A law student who was investigated by her university for stating that women have vaginas and that men are physically stronger has been cleared of misconduct charges.
Lisa Keogh, who studied at Abertay University in Dundee, faced disciplinary action after classmates reported her comments that men who identify as female should not be allowed to compete against women in mixed martial arts due to their genetic advantage.
The university has now dismissed the allegations against her, stating “the board found no evidence that you had discriminated against another member of the university” or “intentionally shouted in class”.
Keogh called it “a victory”, but said “the ordeal I have been through has been a punishment in itself. I hope that Abertay University can learn from this experience and not put other students through a similar ordeal just for voicing their opinions.”
She added: “Although Abertay denies this, it was my gender critical views that led to me being investigated by the University and this should never have happened”.
it was my gender critical views that led to me being investigated
Keogh said it was “a modern day witch hunt”, and “to draw this process out for two months while I was taking my final exams was needlessly cruel”.
Toby Young, founder of the Free Speech Union, commented: “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.”
“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.”
A spokesperson for the university claimed that the disciplinary action was not due to Keogh’s comments but her alleged behaviour in class, adding: “The University is committed to upholding freedom of speech on campus and we will continue to actively encourage open and challenging debate at Abertay.”
Last month, politicians and academics called on Holyrood to follow England’s example and require higher education providers in Scotland to promote free speech on their campuses.
Under the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, universities and colleges in England could face fines if they fail in their new legal duties to protect and promote free speech.