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How I survived my annus horribilis Speaking the truth has set me free

Don't tell Boris Johnson (Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images)

Don't tell Boris Johnson (Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images)


November 4, 2022   6 mins

I marked a strange anniversary this week: a year to the day since my resignation from the lectureship I used to hold at Sussex University. In the second week of Autumn term last year, a campaign of harassment began on campus, with my name on it. Apparently I was making students unsafe with my words. The obvious solution was to intimidate me into leaving.

Though at first I attempted to teach through the activity escalating against me — first on campus and then by Zoom — I soon realised my mental state was not up to it. For the first time ever, I phoned the doctor for a sick note. I told her I was undergoing some work-related stress: please could I be signed off for a while and also have some sleeping tablets? She asked me what the problem was. “Masked men at my workplace are demanding I resign or be fired.” There was an embarrassed laugh. I got my sick note.

The weeks before and after were a surreal blur, and not just because of the insomnia. It was like a cross between a siege and the 12 Days of Christmas. Never have I simultaneously experienced such hostility and kindness from strangers, each bewildering in its own way. In between fielding concerned emails, calls, flowers, food parcels, gifts, and cards, I spoke to various members of the police. Running the gamut from supportive to uncomprehending to positively judgemental, each told me something different about whether they thought the harassment was criminal or not, though all agreed I shouldn’t leave the house. A wonderful feminist managing a women’s refuge arranged to have security put in my home, paid for it, and agreed to deal with the police on my behalf from then on.

My carefully organised plans for the teaching term ahead vanished into nothingness. No, I would not have to write those lectures after all, or do that marking, or work that Open Day. I went through my calendar deleting events and marvelling at the acres of space that emerged. Instead of teaching courses in Feminist Philosophy and Ethics as I should have been, I sat at home alternating between hysterical laughter and tears, drinking fizzy wine and eating crisps, and watching daytime TV when I wasn’t talking to journalists or receiving visitors.

Once I announced my resignation publicly, things got even more intense. I seemed to be in a dark fairy-tale world. Outside the threshold were people who wanted to hurt me. Inside, it was like a continuous party, or perhaps a wake — but who or what was it for? Everything was in Technicolor and weirdly exhilarating. The sleeping pills were useless.

I was also having to get up to speed on media management very fast. Every day, my mum would pass on the day’s stories about me, sent her way first via Yahoo’s algorithms. Journalists were making aggressively charming pitches for interviews via every available communication route, many of them demanding exclusivity in return for what they claimed was large exposure. I tried to choose well according to parameters I barely understood.

A succession of photographers trooped in with bits of tech to capture me looking grim-faced but resolute in various corners of my house. As picture editors made their choices for stories, I started to realise how the same face could be used to sell readers what they expected to see: Ordinary Mum-Of-Two in the Mail; Slightly Sinister Middle-Aged Woman in the Guardian; Wild-Eyed Maniac in the Times (that picture editor was definitely a transactivist). The Times also gave me my most terrifying headline: “Boris Johnson backs Kathleen Stock”. As if things weren’t bad enough.

Eventually things calmed down a bit and I was left with the aftermath. The near-total impersonality from former colleagues I’d worked with for years — one kindly administrator being the exception — was a shock. I couldn’t read it properly. Was it embarrassment? Guilt? Indifference? Blame? I still can’t tell.

With my family, one weekend I drove to my office to get my things — another surreal moment. Though I was led to believe it had all been sorted in advance, the doors to my building were locked. I went to find a security guard to let me in. Suspicious (perhaps he had heard there had been a bit of trouble recently), he demanded to see my ID, before grudgingly wedging the door for me and saying I had to be out in a few hours. Conscious of my notoriety on campus, we threw books, posters, and mementoes from years of academic life into boxes and fled, putting it all in storage on the way home. As I left for the final time, I was suffused with memories of arriving there as a young lecturer — just as alone as I apparently was now, and with some of the very items I had just packed up. It felt like I had performed an enormous circle in time, only to end up at exactly the same place.

It took months after leaving work to shed the habits of mind associated with the schedule of the academic year. I would find myself thinking “Next time I go to graduation…” or “I should use that idea for my lectures next term” — and then get a jolt of recognition. I was also dealing with new public notoriety. On my way into the BBC for an interview, I passed a vacant shop on Oxford Street with my newsprint face plastered over the windows.

I quickly became grateful for the social permissibility of mask-wearing. A friend told me I was most noticeable because of my hair, so I bought a woolly purple hat that rarely left my head for the months afterwards, not even on train carriages. Attending prenatal classes by Zoom with my then-pregnant wife, I carefully set up the lighting and seating so that I was well back from the camera and my face was darkened. As we chanted hypnotic mantras and chatted about pain relief, I looked like I was in a witness protection programme giving an interview on Panorama.

Eventually though, as the months passed and my mind regrouped, I started to come out of my mental lockdown. There were invited trips to liberal institutions in Rome and Vienna to talk about free speech and transactivism. A variety of interesting new writing projects luckily came my way, including — of course — this column. I got my OBE and met Princess Anne. (I wish I could tell you whether she is gender-critical or not, but what happens in the throne room stays in the throne room).

I was also invited to become a Founding Faculty Fellow at the new University of Austin and went to Texas, where I spent a marvellous week teaching varieties of feminism to very sweet and engaged students, many of them from quite conservative backgrounds. While there, I publicly debated with trans economist Deirdre McCloskey. We sparred robustly and hugged at the end. At the close of the week, my students gave me a card full of enthusiastic messages, salving some of my hurt at having had teaching taken away so suddenly. One young man touchingly wrote that I had converted him to political lesbianism.

The hat eventually came off. It now languishes in the boot of my car like some artefact from a distant time. Though most encounters with the public are entirely positive, it’s true that sometimes I experience hostility. The other day, while on the platform at St Pancras with my teenage sons, I looked up to see a large adult in a dress scowling and giving me the finger through a train carriage window. I nudged my sons, who started to laugh nervously. Visibly affronted, the individual turned to type furiously into his phone. I found the predictable tweet later — apparently, my presence at the station had made him feel unsafe. On the upside, he tweeted, he had done very well at a Warhammer workshop that day.

Elsewhere, however, I still face the challenge of dealing with the fact that sections of my former profession and the press have a vested interest in winning the disinformation war about what a heinous villain I must be. Though I tend to insulate myself well from idiots, in occasional moments of weakness I take a look within the Twitter bubbles of others and immediately wish I hadn’t. Reading Academic Twitter can be like encountering your most critical inner voices spread out on the screen for everyone else to read too — except that for some reason, my inner voices now speak in fake American accents. They say “y’all”, and talk about “trans folks”, and call me a “grifter” for continuing to make my way in the world without collapsing into ignominy. I close the laptop and remind myself that there are various ways to be in a mental prison.

I did nothing much to mark my odd anniversary this week — I was too busy doing other exciting things. I was only reminded when I accidentally saw an anonymous transactivist account in Brighton — who may or may not have had something to do with the original action against me — talking about it. With characteristic nonsensical doublethink, Reclaim Pride Brighton tweeted: “A year ago the Trans Movement drove out Stock, and her TERF ideology, without violent escalations. We won’t stop until all others are gone with her, by any means necessary. We have strengths they will never match.”

