why, joanne? By Chloe W

I, personally, am not a huge fan of the Harry Potter series itself. I grew up reading each book, one page after another, to fit in with my friends who absolutely ADORED them though I’d often find myself skipping pages or even dozing off. But that’s beside the point. You’ve probably heard of Harry Potter or maybe even seen the movies — which are all great! Don’t get me wrong, just not my cup of tea. For clarification, I’m not writing this to get you to hate the franchise, nor the actors, nor the story in and of itself. But there are some things we need to set in stone before you stop reading.

J.K. Rowling, though very inclusive of everyone of all ages, is not as hospitable with the trans community, which as most of you know have been ruthlessly stabbed in the back by our favorite fantasy-fiction author Joanne herself.

On the bathroom debate (that has since simmered down), J.K. Rowling has made it abundantly clear that she DOES NOT want “men” in stalls for women only. Often contradicting herself, she believes that though trans women are women, we should make the decision based on one’s genitalia because a man could simply dress pretty and harass women in the bathroom. This is ridiculous because first of all, the fact that you label one as a woman based on what’s under her pants is exactly what you claim gross men would begin to do after trans women are allowed to actually use public restrooms. Therefore, by classifying a woman as walking ovaries, YOU are as much of the problem as they are. Secondly, in states where the bathroom bill have been passed, there are NO examples of cisgender men using it as an advantage to assault women, at the bare minimum no more than there were before (which is incredibly disgusting to think about). And last but definitely not least, if you really don’t want men walking around in women’s bathrooms, you need to allow trans men to use the men’s bathroom. It’s quite literally basic math. 

Apart from the whole bathroom dilemma, which you could blame on traditional education, J.K. Rowling has explicitly stated that if she were born in this generation, she might as well transition to please her father who had always wanted a son. Even though this seems harmless at a first glance (hopefully not, but I wouldn’t find warranty to blame you), this statement suggests that being trans is a choice, which demeans the pain and suppression of gender dysphoria a trans person would’ve faced or are CONTINUING to face in their life. According to the American Psychiatric Association, gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify. To say that a trans person has willingly gone through all of that mental stimulation for FUN is, you guessed it, transphobic.

About her recent book…

Just three months after her ‘Twitter scandal’ was the release of her newest novel, Troubled Blood, features a cis serial killer who disguises himself as a woman in order to gain access to his victims.

If you were to say that her new book is just a work of fiction, I’d argue that it’s much more than that. 

“If a book is about a straight woman on a killing spree, it wouldn’t enforce the stereotype that straight women kill everyone!”

It really isn’t about whether or not cis men kill. There are both cis and trans men that have been charged with murder, for sure, but the fact that J.K. went out of her way to align the plot of her story to her Twitter allegations definitely says something about her intentions.

Can’t give up her books? Here’s what you can do:

  1. Don’t buy the books. Don’t buy the merchandise. Don’t buy anything that could directly profit the author. Instead, you could easily borrow the so unfortunately well-written stories from a library or a friend.
  2. Correct your friends, even if they get frustrated. It isn’t cool to be transphobic.
  3. Educate yourself. Make sure you do the research before letting words slip out of your mouth. 

The video I’ve linked explains this in great detail, and I highly suggest watching it, but in short…

J.K. Rowling is not a trans ally.