Literary agency assistant Sasha White has been fired by her employer, The Tobias Literary Agency, for comments that made a distinction between biological and trans women.
White made a number of comments and retweeted others including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling on two different Twitter handles.
On her professional Twitter account, @SashaSemyonovna, White retweeted various posts that discussed and made a distinction between trans- and biological- women.
One retweet, from author Jeremy Duns, referenced Rowling’s opinions and stated “she’s said nothing bigoted and that sex is a biological fact and is real.”
In another, from user @VanillaIsBlaque, asserted “that 50% of the population is female and said females have every right to discuss their oppression and experiences without being told they’re being bigots”:
White also retweeted Rowling’s own explanation of her opinions towards transgender individuals, and added that the author’s words were “powerfully nuanced and insightful”:
White would also detail on a separate Twitter account that she thinks “pronouns suck.”
She explained, “The reason i think pronouns suck is because thinking of people as “they/them” and pretending they’re not male or female is like color/race blindness for gender. It won’t help sexism or toxic masculinity.”
“Men and women have unique and distinct experiences which should be acknowledged, examined, and critiqued but not obfuscated,” she wrote.
White then added, “Gender nonconformity (with acceptance of biological reality) successfully defies gender roles but switching pronouns reinforces these same roles.”
She also reacted to a Pink News story claiming a “trans woman was karate chopped by abusive drunk cis women.”
White wrote, ” As much I feel a bit bad for this self-victimizing confused man, I’m glad there are women who will stand their ground.”
On August 23rd, White retweeted a tweet from user @AlessandraAster that discussed the difference in male-on-woman violence and male-on-transwoman violence.
@AlessandraAster stated “We are not women because we are vulnerable to male violence. We are vulnerable to male violence because we are women.”
“So TW, being vulnerable to male violence does not make you women. It makes you a sub-group of males who are vulnerable to male violence because you are GNC [Gender Non-Conforming],” they concluded.
Her comments sparked a wave of backlash against White that eventually resulted in her dismissal from The Tobias Literary Agency.
One user wrote, “Sasha White is a publishing agent who doesn’t believe in honoring my pronouns.” They then asked, “Do you require the authors you represent to change their pronouns to what you agree with?”
Another wrote, “A secret account exists for an TERF that works in the publishing industry to express all their transphobic views in the name of RADICAL FEMINISM.”
They added, “I am disgusted by the FILTH I read. It terrifies me to think this person has the power to gatekeep trans authors.”
In a subsequent tweet they stated, “Why would livelihoods matter more than lives? A life will always hold more worth than money unless you’re saying some lives are worth less than money.”
In a tweet from The Tobias Literary Agency’s official Twitter account, which has since been set to private, the Agency confirmed that White was let go for her alleged “anti-trans sentiments” and announced that they had “made a donation to For the Gworls to provide rent or Gender-Affirming surgery for Black trans people.”
Matt Belford, a Literary Agent at The Tobias Literary Agency, apologized on Twitter for White’s comments.
He wrote, “I’d like to apologize for the content that was posted from said account. It’s not representative of this agency. My DMs are open.”
White had announced she had joined The Tobias Literary Agency earlier this month.
She would proceed to claim that “the twitter mob came for me and my employer and my employer immediately terminated me.”
She also added that she intended to “never stop standing up for girls and women” or “speaking the truth.”
She would later express her gratitude to the “outpouring of support” she had received and made reference to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and former Centre for Global Development visiting fellow Maya Forstater, two women who have previously come under fire for expressing similar opinions towards trans- and biological- women.
The following day, White would clarify her stance and explained that she sees “women as a distinct political class but not to the detriment of others’ rights.”
She also asked “does that mean I shouldn’t have a job?”
She further stated that she was “not trying to represent any perfect ideal” and noted that she has “sometimes reacted defensively to what I see as ongoing pressure on hard won women’s rights.”
What do you make of The Tobias Literary Agency firing Sasha White for a retweet?