Green candidate calls Harry Potter author JK Rowling 'torn-faced cow' amid gender row

The Scottish Green party said it is ‘in dialogue’ with the Westminster hopeful ‘to offer guidance’

A parliamentary candidate for the Scottish Greens has defended calling JK Rowling a “torn-faced cow” on social media.

Sophie Molly, a trans woman who is standing in Gordon and Buchan at the general election, said she stood by the comment. Ms Rowling highlighted the insult after becoming embroiled in a row with Ms Molly on X over the weekend.

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The Greens hopeful criticised a book the author has contributed to called The Women Who Wouldn't Wheesht, which includes essays from a range of women who have been critical of the impact of trans issues on women’s sex-based rights. It was co-edited by Susan Dalgety, a columnist for The Scotsman, and will be published on May 30.

Author JK Rowling. Picture: Stuart C Wilson/Getty ImagesAuthor JK Rowling. Picture: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images
Author JK Rowling. Picture: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images

Ms Molly said the book was “deeply transphobic”, adding: “It puts the safety of all trans people at risk. Promoting hate does nothing but harm society. Trans people are not removing anyone’s rights. The Gender Critical have removed trans people’s right to feel safe in public spaces.”

Ms Rowling responded: “I'm seriously impressed that you've been able to read and review an unpublished book of which there are currently only two copies in existence, neither of which have been lent to you.”

The Harry Potter author highlighted previous comments by Ms Molly under a different X handle. These included: “JK Rowling is a man larping as a woman. Pass it on!! Let’s shame the torn faced cow.”

In response to another post by the Green candidate, Ms Rowling wrote: “I'm just interested in the language you use about women you don't like, Sophie. 'Torn-faced', 'b*tch' etc.” Ms Molly wrote: “Convince me that you're not then. Say something nice about trans women. Give me a compliment.”

She told another user of X: “I stand by those comments."

A Scottish Greens spokesman said: “We are aware of comments circulating on social media and the party is in dialogue with a prospective candidate to offer guidance. Selection is a matter for the local branch and its members.”

Ms Molly, who has a background as both a musician and music tutor, was announced as the candidate for Gordon and Buchan last week. In a statement at the time, she spoke of the need to tackle the “economic and environmental issues” affecting the constituency.

Ms Rowling has received both support and criticism over her views on transgender issues and their impact on women’s sex-based rights and female-only spaces.

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Last month, she hit the headlines after criticising controversial new hate crime laws in Scotland. In a series of posts on social media, she listed a number of transgender women, including violent criminals and activists, and insisted “every last one” is a man.

She said: “Freedom of speech and belief are at an end in Scotland if the accurate description of biological sex is deemed criminal."

Police Scotland later confirmed her posts were “not assessed to be criminal” and no further action would be taken. A poll by Savanta for The Scotsman previously found more Scots said they broadly agreed with Ms Rowling over trans issues than disagreed.



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