In October Nicola Sturgeon attempted to make it easier for transgender people by proposing a gender reform legislation bill that would change the minimum age of applicants for GRC (Gender Recognition certificate) from age 18, to 16. In addition to this, transgender people would no longer need to prove their gender through medical reports. Although many people believe that this has greatly improved the well-being of trans people, J.K Rowling (author of Harry Potter) thinks that this has a negative impact on the safety of women. However, regardless of the age for GRC being changed, women will still experience sexual assault and harassment in female only areas such as changing rooms and toilets. It’s unimaginably traumatizing and horrific for trans people feeling like they don’t belong anywhere in something as simple as a public bathroom. Surely a trans woman or a trans man should have the same privileges and rights as any other person?
Rowling has accused Nichola Sturgeon of being a “destroyer of women’s rights”, but in saying this is Rowling suggesting there is no place for trans women? Transgender people already experience an intense amount of hate and strain in society. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), a staggering 50 percent of trans people have experienced hate crime. These people do not need Rowling wading in on the debate and making trans people feel even more uncomfortable when they should be respected and treated equally. Despite her critical comments, Rowling strongly denies the accusations that she is transphobic. This is controversial because in 2020 she posted a tweet with the caption “TERF wars”. The term “TERF” stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist and is used to describe feminists who are transphobic.
For adults, sexual assaults are most likely to occur in public places such as bars and the workplace. Since Rowling is trying to protect the safety of women, she should be looking at where most assaults and harassments are occurring and invest energy in trying to help prevent them instead of targeting trans women and attempting to taking away their rights.
It appears that Rowling will continue to target one of society’s most vulnerable communities, however thankfully there are people like Nicola Sturgeon who will fight back and defend all women’s rights, whether they are transgender or not.