45-year-old tax expert Maya Forstater was fired from her job after she questioned the British government's plans to allow people to self-identify their gender. The Central London Employment Tribunal upheld the firing, stating that her opinions were "absolutist." Rowling, who has stood up for transphobes in the past, came to Forstater's defense on Twitter.
"Dress however you please," began the tweet. "Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who'll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill." Forstater attempted to fight her firing in court, but as the Independent reports, Judge James Taylor said her views were "incompatible with human dignity and [the] fundamental rights of others."
Forstater wrote on Twitter that "men cannot change into women," and her comments were quickly deemed "offensive and exclusionary." Her wrongful termination case in court was seen by many to challenge the protection of a "gender critical" view, which was a protected belief with the UK's 2010 Equality Act.
J.K Rowling's tweet in support of Forstater was widely condemned as transphobic, and resulted in her being calling a TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist). The term refers to feminists who hold right-wing beliefs when it comes to trans women, whom they refuse to accept as women. Additionally, she also had people accuse her of using a dog whistle.
In court, Judge Taylor was especially critical of what Forstater said on Twitter. "If a person has transitioned from male to female and has a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), that person is legally a woman," he said. "That is not something Ms Forstater is entitled to ignore. Ms Forstater’s position is that even if a trans woman has a GRC, she cannot honestly describe herself as a woman. That belief is not worthy of respect in a democratic society."