JK Rowling would ‘happily go to jail’ for misgendering if Labour changes laws
JK Rowling has declared she would “happily do two years” in jail if a future Labour government makes purposely calling someone by the wrong pronouns a hate crime.
The author behind the Harry Potter franchise shared her views on Twitter (X) after reports circulated of Labour’s plans to introduce stricter punishments for perpetrators.
Rowling, who has sparked controversy for her views on gender in recent years, weighed in on the decision after posting the word “no” above an image featuring the slogan “trans women are women”.
The post prompted a social media user to inform the star that voting Labour could mean that misgendering someone could spell two years in jail.
Rowling then defiantly replied: “I’ll happily do two years if the alternative is compelled speech and forced denial of the reality and importance of sex.
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“Bring on the court case, I say. It’ll be more fun than I’ve ever had on a red carpet.”
The author then continued to joke about what her life could be like if she was sent to prison.
She tweeted: “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.
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“I’m ok at ironing. It’s the not checking there’s a random red sock in amongst the sheets that’s the issue.”
Although deliberately calling someone by the wrong pronouns “is already a hate crime” if it is fuelled by hostility to the victim’s transgender identity, Labour’s potential new policy change would lead to tougher penalties.
If it is deemed to be an “aggravated offence”, harassment based on someone’s gender identity could result in prison sentences of up to two years under Labour.
Critics of Labour’s reported plans have voiced concerns that gender-critical campaigners could be prosecuted for refusing to use a transgender person’s preferred pronouns and instead referring to them by their birth sex.
Labour has not yet responded to Rowling’s comments on the subject.
When asked if the Labour party’s policy could see people imprisoned for misgendering someone, Anneliese Dodds, Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, replied: “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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