In 2007, Harry Potter creator JK Rowling made headlines after revealing that Dumbledore, the beloved headmaster of Hogwarts, harbored a deep love for a male character in the series. Later in 2015, she sent shockwaves through Twitter by dropping the bomb that Hermione, the witty witch portrayed by the Caucasian Emma Watson in every Harry Potter film in the franchise, was, in fact, black. Since, Rowling has had a knack for releasing details about her series she never alluded to in the book at all and causing fans and onlookers to recoil in surprise.
This week was no exception. For Pride, Rowling took to Twitter to follow a number of LGBT+ accounts, but the keen eyes of social media noticed she had also followed a number of individuals involved in the gender abolitionist or trans-critical movement, such as Fionne Oriander and Magdalen Berns. When questioned, Rowling tweeted a bombshell:
#TERFDobby quickly went viral on Twitter, with both positive and negative reactions across the board.
There were even reports of some ex-fans destroying their books in response to the news.
Some Twitter users also questioned how Dobby, an elf with demonstrably no gender or genitalia, could be gender critical to begin with, while others questioned Dobby’s credentials, wondering what the breadth of Gender Critical Feminist literature Dobby had read was.
Whether Rowling will continue to elaborate on #TERFDobby remains to be seen. In the past, she had simply allowed her Twitter to return to its relatively benign usual feed after her announcements.