Author J.K. Rowling recently backed Elon Musk‘s assertion that the word “cisgender” is a “slur” that won’t be tolerated on Twitter.
Earlier on Wednesday, Musk responded to another user who claimed he had been bullied because he rejected the word, ‘cis.’ Musk then declared that the word “cisgender” and its derivative, “cis,” were slurs that could cause users to be suspended from tweeting.
“Repeated, targeted harassment against any account will cause the harassing accounts to receive, at minimum, temporary suspensions,” Musk tweeted. “The words ‘cis’ or ‘cisgender’ are considered slurs on this platform.”
According to Merriam-Webster, “cisgender” is defined as “a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.” The dictionary added the word in 2016, according to The Washington Post. Merriam-Webster has not labeled ‘cisgender’ as offensive or a slur.
Here is what J.K. Rowling wrote:
“‘Cis’ is ideological language, signifying belief in the unfalsifiable concept of gender identity. You have a perfect right to believe in unprovable essences that may or may not match the sexed body, but the rest of us have a right to disagree, and to refuse to adopt your jargon,” Rowling tweeted.
'Cis' is ideological language, signifying belief in the unfalsifiable concept of gender identity. You have a perfect right to believe in unprovable essences that may or may not match the sexed body, but the rest of us have a right to disagree, and to refuse to adopt your jargon.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 21, 2023
Rowling, known for her Harry Potter series of books and movies, has been slammed in the past for making tweets many called anti-trans. In 2020, Rowling was derided for tweeting, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
It was the first in a series of Rowling tweets that the transgender community found offensive. Variety reported at the time:
People on Twitter immediately called Rowling’s comments “anti-trans” and “transphobic” as transgender people, non-binary people and gender-nonconforming people can also menstruate. Rowling followed that tweet up by criticizing the idea that someone’s biological sense isn’t real.
Daniel Radcliff, the actor who played the role of Harry Potter, condemned Rowling for her comments. In an open letter, he wrote, “Transgender women are women” and said in an interview that he spoke out because “I wanted [trans kids] to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. And that was really important.”