J.K. Rowling, beloved author and tweeter extraordinaire, has done it again. Since penning the instant classic Harry Potter series, the award-winning author has built up quite the reputation for her Twitter presence. She is unafraid to call out inequality, blatant sexism, and trolls of all sorts. Rowling also uses her magical Twitter powers to encourage and support people struggling with anxiety. Her words are always on point. Each time the author publishes a book or a tweet, her fans are there for it, and this time is no different.
Following the results of the general election, Rowling tweeted the first of what would become a powerful and succinct message calling out the men, or "liberal cool guys" as she calls them, who call themselves liberal but, in words and action, are not. Instead, their use of sexism and misogyny, unknowingly or not, couples them with the harmful, pervasive, and more extreme iterations of gender discrimination that allow for the continuance of rape culture, toxic masculinity, and inequality.
Rowling began with an action that one could only hope that all of us would do. Rather than offering excuses to ignore the behaviour because the person is in other instances "smart and funny," she stands by her convictions and calls it what it is. Unacceptable. Her Twitter followers were quick to catch on to the ending characters. After what would be the first in a series of 14 tweets, her followers tuned in eagerly awaiting what she would say next, and it did not disappoint.
Her dissection of an issue that many women have had first-hand experience with is praise-worthy. It comes from a genuine place, as she has been the recipient of these unacceptable insults. She has even been accused of supporting this type of behaviour. An accusation she quickly dispelled. The co-opting of feminine words for the use of insulting, humiliating, and intimidating is a toxic byproduct of a culture that attempts to impede women from holding positions of leadership and power, and Rowling was having none of it.
Reactions from fans and feminists flooded in. Her followers loved every moment of it as they tweeted their agreement, sharing their experiences, and added their commentary.
J.K. Rowling exemplifies a powerful and important message. "Female is not a design flaw," she tweets. (Can we get this made into a t-shirt?) You do not have to agree with someone, but that is never an excuse to resort to dehumanising, sexist language. One commenter simply included the hashtag "#ImWithJK" with their retweet of the author. Words are a powerful thing. When used in the way that J.K. Rowling did, they can spark an important dialogue that leads to change.
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