J. K. Rowling (Robert Galbraith)

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I am a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and identify as Sapphic and non-binary. I have faced instances of Transphobia myself, and therefore feel I can appropriately speak on the anti-LGBTQIA+ issues mentioned on this page.

Example One: Mental Health Dismissal.
Example Two: Inciting violence towards critics
Example Three: Transphobia
Example Four: Anti-LGBTQIA+ Associations
Example Five: Robert Galbraith-Homophobia and Stolen Valor.

Example One: Mental Health Dismissal

TLDR: JK joins in on mocking a person when they tweet about their experience with CPTSD. She then doubles down by claiming that her mockery is valid because the victim once called her a transphobe, and that receiving harassment and emotional abuse is just part of being an author. She also claims that only those who go through events such as War and witnessing murder can suffer from PTSD and that the victim shouldn’t have PTSD because ‘others have it worse.’

Author Laurie Penny made a thread explaining a lapse in mental health, and how recent online harassment following the release of their pro-Trans book on feminism had caused them to experience CPTSD. (LINK)

Screenshot of Twitter. A thread of three tweets from Author Laurie Penny. They read "Part of the reason I'm writing this is that after 35 years on this Earth, I've finally come to the conclusion that 'just ignore them; doesn't actually work with bullies. It just makes it a bit more comfortable for everyone else. Anyway. I did my best stiff upper lip for a few days, buried myself in work like I always do- but then my body inconveniently decided to keep the score. Apparently after twelve years of relentless trolling, this was the moment my body decided to present a receipt. Suddenly I was: having rolling panic attacks, bone-tired, confused and constantly cold in a way I've only experienced before in immediacy of deep grief. Thought I had COVID. Nope, just CPTSD. I'm truly, honestly much better now-but it was honestly scary for a few days.'

Journalist Julie Bindel parodied this thread, joking that she had gotten PTSD after a man on her train opened a packet of crisps/chips. She then stated that she’d be cured by a later stop on her journey, or sectioned if someone-specifically a homophobe-gives a negative review of the tweet. (LINK).

JK responded to this by saying “thoughts and prayers”, acting as if this was a serious issue and joining in on mocking those with mental health issues.

Screenshot of twitter. Julie Bindel tweet that says "I am on a train, and have just diagnosed myself with complex PTSD because a fella has just opened a packet of cheesy wotsits. I should be cured by the time I reach Darlington (unless some homophobe reviews this tweet and says it's crap in which case I will be on a Section by York)." 

JK Rowling tweets in response saying "thoughts and prayers, Julie"

Laurie responded to this indirect mockery by politely explaining why JK’s behaviour was wrong, and how it comes across to those that see her tweets. They did so in an extremely respectful manner; telling JK that they have admired her and the worlds she created and that they understand JK may not respond as she’s busy. (LINK)

Screenshot of twitter. Laurie Penny replies to JK Rowling's "thoughts and prayers" tweet. She posts a thread of four tweets in response that read "Hi Joanne, I've loved so much of your writing over the years. I'm the person whose mental health history is being mocked in this tweet, along with everyone else who has experienced CPTSD-including a lot of your readers. I hope you don't think it's ok to shame people like this. I know wrote about your own experience of violence and abuse, and nobody should ever shame or attack you for that. I'm sure it's hard to feel constantly accountable to so many readers and fans-but I wanted to point out how this might come across. Here, Julie is explicitly making fun of my experience with CPTSD, which is something I have to manage after years of experiencing different kinds of violence and harassment. You may want to make it clear that you don't endorse bullying people about their mental health history. I'm not trying to attack you here, and I know you might not have the time, energy or capacity to respond. If so, I understand. And I will always be grateful for the days of magic and escapism your books brought me when I was a child. Thank you."

In a response to Laurie, JK then issued a thread of tweets that seemed to claim that she had the right to mock them as they had never previously shown JK empathy in regards to her opinion on Trans issues. Apparently, it’s reasonable to mock someone’s PTSD if they call you a transphobe, whilst you push anti-trans rhetoric. (LINK)

Screenshot of Twitter. JK Rowling tweet thread part 1 of 2.

