JK Rowling: Trolls rain down curses, misogyny and sexual threats The Times 12.06.19

The original article is here.

If JK Rowling thought she would prompt a debate with her late-night tweet in which she “spoke up about the importance of sex”, the response in her timeline will quickly have told her otherwise.

The author’s declaration that “it isn’t hate to speak the truth” about natal sex generated more than 45,000 replies, as well as 220,000 likes and almost 35,000 retweets. A great many opposed her view, considering her tweet to be hateful transphobia and responding with trolling of the most abusive sort.

The more restrained trolls called Rowling a hag. One apologised for having previously calling her a Terf (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), considered a derogatory term, adding: “What I meant to call her was a vile rotten raggedy old hag as well as a Terf.”

“Delete your account hag,” another said.

Such replies were relatively restrained, however. Many Twitter users exploded with expletives in the online equivalent of shouting someone down.

“JK Rowling shut the f*** up, you are ruining my childhood,” one said.

“Can JK Rowling shut the f*** up about trans women,” another said. “You are a crusty ass bigoted straight woman. Stop trying to mask your homophobia by acting like it stems from a concern [for] lesbians.”

Many more were laced with sexualised abuse or referred to sex acts to which Rowling should be subjected — ironic given the lengthy explanation in which she traced the importance she places on women-only spaces to having been a victim of sexual assault. References to violence cropped up with uncomfortable frequency.

“You’re dead to me you hateful bitch,” one respondent wrote.

“Smack JK Rowling so hard I give that fool a lightning scar on HER forehead,” another said.

“I wanna smack JK Rowling around man I can’t stand her,” a third said.

Many replies were peppered with the c-word or called her a whore, and there were many references to her genitalia.

The abusive replies, almost all of which were sent by individuals rather than by campaign groups, were often tweeted under pseudonyms from accounts with anime avatars.

Many used Americanisms, illustrating both Rowling’s global stature and the international reach of trolls. “When I was little JK Rowling was the reason I started to love writing and story-telling,” one said. “She was my hero and I wanted to meet her so bad. Terf bitch can f*** off now. If I see her she will receive a SLAP (I still love Harry Potter).”

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