Aside from sharing drawings from young fans, J.K. Rowling has kept a fairly low profile on Twitter since early June, when she shared an essay defending her controversial statements regarding transgender women. The Harry Potter author sparked outcry — and objection from a number of Potter stars, including Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Leung — after arguing against the idea that biological sex “isn’t real” and calling for a distinction between women and trans women.
“I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them,” Rowling tweeted on June 6. “I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”
In a follow-up essay responding to accusations of transphobia, the author noted her background as “a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor.”
“I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy,” Rowling wrote, “but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.”
She added, “‘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. Moreover, the ‘inclusive’ language that calls female people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanizing and demeaning. I understand why trans activists consider this language to be appropriate and kind, but for those of us who’ve had degrading slurs spat at us by violent men, it’s not neutral, it’s hostile and alienating.”