JK Rowling causes controversy with International Women’s Day post

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  • The Harry Potter author criticised the Labour Party’s stance on gender and equality

    JK Rowling has donated millions of pounds to charity and championed myriad humanitarian causes over the years, however her on-going stance on gender politics has landed her in hot water yet again.

    In a Twitter thread criticising the Labour Party’s stance on gender and equality, the Harry Potter author wrote: “Apparently, under a Labour government, today will become We Who Must Not Be Named Day.”

    Rowling, who has been extremely vocal on the social media platform regarding the definition of womanhood, also decried Nicola Sturgeon for a law proposed in Scotland that would cut back on some of the bureaucracy surrounding how transpeople are identified.

    Sturgeon proposed updating the Gender Recognition Reform Bill that has remained unchanged since 2004. Under the changes trans people would no longer have to show medical and psychiatric reports to have their gender officially changed.

    The reforms mean trans people would no longer need to provide medical reports or evidence, and the process would be quicker and made available to those aged 16 and over.

    In a tweet, Rowling repsonded saying: “The law @NicolaSturgeon’s trying to pass in Scotland will harm the most vulnerable women in society: those seeking help after male violence/rape and incarcerated women.

    The Harry Potter author had similarly scathing critcism for Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister Anneliese Dodds yesterday after being quizzed by Emma Barnett on ‘Labour’s definition of a woman’.

    In answer to Barnett’s question, Dodds replied: ‘Well, I have to say that there are different definitions legally around what a woman actually is. I mean, you look at the definition within the Equality Act, and I think it just says someone who is adult and female, I think, but then doesn’t see how you define either of those things. I mean, obviously, that’s then you’ve got the biological definition, legal definition.’

    Ms Dodds later posted a tweet in honour of International Women’s Day, writing in the caption: ‘Labour will lift women up, not hold them back. Because we are the party of equality #IWD2022.’

    Rowling responded saying: ‘This morning you told the British public you literally can’t define what a woman is. What’s the plan, lift up random objects until you find one that rattles?’

    The author also tweeted: ‘Someone please send the Shadow Minister for Equalities a dictionary and a backbone. #HappyInternationalWomensDay.

    Amid heavy criticism from her followers, one suggested that the author’s recurringinvolvement in the debate around gender was damaging her legacy. Rowling responded: ‘Yes, sweetheart. I’m staying right here on this hill, defending the right of women and girls to talk about themselves, their bodies and their lives in any way they damn well please. You worry about your legacy, I’ll worry about mine.’

    This latest controversy comes after Rowling announced earlier in the week she will personally match donations up to £1m in support of children in Ukraine after her Lumos Foundation launched an emergency appeal.

    The organisation is raising money to provide food, hygiene and medical kits to some of the most vulnerable affected by the war in the country.

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