While I concede that this account holder does indeed have strengths I will never match — mainly, an uncanny ability to write like a modern-day Adrian Mole — I remain sanguine. Despite the best efforts of my critics, I have survived my annus horribilis and have much to look forward to. It may be a cliché, but it still applies: sometimes speaking the truth really does set you free.


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
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Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

It is a disgrace that the police failed to protect Kathleen Stock going about her business at the University from harassment and threat. She should not have been effectively placed under house arrest for voicing concerns that the great majority of the population of this country would agree with.

Nevertheless it is our gain at Unherd to have the benefit from her clearsighted and elegant articles. I should certainly never have gone to a Feminist lecture by her so would have been unaware of the good sense and humanity she displays in her writing. Her harassers have merely provided her with a much greater stage for her views than she could ever have achieved simply as a lecturer at Sussex University.

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I was motivated after recent retirement (where I’m ‘safe’ from repercussions) to follow and occasionally support the various organisations that have recently been established to protect women’s rights as a result of injustices such as that against Stock. One of those organisations, Sex Matters, organised a project for supporters to submit FOI requests to various public organisations such as the police and universities asking about their interactions with Stonewall in developing their policies.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/
https://sex-matters.org/
You can read all about it on the Sex Matters website, and see the FOI requests on the What Do They Know website which provides simple tools for submitting FOI requests and publishing progress and outcomes.

I submitted about six FOI requests to different police forces and universities – the only entity that failed to respond adequately was Surrey Police. In fact they failed to respond at all. They have history in hassling the public over ‘hate speech’. Their attitude is apparently typical of woke police forces, in answer to your comment, which is why they don’t protect Stock.
Readers might be pleased to hear that my subsequent complaint to the FOI commissioner for a breach of the FOI regulations has been investigated and upheld by the Information Commissioner. Surrey Police are now on record as being in breach of the FOI regs, and they now need to respond.

Oh and by the way, I’m no active feminist either.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Richard Craven
RC
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Superb. Hats off to you. Woke police really are snivelling turds.

Peter Johnson
PJ
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

They are snivelling turds with the right to use force and the power of the state behind them. That is scary. The stories out of the UK of the police showing up at people’s houses to investigate mean tweets as ‘non criminal’ hate speech are scary.

mike otter
MO
mike otter
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

The solution to a bad guy doing violence is a good guy replying in kind. That was the original idea with the Peelers/Bobbies and explained well by Eric “George Orwell” Blair as rough men who keep the lives of their more timid fellows safe. Now that the police ARE the bad guys who could you call? Typically the solution to a criminal state has been a military one. Whatever happens it won’t be pleasant.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Many thanks for that information and for your activity on this.

Matthew Powell
MP
Matthew Powell
1 year ago

One can only admire the courage and rectitude of Professor Stock.

To be exiled from her vocation for the crime of failing to pronounce her belief in the validity of the concept of Gender, one, which in my own humble opinion, fails entirely to have any logically coherent definition and which in the past, would not have even survived the scrutiny of an undergraduate, yet now has been elevated to the status of absolute truth and legal reality; must be bewildering at best.

To face such logical absurdities and to witness institutions, supposedly dedicated to the apprehension of truth, debase themselves at the alter of trans ideology, would surely break a lesser individual.

I hope that Professor Stock knows that those of us who are fortunate enough not to risk the same perils as her in adhering to the truth, sincerely appreciate the sacrifices she has made, but more so, the triumphs that doing so bring.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matthew Powell
Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
1 year ago

The kind of disruption that Kathleen has survived and describes here will form the basis of historical analysis in future centuries. It reminds me of nothing less than the vagary of fate which befell those who found themselves on the wrong side of the religious views of an incumbent monarch during the Reformation period, resulting in persecution.

Many in her position might’ve taken the Vicar of Bray route and swung with the wind, hanging their personal integrity for the sake of a peacefil life. She must know of former colleagues who’ve done precisely that.

One can only wish her the more profound peace that comes with such integrity.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Great comment, especially the last sentence.
Those who have been subject to such nastiness as Kathleen Stock must honestly wonder if the maintenance of integrity and telling the truth is really worth it. We need to hear more about the reward, this profound peace. Then, perhaps, other people would follow her courageous example.

Michael Friedman
MF
Michael Friedman
1 year ago

Ms Stock is amazing. Brilliant. Heroic. Inspirational. She cuts through the destructive and selfish righteousness of the weak and craven.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael Friedman
Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

I have absolutely no idea what this article was about – seems some trans people were trying to kill her – but WTF? Are the Trans now a sort of IRA? Terrorists despised by all, rouge violent threats to civilization and peaceful citizens? Are they like the Radical Islamist in that they were out to destroy society, yet received a sort of tacit acceptance by the mainstream Muslims to a degree? I do not fallow this crazy scene – but this article makes it seem madness.

Why is this tolerated? I do not get it, surely these groups are enemies of society, yet protected and tolerated. Weird scene.

D mylonas
DM
D mylonas
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Unfortunately women hating groups (Incels) have used any ideology to find a way to undermine women, so have joined in with this persecution and also part of the TRA movement are anarchists (you often see their flag amongst the TR activists) plus paedophiles. They have all jumped into this movement as it’s been easy to get away with it under the ‘no debate’ mantra of Stonewall.

Wim de Vriend
WD
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Same bewilderment here — see my comment above. Apparently EVERYONE is supposed to know what led to her departure, but that in itself betrays an extreme degree of egotism — as is typical of sexual outliers.

Alan Tonkyn
AT
Alan Tonkyn
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Yes, I’m totally bewildered too. This transactivism is sheer lunacy, and shame, eternal shame, on those cowards in authority, especially in the universities, who have given in to it and allowed academics like Kathleen Stock to be treated in this way.

Jane Robertson
JR
Jane Robertson
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

I think the fact that you don’t know but decide that’s a personality defect of Kathleen’s makes you the deficient here.

Ruth Conlock
RC
Ruth Conlock
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Showing your ignorance, dismissiveness and lazy attitude there! Oops, do better next time eh?

Dan Reed
DR
Dan Reed
10 months ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Watch Gender Wars on Channel 4. You will then see what Kathleen Stock had to go through at Sussex University. I have to say I admire what she went through and how she came out in the end head held high and justified the statement that Trans Women are not real Women. They can’t be. Watch the most recent Naked attraction and you will see the madness we live in. A female with breasts and no pen1s used the pronouns Him and He. I now know what the female rights groups have been going through because as a man (I have no idea what a male brain is meant to be like I am just who I am) I am looking at a female who identifies as a male wanting a gay relationship with a man? Plain bonkers. A few years back on world Women’s Day a trans women sat on the red chair on BBC saying how it felt to be a woman and women’s bodies and their needs….. wtf? This man has never had to go through breast feeding, given birth to a child, never lived as a women except the last two years of her life to get gender surgery. Yes she had just had gender surgery. For the near 60 years she had lived as a man. Why now the change? If you watch the groundbreaking Changing Sex that originally ws shown on BBC2 the Psychologist who himself was ostracised for his methods asked Julia or George what did it feel like to be female? She went to say lots of things…. Then he asks his students both genders what it felt like to be male or female each of them answered they didn’t know they were just who they were. To say trans rights have existed since the first amphibian left the ocean isn’t correct. In Victorian England you would find no trans people wanting to change sex. Yet you had transvestites who openly lived in female clothing but underneath were really gay men. There was a pair of men who were famously photographed with crinoline and hairy beards. They didn’t want to be women. Considering at the time homosexuality was illegal at the time it was surprising that they seemed to pass the gaydar of the British government at the time. It only seems that transsexuals arrived when surgery was able to complete plastic surgery to make a male look like a female or vice versa. Going back to what happened to a professor Stock. No one should be made to resign or leave their job because their opinion is different. Universities are a place to debate these things whether there is a right or wrong answer to the question posed. What Kass did to Professor Stock was despicable. Someone with the production company should have made Professor Stock aware of her position on Trans issues. The person who came out strongest in the debate was Professor Stock because she had been hoodwinked sidewinded and thoroughly beaten up but head high she went onto debate the issue at hand.

