Billy Bragg responds after J.K. Rowling accuses him of “misogyny” over trans comments

J.K. Rowling / Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg has responded to J.K. Rowling after the Harry Potter author accused the musician of “misogyny” for voicing his support of Graham Norton’s views on transgender rights.

Yesterday (October 13), Bragg shared a clip of Norton discussing ‘cancel culture’ and trans rights at the recent Cheltenham Literature Festival.

“Norton really good here on John Cleese, telling him that ‘cancel culture’ is just accountability, and JK Rowling, suggesting that the media talk directly to trans teens and their parents rather than merely amplifying the takes of a celebrity,” Bragg wrote on Twitter to accompany the clip.

Rowling then replied to Bragg’s tweet: “Very much enjoying the recent spate of bearded men stepping confidently onto their soapboxes to define what a woman is and throw their support behind rape and death threats to those who dare disagree. You may mock, but takes real bravery to come out as an Old Testament prophet.”

The musician said in response that it was “hard to think of anything that better illustrates Graham Norton’s point than the sight of someone with 13.9m followers reacting to a call for a fair hearing for trans teens and their parents by equating it to *checks notes* support for rape and death threats.”

That tweet saw Rowling reply: “Hard to think of anything that better illustrates misogyny than men complaining that a woman has a view on woman’s rights.”

Bragg said in reply that he was “not complaining that you have a view, JK. I’m complaining that you conflate my view with support for rape and death threats. I have never expressed such sentiments and if you had any self respect you would apologise for making such a blatantly inflammatory accusation.”

Rowling then highlighted Bragg’s response and wrote: “You’ve compared feminists to Nazi eugenicists, Billy. You agreed with @grahnort that cancel culture is merely ‘accountability’. Do you believe threats of rape and murder are acceptable ‘accountability’?”

Bragg said in response: “No I do not. I believe that any abuse is unacceptable and those who make such threats should be held to account, no matter what cause they claim to be upholding. That’s why I am appalled by your accusation that I support such vile behaviour. Will you please retract your comment.”

Continuing the exchange this morning (October 14), Rowling added: “Self respect? From the guy who tried to use the holocaust to attack feminists? Women standing up for their rights receive constant threats of sexual violence. Some have lost jobs and been attacked at protests. Good to know you and Norton are OK with the culture, though.”

Bragg has yet to reply to Rowling’s latest tweet at the time of writing.

Rowling initially sparked controversy in June 2020 after calling out an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”. Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were among the high-profile names who subsequently criticised Rowling. Rowling has denied that she is transphobic.

In November 2021, Bragg spoke out about his decision to change the lyrics to his track ‘Sexuality’ to make it trans-inclusive.

Earlier this week Bragg joined a strike that was being held by Starbucks employees in Buffalo, New York, where he performed his song ‘Solidarity Forever’.

The post Billy Bragg responds after J.K. Rowling accuses him of “misogyny” over trans comments appeared first on NME.

Sam Moore