University lecturer criticised after declaring ‘trans women are still males with male genitalia’
Updated | University of Sussex lecturer Kathleen Stock has come under fire from transgender activists after suggesting in a recent interview that “trans women are still males with male genitalia” and calling for trans women to be excluded from certain women-only spaces.
Stock, a reader in philosophy at the educational institute, was speaking to local newspaper The Argus about her views on trans women in the run-up to a controversial called A Woman’s Place Is Turning The Tide this July in Brighton.
“I am definitely not saying that trans women are particularly dangerous – they are definitely not,” she told the paper.
“Most trans people are law abiding and wouldn’t dream of harming anyone.
“However, many trans women are still 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 unrestricted way.”
In a statement to PinkNews, Stock strongly denied opposing transgender rights.
“I emphatically deny that I am transphobic. I vocally uphold the rights of trans women to be free of violence and discrimination, but I question whether the only way to protect trans women from violence is to allow trans women into female communal spaces,” she told PinkNews.
“Violence against females is endemic. Trans women are biologically male, and though most are law-abiding, some small proportion are not. There is a general social need to continue to protect females in communal female-only spaces from the possibility of male violence.”
Trans rights campaigners heavily criticised Stock’s views on Twitter.
Liam Hackett, who criticised The Argus for posting its article with the caption “do you agree?,” wrote on Twitter: “Let me be very clear: human rights are not open to debate.”
Fox Fisher also hit-out at the paper for its post, writing on Twitter: “Trans rights are not, and never will be, up for debate.”
A University of Sussex spokesperson said: “Our member of staff has made it very clear that she is expressing her personal views and is not talking on behalf of the University. As a university, we support academic freedom and we must defend the right of any individual to hold and express their personal views, within the law.
“As a University, we have an unstinting commitment to actively promoting and supporting equality and diversity, to create a campus that is inclusive for all. That, of course, includes all trans staff and students in our community.
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“We have just become a Stonewall Diversity Champion, as part of our institutional commitment to creating an inclusive and accepting campus environment for all students, staff and visitors.”
A trans rights campaigner. (Getty)Stock is set to speak at the A Woman’s Place Is Turning The Tide event this month, which is being hosted by the contentious Woman’s Place UK.
The group opposes the government’s proposed reform of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, for which the consultation launched this week.
The government has said it wants to de-medicalise the process to legally change genders, moving towards self-identification, which is used in other countries like the Republic of Ireland.