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J.K. Rowling Just Made An Important Point About The Words We Use To Criticize Female Politicians

"If you can’t disagree with a woman without reaching for all those filthy old insults, screw you and your politics."

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J.K. Rowling is no stranger to a solid Twitter burn, but on Friday she went a step further, making an important point about the words we use when criticizing female politicians.

Just unfollowed a man whom I thought was smart and funny, because he called Theresa May a whore. 1/14

Rowling started off by saying she'd just unfollowed a man after he called British Prime Minister Theresa May a "whore."

She went on to eviscerate progressive men who she said turn into "some guy hiding behind a cartoon frog" the moment they try to criticize female politicians.

"If you can’t disagree with a woman without reaching for all those filthy old insults, screw you and your politics," she said.

Here is Rowling's full thread:

If you can’t disagree with a woman without reaching for all those filthy old insults, screw you and your politics. 2/14

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I’m sick of ‘liberal’ men whose mask slips every time a woman displeases them, who reach immediately for crude and humiliating words 3/14

associated with femaleness, act like old-school misogynists and then preen themselves as though they’ve been brave. 4/14

When you do this, Mr Liberal Cool Guy, you ally yourself, wittingly or not, with the men who send women violent pornographic images 5/14

and rape threats, who try by every means possible to intimidate women out of politics and public spaces, both real and digital. 6/14

‘Cunt’, ‘whore’ and, naturally, rape. We’re too ugly to rape, or we need raping, or we need raping and killing. 7/14

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Every woman I know who has dared express an opinion publically has endured this kind of abuse at least once, 8/14

rooted in an apparent determination to humiliate or intimidate her on the basis that she is female. 9/14

If you want to know how much fouler it gets if you also happen to be black or gay, ask Diane Abbot or Ruth Davidson. 10/14

I don’t care whether we’re talking about Theresa May or Nicola Sturgeon or Kate Hooey or Yvette Cooper or Hillary Clinton: 11/14

femaleness is not a design flaw. If your immediate response to a woman who displeases you 12/14

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is to call her a synonym for her vulva, or compare her to a prostitute, then drop the pretence and own it: you’re not a liberal. 13/14

You’re a few short steps away from some guy hiding behind a cartoon frog. 14/14

People are calling the thread spot-on, and many are saying they too have encountered the same kind of sexist insults from men who call themselves progressive.

This whole thread is dead on. Too many "liberal" men resort to sexist insults when a woman does something they disl… https://t.co/Ad7N2gU8R9

I've met guys who consider themselves progressive, but who also default to this sort of behavior to minimize women.… https://t.co/qCibnq4qXK

Was just complaining about many liberal women's unwillingness to condemn sexism against conservative women, so it's… https://t.co/FJqa4dAWgw

This also tends to affect immigrants and people of color, who are often told to "go back to [fill in some foreign country]," one person pointed out.

Yes. This thread. Add to it, for some of us, being told to "go back to [fill in some foreign country]." https://t.co/JnOz4KHGfs

Dictionary.com even joined in, pointing out the power of words to "empower & inspire, enlighten & humble" but also "degrade, manipulate, & terrify."

Words are powerful. They can empower & inspire, enlighten & humble. But they can also degrade, manipulate & ter… https://t.co/grBnAQleln

"We can disagree politically without resorting to misogyny, racism, religion, or appearance," said one person. "Be better than that."

Important thread. We can disagree politically without resorting to mysogyny, racism, religion, or appearance. Be… https://t.co/a7LXHiaoAm

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

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