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J.K. Rowling’s Transphobic Tweets Are A Disservice To Her Own Work And It’s Got Harry Potter Fans Miffed

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I’ve often visualised J.K. Rowling’s career trajectory as a version of HBO’s Game of Thrones series. Like the show, she starts off on a high note with the extended Harry Potter franchise, turning it into one of the biggest phenomena of our time. And then, she self-sabotages it by messing up with the original canon so badly, that fans want her to leave her own creation alone. However, what’s even worse is that after annoying Merlin’s pants off of HP fans by retrofitting the original HP canon for greater representation, she is now poised to Avada Kedavra her legacy on a hill of transphobia.

What has J.K. Rowling gone and done now?

We’re getting too used to asking this question, aren’t we? It all began when Rowling, on Twitter, shared an op-ed that used the phrase ‘people who menstruate’ and got a little snarky with her displeasure that the word ‘women’ wasn’t used instead.

Okay then!

Now, it is widely known that this isn’t Rowling’s first time voicing anti-trans opinions. She has apparently been labelled a TERF—Trans-Exclusionary Radical—a woman who believes that trans people somehow threaten her own feeling of womanhood.

The criticism this time, however, was a notch higher, because not only was she unwilling to accept that her stance was transphobic but she was launching this crusade at a time when there are more worthy causes demanding her attention. As you read this, the Black Lives Matter movement against systematic racial injustices against black people is raging across the United States and other parts of the world. As a prominent personality (and white), people felt that she could’ve chosen to amplify this cause over her current stance.

Celebrities like Sarah Paulson, Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, Jameela Jamil and Varun Grover also clapped back at Rowling’s anti-trans tweets, and any justification she may have provided for her words.

ALSO READ: DHRUV RATHEE’S COMPARISON OF BLACK LIVES MATTER TO FEMINISM COMPLETELY MISSES THE POINT AND THIS NEEDS TO STOP

And yet, J.K. Rowling’s Twitter has been silent since those tweets. Though we do not know if this is in contemplation of her flawed beliefs or because she has turned Cornelius Fudge and refuses to acknowledge what is right in front of her (HP inside joke, geddit?).

Rowling has enriched countless lives with the magic of Harry Potter. But why the author of the Boy Who Lived brings her controversial opinions to die a painful death under the Cruciatus Curse on Twitter is beyond me and most of her fans. There are many children and grown adults who were ‘saved’ by reading HP during difficult times in their lives. Many, like yours truly, aspired to be writers because J.K. Rowling was such an inspiration to us.

And now, watching her ruin everything that she’s built and turning fans’ reverence into dislike feels like a rerun of GOT Season 8 that nobody wants to watch, especially if it’s in slow-mo. Rowling began by unnecessarily retrofitting character details like ‘Dumbledore was gay and feelings for Grindelwald’ or extolling the casting of a ‘black Hermione’ in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage production, all of which turned first-generation HP fans against her. She was even turned into a meme format.

To this, you add her tone-deaf statements that are literally conjured out of nowhere, and you’ve got a Twitter rep that Hermione wouldn’t approve of. 

Because of this, a younger generation of readers has been finding it hard to fall in love with her books, while the older generation tries desperately to reconcile their feelings for the story. The wizarding world dreamt up by Rowling would’ve never withstood today’s intense scrutiny of political subtext, and the author is only making it worse.

The beloved children’s story is constantly being called out for child abuse, cultural appropriation and even a reluctant acceptance of slavery (house-elves) by its protagonists.

The point is, J.K. Rowling does not need to do this. We get it, no matter how much of a billionaire she is or how many book/movies she drops, she needs to stay relevant on the platform that matters. But there are so many other causes that her powerful support could benefit from! Does she have to pick the one that could Obliviate all the good that she’s done so far from public memory? Is she writing these tweets with a Quick Quotes Quill or what?

What is this Rita Skeeter-behaviour, J.K. Rowling?

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