Academics warn universities should stop bowing to students

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Academics warn universities should stop flattering students who are told to “accept academic freedom or LEAVE” after professor “hunted down” for her role in the trans-row

  • Professor Kathleen Stock quit her job over transphobia charges
  • Academics rose up against the row, which included death threats
  • They say universities should tell students they’re not here to protect their feelings










Students should be made aware that universities are not there to protect their feelings, academics said today after a professor’s resignation over his views on the genre.

Professor Kathleen Stock, 48, a gender and sexual orientation expert, quit her job at the University of Sussex this week after a campaign of “bullying and harassment” called her “transphobic”.

And dismayed colleagues rise up, demanding that students be informed during freshman week that universities are there to maintain academic freedom.

Professor Michael Biggs, an expert in sociology at the University of Oxford, said the responsibility for the “ridiculous” culture in educational institutions lies with the universities themselves, not the “young and immature” students.

Students should be told that universities are not there to protect their feelings, say academics today. Pictured: Professor Kathleen Stock, 48, a gender and sexual orientation expert, resigned this week after a campaign of bullying and harassment called her ‘transphobic’

Professor Stock has received death threats because of her

Professor Stock has received death threats because of her “transphobia” – an accusation she denies

In her own words: What does Kathleen Stock think about gender and trans issues?

Kathleen Stock explained her take on trans issues in written evidence in Parliament in November 2020 here:

  • Femininity and virility reflect biological sex, not gender or gender identity;
  • The claim “trans women are women” is fiction, not literally true;
  • Sexual orientation (being gay, being lesbian) is determined by attraction to the same sex, not by attraction to gender identity;
  • The spaces where women undress and sleep must remain truly unisex, in order to protect them;
  • Children with gender identity disorders should not receive puberty blockers as minors.

He said The daily telegraph: “Instead of constantly bending to students, universities must indicate very, very clearly during initiations, during Freshers’ Week, that the institution exists to defend academic freedom. And if they’re unhappy with it, they have to go.

Professor Stock has received death threats because of her “transphobia” – an accusation she denies.

The philosophy professor was at the center of an outbreak – and student-led protest – at the university after she said she believed gender identity did not trump biological sex “in law and policy ”.

She also said people cannot change their biological sex, angering protesters.

Professor Stock quit her job on Thursday, saying it had been “a difficult few years” and that she hoped other universities could learn from what had happened.

Professor Alice Sullivan, a sociologist at University College London, said: “I think what happened in Sussex is absolutely disastrous. It is a total failure of management.

“The fact that Kathleen was kicked out of her job is a scalpel to bullies and will encourage them to try and do the same again.”

Posters placed in the tunnel between Falmer station and the university campus earlier this month said it “makes trans students insecure” and “we don’t pay £ 9,250 a year for the transphobia “.

Banners saying “Out of stock” had also been held alongside flares, and scores of people criticized her online under the Twitter hashtag #ShameOnSussexUni.

Professor Stock said on social media that she was “sad to announce” her departure.

She said: “It has been a very difficult few years, but the management approach more recently has been admirable and decent.

“I hope that other institutions in similar situations can learn from this.

“I am especially pleased to see the University point out that bullying and harassing anyone because of their legal beliefs is unacceptable in their workplace.”

She added, “It’s been an absolutely horrible time for me and my family. I’m putting it behind me now. We’re moving on to brighter things soon, I hope.

Professor Stock has previously said she “disagrees” with much of academics because she believes gender identity is no more important than the facts about biological sex, “particularly with regard to law and policy “.


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