J. K. Rowling accused of transphobia

Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling is being accused of transphobia on social media after she mocked an article on Twitter calling for a fairer world for "people who menstruate". Should people be allowed to decide their own gender identity? A fierce debate has broken out in the UK.

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The Sunday Times (GB) /

It's time to accept change

Everyone should be free to choose their self-identity, says English actress and transactivist Rebecca Root in The Sunday Times:

“Self-identity isn't about giving men a licence to put on a dress and call themselves women in order to rape and attack females. Self-identity is about giving people of all gender expressions the right to live without having to justify their existence, in their own skin and in peace. Two decades after my transition, society is undergoing seismic change in civil liberties. It's time to embrace these changes and to accept that while we are all different, we're also all the same.”

The Spectator (GB) /

Women's rights at risk

Leaving it up to each person to decide whether they are a man or a woman could facilitate abuse, journalist Alex Massie warns in The Spectator:

“We might, I think, be concerned by a culture which says the barrier to being a woman - or a man - is no greater than a reluctance to say 'I am a woman'. For if anyone can be a woman and can become so merely by stating it, is there then anything particular or unique about being a woman? And if there is nothing particular or unique about womanhood, is there any need to protect woman as a distinct class of people or insist that, in some places and at some times, there is a need for women-only spaces?”