J.K. Rowling Encapsulates Why Misogyny Has No Place in Political Debate

June 9th 2017

Mike Rothschild

In the wake of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's shocking loss in the country's snap election, J.K. Rowling made it clear in a Twitter thread that despite her differences with May, misogynistic attacks on women have no place in the political debate.

In the guise of explaining why she unfollowed someone she admired, the "Harry Potter" author reminded liberals that if their debate revolves around insulting women for being women, their politics are irrelevant.

By insulting and degrading women who they disagree with, Rowling argues that self-described liberals are no better than the "regressive" fringe movements they decry.

She goes on to describe the harassment that she and virtually all women receive online.

As the Atlantic reported in 2016, "much of the worst harassment, including attacks that go beyond name-calling ... is disproportionately targeted at women." The article cited a Pew study that found while name-calling and embarrassment are common to both men and women - sexual harassment, physical threats, sustained trolling campaigns, and real-life stalking are much more prone to being inflicted upon women.

Rowling went on to cite the abuse heaped on two particular British Members of Parliament, one of whom is black and the other a lesbian, and women politicians in general.

She finished by comparing online misogynists to President Donald Trump's supporters, by referencing alt-right icon "Pepe the Frog."

Rowling's comments drew agreement from a number of people, including women who claimed experiencing the exact same abuse and name-calling that she described.

Even so, Rowling's feminist credentials have come under fire in the past. She was most recently criticized for proclaiming she was "delighted" with the casting of Johnny Depp in the most recent "Harry Potter" film, despite the allegations of domestic abuse leveled against Depp by his ex-wife, Amber Heard.

Rowling never responded to the backlash against that comment. However, her viral tweet thread started a much needed conversation about the many hypocrisies among liberals, which is a conversation that will hopefully continue on.