Michael James
MJ
Michael James
1 year ago

The most contemptible people in this episode were not Kathleen’s opponents but those fellow academics who knew that the campaign against her was wrong but did nothing to defend her. It’s this mass cowardice that allows fashionable organised aggression to succeed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael James
Phil Rees
PR
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael James

Yes, I am vaguely reminded of The Crucible and Salem.

A Willis
AW
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

#MeToo

Richard Craven
RC
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Kathleen Stock is one of my heroes.

Andrew D
AD
Andrew D
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Care to elaborate on that bizarre comment?

JOE MACVEIGH
JM
JOE MACVEIGH
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

She is a hero.
She is more like the Ernest Bevan of the education system.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  JOE MACVEIGH

Heroine surely?

A Willis
AW
A Willis
1 year ago

I recall not too many years ago ago the Feminists played holy hell if anyone referred to a female acting as an ‘actress’.

Now, it seems, the fashion has moved on, and it’s now being seen a ‘cool’ for females on stage to insist on being called ‘actress’.
.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  A Willis

The rules of grammar are perfectly clear.

Richard Craven
RC
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  A Willis

Good. This is as it should be.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  JOE MACVEIGH

BEVIN surely? Or do you mean that Welsh prat, and founder of the dreaded NHS, one Nye Bevan Esq?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Richard Webster
RW
Richard Webster
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You are being absurd.Truly

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Is that a compliment?

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Again, I have no idea of this weird scene and never heard of her – but it seems she teaches radical feminism, and so one, from my position of ignorance, would say this is a ‘hoist by one’s own petard’ thing….

I remember Bret Weinstein on here a year ago telling of how he was a Far Left Liberal university teacher in a Radical Experimental College who was turned on – attacked – and fired ‘For his own protection’ as a Racist (which was the thing he was least of all) – he was 100% hoist by his own petard.

It is exactly like Stalinist Russia, Cina CCP, Pole Pot – the people who created the system all get purged by the next wave of radicals, who will be purged by the super radicals……and then it usually falls apart, although the CCP is hanging in there – as are the Radical Left in the West

– but I think after the November 8 midterms – USA will completely desert this insane radicalism, and where America goes, the West fallows – and so things may return to sanity pretty fast – especially after Trump is re-elected in 2024, and he shows us that the Far Left Emperor is nakedly strutting around….

Last edited 1 year ago by Aaron James
Dick Stroud
DS
Dick Stroud
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Seems like you have been living in a cave for the past year or so. Welcome to the daylight. There are going to be many other things you have never heard about. Keep working at it I am sure you will catch up.

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Dick Stroud

I feel Aaron is being faux naive – he’s a clever bloke who’s commented similarly on these articles before. But it’s a topic that doesn’t seem to interest him so he dismisses it.

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

He also keeps changing his name, Sandford Artizan and Galeti something or other being a couple of his previous incarnations

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

That is because he keeps getting “thrown out” by UnHerd’s so called Moderators/Censors!
So much for a ‘ free speech forum’. QED.

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

I like him being here though as sometimes he makes excellent points midst the storm of his passionately held opinions.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Absolutely agree, he livens the place up a bit!

Helen Murray
HM
Helen Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

If you read Stock’s book,’Material Girls’ you will see that she is not a radical feminist. Aaron Jones, please don’t make asumptions about whom you speak without taking the time to find out the truth.

Bruce Lewis
BL
Bruce Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

Well, as I write on November 9th, it looks like your prognostication was largely incorrect. It was Mr. Trump himself and the abortion issue that “hoisted” the Republican Party on it’s own “petard.”

peter sanders
PS
peter sanders
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

‘.. tacit acceptance by the mainstream Muslims’ What evidence have you got to state that? Whole Catholic community not openly and volubly condemning child-molesting priests, would in your view be also tacitly accepting Christian priests’ criminal acts?

Last edited 1 year ago by peter sanders
Richard Craven
RC
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Weird comment. Are you feeling ok?

Albireo Double
AD
Albireo Double
1 year ago

If anyone thinks that they can change sex by saying that they have, then they are certainly incorrect, and I believe that they are unhinged.
I’ve never made any secret of this view, and no one has ever criticised it, to me. But then, I don’t use Twitter, Facebook, or other similar conduits for the vacuous and the insane. Perhaps someone will try to “cancel” me on here. I look forward to that with some relish.

In the meantime, Kathleen Stock. Power to your elbow. You are the voice of reason, and your critics in this are the crazy babble of a sick, twisted, and hate-filled ideology.

Last edited 1 year ago by Albireo Double
Linda Hutchinson
LH
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

You also don’t work in a university, or for a news media outlet, or for the NHS, or in a school, or in an the arts’ venue … etc.

Albireo Double
AD
Albireo Double
1 year ago

Yes I understand that. But it is the case that most of this nonsense originates on Twitter, isn’t it? And if you’re not there, then it’s a lot easier to ignore..

It’s also the case that the principally-affected areas appear to be education, government, and the media. This speaks of a lot of people with far too much time on their hands, and not nearly enough to worry about, or to be getting on with.
Go Figure, as the Yanks say.

Last edited 1 year ago by Albireo Double
Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

Indeed, I will not believe the NHS is really short of funds until they sack every last Diversity Director and Officer and decimate the administrative staff.

Anna Knowles
AK
Anna Knowles
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I also refuse to believe that the police are under-resourced when they send three squad cars and seven officers to drag away in handcuffs an ex-soldier who posted a send up of the trans flag but did nothing about the terrifying intimidation that Prof. Stock endured.

Peter Johnson
PJ
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

No – you are being naive. It comes from universities and has metastasized into all public institutions and many private ones. It is coming for people whether they read twitter or not.

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

“If anyone thinks that they can change sex by saying that they have, then they are certainly incorrect, and I believe that they are unhinged.”
I completely agree with that statement. I admire Ms. Stock for her talent, bravery and stance on this issue. And would fight for her rights to live as she wishes. But to be completely honest, I feel the same about someone who believes that marriage is between two women or two men. It is utterly unhinged to me. Call me what you will, but I only need to answer to God in the end.

Andrew Daws
AD
Andrew Daws
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

you clearly have missed out on the subtlety of the argument. Nobody is saying you can change sex. They are saying you can identify as a different gender. Not the same.

