Abertay University: hugging, not crushing?
The law student who was reported by classmates after stating that women have vaginas and are weaker than men has been cleared of misconduct by her university.
Lisa Keogh, who is a mature student at Abertay University in Dundee, made the incendiary comments in an online seminar on gender and the law.
"As overjoyed as I am about this decision, I am saddened that I went through this at such a critical time in my university career", said Keogh, a former mechanic.
Stating that she would not feel comfortable attending graduation events, the 29-year-old said, “I was targeted because of my gender critical views – it was a modern day witch hunt".
Keogh had said there was "uproar" in the online seminar when she expressed her views, with one of her peers calling her a "typical white cis girl".
"I know the University has a duty to investigate all complaints, but to draw this process out for two months while I was taking my final exams was needlessly cruel", she said.
A spokesperson for Abertay University said, “Under normal circumstances the University does not comment on student disciplinary cases, however as the student involved in this case has chosen to comment publicly we feel it is necessary for us to do so on this occasion".
“Contrary to misleading statements by some commentators who view this as a case about gender identity, Lisa Keogh was not subject to disciplinary action for expressing so-called ‘unacceptable opinions’ about gender identity, or any other topic".
They said that Keogh met with a student disciplinary board to consider a "single element" of "an initially complex complaint" which "concerned a complaint about the behaviour of Ms Keogh in class".
“As previously stated, our Code of Student Discipline does not constrain lawful free speech, but does cover student behaviour", said the spokesperson.
Keogh was supported in her case by SNP MP Joanna Cherry, who said the University "should review its free speech and equality policies to make sure that future students are not subject to the stress of spurious complaints nor discriminated against, harassed or victimised for their beliefs"
She was also represented by the Free Speech Union, whose general secretary Toby Young said, "It should have been obvious that the complaints against her were due to her gender critical views, not the manner in which she expressed them. In a seminar on gender, feminism and the law there should be room for a range of views, from militant trans activism to traditional feminism".
He said Keogh "deserves a huge amount of credit for standing up for herself".
"The path of least resistance would have been to apologise and renounce her heretical belief, but instead she fought her corner. Thanks to her courage, there is now space for a broader range of views at Abertay – it is no longer taboo to defend sex-based women’s rights".
Keogh's exoneration came as former think tank employee Maya Forstater, who lost her job after saying that people can't change their biological sex, overturned an Employment Tribunal decision which had deemed her gender critical beliefs as "not worthy of respect in a democratic society".