JK Rowling has doubled down on her recent anti-transgender rhetoric in a new essay in which propagates myths and falsehoods about the transgender community.
The Harry Potter author, who was criticised earlier this week after taking issue with an article that used the term "people who menstruate", published a 4,000-word blog post on Wednesday (10 June) in which she claimed her interest in trans people stemmed from being a survivor of abuse and having concerns around single-sex spaces such as changing rooms and bathrooms.
Writing that she had "deep concerns about the effect the trans rights movement" is supposedly having on "education and safeguarding", Rowling went on to cite a controversial 2018 descriptive study which argued that "social contagion and peer influences" had an effect on gender dysphoria.
The paper, by Dr. Lisa Littman, was subject to a post-publication review by its publisher, who later clarified the study "was not a clinically validated phenomenon or a diagnostic guideline".
TERF warshttps://t.co/mc58tGXOjs— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 10, 2020
Perpetuating the idea that being transgender is somehowe 'contagious', Rowling added that she often wondered if she "might have tried to transition" had she been born "30 years later".
"The allure of escaping womanhood would have been huge", she wrote. "I struggled with severe OCD as a teenager. If I’d found community and sympathy online that I couldn’t find in my immediate environment, I believe I could have been persuaded to turn myself into the son my father had openly said he’d have preferred."
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.
According to Stonewall, a 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.
Rowling added that "inclusive" language - for instance, language which might allude to the fact that trans men or non-binary people also menstruate - was "dehumanising and demeaning" to cisgender women.
"It isn’t enough for women to be trans allies. Women must accept and admit that there is no material difference between trans women and themselves", Rowling wrote.
"But, as many women have said before me, ‘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 dehumanising 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."
Rowling went on to explain that she had experienced domestic violence and sexual abuse during her first marriage, and that though she felt "solidarity and kinship" with transgender victims of violence, she believed that allowing them in single-sex spaces would "throw open the doors" to "any man who believes or feels he’s a woman."
"Huge numbers of women are justifiably terrified by the trans activists", Rowling continued. "I know this because so many have got in touch with me to tell their stories. They’re afraid of doxxing, of losing their jobs or their livelihoods, and of violence.
"But endlessly unpleasant as its constant targeting of me has been, I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it."
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe had issued his own statement of solidarity with the transgender community following Rowling's intial tweets last weekend, declaring that "it’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm."
Read Dan's statement in full here.
If you want to show solidarity with the trans community, visit Mermaids UK for more information and to help support gender-diverse kids, young people and their families.