Accio some human decency and the ability to read a room. Author of the Harry Potter series and noted nonsense-generator J.K. Rowling decided to tweet a series of transphobic sentiments, apropos of literally nothing, on Saturday afternoon, starting with her thoughts on a Devex article titled “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.” The article addressed the “menstrual health and hygiene needs of girls, women, and all people who menstruate.”
“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” Rowling tweeted, and things got increasingly offensive and incoherent from there. “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. It isn’t hate to speak the truth,” she wrote, in the middle of Pride month, during a global movement against police brutality, when trans people are 3.7 times more likely to experience police violence than the general population.
Twitter had questions, primarily: “Huh?” and “What?” and “This? Now? Why?” Rowling replied to a few, confirming, among other things, that she believes the term “TERF” is “woman-hate.” The author also pulled a classic “some of my best friends are gay” when asked if she had actually talked to queer people about the issue, and tweeted that she had read “books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists,” though did not specify if the “medic” in question was actually just Rowling in a lab coat. These are not Rowling’s first transphobic tweets; in December 2019 the author tweeted in support of a researcher who was fired for her transphobic comments.