J.K. Rowling faces backlash again over 'anti-trans' tweets

J.K. Rowling faces backlash again over 'anti-trans' tweets
J.K. Rowling faces backlash again over 'anti-trans' tweets

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Some Harry Potter fans also revisited a long-running debate about Rowling's representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people in her books.

'Harry Potter' author J.K. Rowling sparked outrage online from fans again on Sunday after a string of tweets accused of being transphobic at a time when protests over inequality are raging globally.

The tweets came in response to an opinion piece on global development site Devex where Rowling took umbrage with the headline "creating a more equal post-Covid-19 world for 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 said late Saturday.

Critics pointed out Rowling's views equated womanhood with menstruation while many trans men menstruate and many other women do not.

Rowling, 54, said her comments were not intended to offend the trans community and only meant to highlight that "sex is real and has lived consequences".

A spokesman for Rowling declined to add further comment.

Last December she supported a woman who was fired for tweeting that people cannot alter their biological sex. She has also been criticised for adding a gay relationship to her "Harry Potter" series after the book was published.

In recent years debates between trans activists and feminists have raged over what it is to be a woman.

At the heart of the debate is whether the rights of trans women are compatible with those of other women, particularly in terms of access to single-sex spaces, including women's refuges.

Cara English of Gendered Intelligence, a UK-based trans rights organisation, said Rowling's timing in rekindling this debate at such a turbulent time in the fight for equality was "remarkable".

In the wake of the new criticism, some Harry Potter fans also revisited a long-running debate about Rowling's representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in her books with the character name "Cho Chang" trending.

Cho Chang was the only Chinese character in the book series.

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