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JK Rowling criticised for tweets about transgender people

On Twitter, Rowling mocked the use of the term ‘people who menstruate’.

File image of JK Rowling.
File image of JK Rowling.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

AUTHOR OF THE Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has been criticised by LGBT groups and others online after a series of tweets about gender terminology. 

Rowling, who has been criticised in the past for her commentary on gender identity, tweeted about an opinion piece with a headline reading: ‘Creating a more equal post-Covid-19 world for people who menstruate.’ 

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

This comment, and a further thread about sex and gender, garnered widespread criticism from LGBT groups and other people online.  

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a US LGBT non-governmental organisation for media monitoring, said Rowling “continues to align herself with an ideology” distorting facts about gender identity.

“JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans,” the organisation said on Twitter.

“In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.”

Eugene Gu, a doctor and online activist, replied saying that “sex exists on a bimodal biological spectrum just like gender exists on a bimodal sociological spectrum”.

Rowling, who recently ranked among the top 200 in the Sunday Times rich list, has received criticism in the past for her comments on sex and gender. 

In December, she voiced her support for a researcher in the UK who was sacked after tweeting that transgender people cannot change their biological sex.

Maya Forstater lost her job in March after she posted tweets opposing the British government’s proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act to allow people to identify as the opposite sex.

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Forstater took her case to an employment tribunal on the grounds that her dismissal constituted discrimination against her beliefs.

Employment judge James Tayler dismissed her claim, saying her views are “absolutist in her view of sex”.

Rowling responded to the ruling on Twitter at the time, saying: “Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”

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