Hundreds Of Protesters Gather At Oxford Union Against Transgender  Critic Kathleen Stock

Hundreds Of Protesters Gather At Oxford Union Against Transgender Critic Kathleen Stock

By Lucy Caulkett-

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Oxford Union to protest against a talk by the gender-critical academic, Kathleen Stock.

Prof Stock expressed determination for the talk to proceed despite some students responding angrily to her invitation to the event.

Capeesh Restaurant

AD: Capeesh Restaurant

The former philosophy lecturer, who is a lesbian, resigned from Sussex University in October 2021 after being accused of transphobia – an allegation she strenuously denies.

She appears to be expanding her reach to other university platforms, where she is sure to cause a stir.

One protester glued themselves to the floor, Rizz Possnett, who describes themselves as “trans” on their Twitter bio, with “they/them” pronouns, tweeted afterwards: “Kathleen Stock is not welcome here.

Oysterian Sea Food Restaurant And Bar

AD: Oysterian Sea Food Restaurant And Bar

“TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) are not welcome here. We will resist hatred, and we will fight for trans rights.”

“Whilst I believe her speech is dangerous and hateful, she is entitled to exercise her right to free speech.”

The protest came after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the talk by Prof Stock should be allowed to go ahead.

“Agree or disagree with her, Professor Stock is an important figure in this argument. Students should be allowed to hear and debate her views,” he said.

“University should be an environment where debate is supported, not stifled.

“We mustn’t allow a small but vocal few to shut down discussion.”

Prof Stock left her job with the University of Sussex in 2021 after protests against her from students following the publication of a book where she questioned the idea that gender identity is more socially significant than biological sex.

Her views, like those of author Helen Joyce, are hugely controversial in LGBQ circles, but welcome by indifferent members of the public open to hearing different perspectives on the same topic.

Oxford University’s LGBTQ+ Society organised the protest on Tuesday.

Protesters said they were not opposed to Prof Stock’s right to freedom of speech, but were opposed to the use of the Oxford Union platform to express anti-trans views.

Inside, the talk was interrupted by two trans rights protesters who were removed by security.

Another protester appeared to have glued themselves to the floor.

Some audience members shouted for Prof Stock to continue talking despite the interruption, which ended up lasting around half an hour.

Ahead of the talk, Prof Stock had said it was “important that people can hear what I have to say”, adding that she was “standing up to authoritarians who want to silence debate”.

The LGBTQ+ Society had called the event part of a campaign of hate against transgender people.

Prof Stock insists her views cannot be classed as hate speech.

She said: “It’s not hate speech to say that males cannot be women.

“You can believe what you like, and I’m not stopping anybody believing any different, but it’s certainly not hate speech to say that and that’s basically the most controversial thing, I think.”

“It’s important younger generations are exposed to ideas they haven’t come across before. Sometimes that will be very challenging to them,” she said.

“Controversial and difficult ideas need to be tested in the public square, we need to think about them properly and we also need to enable discussion of ideas that seem attractive to people because if you try and shut it down there will be massive public resentment.”

Dr Biggs says many academics have told him they have avoided teaching about sex and gender because they are worried about the student response.

“The problems really come from the fact that academics had been too cowardly in the past.

“I think more academics are realising this is a problem and are standing up.”

Amiad Haran Diman, president of the university’s LGBTQ+ Society, said they had received death threats in the post after speaking out against Prof Stock’s invitation to the event.

“We have received thousands of comments online. Some of them very homophobic, very transphobic, hateful, threatening,” they said.

“We have seen activists coming here with cameras just to harass students. We have seen unprecedented abuse to our small community, just because Kathleen Stock is coming here and she decided to tweet about it.”

Heritage And Restaurant Lounge Bar

AD: Heritage And Restaurant Lounge Bar


Spread the news