J.K. Rowling Criticized for Defending Woman Fired For Transphobic Tweets

Rowling came to the woman's defense on Twitter.

J.K. Rowling

Image via Getty Dia Dipasupil

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has once again faced accusations of transphobia after she rushed to the defense of a "gender critical" woman fired for transphobic tweets.

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."

Dress however you please.
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

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019

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.

JK Rowling decided today would be a good day to go full-on TERF https://t.co/afProwb6Vn

— Yes, You're Racist (@YesYoureRacist) December 19, 2019

Everyone who has been pointing out JK Rowling’s transphobia for several years logging onto Twitter today pic.twitter.com/BTDrNPZqH8

— Grace Petrie (@gracepetrie) December 19, 2019

Don't let the narrative about this be

"JK Rowling in internet spat about whether trans women are women"

It's not

This is "JK Rowling stands with woman who lost court case about her choice to be abusive towards trans people in her workplace, so her contract was not renewed"

— Natalie Washington (@Transsomething) December 19, 2019

Someone please take away the keys to JK Rowling's Twitter account pic.twitter.com/aD0ddVqDMk

— Yes, You're Racist (@YesYoureRacist) December 19, 2019

I’d like to be glib about this JK Rowling thing but it straight up sucks ass when people in wildly large positions of influence spout terf shit like that and I’m so sorry trans people have to deal with it day in and day out.

— Tears of the Pointman (@appuntito160) December 19, 2019

evidence suggests jk rowling followed the same terf trajectory as graham linehan: uncritically wrote some transphobic stuff into their creative work, got mildly criticized, and slowly let their disgust with trans people consume their whole personality rather than self reflect

— lauren (@NotABigJerk) December 19, 2019

JK Rowling gave the world an incredible gift with Harry Potter. That does not mean she is above criticism or justifiable anger. She has proven time and time again that she is not only transphobic, but unwilling to unlearn her prejudices. Hate to say it, but we do not stan.

— sophia slade ψ (@theneonvulture) December 19, 2019

Trans rights are human rights, trans women are women, and JK Rowling is an asshole

— Ben Mekler (@benmekler) December 19, 2019

jk rowling has been a terf this whole time which people would know if they actually listened to trans women

— rose (@spacialesbian) December 19, 2019

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." 

Latest in Pop Culture