JK Rowling’s announcement earlier this week that she will be fully funding a female-only service for survivors of sexual violence has resulted in the predictable angry backlash from trans rights activists accusing her of hate and bigotry, with one journalist likening the women-only rape service to a “whites-only orphanage,” and an “autistic comedian” on Twitter calling the move “vindictive.”
“I think it’s actually quite telling as to the vindictive nature of JK Rowling that’s she’s had the means, resources and power to set up a crisis centre for over 20 years, and she’s only decided to do it now so she can use it as some bizarre point scoring against trans victims,” tweeted the comedian.
The world-renowned author and philanthropist, who has donated vast sums of her immense wealth to charity over the decades and is herself a survivor of domestic violence, responded by saying she has been funding rape crisis services for over 20 years and made the decision to create the new service because there was no longer a female-only rape crisis center in her home city of Edinburgh.
Rowling stated that the idea to create Beira’s Place, named after the Scottish goddess of winter, came to her after she heard the trans-identified male CEO of the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre say in a podcast that “bigoted” victims of sexual violence requesting female-only services would be challenged on their prejudices and told to reframe their trauma.
But the comedian stood his ground, suggesting that trans-identified males have been using women’s services for decades and women like Rowling and her supporters are only objecting to sharing their spaces now because they have been “radicalised by a nonsense far-right culture war.”
People replied to say that the cultural landscape of today is very different from what it was 20 years ago. In the past, the number of trans-identified males was vanishingly small, and very few actually believed themselves to be women deserving of full access to every female-only space. That all changed with the dawn of the modern trans rights movement, with its mantra of “trans women are women” and its insistence that all female-only spaces, including prisons, changing rooms, and rape crisis centers, be opened to any male who declares a female gender identity.
Feminist Milli Hill pointed out that women are constantly being told there is no clash of rights between women's rights and trans rights, and yet the announcement that a female-only rape crisis service has been opened is met with accusations of transphobia.
Debbie Hayton, a trans-identifed male who is vocally opposed to the tenets of the modern trans rights movement, took to Twitter to point out the inaccuracy of the comparison between a female-only rape crisis service and a “whites-only orphanage,” saying a more useful analogy would be “it's like opening a children-only orphanage because the other place lets in adults who identify as children.”
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