The “there is no trend” argument is a double whammy: A significant amount of what JK Rowling claims will be possible with the new legislation is already possible in the current UK legislation. The new legislation is the standard in other countries who do not have these issues. The trends that JK Rowling talks about should, by her logic when taking into account things as they actually are, already have occured, either in the UK under current law or in other countries based on the hypothethical future law.
The case of trans inmates being sexually harassed in prisons is crucial, becuase err:
Eleven transgender prisoners were sexually assaulted in jails in England and Wales last year, it has emerged.
The figures, from the Ministry of Justice, cover inmates who were born and remained legally male but self-identified as female.
The total number of transgender victims far exceeds the number who were suspected of carrying out sex attacks, with only one such case in 2019.
All of the alleged attacks occurred in the male prison estate, the prisons and probation minister Lucy Frazer said.
This is absolutely crucial, becuase the things being as they are right now in UK prisons is exactly what the gender critical movement wants. These are transgender women (Assigned Male At Birth) who were put in a man’s prison, as per the stated objective of sex-defined spaces. This matches trends seen in the US (the UK is historically quite bad at revealing prison statistics). Similarily, trans men are being put in women’s prisons and it, well, also really sucks for them.
I don’t think a heavy backlash helps at the best of times. I think a significant part of it is amplified by virtue of JK Rowling being the most succesful author currently alive, her words alone have a massive impact. And she’s using that platform to spread misinformation in an environment where transphobic hate crimes have quadrupled over the past five years, coinciding with the surge of people claiming the “Gender critical” mantle. People are going to be upset about that, not helped by platforms like twitter providing amplification.