Editor is dropped by writing firm after she said that the idea that someone with ‘heavy five o’clock shadow’ could be a woman ‘blows my mind’
- Sibyl Ruth, 63, has raised more than £10,000 to put towards legal action
An editor is taking legal action against her former employer after she claims the literary consultant dropped her for a gender critical tweet.
Sibyl Ruth, 63, was working for Cornerstones when she tweeted it ‘blows my mind’ that someone with a ‘heavy five o’clock shadow’ could be a woman.
Ms Ruth, who lives in Birmingham, has said instances such as this are ‘a danger to democracy and freedom’.
Assisted by the Free Speech Union, Ms Ruth has raised more than £10,000 towards legal fees so far, but hopes to raise a total of £48,000.
In response to a picture of a transgender woman, Ms Ruth said: ‘I do believe that people should be allowed to wear what they want etc etc… But what blows my mind is the idea that with heavy five o’clock shadow, a perm and lippy and a bag with gold chains = woman.’
Sibyl Ruth, 63, was working for Cornerstones when she tweeted it ‘blows my mind’ that someone with a ‘heavy five o’clock shadow’ could be a woman
Pictured is Helen Corner-Bryant who founded Cornerstones Literary Consultancy in 1998
Ms Ruth said she believes ‘that sex is immutable and determined from conception’.
Her legal team believe this comment was brought to Cornerstones’ attention and that staff were concerned it could cause ‘reputational damage’ to the company.
Cornerstones, which was founded by Helen Corner-Bryant, provides writers with editorial help and guidance.
Ms Ruth claims she was dropped by Cornerstones and removed from the website soon after posting the comment to Twitter last year.
She added that her work began to diminish and the consultancy said it was unlikely she would be out on future projects.
‘I don’t believe organisations should have the power to control what we say at home, when we talk to friends, or when we’re discussing topical issues on social media. All of us are different,’ she said.
She added that employees should be able to explore their differences without being at risk of losing their jobs.
According to Ms Ruth’s legal team, a subject access request revealed that staff discussed how best to tell her she would no longer be used for work.
Alongside the crowdfunder, Ms Ruth wrote: ‘I am headed to the Employment Tribunal on 14 September 2023 to argue the first limb of my case: that I deserve Equality Act protection.’
Cornerstones has been contacted for comment on the matter.
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