J.K. Rowling has found herself at the center of yet another tired debate about transgender rights this week when conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports published a poll titled: “Most Americans Side With J.K. Rowling: Only Two Genders.”
The Harry Potter author, who objects to being called a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), has always danced around her remarks about the trans community. Though she claims to generally support trans people, Rowling expresses antiquated opinions on trans women using the bathrooms they identify with and sports. Additionally, she has taken particular exception to inclusive language such as “people who menstruate,” claiming that many women find it “dehumanizing and demeaning.”
As such, Rowling made a big show of disagreeing with the Rasmussen Reports headline.
“Small but important point: I’ve never said there are only two genders,” Rowling tweeted on Wednesday. “There are innumerable gender identities.”
So far, so great. In the second and third parts of her three-tweet thread, however, Rowling pulled her usual whataboutism nonsense, as she is wont to do.
“The question at the heart of this debate is whether sex or gender identity should form the basis of decisions on safeguarding, provision of services, sporting categories, and other areas where women and girls currently have legal rights and protections,” she continued.
“Using the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ interchangeably obscures the central issue of this debate,” she added, linking to a 3,600-word manifesto she published on her website in June 2020.
We’ll spare you the ensuing melee in her mentions. The most baffling thing about Rowling is not only could she simply keep these questionable opinions to herself, but instead, she seems to revel in being a lightning rod for controversy —even at the cost of her fans and legacy. Already, most of the stars of the Harry Potter franchise have distanced themselves from Rowling over her remarks, and if next year’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore doesn’t perform well, then Warner Bros. may decide that it’s better to just cut its losses.