JK Rowling blamed for Sophie Molly's Green Party deselection amid 'gender ideology' Waterstones row

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Once again, JK Rowling has found herself involved in a Twitter row over 'gender ideology' after a Waterstones employee was sacked.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been dragged into a row over 'gender ideology' which saw an online book reviewer sacked from her job at Waterstones. Tilly Fitzgerald, known to thousands of followers on social media as Tilly Loves Books, lost her job after tweeting she would "tear up and bin" an author's work over her 'gender-critical' views.

It came after writer Christina Dalcher appeared to endorse a publishing network for those "concerned about the impact of gender ideology". 'Gender ideology' is a term used to encapsulate the theory people may be born in the 'wrong body'.

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In response to Ms Dalcher's statement, Tilly Loves Books responded saying she would "enjoy tearing up your books and popping them in the bin today". She was later sacked from her job at bookshop giant Waterstones, who said: "We have received some messages about an employee who has been dismissed. This was on the grounds of contravening Waterstones policies and has nothing to do with transgender rights."

The sacking has prompted a furious backlash from some trans-rights activists, who claim she was "unfairly dismissed". Among them was Sophie Molly, who was deselected as a Green Party candidate ahead of the recent general election after calling JK Rowling a "torn-faced cow".

She said: "(JK Rowling) got me de-selected as a Scottish Greens candidate and now I hear of another TERF author getting (Tilly Loves Books) fired from Waterstones. Are trans rights just a joke to people? Companies and organisations, please stand up for trans people."

Yui Mok/PA Wire

The author has since responded, comparing Molly to a stalker who broke his leg trying to get into her garden. She wrote: "You sent me abuse on X and I responded. I had zero contact with the Greens.

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"You and your friend Tilly remind me of the stalker who broke his leg climbing over our garden wall one night. We called an ambulance and he then sent me a threatening letter for breaking his leg."

Ms Fitzgerald herself has said she had apologised and admitted her posts contravened the Waterstones social media policy, but that she felt a warning would have been "more appropriate". "My initial comments weren’t trying to get anyone cancelled or taken off shop shelves - I was speaking of my choice to throw my own books of theirs away as I didn’t want to personally support them," she said.

And she told The Independent: "I’m absolutely devastated that this escalated to me losing a job I love. I acknowledge that my comments were a violation of the social media policy, and I did apologise for any trouble caused, however, I think the punishment was disproportionate and a warning would have been more appropriate."

She added: "I was an exemplary employee as evidenced by my performance reviews and statements from my team. I have seen comments about me destroying work stock which was absolutely not the case. I was talking about my own personal property on my personal social media account, and I have every right to get rid of books by an author I no longer wish to support based on their behaviour.

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"I’m so grateful for all the support people in the book community have shown. The last thing I would consider myself is an activist (although I’m forever in awe of those who are brave enough to fight so relentlessly), but to me, it’s fairly simple - we just let people be who they want to be and begin with kindness."

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