Jonathan Andrews
JA
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

Please elucidate

Guglielmo Marinaro
GM
Guglielmo Marinaro
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

Being a man or a woman is a matter of sex. Anyone who was born male and now claims to be a woman, or who was born female and now claims to be a man, is claiming to have changed their sex, which is a biological impossibility. Chuntering about “gender” (which is a grammatical category) instead of sex won’t alter that hard reality: no-one can change their sex.

gabrielle sinclair
GS
gabrielle sinclair
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

You need to educate yourself on this – standard TRA dogma is twaw ie they have changed sex, even ACLU have announced that trans identifying males are actually female, and were born female but misidentified as males at birth.

Albireo Double
AD
Albireo Double
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

No Andrew – I’ve missed no subtlety – I have just elected not to use any.

The sex we are is a fact.
The “gender” in which we “identify” is a fantasy.

People need to get real. This stuff is codswallop.

Last edited 1 year ago by Albireo Double
Bruce Lewis
BL
Bruce Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

Apparently you’ve never heard of hermaphroditism, which is a very real thing which you’d inevitably have heard about had you ever visited India and met her hijras.

Albireo Double
AD
Albireo Double
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruce Lewis

Of course I’ve heard of hermaphroditism. You know as well as I do that extremely rare condition is not what this conversation is about.

Your attempt at conflation shows cynicism and contempt for those with that rare and difficult condition. Shame on you.

Bruce Lewis
BL
Bruce Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

Apparently you’ve never heard of the high-achieving Jan Morris who was not “unhinged” at all, but gifted and successful after her transition.

Albireo Double
AD
Albireo Double
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruce Lewis

Jan Morris did not change sex. Jan Morris “lived as a woman”. That is a concept I completely understand and entirely accept.

But it isn’t changing sex, is it?

Simon James
SJ
Simon James
1 year ago

History will surely be kind to you Kathleen and Material Girls will be a Philosophy 101 set text.

Melissa Martin
MM
Melissa Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

I enjoy spotting the future artefacts that will be displayed in museums (assuming we don’t end up in a dystopia with an immortal Peter Tatchell as our Lord Protector). ‘My Body Is Me’ by Rachel Rooney is one that will inform future generations of the madness we are living through.

Graeme Kemp
GK
Graeme Kemp
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

The book ‘Material Girls’ is excellent – and reasonable.

Simon James
SJ
Simon James
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme Kemp

I can recommend the audiobook, read by the author herself. At times evidently channeling some very strong feelings through the medium of crystal clear prose. Quite gripping!

Dick Stroud
DS
Dick Stroud
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

Totally agree. Kathleen not only writes very well her narration adds to her words.

Thomas King
TK
Thomas King
1 year ago

I truly hope you don’t judge us Warhammer fans by the actions of that one individual. The vast majority of us have never even seen an actual woman, let alone hurl abuse at one, and certainly would never dream of flipping one the bird in a public place whilst wearing a dress.

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas King

By Grabthar’s Hammer, by the Sons of Warvan, she shall be avenged!

Brian Villanueva
BV
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

I have tremendous respect for Kathleen and how she has stood up to the abuse over the last year. However, there’s an echo here that I’m hearing from lots of places. It can be summarized as “I’m a progressive… how could this happen to me?”
It comes through in this piece with her comment about “Feminist Philosophy and Ethics”. I suspect that even today, Miss Stock cannot conceive how, and would actively resist the suggest that, her own field midwifed the woke. I don’t know how she taught it, but the entire premise of “feminist ethics” is illiberal, since it assumes a difference between “ethics” and “feminist ethics”. It is the overturning of exactly these sort of Aristotlean universals that allows for the postmodernist, woke lunacy to thrive. It’s hard to claim that “black, trans women have their own truth” unless the idea of universal truth has already been tossed in the dumpster.
As I said, I’m seeing a lot of these now. In some ways this is a good sign, since it means even pretty far-Left progressives are starting to realize what’s going on. However, rooting out wokeness will only be possible if we root out the identity politics architecture that postmodernism has constructed throughout academia in the last 60 years. In other words, the wrong turn wasn’t 2015, it was 1965. I fear the Kathleen Stocks of the world (brave as she has been) are not up for this challenge, since it would necessitate dismantling most of their field of study.

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Very well said. And I agree. I’ve often asked where the road stops for someone who is progressive? Apparently, for Ms. Stock, it’s transgenderism. For others it’s pedophilia or euthanasia. And for some I’m sure it simply never ends…until it comes for them.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

”“Feminist Philosophy and Ethics”. ”

I saw that and thought – now that is self justification. Ethics, as you say, are universal truths, wile Morals are culture based. I mean a class in ”Feminism And Ethics’ would sound reasonable – but her class sounds like she is Pirating Ethics, rather than working how it fits with her topic.

Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
1 year ago

Another excellent comment. Thank you, Brian. Would you say that identity politics is also an outgrowth of extreme individualism? I am especially thinking of philosophical individualism and the subcategory of hedonism. I know that postmodernism encompasses individualism, as it makes everything subjective and denies the existence of objectivity, but when did individualism, which isn’t negative per se, turn the corner? Was it the counter-culture movement of the 1960s or did it perhaps begin earlier?

Leejon 0
L
Leejon 0
1 year ago

A villain? Not even close. A victim? Not the sort. A hero? Definitely!

Malcolm Knott
MK
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago
Reply to  Leejon 0

I would go so far as to use the word ‘heroine’.

Leejon 0
L
Leejon 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

Oops, I blame the gin!

Derek Smith
DS
Derek Smith
1 year ago

‘Attending prenatal classes by Zoom with my then-pregnant wife…’

I’m sorry Kathleen, but you have to admit that this personal anecdote illustrates the social and legal changes that moved society down the road towards ‘transwomen are women’.

Apart from that, I do think you’re a very engaging writer, and very brave for standing up to the trans lobby.

Last edited 1 year ago by Derek Smith
Linda Hutchinson
LH
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

I;m sorry, but, regardless of what one might feel about homosexual people briging up children, it doesn’t lead to the “trans-women are women” mantra. Where is the link between the two?

Arkadian X
AA
Arkadian X
1 year ago

I noticed that passage too.
I think the key word in the sentence is “wife”.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

I certainly have no objection to Kathleen referring to her pregnant partner as her wife although I do wonder if she expects people to refer to her as the husband or as another wife. I have no idea what the convention is in this case.

Anna Knowles
AK
Anna Knowles
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

There is the gender neutral noun ‘spouse’ which same-sex partners could use and so allow heterosexuals to reclaim ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ as gender specific nouns for the male partner of a woman and. the female partner of a man respectively.

A Willis
AW
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Knowles

Whether married or not, we were all avidly being encouraged to refer to our ‘partners’ by the likes of the BBC, local councils, the NHS, until…
…same-sex marriage (quite rightly) became legal in the UK. Then, suddenly, we had an endless line of married homo-sexuals on tv, women using a crowbar to insert a reference to their wives, men using a crowbar to insert a reference to their husbands.
Now, how often do you hear the right-on bien pensent refer to their ‘partners’?
.

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Knowles

Yes, spouse sounds less confusing.

Dr. G Marzanna
DM
Dr. G Marzanna
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Two lesbians who marry are wives to each other. Simple.