JK Rowling tweets a screenshot from an article written by Laurie Penny, which reads:

"Last week, beloved children's author JK Rowling briefly became the world's most famous transphobe. After the Harry Potter writer spent days defending transphobia on Twitter and in her blog, writing that she was 'worried about the new trans activism,' millions of distraught fans and confused bystanders were left wondering what the hell was going on.
But Rowling's public spasm of self-delusion isn't unusual. It's part of a larger, weirder pattern of prejudice. Whenever I'm sharing war stories with American Progressives, one of the first things they tend to ask is why there are so many prominent British transphobes, and why respectable left-wing publications like the Guardian publish their writing on the subject so often. They ask me why the only Western leaders speaking the same language on trans rights as these British liberals are right-wing despots 1/3"

The image is captioned "Laurie, you've been flinging terms like 'fascist' and 'transphobe' against women who disagree with you for a very long time. I don't recall you showing the slightest empathy for other women's trauma while you dismissed their, in my view, reasonable and rational concerns." 

This is followed by a secondary tweet that reads "I have the self-awareness to know that however upsetting the death and rape threats your fellow activists throw at me are, there are literally billions of people suffering more than I am. You claim to be suffering PTSD because of *bad book reviews* 2/3"
Screenshot of Twitter. JK Rowling tweet thread part 2 of 2. JK tweets "Bad reviews are part and parcel of being a writer. If they cause you equivalent trauma to being bombed out of your house or witnessing the murder of loved ones, maybe find a job where dishing it out, but not being able to take it, is a key requirement. 3/3." 

Laurie Penny tweets in reply that "This is so disappointing. I've already explained that that's not at all what I said. But I'm immensely proud of my career as an author and a screenwriter, and I wouldn't give it up for the world. I truly wish you well."

JK then continues the thread by pushing the idea that because people have it worse than she does, she doesn’t have PTSD. She also claims Laurie shouldn’t be an author if she can’t handle this emotional abuse, as it’s nothing compared to watching a loved one get murdered or having your house bombed. This is an extremely outdated idea and has been disproved numerous times.

PTSD can be caused by a variety of different things, including emotional abuse (LINK). Repetitive name-calling and online harassment both count as emotional abuse (LINK), and studies have shown that emotional abuse can be as dangerous and harmful as physical abuse (LINK). Laurie also never claimed that their CPTSD was caused by bad book reviews, which is what JK seems to be focused on.

By “defending herself” against Laurie-whos ‘attack’ was calling JK a transphobe in an article they wrote-JK herself became involved in harassing Laurie. She publicly dismissed their PTSD and announced her beliefs that those who suffer from Mental Health issues shouldn’t because other people have it worse. By claiming she’s allowed to say these things because Laurie never showed her empathy when writing her pro-trans op-ed piece she also pushed the idea that victims of abuse must be nice to their abusers to “earn” not being bullied and that a victim calling out their abuse acts a retroactive justification for the abuse.

Example Two: Inciting violence towards critics

When you have a platform as large as JK’s, anything you say can have rather serious consequences. She retweeted a tweet by a random Twitter user that encouraged those that were planning to protest JK and her views to run headfirst into a wall. (LINK) It’s easy to play this off as “Oh ,she’s just joking.” But it’s also easy to remember that physical violence or injury is something that shouldn’t be joked about so brazenly. I’m sure plenty of you won’t see the issue with this one, an eye for an eye after all…except an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Screenshot of Twitter. JK Rowling Quote tweets an account called Wokeandwoofing. The original tweet reads "To my fellow activists, who are planning to peacefully intimidate JK Rowling by gathering outside her house... Here's the address again: Platform 9 3/4, Kings cross station (To enter, run really fast, head first, at the concrete wall between platform's 9 and 10.) Good luck!" 

