‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling has responded to accusations of transphobia in an open letter presenting reasons she is concerned about ‘toxic’ trans-activism, drawing a fresh avalanche of criticism.
“I know it’s time to explain myself on an issue surrounded by toxicity. I write this without any desire to add to that toxicity,” Rowling wrote at the beginning of her 4,000-plus word essay, published on Wednesday.
The novelist has been labeled a “TERF” – a trans-exclusionary radical feminist – on several occasions, most recently thanks to a tweet questioning a story that referred to “people who menstruate,” declining to instead characterize such people as women.
That position got Rowling targeted not only by activists on social media, but even by some of the actors from film adaptations of her work. This includes Daniel Radcliffe, who became famous for playing Harry Potter in the movies, Emma Watson (Hermione) and Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander) from the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ adaptations.
Rowling, however, says in her latest essay that she “will not bow down” to those sending “abuse” her way online, adding that she has serious concerns about “trans activism.”
“I know transition will be a solution for some gender dysphoric people, although I’m also aware through extensive research that studies have consistently shown that between 60-90 percent of gender dysphoric teens will grow out of their dysphoria,” she wrote.
Admitting that she herself felt “mentally sexless” as a teenager, Rowling also wonders if she had grown up today whether activists would convince her to transition. She also revealed – though without giving specifics – that she had been subjected to sexual abuse in her youth.
“Women must accept and admit that there is no material difference between trans women and themselves. But, as many women have said before me, ‘woman’ is not a costume. ‘Woman’ is not an idea in a man’s head. ‘Woman’ is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive,” she wrote.
“I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class,” she added.
Rowling’s words have fallen on deaf ears with critics, as activists continued to slam the author on social media.
“Anyone who thinks JK Rowling has a good or smart point of view is a huge f**king moron,” columnist Beth McColl tweeted.