J.K. Rowling Is Facing Backlash After Posting Transphobic Tweets About Menstruation
"How can someone who had enough imagination to write one of the best selling fantasy novels have such a narrow mind?"
In a new interview with The Independent, the former Sex and the City star said Rowling's comments were particularly distressing for her 23-year-old son Samuel, who is transgender, and who was a huge fan of Harry Potter growing up.
"It was really painful for him because so much of his childhood was tied up with Harry Potter," she said. "We’re a Harry Potter family. The books seem to be about championing people who are different, so for her to select this one group of people who are obviously different and sort of deny their existence, it’s just… it’s really baffling. I know she feels like she’s standing up for feminism, but I don’t get it."
Earlier this year, Rowling was criticized for defending a woman who was fired for making transphobic comments, and later faced backlash for her own transphobic tweets about menstruation. Responding to a story about healthcare inequality with the headline "Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate," she tweeted, "'People who menstruate.' I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"
Her refusal to acknowledge that trans men and non-binary individuals can also have periods generated backlash in the Harry Potter fandom as actors from the film adaptations distanced themselves from Rowling's comments and stood up for transgender rights.
"I realize that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this as in-fighting between J.K. Rowling and myself, but that is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now," Daniel Radcliffe wrote in response. "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."
"Transgender women are women," he continued. "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."