stock protest

Prof Stock and students at the University of Susgender Sussex.


More than 160 legal academics have declared their support for academic freedom after a professor was targeted by students for her views. 

Dr Kathleen Stock, a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, has stated that transgender people "deserve to be safe, to be visible throughout society without shame or stigma, and to have exactly the life opportunities non-trans people do", but she also maintains that there are only two sexes, and that biological females should have the right to same sex spaces for reasons of safety and privacy.

Following the publication of Stock's book about the subject, Material Girls, a group of Sussex Uni students released a statement which accused the university of employing someone whose "rhetoric has contributed to the dire state of unsafety for trans people in this colonial shit-hole".

Calling for "Anti-Stock Action", the anonymous students said, "we've fucking had enough", and called for people to get "angry enough to do something about it".

Protests which saw masked students lining the roads on campus prompted police to advise Stock to stay away and consider hiring bodyguards.

Now legal academics from across the UK have come forward to champion the University "in its defence of academic freedom" after Adam Tickell, Sussex’s vice-chancellor, told the BBC that academics had an "untrammelled right" to “say and believe what they think".

Over 160 professors, lecturers, and readers from 40 universities put their names to the open letter in response to "the harassment campaign targeting your colleague, Professor Kathleen Stock".

It states that, "While not all of us agree with Professor Stock’s views, we are convinced of the importance of making space within universities and within public life for respectful debate and discussion, particularly in relation to pressing issues of public policy".

"As legal scholars it is essential to our practice that we teach students how to criticise arguments", said the signatories. 

"Professor Stock is engaged with the question of whether sex should be replaced with self-identified gender in all legal, political, and social contexts, as is currently being advocated for in the UK", they wrote. “Unless she and others involved in this debate are permitted to raise their concerns on this matter, and to offer reasoned argument without fear of harassment, the danger remains that public policy in respect of gender identification will be made without adequate reflection and scrutiny. We believe such reflection and scrutiny to be among the most important purposes of the mission of a university", they said.

With over 25 signatories, LSE's law department is the biggest bastion of free speech so far, followed by Oxford with 20. However, none of Stock’s colleagues in Sussex University’s law school have risked provoking students by adding their own names.

Tip Off ROF

Comments

Anonymous 22 October 21 09:29

>and called for people to get "angry enough to do something about it".

And here I thought the bothersome priest rhetoric was dead.

ComeAtMeBro 22 October 21 09:39

Sussex Uni students released a statement which accused the university of employing someone whose "rhetoric has contributed to the dire state of unsafety for trans people in this colonial shit-hole".

Then leave. There are probably few places outside of the UK that are as tolerant and accepting of the trans community.

the anonymous students said, "we've fucking had enough", and called for people to get "angry enough to do something about it".

Had enough of people challenging their warped view of biology and reality? These entitled children, who can't even control their own emotions, are an embarrassment to the community they unashamedly claim to speak on behalf of. 

However, none of Stock’s colleagues in Sussex University’s law school have risked provoking students by adding their own names.

Cowards.

Anonymous 22 October 21 09:49

Look at the abuse Chapelle is getting at the moment; there are clearly a lot of nut jobs out there. They missed the whole message of The Closer and free speech. 

Anonymous 22 October 21 10:00

I remember being a student and vexed over things like this.

Then I grew up, got a job and responsibilities. Now I am too busy and tired to care. 

Anonymous 22 October 21 10:20

@Dearie - I hear the point that you're making, but are faculty members of fringe humanities departments at former polytechnics really members of the 'workforce' in any meaningful sense?

 

Sure, the handful that go on to write weekly 'diversity outrage of the week' columns at the Guardian kind of count, but the Grievance Studies Lecturers are all basically on a slightly dressed up version of the dole. 

Hackaforte 22 October 21 10:22

Remember: to ensure your public statements carry the right amount of authenticity, authority and legitimacy, draft them in the voice of an eight-year-old who’s just discovered swear words. Never fails.

Anonymous 22 October 21 10:24

So, quick straw poll:

Upvote if you think it's fair to say that a man cannot turn into a woman using the power of wishful thinking.

Downvote if you think that's transphobic hate speech and that I should be chopped up and sold as cat food.

 

I'm just trying to get a sense of what proportion of UK adults actually believe in this "Bamf! I am a woman now. Literally! Pretend you agree or it's hate speech" stuff. It seems to get endless attention in the press, but I just don't know anyone who believes it in real life.

Is it just a small minority of vocal cranks pushing the whole thing?

Anonymous 22 October 21 11:04

Madness.

This is part of a much wider, and troubling, phenomenon. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt is an insightful read - highly recommended.

