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Arfern

  4 months ago

Language as a barrier to gender equality and inclusivity

J.K. Rowling has been receiving backlash from the online community in the past week. This is due to her response to the title of an article for Devex, i.e. "Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate". The Harry Potter author tweeted: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” This seemingly simple line from the world-famous writer sparked a controversy overnight, accusing her of transphobia and being a "terf."

So why are people furious? Woman in the strictest sense of the word means an adult that belongs to the female sex. But, since language is fluid and changes continuously, "woman" doesn't only bear this one meaning. Especially now in the woke era, a woman could be anyone who wants to be identified as such. One group that Rowling angered is the trans community who, despite not capable of menstruating, identify themselves as female or woman. Also, transgender men menstruate but don't want to be labeled as women at all. It gets complicated when someone pointed out that women who are menopausal are still women. Some representatives of these groups, and many others, accused the famous author of being a terf.

TERF is an acronym that stands for trans exclusionary radical feminist. A terf is a feminist whose beliefs don't qualify transsexuals as female.

Do you think J.K. Rowling is in the wrong? Or do you think that the LGBTQ+ has overreacted?

My opinion:

To be honest, the title of the article is poorly worded and unnecessarily painted J.K. Rowling to bad light. From the point of view of a writer, I think simply saying "woman" is sufficient, clear, and neutral. Also, I think that verbally abusing and threatening the author defeats the purpose of the advocacy of gender equality and feminism. I am one of the people who believe that the road to equality is through kind words, compassion, and intelligent discussions.
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SharMane0031

  4 months ago
I agree. I mean why would they use the term "someone who menstruates" to describe a female? It's like they were trying to spot a difference between a transwoman and a natural born woman? Woman. The term itself would be the appropriate word to use. Then, it would be left upon the readers to relate themselves as one.
I think the only wrong notion JK Rowling gave in her statement is perceived (for me) in the shift of her tense in her sentence, "There USED to be.." Like she was not welcoming any new definition of a modern woman.
And yes, I am also for gender equality.
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0 comments

MarioLuigi3286687

  4 months ago
It's hard to judge people of their different status in life. I don't know what benefits would these people gain if their unreasonable intentions were just merely to verbally abuse others. I guess it's their common nature to hurt the feelings of others just for the sake that they loved doing it so much. Reply
0 comments

bheivness

  4 months ago
I think it's only misinterpret..now adays social media is powerful we should aware of giving or believing in articles Reply
0 comments

rommel09

  4 months ago
Well, we should respect her opinion. I dont understand the need to threaten someone just to prove their point. Personally, I also don't consider transgenders as real women. Reply
0 comments

enaj27jane

  4 months ago
I am one of the people who believe that the road to equality is through kind words, compassion, and intelligent discussions.==== Well said. I agree with you.
No need to verbally abuse or threaten someone. We have to level up the discussion and avoid smart-shaming/ ad hominem. .
In terms of language to promote gender equality and inclusivity, I agree that it is fluid and would keep on changing. I am trying to change the words I used in terms of addressing job name/ positions like instead of policeman/policeman, I can use police officer instead, not 'doctora' anymore but doctor for female doctors and so on.
It is my first time to hear this acronym TERF so thank you the information.
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