At a time when gender identity has become the new battleground for culture wars in the Western world, author of Harry Potter series J K Rowling has suddenly found herself as the target of anger from one side. Those who identify themselves as trans rights activist have decided to attack the renowned author for her depiction of a transvestite man as a serial killer in her latest novel – Troubled Blood.
This novel is the fifth in a series of books belonging to the mystery genre and is coming out today. But a review of the book published in UK daily the Telegraph caused outrage among a section of society that they decided to announce the 'death' of Rowling on Twitter. The hashtag '#RIPJKRowling' received so much support that it became the top trend on Twitter.
The social media platform had to put a 'disclaimer' beneath the trending hashtag that said 'No, JK Rowling is not dead.' This is not the first time that the Twitterati have expressed their disapproval of someone in this macabre fashion. In fact, such trends have become more common than one might imagine.
However, what precipitated this type of vitriol for Rowling was indeed the Telegraph review. It stated that Troubled Blood is "a book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress." Going further, the review almost tempts protests against the novel by saying that "one wonders what critics of Rowling's stance on trans issues will make of the book."
The criticism of trans rights activists doesn't come out of the blue. There were many who thought that her second book in the ongoing series too was transphobic as it had a trans-woman character who, according to some, was shown in prejudiced manner.
These mystery novels are being written by Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. In recent times, she has been repeatedly attacked for her supposed 'transphobia.' Her critics have taken exception to her becoming friends with other people accused of such prejudice. She also once ridiculed the expression 'people who menstruate.'