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JK Rowlings’ latest book slammed for allegedly transphobic plot

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JK Rowling has apparently created another horcrux this time around in the form of his new novel Troubled Blood.

According to a review of the book published Sunday in The telegraph, Troubled Blood, published under its alias Robert Galbraith, focuses on the disappearance of a woman who was allegedly the victim of Dennis Creed, a transvestite serial killer.

One wonders what critics of Rowlings’ stance on trans issues will do with a book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a robe, writes Jake Kerridge in his review. (Transvestite is an outdated term generally used to refer to men who sometimes wear women’s clothing, which is not the same as being transgender.)

Critics of other media, including the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian, did not refer to this detail.

The Telegraph Review led #RIPJKRowling trending on Twitter not because she’s dead, but because people are noting that the author is killing her own career with her opinions. Some have used the hashtag to recommend work by trans authors; others have used it to defend Rowlings’ freedom to hold these opinions.

The book appears to be based on problematic stereotypes portraying transgender people as villains, despite studies which show that transgender people face high rates of harassment and violence. Earlier this month, the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte pardoned a US Navy who in 2015 was convicted of murdering a transgender woman because of her gender identity.

Critics also noted that Troubled Blood, the fifth novel in its Cormoran Strike detective series, is not the first book in the series with transphobic elements. She had previously been called up for her portrayal of a trans woman in Cormoran Strike’s second novel, The Silkworm.

The Harry Potter author has been criticized on several occasions for making anti-transgender comments on Twitter. In June, she took offense at an editorial who used the more inclusive expression of menstruation instead of women.

Shortly after the backlash of those comments, Rowling posted a lengthy essay on her personal website collecting a number of inaccurate allegations about the transgender community because she was concerned about the emerging trans activism.

Her concerns boiled down to the perceived safety of cisgender women in bathrooms; there is no proof that transgender people who use toilets that match their gender identity put anyone at risk. (Studies show, instead, that transgender people often report experiencing harassment, assault, and denial of access when trying to use public toilets.)

A number of Harry Potter actors have expressed their support for the trans community this year in response to Rowlings’ comments.



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