JK Rowling has said she would happily serve a prison sentence if a future Labor government made it a hate crime to deliberately refer to someone by the wrong pronouns.
The Harry Potter author said she would rather spend time on misgendering than subject herself to “forced speech.” She spoke out after The Mail on Sunday revealed that Labor plans to introduce tougher penalties for abuse targeting transgender people.
Intentional misgendering is already a hate crime if it is motivated by hostility towards the victim’s transgender identity, the government said last year, but Labor’s policy would mean tougher penalties for perpetrators.
If it becomes a ‘serious crime’, such as racist hate attacks, harassment based on a person’s gender identity can result in a prison sentence of up to two years.
But following heavy-handed police intervention in previous online rows, critics fear gender-critical campaigners will be prosecuted for refusing to use a transgender person’s preferred pronouns and refer to them by their birth gender.
JK Rowling said she would rather spend time on misgendering than subject herself to ‘forced speech’
Ms Rowling joined the row last night after posting the word ‘no’ on social media above an image of the slogan ‘trans women are women’
Ms Rowling joined the row last night after posting the word ‘no’ above an image of the slogan ‘trans women are women’ on social media.
When a user on
‘I’d say let’s get on with the lawsuit. It’s going to be more fun than I’ve ever had on a red carpet.’
She then joked with followers about what life behind bars could be like.
‘I hope for the library, of course, but I think I can also do well in the kitchens. Washing can be a problem. I have a tendency to accidentally shrink/turn things pink. But I suspect that won’t be a big problem if it’s mainly scrubs and sheets,” Ms Rowling said.
She added: ‘I’m good at ironing. The problem is not checking to see if there’s a random red sock between the sheets.”
Labor MP Rosie Duffield, who like the best-selling author has faced attacks for her opposing gender ideology, told her: ‘Goodbye Jo!’
It comes just days after Ms Rowling attacked a senior Labor MP over her stance on trans rights.
Highlighting Shadow Minister Lisa Nandy’s previous claim that rapists who identify as women should be allowed into women’s prisons, she asked her: “Given that you are one of the biggest reasons why many women on the left no longer trust Labor to to defend their rights, Do you support those comments?’
Labor would make attacks motivated by hatred of the victim’s gender identity ‘aggravated offences’. Pictured are Labor ministers at the party conference in Liverpool
Last weekend, Ms Rowling made a surprise appearance at a feminist conference targeted by trans rights activists.
She told attendees at the FiLiA event in Glasgow that she is willing to ‘take the hit’ for standing up for women’s rights because she ‘can afford it’.
Her fortune was estimated at £857 million earlier this year, but will be further boosted by royalties from the success of the recent Hogwarts Legacy video game.
Afterwards, she wrote online: ‘Women have lost their jobs, been silenced for fear of losing their livelihoods, harassed and attacked.
“That makes it even more important that those of us who can, stand up for those who can’t.”
Labor has not yet responded to Ms Rowling’s comments.
When Shadow Women and Equality Secretary Anneliese Dodds was asked last week whether the party’s policies could lead to people being jailed for misconduct, she said: ‘The Conservatives are failing to protect LGBT+ people because they are not be able to get to grips with hate crimes, including violent hate crimes. and the unwillingness to outright ban abusive conversion practices.
‘Labour will ban so-called conversion therapy and strengthen the law to ensure perpetrators of anti-LGBT+ hate can no longer avoid longer sentences.
“And our fully funded plan to recruit an additional 13,000 community policing and community support workers would increase safety for everyone.”