JK Rowling sarcastically brands Nicola Sturgeon 'the first feminist' amid trans rights row

10 October 2022, 15:06 | Updated: 10 October 2022, 15:15

JK Rowling and Nicola Sturgeon
JK Rowling and Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

JK Rowling has branded Nicola Sturgeon "the First Feminist" in the latest salvo in the duo's war of words over trans rights.

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The Harry Potter author, who has been outspoken in her views on gender issues, was reacting to the Scottish first minister calling herself "a real feminist", in light of an upcoming bill to make it easier for trans people to be legally recognised as their chosen gender north of the border.

Sturgeon: Abusive men are the risk to women, not trans women

It comes as it emerged that an equalities officer for Ms Sturgeon's Scottish National Party (SNP) had threatened violence against "terfs" - trans-exclusionary radical feminists, who are sceptical about trans rights.

Among a series of now-deleted tweets, Cameron Downing, 23, said: "I f****** hate terfs and transphobes with such a passion they make me want to SCREAM!"

Read more: Andrew Castle clashes with trans activist over 'unfair advantages' in golf

Read more: Trans children going through 'nothing more than a phase', says Tory MP

Mr Downing said: "I apologise for these tweets and for any offence caused to the LGBTQ+ community and have long since deleted them."

"J. K. Rowling is standing up for women to be called 'women'."

Ms Rowling, who has been threatened with death by trans activists for her views, said: "Nicola Sturgeon's Scotland: A place where an equalities officer feels free to declare in public how much he wants to beat up non-compliant women."

Read more: Girl branded 'Nazi transphobe' after questioning trans ideology relapses into anorexia

She added on Twitter in a sarcastic post about Ms Sturgeon: "Oh, I'm sure the First Feminist will be all over it, what with her a sterling record of taking women's concerns seriously and loudly condemning rape and death threats to members of her own party."

Caller with trans family member calls out JK Rowling's "prejudice"

Scottish Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton also criticised the tweets, saying: "This is abhorrent language for someone in such a position to be using in relation to this debate.

"Given the sensitive nature of the subject, there is an onus on everyone involved to discuss it in a respectful and civilised way – not least an equalities officer for the SNP."

James O'Brien grills caller who attempts to defend JK Rowling's trans comments

Ms Rowling and Ms Sturgeon's feud stems from the Harry Potter author wearing a t-shirt that slammed the Scottish leader as a "destroyer of feminism" over the pro-trans legislation being proposed in the Scottish Parliament.

Ms Sturgeon said in response: "I've spent my entire life campaigning for women's rights and I'm a passionate feminist with lots of evidence behind that."

She added that Ms Rowling was entitled to her views, but said that "predatory men" are the real threat to women, not trans women.

Rowling has previously been criticised for controversial tweets about the trans community
JK Rowling. Picture: Alamy
Nicola Sturgeon speaks on the campaign trail on Saturday
Nicola Sturgeon . Picture: PA

Ms Sturgeon said that the proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act "doesn't give any more rights to trans people and it doesn't take any rights away from women."

Trans women will no longer need to provide medical reports or evidence to get a new birth certificate, and the minimum age of applicants for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) will go down from 18 to 16 if the act is passed.

JK Rowling has also spoken out against Scottish independence, in opposition to the SNP.

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