"Can I get a refund for all the Harry Potter stuff": JK Rowling slams Scotland's gender bill, amasses soaring backlash online

JK Rowling calls out first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon (image via Getty Images)
JK Rowling calls first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon a "destroyer of women's rights" (Image via Getty Images)

On Thursday, October 6, author JK Rowling tweeted in opposition to the Scottish government's gender recognition proposals, and the internet was not happy with it.

The writer of the Harry Potter series took to Twitter to share a picture of herself in a black t-shirt that called Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon a "destroyer of women's rights."

Needless to say, netizens were furious at Rowling and her tweets and took to social media to call her out. One user wondered if they could get a refund for all the Harry Potter-themed items they had bought over the years.

JK Rowling backs protests over Scotland's new trans law

Many, including Rowling, believe that the Scottish government's gender recognition proposals would harm vulnerable women and deem women-only spaces "unsafe."

The proposed Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill would make it easier for people to be legally recognized as their preferred gender by simplifying the process for transgender people to update their birth certificates and by replacing medical diagnosis with self-ID. The bill also reduces the minimum age of applicants for Gender Recognition Certificates (GRC) from 18 to 16.

Holyrood's Human Rights Committee introduced its findings on gender recognition, with most MPs in agreement with the proposed plans. Except for the conservatives, all parties seemed to support the measures.

Hundreds of people protested against gender recognition legislation outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Thursday, October 6.

Protesters outside the Scottish Parliament (Image via Getty Images)
Protesters outside the Scottish Parliament (Image via Getty Images)

With signages saying "Save our single-sex spaces" and "Women's rights are not hateful," several protesters thronged outside the parliament following the Scottish government's proposal.

Although JK Rowling strongly denies being "transphobic," this is not the first time she has expressed her disdain towards the transgender community and her support for "biological sex." The internet has all but kept quiet about her comments. From demanding explanations to boycotting her work, they have called out the Casual Vacancy author for spreading bigotry.

With JK Rowling's influence and reach, some say she could use her voice for more pressing issues like "climate change," but instead, she chooses to attack people's rights to "simply exist." The tweet said:

Another Twitter user posted statistics on what Nicola Sturgeon and JK Rowling have done for women's rights.

People are allowed to express their views: Nicola Sturgeon on JK Rowling's comments

Nicola Sturgeon is the first woman to become Scotland's First Minister and the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP). Sturgeon joined the SNP when she was just 16 years old, crediting the then Prime Minister of the UK, Margaret Thatcher, as her inspiration.

When asked about JK Rowling's attacks on her, she simply replied that people are allowed to have and express their views. She even suggested that people treat others with respect. She said:

"... on this issue, where people have very strong views, we should all try to treat each other with respect and that's what I will continue to do".
Nicola Sturgeon (image via Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon (image via Getty Images)

Sturgeon defended herself against the author's claims, stating that the bill merely makes things less traumatic for transgender people to legally identify themselves. It is by no means a way to strip away any existing rights for women.

β€œIt doesn't give any additional rights to trans people, nor does it take any rights away from women.”

The politician is a "passionate, lifelong feminist" and has spent her life championing women and their rights. She says that the things that threaten women are not far off. "It is men who attack women," she says:

"... it's abusive men who are responsible for that, not trans women, and we need to focus on those who commit those appalling acts..."

The amendment is a giant leap for the transgender community, making legal action far easier than ever. As JK Rowling continues to fight against these laws, more activists are coming forward, demanding real, legal action to aid the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Edited by Shreya Das
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