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14 Sep, 2020 23:32

When canceling isn’t enough? #RIPJKRowling trends ahead of release of mystery novel featuring transvestite serial killer

When canceling isn’t enough? #RIPJKRowling trends ahead of release of mystery novel featuring transvestite serial killer

JK Rowling’s latest book, written under pseudonym Robert Galbraith, includes a (male) serial killer who dresses as a woman to murder his (female) victims. Trans advocates, already out for Rowling’s blood, ‘killed’ her via hashtag.

After the Telegraph described “Troubled Blood,” the fifth installment in Rowling’s mystery series, as “a book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress” in its Sunday review, it was perhaps inevitable that her detractors would latch onto the novel’s plot as “proof” of her alleged transphobia - despite not having read it.

The book, set for release on Tuesday, centers on a cold case investigation where the victim - a female doctor - is believed to have been killed by a man who dresses up as a woman in order to kill ‘other’ women. While the killer isn’t actually transgender, that didn’t stop Pink News - an LGBT-focused UK outlet - from hyperventilating that it was the second time in the series Rowling had portrayed a trans character negatively, after its second installment depicted a trans-woman as “unstable and aggressive.

Also on rt.com JK Rowling CANCELS her own award after organization's president criticizes her position on trans people

The Telegraph’s review didn’t help matters by suggesting “one wonders what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues will make of the book,” practically inviting said critics to tear it to shreds. Would they take issue with the book’s excessive length (900 pages, made up of “a series of interminable conversations with various elderly witnesses”)? Its sludgy pacing (“an almost perverse lack of excitement”)?

Not quite. Perhaps seeing the murder mystery format as something of a creative challenge, Rowling-haters on social media tagged their jabs with #RIPJKRowling, pouring on the animosity so hard the topic was trending at #1 on Twitter by Monday - forcing Twitter to include a disclaimer “explanation” that the author was not, in fact, dead.

She ain’t dead,conceded one user, before twisting the knife: “but she killed her own career by proudly hating trans people.” 

Others tried to expand their critiques beyond Rowling’s alleged transphobia, with varying degrees of success.

While some were taken aback by the vitriol, others argued it was par for the course with the “misogynist slime”eager to take another shot at Rowling. 

This is a literal harassment campaign,” marveled one user, perhaps shocked that something technically against Twitter’s rules could end up trending at #1.

A few tried in vain to point out that Rowling had never actually said anything that could be categorized objectively as “hate” for trans people.

Rowling has been repeatedly “canceled” online for previous comments perceived as insensitive toward trans people (including mocking the term “people who menstruate”) and for befriending other alleged transphobes on social media. However, with millions of dollars in the bank and a blockbuster franchise in the Harry Potter books and films, her career has thus far persevered.

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