A University of Oxford professor has been assigned security guards for her lectures, following threats made against her by transgender activists.
Professor Selina Todd was accused of being ‘transphobic’ for challenging the narrative that transgenderism has been prevalent throughout history.
She said: “You can’t help but worry. It’s had a huge impact on me. You don’t expect to be defending yourself the whole time from complaints or threats of violence”.
Professor Todd was informed by two students of the online threats made against her, and the history department received “daily” complaints calling for her to be sacked.
She was appreciative of her department’s support, but said “it would be far more helpful if the university could take robust action against the people making these threats in the first place”.
James Kirkup, a columnist for The Daily Telegraph, highlighted Todd’s case, writing: “It is sadly normal for women – and women really are treated differently here – who ask questions about transgenderism to face threats and abuse”.
Kirkup warned that the purpose of universities, “the freedom of academics to test ideas and assess evidence”, is being threatened.
“Yet a toxic combination of aggressive activism and political neglect has created a vacuum of evidence that risks being filled with propaganda”, he said.
Rosa Freedman, a law professor at the University of Reading, has called for an inquiry into the “suppression of academic freedom” after also being accused of ‘transphobia’.
The human rights expert said she was “disinvited” from speaking on an anti-Semitism panel at Essex University, and barred from future events, due to “spurious and non-evidenced accusations of transphobia”.
In her letter to the universities minister she said senior university management is seeking to “silence, block and gag”.