Updated: Dec 22, 2019
J.K. Rowling’s Twitter is a, shall we say, interesting place? Whether she’s fighting with Piers Morgan, or giving her hot takes on things, it’s certainly never a dull moment. Rowling’s most recent Tweet perfectly demonstrates this: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But, force women out of their jobs for stating sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”
Who is Maya you may ask? Maya Forstater is a woman who was dismissed from her job for tweeting the following: “What I am so surprised at is that smart people who I admire, who are absolutely pro-science in other areas, and champion human rights & women’s rights are tying themselves in knots to avoid saying the truth that men cannot change into women (because that might hurt men’s feelings).”
Forstater challenged her termination in court, and lost. The judge that presided over the case, James Tayler, ruled that the termination was valid due to her ‘absolutist’ beliefs regarding biological sex. Tayler went on to say that Forstater referring to a person “by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.”
Forstater was quick to thank Rowling for her support in a retweet: “OMG! We are all crying. This is all I wanted for Christmas.”
Rowling and Forstater have received support from Meghan Murphy, CEO of the gender critical site Feminist Current, and Paul Joseph Watson, one of Alex Jones’s Info Wars Affiliates. Of course, not everyone was supportive. In fact, most were hurt by Rowling’s actions.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, also known as GLAAD, had this to say on Twitter in response: "J.K. Rowling, whose books gave kids hope that they could work together to create a better world, has now aligned herself with an anti-science ideology that denies the basic humanity of people who are transgender. Trans men, trans women, and non-binary people are not a threat, and to imply otherwise puts trans people at risk. Now is the time for allies who know and support trans people to speak up and support their fundamental right to be treated equally and fairly."
GLAAD went on to say that when they reached out to Rowling to have a conversation with her. Their request was declined.
Fox Fisher, co-founder of the trans activist organization My Genderation, wrote an op ed piece for iNews, and had this to say about the court’s decision: “This is an incredibly powerful ruling, and is one of the first in the UK where trans people’s dignity and sense of self has been respected by law.” They go on to say, “But, of course, it has caused uproar from a small but vocal group of anti-trans voices. Most notably, author JK Rowling.”
Fisher goes on to say while they weren’t surprised by Rowling’s Tweet since this sort of thing has happened before, they were, however, concerned about the negative impact her words could have on our community. Rowling is one of the most prominent figures in the world, so Fisher’s concerns are most certainly merited and justified.
Fisher concludes their article by making an appeal to Rowling to educate herself on trans issues. “Reach out to organizations I work with such as All About Trans, who work towards positively changing portrayal and understanding of transgender people in the media.”
So #gayes, what are your thoughts on this situation? What do you think of the kind of supporters Rowling has gotten in the past few days?