It’s been a long time coming, but finally we have a definitive answer. JK Rowling is a TERF.
There have been multiple instances wherein the (in)famous Harry Potter author demonstrated solidarity with radical feminists who have waged a vicious smear campaign against transgender women.
Once, she blamed liking anti-transgender statuses on Twitter as an error, dubbing it a “Clumsy and Middle-Aged Moment.” Despite fans catching the 53 year old in the act of putting her stamp of approval on trans hate once again, she thumbed her nose at the backlash.
Most recently, Turner led a hate-motivated campaign against UK children’s charity National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children who had enlisted transgender model Munroe Bergdorf in a partnership to expand efforts to reach vulnerable LGBT children. Turner took to twitter where she accused Bergdorf of being a “porn model” and encouraged supporters to consider suspending direct debit donations to the charity.
While the LGBT community and our allies have stood back and watched a rather ominous narrative form around JK Rowling, it has been without any direct confirmation or statement from the author herself. It’s as if she is conditioning the world to accept it rather than rebuke it. First she stuck her toe in the water, was caught, claimed it was a misunderstanding and we accepted that. Then, she persisted to do the same things… again and again.
Finally, we have some confirmation of Rowling’s stance against the transgender community. She has followed one of the most hateful and aggressive anti-trans radical feminists on Twitter, Magdalen Berns.
Out of her 14 million followers, Rowling herself follows less than 700 people on social media, so it’s safe to presume her perspective aligns with that of the well known transphobe whose account is solely committed to espousing misinformation and dangerous rhetoric toward transgender women. This clearly isn’t another middle-aged moment. Instead, it seems more like Rowling unapologetically pulling back the curtain and finally ending what little left there was to speculate about with any optimism.
Twitter has postured itself as something of a safe-house for TERFs. You don’t have to deep-dive to see those leaders of the anti-trans movement all follow each other and retweet each other’s journalistic hit pieces and clever jibes that attack trans identities. Graham Linehan, Posie Parker, Janice Turner, Julie Bindel, Women Place UK, Mumsnet and Magdalen all present themselves as soldiers on the frontline in their war on transgender women. Some dedicate their efforts to harassing and bullying transwomen on the platform while others actually tour the country to proselytize to other women and recruit them into their radical ideologies.
Twitter did permanently ban radfem warrior Meghan Murphy who was constantly attacking transgender women, misgendering them, deadnaming them and dog whistling her fellow radicals to join her in the targeted take-down-of-the-day. She treated hunting us as a sport on Twitter. She thinks hate speech is an exercise of free speech, yet forgets that hate has consequences. This group coordinates their efforts to damage trans people. They provoke violence against the trans community. They spread malignant lies to spark fear and breed intolerance. The time they invest in this is alarming.
However, it still took years to finally allow Murphy enough rope to get herself banned. Twitter typically takes a passive stance on TERF’s and have even banned trans women for defending themselves against members of this very group of radicals.
To see JK Rowling lock arms with this form of hatred, targeting a minority community while having the ear of millions of young children is deeply saddening. An enormous demographic of her audience is LGBT; Kids who identified with fighting forces of evil for their right to exist, their right to equality, their access to opportunity.
Now, an entire generation of adults who used the Harry Potter books to navigate the rough terrain of life’s trials and tribulations must reckon with the fact that their literary darling is not the progressive fighter for social justice she pretended to be. In fact, many transgender fans are having to reconcile that she’s lending her support to those who wish to fight them back into silence instead.