Sky is blue, grass is green and J.K. Rowling is (still) tweeting some transphobic nonsense. On Sunday, the Harry Potter author once again asserted that trans women are not “real” women, this time by reacting to a report that Scotland police will “record rapes by offenders with male genitalia as being committed by a woman if the attacker ‘identifies as a female.’”
“War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman,” Rowling wrote, sharing an article by The Sunday Times titled “‘Absurdity’ of Police Logging Rapists As Women.”
Of course, what’s truly absurd is continuing to espouse blatantly transphobic opinions like this despite being repeatedly, rightfully taken to task for it. Why should it matter at all whether a rapist is identified as a woman or a man or a nonbinary person? The idea that women aren’t capable of rape is a dangerous misconception — one that continues to stigmatize male survivors of sexual abuse. And of course, Rowling’s dumb commentary completely overlooks the fact that trans women are themselves subject to sexual abuse at a horrifyingly high rate; one out of every two transgender individuals — again, to reiterate, that’s half of all trans people — are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives. Instead of worrying about very small percentage of trans women who commit sex crimes, perhaps we should be doing something to help protect the extremely large swath of them who are dealing with sexual trauma.
The biggest question here (besides maybe “how did J.K. Rowling become such an idiot?”) is why the author — who, it must be noted, despite all her hangups about gender, has no qualms about using the male pen name Robert Galbraith — continues to double and triple down on the idea that trans women aren’t women. Why die on this hill when she could simply keep her mouth shut? Her transphobia has already led to her exclusion from HBO’s forthcoming Harry Potter reunion special, and today it has overshadowed the debut of the trailer for her latest Fantastic Beasts movie. Her unabashed bigotry is only going to continue hurting her in the long run, but we’re not exactly holding our breath for her to see the light any time soon.
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