The wave of written attacks and various calls for violence to her person faced by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling in recent months for sharing her views on transgender sociopolitical issues do not qualify as harassment, but rather justifiably earned criticism, according to former Congressional candidate Brianna Wu.
On November 23rd, the head of the America’s General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, officially announced that she would allow now-President Elect and former Vice President Joe Biden to move forward with his official transition, after delaying the process for nineteen days as the Trump administration issued legal challenges in opposition to various results throughout the country.
Following this announcement, President Trump offered his thanks to Murphy “for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country”, and noted that seeing how she had been “harassed, threatened, and abused” over her decision to delay Biden’s transition influenced his own decision to recommend “that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols.”
President Trump’s tweet prompted a response from Wu, who shared how “Something that’s stomach churning for me after Gamergate is seeing “consequences for bad choices” narcissisticly rebranded as “harassment.””
“JK Rowling is not “harassed,” explained Wu. “and neither is Emily Murphy. She abrogated her official duties and is facing appropriate public anger.”
However, Wu’s disingenuous claim that Rowling essentially ‘deserves’ the harassment she has faced over her opinions excuses the extreme level of rhetoric directed towards the author, which any rational observer would agree far exceeds classification as mere criticism and anger.
Not only has Rowling faced rebuke after rebuke by various institutions over her own disagreement with certain elements of transgender activism, floods of hateful and insulting tweets every time her name or her work is merely mentioned, and had every inch of every book she’s written scoured for text her opponents can use to convince themselves already assumed opinions, she’s also faced legitimate and public calls for violence against her person, particularly from Daily Dot social media editor Anna Maria, who called on “cis Brits to step it up” and physically assault her, arguing that “she’s too comfortable.”
Ironically, for someone who claims to both advocate for more public attention to be paid to online intimidation and have had faced similar storms of anger over her period of notoriety, Wu would proceed to dismiss Murphy’s claims of harassment by comparing it to her own experiences running for congress and getting “called every name in the book”, asserting “If it’s not a death threat, rape threat or a dox, it’s what you sign up for when you choose high profile public service.”
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