In the midst of a global pandemic and a country-wide upheaval over police brutality and discrimination, Twitter users were baffled on Saturday (June 6), when Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling sent out a flurry of transphobic tweets due to a headline she read.
In the first of many tweets, the author criticized a Devex headline that used the phrase “people who menstruate” instead of the word women. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” the author wrote. She later sent out a much longer series of tweets, claiming incorrectly that transgender people want to remove the concept of sex altogether. “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased,” she said. “I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
A number of artists and organizations condemned Rowling for her comments, but one star took some time to collect her thoughts before going after the author. Mikaela Straus, better known as King Princess, took to her Instagram on Sunday (June 7) to let Rowling know exactly how damaging her comments were. “I am not the person you will find calling out people on the internet,” she started her message. “But that being said this one is personal.”
Written as a caption under an all-black photo, Straus began to list various ways Rowling’s tweets were extremely harmful, starting with the fact that many in the LGBTQ community look up to her. “ I don’t think especially now, that you realize the accidental queer haven you created in your books for so many kids within the lgbt spectrum,” she said. “Right now you are telling countless trans/femme kids that they basically didn’t deserve to be a part of that Utopia. That you pretty much negate the presence of their identities in this world.”
The singer then launched into her next scathing critique, aimed at Rowling’s self-proclaimed victimhood in her messages.”You feel like your womanhood is attacked by a movement towards trans equality?” she wrote. “What does this AT ALL have to do with you and your womanhood and why do you feel so angry? Are you scared that the inclusion of trans femme people somehow erases you?”
Straus kept going, highlighting the fact that trans people are still “murdered, beaten, and left unprotected by the law” on a daily basis, and that Rowling’s assertions completely ignored that. “I know, and so many others know that you, as a white cis gender woman, have had a lot more years of systematic privilege and power than trans folks. Separating cis women from trans women is exactly what allows this systematic privilege/hierarchy to continue.”
In closing her message, Straus asked Rowling to reflect on the harm her statements cause before choosing to speak again. “Please ask yourself why you are talking, why you are disrupting this movement with your confusing words, and why, as a writer, you feel the need to attack a group of people who most likely sustained your business for many years. Bye.”
Check out King Princess’s full rant below: