Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling faces blowback for saying biological sex distinctions exist

by Peter Heck · Jun 9th, 2020 12:44 pm

J.K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" series, is encountering severe criticism for affirming publicly that biological sex is real.

The controversy seemed to begin when Rowling, who has spoken about the significance of sex and gender distinctions before, made a sarcastic comment about a Devex article entitled, "Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate."

Rowling quoted the story and commented, "‘People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Her comments drew the ire of several followers, which seemed to prompt the author to post a series of tweets about the meaning of being female, stressing that acknowledging biological distinctions is not hateful or mean-spirited towards those who identify as transgender.

Several LGBT activists disagreed, calling out Rowling for making "hateful" and "transphobic" remarks.

GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) went so far as to accuse Rowling of "targeting trans people."

Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who played Rowling's character Harry Potter in the franchise's movie adaptations, also pushed back against the author.

"Transgender women are women," the actor wrote in an essay for LGBTQ non-profit organization The Trevor Project. "It's clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm."

Rowling's comments about biological sex echo those she made months ago in defense of tax researcher Maya Forstater who was dismissed from her job due to comments she made on Twitter stating that biological men identifying as women are not women.


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