Twitter allowed the hashtag #RIPJKRowling to trend on the platform on Monday, despite the fact that the Harry Potter author is not dead. The hashtag began trending in response to the release of Rowling’s latest book, which is about a transvestite serial killer. One commenter called the hashtag a “bottomless pit of misogyny.”
British author J.K. Rowling was the target of heavy criticism on Monday over her latest book, Troubled Blood, which, according to Pink News, is about “a murderous cis man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims.”
“[Trigger warning] // transphobia,” tweeted one individual. “this woman is unhinged and i mean that. the amount of damage with could cause to the trans community is fucking horrifying. #RIPJKRowling.”
tw // transphobia
— skye (@irisckp) September 14, 2020
“in memory of jk rowling,” wrote another. “she ain’t dead, but she killed her own career by proudly hating trans people & no one would really miss her that much anyway #ripjkrowling”
— patback (@memeforhire) September 14, 2020
“in memory of jk rowling, she’s not dead but she killed her career by being a transphobic piece of shit #RIPJKRowling,” echoed another.
— salem • commissions open!!! (@autisticgraham) September 14, 2020
“#RIPJKRowling she aint dead but her career is,” tweeted a fourth.
— daisy (@gxldenweasley) September 14, 2020
“Imagine getting cancelled so hard, we have to pretend that you died,” commented another.
— Jeff Brutlag 🏳️🌈 (@jeffbrutlag) September 14, 2020
“I know a few things about career suicide and this my friends is career suicide. #RIPJKRowling,” tweeted another individual alongside a purported screenshot of the book’s description.
— Steven Boogie2988 Williams (@Boogie2988) September 15, 2020
Twitter allowed the hashtag to trend, despite the fact that Rowling is still alive, and despite the social media platform having previously stated that it will suppress trending hashtags if deemed necessary.
“At times, we do prevent certain content from trending and we have now done so with this trend,” explained a Twitter spokesperson in 2018, in response to “Kill All Jews” trending on Twitter after the phrase was graffitied by a vandal onto a Brooklyn synagogue.
On Twitter’s help page, the company explains that sometimes it “may prevent certain content from trending,” including trends which, “Contain profanity or adult/graphic references,” “Incite hate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease,” and, “Violate the Twitter Rules.”
“You have got to be kidding me. Trending. Not just the odd outlier saying it. Trending,” reacted one Twitter user, seemingly appalled with the “R.I.P. J.K. Rowling” hashtag.
“And people wonder why women are afraid,” added the Twitter user. “Nothing Rowling has ever said even begins to explain this threatening hatred. Sick.”
You have got to be kidding me. Trending. Not just the odd outlier saying it. Trending. And people wonder why women are afraid. Nothing Rowling has ever said even begins to explain this threatening hatred. Sick pic.twitter.com/yXcn87UIpz
— Victoria Freeman (@make_trouble) September 14, 2020
“A hashtag wishing death upon a woman, complete with sexist language… like a mass-death threat,” commented another concerned Twitter user. “This is the bottomless pit of misogyny.”
A hashtag wishing death upon a woman, complete with sexist language…like a mass-death threat 😳
This is the bottomless pit of misogyny. pic.twitter.com/841844mOHv
— gender is harmful (@genderisharmful) September 14, 2020
“People who pretend that this kind of utterly common threat isn’t, in fact, just a routine experience on this platform for criticizing gender identity, have no rational standing to critique women’s response to it,” wrote another.
People who pretend that this kind of utterly common threat isn’t, in fact, just a routine experience on this platform for criticizing gender identity, have no rational standing to critique women’s response to it. pic.twitter.com/Wwp5I37viY
— WoLF (@WomensLibFront) September 15, 2020
The backlash over Rowling’s latest novel arrives in the wake of the author making waves for publicly defending the concept of biological sex.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased,” tweeted Rowling in June.
“I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives,” she added. “It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
The author’s commentary on biology have also sparked major backlash, and have even prompted Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe to denounce her remarks, stating, “transgender women are women,” adding that he is “deeply sorry for the pain” caused by Rowling after she suggested that only women can menstruate.