Academics challenge attempts to censor them over radical gender ideology concerns

Academics have spoken out against censorship in universities on the issue of radical gender ideology.

They say any attempts to discuss the far-reaching implications of possible changes to legislation see them branded ‘transphobic’.

They believe some censorship is a result of universities trying to be politically correct, while at other times it is coming from student activists.


Selina Todd, of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, says she has been threatened by students who say they will campaign to have her removed from her position, something she called “intimidating and isolating”.

She said: “The view of these activists is that anyone who feels themselves to be a woman should be allowed to call themselves such. Questioning that desire is seen as hate speech that could be harmful. To me that is censorship.”

“intimidating and isolating”

Kathleen Stock, a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, agrees. She says she has also been on the receiving end of such treatment, and knows of “at least a dozen” similar cases.

“In the face of this, it is tempting to many to just keep their heads down — including me. Yet this is a disaster. We desperately need scrutiny of emerging social, legal, medical, and sports policies in this area.”

Academic freedom

Kate Newey, who lectures at the University of Exeter, was targeted by students after she tweeted about women’s rights, and said the university “jumped straight to a formal complaint procedure”.

“It is tempting to many to just keep their heads down”

And Chloë Houston, an associate professor at Reading university, was accused of “breaching a safe space” for trans students simply by teaching there.

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