Arkadian X
AA
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. G Marzanna

Hence the problem that was highlighted in the comment.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

and then the third one in the scene? Baby Daddy? I have no idea – does anyone here?

Arkadian X
AA
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Aaron James

I suppose Daddy is disposable.

R S Foster
RF
R S Foster
1 year ago

…I don’t wholly agree, but I think the argument is that as soon as you cross the line from quietly accepting how people choose to live, provided they don’t “frighten the horses, and alarm the children”…and insist on their right to “celebrate it”…
…VERY LOUDLY! IN PUBLIC! ALL THE TIME! AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE!…
…it starts to get rather hard to know where exactly any line between okay and not-okay can be drawn…
…and, for some people where there is no obvious risk or constraint with respect to engaging in even the most anti-social, offensive and outrageous behaviour…and there may even be social rewards attached to it…
…the temptation to stand up in public and shriek “look at me, look at me, LOOK AT MEEEE!!…in a way calculated to provoke others, and confident that you will be not just protected, but applauded for “speaking your truth”…
…clearly becomes overwhelming…

Last edited 1 year ago by R S Foster
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

One absurdity leads to another.

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago

When anything goes, anything will go. When anyone is allowed to make up the rules, whose rules do we honor in the end? It’s quite a conundrum.

Derek Smith
DS
Derek Smith
1 year ago

I’ve said this before (to plenty of downvotes). The mainstreaming of L and G opened the door to T and Q+. In that sense, they belong together.

They both deny aspects of sex – the LGBs deny the physical complementarity of the sexes for themselves and the Ts deny the given-ness of their physical sex – and they both do it on the basis of feelings (whatever their origin). The mainstreaming of LGB took place in a society where the old barriers to self-expression were already breaking down among the heterosexual population, with technological aid from the pill, social aid from the increase in ease of divorce, and economic aid in the form of the welfare state taking over the role of the nuclear family.

Guglielmo Marinaro
GM
Guglielmo Marinaro
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

the LGBs deny the physical complementarity of the sexes for themselves

In other words, homosexual relationships are between people of the same sex, not between people of opposite sexes, as heterosexual relationships are. I think that most of us knew that perfectly well already – in fact I’ve known it for many years – but thanks ever so much for reminding us, just in case we’d forgotten.

Peter Johnson
PJ
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

There is no doubt that feminists created the modern form of cancel culture. They also started the practice of forcing people to agree with things that are absurd or face collective wrath. For example – the only reason boys and girls is different is that they are raised differently – not any inherent sex characteristics. This is nonsense – everyone knows it’s nonsense – but people at universities will claim it is true out of fear of feminist backlash. So we are told that sexism is the only reason why there are less women in engineering – or the military. So to a certain extent gender critical feminists are reaping what they sowed. We have to help them anyways – but my sympathy has limits.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

Very simple, Linda. Stock, whose courage I admire by the way, insists that biological sex is immutable while simultaneously refusing to accept the biological realities of natural conception.

Linda Hutchinson
LH
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Who says that she is refusing to accept the biological realities of natural conception? Her wife, who is female is gestating a baby all perfectly biologically normal. If you are refering to conception, then we don’t know and it’s none of our business, however if it were by some form of artificial insemination, then many heterosexual couples who are unable to conceive in the normal manner use such methods with no-one telling them that they have caused all this tran nonsense.

Guglielmo Marinaro
GM
Guglielmo Marinaro
1 year ago

None.

T. Lister
TL
T. Lister
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Why are women responsible for what male, cross-dressers w/ a fetish, autogynephiles/transvestic fetishists, disordered men w/ paraphilias, do or call themselves? The T was force-teamed onto the LGB in order to gain greater acceptance for the T and that was by design of the T movement. LGB is a sex-based sexual orientation based on the material reality of sex but T is an invented ‘identity’ based on no material reality that reifies old stereotypes and is totally regressive. These mostly heterosexual, male fetishists have always been there and it was, in fact, lesbians and feminists who warned of the danger of trans. Janice Raymond, a lesbian feminist professor at the U of Mass, wrote her book, The Transsexual Empire, in 1979, warning of the danger of trans. Women are not responsible for male fetishists’ behavior and most women find it offensive if not possibly dangerous.

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  T. Lister

Offensive? Perhaps that’s a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black.

Derek Smith
DS
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  T. Lister

I never said that women were responsible for the behaviour of male fetishists (a description I happen to agree with).

You can’t get away from the fact that LGB acceptance led to this state of affairs. The LGBs and Ts deny different aspects of material sex on the basis of how they feel towards others or themselves, and this has been mainstreamed within a heterosexual culture that has moved away from the marriage-sex-children matrix towards a sex-as-self-expression one. You cannot shut the door behind you and say ‘LGBs can be mainstream, but not trans’. That’s not how it works. What is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander.

Simon James
SJ
Simon James
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Maybe a little bit Grinchy to rehearse those arguments again at this precise moment but I think you have a point. Who’s to say when Liberal values should no longer apply? KS’s argument though is that Trans doesn’t make sense even on its own terms, whereas LGB does.

Guglielmo Marinaro
GM
Guglielmo Marinaro
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

There are no facts about “material sex” that LGBs deny.

Derek Smith
DS
Derek Smith
1 year ago

LGs (and Bs depending on the sex they’re currently shagging) deny the material functional orientation of their sex towards that of the opposite sex for psychological reasons. You seem to have forgotten that, and needed reminding.

Guglielmo Marinaro
GM
Guglielmo Marinaro
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

Gays and lesbians deny their own sexual orientation towards people of the opposite sex for the “psychological reason” that they have no such orientation, only sexual orientation towards people of the same sex. You may think that it shouldn’t be so, but that’s just the way that things are, whether you approve of it or not.

jmo
JM
jmo
1 year ago

All the best to you, Kathleen. You’re far braver than most

AC Harper
AH
AC Harper
1 year ago

To keep the thrill of a witch hunt going you need a constant supply of witches, whether they exist or not. Anyone who stands out from the mass of ordinary people for any reason will do.
And a more modern reference – place your trust not in Administrators.

A Willis
AW
A Willis
1 year ago

Well I suspect this will be an unpopular comment. Let me be quite clear from the start, apart from a tiny irrational minority, who I doubt actually believe any of the nonsense they spout, we all know that the transactivists stance is utterly bonkers, and they have frequently behaved criminally, for which they ought to face due process.
I would have more sympathy for today’s Feminist belief in single-sex spaces and fighting against ‘no-platforming’ and ‘cancel culture’ however, if so many of those same ‘gender-critical’ Feminists hadn’t, for decades before the appearance of ‘transactivists’, done all in their power to disrupt and cancel men’s single-sex spaces, cancel and no-platform men’s groups at universities.
If the transactivists had publicly stated about women some of the things that Julie Burchill and Julie Bindell had said about men, I have no doubt they would today be arrested, and quite rightly.
Now today’s Feminists have had these same tactics deployed against them, they do not cease to tell us how wrong it is.
.

michael stanwick
MS
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  A Willis

But “today’s Feminists” are a sub category within the category of “Female” to which the single-sex spaces are linked.
Single-sex spaces are designed for females in this case, and that includes all females. I don’t subscribe to the notion that the exclusivity of spaces for the female sex is a consequence of a feminist belief.

