Author and feminist J.K. Rowling returned a 2019 award to the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights foundation after the group’s president denounced her defense of women’s rights in the transgender debate.
The foundation “has stated that there is no conflict between the current radical trans rights movement and the rights of women,” Rowling said, adding, “The thousands of women who’ve got in touch with me disagree, and, like me, believe this clash of rights can only be resolved if more nuance is permitted in the debate.”
Rowling said she wants to protect young people from being pressured by transgender activists into life-changing decisions:
Clinicians, academics, therapists, teachers, social workers, and staff at prisons and women’s refuges have also contacted me. These professionals, some at the very top of their organisations, have expressed serious concerns about the impact of gender identity theory on vulnerable adolescents and on women’s rights, and of the dismantling of safeguarding norms which protect the most vulnerable women.
I’ve been particularly struck by the stories of brave detransitioned young women who’ve risked the opprobrium of activists by speaking up about a movement they say has harmed them. After hearing personally from some of these women, and from such a wide range of professionals, I’ve been forced to the unhappy conclusion that an ethical and medical scandal is brewing. I believe the time is coming when those organisations and individuals who have uncritically embraced fashionable dogma, and demonised those urging caution, will have to answer for the harm they’ve enabled.
Kerry Kennedy, the president of the foundation, had denounced Rowling on August 3 for her refusal to say that a person’s self-declared “gender” is more important than their biological sex:
From her own words, I take Rowling’s position to be that the sex one is assigned at birth is the primary and determinative factor of one’s gender, regardless of one’s gender identity—a position that I categorically reject. The science is clear and conclusive: Sex is not binary.
Rowling “has chosen to use her remarkable gifts to create a narrative that diminishes the identity of trans and nonbinary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community,” said Kennedy, who is Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter. Robert Kennedy was the brother of President John F. Kennedy and served as his Attorney General.
“As Chair of the Congressional LGBT Caucus’s Transgender Equality Task Force, Kennedy is a leader in Washington for LGBTQIA+ rights,” Joe Kennedy’s website reads. “He is a proud supporter of the Equality Act and introduced legislation to ban the so-called ‘Gay and Trans Panic’ defense, as well as a resolution recognizing a national Transgender Day of Remembrance.”
Rowling dismissed Kerry Kennedy’s claim that she is ignoring the concerns of people who feel uncomfortable in their body’s sex, saying:
Like the vast majority of the people who’ve written to me, I feel nothing but sympathy towards those with gender dysphoria, and agree with the clinicians and therapists who’ve got in touch who want to see a proper exploration of the factors that lead to it.
Many feminists and conservatives have cheered Rowling since she began to speak out against the transgender ideology.
The ideology says the government must accept that each person’s self-declared “gender” is more important than their sex in a wide range of circumstances, including in sports, nude spaces, K-12 schools, teenagers’ puberty, and in culture.