JK Rowling has revealed she is a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor as she defended her right to speak about trans issues.
The Harry Potter author has long been a target of criticism by trans activists who have taken offence at some of her social media posts.
Rowling, 54, responded to the criticism in a 3,600 word blog post on her website in which she detailed five reasons she felt the need to talk about trans issues, including her interest in “both education and safeguarding” and “freedom of speech”.
Explaining her final reason, she wrote: “I’ve been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor.
“This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember.
“I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.”
She added that her “perennial jumpiness” is a family joke now but she hopes her daughters never have the same reasons she does “for hating sudden loud noises, or finding people behind me when I haven’t heard them approaching”.
Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the films, and Eddie Redmayne, who stars in Fantastic Beasts, have both criticised Rowling for her comments about transgender issues.
Her latest post on the issue was about a headline on an article discussing “people who menstruate”, on which she said: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
In December last year the author supported a researcher who was sacked after tweeting transgender people cannot change their biological sex.
Rowling was accused of being transphobic, an allegation she strongly denies and said she is very much in support of the trans community but also women.
She said lots of women have got in touch with her to tell their stories of being abused by trans activists.
And she said as “endlessly unpleasant” as her being a target is, she refuses “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”.
In the blog post, she said she was motivated to address transgender issues because “we’re living through the most misognistic period I’ve experienced”.
She continued: “Back in the 80s, I imagined that my future daughters, should I have any, would have it far better than I ever did, but between the backlash against feminism and a porn-saturated online culture, I believe things have got significantly worse for girls.
“Never have I seen women denigrated and dehumanised to the extent they are now.
“From the leader of the free world’s long history of sexual assault accusations and his proud boast of ‘grabbing them by the p***y’, to the incel (‘involuntarily celibate’) movement that rages against women who won’t give them sex, to the trans activists who declare that TERFs [trans-exclusionary radical feminists] need punching and re-educating, men across the political spectrum seem to agree: women are asking for trouble.
“Everywhere, women are being told to shut up and sit down, or else.”
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Rowling said she felt “mentally sexless” as a girl growing up in Gloucestershire, which had prompted her to develop mental health issues.
She wrote: “When I read about the theory of gender identity, I remember how mentally sexless I felt in youth.”
Rowling said she had been influenced by Colette and Simone de Beauvoir’s views of gender during this period.
“As I didn’t have a realistic possibility of becoming a man back in the 1980s, it had to be books and music that got me through both my mental health issues and the sexualised scrutiny and judgement that sets so many girls to war against their bodies in their teens,” she wrote.
“Fortunately for me, I found my own sense of otherness, and my ambivalence about being a woman, reflected in the work of female writers and musicians who reassured me that, in spite of everything a sexist world tries to throw at the female-bodied, it’s fine not to feel pink, frilly and compliant inside your own head; it’s OK to feel confused, dark, both sexual and non-sexual, unsure of what or who you are.”
Source : Sky News