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The Harry Potter author took to Twitter this morning to criticise the Labour leader’s comments, claiming the party could ‘no longer be counted on to defend women’s rights’.
She also slammed Sir Keir for ‘publicly misrepresenting’ the 2010 Equality Act, which legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society, and said women’s anger was ‘growing’.
It comes as last night, the Labour leader said: ‘A woman is a female adult and, in addition to that, trans women are women, and that is not just my view — that is actually the law.’
JK Rowling (left) has hit out at Sir Keir Starmer (right) after he tried to bring some clarity to the controversial question of defining what a woman is
Miss Rowling, 56, wrote: ‘I don’t think our politicians have the slightest idea how much anger is building among women from all walks of life at the attempts to threaten and intimidate them out of speaking publicly about their own rights, their own bodies and their own lives.
‘Among the thousands of letters and emails I’ve received are disillusioned members of Labour, the Greens, the Lib Dems and the SNP. Women are scared, outraged and angry at the deaf ear turned to their well-founded concerns. But women are organising.
‘Now Keir Starmer publicly misrepresents equalities law, in yet another indication that the Labour Party can no longer be counted on to defend women’s rights. But I repeat: women are organising across party lines, and their resolve and their anger are growing.’
Miss Rowling claimed she has been inundated with messages from women and said lesbians are also coming under attack for ‘not wishing to be redefined’.
She added: ‘Innumerable gay people have been in touch with me to say exactly this. Like women, they – especially lesbians – are under attack for not wishing to be redefined and for refusing to use ideological language they find offensive.’
Keir Starmer went further than frontbench colleagues Yvette Cooper and Anneliese Dodds by insisting: ‘Trans women are women’
Sir Keir called for changes to the Gender Recognition Act so that transgender people can achieve legal recognition of their gender based on self-declaration, without needing a medical diagnosis.
He told The Times: ‘The process that people have to go through does need to be looked at. If you talk to anybody who’s been through the process there’s a real issue about respect and dignity.’
The Labour leader also supports one of the key demands of feminists who have clashed with transgender activists by insisting on safe spaces – such as toilets – for those born as women.
He said: ‘I believe in safe spaces for women — I’m very clear about those too. I think the 2010 act, the Equality Act, which does provide for safe spaces for women is right. And therefore I’m very straightforward about this.’
Since last night, women have taken to Twitter to address the controversial comments made by Sir Keir.
One user, named Alison Ann-Dowling wrote: ‘As a councillor, I’ve lost count of the number of times constituents have raised these concerns with me.
‘A lot of anger on attempts to marginalise parents by schools promoting gender ideology as well. I speak out publically, others don’t through fear of professional damage.’
Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price for Thurrock, Essex added: ‘Transwomen are transwomen. You cannot change your biological sex. Women must not be forced to accept otherwise. Keir Starmer is wrong.’
Another added: ‘I will not vote for any candidate that doesn’t know what a woman is.’
Earlier this week Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper refused three times to offer a definition of a woman, saying she was not going to go down a ‘rabbit hole’.
Her colleague Anneliese Dodds, who is Labour’s equalities spokesman, had already said the day before that the meaning of the word depended on ‘context’.
Her stance also angered Miss Rowling, who said that she needed both a dictionary and a backbone.