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University professor gets off scot-free after comparing trans community to QAnon

Matilda Davies May 3, 2021
Professor gets off scot-free after comparing trans community to QAnon

Dr. Donna Hughes is credited as one of the founers of the academic study of human trafficking, focusing her academica on the sexual exploitation of women and girls. (National Center on Sexual Exploitation/YouTube)

Professor at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Donna Hughes has reportedly not been sanctioned for calling the “trans-sex fantasy” the left-wing equivalent of the right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory.

In an essay for “gender-critical” news site 4W, Hughes wrote that “unlike in the imaginary world of QAnon, real children are becoming actual victims” of left-wing ideology in the US.

Her vitriolic essay also compares gender confirmation surgeries to eugenics, writing: “The eugenics movement to breed a better race of people was a fantasy; so is the trans-sex movement.”

URI named Hughes in a statement, asserting that it “does not support statements and publications by professor Donna Hughes that espouse anti-transgender perspectives and recognise that such discourse can cause pain and discomfort for many trans individuals.”

The university agreed that her First Amendment rights to freedom of speech would be upheld and faculty had the right to “academic freedom”. However they did insist these be “exercised responsibly” and she should hold “appropriate restraint” in expressing her views.

Hughes, who runs the university’s Gender and Women’s Studies post-graduate course, told Just the News that thanks to the early intervention of her lawyer, she had received no punishment for the essay or other controversial views.

Throughout 2021, students have complained about Hughes’ views and curriculum. Her program director has repeatedly insisted Hughes “acknowledge” her trans students, after she included a gender-critical website and an article on ‘detransitioning’ on her curriculum.

In response to the essay, and her telling students that the anti-Asian murders in Atlanta were “motivated by gender bias rather than racial bias”, a number of students complained and came together to report her to URI. Hughes called it a “cancellation campaign” and told the university not to “allow its disciplinary process to be commandeered by students”.

Hughes also wrote about the increasing cases of trans women being banned from women and girl’s sports in schools, claiming that allowing trans women to play women’s sport has “taken away” women’s “equal access to educational opportunities”.

A number of US states have advanced or signed bills into law banning trans women and girls from secondary schools and higher education institutions, including West Virginia, Alabama, Kansas, Idaho and Mississippi. Similar bills have thankfully been scrapped in Pennsylvania, Conneticut and North Dakota.

More: QAnon, transphobia

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