JK Rowling accused of transphobia after supporting Maya Forstater, researcher sacked for saying ‘men cannot change into women’
‘Harry Potter’ author J. K. Rowling, despite trying to invoke a hyper-woke persona, sometimes ends up saying things that are more problematic than what you would expect from her. Case in point: Rowling tweeted, “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?” She hashtagged it with “I Stand With Maya” and “This Is Not A Drill”.
For context, Rowling was talking about Maya Forstater. Forstater, per the Guardian, was the researcher who lost her job at a thinktank after tweeting that transgender women cannot change their biological sex. The 45-year-old tax expert was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development (CGD), an international think tank based in Washington that campaigns against poverty and inequality.
Forstater’s role was reportedly not renewed in March after a dispute over publicizing her views on social media that were deemed to be “offensive and exclusionary”. She had opposed the government proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act to allow people to self-identify as the opposite sex, tweeting opinions like “men cannot change into women”.
Judge James Tayler, an employment judge, ruled that Maya Forstater’s views did “not have the protected characteristic of philosophical belief”. He said, “I conclude from… the totality of the evidence, that [Forstater] is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The approach is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
Rowling’s defense of Forstater has been called transphobic. American activist Charlotte Clymer, press secretary for rapid response at the Human Rights Campaign, an American LGBTQ civil rights organization, criticized Rowling and wrote on Twitter, “It’s so strange to me that someone with enough imagination to portray people irreverently drinking a potion to turn into someone of a different gender somehow refuses to recognize the enormous body of scientific and medical experts validating trans folks w/ evidence.”
Clymer added, “This is not an overstatement: every major medical and scientific authority affirms transgender people. There is a consensus among experts, not a debate.”