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Entertainment Weekly

Books

J.K. Rowling rips sexist critiques of Theresa May

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Thursday’s general election in the United Kingdom did not go well for Prime Minister Theresa May. Although May first called for the vote back in April in order to increase the parliamentary majority of her Conservative Party — and thus strengthen her hand in upcoming Brexit negotiations with the European Union — she actually ended up losing seats after a hard-fought campaign with a Labour Party led by the leftist Jeremy Corbyn. Now, May and the Tories will likely have to coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland in order to maintain a majority in Parliament — a disastrous result for an election May called when it wasn’t required. Though May deserves criticism for her failure, British author J.K. Rowling made it clear on Twitter Friday that such critiques should stop short of sexist abuse.

Rowling began by writing she had “just unfollowed a man whom I thought was smart and funny because he called Theresa May a whore.” Rowling followed that up with 13 more tweets excoriating all professed liberals “whose mask slips every time a woman displeases them, who reach immediately for crude and humiliating words.”

As Rowling makes clear, this is not a partisan problem (“Every woman I know who has dared express an opinion publically has endured this kind of abuse at least once”) and can get even nastier for black and LGBTQ women. Labour MP Diane Abbott, for example, suffered from both sexist and racist attacks during the campaign, leading her to crack a smile as she triumphantly regained her seat with a larger vote share on Thursday night. Though Rowling has been a long-standing and very vocal critic of Corbyn’s Labour leadership, she did not address his party’s shock success.

Check out the powerful thread below.

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