lisa keogh abertay

Some students didn't appreciate Keogh's comments.

A university is investigating one of its law students after she said that women are born with female genitalia and that men are physically stronger than women.

Lisa Keogh, who is a mature student at Abertay University in Dundee, made the comments in an online seminar on gender and the law.

"We were discussing equal rights for men and women", said Keogh, who is a mother of two children and a former mechanic.

"I said that I agree with equal rights, but that you can’t expect an equal outcome. For example, I can’t lift things as heavy as a man can. When I worked in a garage, men would help me because I wasn’t physically as able as them. I was a small female and they were burly mechanics".

Keogh, 29, said that another student in the class called her comments misogynistic. "I said it wasn’t, and they brought up the issue of trans. I said that a trans woman would be stronger than me, because I’m a biological woman. So they asked how I would define a woman, and I said that my classification of a woman is somebody who is born with a vagina and the ability to menstruate".

"There was uproar", said Keogh. "It was like putting a target on my back". 

Keogh said one of her scandalised peers called her a "typical white, cis girl", and she believes more than one of them reported her to the university for her comments.

Abertay commenced a formal investigation which could result in the withholding of Keogh's degree or even expulsion. 

She said the first question the university investigator asked her was "whether I had said that men are stronger than women. I said I had. She asked if I was admitting to it. I said yes again".

Keogh told The Times, "I thought it was a joke. I thought there was no way that the university would pursue me for utilising my legal right to freedom of speech".

"You’d think a law course would be the ideal forum for having debates and getting your teeth into sensitive, taboo issues", she said.

Keogh said she now fears her dream of becoming a lawyer may be jeopardised by the disciplinary action. 

Reacting to the media interest, Abertay University's Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Seaton, said in a statement, "While we are unable to comment on individual disciplinary cases, it has now become necessary to make the University’s general approach and procedures absolutely clear".

He said that the university's Code of Student Discipline "does not seek to define the range of acceptable opinions", and that students "are free to express any lawful views they wish to, as long as this is not done in an intolerant or abusive way".

"To suggest that students will be investigated for stating their beliefs in a reasonable and collegial way is simply incorrect", he said.

Asked if that meant the university believed that Keogh had expressed her beliefs in an unreasonable and non-collegial way, given that she was being investigated, an Abertay University spokesman said they had nothing to add to Seaton's statement.

Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 21 May 21 09:46

Helpful tip - do not discuss things like this in the first place and avoid the professionally offended types. The best way to succeed is avoidance of likely complainers.

Woke bollocks 21 May 21 09:53

It was not a belief, it was a fact in the context of what was being spoken about ie who could lift more weight.  

There are of course exceptions.  A female Olympic weight lifter can lift more weight than I can so there’s always the need to qualify. 

It was also a fact borne out of her own experiences as a mechanic.

It is pathetic that she has been vilified.  


@09.46 21 May 21 09:53

It can’t be much of a university course if the students aren’t allowed to freely discuss the topic. 

anon 21 May 21 10:07

one-sided article - we don’t know what else was said at the lecture or seminar. We don’t even know what the student was reported for exactly - only that she believes she was reported for two statements about biological men and women. 

Dearie 21 May 21 10:08

Her opinion is valid even if you don't like it; just look at the debate over trans women competing in weight lifting in the Olympics this year. A lot of women's world records are about to be broken.

rumpypumpyesq 21 May 21 10:27

Without getting into a debate about trans rights, I think it is wrong to police people for their thoughts and experiences. When cancel culture jumps the shark from Twitter to invited speakers to students in the classroom we have a problem.

There have been repeated court cases (most in the US/EU if I'm remembering correctly) of instances of positive gender discrimination! What was the police/firefighter case? Women cannot lift as much as men so it would be illegal to restrict them from those roles on that basis alone.

She isn't wrong! That it drifted into a discussion on trans rights is beside the point. Vice-chancellor is correct.

Paul 21 May 21 10:33

"The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie" - Solzhenitsyn.

There is only one person on this course who I would want to employ in future. 

Anonymous 21 May 21 10:59

...and Twitter Wokeists wonder why the line that there's actually no such thing as 'Wokeism' or 'cancel culture' and that it's all just a fantasy cooked up by alt-right nutters to try and discredit the left isn't catching on.

Like the contributor above said, incidents like these are proof that the Free Speech Act can't get here soon enough.

WRPF 21 May 21 11:00

But men are stronger than women. 

That's why we have gender divisions in sport.

That's why health&safety law has different carrying limits for men and women. page 7

It's common sense.

Anonymous 21 May 21 11:03

So paul, the one who can't differentiate between concepts underlying language and bases her arguments on generalisations? Not a great display of the ability to analyse issues with precision. Sounds like you recruit based on prejudice rather than talent. Not sure an offer of employment by you would be a particularly great endorsement TBF.

