Academics show sustain for Kathleen Stock over ‘harassment’

ACADEMICS from across the country have signed an open letter showing solidarity with a professor who has received criticism for their views on gender identity.

Kathleen Stock, professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, has faced calls to be removed from her post following accusations of transphobia.

The open letter, signed by members of the academic philosophy community, expresses sustain for the university for “its defence of academic freedom in light of the recent harassment campaign targeting Professor Stock.”

The letter said: “While not all of us agree with Professor Stock’s views, we are convinced of the importance of making space within universities and within public life for respectful argue and discussion, particularly in relation to pressing issues of public policy.

“Unless she and others involved in this argue are permitted to raise their concerns on this matter, engaging in open and scholarly argue without fear of harassment, so that opponents may explain why she is mistaken (if she is), the danger remains that the move to replace sex with self-identified gender will be made without adequate reflection and scrutiny.”

Signatories include academics from Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, University College London, Southampton and Kent.

The open letter comes in the wake of protests from a group of students, calling for Prof Stock to resign, prompting Sussex University’s vice-chancellor to say the university would not tolerate threats to academic freedom.

Earlier this week, Prof Stock said on Twitter that her career was “effectively” over after her former union called upon the University of Sussex to take a “strong stance” against transphobia.

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) said trans and non binary members “now more than ever should receive the unequivocal sustain” of the university, adding: “We urge our management to take a clear and strong stance against transphobia at Sussex.”

Prof Stock once told The Argus women-only areas should not allow transgender people who nevertheless have male genitalia.

She said: “I am definitely not saying that trans women are particularly dangerous – they are definitely not. Most trans people are law abiding and wouldn’t dream of harming anyone.

“However, many trans women are nevertheless males with male genitalia, many are sexually attracted to females, and they should not be in places where females undress or sleep in a completely unlimited way.”

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