Gender-critical prof quits after campaign of abuse by trans activists

The academic at the centre of a bullying campaign over her belief in the reality of biological sex, has resigned from her position at Sussex University.

Professor Kathleen Stock OBE faced online harassment including death threats for expressing her belief that men cannot become women. In recent weeks activists targeted her workplace, erecting banners calling on the university to “fire Kathleen Stock”.

The University stood by the philosophy professor, backing her right to academic freedom, and Stock thanked officials for their support as she resigned, saying it has been “an absolutely horrible time for me and my family”, but that she hopes to move on “to brighter things”.


In a statement, Sussex’s Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell thanked the professor for her “vital contributions to the field of philosophy, and to the University”.

He wrote: “The University has been consistent and clear that everyone in our community has the right to work and learn, free from bullying and harassment of any kind, which has not been the case for Professor Stock.

intolerance of her as a member of our community because of her work

“We had hoped that Professor Stock would feel able to return to work, and we would have supported her to do so. She has decided that recent events have meant that this will not be possible, and we respect and understand that decision. We will miss her many contributions, from which the University has benefited during her time here.”

He added: “Rigorous academic challenge is welcome. However, we have seen an intolerance of her as a member of our community because of her work. This is now – and will always be – in direct opposition to even the most basic principles of academia.”

‘Toxic environment’

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said Stock’s resignation marks “a sad day for freedom of speech”.

a sad day for freedom of speech

She said: “It is absolutely appalling that the toxic environment at the University of Sussex has made it untenable for Prof Kathleen Stock to continue in her position there. No academic should ever have to fear for their personal safety.”

Prior to her resignation, the professor received backing from the Minister for Women and Equalities and the Chief of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Her plight also prompted more than 200 academics to write to the Commission, calling on the watchdog to intervene at universities where staff and students who uphold the reality of biological sex have suffered “bullying, harassment and no-platforming”.

Also see:

Students chatting

Over 200 academics call on equalities watchdog to stop ‘bullying’ by trans activists

Equality chief blasts ‘disgraceful’ attacks on gender-critical prof

Trans activists launch campaign to have gender-critical academic fired

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