JK's quote tweet reads "Actual lol"

Example Three: Transphobia

Wild Womyn is a small business, that sells multiple anti-trans items. JK regularly promotes them to her followers and encourages them to engage and purchase items from the shop. (LINK) Wild Woymn made a ‘the Witch doesn’t burn’ design based on something JK said, with her endorsement and hopes that the shirt sells well (LINK)

Screenshot of Twitter. JK Rowling quote tweets a tweet that reads "I need the words "women can't be bullied out of resistance" on a t-shirt honestly." She adds "Paging @wild_Womyn and then a thumbs up emoji"
Screenshot of Twitter. Wild Womyn Workshop tweet that reads "When I have the time I will post a loads of picture about the process that went behind designing "the witch doesn't burn" t-shirt. In the mean time I can only thank @JK_Rowling. A thousand million times wouldn't do you justice! and to all the women who have reported the design thieves" 

JK tweet in response that reads "For most of history, Anonymous was a woman'-Virginia Woolf. You designed it, you deserve the credit and the cash." Followed by a heart Emoji.

The shop has an entire section dedicated to Gender Criticism. (LINK)

Examples from the shop include:

-An ‘abolish Gender’ Button and a ‘Biology isn’t Bigotry’ Button. Both of these advocate for Sex to be the defining factor in someone’s identity, invalidating any form of gender identity.

-A ‘CIS my Arse’ Button and a ‘Don’t Call me CIS’ Button. CIS is short for Cisgender and simply means that your Gender and Sex align. The prefix ‘CIS-‘ means ‘on this side of’, and is the opposite of the prefix ‘TRANS-‘, meaning ‘On the other side of’. It’s simply a factual description. CIS and TRANS are also used as prefixes in Chemistry and other aspects of Biology; they weren’t invented just for Modern use in Gender discussions. (LINK)

– A ‘Dykes not Dicks’ button. This badge is in reference to the fact that the owner believes lesbians dis-like transwomen, and transwomen can’t be lesbians. The word ‘Dykes’ is a slur used to describe lesbians (LINK.) Many lesbians have reclaimed the slur, but many still find it offensive and inappropriate; especially for non-lesbians to use. The creator of the shop is a Lesbian, which means she can use the term ‘Dykes’ if she finds it appropriate. However, it’s very possible many people who purchase this badge will not be lesbians themselves.

– A ‘F*ck Your Pronouns’ Button. This one refers to not using someone’s preferred pronouns when referring to them. It’s ironic, considering everyone has preferred pronouns. It’s a basic part of the language. Everything-and everyone-uses pronouns. Do you use He, She, They, Them or It when describing someone or something? Would you like someone else to use these words when talking about you? Don’t like to be called it or she but liked to be referred to as He? These are your preferred pronouns.

-A sticker that says “Surf ‘n Terf”, a play on words that proudly claims the wearer is a “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist”. This word is often used by LGBT activists to describe JK Rowling. Despite JK excluding Trans-women from her ‘feminist activism’-which is the definition of the word TERF-she often denies being one.

-A ‘TransMen are my Sisters.’ Button. Both JK and Wild Womyn claim that the Trans-women exclusion from their feminism is to protect women; (LINK). The existence of this badge proves this isn’t true, as it does nothing other than antagonize the choices that TransMen (in their eyes, women) have made.

A screenshot of Wild Womyn shop.

Three different listings for sale in the shop. Each is a small round button and each costs 1.50 GBP. The caption of all three reads "Feminist Button badge". 

The first has a purple background, and a drawing of a group of hands reaching out to grab onto the capitol letter G made of what appears to be bones. In the middle of the G it says "Abolish Gender" in white letters. 

The second has a pink background and a picture of a uterus in the middle. Above the uterus it says "biology" and underneath it says "Isn't bigotry". All of the lettering is black. 

The third has a three striped Purple, white and green background, representative of the colors of the women's rights suffragette movement. It then says "CIS my Arse" in black lettering.
A screenshot of Wild Womyn shop.

Three different listings for sale in the shop. Each is a small round button and each costs 1.50 GBP. The caption of all three reads "Feminist Button badge". 

The first has a red background, and a large black general prohibition sign (A circle with a line through it). Overlaid across the entire button is white lettering that says "Don't call me CIS" 

The second has a red background, with a black copy of what is known as the lesbian gender symbol. It's two circles linked together. Each circle has a line protruding south, and then a smaller line through that line. Over the image, white text reads "Dykes not Dicks"

The third has a blue background that fades to white as it reaches the middle of the button. It says "F*ck your pronouns" in black letters.

