JK Rowling and Joanne Harris fight over trans rights and free speech
English author JK Rowling, best known for the ‘Harry Potter’ fantasy book series, has clashed with fellow author Joanne Harris, known for ‘Chocolate’, over gender identity issues. In recent years, Rowling has drawn ire from the trans community, activists and allies for her allegedly ‘transphobic’ statements, although the author has denied the accusations and said many positions taken by the community trans violate the rights of biological persons. women.
The recent controversy erupted after Rowling voiced support for Booker Prize-winning Indian-American, British-American author Salman Rushdie, who was recently stabbed by a lone assailant while attending an event in New York. But for her trouble, she was threatened with a similar fate by a Twitter user who wrote, “Don’t worry, you’re next.” Rowling reported the tweet and urged Twitter and law enforcement to take action.
Meanwhile, Harris, head of the Society of Authors, took a poll in which she asked her “other authors” if they had “ever received a death threat (credible or not).” The options were ‘Yes’, ‘Hell, yes’, ‘No, never’ and ‘Show me, damn it’. Many have accused Harris of being flippant in the face of a death threat. And Rowling herself, while speaking to The Times, said she was “surprised” to see the poll.
So today I did The Times. The article is paid, but from what I can see, it seems that as the president of the @Soc_of_Authors, I don’t offer enough help to gender-sensitive women who feel threatened for their beliefs. I can’t believe I have to say it again, but there you go.
— Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolate) August 16, 2022
“I have not received any communication from Harris expressing sympathy for the death and rape threats I have received,” she said.
She added that Harris “systematically failed” to defend female authors who disagreed “with her personal stance on gender identity ideology”, allowing women to be intimidated.
Harris is a strong advocate for trans rights. In response, she wrote on Twitter, “I’ve always said loud and clear that I condemn threats of any kind, to anyone. This goes for people I disagree with as well as those whose opinions I share.Freedom of expression is for everyone, and when one person loses it, we are all in danger.
She also said her stance on the critical gender movement did not affect her belief in free speech.