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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls JK Rowling's anti-trans essay a 'perfectly reasonable piece'

"JK Rowling is a woman who is progressive, who clearly stands for and believes in diversity"

2020-11-16

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has spoken out in support of JK Rowling and her anti-trans essay from June.

Adichie, who has found huge success with her novels and nonfiction work, shared her feelings on the Harry Potter icon in an interview with The Guardian this weekend.

The We Should All Be Feminists writer - whose TED Talk was featured on Beyonce's 2014 song 'Flawless' - also spoke on the subject of cancel culture in the interview.

"JK Rowling is a woman who is a progressive"

Calling JKR's essay a "perfectly reasonable piece" and saying she was interested in "all the noise" it made, 43-year-old Chimamanda added: "Again JK Rowling is a woman who is progressive, who clearly stands for and believes in diversity."

"There’s a sense in which you aren’t allowed to learn and grow," she added of cancel culture. "Also forgiveness is out of the question. I find it so lacking in compassion. How much of our wonderfully complex human selves are we losing?

"I think in America the worst kind of censorship is self-censorship, and it is something America is exporting to every part of the world. We have to be so careful: you said the wrong word, you must be crucified immediately."

"My feeling is trans women are trans women"

In 2017, Adichie faced backlash for comments made on Channel 4, when she said: "When people talk about, ‘Are trans women women?’ my feeling is trans women are trans women."

In her 4,000-word essay, Rowling said she has ""deep concerns about the effect the trans rights movement" and cited a controversial 2018 descriptive study which argued that "social contagion and peer influences" had an effect on gender dysphoria.

Rowling also propagated myths about people who 'detransition' or express regret at their gender transition.

"I’m concerned about the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning (returning to their original sex), because they regret taking steps that have, in some cases, altered their bodies irrevocably, and taken away their fertility", she wrote.

Stonewall research has shown that of the 3,398 trans patients who had appointments at an NHS Gender Identity Service the UK between 2016 and 2017, less than one per cent said in those appointments that they had experienced transitioned-related regret, or had detransitioned.

Read the full interview in the Attitude December issue, available to download and to order globally now.

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