Anonymous 21 May 21 11:08

How is it a 'one sided article'? It's got what she said and what the uni said. Everyone from the times to pink news has covered it in the same way - none of them can say exactly what the uni thinks she was reported for, because the uni won't comment on it. Feels like you're trying to throw mud to obfuscate what is clearly an outrageous situation.

Paul 21 May 21 11:08

@WRPF 11:00

"The heresy of heresies was common sense" - George Orwell (1984).

Get packing, you'll be on your way to the Gulag shortly.


Anonymous 21 May 21 11:09

@09:46 - while that's the easiest path to take, it's the wrong one.

This 'zero tolerance' approach to opposing views is designed to intimidate people into just shutting up and playing along. The net result is that it ends up effectively prohibiting disagreement or discussion because, for all practical purposes, nobody is willing to pay the price of expressing a view other than the orthodox one. You end up with an environment which says that everyone is entitled to freedom of expression, but which in reality only tolerates one orthodox viewpoint.

If we believe that it's valuable to live in a liberal society in which we're all permitted to think and speak freely, then we do have to shoulder the burden of defending those rights against intolerants who seek to curtail it. That means not just playing along for the sake of an easy life.

Obviously there's no place for incitements to violence, or vituperative abuse designed only to offend - but a climate in which you can't say that you sincerely believe that women are born with vaginas and men are born with penises, isn't one in which its participants genuinely enjoy any kind of meaningful right to freedom of conscience, thought or expression.

Anonymous 21 May 21 11:26

Also, to add to my 11:09, I should say that I know that Wokeists do what they do for reasons that they think are noble, and that they don't see themselves as fascists trying to take away other peoples' freedom of speech.

I know that they think the world would just be a better place if we all accepted their views as the correct ones, and that they think militantly piling in to opposing views is ultimately helping to bring about a world in which everyone else learns to be tolerant of things that Wokeists think are important.

But, pure though Wokeists' intentions may be, one has to remember that even the most sinister totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century thought that they were doing what they did for a greater good and/or to usher in a utopia from which all who knuckled under would eventually benefit.

So while one doesn't want to be melodramatic about it, and while death-camps of the 20th century are obviously a long way away from curtailing freedom of speech about what men and women are and aren't, it is vitally important that we don't just slump into the path of least resistance and that we're alert to the basic foundations of liberal democracy being salami-sliced away.

Anon 21 May 21 11:31

This is a new tyranny.  It’s utterly appalling that someone who expresses a reasoned view is cancelled and intimidated and treated like they have done something terrible.   Fine, disagree, put your argument forwards to say why you disagree, but this hysterical and politically driven tyranny is now beyond a joke.  Especially in a classroom!!! They very place where ideas and free thought is supposed to be nurtured.  

Sozza 21 May 21 11:33

I think I understand the well-intentioned naivete of someone who thinks that pointing out an objective difference between sex categories is an act of misogyny, because the fact that men (as a biological class) are bigger and stronger than women (as a biological class) has been used to justify characterisations of women as mentally, morally, intellectually and socially weaker which, in turn, have been used as a foundation for structural inequalities. The problem, however, arises from the interpretation of something that is a fact, and the enforcement of that interpretation, rather than from the fact itself. I can't imagine for a moment that the law student complaining of misogyny would give much credence to the line of cross-examination still - regrettably - deployed in rape trials where a female complainant is asked why she didn't use force against the perpetrator. If the physical differences between men and women were nothing more than a societal construct, this would be a compelling line of questioning rather than one which is rightly regarded as generally outdated, absurd and divorced from the current understanding of sexual offending. This case appears to be a great illustration of how so many people, in particular in tertiary education, have swallowed the idea that sex and gender are interchangeable, and that biological categories can and should be subordinated for any and all purposes to the quasi-religious belief in something as nebulous and half-baked as gender identity. It's piffle, but it's corrosive piffle. Most of the loudest proponents of gender identity ideology will do anything other than actually debate the ideas, or accept facts as facts,  because they know that the whole show is based on begged questions, circular reasoning and quasi-logic.

Anon 21 May 21 12:35

Jeb - you can’t say ladies and gentlemen anymore.  Language is being controlled. George Orwell - had it right didn’t he. 

Woke bollocks indeed 21 May 21 13:04

Once upon a time “Gender & the Law” would have been an interesting look and equality in law and rights for men and women. Now it’s clearly just a lecture on the blue-haired brigade’s endless quest to invent a new gender every day that just so happens to be in a law department lecture room. 

Anonymous 21 May 21 15:13

I'm offended.

I'm not sure what about.

But I'm offended.

Apologise for me.

You're cancelled.

I'll tweet until I get what I want.

Anonymous 21 May 21 16:07

I work with the public every day and this week no-one has mentioned transgender toilets, Black LIves Matter, the Union Jack, the National Trust or statues.


You could almost believe that the culture was is caused by the media and that the things they report on irrelevant to almost everyone.

Anonymous 21 May 21 16:20

@11:03 - it's not a 'generalisation' to say that women are born with vaginas. It's a key part of the qualifying criteria of being one.

