Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is once again facing backlash from transgender activists for branding International Women’s Day as “We Who Must Not Be Named Day,” referring to the minimization of the term “woman” and her infamous villain Lord Voldemort.
Rowling has been the subject of much controversy for being outspoken in her belief that sex is determined by biology.
The famed author was first branded as a “TERF” — “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist,” in June, 2020, when she took issue with an article referring to “people who menstruate” instead of using the word “woman.”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet.
In her tweet on International Woman’s Day, Rowling wrote that “apparently, under a Labour government, today will become We Who Must Not Be Named Day,” in response to a tweet pointing out that Annalise Dodds, Chair of the Labour Party, had claimed she was not sure how to define the term “woman.”
“Someone please send the Shadow Minister for Equalities a dictionary and a backbone,” Rowling tweeted.
Apparently, under a Labour government, today will become We Who Must Not Be Named Day.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) March 8, 2022
Michael Grant, co-author of Animorphs, accused Rowling of “punching down.”
You punch down, @jk_rowling, you attack a vulnerable minority group with very little power. That’s not brave, it’s cowardly. It’s bullying. The people who support you in this are themselves, bullies. It’s sickening to watch. #TransRightsAreHumanRights
— Michael Grant Supports #Ukraine (@MichaelGrantBks) March 8, 2022
Colorado Public Radio reporter Paolo Zialcita accused the author of “co-opting” a phrase that she wrote herself, in her own books.
a certain type of person is absolutely going to love jk rowling coopting phrases from her very popular book series and using it to advance her transphobic agenda https://t.co/rxeao1TX6J
— Paolo Zialcita (@paolozialcita) March 8, 2022
Tech reporter Chris Sutcliffe complained that Rowling has not been fully silenced and deplatformed for her views.
Properly emboldened to just be openly bigoted now. This is what happens when papers give column inches to transphobes https://t.co/08LMY8cUGB
— Chris Sutcliffe (@chrismsutcliffe) March 8, 2022
Rowling previously wrote a lengthy blog about her concerns with trans-activism.
“So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside,” she wrote. “That is the simple truth.”
Instead of bowing to the constant backlash, Rowling has continued to speak out.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.
The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.https://t.co/SyxFnnboM1
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 12, 2021
The reaction to her views has been so intense that Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Eddie Redmayne have all either denounced Rowling’s comments or expressed support for trans activism.
Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort, and Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, have both defended Rowling and her right to have an opinion on the issue.
As Timcast recently reported, an online poll from The Guardian seeking nominations for their “Person of the Year” award was removed after Rowling took the lead.