Academics criticise awarding of an OBE to 'anti-trans' professor
More than 600 academics turn on leading philosophy professor and claim she shouldn’t be given an OBE due to ‘transphobia’ – after she argued women should NOT be forced to share toilets with transgender females
- Kathleen Stock given OBE for services to higher education in New Year Honours
- Professor argued against possible changes to Gender Recognition Act in 2018
- Stock argued against self-identification to establish legal gender identity
- 600 academics have signed letter saying they are ‘dismayed’ at the decision
A group of academics have criticised the decision to award an OBE to a prominent philosophy professor who advocates that women should not be made to share public toilets and changing rooms with transgender women.
Dr Kathleen Stock, a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, opposed possible changes to the Gender Recognition Act which would have allowed people to be legally recognised as their chosen gender without the need for medical certification, and has described universities as becoming ‘trans activist institutions’.
In an open letter, 600 of her peers from institutions including the LSE and MIT criticised the decision to recognise her services to education in the 2021 New Year Honours, saying they are ‘dismayed’ the British government chose to ‘honour her for this harmful rhetoric’.
Dr Kathleen Stock (pictured), a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, was given an OBE in the 2021 New Year Honours
The letter also criticised Stock for using her award to draw attention to the relationship between universities and LGBTQ charity Stonewall, branding UK universities ‘trans activist institutions’.
The letter, titled Open Letter Concerning Transphobia in Philosophy, claimed that while the OBE ostensibly recognised Professor Stock’s services to education, it also was a show of support for what they deem to be her ‘transphobic’ views.
It reads: ‘Stock is best-known in recent years for her trans-exclusionary public and academic discourse on sex and gender, especially for opposition to the UK Gender Recognition Act and the importance of self-identification to establish gender identity, and for advocating that trans women should be excluded from places like women’s locker rooms or shelters.’
It continues: ‘Trans people are already deeply marginalised in society, facing well-documented discrimination, ranging from government policy to physical violence.
‘Discourse like that Stock is producing and amplifying contributes to these harms, serving to restrict trans people’s access to life-saving medical treatments, encourage the harassment of gender-non-conforming people, and otherwise reinforce the patriarchal status quo.
‘We are dismayed that the British government has chosen to honour her for this harmful rhetoric.’
In an open letter, 600 of her peers from institutions including the LSE and MIT criticised the decision to recognise her services to education in the 2021 New Year’s Honours, saying they are ‘dismayed’ the British government chose to ‘honour her for this harmful rhetoric’
In 2018 Professor Stock spoke out publicly against proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004. Then Prime Minister Theresa May wanted to make the process of acquiring a Gender Recognition Certificate more ‘streamlined and de-medicalised’.
Professor Stock was among those who disagreed with the idea that self-identification should form the basis for establishing legal gender identity and warned it could put women at risk.
Writing for The Conversation, she said: ‘We need to sort out female-based oppression first. If we don’t, it will simply be transferred into whatever brave new world we’re constructing.’
Professor Stock claimed that removing protections for women such as single-sex changing rooms would put them at an even greater disadvantage.
Pictured, a selection of Tweets from Stock in which she drew attention to the relationship between universities and LGBTQ charity Stonewall, branding UK universities ‘trans activist institutions’
‘There’s no reason why females should – as a sexist society regularly expects them to – be the only group to sacrifice their interests in favour of others,’ she added.
More recently Professor Stock has accused leading gay rights charity Stonewall of censoring debate on gender identity and suppressing academic freedom.
She was one of 20 professors, researchers and lecturers who signed a letter in 2019 criticising the charity for providing UK universities with a template on transgender issues.
According to the letter, this template does not allow dissenting views or criticism from academics who think differently.
Professor Stock returned to the issue in a series of tweets shared in the wake of her OBE being announced.
She wrote: ‘Honoured to have been given OBE for services to higher education.
‘I want to use this opportunity to draw further attention to suppression of critical thought about gender identity ideology and trans activism in UK Universities.
She went on: ‘And yet academics and students in Universities urgently need to be able to discuss the social importance of biological sex, and to criticise gender identity ideology and trans activism.’
Signatories of the ‘Transphobia in Philosophy’ letter agreed academics should be free to ask ‘important questions about sex and gender’ but argued Professor Stock’s contribution to the discourse has been ‘transphobic fearmongering’ rather than ‘valuable scholarship’.
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