Academics and students have voiced concern about a cancel culture, which they say is silencing gender-critical views.
They have used a new anonymous online forum, known as GC Academia Network, to post their experiences of the toxic effect radical gender ideology is having on academic freedom.
Founders of the site argue that an “inability to talk about sex-based rights” in universities is preventing an “open and critical engagement with theories of sex and gender”.
Among the stories shared on the website by university staff and students are fears of reprisals, incidents of no-platforming and accusations of transphobia suffered by those who have spoken out against the radical claims of transgender ideology.
One professor told how a private conversation over dinner resulted in him being labelled ‘transphobic’. A speaking engagement at another university was subsequently cancelled.
Another academic reported facing disciplinary action for reposting a tweet that said “men should not be allowed in women prisons”. The lecturer said: “I was accused of making my students feel unsafe and that I was possibly guilty of a hate crime.”
A PhD student confessed: “I feel unable to be open about my feelings on this topic because I worry about what it will do to my career prospects if I am. It feels incredibly lonely.”
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Oxford University professor Selina Todd described the testimonials as “disturbing” and said that universities must confront the “real crisis” of free speech.
She added: “One of the things that has really struck me on a personal level is how many students and staff both at my own institution and across the UK have told me that they’re frightened to speak out.”
Nobel prize winning author Sir Kazuo Ishiguro also recently spoke out about the chilling effect that was being had on free speech, telling the BBC: “I very much fear for the younger generation of writers.”
they’re frightened to speak out
Sir Kazuo believes that the worry of being “cancelled” may be causing new writers to self-censor, adding: “Novelists should feel free to write from whichever viewpoint they wish or represent all kinds of views”.