Last year, J.K Rowling received the Ripple of Hope award from an organization that promotes human rights and social justice. Now she’s giving it back after the group’s president denounced the Harry Potter author’s anti-trans views.
Rowling made the announcement on her website Aug. 27, stating how “deeply saddened” she is about Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy’s stance on the trans rights movement and the rights of women.
The Ripple of Hope award honors those who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to human rights and for their work toward a more just and peaceful world.
Kennedy wrote on the RFK Human Rights website: “Women’s rights are not degraded by the recognition of trans rights. On the contrary: A commitment to human rights demands a commitment to combat discrimination in all its forms.”
Kennedy wrote the statement Aug. 3 after Rowling’s tweets and essays in June, statements such as comparing hormone therapy to conversion therapy, claiming using inclusive language like “people with vulvas” is “dehumanizing and demeaning,” and predicting that a “medical scandal” will “erupt” regarding gender identity.
But not everyone is denouncing Rowling. Holliday Grainger, who says Rowling had a “massive influence” on her acting career, stressed the importance of “listening” to people and “giving them space to air their own opinions.”
Grainger stars as Robin Ellacott in the BBC series “Strike,” which is based on the crime novels published by Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. While speaking to the Radio Times, Grainger praised Rowling for being a “lovely” person who was “very supportive” whenever she came onto the set.
Grainger goes on to say, “I think no one can pretend to be in a position to understand someone else’s experience,” and explaining that she chooses not to use social media because she does not believe it allows for in-depth discussions.
“The soundbites of opinions, it’s not always the deepest, most nuanced conversation,” she told Radio Times.
On July 25 on Twitter, Rowling referenced a letter written by “whistleblowers,” predicting a “scandal” erupting.
She refers to a post from the Transgender Trend website, tweeting, “The writers of this letter are just two of a growing number of whistleblowers. The bleak truth is that if and when the scandal does erupt, nobody currently cheering this movement on will be able to credibly claim ‘we couldn’t have known’.”
This all started on June 10 when Rowling published an essay titled “TERF Wars.” Rowling explained why she decided to speak out on sex and gender issues. She did this in response to the backlash she received on Twitter on June 6 when she linked an article titled “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 for people who menstruate,” and responded with “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”