The Rowlings of the “Harry Potter” Series: When Genders Meet: A Critique of a Former Think Tank Employee
Many people thought that the comments dismissed personhood of trans people. TheHarry Potter books are considered to be some of the most beloved novels in children’s literature. Many LGBTQ readers found solace in the series’ themes of found family.
This isn’t the first time that Rowling’s work has been condemned. For years, books in the “Harry Potter” series were among the most banned in America. Many Christians denounced the books’ positive depiction of witchcraft and magic; some called Rowling a heretic. While growing up in a family notorious for it’s bigotry, Megan was educated to believe that novels were not appropriate for her and that she appreciated them as a child.
On the day of the announcement, an audio trailer had been released with the author saying that she had been misinterpreted. The series was not meant to vindicate Rowling, according to the host.
Over the course of the episode, Rowling told Phelps-Roper that she’d had a miscarriage shortly before she married her first husband. She said her first husband abused her and showed up to the home where she and their daughter lived after she left him.
One of the first incidents to earn the name “TERF” was this one. Self-proclaimed feminists who try to police the boundaries of womanhood exclude trans women from the category.
In December 2019, Rowling publicly supported Maya Forstater, a former UK think tank employee who lost her job after she criticized UK government plans to allow residents to self-select their gender on identification documents. She believes that those who have undergone a gender re-assignment surgery are the same as men. She brought a claim against her company, accusing it of discrimination. She was a victim of an initial employment tribunal. (A different tribunal ruled in Forstater’s favor in 2022.)
She also wrote she didn’t want cis women or girls to be “less safe,” referencing the unfounded and harmful belief that allowing trans people to use restrooms that align with their gender could compromise others’ safety. Restricting bathroom access can actually harm trans people: Trans teens who aren’t allowed to use restrooms that match their gender are at a higher risk of sexual assault, according to the 2019 LGBTQ Teen Study.
“Harry Potter” stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint all issued statements in support of trans people after Rowling’s series of anti-trans remarks in June 2020, though only Radcliffe referenced Rowling directly in his comments.
When Rowling compared gender-affirming health care to “a new kind of conversion therapy” in July 2020, “Boy Erased” author and Kennesaw State assistant professor Garrard Conley discussed his own experiences with gay conversion therapy and how gender-affirming care can be lifesaving.
“Research shows that trans people, especially those exposed to this kind of thinking at a young age, are also more likely to attempt suicide,” he wrote for CNN Opinion. trans and non-Binary young people are twice as likely to consider suicide than cisgender youth who are already at an elevated risk of suicidal thoughts, according to data from theTrevor Project.
“Harry Potter” games and the controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling’s “anti-trans” comment on a film inspired by the Harry Potter franchise
“As a charity, we are giving witness to the real hurt felt by young people who used to see Ms. Rowling’s fiction as a place of comfort, friendship and escape.”
Some Harry Potter fans have distanced themselves from Rowling. Last year, major Quidditch leagues said they would change the name of the sport – inspired by the one played in the series – to “quadball,” attributing it in part to Rowling’s continued anti-trans rhetoric.
Some people debated whether or not to buy the video game based on the Harry Potter franchise, with some choosing not to. (Notably, the game appears to include the first out trans character in the series, though that detail has not been explicitly confirmed.) Even as controversy swirls around some of Rowling’s remarks, the game broke pre-sale records. The company behind theHarry Potter film franchise, Warner Bros. Discovery, stated that the author of the “Harry Potter” books isn’t involved with the game.
J.K.Rowling’s critics are decrying her anti-trans comments in the second episode of The Witch Trials of J.K. The next episode will be released next Tuesday, and it seems that there won’t be a response from the author until then.