Sure there will be a tiny tiny percentage of people born with rare genetic disorders that may somehow fall outside of that rule, but trying to use that sub-1% minority to call a test which catches 99%+ of women a 'generalisation' is absurd.

It is genuinely astonishing to me that there is a non-negligible number of people who think that saying "Women are born with vaginas" is something you shouldn't be allowed to say.

Anonymous 21 May 21 16:31

"You could almost believe that the culture was is caused by the media and that the things they report on irrelevant to almost everyone"

Yes, of course, it's the 'MSM' doing it to make you look like weird extremists isn't it? The 'Culture War' is all just a made up thing to persecute left wingers. Why, if anything it's all (alt) right wingers doing.

So, people aren't really being hounded out of jobs/education for saying that women have vaginas.

That old statue just fell into Bristol canal all by itself.

The crowds of people assembling in central London during a pandemic and shouting about defunding the police was all just a fevered dream. 

No, none of that stuff is really happening at all, and even if it was nobody would mind. Why, the nasty 'Media' should just stop even mentioning it all because nobody cares.

I mean, sure, when people read about these things happening they say they care, and then they get quite upset about it and vote for people who stand against it (or just vote with their wallets). But if the Media would only stop brainwashing them like that, and if it could just silence itself (or 'self censor' call it what you like) for a bit while we got on with doing this stuff without interference and dealt with the public as isolated groups with a limited ability to resist, well then that would make everything so much easier and I'm sure we'd be much happier in the end.


So no, there's no 'culture war' at all. It's all in your heads. And no, the gas lights are burning exactly as brightly as they did yesterday.

Anonymous 21 May 21 17:15

Why do people get exercised about this?

Do you still hold the opinions you had as a student?

Second year you probably thought first year you was naive and foolish and third year you realised that second year you had been seduced by ideologues.

The time to worry would be if students were not challenging.  That's what those years are for.

Making a news story out of people saying controversial or daft things at university is incredibly lazy.

Note:  I don't blame RoF for this, it hit the newspapers a week ago or more and in their defence it is, at least, about law students.  It's still nonsense though.

Anonymous 21 May 21 17:45

The university’s quote does suggest that it could well have been her conduct rather than the content of what she said that was the issue... if I deliberately interrupted other students in a chemistry seminar by shouting out elements of the periodic table whenever they were speaking then I’d expect to have my collar felt, notwithstanding the technical ‘accuracy’ of what I was saying. 

Perhaps we should wait for the investigation to conclude before rushing to condemn the university, or feverishly embracing ill-thought out legislation that will let holocaust deniers get compensation if a university disinvites them from a talk?


Anonymous 21 May 21 18:22

17:15, you said “Making a news story out of people saying controversial or daft things at university is incredibly lazy.” Does this mean you think she said something controversial or daft??

as it happens I DO still hold the kerkerkerazy idea I held as a student that men are stronger than women and that women have vaginas.

this is not nonsense, it is a concerning sign of educational capture by proponents of a censorious, barmy ideology  

Anonymous 21 May 21 19:07

@ 18:22

When the only politics you have is an endless quest for someone to hate it's not surprising you miss the points made by other arguments.

If it helps, you have my pity.

Anonymous 21 May 21 19:12

"it could well have been her conduct rather than the content of what she said that was the issue... "

Ha ha ha. Yes, that really does sound like the most plausible explanation here, doesn't it?

She isn't really the latest target of a worldview that repeatedly attempts to censor and 'cancel' people who merely disagree with its views about gender. Why, she's just being investigated by the University for saying what she said in the wrong tone of voice.

Yes, I'm sure that's it.


I say, is that gas light in the corner a bit dimmer than it was yesterday?

Anonymous 21 May 21 21:27

Well that's not unusual 18.22. An undergraduate degree isn't really any mark of intellectual capacity and sure as hell doesn't mark the holder as a person with a mind at the forefront of human understanding. Live on in the ignorance of your youth.

Anonymous 21 May 21 21:58

Anonymous 21 May 21 18:22

I think you spend a bit too much time on the internet arguing with strangers about inconsequentialities.

Have you ever considered, you know, doing something worthwhile?

Anonymous 21 May 21 22:07

1% 16.20? That's 700,000 people's existence and human rights you've just unilaterally decided are acceptable to ignore in order to subordinate them to your personal ideology. Forgive me if I think that (a) that is not a basis for making good law, and (b) you seem devoid of a capacity for empathy.

Woke AF 22 May 21 10:38

No one has asked our permission to be defined as a typical white cis male and we are offended by that.

Lydia 22 May 21 22:52

"The keyword here is BLACKWHITE. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to BELIEVE that black is white, and more, to KNOW that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as DOUBLETHINK."


Orwell, 1984


And thus it came to pass...

anon-y-mous 26 May 21 10:25

"So they asked how I would define a woman..."

What is the correct answer to that question? Asking for a friend...

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