University of Oxford colleges pass motions condemning appearance by ‘gender critic’ Kathleen Stock

Kathleen Stock speaking at a university debate

Colleges at the University of Oxford have passed motions condemning an appearance by so-called “gender-critical” academic Kathleen Stock. 

St Edmund Hall, Mansfield, Christ Church, St Anne’s and St Hilda’s are just some of the colleges that have opposed giving philosopher Stock a platform. 

As reported by student newspaper Cherwell, other colleges – such as Hertford – are set to table similar motions. 

Stock has been invited to speak at the Oxford Union, the university’s 200-year-old debating society, on 30 May.

The former University of Sussex lecturer has been outspoken in her trans-exclusionary views, although she says she is not transphobic. 

In July 2018, she spoke against single-sex spaces allowing trans women in, saying “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.”

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She has also claimed self-ID “threatens a secure understanding of the concept ‘lesbian’”, and made headlines for helping found The Lesbian Project, alongside fellow gender-critical activist Julie Bindel, as well as taking part in Channel 4’s controversial Gender Wars. 

St Edmund Hall’s motion called for the condemnation of “the union for platforming Kathleen Stock and call on her invite to be rescinded in support of the trans community”. Similarly, St Anne’s motion said the union “made the choice to amplify a voice that actively harms trans students, trans people and the trans community at large”.

The motions come as students at the university prepare to protest against Stock’s appearance, and use the rally as a platform to launch Oxford Trans+ Pride

The event seeks to celebrate trans people in Oxford, while taking a stance against Stock’s views. 

The president of the university’s LGBTQ+ society, Amiad Haran Diman, told PinkNews: “Our motivation is not to attack the union or Kathleen Stock, because we think they love the attention. The reason we are doing this is for the trans community of Oxford – it’s for our trans siblings so that they know someone is standing up for them.”

Alfie Davis, the society’s welfare secretary, told Cherwell: “Every day, an ongoing choice is made by the president and librarian of the union to not disinvite Stock, and they must be held accountable for the consequences of spreading her misinformation and hatred.”

“Despite promises from senior union officials, the union is yet to reach out to the community in any way to condemn the hatred and violent threats we, and I myself, have received online as a result of speaking out,” Davis added. 

“We were promised that a statement would be released last Sunday – a week has passed, and nothing. 

“Either the union is completely disorganised, or they simply do not care enough to put out the presumably empty words of condemnation they assured us were coming.”

Students ‘vehemently oppose’ Kathleen Stock’s appearance

In a statement released in April when the news about Stock speaking at the Oxford Union broke, the student LGBTQ+ society said it was “dismayed and appalled” by the decision.

“Stock has been campaigning against trans rights, labelling them as dangerous to women, calling for the exclusion of trans people from the LGBTQ+ movement, supporting conversion therapy, and supporting hate groups such as the LGB Alliance and Lesbian Project,” a spokesperson said.

“Once again, the union is disregarding the welfare of its LGBTQ+ members under the guise of free speech.

“Letting Stock bring her campaign of hate and misinformation to Oxford, allowing her to stoke fear against trans people without challenge or opposition – right before Pride month and at a time when the trans community is facing a constant attack on its lives and rights – is a move we vehemently oppose and will actively protest [against].”

In response to the university society’s statement Stock said on Twitter it contains “several falsehoods” and though she is “not a lawyer” is “probably defamatory”, however she did not expand on the comments.

“Also, it makes you look utterly ridiculous,” she added.

PinkNews has contacted representatives of Kathleen Stock for comment.

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