John Cleese Asks Why J.K. Rowling Is Wrong About Transgender Women Not Being Women

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Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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John Cleese said he’s “baffled by the debate” over J.K. Rowling after a backlash ensued against the author following her tweets that some deemed were transphobic.

“I’m baffled by the debate over JKR [Rowling],” the 80-year-old actor/comedian tweeted Thursday to his followers. “Am I right in thinking that if I tomorrow declare myself to be a woman, then anyone who doesn’t accept that must hate me?” (RELATED: J.K. Rowling Launches ‘Harry Potter At Home’ While Schools Remain Closed Due To Coronavirus)

“This is a genuine request for information, even if the question itself seems odd to many older people,” he added. (RELATED: The Trailer For ‘Westworld’ Season 3 Has Been Released. It’s Absolutely Insane)

The “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” star then tweeted he definitely wants people do to what “makes them happy, and I despise people who try to stop them.” But he just believes that “if one asks genuine questions about gender, it does not mean that you hate anybody.”

At one point, Cleese replied to another person who tweeted the debate over transgender issues are “etiquette questions not logic questions. You are entering into a debate about who is permitted to say what, not one about whether what people say is true.”

“You mean, like in the old days when Jewish jokes were ok only if they were told by Jewish people,” the “Faulty Towers” star responded. “Still baffled.”

“Talking to women athletes – that is, women who have been women all their lives – I learn that they do not feel it’s fair that they should compete against women who at some point had men’s bodies, since men are usually bigger and stronger that women,” he added in a follow-up tweet. while asking if this was considered “hatred.”

Later, another person tweeted to him that the debate was “over whether the struggles and experience of being a woman are inextricably linked to having the biology of a woman. JKR and many feminists think it is. Many trans activists think it is not, and consider the notion transphobic.”

Cleese responded, “Transphobic in the sense that anyone who doesn’t agree with them, must hate them? Because -phobic implies hate and disgust, doesn’t it?”

Someone then suggested that the attacks against Rowling might simply be because she’s a “world famous person” posing a question about a hot topic issue.

“Fully aware of this,” John replied. “But tolerance is so important in society that it’s important to know if there are really some areas, discussion of which can’t be tolerated because it leads to hatred.”

As previously reported, the backlash against the “Harry Potter” author started after she tweeted an article from the web site Devex titled, “Creating a more equal post COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

“People who menstruate,” Rowling tweeted. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

A backlash ensued against the author who responded, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”