US feminist Naomi Wolf slams ‘bathroom predator’ myth and ‘moral panic’ in the UK over trans rights 

Naomi Wolf

US feminist Naomi Wolf has condemned the “moral panic” over trans rights in the UK, and described anti-trans comments by JK Rowling as “painful”.

Naomi Wolf is a feminist author, journalist and former political advisor on the 1996 Bill Clinton and Al Gore presidential campaign, who is best known for her 1990 book The Beauty Myth. 

Speaking to Reuters, she hit out at the idea disseminated by anti-trans campaigners in the UK that updating the 2004 Gender Recognition Act to make it easier for trans people to get their gender legally recognised, will lead to predatory men being able to access women’s spaces by “self-identifying” as trans women.

She said: “It’s always this mythology of a man dressed as a woman in a ladies’ bathroom who’s going to rape a woman – which just doesn’t happen.

“Anyway there are already laws in place against you being molested by anyone in a bathroom.”

The “bathroom predator myth” has also been propagated by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

In her notorious “TERF Wars” essay, Rowling said that although she believes “the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others”, she felt moved to speak out on trans rights because “when you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman… then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside”.

She added that while she thinks Rowling “has a right to say whatever she wants”, she found her anti-trans comments “painful”.

“It was very painful to me as a mom, because… my kids grew up on her,” Wolf said.

The 58-year-old also said that she suffered attack from “waves and waves of bots” every time she expressed her support for trans rights online, but insisted that she felt it was important to keep speaking out.

Wolf said: “The only way to push back against that kind of digital harassment and intimidation is to stand firm.

“Shine a light on the funding of these people and … show solidarity with trans people and say not in my name.”