Miriam Yagud
MY
Miriam Yagud
1 year ago

Single sex spaces are for men or women. There are good reasons for men to want single sex spaces, hospital wards, therapy and counselling, etc

Clare D
CD
Clare D
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Yagud

But the male population don’t need same-sex spaces to protect them from sexually predatory behaviours of a significant sub-section of the male population
> 99% of sentenced sexual offenders are MALE MOJ 2001-22 & USA, ROI, NI, Australia, Canada & NZ.
> 88% of those sexually offended against are FEMALE ONS 2018, Eurostats 2017, Canada stats 2021, Australian Bureau of Stats 2021.
> 2% of all rapes result in conviction Jolyon Maugham KC (4 May 2018)
(Criminal Injuries payments are derisory).
Curiously feminists tell me the objective numerical evidence isn’t the point! That cd be where ‘feminism’ is going wrong but what would female engineers know about feminism? (Harassed by male colleagues on the same Uni of Sussex campus).

Sexual offending is what makes sex segregated spaces a safety essential for women, which is simply not true for men.

God Bless Elizabeth Fry in this bicentenary year of sex segregation as a legal concept.

Clare D
CD
Clare D
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare D

Should read: significant sub-section of the *female* population.

Miriam Yagud
MY
Miriam Yagud
1 year ago
Reply to  A Willis

Single sex spaces are also for men. However the single sex spaces I suspect A. WILLIS is refering to womens rights campaigns to access jobs, education, training in construction, recreational facilities such as football, cricket, all areas that were not reserved for men by the equality acts, but by male privilege, coercive exclusion such as harassment, and discrimination.

A Willis
AW
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Yagud

Then let me make it quite clear that your suspicion is wrong. and appears to fit entirely with Feminist bigotry. The single-sex spaces to which I referred is precisely the same sort of single-sex space that gender-critical Feminists now demand, but for men (heaven forfend!).
As just one example, the Feminist hypocrisy of demanding that the Boy Scouts MUST admit girls, which demanding that the Girl Guides remain strictly for girls.
Perhaps that sort of double-standards has simply not registered with you.
.

Katja Sipple
KS
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  A Willis

As an old-school feminist, one who believes that men and women are equal and have equal rights, and doesn’t deny differences between the sexes, I have always been in favour of spaces destined and designed for just men or just women. Having attended an all-girls secondary school, I believe that boys and young men should also have the option of learning in a single-sex environment. I find nothing wrong with co-educational schools, but some pupils thrive in single-sex environments, and there is nothing wrong with that. I do not begrudge either sex their individual spaces, and have no desire to join a fraternal organization. I have never bad-mouthed men, and as a normal heterosexual woman, I rather like men. So much as a matter of fact that I married one, and started a family with him. I realise I am not what comes to mind when the word feminist is mentioned, and it’s why I have disassociated myself from the feminist movement. I don’t share many of their objectives and their methods often make me cringe.
I also fully agree with your assessment of transactivists being utterly bonkers. I understand that you feel a bit of schadenfreude at these so-called feminists receiving a dose of their proverbial medicine, but what about the many completely normal women, women like me, who never supported any of this madness and who now suffer the consequences? I refuse to accept that my daughter and I are simply collateral damage.

Prashant Kotak
PK
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

“The near-total impersonality from former colleagues I’d worked with for years — one kindly administrator being the exception — was a shock. I couldn’t read it properly. Was it embarrassment? Guilt? Indifference? Blame? I still can’t tell”

Many people go to work to socialise as much as to earn a living, and many of us do what we do at work because we like it – colleagues and the organisation are incidental.

My admittedly IT skewed, jaundiced, view is: there is no such thing as loyalty, nor can there be, either from employees to organisations or from organisations to employees. Typically the power dynamic is skewed in the favour of employers but by no means always. What there are instead, are transient alignments of interests, a few of which can last for years.

Become a freelancer if you can – at least the delusions around work loyalties all fall away. Face it, when it comes to work relationships and loyalties, we are alone in the world, a unit of one. Call me cynical but from my perspective the dynamics around armies and war highlight rather than contradict this fact.

Linda Hutchinson
LH
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

A rather depressing thought, but, I think, mostly on the ball. I do believe that many people think of their work collegues as friends when they are really – well, collegues with whom they are on cordial terms. It is certainly possible to make freinds from among collegues, and maybe one or two will become more than just work mates, but mostly they are ships that pass in the night.

AC Harper
AH
AC Harper
1 year ago

Indeed. Most colleagues are ‘acquaintances’ and when you no longer ‘acquaint’ with them the relationship withers.

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

I use to play a lot of tennis matches (doubles mixed and ladies). I became interested in the relationships formed. Amongst others, I identified fleeting friendships and temporary alliances.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Dr. G Marzanna
DM
Dr. G Marzanna
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Could not agree more.

Anthony Lewis
AL
Anthony Lewis
1 year ago

You are an important voice for reason and evidence based policy Kathleen, I admire you tremendously – I heard you speak at the recent LGB Alliance and thought you were just lovely, yoiu came across as a kind, thoughtful human being who has stood up for what matters, we are all indebted to your bravery

Richard Parker
RP
Richard Parker
1 year ago

Still here, still winning: more power to your elbow (and thank you for the excellent essays, please keep them coming).

Penelope Subbotin
PS
Penelope Subbotin
1 year ago

A modern day Adrian Mole made my day.

Malcolm Knott
MK
Malcolm Knott
1 year ago

Shame, shame on your ‘colleagues.’ All they needed to say was, ‘We beg to differ but you are, of course, entitled to you opinion’ but they could not summon up the courage even to say that. Let them sleep uneasily in their beds for they disgust me.

Andrew Bamji
AB
Andrew Bamji
1 year ago

I read the initial student remarks of harassment and found them puerile and offensive. Rational debate has no place for the f-word. The university’s response should have been to send down the offenders. But we live in a strange world.

Steve Elliott
SE
Steve Elliott
1 year ago

Good on you Kathleen Stock.

Graeme Kemp
GK
Graeme Kemp
1 year ago

A moving account of events that should never have happened, to anyone. It’s an outrage. And how spineless most politicians are in failing to defend her. Dreadful – and a sign of the times.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

My carefully organised plans for the teaching term ahead vanished into nothingness. No, I would not have to write those lectures after all, or do that marking, or work that Open Day. I went through my calendar deleting events and marvelling at the acres of space that emerged.

I experienced the same when I left higher ed. I had angered the wrong people at my college and was told to confine myself to my office until the end of my contract and not talk to anyone. I’m not easily intimidated so had great fun disobeying, but even so it was still a tense period for me. I’ve been traveling across Europe and the Americas since I left and am turning my sights to Asia. I love my freedom and can’t ever envision going back into higher ed unless it is as a highly paid consultant.
Well done for standing up against the ideologues at Sussex. Fortune favors the brave.

Last edited 1 year ago by Julian Farrows
Marissa M
MM
Marissa M
1 year ago

Hah. You should see what it’s like in the states. Professors and teachers terrified to speak out have made placating the mob of “woke” students an entire skill set. Only a matter of time before they set up The Red Guards.

John Riordan
JR
John Riordan
1 year ago

I remain in stunned disbelief that it is legal, apparently, for this sort of thing to happen to an individual, and that the people responsible face no consequences.

