Some of Britain’s best known writers and actors, including famed author Ian McEwan and actor Griff Rhys Jones have signed an open letter defending JK Rowling after the Harry Potter creator was the focus of sustained attack in social and mainstream media for her views on gender identity.
Rowling has stood her ground after expressing concern that the aggression of trans activists is diminishing women’s rights. In particular, she has repeatedly stated that biological sex matters, and that women have a right to maintain their identity and that gender is not simply fluid.
“I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it. I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single sex spaces,” she wrote previously.
When trans activists began posting #RIPJKRowling after the author published a new book, many felt it was a step too far after more than a year of abuse, name-calling and threats online, backed by a slew of articles in the establishment media calling Ms Rowling a ‘transphobe’.
The letter, published in the Sunday Times, was titled “We Stand with JK Against Hate,” and was signed by some of the most well-known actors and writers in Britain. Irish author and psychotherapist Stella O’Malley signed and was a co-author of the letter.
“JK Rowling has been subjected to an onslaught of abuse that highlights an insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media,” the letter stated.
“Rowling has consistently shown herself to be an honourable and compassionate person, and the appalling hashtag #RIPJKRowling is just the latest example of hate speech directed against her and other women that Twitter and other platforms enable and implicitly endorse.”
“We are signing this letter in the hope that, if more people stand up against the targeting of women online, we might at least make it less acceptable to engage in it or profit from it.”
“We wish JK Rowling well and stand in solidarity with her.”
Despite the social media controversy, Rowling’s new book, Troubled Blood sold 64,633 copies in its first five days, and went straight to the top of the best-sellers list.