Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

So, here’s why #RIPJKRowling is trending

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No, J.K. Rowling is not dead. This is something Twitter felt the need to clarify on this, the 14th of September, as #RIPJKROWLING started trending.

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Illustration for article titled So, here’s why #RIPJKRowling is trending
Screenshot: Twitter

As anyone who saw that clarification and has been following the news of her many, many recent transphobic statements might guess, her “death” is actually the result of what could charitably be called “some real bullshit”: Turns out her latest book, written under her frequent pseudonym Robert Galibraith, is about a man who dresses up like a woman to kill other women. You know, a totally normal, not-at-all bigoted story to write.

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Here’s Uproxx on the book, Troubled Blood, and the inevitable response:

Word spread over the weekend that Rowling’s latest book—notably published under her male pseudonym Robert Galibraith—has a notably anti-trans plotline, in which a murderous, cisgendered man dresses up like a woman to kill other women.

The Telegraph published a tepid review of the 900-page novel, Troubled Blood. The review notes both the plotline and that it is likely to further anger those already aware of Rowling’s concern trolling about similar issues regarding trans rights. As many pointed out online, one common trope of anti-trans logic is that men will pretend to be women to gain access to spaces like women’s restrooms in order to commit violent crimes. As word spread about the review, many people expressed their outrage online that Rowling had included these tropes in her work.

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Uproxx also reminds readers of this story from a few months back, in which it was revealed that some employees at Hatchette, Rowling’s publisher, declared their intention to stop working on the book entirely out of solidarity to the trans community. So... this kind of explains why.

Anyway, hours later, and #RIPJKROWLING is still floating up there on Twitter’s trending list, like someone properly cast Leviosa on it.

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This particular development must come as a shock to Britney Spears, who was revealed to be the true author of the Potter series back in June.

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In closing, if you’re going to go ahead and skip Troubled Blood (and you should go ahead and skip Troubled Blood), you might consider reading something else instead. Here’s some suggestions.

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If you want to support LGBTQ youth, consider donating to GLSEN, which promotes anti-bullying initiatives and gay-straight alliances in schools nationwide, and The Trevor Project, which operates a confidential hotline staffed by trained counselors who provide crisis-intervention and suicide-prevention services.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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