• J.K. Rowling is back in the news for her views on transgender people. (Getty Images North America)Source: Getty Images North America
A character in Rowling's new book Troubled Blood has fuelled the hashtag #RIPJKRowling.
SBS staff writers

15 Sep 2020 - 11:21 AM  UPDATED 15 Sep 2020 - 1:46 PM

J.K. Rowling has waded into controversy again after the release of her new fictional book featuring a male serial killer character who disguises himself as a woman in order to commit his crimes.  

The row comes after Rowling's public remarks about the transgender community.

"If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth," she tweeted earlier this year. 

The character in Rowling's new book Troubled Blood , written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, fuelled the hashtag #RIPJKRowling as well as the counter hashtag #IStandwithJKRowling. 

While Rowling later wrote an essay defending her views on the subject, trans activists found an ally in writer Margaret Atwood who tweeted a link to a scientific article that stated sex and gender exists on a spectrum.

“Some science here: ‘When Sex and Gender Collide.’ #TransGenderWomen Biology doesn’t deal in sealed Either/Or compartments. We’re all part of a flowing Bell curve. Respect that! Rejoice in Nature’s infinite variety!” Atwood tweeted.

“Read the science, that’s all I would ask of people...go to the biology first, please. I also put up a nice YouTube clip of these two young people explaining it all very carefully. [The two go through Rowling’s piece and disagree with it, bit by bit.] They’re very good-humoured," Atwood told the Guardian.

“I think, what are people afraid of? I think they may have seen Psycho at too formative an age. They’re afraid of somebody dressing up like their dead mother and stabbing them in the bathroom or something.”

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