Emma Watson has addressed J.K. Rowling’s controversial comments about transgender people, after the author penned an essay defending her stance.
The actress, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, posted statement on Twitter last night.
The 30-year-old wrote: “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.”
“I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.”
I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.
— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
Emma then encouraged her followers to donate to charities such as Mermaids and Mama Cash, before adding: “Happy #Pride2020 Sending love x.”
Emma spoke out after Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter in the film franchise, responded to the author’s tweets in a lengthy blog post published by LGBTQ youth nonprofit The Trevor Project.
The actor said he felt “compelled to say something”, after J.K. was branded “transphobic”.
The author was slammed for making “anti-trans” comments over the weekend, after she took issue with the phrase “people who menstruate” in an article written for Devex.
Sharing the article on her Twitter feed, she wrote: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
After facing serious backlash on social media, J.K. posted a lengthy essay on her website on Wednesday, under the headline: “J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues.”
In the blog post, J.K. revealed she was sexually assaulted in her 20s, and opened up about the domestic abuse she suffered during her first marriage.
She wrote: “On Saturday morning, I read that the Scottish government is proceeding with its controversial gender recognition plans, which will in effect mean that all a man needs to ‘become a woman’ is to say he’s one. To use a very contemporary word, I was ‘triggered’.”
“Ground down by the relentless attacks from trans activists on social media, when I was only there to give children feedback about pictures they’d drawn for my book under lockdown, I spent much of Saturday in a very dark place inside my head, as memories of a serious sexual assault I suffered in my twenties recurred on a loop.”
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 10, 2020
“That assault happened at a time and in a space where I was vulnerable, and a man capitalised on an opportunity.”
“I couldn’t shut out those memories and I was finding it hard to contain my anger and disappointment about the way I believe my government is playing fast and loose with womens and girls’ safety,” she continued.
“I’ve been in the public eye now for over twenty 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 also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage.”
The author shares daughter Jessica, who is now 26, with her Portuguese ex-husband Jorge Arantes.
“I didn’t want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too. However, a short while ago, I asked her how she’d feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life, and she encouraged me to go ahead,” she wrote.
“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.”
“I managed to escape my first violent marriage with some difficulty, but I’m now married to a truly good and principled man, safe and secure in ways I never in a million years expected to be.”
“However, the scars left by violence and sexual assault don’t disappear, no matter how loved you are, and no matter how much money you’ve made.”
“My perennial jumpiness is a family joke – and even I know it’s funny – but I pray my daughters never have the same reasons I do for hating sudden loud noises, or finding people behind me when I haven’t heard them approaching.”
Referring to the controversial tweet she posted on Saturday, she wrote: “Late on Saturday evening, scrolling through children’s pictures before I went to bed, I forgot the first rule of Twitter – never, ever expect a nuanced conversation – and reacted to what I felt was degrading language about women.”
“I spoke up about the importance of sex and have been paying the price ever since. I was transphobic, I was a c***t, a b***h, a TERF, I deserved cancelling, punching and death. You are Voldemort said one person, clearly feeling this was the only language I’d understand.”
“Huge numbers of women are justifiably terrified by the trans activists; I know this because so many have got in touch with me to tell their stories. They’re afraid of doxxing, of losing their jobs or their livelihoods, and of violence.”
“But endlessly unpleasant as its constant targeting of me has been, I refuse 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.”
“I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single sex spaces,” she continued.
“Polls show those women are in the vast majority, and exclude only those privileged or lucky enough never to have come up against male violence or sexual assault, and who’ve never troubled to educate themselves on how prevalent it is.”