JK Rowling says she would ‘happily do two years in jail’ if a future Labour government makes it a hate crime to call someone by wrong pronouns
JK Rowling has said she would happily do a spell in jail if a future Labour government makes it a hate crime to deliberately call someone by the wrong pronouns.
The Harry Potter author said she rather do time for misgendering than submit to ‘compelled speech’. She spoke out after The Mail on Sunday revealed that Labour plans to introduce stricter sentences for abuse targeted at transgender people.
Deliberating misgendering someone ‘is already a hate crime’ if it is motivated by hostility to the victim’s transgender identity, the Government said last year, but Labour’s policy would mean tougher penalties for perpetrators.
If it becomes an ‘aggravated offence’ like race hate attacks, harassment based on someone’s gender identity could result in prison sentences of up to two years.
But because of the police’s heavy-handed intervention in previous online spats, critics fear the move could see gender-critical campaigners prosecuted for refusing to use a transgender person’s preferred pronouns and referring to them by their birth sex.
JK Rowling said she rather do time for misgendering than submit to ‘compelled speech’
Ms Rowling joined the row on Tuesday night after posting on social media the word ‘no’ above an image of the slogan ‘trans women are women’
Ms Rowling joined the row on Tuesday night after posting on social media the word ‘no’ above an image of the slogan ‘trans women are women’.
Told by a user on X, formerly Twitter, that voting Labour would mean two years in jail, she replied: ‘I’ll happily do two years if the alternative is compelled speech and forced denial of the reality and importance of sex.
READ MORE – Defiant JK Rowling says she ‘has to take the hit’ speaking out on trans issues as she ‘can afford it’
‘Bring on the court case, I say. It’ll be more fun than I’ve ever had on a red carpet.’
She then joked with followers about what life might be like behind bars.
‘Hoping for the library, obviously, but I think I could do ok in the kitchens. Laundry might be a problem. I have a tendency to shrink stuff/turn it pink accidentally. Guessing that won’t be a major issue if it’s mostly scrubs and sheets, though,’ Ms Rowling said.
She added: ‘I’m ok at ironing. It’s the not checking there’s a random red sock in amongst the sheets that’s the issue.’
Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who like the bestselling author has faced attacks for opposing gender ideology, told her: ‘See you there Jo!’
It comes just days after Ms Rowling attacked a senior Labour MP for her stance on trans rights.
She highlighted shadow minister Lisa Nandy’s previous claim that rapists who identify as women should be allowed into female jails, asking her: ‘Given that you’re one of the biggest reasons many women on the left no longer trust Labour to defend their rights, do you stand by those comments?’
Labour would make attacks motivated by hatred of the victim’s gender identity into ‘aggravated offences’. Pictured as Labour ministers at the party’s conference in Liverpool
At the weekend, Ms Rowling made a surprise appearance at a feminist conference targeted by trans rights activists.
She told attendees at the FiLiA event in Glasgow that she is willing to ‘take the hit’ for standing up for women’s rights because she ‘can afford it’.
READ MORE – GRAHAM LINEHAN: The world should remember Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as arrogant, ungrateful cowards for turning on JK Rowling
Her fortune was estimated at £857million earlier this year but will be boosted further by royalties from the success of the recent Hogwarts Legacy video game.
Afterwards she wrote online: ‘Women have been bullied out of jobs, silenced out of fear of losing livelihoods, harassed and assaulted.
‘That makes it even more important that those of us who can, stand up for those who can’t.’
Labour has not yet responded to Ms Rowling’s remarks.
Asked last week if the party’s policy could see people jailed for misgendering, Anneliese Dodds, Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, said: ‘The Conservatives are failing to protect LGBT+ people with their inability to get a handle on hate crime, including violent hate crime, and the unwillingness to ban abusive conversion practices outright.
‘Labour will ban so-called conversion therapy and strengthen the law to ensure the perpetrators of anti-LGBT+ hate can no longer dodge longer sentences.
And our fully funded plan to recruit 13,000 more neighbourhood police and community support officers would increase safety for everyone.’
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