J.K. Rowling Throws Down The Gauntlet: Will Scotland Lock Up The 'Harry Potter' Author?

By Javier Sanchez | Wednesday, 03 April 2024 05:15 AM
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In a recent development, Scotland has implemented a stringent anti-hate crime law aimed at curbing the "incitement of hatred" on grounds of age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity, and intersex identity.

The law, however, has not been well-received by renowned Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling.

Rowling, on Monday, took to social media to express her disapproval of the law, misgendering several transgender individuals in her post and daring the Scottish authorities to arrest her. "Scottish lawmakers seem to have placed higher value on the feelings of men performing their idea of femaleness, however misogynistically or opportunistically, than on the rights and freedoms of actual women and girls," Rowling stated.

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act, which was recently put into effect, carries a maximum penalty of a seven-year prison sentence for violations. Siobhian Brown, Scottish minister for victims and community safety, clarified on BBC Radio 4 that online misgendering could potentially be a police matter. "It could be reported and it could be investigated—whether or not the police would think it was criminal is up to Police Scotland," she explained.

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Rowling, who has previously voiced her transphobic beliefs, including apprehensions about trans women using public restrooms, expressed her indignation that the new Scottish law does not list women as a protected characteristic. "The re-definition of ‘woman’ to include every man who declares himself one has already had serious consequences for women’s and girls’ rights and safety in Scotland, with the strongest impact felt, as ever, by the most vulnerable, including female prisoners and rape survivors," Rowling further elaborated in her social media post.

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"If what I’ve written here qualifies as an offense under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment," she added provocatively.

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This is not the first time Rowling has made such a bold statement. Last October, she declared that she would willingly serve a prison sentence if a proposed Labour law that categorizes misgendering as an aggravated offense were to be implemented. "I’ll happily do two years if the alternative is compelled speech and forced denial of the reality and importance of sex," she commented. "Bring on the court case, I say."

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