For those of you who may not know – J.K. Rowling recently sent some tweets that were undoubtedly transphobic, and then doubled down on her transphobic viewpoint with a longer and even more dangerous essay.
As someone who grew up with Harry Potter and loves the series so much, I wanted to digest everything I have read. I read your essay in defense of your tweets a couple of days ago and I am confused as to how someone with obvious intelligence can lack so much understanding and be so hypocritical. In what way does trans or non-binary people affect your experience as a woman, and with sexism and misogyny? And in what way do they hurt the acceptance of lesbians? There is no way you can justify something like this. The science is not behind you. The community, for the most part, is not behind you.
You either see, accept, and love trans people or you don’t. You cannot say your support goes back for years, but then write shameful tweets that are in no way supporting, accepting and loving of trans people – and then write a long letter defending your actions that have hurt so many. You used a massive platform to spread ignorance and pain. Then people rally behind you, causing more harm & pain. Within these marginalized communities, the most important thing you can do is to listen, truly listen. Your words and the defense behind them have most certainly caused more harm, pain, and confusion. This will no doubt continue the spread of hatred and alarmingly high rate of violence against the trans community and especially Black trans women… and guess what, YOU contributed to it.
I always try to see the other side, but the other side in this is simply ignorance, and it’s hard to find empathy or understanding when someone is arguing that a part of the LGBTQIA+ community is being hurt and pushed aside (“lesbians”) while hurting and pushing aside a part of that same community that has higher statistics of violence. The letter is difficult to read and some parts made me literally gasp. “Women decide to transition to escape misogyny, and how to trans person is not that gender until transitioning…” You have tried to mask a lack of understanding and transphobia as a danger to lesbians and women, and taking away the sexism and misogyny that a woman has experienced – and I cannot come up with a reason why anyone would think this. Trans women are women and feminism is about ALL women. Sure some people may not have the same experiences with sexism or misogyny as you, but you, JKR, have surely not have had the same experiences as them either. Should they denounce, silence, belittle, and dehumanize you for it?
I, of course, feel empathy for what you have lived through, but that is not a reason to have these harmful opinions and spread them to your multi-million fan base. I would say this all comes down to a lack of understanding on terminology and how it once was used and now is not, and you are just someone who is having a difficult time understanding the fluidity, but when someone has a platform and they use that platform to share opinions, they should educate themselves before speaking, choose to not share opinions that will obviously hurt someone or a group of people, or, if sharing an opinion that ends up with backlash – perhaps take a minute to step away and really really think about what happened and the pain you have caused.
The comments have already caused so much pain, but this could have been a chance to educate yourself and others, and show people that we all can grow and be better, even if we have done or said things in the past that are hurtful, but that is not what you did. You instead decided to double down on your take. Would you like it if someone with a massive following, someone who wrote stories about love and goodness, falsely wrote to the world that your life and experiences are wrong and contributing to the harm and abuse of others? There is nothing wrong with defending lesbians against the hatred they experience, and there is nothing wrong with defending women against daily misogyny, but there is something wrong when it’s at the cost of trans lives. It hurts that a beloved fan community and a series that has been so close to our hearts is now tarnished with the hurtful opinions by the champion of that community and series herself.
Hoping for better,
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