JK Rowling's wacky weekend; an image of JK Rowling reading her book to children at the White House in 2010
JK Rowling's wacky weekend; an image of JK Rowling reading her book to children at the White House in 2010

This week has been quite the week for anti-trans activism as Posie Parker visited Australia and New Zealand on her #LetWomenSpeak tour. Culminating in ‘sieg heil’ Nazis, a tomato sauce incident and JK Rowling’s wacky weekend of transphobic lies!

I have said before I loathe talking about this woman. But her name recognition is too good to not use and who knows? Maybe we’ll manage to inform a few people about prejudice, bigotry and the disinformation behind things tweeted out during JK Rowling’s wacky weekend of transphobic lies!

JK Rowling’s wacky weekend follows some really terrible news for anti-trans activists after literal actual ‘sieg heiling’ nazis supported the rally led by Posie Parker. Multiple women opposing the rallies were manhandled by security, including senator Lidia Thorpe. And of course, Posie Parker herself got doused in tomato sauce and had to cancel an event.

We have agreed to take pieces from a nonbinary person who was at the protest to oppose Posie and the Nazis in Victoria, Australia and also from the tomato sauce wielding hero of New Zealand too. Subscribe to Writes by email, Twitter or Patreon to be informed as soon as those go live!

In the mean time I’ll do what I do best and debunk transphobic disinformation and provide context from this side of the world. Centering around some of the wacky things said by the greatest author of our generation. JK Rowling’s wacky weekend kicked off strong with a retweet of the guy who previously said “I preferred AIDs” over the “gender ghouls at Stonewall and Mermaids”.

This time claiming that “I don’t remember a single [gay rights and AIDs protest] where we [LGBTQIA+ communities and allies] intimidated or silenced a woman”. I can forgive Kavanagh for not knowing, but I am a little bit concerned with Rowling’s memory for seemingly having forgotten that her best friend and charity co-founder, Baroness Emma Nicholson, was protested by lesbians.

In the 90s The Lesbian Avengers showed up on then MP Emma Nicholson’s garden for a “tea party cum protest”. Hilariously enough, JK Rowling also had queer protestors show up at her house and Rowling herself referred to it as an attempt to intimidate her. So which is it? Did LGBTQIA+ protestors of yesteryear never try to intimidate women or is showing up outside anti-LGBTQIA+ women’s houses in protest not intimidation afterall? You can’t have this both ways!

A greyscale photo of The Lesbian Avengers walking up now Baroness Emma Nicholson's driveway in Devon, 1995.
A greyscale photo of The Lesbian Avengers walking up now Baroness Emma Nicholson’s driveway in Devon, 1995.

Rowling’s wacky weekend of transphobic mithering continues with her straight cisgender self retweeting a tweet from a random Twitter Blue subscriber claiming the word “queer” was “never joyous” due to homophobes beating their friends to death while shouting it at them.

Perhaps if she – or indeed the fellow gay in the tweet – had taken 5 seconds to think about this they would have realised that homophobes and transphobes don’t exactly use words like “lesbian” or “gay” positively either. In fact when I was growing up “gay” was the go to word to say something was bad. Fall Out Boy even titled one of their songs “G.I.N.A S.F.S” or “gay is not a synonym for shitty” because of this prevalence.

“Gay” is just as much used as a slur as “queer” or “lesbian” or “dyke” and even “trans”. But nonetheless the communities tarred with these terms took them and made something beautiful, authentic and uplifting to themselves. They united around them and refused to allow bigots to control the words or have power over them. That’s pretty radical and kinda badass whether you use that term for yourself or not.

The Twitter Blue user also made a graphic where they badly erased the pink, blue, brown and black stripes from the progress Pride flag and captioned it with “get your shit off our flag”. As if the original pride flag is not something that still exists, which you can still purchase, and which literally no one will give a crap about you doing.

Further on JK Rowling’s weekend of transphobic bleating is the now deleted Dworkin tweet. A tweet in which Rowling quotes a passage from feminist writer Andrea Dworkin on violence against women for speaking up and how no threat seems empty. This tweet includes an image of what appears to be a man angirly shouting down at a woman. The implication being here that the man is a violent trans ally shouting down at a courageous woman standing up for her rights!

However rumours are currently circulating that this person is actually part of Posie’s supporters and the Rowling tweet has been deleted, though many others of this person are still up on the site. The evidence for this claim is, in my opinion, not particularly strong either way. But its a clip included in this article which appears to show them pushing people to help Posie escape.

Having been in crowded situations like that and having had to drag someone out safely I know that the crew pick a direction and they just go. Curly haired dude could absolutely be a supporter who joined in to help, but they could equally be someone who opposed Posie and didn’t want to get trampled. I don’t know either way and I’d probably delete my tweet about it too in JK’s likely expensive shoes.

Also, Dworkin was quite famously; not a transphobe.

Then there’s the tweet where JK Rowling is accusing a former SNP Councillor of thinking “male violence they don’t agree with is a right laugh”. This as she posted a badly cropped image which shows a hand around Posie’s neck with something metallic being held against the other side. Some anti-trans activists online are claiming this object is a knife, however again video evidence proves this not to be the case. Both the hand and the phone belong to Posie’s security who can be seen escorting her out in other footage.