It could be argued that she wasn’t aware of all of the products the shop offers, but, as of early March 2022, all of the above products are in the shop and she is currently collaborating with the store to release her own T-shirt design. (LINK) This suggests she has not only browsed the shop in its entirety but also had private conversations with the owner; it’s common sense not to work with businesses you don’t fully trust, especially when you’re as notorious as she is. People in her replies have also pointed out issues with the shop she is promoting, and she has continually ignored the criticism.

Example Four: Anti-LGBTQIA+ Associations

JK responded to Caroline Farrow, sending love after Caroline claimed her life was dominated by “Insane” Trans-rights activists; the same ones JK was ‘fighting.’ (LINK)

Screenshot of Twitter. 

Caroline Farrow tweets that reads "Been feeling so tearful today. The reality of my eldest daughter turning 18 in a few weeks and going to med school. I hugely regret having had my life invaded and dominated by insane trans rights activists, Such a waste, Then I saw @JK_Rowling coming out fighting and I lost it" 

JK tweet in response that reads "Big love to you" followed by four kisses.

Caroline has over 16 thousand followers and is vocal about her Anti-LGBTQIA+ views. She even says on her profile that she’s “Allergic to non-biblical rainbows.” This is a reference to the fact that the flag of the LGBTQIA+ community uses the colours of the rainbow. She also proudly announces that she works for CitizenGO-An ultra-conservative Christian rights advocacy group, mainly protesting against abortion and same-sex marriage. (LINK)

A screenshot of Caroline Farrow's twitter profile. Her profile picture is a selfie of her, a white woman with long blonde hair, in front of a white background. Her header photo holing a large, blue circular sign that says "go" in large white letters. Stood next to her is a dark haired gentleman holding a sign shaped like a megaphone, that says "Citizen go". 

Her bio reads "U.K and Ireland Campaign Director at CitizenGO. Mum of 5, wife of RC Priest. Allergic to non-biblical rainbows." and then a link to her Youtube channel.

On her profile, Caroline has a tweet calling Gay men ‘entitled pricks’ that ‘exploit women and children’ by using a Surrogate in order to have a child. (LINK) Surrogacy is an agreement between a woman and adopting parent(s), that involves a sperm donor. Everyone involved is a consenting adult. Most surrogates are found through agencies, and all surrogates are volunteers. The agencies often require that the surrogate has given birth to a minimum of one healthy child before they volunteer so that they are aware of the events and experience of childbirth. They are also often compensated for their efforts. (LINK) It’s the very opposite of the definition of exploitation: “the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.” (LINK) Does some surrogacy have issues? Yes. A lot of organisations need to be monitored and held to standards that prioritise the health of the surrogate and the child. Even with this fact, it doesn’t give Caroline the right to focus her anti-surrogacy campaign on LGBTQIA+ couples.

A screenshot of Twitter. 

Caroline farrow tweets captioning an image with "yep #stopsurrogacynow." The image is a screenshot of an Instagram post, showing a middle-aged gay couple smiling and each holding a picture of an ultrasound. In between the couple there is a board that reads "Coming soon, Baby 1 08-22-22, baby 2 10-14-22" The image has been overlaid with blue text that reads "In other news. More entitled pricks exploit women and children."

Caroline and her followers retweeted an article that expressed that Trans Critics such as JK often get support from the Homophobic far right, such as Caroline. One of her followers claimed that Caroline is a catholic, and just because she’s catholic doesn’t make her Homophobic or far-right. Caroline retweeted this tweet, with a photo from the article attached, and said “Oh lol….an entire article about the fact JK sent me two words.” (LINK) She then also retweeted a tweet that captioned the article with “Even Catholics are permitted friends.” (LINK) In this context it’s quite clear that retweet equals endorsement; even if it may be a contradicting endorsement. In one she claims she’s JKs friend, and in the other that she’s only ever written her 2 words. The issue is that Caroline is pushing the facts in this article (Caroline being anti-abortion, anti-gay and anti-trans) as anti-Catholic abuse.

Screenshot from twitter. 

