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Writing is on the wall: Watson voices her support for transgender community in wake of Rowling comments

Harry Potter star at odds with views of author


On different pages: Actress Emma Watson (left) has stepped away from the opinions of author JK Rowling

On different pages: Actress Emma Watson (left) has stepped away from the opinions of author JK Rowling


On different pages: Actress Emma Watson (left) has stepped away from the opinions of author JK Rowling

Emma Watson has become the latest figure to speak out in support of transgender people after author JK Rowling sparked a row with her comments on the issue.

The actress, who played Hermione Granger in the 'Harry Potter' film series, joined Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne in publicly disagreeing with Rowling (54).

Watson (30) addressed her transgender followers in a string of posts on Twitter.

She said: "Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren't who they say they are.

"I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are."

Watson urged her followers to donate to the Mermaids charity, which helps transgender children, and the feminist fund Mama Cash.

Last weekend, Rowling took issue with a headline on an online article discussing "people who menstruate", and said: "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Critics accused her of being transphobic, an allegation Rowling strongly denies.

Rowling then shared a blog post on her website, in which she revealed that she was partly motivated to speak out because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

In the post, she detailed five reasons she felt the need to talk about the issue - including her interest in "both education and safeguarding" and "freedom of speech".

Explaining her final reason, she wrote: "I've been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor.

"This isn't because I'm ashamed those things happened to me, but because they're traumatic to revisit and remember.

"I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage. I didn't want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too.

"However, a short while ago, I asked her how she'd feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life and she encouraged me to go ahead.

"I'm mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who've been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces."

Rowling also said she was motivated to address transgender issues via Twitter because of what she sees as an increasingly misogynistic society.

"We're living through the most misogynistic period I've experienced," she continued.

"Back in the '80s, I imagined that my future daughters, should I have any, would have it far better than I ever did, but between the backlash against feminism and a porn-saturated online culture, I believe things have got significantly worse for girls.

"Never have I seen women denigrated and dehumanised to the extent they are now.

"From the leader of the free world's long history of sexual assault accusations and his proud boast of 'grabbing them by the p***y', to the incel ('involuntarily celibate') movement that rages against women who won't give them sex, to the trans activists who declare that TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) need punching and re-educating, men across the political spectrum seem to agree: women are asking for trouble.

"Everywhere, women are being told to shut up and sit down, or else."

Warner Bros, the Hollywood studio behind the blockbuster 'Harry Potter' films, has responded to the controversy.

In a statement, it said: "Warner Bros' position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world.

"We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognise our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people."

Irish Independent