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UK News

Professor who resigned over trans rights ‘witch-hunt’ joins new US university

today08/11/2021

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A professor who resigned from Sussex University after being subjected to a “witch-hunt” over trans rights has joined a new college in the United States.

Kathleen Stock said she is “delighted” to be a founding faculty fellow of the University of Austin and “accepted with alacrity”.

Ms Stock, a philosophy professor, will be joining former New York Times journalist Bari Weiss and “several other stellar individuals” including fellow academic Peter Boghossian and campaigner Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

It was an “exciting looking project, focused on free inquiry”, she added.

Since resigning her post, Prof Stock has made several media appearances, explaining her decision.

A married lesbian with teenage children, she has expressed concerns about “people born as men, who’ve never had a sex change operation” being “given access to female changing rooms” or “refuges from domestic violence or women’s prisons”.

This has brought her into conflict with trans rights campaigners, who describe her as a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist).

More from UK

A banner held up at Sussex, demanding her removal, said: “No Terfs On Our Turf.”

About a month ago, Prof Stock said she arrived on campus in Brighton to find “the walls were plastered with posters, each one screaming my name in bold capitals”.

She added: “Later that day, I saw an Instagram account titled ‘Kathleen Stock is a transphobe’. It showed balaclava-wearing figures brandishing flares and banners saying ‘Stock Out’.”

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, she said: “Discrimination against trans people is utterly abhorrent. They need protection from abuse.

“But we must also look at the effects of these demands and consider, in particular, any costs to women and girls.”

Modern architecture University of Sussex in Falmer, use of red brick and concrete
PIC:ISTOCK
Image: Sussex University said it would defend ‘academic freedom and lawful freedom of speech’

Sussex Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell wrote to all staff late last month, saying the university “vigorously and unequivocally defended (Professor Stock’s) right to exercise her academic freedom and lawful freedom of speech, free from bullying and harassment of any kind”.

He added: “These freedoms and protections apply to and benefit us all, and we will defend them today and in the future.”

But there were “many academics out there with views like mine, frightened to express them”, Prof Stock said.

She added: “Yes to argument and evidence. No to witch-hunts and intimidation under the false guise of offering a ‘safe and inclusive environment’.”

In January, hundreds of academics condemned the decision to make Prof Stock an OBE for services to higher education in the New Year Honours.

They wrote an open letter criticising academics who use their status to “further gender oppression” and said they denounced “transphobia in all its forms”.

Mr Boghossian also recently gave up a long-term academic post.

Following a decade at Portland State University, the assistant philosophy professor quit in September after being investigated by its “global diversity and inclusion office”.

In his resignation letter, he accused it of making “intellectual exploration impossible” and training students to “mimic the moral certainty of ideologues”.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today08/11/2021