‘Harry Potter’ Author JK Rowling Opens Up About Sexual Assault

JK Rowling further clarifies her stance saying her history shapes her fears.

Published11 Jun 2020, 10:18 AM IST
Social Buzz
3 min read

Earlier, in a post on Twitter, the author of the Harry Potter series commented on the headline of an article and wrote, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

The post garnered severe backlash, with many calling out the author on her “transphobic” views. In a series of tweets that only made the matter worse, Rowling attempted to explain herself and swiftly failed. Now, she has taken to penning down an essay talking about the issue. In the essay, Rowling revealed that her interest in the subject is propelled by professional interest and that she is a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence.

She took to Twitter to share a link to the piece, calling it ‘TERF wars’:

Speaking about the issue, she said: “I’ve been in the public eye now for over twenty years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor. This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember.”

She spoke about being uncomfortable at the thought of same-sex spaces. “I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.” she said.

She spoke about her violent first marriage, and how it has left her shaken.

“My perennial jumpiness is a family joke – and even I know it’s funny – but I pray my daughters never have the same reasons I do for hating sudden loud noises, or finding people behind me when I haven’t heard them approaching.” she said. She said that she understands that transgender people need protection and that their lives are constantly at risk, but added that she fears for the safety of women who might be attacked by posers.

“So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”

She also commented on the Scottish gender recognition laws, and how she felt “triggered” by it.

I couldn’t shut out those memories and I was finding it hard to contain my anger and disappointment about the way I believe my government is playing fast and loose with womens and girls’ safety.”

She ended her essay saying she is not looking for sympathy, but empathy. “The last thing I want to say is this. I haven’t written this essay in the hope that anybody will get out a violin for me, not even a teeny-weeny one. I’m extraordinarily fortunate; I’m a survivor, certainly not a victim. I’ve only mentioned my past because, like every other human being on this planet, I have a complex backstory, which shapes my fears, my interests and my opinions.”

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