There is a screenshot of a tweet from Peter Tatchell that reads: "JK Rowling send 'big love' to anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-abortion and anti-feminist activist Caroline Farrow. Too often trans critics get support from the misogynist homophobic far right and sometimes express support for them. This is reactionary politics!" followed by a link to his article.

The screenshot is captioned by Sal Robins and the caption reads "This is such a disingenuous take of 1 woman wishing another woman well. @CF_Farrow happens to be catholic. That doesn't automatically make her an activist against any of these things. And aren't we allowed to associate with people we're not politically or religiously aligned with?" 

Caroline Farrow has quote tweeted this image and caption with her own words, that read "Oh lol!! Pink News have written an entire article about the fact that JK sent me 2 words" followed by a crying-laughing emoji,
Screenshot from Twitter. 

Caroline Farrow retweeted a quote tweet. The original tweet is from Peter Tatchell and reads: "JK Rowling send 'big love' to anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-abortion and anti-feminist activist Caroline Farrow. Too often trans critics get support from the misogynist homophobic far right and sometimes express support for them. This is reactionary politics!" followed by a link to his article. The quote tweet is by Joanne Fraser and captioned "Even Catholics are permitted friends. Shocking though it may be to some."

Personally, if I was to send love to someone on Twitter, I’d make sure I knew what sort of person they are first. I’d look at their profile, and make sure they were someone that I wanted to be associated with online. I don’t have the notoriety JK does, but I’m aware that my associations speak to my character and who I am as a person. In the Twitter world, it’s a well-known idea that Positive engagement-a loving reply to a tweet being close to the top of the list- equals endorsement of not only the content of the tweet but the person tweeting.

Example Five: Robert Galbraith-Homophobia and Stolen Valor.

Robert Galbraith is the Pen-name under which JK Rowling writes books for adults, used to separate herself from her children’s writing. This isn’t unusual, plenty of authors have different names for different target audiences or genres.

Discussing choosing her pen name, JK says “Galbraith came about for a slightly odd reason. When I was a child, I really wanted to be called ‘Ella Galbraith’, and I’ve no idea why. I don’t even know how I knew that the surname existed, because I can’t remember ever meeting anyone with it.” (LINK) It’s due diligence to research names you’re going to use before you use them; none of us wants to share names with famous people that may have a negative connotation to our work.

Screenshot from the Robert Galbraith Website. Question reads "Why the name Robert Galbraith?" JK answers "I chose Robert because it’s one of my favourite men’s names, because Robert F Kennedy is my hero and because, mercifully, I hadn’t used it for any of the characters in the Potter series or The Casual Vacancy.

Galbraith came about for a slightly odd reason. When I was a child, I really wanted to be called ‘Ella Galbraith’, and I’ve no idea why. I don’t even know how I knew that the surname existed, because I can’t remember ever meeting anyone with it. Be that as it may, the name had a fascination for me. I actually considered calling myself L A Galbraith for the Strike series, but for fairly obvious reasons decided that initials were a bad idea.

Odder still, there was a well-known economist called J K Galbraith, something I only remembered by the time it was far too late. I was completely paranoid that people might take this as a clue and land at my real identity, but thankfully nobody was looking that deeply at the author’s name."

Robert Galbraith is a famous name, and not for the right reasons. It is the name of the Doctor that invented Conversion Therapy. (LINK)

On her ‘Robert Galbraith’ website, she says that the author has a military background. This then extends into the Idea that he worked within the special investigations branch, and currently works in civilian security. She uses this military service and job as an excuse to why he is never seen in public; It would be a risk to his safety if someone knew who he was, so that’s why we can’t see his face. (LINK) This entire ordeal was more than just an ‘idea’ of an author. In the early days of publishing under the name she presented Robert as his own person, no one knew that he was really JK; not even her editors. She actively pretended to be a man with a military service background in order to anonymously publish a book.

Screenshot from the Robert Galbraith Website. Question reads 'Why did you decided for the "author" to have a military background?'. JK answers "It was the easiest and most plausible reason for Robert to know how the Special Investigation Branch operates and investigates. Another readon for making him a military man working in the civilian security industry was to give him a solid excuse not to appear in public or provide a photograph."


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