In an unusual turn of events, famed author Stephen King has masterfully entered the discussion around the controversial comments made by JK Rowling about trans women.
Earlier this month Harry Potter author Rowling penned an essay in which she defended comments she made about transgender women. In statements which have since been condemned by some of the world’s most recognisable figures, Rowling argued that the biological sex “isn’t real” and urged for a stipulation to be formed in order to create a distinction between women and trans women.
Standing by her comments, Rowling doubled down and said: “‘Woman’ is not a costume. ‘Woman’ is not an idea in a man’s head. ‘Woman’ is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive. Moreover, the ‘inclusive’ language that calls female people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanizing and demeaning. I understand why trans activists consider this language to be appropriate and kind, but for those of us who’ve had degrading slurs spat at us by violent men, it’s not neutral, it’s hostile and alienating.”
Rowling, citing her role as “a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor”, also added: “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them,” Rowling said previously. “I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”
The debate has rolled on for some time with many actors who have previously worked with Rowling coming forward to refute her comments. Now, Rowling took to social media to share a quote from the late feminist and writer Andrea Dworkin which read: “Andrea Dworkin wrote: ‘Men often react to women’s words—speaking and writing—as if they were acts of violence; sometimes men react to women’s words with violence.’ It isn’t hateful for women speak about their own experiences, nor do they deserve shaming for doing so.”
Stephen King, who had retweeted the aforementioned message, was then praised by Rowling for his support which garnered serious attention across social media.
Absolutely delighted after gaining recognition from King, Rowling tweeted: “It’s so much easier for men to ignore women’s concerns, or to belittle them, but I won’t ever forget the men who stood up when they didn’t need to. Thank you, Stephen.”
However, shortly after, King was asked by a fan about his position on trans women, to which he replied: “Trans women are women.”
JK Rowling swiftly deleted her praise of the author. See the story unfold, below.