J.K. Rowling Under Fire (Again) For Criticizing Scotland’s Decision To Log Rape According To Gender Identity

By Luna Salinas··  6 min read
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J.K. Rowling Under Fire For Criticizing Scotland’s Decision To Log Rape According To Gender Identity Alamy

Recently, formerly celebrated author J.K. Rowling came under fire from activists for daring to criticize the Scottish police’s decision to “log rapes as being carried out by a woman if the accused person insists, even if they have not legally changed gender.”

Rowling, the renowned author of the iconic Harry Potter franchise, and previously considered a progressive darling, has received another dose of vitriol and disdain from many who formerly adored her. 

The Gender-Critical Controversy

Rowling’s crime? Ascribing to “gender critical” belief – that is, the belief that sex is immutable and that gender identity can’t be conflated with it. A biological male can choose to identify as a woman, and therefore be considered a trans woman, but even if the individual were to take the female hormone estrogen, they would still retain several traditionally-male biological advantages, such as height and strength.

Gender critical belief entails respecting these differences and taking them into account when it comes to protecting biological, cisgender women – particularly in sports and private spaces wherein women are in a vulnerable position, such as a gym locker room, bathhouse, or prison. For the purposes of reading this article, “women” will refer to cisgender (that is, having a gender identity that matches your birth sex), biological females; “trans men” will refer to biological females who wish to present as male in society; and “trans women” will refer to biological males who wish to present as female in society.

Rowling gained notoriety back in 2020 when she called out those who use the term “people who menstruate.”

Many leftist activists, as well as activists for the LGBTQ community, slammed Rowling for allegedly claiming that all individuals who menstruate identify as women. She didn’t explicitly say as much in the tweet, yet many responded on the basis of that assumption (just general advice here, it’s easier to go through life assuming charitable intent when someone’s speaking, unless they make it obviously clear they’re being malicious).

It doesn’t help that it can get incredibly convoluted, talking about gender identity and biological sex. Maybe one individual considers “women” to mean biological, cisgender females, and will use “trans women” as a distinct, separate term. If it’s the average person who doesn’t want to go out of their way to hurt people, the distinction isn’t made to intentionally exclude individuals who present as women from discussions around issues that affect women on a societal level. After all, many trans women, such as YouTubers Blaire White and Natalie Wynn, look like biological females. An unassuming stranger then, would refer to them as such.

However, the distinction is important, and necessary, when talking about issues that may plague biological females (that is, women and trans men) on the basis of sex – such as menstruation, pregnancy, PCOS, childbirth, and certain cancers.

The “people who menstruate” article could have just as well said, “women and trans men” in order to be inclusive. But instead, the phrasing reduces these individuals to a function. These people aren’t women or trans men, they’re “people who menstruate.” Women are no longer “women,” they’re reduced to what their body can do. It’s truly deranging to see many of the people who decry misogyny and cry out against things that will supposedly lead to living in the world of The Handmaid’s Tale, stand behind this as something good.

Rowling’s Continued Defiance

Rowling has continued to stand by her beliefs and speak about them, and it’s resulted in the disdain for her to grow quite severe, to the point that people are doxxing her and reportedly threatening her life. 

The entire “Let’s Hate J.K. Rowling Movement” has become the trendy bandwagon, with the main Harry Potter trio slamming her for her beliefs. Rowling was even excluded from the 20th anniversary Harry Potter special on HBO Max. Without her, there would’ve been nothing to celebrate, and Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint certainly wouldn’t have seen the level of fame and success they have today. You would think activists would cancel Harry Potter because of this, but they won’t. In the end, they’ll continue to support Rowling’s work, and she’ll continue to make money from it.

Rowling’s Latest “Offense”

The latest offending tweet is as follows:

The linked The Times article opens with this concerning information:

“Police have been criticised for saying they will record rapes by offenders with male genitalia as being committed by a woman if the attacker ‘identifies as a female.’

Police Scotland said that they would log rapes as being carried out by a woman if the accused person insists, even if they have not legally changed gender.

The move, reported by The Scottish Sun on Sunday, comes ahead of proposed new laws to make it easier for people to self-identify as whichever sex they want, which are opposed by some feminist groups. The Scottish government wants to remove medical checks for those seeking a gender recognition certificate and shorten the time people have to live as their new gender before it is legally recognised.”

The United Kingdom’s Sexual Offenses Act of 2003 defines rape as an individual (A) intentionally penetrating the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person (B) with their penis, and without B’s consent. Additionally, A has to reasonably believe that they don’t have the consent of B. With this understanding, rape must involve a penis. Some are jumping on the bandwagon of “J.K. Rowling doesn’t believe women can rape!” and others continue to ignore this and use it as another opportunity to call her transphobic – both are massive deflections in a very serious conversation, which comes across as them caring more about the gender identity of an abuser than the victimization and trauma of other individuals.

rowling tweet response women capable of rape

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jk rowling tweet response transphobic

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Rowling isn’t saying women are incapable of rape. The law defines rape as being committed by those with a penis – that’s certainly another issue as it minimizes the abuse men and boys can face from women, but that isn’t the current topic Rowling is bringing forth. It goes to prove how people don’t try to understand or are happy to jump the gun and assume the worst.

Closing Thoughts

Whether or not you agree with Rowling, it’s important she be able to speak her mind, just like it’s important to let everyone speak their mind, even if they’d rather be more concerned for the gender identity of rapists and abusers than protecting women from being raped in prison.

To those who say the percentage of transgender prisoners may be low, prisoners in California have been given condoms and the Plan B pill – rape resulting in potential pregnancy is a big enough issue there that such accommodations for a “sex-segregated” prison need to be made. If it can happen in California, it can certainly happen in other places that are more concerned with progressivism than safety. Such accommodations need to be evaluated carefully, and if you allow anyone to enter a women’s prison just because they say they’re a woman, that’s incredibly dangerous. 

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