Wife of fired Eton teacher, who said in anti-trans lecture that without men women would live in ‘primitive huts’, claims he ‘respects’ women

Lily Wakefield December 19, 2020
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Pupils at Eton College

Pupils at Eton College. (Graeme Robertson/Getty)

The wife of a former Eton teacher, who was fired after creating an anti-trans, sexist lecture, has insisted that her husband is “so respectful of women”.

In November, Eton College English teacher Will Knowland was fired for “persistently” refusing to remove a YouTube video of an anti-trans, sexist lecture he had written titled “The Patriarchy Paradox”.

The lecture was recorded for a “perspectives course” taken by Eton students, and although it was uploaded online, it was not actually taught to them before school leadership caught on.

In it, Knowland claimed that patriarchy “partly results from women’s choices because it benefits them” and that “saying smash the patriarchy amounts to saying smash human nature and biological reality”.

Even if sperm were not needed for reproduction, Knowland said, in a world without men women would “likely revert to a primitive life based on horticulture, dwelling in huts and suffering from a permanent shortage of animal protein… their life expectancy would be reduced to less that 40 years”.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, however, Knowland’s wife and former Britain’s Got Talent contestant Rachel Knowland has claimed her husband is “so respectful of women”.

She said she was upset that her husband’s lecture had been described as “the purest, filthiest stream of untreated misogyny I’ve heard since Donald Trump”, and added: “I just want to show the world that Will is not some sexist monster, but a loving father and husband who is raising three strong young women.”

The couple have five children together, and she added: “He adores his girls, and this idea that he hates women is just so wrong. He’s brilliant with them, spends so much time building their confidence and character. And he’s so respectful of women in general. Honestly, he’s not remotely as he’s been portrayed.

‘That lecture was designed to provoke, the whole point of it was to elicit a response, to open up a topic for debate. He doesn’t think those things, it’s just an academic exercise. I just want people to see that about him, to see the Will I know.”

In the lecture, Knowland also referred to trans women as “men”, and at one point, while showing a slide with a photo of a person dressed as a lizard, he said: “Some philosophers have pointed out that, logically, considerations that support transgenderism would also support, for example, trans-speciesism.”

Showing a drawing of a non-binary superhero, he added: “Nobody wants to watch films about characters like this.”

After Knowland “persistently refused” to take the lecture down from his YouTube channel, an internal disciplinary process at Eton College found that Knowland was guilty of gross misconduct, and this was later upheld at an appeal hearing.

Knowland plans to take his case to an employment tribunal, although he told the Daily Mail that he does not expect to win.


More: Eton College, Will Knowland

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