Chorlton 22 October 21 11:22

Baffling that the temper tantrums of purple haired incels is getting so much credence.  Its like getting abuse for stating the Earth is round and orbits the Sun. Sex is binary and immutable. Its not complicated. 

Voltaire spinning 22 October 21 11:48

1 It seems that universities are a much less tolerant place for debate in 2021. Its not just Sussex. I was recently told in no uncertain terms by an Oxford student, without a hint of irony "Oh, Oxford is a very left-wing place. We don't need to bring in people from the right for debates as we are quite busy ourselves debating each other." This pains me greatly (and would do so too if the opposite was the case too - FAOD)

2 Solidarity among lecturers depends on petty politics more so than the 'real world'.

3 As other commenters have stated, if indeed these students wish to enter the workforce (not, for example, think tanks, political party machinery, 'activist' organizations etc), they will indeed have to confront the fact that not everyone thinks like them or wishes to have their minds changed by being shouted at/publicly shamed.

4 Free speech, in the internet era, is now to be a mere platitude. For example, its unlikely that there will be any other university that employs Prof Stock. Conducting a Google search prior to any interview will show that she holds views which some may deem controversial, offensive etc. The university is likely to opt for a 'less controversial' candidate. The loss of this principle pains me greatly.  

Can we ever get back to respecting each other even though we hold different views?

Must I? Suppose I must. 22 October 21 11:53

Anonymous 10:24:  It really doesn't help to make it out that there are these two extreme positions. I don't agree with either of your comments, and in commenting on an article about reasoned speech being targeted by unreasonable attempts to silence it, the answer isn't to pile on some unreasoned speech.  "Don't become part of a small minority of vocal cranks on either side" is my motto. (Sorry, but no idea what that is in Latin, in case anyone needs it for their Notary Public seal.)

Anonymouse 22 October 21 11:55

I went to Sussex Uni.  Loved my time there.  All sensible people need to spend a decade avoiding it like the plague.  Because these lunatic levels of intolerance will bring a plague if it's allowed to spread.  

I must too 22 October 21 12:01

Hi ‘Must I?’ —- self ID is literally a man being able to become a woman by saying they are one. You may see it as extreme, but that’s the policy which gender ideology advocates support. It is not a fringe belief - it is their central belief.

Anonymous 22 October 21 12:13

The author as usual seizing on a wafer thin justification for the purpose of platforming transphobic hate.

Anonymous 22 October 21 12:16

"It really doesn't help to make it out that there are these two extreme positions."

Is it really 'extreme' to say that a man cannot turn himself into a woman by using the power of wishful thinking?

It sounds like a statement of objective scientific fact.

 

Could you explain what you think is so 'extreme' about it, perhaps?

Fed Up 22 October 21 12:32

“Following the publication of Stock's book about the subject, Material Girls, a group of Sussex Uni students released a statement which accused the university of employing someone whose "rhetoric has contributed to the dire state of unsafety for trans people in this colonial shit-hole".”

The real question is why anyone is paying any attention to what these emotional children have to say. 

Paul 22 October 21 12:33

"Just imagine, these kids will be entering the workforce in a few years".

Lots of kids go to university these days to train to be less intelligent.  The last laugh is going to be on the rest of us when they end up working in our HR departments.

Anon chorlton 2 22 October 21 12:35

Repent mother [email protected]

Also it’s a ‘post’ colonialist shit hole if the said student wants to be more accurate  & I am more to an happy to live in a shit hole that’s based in reality  

when my housemate came back from a lecture on queer theory 20 years and told me she could also be queer (she’s straight and I am a lesbian) I just laughed and looked suitably bemused - now look where we are. I’m so glad I’m not a student now. 

the inability to empathise with a different viewpoint and be civil is disturbing.

I remain optimistic most will grow out of this once the real world hits them. If not then we are in real trouble. 

the coddling of the American mind is great book. I’m going to start the authoritarian dynamic next by Stenner. 
 

Anonymous 22 October 21 12:40

When you platform unquestionably derogatory terms like “trannies” you aren’t supporting free speech RoF you’re hiding behind it to publish hate speech. You wouldn’t tolerate use of similar racially based terms of vilification so why do you think it’s acceptable to subject trans people to that abuse?

Must I again? 22 October 21 12:57

Anonymous 22 October 21 12:16:  A person cannot turn himself into anything by using "the power of wishful thinking". That is someone classifying the issue of self-identification as something fanciful and ridiculous.  People supportive of self-identification are not advocating that their opponents "should be chopped up and sold as cat food".  These are characterisations of the extreme positions held by some complete arseholes (appropriate non-gendered insult) on both sides.  

Biggie 22 October 21 13:01

Must I Again: how would you describe the process of a male self-IDing as a woman? What makes it so, if not wishful thinking?

