A Stanford University staffer issued a statement condemning popular fiction author J.K. Rowling after learning that one of the school’s dormitories was Harry Potter-themed.
A common concept on college campuses is “themed” dormitory floors, wherein residential assistants make name tags and billboards based on popular movies, TV shows, or pop culture references. One dormitory at Stanford chose the theme, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” which prompted a staff member to issue a statement condemning the series’s author.
According to the Stanford Review, a staffer denounced previous alleged “transphobic,” “anti-semitic,” and “racist” statements that J.K. Rowling made on Twitter.
“We want to acknowledge that J.K. Rowling has made many transphobic, anti-semitic, and racist statements over the past year,” the staffer said. “Her beliefs do not reflect our values as a house, and we want to make it clear that we do not tolerate comments like hers in this dorm. Our theme … is intended to make this space safe and fun for you this quarter.”
It is unclear what comments Rowling made that were deemed “racist” or “anti-semitic.”
In June, Rowling came under fire from left-wing activists after she mocked an article that called women “people who menstruate.”
“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” Rowling said. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Left-wing activists denounced Rowling as a “transphobe” and said her comments were considered “misinformation.” An activist artist — whose tweets went viral — called Rowling’s comments “hate.”
“Do NOT read J.K. Rowling’s transphobia manifesto,” the activist said. “I already did it for you. Every line is misinformation, fear mongering, misgendering, othering, ignorance, far right language/dog whistles, and pure hate. It’s not just ugly. This is HATE.”
In a separate Twitter thread, Rowling doubled down on her belief that sex is a biological fact. She went on to claim that without adhering to biological sex, women and women’s rights may be erased. Rowling has since been dubbed a “TERF,” a “trans-exclusionary radical feminists,” for her comments.
If sex isn’t real, there’s not 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.
The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women — i.e., to male violence — ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences — is a nonsense [sic].
I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.
Following the activist outrage, a lone actor from the Harry Potter series defended Rowling against accusations of transphobia.
The Daily Wire reported:
Actor Ralph Fiennes, who played the villain Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter movie series, defended Rowling against accusations of transphobia and slammed cancel culture in the arts.
“I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her,” Fiennes said. “I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational.”
Stanford has yet to publicly comment on the situation.