Also, the hand is (I assume cisgender) woman’s hand – so much for we can always tell I suppose.

The other two images included in this tweet are of said former SNP councillor bigging up Humza Yousaf who has just been elected leader of the SNP and another picturing a nice hot bowl of tomato soup.

And although this technically didn’t happen on the weekend because she posted it Friday, it was kind of the impetus for me to write this piece about JK Rowling’s weekend of transphobic crap. So I’m including it! “It” being the thread she in reply to James Dornan MSP where she once again invokes the hateful disinformation surrounding the infamous ‘Swedish study’.

We covered JK Rowling making this misrepresentation before which you are welcome to read by clicking here. But as I said on Twitter her new phrasing of this suggests a massive backslide from the position she put forwards before. Moving from “trans women retain male pattern criminality” to “well there’s no evidence that they don’t” is frankly tantamount to waving the white flag above your bigoted hatred and admitting it was always baseless.

It’s not an uncommon tactic used in justifying bigoted policy and is fundamentally oppositional to the entire basis of our legal system; ie the idea that you are innocent until proven otherwise. Rowling seems to want to us to act on the inverse of this; where minorities are unsafe until proven safe and its simply impossible to do. I can’t prove I’m not a danger to people any more than JK Rowling can prove she doesn’t wank off cats behind Asda.

Should JK Rowling be disallowed from pet ownership until we’re all convinced she’s not the reason I hear cat’s screaming every evening? Obviously not. But apparently the same doesn’t apply to trans people where a lack of evidence is enough to justify our mistreatment.

The other half of her tweet doesn’t help her case much either. Claiming that “there are proportionately more trans-identified males in jail in the UK for sex offences than among male prisoners as a whole” – a statistic which is based off of incomplete data and therefore can only ever mislead you into bad conclusions.

The short story is that it takes a long time to get things like a survey of transgender inmates done. They chose not to bother doing these surveys for prisoners with short stays and instead focused on those with longer stays, which just so happened to be primarily those who had committed serious sex offences.

Not to mention the vast majority of crimes don’t actually result in prison stays at all. So it makes no sense to look at prison populations to find out what kinds of crimes trans people commit because most trans criminals will likely not be in prison. If you want to find this data you would have to look at the prosecution service’s conviction rate data. Though currently this does not record whether a person is transgender or not.

Even at face value and if the statistics she bases all of this on had no flaws its still an easy debunk. Do you want 50% of my wealth or 1% of JK Rowling’s? I earned just over £7,000 last year and Rowling is ranked in the top 200 richest people in the UK. Percentages don’t mean a lot without the underlying figures and the underlying figures here are that of the 230 known transgender inmates in the UK 115 are convicted of some kind of sex offence and there are almost 80,000 UK prisoners in total.

The figures, according to Rape Crisis England & Wales, also show that across a 12-month period ending in September 2022 there were over 70,000 reports made to police. The police brought charges in only 2,616 of those – and this is just the statistics for rape. Transgender people are not the threat that women – including transgender women – face down every day.

JK Rowling might try to tell you she doesn’t think we are either and that she’s just concerned about bad faith actors pretending to be transgender women. But this doesn’t particularly vibe well with her use of “trans-identified males” or the invocation of this genetic criminality we supposedly have. Pick a lane Joanne, I am getting dizzy!

That’s the heavy stuff dealt with so its time to wrap Rowling’s wacky weekend up with something a bit more fun. Specifically her absolute indignation towards someone suggesting that she has positioned herself as victim to a witch-hunt. How dare they!

In the tweets Rowling asks Jack Parker to show “examples, please” of her “regularly posting transphobic rhetoric immediately after events where trans people have been attacked or killed”. Jack responds to this requesssssst for examplesssssss pleasssseeeee (sorry, I had to) by saying that Rowling had “framed herself as a victim of a witch-hunt by trans people days after the killing of Brianna Ghey”.

Then the absolute best tweet JK Rowling has ever sent happened. She did the thing so many transphobes defending JK Rowling do! The thing where they pretend to not know anything and demand some kind of proof to meet their impossibly high standards of what proof is. “Show me the actual words, Jack. Show me where I said I’m the victim of a witch hunt by trans people.”

It’s literally JK Rowling doing the “show me what JK Rowling said that’s transphobic” but about her own damn self and I cannot tell you how much this tickles my dopamine receptor. It’s just so perfect. Not as perfect as the response from “gay dog” mind you: “You’re on a podcast called “the witch trials of jk rowling”.

Others were also quick to point out how she has leant into this framing by supporting a shop ran by another anti-trans activist who sells “this witch doesn’t burn” merchandise. Or any of the times she’s leaned into the “silencing women” narratives surrounding her and other anti-trans activists.

Sure, she has never specifically said the phrase “I am the victim of a witch-hunt led by transgender people” to my knowledge. But of all people you would expect a writer to understand its possible to send out a message without simply outright stating it. Though I’ve never read any of her books and for all I know it could all just be written as a plainly stated series of events.

Rowling’s wacky weekend was an absolute journey to behold and I look forwards to more as she continues to unravel. Which is bound to happen – the far right are only getting more and more involved in making anti-trans their leading issue to speak about too. How many times do nazis have to attend your events or your own speakers quote Mein Kampf before you question the skulls on your hats?

Tune in next weekend to find out I suppose!