In a landmark ruling on Thursday, a London employment tribunal upheld the firing of a woman who had been let go from her job for blasting government plans to allow transgender people to self-identify on Twitter. The decision instantly became a subject of debate in the UK, and author J.K. Rowling has put herself firmly on the controversial side of it.
Maya Forstater, 45, had been employed at a London-based think-tank that campaigns against poverty when she was accused of using “offensive and exclusionary” language in a series of tweets in which she claimed that “men cannot change into women.” She was subsequently terminated from her job. Forstater then went on to sue to former employers alleging that her so-called “gender-critical” view (that there are only two biological sexes) was a protected philosophical belief under the 2010 Equality Act.
In short, had Forstater won her ruling, employers in the UK would have been legally prevented from dismissing employees who express discriminatory views on LGBTQ rights.
If you think it seems like a good thing that homophobic or transphobic remarks will continue to not be tolerated in the workplace, you’re not alone. However, the Harry Potter author apparently does not agree. In the wake of the ruling, the typically left-leaning Ms. Rowling blasted out a tweet in support of Forstater, and now, she’s being accused of being a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) in doing so.
“Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security,” she wrote. “But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill”
Dress however you please.
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
Her tweet, uh, was received accordingly.
So Cats, Star Wars, Impeachment, and now it seems JK Rowling is a bit of A TERF pic.twitter.com/OCBtwmXnq6
— 🐙🦑🐙🦑 (@LucyDiscoJones) December 19, 2019
Harry Potter and the chamber of transphobes
— Gallifreyan Jedi (@JediofGallifrey) December 19, 2019
Did Dolores Umbridge write this?
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) December 19, 2019
JK Rowling decided today would be a good day to go full-on TERF https://t.co/afProwb6Vn
— Yes, You're Racist (@YesYoureRacist) December 19, 2019
Tired: Dumbledore is gay but there’s no evidence in any of the books.
Wired: JK Rowling is a full-blown TERF and she’s saying it with her chest. pic.twitter.com/jC2j7UNZx6
— Camp as Christmas (@Philip_Ellis) December 19, 2019
When I was little, my dream was to one day ask you how people like me would have been accomodated for in hogwarts..
I'm afraid that my dreams might have been crushed if I ever got that chance.
— Noel is entering peak holiday spirit (@notafootstool) December 19, 2019
Harry Potter and the Wrong Side of History (2019) pic.twitter.com/PRw9heyQAK
— It's Not Disney. It's Disney Prime Video. (@GetDisneyPrime) December 19, 2019
And there was also a bit of “told ya so” from the trans community:
well its finally happened. JK Rowling has taken the mask off and shown everyone what trans people have been telling you for years: she's a terf.
maybe believe us next time we tell you someone is crypto? pic.twitter.com/V17h9phGZ5
— sinéad naoimh ⚧ 🦀🍾 (@sineadactually) December 19, 2019
Trans women have been telling you all she was fucking trash for years https://t.co/OSU8MdETcB
— Erika Price (@erikapriceart) December 19, 2019
For several years, there has been substantial concern that J.K. Rowling is transphobic. I admit that I held out hope that one of my childhood heroes was simply being misunderstood. This morning, that was dashed when she defended a researcher who was fired for transphobic tweets. https://t.co/lWSUBHfFhD
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 19, 2019
J.K Rowling just called me a man with her whole chest. https://t.co/aGufzZkAqZ
— Polly Anna 🌈 (@JazzCochina) December 19, 2019
As devastating as this all is to Rowling’s reputation, perhaps this is the most savage knife twist of them all: