JK Rowling has found herself at the centre of a social media storm once again after she shared an abusive and threatening tweet from an anonymous Twitter account.
The tweet in question, posted by a since-deleted account, said: “I wish you a very nice pipe bomb in mailbox.”
“To be fair, when you can’t get a woman sacked, arrested or dropped by her publisher, and cancelling her only made her book sales go up, there’s really only one place to go,” JK Rowling tweeted in response.
She went on to claim that “hundreds” of trans activists have threatened her with beatings, rape, assassination and bombings – although she provided no further examples of the comments she has purportedly received.
Others have weighed in to the discussion to point out that there isn’t any evidence to prove that the anonymous Twitter account in question actually belonged to a “trans activist” – however, this hasn’t stopped “gender critical feminists” from using the tweet as justification for their ceaseless culture war.
Meanwhile, trans people have been at pains to point out that they also face death threats on social media, while many more experience shocking levels of discrimination and violence in their day-to-day lives simply because they’re trans.
Trans people often face horrific death threats on social media
Fox Fisher, a trans author, told PinkNews that they receive abuse online every single day because of their gender identity.
“The narrative that’s being created in the media in regards to ‘the trans debate’ is often the complete opposite to the reality of things,” Fisher said.
“Trans people suffer great amounts of abuse and harassment for advocating for their rights every single day, both on social media and in their real life. Personally, I receive abusive comments on social media every day, ranging from offensive name-calling, to transphobic statements to death threats and serious abuse.
“This is simply for advocating for a more fair and just world, where trans people are treated with dignity and respect.”
Fisher said logging onto social media has become “exhausting”, as they are forced to “rifle through abusive comments to block and delete endless amounts of sock puppet accounts”.
They pointed to extensive research showing that trans people are targeted in hate crimes in their droves, while being out at work is an enormous challenge for many in the community.
Despite this, trans people are being painted as “aggressors”, when the reality is that they’re facing relentless “prejudice, discrimination and violence”.
“It is clear the media has a far-right agenda to push, and trans people are the target. That’s the root of all of these ‘arguments’ and ‘concerns’, and it’s really sad to see people falling prey to it so easily.”
In a blog post on Medium, trans writer Gemma Stone questioned why some so-called gender critical feminists are asking trans people to apologise on behalf of the anonymous Twitter account that targeted JK Rowling.
She said there is a “narrative spreading around that trans people need to condemn this immediately”, pointing out that it’s a given most trans people don’t want to see anyone come into harm’s way.
“It’s a pretty transphobic idea, and specifically one which transphobes rely heavily upon in their rhetoric, to frame transgender people as somehow more violent than cisgender people or cisgender women in particular,” they wrote.
“We are not. We’re scared, upset, angry, disappointed, isolated, alongside any transphobia we may have internalised along the way.”
Stone continued: “It should go without saying I wholeheartedly condemn violence and threats – which is why I won’t say it again. It should go without saying that those who happen to be trans who engage in that kind of rhetoric are a minority and not those heavily involved in organising or activism, so I will not say it again.
“Instead what I will do is keep asking the question ‘When will you condemn anti-trans violence?’”
Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness said JK Rowling is ‘transphobic’
Countless others have made a similar point. Writing on Twitter, Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness said: “People shouldn’t be making violent threats against anyone, but that doesn’t change the fact that JK Rowling is using her platform to spread violence against trans folks all the time.
When folks do threaten her it allows for her transphobic rhetoric to go unchecked. Her views are transphobic & we don’t have to use violent language to prove that.Trans women are women, just like women who don’t have periods are women just like women are women.
— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) July 20, 2021
“JK Rowling is transphobic and continues to create hate and still folks shouldn’t threaten her. When folks do threaten her it allows for her transphobic rhetoric to go unchecked.”
They added: “Her views are transphobic and we don’t have to use violent language to prove that. Trans women are women, just like women who don’t have periods are women, just like women are women.”
Other trans people and allies also spoke out against the violence and discrimination faced by trans people every day on Twitter following JK Rowling’s remarks.
Hey JK Rowling: As far as I’m aware, not a single ‘gender critical’ transphobe has actually been beaten, raped, or sent bombs because they’re ‘gender critical’
— Helen (@mimmymum) July 20, 2021
JK Rowling supporters have literally threatened to mutilate my body.
Where is my massive media backlash? https://t.co/1mCMLsCi0U
— woon gumpus moor (@notCursedE) July 20, 2021
A reminder that JK Rowling has transphobia trending because she had some anon Twitter threats.
Meanwhile transphobes are ACTUALLY stabbing trans people and people they think are trans in California because of a made up incident.
— Erin, boycotting Arkansas businesses (@ErinInTheMorn) July 20, 2021
If JK Rowling refuses to identify which prominent trans activists are abusing her, how can we root them out??
How can we fix it?
She wants the abuse to stop….. so hand over the names of these trans activists and we can deal with it, name and shame them……. easy right?
— Joss Prior * Pleasant to a fault * (@joss_prior) July 20, 2021
JK Rowling and her supporters believe that Twitter abuse targeting women is cruel.
Awesome. Now somebody tell JK Rowling.
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) July 20, 2021
The latest controversy comes a full year after JK Rowling published her incendiary essay on trans identities. She has repeatedly denied that she is transphobic.
PinkNews has contacted a representative for JK Rowling for comment.