07 June 2020

JK Rowling accused - again - of transphobia after controversial comments on menstruation

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has again been accused of transphobia after a controversial comment about menstruation.

It comes after the 54 year-old reacted to an online article, ‘Opinion: Creating a more equal post COVID-19 world for people who menstruate’.

She tweeted: “’People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Users were quick to react, calling Rowling’s remarks 'anti-trans' and 'transphobic', pointing out that transgenders, non-binary and gender-nonconforming individuals can also menstruate.

One said: "Trans Men who haven’t transitioned still menstruate."

Another wrote: "I know you know this because you have been told over and over and over again, but transgender men can menstruate.

“Non-binary people menstruate. I, a 37-year old woman with a uterus, have not menstruated in a decade. Women are not defined by their periods.”

Unperturbed, the author said: “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. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

She denied accusations of transphobia, adding: "I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. 

“I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.

“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women - ie, to male violence - ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences - is a nonsense.”

This is not the first time the best-selling author has come under fire regarding anti-trans comments.

In December last year she defended a woman sacked over comments against transgender athletes in sport and aslo liked a tweet where transgender people were referred to as ’men in dresses’. 

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