The hashtag #RIPJKRowling started trending when The Telegraph put up an early review of Rowling’s new book, Troubled Blood, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Troubled Blood is the fifth book in Rowling’s Comoran Strike series of crime novels. The “meat” of the latest book, according to The Telegraph, is an investigation into a cis male serial killer whose modus operandi is dressing up as a woman to kill cis women.
For those who do not know what happened, Rowling got in hot water a few months back for a series of transphobic tweets, with everyone from GLAAD to Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe speaking out against her. Instead of taking a beat and reconsidering, Rowling doubled down, writing what I can only describe as a manifesto detailing her reasons for why excluding trans people from public life is a fine and just thing to do, on account of how scary and confused they are. Among her arguments was that “throw[ing] open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman” will put cis women at increased risk.
Given the circumstances, it’s easy to see why a book from Rowling about a cis male serial killer who dresses up like a woman to commit his crimes might seem a little…backwards. The #RIPJKRowling hashtag is a jokey way to separate Rowling’s hugely popular work from the woman who wrote it.
People have also been asked to burn their copies of the Harry Potter books after this incident came to light. While I understand that you want to get across a message to the author is it really necessary to bring her down in such a way? Is wishing her dead really what you want?