I’m a libertarian who would if I had the chance throw out half the State and probably half the laws that we presently have to put up with. But that’s never going to happen so I must accept that we live in a highly regulated system in which even the smallest behavioural infractions can land a person in trouble with the law.

Except, of course, it doesn’t looks as if it actually works, does it? While a person can have the police at their house for making a joke to “check their thinking” as the memorably chilling phrase went at the time, it appears that it is possible to hound Professor Kathleen Stock into hiding and destroy her career (yes, she’s rebuilt it herself, but that doesn’t exculpate the scum that made it necessary). Nobody’s facing any legal consequences, as far as I can tell.

You would expect, in a legal system set up to regulate so much of our behaviour, that this would be something that no sane person would risk doing to someone else. Yet they are out there entirely untroubled by the law, apparently. How can any of us have any respect for the law, really?

gabrielle sinclair
GS
gabrielle sinclair
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Indeed. We are living in the perpetual gaslit uncanny valley of WTF*, and I would like to know how we got there.
*not my original phrase, but spot on
Last summer a man dressed as a woman attacked and stabbed 3 women over a weekend in Woking, the police refused to announce they were looking for a transwoman -which would have meant that everyone knew exactly what to look out for, and instead said they were looking for ‘an individual’.
Facepalm. Facedesk.

Tom Lewis
TL
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

I wonder if Ms Stocks “annus horribilis” has had any impact, or reflection, on her ‘political’ feminism/lesbianism and it’s possible implication in where she now finds herself ? Don’t get me wrong, I find it aberrant , what happened to her, and I really know next to nothing about her (apart from her columns here, or the occasional past news item), but I suspect, probably wrongly, that, in her own way, she wasn’t, herself, a million miles away from the very people who ‘defenestrated’ her, if but with more convoluted, if eloquent, academic theorising, rather than the crass, thuggish, behaviour of her nemeses.
(I’m a little surprised that ‘thuggish’ hasn’t been expunged from the lexicon yet, it seems ‘ripe’ with a cascade of potential ‘problems’.)

Aphrodite Rises
AR
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Your comment is clearly very unpopular but I am inclined to agree with you. Sussex university has always prided itself on being the most progressive university in England and I suspect there was a time, not so long ago, when appointing a lesbian feminist, an activist, would enhance the university’s reputation for being progressive. The university’s failure to act in Kathleen Stock’s defence was probably because the university believed to act would jeopardise the progressive status of the university (pouring out social justice warriors). I do not in any way support the extreme harassment of Kathleen Stock (I am completely against any harassment at all, pro free speech) and I am mystified as to why her harassers were not at the very least charged with hate crimes as their acts were clearly motivated by hate and the police seem to be keen to prosecute hate crimes where the hate resides solely in the mind of the accuser. I do wonder if feminist academics consider politicising and recruiting people into their version of feminism a sign of success.

John Varty
JV
John Varty
1 year ago

When she arrived at Sussex she was neither a lesbian or an activist. She was a bog standard academic and has described herself as such. She only became politically active in the last few years.

John Wilkes
JW
John Wilkes
1 year ago

I am a Sussex alumnus. I wrote some months ago to the Editor of the alumni news letter complaining that there was no reference to Professor Stock’s leaving or, come to that, anything beyond PR bullshit. I received a polite reply referring me to the then Vice-Chancellor’s general statement to the Press: itself another piece of PRB. I have since looked in vain for the University to state who (naming names) participated in KS’s being harassed to the point of feeling she had to go, and particularly whether the perps were members of the University. If they were, one would also expect to hear that they have been rigorously disciplined.
The subsequent silence has been deafening and the policy of masterly inactivity disgraceful. I conclude that those controlling the University; the Chair and members of Council; the then Vice-Chancellor and so called ‘executive group’ have failed to protect the integrity of the University and should admit their fault before resigning.If this conclusion is unfair, let evidence be given to refute it and I will be happy to apologise.
This affair led me to consider cancelling a (very modest) legacy planned for the University, I hope to ensure that it reaches the place intended, and the suits don’t get their hands on it. Others have simply changed their intentions, to the University’s detriment,
My pride in having been at Sussex during to its earliest years is mixed with a fear that it will become yet another spineless quasi-corporate entity, kowtowing to groups who care nothing for the scholarly enterprise and the other values that a real University stands for, in order simply to continue existing. Of course, it is not alone in that policy. Si monumentum….
What can we do?

Arkadian X
AA
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Don’t understand the down ticks

gabrielle sinclair
GS
gabrielle sinclair
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

She was a professor of philosophy, not gender studies, and published on the philosophy of aesthetics until the recently the Trans rights activists attack on women’s rights led her to write Material Girls.
So you are correct, you really know next to nothing about her.

Michelle Johnston
MJ
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago

Kathleen in the end is an academic who worked in academia with students who are at a point in their life when they have a habit of being radical about EVERYTHING.
1) No one can change their biological sex. I doubt very much whether the 4900 people who achieved Gender Recognition between 2004 and 2018 disagree with that. They reassigned their gender. They did not change their sex, a conflation which is in some respects due to the act.
2) Equally Kathleen and her partner together are not capable of procreation without some intervention and two males are not either.
All of the above should be carefully supported and over a period of time, we should check the long-term outcome of embracing these choices to gain a thoroughgoing understanding of whether any outcomes have been overlooked.
A man who puts on a frock or a woman who wears men’s jeans retain their base emotional and physical sexual drivers. Indeed one of the diagnostics for M to F transition is to establish whether it’s important enough that they (men) are prepared to forgo their male sex driver through the diagnostic of suppressing said drivers. A physiologist who worked in this area told me the drop-off rate was 50% when he was in practice.
There should be no such thing as self-identification. If people want to cross-dress fine but remember which loo to go in.
Absolutely no interventions should be made with children. Childhood and teenagehood are full of misdirections that peter out, do not solidify them prematurely. A handful of people will in adulthood make the journey.
Oh and be nice to everybody.
Of course if only it could be kept that simple.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
gabrielle sinclair
GS
gabrielle sinclair
1 year ago

Funnily enough the ‘be kind’ brigade forget about ‘be fair’ as they live in a LaLa land where there are no conflicts of interest and everyone can be equally kind to everyone all the time. You cannot.
But you can be fair to everyone.

Anton van der Merwe
AV
Anton van der Merwe
1 year ago

You are incredibly brave and deserve to be praised for standing up to unacceptable bullying. You book completely transformed my understanding of this complex issue. Thank you for writing it.

Andrew Vavuris
AV
Andrew Vavuris
1 year ago

The left always eats its own. Social order follows sexual order.

gabrielle sinclair
GS
gabrielle sinclair
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Vavuris

Hitler was trans? Interesting.

Christopher Chantrill
CC
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

What happened to Kathleen Stock is monstrous. But lefty administrators and lefty academics are never going to tell the latest Lefty Thing to shut up. And the police know how to survive till they get their pensions.
But hey, back in the day the Left was all amped up about the workers fighting the capitalists. Then it was blacks fighting the racists. Then it was feminists fighting the patriarchy. Then it was gays fighting the homophobes. Now it is transactivists fighting the TERFs.
There must be a pattern here, but I can’t for the life of me figure it out.
But check out Nassim Nichoas Taleb on the intramsigent small minority. You could look it up: “The Most Intolerant Wins.”

