On Saturday, author JK Rowling received a tweet that read: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Rowling later received severe backlash from celebrities and fans as many were disappointed. Many felt Rowling’s tweet excluded cisgender women as well as transgender men and women.
In addition to the exclusionary nature of her tweet many were upset about Rowling’s timing to have this conversation. Commentators and fans suggested that the middle of a global black lives matter movement was not the time to start a conversation about another sensitive issue and commentators urged Rowling to use her platform to address the black lives matters movement instead of starting another conversation.
In response to the backlash that she has received, Rowling released an open letter in which she defends her original comments.
The letter starts off:
“This isn’t an easy piece to write, for reasons that will shortly become clear, but I know it’s time to explain myself on an issue surrounded by toxicity. I write this without any desire to add to that toxicity.”
Rowling continues to explain that she has been “abused” on social media by trans activists since she absentmindedly like a tweet that linked to a transphobic article approximately two years ago.
Rowling goes on to list five reasons as to why she is speaking up and what has developed her beliefs.
“All I’m asking – all I want – is for similar empathy, similar understanding, to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats and abuse.”
Rowling’s continued to receive negative responses to her open letter, however some people did in fact come to Rowling’s defense. One user that Rowling retweeted said “@jk_rowling has pinpointed why so many gay peeps are concerned about the new version of trans activism. We used to be comrade-in-arms with our trans mates until some extremists insisted biological sex was an illusion. Our legal protections and our identities are based on it.”
The controversy comes in the midst of her children’s book competition. Could the Harry Potter author and former billionaire be causing irreparable damages to her career?