J K Rowling's Twitterstorm

Author JK Rowling let loose a Twitterstorm on 9 June in response to the sexist nature of comments on female politicians. When you look at the news headlines and listen to commentators you will hear tones of it, whether meant consciously or unconsciously.

Women still have a hard time getting to the top and when they do, attacks on them tend to be personalised rather than an analysis and questioning of what they are saying or doing. Now, my political opinions differ from JK’s, but she is bang on the nail here.

Undoubtedly forthright words from somebody who is known for her trenchant views. I have to agree with her. Calling a female politician a ‘witch’ is peculiar. Would we call a male politician a ‘warlock’? ‘Witch’ is meant to denigrate, to reduce, to put outside the community. It’s also a word used by the ignorant, the frightened and the uneducated who have little generosity of spirit and no wish to go beyond the obvious communal baying. And falling back on the old ‘woman is a whore if not a madonna’ is laughable. It’s a demonstration of fear, superstition and envy.

So what to do? Call it out as JK has done, as Michele Obama does, as we all do in the #everydaysexism  campaign on Twitter. Educate your own children, question what people say, discuss or debate rationally, live the life that doesn’t accept there’s a difference. Your call.

As we say in Roma Nova, cura te ipsum*.

*Attend to your own defects rather than criticising defects in others.


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, came out in April  2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter

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