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J.K. Rowling Is Facing Backlash On Twitter For Her Comments On "People Who Can Menstruate"

"You have power and influence. Why would you do this? What does it achieve?"

Obviously you know J.K. Rowling — she's the author of the Harry Potter series.

Bruce Glikas / Bruce Glikas / FilmMagic

Well, on Saturday, Rowling sparked controversy after she quoted an op-ed in Devex about menstrual health to her nearly 15 million followers.

Mike Marsland

She seemingly took issue with the author's phrase "people who menstruate" and sarcastically tweeted, "‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud? Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA

People swiftly called her out, saying that the comments were anti-trans:

@jk_rowling What happens when women enter menopause? What about women who had hysterectomies? Women who don't menstruate because of hormonal issues? Are they not women? Nothing you say stops trans women from being women.

"Trans women are women," singer Mary Lambert said to her:

@jk_rowling You have power and influence. Why would you do this? What does it achieve? Do you feel like more of a woman when you punch down? Are you threatened? Some trans men menstruate. Why does that affect you? Why do you want to police that?

One person reminded her that women enter menopause, have hysterectomies, and undergo other things that do not stop them from being women.

@jk_rowling What happens when women enter menopause? What about women who had hysterectomies? Women who don't menstruate because of hormonal issues? Are they not women? Nothing you say stops trans women from being women.

People also brought up how disrespectful it was to tweet this during the Black Lives Matter movement and a pandemic:

@jk_rowling WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A BLACK LIVES MATTER UPRISING AND YOU FEEL LIKE THIS??? IS THE TIME TO GO ON A TRANSPHOBIC SCREED ABOUT BIOLOGICAL GENDER?????? HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT RESPECT

jk rowling posting transphobic tweets for absolutely no reason at all in the middle of a pandemic and protests against racism and police brutality

jk rowling really out here making transphobic comments whilst the world is battling a pandemic and trying to bring forth a revolution

The LGBTQ organization GLAAD also released a statement, encouraging people to donate to organizations that support Black trans people, and said "Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans":

JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.

Rowling, who has been called out for being anti-trans on Twitter before in 2019, defended her most recent statements, saying she's spent the last three years researching the topic:

I’ve spent much of the last three years reading books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists. I know exactly what the distinction is. Never assume that because someone thinks differently, they have no knowledge. https://t.co/5kxnH3mZPf

"I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives," she said:

If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. 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.

"I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so," she wrote:

I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.

Rowling has made no additional statements, but we will update you if she does.

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