet About 'Penised Individuals'

JK Rowling Reignites Twitter Backlash With Overtly Transphobic Tweet About 'Penised Individuals'
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

JK Rowling once again riled fans online with a transphobic remark.

This time, she incurred backlash in response to a Sunday Times article reporting that Police Scotland would record rape suspects with male genitalia as "being committed by a woman if the attacker ‘identifies as a female.'"

On December 12, the Harry Potter author linked The Sunday Times article to a post in which she referenced and updated a quote from George Orwell's dystopian novel, 1984.

Rowling wrote:

“War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.”

Those who were upset urged her to reconsider her view, including one Twitter user who wrote, “You literally have a castle and you spend your time doing this.”

Another asked, “Why is this how you want to be remembered? Why is this the hill you’ve chosen? What do you stand to gain from this?”

Another user commented:

"JK Rowling, a person made famous for writing about wizards and magic and horse-birds and giant murder trees, wants to tell you that trans people don’t exist.”

Fans found it a challenge to support the polarizing author.

This wasn't the first time Rowling was in hot water for taking aim at the trans community.

She previously expressed support for Maya Forstater, who lost her job for comments and tweets that were deemed “offensive and exclusionary” and "transphobic."

Expressing solidarity with Forstater in being a public transphobe, Rowling tweeted:

“Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you."
"Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill”

Rowling was also criticized for mocking an article that used the inclusive phrase, "people who menstruate." The article explained that not every person who experiences a period identifies as a female.

In response to the phrase, she tweeted in June 2020:

“I’m sure there used to be a word for these people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud.”

Weeks after Rowling's post, activist Kenny Ethan Jones tweeted in response:

"Can we stop ignoring the fact that sex, like gender, is a spectrum."
"Stop [invalidating] people based on bodily parts and functions."
"Not all women menstruate, and not all people who menstruate are women. FACTS."

A 2018 article by Refinery29 explained that women do not menstruate “for many different reasons.”

Writers Jess Commons and Bex Day explained:

“Some may undergo early menopause, some have had hysterectomies for medical issues. Some may be transgender, some suffering from eating disorders.“
"The reasons women don’t have periods can be complicated and diverse, but don’t take away from one central fact: period or no period, if you identify as a woman, you are a woman."

The actors who found fame after starring in the Harry Potter films based on the works of Rowling have spoken out in support of the trans community–including actor Daniel Radcliffe, who starred in the films as the titular wizard.

Radcliffe provided a statement via The Trevor Project–a suicide-prevention/support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens.

“While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment," wrote Radcliffe.

"Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”