Culture

Standing up for JK Rowling gets YA author Gillian Philip cancelled

Scottish author Gillian Philip of the Warrior Cats series was sacked by her employer, Working Partners, for standing up for JK Rowling on Twitter.

Erin Perse London, UK
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A matter of days after Hachette Publishers and the Blair Partnership literary agency made a stand for free expression on behalf of their star author, JK Rowling, it looked as though things were looking up for women in the book industry who object to the erosion of their rights by trans ideology.

Then a Scottish author, Gillian Philip, was sacked by her employer for standing up for JK Rowling on Twitter. Seeing the barrage of sexually abusive messages to Rowling, Philip changed her Twitter handle to include a message of support, the hashtag #IStandWithJKRowling.

That's it. And for that, she lost her job.

This—along with the fact she was a children's author tweeting under her own name (the world of children’s & young adult fiction fandom is notoriously woke)—quickly attracted the attention of the assorted trans activists, and disturbed teenage boys whose misogyny—abetted by Twitter turning a blind eye—makes the social medial site such a difficult environment for women. As the accounts were anonymous, there was no way of knowing whether they were genuine Warrior Cats fans.

Over a 24 hour period, men bombarded Philip with a large volume of sexually abusive tweets, which she simply retweeted along with the defiant battle cry "Bring it, homophobes and lesbian-haters". She was also accused of being "transphobic". When the bombardment got too much, she deleted her Twitter account, which is still cached.

When Philip expressed her unwillingness to recant her support for Rowling, trans activists organized a mass-spamming of complaints to her employer, a US company called Working Partners which answers to the publisher Harper Collins. Within 24 hours James Noble, the managing editor, sent personal emails to the vexatious complainants to say that he had sacked his employee.

Harper Collins did not approach the author to find out what happened, from her perspective. The reason given to the sacking was Philips’ "responses to the fans," although it was not clear at all that her antagonists were fans of the book series.

Philip is part of The Warrior Cats series published by Harper Collins. The series of children's books, aimed at the 8-12 age range, is put together by the production company Working Partners. The books are authored by 'Erin Hunter,' which is collective pseudonym for a group of female writers, one of whom was Gillian Philip.

Philip has also authored fiction under the nom de plume Gabriella Poole, for the Darke Academy series and as Adam Blade, for the Beast Quest books. Fiction she authored under her own name has seen a surge in sales since the news of her sacking broke.

This is what happens to a children's author who lacks the international platform of someone of JK Rowling's signature stature. The episode demonstrates how companies will treat women who step out of line, by defying trans ideology, when they aren't too big to cancel. In effect, women are being sacked because they are the victims of online sexualized abuse by males. Women are re-victimized by those who should defend them.

It is apparent that women writers are at a pinch point. Horribly aware of these threats to their freedom of speech; earning an often precarious income in a notoriously ‘woke’ industry, now is clearly a risky time to speak out.

Even so, women are finding their voices, and deciding that living without cognitive dissonance is preferable to staying silent. As the volume of outcry grows, and the general public becomes more aware of what has been happening, the tide seems gradually to be turning.

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