J K Rowling blasts Niven over misogynist language towards May

J K Rowling blasts Niven over misogynist language towards May

J K Rowling has condemned Scottish author John Niven on social media for calling prime minister Theresa May "a whore". 

Niven, a Labour supporter and author of Kill Your Friends (Windmill Books, PRH), had been commenting on the prime minister's prospective deal with Northern Irish party the Democratic Unionist Party on Twitter, when he wrote: "May 'our friends and allies in the DUP'. Straight face. The lot. The f*****g balls on this whore."

In response, Rowling took a stand against the author, saying she was "sick of 'liberal' men whose mask slips every time a woman displeases them". She went on to compare men who use misogynous language with those who "send violent pornographic images and rape threats" to "intimidate women out of politics and public spaces".

In a series of 14 tweets, she raged: "Just unfollowed a man whom I thought was smart and funny, because he called Theresa May a whore.

"If you can't disagree with a woman without reaching for all those filthy old insults, screw you and your politics.

"I'm sick of 'liberal' men whose mask slips every time a woman displeases them, who reach immediately for crude and humiliating words associated with femaleness, act like old-school misogynists and then preen themselves as though they've been brave.

"When you do this, Mr Liberal Cool Guy, you ally yourself, wittingly or not, with the men who send women violent pornographic images and rape threats, who try by every means possible to intimidate women out of politics and public spaces, both real and digital."

Rowling went on to say "femaleness is not a design flaw". She continued: “‘C***’, ‘whore’ and, naturally, rape. We’re too ugly to rape, or we need raping, or we need raping and killing.

"Every woman I know who has dared express an opinion publicly has endured this kind of abuse at least once, rooted in an apparent determination to humiliate or intimidate her on the basis that she is female.

“If you want to know how much fouler it gets if you also happen to be black or gay, ask Diane Abbot or Ruth Davidson.

"I don't care whether we're talking about Theresa May or Nicola Sturgeon or Kate Hooey or Yvette Cooper or Hillary Clinton.

"Femaleness is not a design flaw. If your immediate response to a woman who displeases you is to call her a synonym for her vulva, or compare her to a prostitute, then drop the pretence and own it – you're not a liberal.

"You're a few short steps away from some guy hiding behind a cartoon frog," she concluded.

Niven responded directly to Rowling in a single tweet saying "my bad" punctuated with a kiss. The tweet has not been deleted.