R Wright
RW
R Wright
1 year ago

I imagine the best thing to ever happen to you was getting thrown out of the Cathedral by men in drag to enjoy a life of true academic freedom. Let them suffer in the hellish prison of their own making.

Margaret Bluman
MB
Margaret Bluman
1 year ago

Only a year and so much has changed in that time. Your bravery in the face of horrendous bullying and the failure of your institution to defend you proved to be a catalyst. So many now speaking out for free speech and proper debate whatever one’s views.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

Dare I ask, by what means did Professor Stock subvert the biological realities of sexual reproduction in order to get her wife pregnant?

Jane Robertson
JR
Jane Robertson
1 year ago

Lechery on your part?

Last edited 1 year ago by Jane Robertson
A Willis
AW
A Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Robertson

What sort of distorted thinking would make your mind light upon that as the most likely reason?

gabrielle sinclair
GS
gabrielle sinclair
1 year ago

Your point is?
You cannot ‘subvert’ the biological realities of sex, which is her belief and why she was sacked. Did you miss this somehow?

Ari Dale
AD
Ari Dale
1 year ago

Her survivor’s account was moving and inspirational. I wish she had abjured political commentary- there was no reason for a swipe at PM Boris Johnson.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ari Dale
Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Ari Dale

Well she does have to signal occasionally that she hasn’t entirely gone over to the dark side and to be fair her articles are usually free of unnecessary ideological signalling unlike many Unherd contributors who are determined to flag up that their heart is still in Guardian land and that writing for Unherd has not totally corrupted them.

R S Foster
RF
R S Foster
1 year ago

…a brilliant article, and a Woman of extraordinary grace and merit…just the reason I read Unherd.

Michael Hollick
MH
Michael Hollick
1 year ago

Wonderful writing, as always, Professor Stock. May the next year bring happiness and fulfillment.

Theo Hopkins
TH
Theo Hopkins
1 year ago

Bless you.
I have been following you for maybe four years or more.
But could it be that feminist philosophy was the reason that gender ideology evolved?

Jane Robertson
JR
Jane Robertson
1 year ago
Reply to  Theo Hopkins

You only have this one theory and yet roll it out every where!

gabrielle sinclair
GS
gabrielle sinclair
1 year ago
Reply to  Theo Hopkins

No, Simone De Beauvoir is clear that biological sex exists and has consequences.
Being equal does not mean being identical.
Gender Identity Theory evolved because of AGP men who need people to validate their sexual fetish in order to get their rocks off.

Jonathan Andrews
JA
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago

I think Kathleen Stock is a hero.

She’s obviously courageous and intelligent but she’s funny too. Also a lesbian feminist who doesn’t have an axe to grind with men in general. In fact, in this and in interviews I’ve heard, she seems to like and value her male friends.

Julie Brindel, pay attention.

JOE MACVEIGH
JM
JOE MACVEIGH
1 year ago

Thank you so much for this.
Witty, brave and informative and of course a whole new world of adventure to explore.
The irony is, the young (and not so young) critics from Sussex University will have to grow up one day and perhaps with some life experiences behind them may well think…
‘Professor Stock, she was right, why was I a complete t**t towards her!’

Good luck for the future.

Wim de Vriend
WD
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  JOE MACVEIGH

Nah, they will do their darndest to keep their university jobs, so they’ll never need to face reality.

Jan Rivers
JR
Jan Rivers
1 year ago

Congratulations on forging a new path and for your excellent, an upbeat writing.and speaking. Your interview on radio NZ with Kim Hill was one of gender critical NZs high points (even if contrary to her usual practice she gave no indication of being familiar with the contents of your book).Women will prevail. Your comment about Adrian Mole so on point.

Will Cummings
WC
Will Cummings
1 year ago

All academics should have to spend at least a year working a minimum wage job in the food service industry before earning their degrees. The world would be a better place.

gabrielle sinclair
GS
gabrielle sinclair
1 year ago
Reply to  Will Cummings

Politicians, too, both Labour and Tories – I suspect more educational for the former.

Chris Emmett
CE
Chris Emmett
1 year ago

Your brave principled stand has cost you dear. Take heart that there are many of us who not only agree and thank you but are standing up to ensure our views are heard. Women will not be erased.

Ray Andrews
RA
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

At the risk of being nasty, a professional Victim has become a real victim. Victim culture is a merciless thing, one is au courrant or one is out. There is a certain very guilty schadenfreude in watching the Victims tear each other’s eyes out tho.

Jon Morrow
JM
Jon Morrow
1 year ago

“…an uncanny ability to write like a modern-day Adrian Mole” Ha! Both hilarious and brutal. Great stuff.

Timothy Siegel
TS
Timothy Siegel
1 year ago

“Was it embarrassment? … blame?”

I’d put my money on fear.

“If they could do it to Kathleen, they could do it to me.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Timothy Siegel
CF Hankinson
CH
CF Hankinson
1 year ago

Happy anniversary, the worst is over the best is to come.
Thank you for giving voice to reality against so much academic, psychological, physical, social pressure. That is the bravery. Well bloody done.

Nicholas Taylor
NT
Nicholas Taylor
1 year ago

As the US mid-term elections take place, I have been looking at voter turn-out figures. There is a consistency between the UK and US in that turnout of younger voters is 2/3-3/4 that of the oldest age group. Maybe I should be grateful (not without some reservations) if, as I infer from this piece, the ‘woke’ movement is mostly young (apart possibly from some instigators?). When I think of my youth among my long-haired and (not necessarily actively) revolting companions, I can hardly believe the level of ideological conformity today. Yet we conformed in way too. What we did not do is seek to emulate the Red Guards. Maybe the totalitarian hordes were too close to home then.

william lawrence
WL
william lawrence
1 year ago
Lucille Dunn
WM
Lucille Dunn
1 year ago

My heroine

Lucille Dunn
WM
Lucille Dunn
1 year ago

My heroine

Martin Goodfellow
MG
Martin Goodfellow
1 year ago

Very good for you, Kathleen.

J. Edmunds
JE
J. Edmunds
1 year ago

How did you address the little matter of paying the bills with no job? Without which no other resistance would be possible.

Andrew Daws
AD
Andrew Daws
1 year ago

It may not be pertinent, but this is the first time I have heard she is in a publicly declared same sex relationship, following, we presume, a heterosexual relationship from which she has children.
Given that her notoriety is in the area of gender, and whether we stick to the norm, shouldn’t we know this?

Jeremy Bray
JB
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

I think you have not been following the saga of the hounding of Kathleen with great attention if you were unaware she was in a lesbian relationship. The fact that she does not make a great point of flaunting it is fine. Most of her articles can indeed be read without any overt suggestion as to her sexual tastes and that is at it should be.

gabrielle sinclair
GS
gabrielle sinclair
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

Her point is thst gender norms are the social stereotypes that society enforces on the sexes, and are mutable, and that sex is biological, and immutable.

Wim de Vriend
WD
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago

I wasted my time reading this flood of words, although after a while I just starting scrolling, hoping to find something meaningful. Finally, towards the end, I gathered that this was about some public policy position she took, but I’m no longer interested in finding out which.