Suit 22 October 21 14:05

Anonymous 22 October 21 12:40, you say “When you platform unquestionably derogatory terms like “trannies” you aren’t supporting free speech RoF you’re hiding behind it to publish hate speech”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t see that term anywhere in the story (except in your post)?

I also don’t think anything in that story is ‘hate speech’ - what do you think in it is ‘hate speech’?

I think you are one of the people that has meant all these letters about the defence of free speech are required. You’re trying to close down a reasonable and important topic of debate by smearing one side. Please, stop. That tactic is over. 

Anonymous 22 October 21 14:13

What Taiwo Owatemi has said on this matter. Entirely accurate in my opinion and without the culture wars framing evident in this article.

Anonymous 22 October 21 14:16

I just don't get any of this.

Can't help feeling this whole subject is the sole preserve of people wanting to get angry and/or attract controversy.

Grassroot 22 October 21 14:23

Taiwo is (famously, after her wild letter attacking Stock) massively entrenched on one side of this. You may agree with her, but she is absolutely down with the ‘culture wars framing’. 

Anonymous 22 October 21 14:23

"Suit" Where do I refer to the article?  In almost any long thread on this subject on the discussion board one of more posters on this board will use the deliberately derogatory term "trannie". The term has no freedom of speech benefit whatsoever. It's pure hate speech used to demean, dehumanise and vilify trans people. RoF has the capacity to automatically amend this kind of slur as it does for racially based hatespeech but chooses not to when transpeople are the object of hate. 

 

Anonymous 22 October 21 14:33

@12:57 - "A person cannot turn himself into anything by using "the power of wishful thinking". That is someone classifying the issue of self-identification as something fanciful and ridiculous."

What are you saying here though? Are you objecting to describing the process of 'self-identification' as wishful thinking?

If so, what are you saying is inaccurate about that description? That's precisely what it is. A man wants to be a woman, and says he can be one just by virtue of wishing it so. So why shouldn't we describe it that way?

 

FAOD: The idea that we have to talk about transgenderism using a convoluted set of pre-approved terminology decreed by "trans-advocates" is total nonsense. It's all just Newspeak designed to give a veneer of credibility to a mish-mash of half-baked ideological claptrap.

A man can't just transform himself into a woman (or a turnip, or anything else) by the power of his own wishes, which is precisely why they try to make you describe it using abstract terms like "self-identification" to try and distract from the central absurdity of it all.

Anonymous 22 October 21 14:52

Who is Taiwo Owatemi, and why should we care what their opinion is?

 

If the answer is "a perennially outraged progressive who pops up in public life from time to time to accuse people of being racist/transphobic/sexist, and who otherwise spends their days publishing obscure tracts about identity based grievances" then I'm going to save myself the effort of looking them up.

Biden 22 October 21 15:11

@14.23 maybe try to look a little less savagely on people who aren’t as up to date on the progressive dos and donts as you, and try to keep things in perspective. Hearts and minds, my lad/lass/non-binary person, hearts and minds. 
 

#bekind

Lydia 22 October 21 15:22

The academic can say what she likes. If the students can protest and the students will eventually grow up and revert to wiser views.

Anonymous 22 October 21 16:05

I just can't believe how many times people have said "trannies" in this thread.

Everywhere you look it's "trannies this" or "trannies that".

 

Whoever started it should feel ashamed of themselves.

Orwell 22 October 21 19:06

 In almost any long thread on this subject on the discussion board one of more posters on this board will use the deliberately derogatory term "transphobic".

Would you like to post some evidence to support your contention?  Otherwise, how about reacting to what's actually being said rather than what you believe people are going to say?

Anonymous 23 October 21 17:51

@Dearie 22 October 21 09:32

>Just imagine, these kids will be entering the workforce in a few years

Next, image in a few years you will be there to decide if you want to hire these clowns. Feelsgood.

Anonymous 25 October 21 09:46

Appalling that we have too many people at university who do not belong to be educated on public funds.

Anonymous 30 October 21 01:32

A lot of people banging on about "academic freedom" in relation to this affair are either being dishonest about what "academic freedom" actually is or, more likely, simply don't know what it is. Stock's academic freedom has not been threatened, including by the students protesting against her - but theirs has. This article explains it very well: https://grace.substack.com/p/the-uk-media-has-seriously-bungled

Related News

Law Firm Satisfaction Survey

If you work in private practice, please take RollOnFriday's quick survey measuring how happy you are with your firm. We use the results to rank firms and write stories and reports.

Your firm*
Your role*
Your sex
How satisfied are you with your pay?*
How satisfied are you with your firm's management?*
How satisfied are you with your career development?*
How satisfied are you with your work/life balance?*
How satisfied are you with your firm's culture?*