J.K Rowling attends the UK Premiere of 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald'

JK Rowling’s Loved Ones Urged Her to Stay Silent on Trans Views

Best-selling author J.K. Rowling has once again found herself at the center of controversy. Known for her polarizing views on trans rights, Rowling has mocked gender-neutral language, misgendered trans people, and criticized trans individuals on social media.

The Women Who Wouldn’t Wheesht

In her new book of 30 essays, The Women Who Wouldn’t Wheesht, which publishes tomorrow, Rowling reveals why she initially kept her views to herself. She writes, “I did not share my views because people around me, including some I love, were begging me not to speak.”

An excerpt printed in The Times adds more context. “I watched from the sidelines as women with everything to lose rallied, in Scotland and across the UK, to defend their rights. My guilt that I wasn’t standing with them was with me daily, like chronic pain,” Rowling confesses. She continues, “I believe we’re witnessing the greatest assault of my lifetime on the rights our foremothers thought they’d guaranteed for all women. Ultimately, I spoke up because I’d have felt ashamed for the rest of my days if I hadn’t. If I feel any regret at all, it’s that I didn’t speak far sooner.”

The book also features essays from anti-trans politicians MP Joanna Cherry and MSP Ash Regan. It is said to tell stories of “women who risked their job, reputation, even the bonds of family and friendship, to make their voices heard.”

Related | New ‘Harry Potter’ Series Adaptation Coming to HBO Max

Rowling’s Past Controversies

Rowling first sparked controversy in 2019 when she supported Maya Forstater, who was in a legal battle over her “gender-critical” views. Six months later, Rowling criticized inclusive language in a tweet about period care for “people who menstruate.”

In June 2020, she shared a lengthy post on her website, captioned “TERF wars” on Twitter. She expressed concerns about transgender rights impacting education and safeguarding, and worried about “the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition.”

Defiant on Social Media

In October 2023, Rowling made waves again by suggesting she’d rather go to jail than use a trans person’s correct pronouns. She shared an image on X (formerly Twitter) saying “repeat after us: trans women are women” and responded with “No.”

In a follow-up post, Rowling wrote, “I’ll happily do two years if the alternative is compelled speech and forced denial of the reality and importance of sex.”

Ongoing Feuds

Rowling continues to clash with trans people and their allies on social media. She misgendered trans journalist India Willoughby, accusing her of “cosplaying a misogynistic male fantasy of what a woman is.” Willoughby described Rowling’s comments as “grotesque.”

Opposition to Hate Crime Legislation

Rowling also opposes Scotland’s new hate crime legislation. In one exchange on X, lawyer Rajan Barot advised her to “start deleting” posts after the law took effect. Rowling retorted, “If you genuinely imagine I’d delete posts calling a man a man, so as not to be prosecuted under this ludicrous law, stand by for the mother of all April Fools’ jokes.”

Related | Daniel Radcliffe Responds to J.K. Rowling’s Anti-Trans Rhetoric – “It makes me really sad”

Backlash from Stars

Rowling’s controversial opinions have drawn criticism from the public, including stars of the Harry Potter films. Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have both condemned her comments on the trans community, distancing themselves from her views.

While Rowling doesn’t seem like she has any plans to stop expressing her anti-trans views, it’s clear that even those close to her disagree with her. Now, if only Rowling herself would wake up to that fact!

JK Rowling’s Loved Ones Urged Her to Stay Silent on Trans Views
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