J.K. Rowling has tweeted her support for Maya Forstater, a tax expert whose firing from a think tank over transphobic comments and subsequent court battle has generated a great deal of controversy recently in the U.K.
Rowling is now aligning herself (at least in rhetoric) with a virulently anti-trans group of liberal women, most often referred to as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists or TERFs.
Rowling wrote in a tweet,
“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 that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”
Rowling’s tweet was immediately slammed by critics pointing out that she misrepresented Forstater’s case. Forstater’s contract with the Center for Global Development was not renewed due to a series of transphobic comments made in multiple forums. She repeatedly tweeted statements like,
“I think that male people are not women. I don’t think being a woman/female is a matter of identity or womanly feelings. It is biology.”
In a workplace Slack she wrote,
“But if people find the basic biological truths that ‘women are adult human females’ or ‘transwomen are male’ offensive, then they will be offended.”
Forstater also purposefully misgendered a nonbinary counselor on Twitter, and when they complained, she wrote,
“I reserve the right to use the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘him’ to refer to male people. While I may choose to use alternative pronouns as a courtesy, no one has the right to compel others to make statements they do not believe.”
Thursday’s tweet was Rowlings most overt example of being vocally transphobic, despite previously being an ally,
Can Rowling be considered a friend of the LGBTQ community at this point? That is startling to seem like a stretch.
We’ll watch what she does next… and report here.
Dress however you please.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
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 that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
((Photo, Avalon; via Slate)