J.K. Rowling Dares Scottish Police to Arrest Her for Hate Crime

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

On Monday, Scotland enacted a new anti-hate crime law designed to crack down on “stirring up hatred” related to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity, or intersex identity. And Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling doesn’t appear to be happy about it.

Rowling took to X Monday morning for a lengthy screed in which she denounced the law, openly misgendered several trans people, and then dared Scottish authorities to arrest her.

“Scottish lawmakers seem to have placed higher value on the feelings of men performing their idea of femaleness, however misogynistically or opportunistically, than on the rights and freedoms of actual women and girls,” Rowling posted.

Violating the newly enacted Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act comes with a maximum penalty of a seven-year prison sentence. On BBC Radio 4 on Monday, Scottish minister for victims and community safety Siobhian Brown explained that misgendering someone online “would be a police matter for them to assess what happens. It could be reported and it could be investigated—whether or not the police would think it was criminal is up to Police Scotland.”

Rowling, who’s long made her transphobic beliefs abundantly clear, including “concerns” about trans women using public restrooms, expressed outrage that Scotland’s new legislation does not include women as a protected characteristic.

“The re-definition of ‘woman’ to include every man who declares himself one has already had serious consequences for women’s and girls’ rights and safety in Scotland, with the strongest impact felt, as ever, by the most vulnerable, including female prisoners and rape survivors,” Rowling continued in her post on X.

“If what I’ve written here qualifies as an offense under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment,” she added.

This isn’t the first time Rowling has made such a statement. Last October, the author declared on X that she would “happily” be imprisoned if a proposed Labour law were implemented that classifies misgendering people as an aggravated offense. “I’ll happily do two years if the alternative is compelled speech and forced denial of the reality and importance of sex,” she said at the time. “Bring on the court case, I say.”

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