Stephen King has been dragged into the transphobia row which has engulfed JK Rowling for the past three weeks.
On Sunday, JK shared a series of tweets in response to an apology from Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who accused the author of “using” her domestic violence experience as “justification for discriminating against” the trans community in a Tribune magazine article.
JK has been criticised for sharing her views on gender and sex – including her concerns about proposed changes to Scottish gender laws.
In an open letter earlier this month, JK detailed how she has been on the receiving end of abusive and misogynistic language via social media since taking a public stance on gender rights, while also sharing details of physical abuse she had received in her earlier life.
Addressing Russell-Moyle’s apology on Sunday, JK released a series of tweets relating to violence against women.
One tweet read: “Andrea Dworkin wrote: ‘Men often react to women’s words—speaking and writing—as if they were acts of violence; sometimes men react to women’s words with violence.’ It isn’t hateful for women speak about their own experiences, nor do they deserve shaming for doing so.”
This particular tweet was re-tweeted by Stephen King.
The Harry Potter author was delighted to seemingly earn support from a fellow writer, and she later tweeted: “I’ve always revered @StephenKing, but today my love reached – maybe not Annie Wilkes levels – but new heights.”
She added: “It’s so much easier for men to ignore women’s concerns, or to belittle them, but I won’t ever forget the men who stood up when they didn’t need to. Thank you, Stephen.”
Stephen almost immediately found himself under attack from angry social media followers who blasted him for siding with the British star.
Some Twitter accounts branded him a TERF, an acronym that stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist and has been used as an insult against women who disagree with transgender rights activists.
As a backlash grew, one fan tweeted Stephen to ask: “You should address the TERF tweet. By telling us constant readers if you believe trans women are women.”
He replied: “Yes. Trans women are women.”
JK subsequently deleted her tweet praising the Carrie author.
While many praised King for showing support for transgender women, some noted the initial backlash before he clarified his stance varied greatly to the criticism JK has received in recent weeks.
One tweeted: “Stephen King is free to believe whatever he likes. What I find more interesting are the comments. From the GC side there seems to be a lack of wishing death and rape upon him and no ‘suck my lady d**k’ at all that I could see. It’s almost as if women don’t say things like that.”
JK gave examples of some of the abuse she has received on social media due to her views, writing she has been: “called c*** and b***h and, of course, for my books to be burned.”