Harry Potter author JK Rowling under fire for defending woman sacked over comments against transgender athletes in sport

JK Rowling defended woman sacked for making anti-transgender comments (PA Images)
11:38am, Fri 20 Dec 2019
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Harry Potter author JK Rowling has become embroiled in a row after jumping to the defence of a woman who lost her job for making 'offensive' transgender comments.

Rowling tweeted her support for Maya Forstater after an employment tribunal upheld her dismissal by a major think tank in the light of using 'offensive and exclusionary language'.

One post by Forstater read 'Men cannot change into women', while another said 'It is unfair and unsafe for trans women to compete in women's sport'.

Judge James Tayler, hearing Forstater's case in London, concluded that her view that transgender people cannot change their sex was 'not worthy of respect'.

Tayler added that the tweets were 'incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others'.

But as the trans community condemned Forstater's comments, Rowling said she did not believe it was a sackable offence.

The author posted: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. 

"Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya.”

Following the verdict, Forstater said: “(I am) struggling to express the shock and disbelief I feel at reading this judgment, which I think will be shared by the vast majority of people who are familiar with my case”.

Rowling, meanwhile, has sufferred a social media backlash.

Katelyn Burns tweeted: "Everyone has the right to do the job they’re employed to do without harrassment over their identity. That’s a fundamental basis for human rights law. 

"That’s what the case was about. JK Rowling, by backing Maya in this case, believes trans people aren’t entitled to that protection."

Amanda Jette Knox wrote: "My daughter, who is trans, is a big fan of yours. It breaks my heart to see you post something indicating that discrimination against her is perfectly fine behaviour for an employee.

"The world's most credible medical orgs affirm trans people. Please catch up."

But the author did find some support for her views.

Jess De Wahls tweeted: "The misogyny directed at @jk_rowling shows everything that is screwed up with this libfem movement. 

"Something is going terribly wrong, when your feminism supports the harassment, slander and bullying of other women, simply because you disagree with them. #IStandWithJKRowling"

While Adunni Adaora Achebe wrote: "I'm glad literary icons like JK Rowling haven't lost touch with reality. It's refreshing to see that we haven't lost her to the dark side.

"Society can carve out a million genders if they want, but biologic (genotypic) sex is as real as day."

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