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Kathleen Stock was hounding to warn women all over the world: speak out against transgender ideology, or you will be burned at the stake.

Despite the misery inflicted by trans activists at University of Sussex, the bullying campaign to discredit this brave academic has failed.

People who tried to ruin her career and life, many of whom are not transgender have been exposed as totalitarian misogynists.

Kathleen spoke with me yesterday to do a video interview on UnHerd. She described the extent of the targeted harassment she had to endure in recent months at the hands of trans-rights activists.

‘I went to work as normal and saw stickers all over my building about the ‘transphobic s*** that comes out of Kathleen Stock’s mouth,’ she says. It was clearly distressing. But it escalated the next morning.

The hounding of Kathleen Stock (pictured) was supposed to be a warning to women: dare to speak out against transgender ideology and expect to be burnt at the stake

Kathleen Stock was hounded (pictured) as a warning to women to not speak out against transgender ideology.

As she walked up to campus, she was faced with posters calling for her dismissal: ‘Fire Kathleen Stock, Kathleen Stock’s a transphobe, & ‘We’re Not Paying Our Fees for Transphobia With Kathleen Stock’

She remembers that they were setting off flares. They later took a photo of a man wearing a balaclava and all in black. It looked exactly like [a member of the violent Left-wing anarchist group] Antifa. 

The imagery was clearly intimidating: holding a huge banner that said ‘Stock Out’ while setting off pink flares because those are the colours of the transgender flag. 

“I ran back to train station, got the train home and tried to teach a class using Zoom. I burst into tears, and my dear students said that I must have been having a difficult day and they let it go,” she said.

“It was the beginning to the end of the campaign intimidating me out of work.”

The campaign clearly had a significant impact on her personal life. She says that the entire situation was ‘terrible, awful, and dreadful’.

Kathleen, a fellow feminist campaigner and a lesbian, is someone I’ve known since 2018, when I discovered her academic research about gender identity and women’s rights.

We have been close ever since, and I have watched with horror as she has endured the horrible treatment in recent years. 

Kathleen is a gentle, liberal academic. But she is not afraid to fight. Despite her 18-year teaching career, Kathleen decided to leave Sussex last month. It was a shock to many.

But despite the hell unleashed by trans activists at the University of Sussex, the bullying campaign against this brave academic has backfired

Despite the misery inflicted by trans activists at University of Sussex, the bullying campaign that was launched against this brave academic has backfired

So what was her crime then? Earlier this year, Kathleen published a book, Material Girls: Why Reality Matters For Feminism, which bravely questioned the current orthodoxy that gender identity — whether you feel more male or female — is somehow more important than biological sex. 

Feminists like Kathleen know that biological sex does matter — and that this has profound implications for whether or not trans women (who were born male but who live their lives as women) should, for example, have the right to share changing rooms with women.

This thoughtcrime has led to her being subject to a torrent of abuse, which her book made particularly horrendous.

The campaign was started in 2018, after Kathleen published a few blog posts condemning extreme transgender ideology.

She was concerned that many academics, including philosophers, were reluctant criticizing campaigns to introduce’self ID’ for transgender persons. This allows them to declare that they ‘are’ the other sex and use spaces like changing rooms that are specifically designed for that purpose.

However, self-ID is not a solution to the key safeguarding issue for women.

Kathleen puts it this way: “Self ID policies trade on the fantasy that suddenly putting a dress on or saying “I am a woman” will change your basic nature. However, what was here before will be there again.

‘Humans are humans, and if you make it the case that you can self-identify into a better situation than you were in — i.e. a woman’s prison as opposed to a male prison, which are usually less intense, aggressive places — then some people will do it whether they’re trans or not.’

Kathleen and I both keep repeating that this is not about stopping transgender people from living peacefully. It’s a safeguarding strategy for women.

“These academics [who believed in self-ID]”We didn’t consider the obvious consequences for females,” she said. 

“Yet, on the other side, there were plenty academics who cheerleading self-ID and ostentatiously moralising over it and talking about terfs.” [trans-exclusionary radical feminists]Transphobia and homicide.

Her surprise was caused by the widespread belief of trans activists and academics that a person’s conviction about their gender is more important than their sex during birth.

She said, “It is a terrible pseudophilosophy and would fail to pass a first-year essay.”

She stresses that she believes trans people should have protection in law.

“I don’t agree with the laws that should apply.”

She was confronted with posters calling for her to be sacked: 'Fire Kathleen Stock', 'Kathleen Stock's a Transphobe', 'We're Not Paying Our Fees For Transphobia With Kathleen Stock'

She was confronted to posters calling for her dismissal: “Fire Kathleen Stock”, “Kathleen Stock is a transphobe”, “We’re not paying our fees For Transphobia With Kathleen Stock”.

Kathleen, like many other transphobic women in the public eye, is tired of being ‘lumped with Holocaust deniers’ as somehow bad. 

She states, “All that we do is insist on the basic, obvious facts in biology and their social significance.”

‘Nearly 91% of the planet agrees to us [that sex is immutable]. I can only get a vague response from people.

This insistence on silence has had a negative impact on the transgender discussion, allowing small groups vocal and aggressive activists to fill that gap.

For example, Kathleen firmly believes that the LGBT-rights organisation Stonewall is in large part responsible for the current witch-hunt mentality — a vitriol I have seen myself.

Stonewall’s business model of inviting into public and privately-owned bodies to check on LGBT-friendly policies has over the years prioritised a narrow view of trans rights.

Kathleen says that she would disagree with Kathleen’s assessment of these rights. “But [thanks to Stonewall]They were embedded in national institutions and Government departments, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service, The Crown Prosecution Service, The European Court of Human Rights, nearly all universities, schools, and local authorities. 

“Our national institutions almost unwittingly have been instruments to be misused by extremists.”

If Kathleen ever talks about how the attacks affected her, extremists will quickly accuse her of ‘weaponizing her trauma’. It’s not only high-profile celebrities like us that it affects, but she insists on talking.

Kathleen’s final straw? She says it was when the Sussex Branch of the University and College Union (UCU), released a statement supporting ‘our trans and other-binary students’ and against institutional transphobia.

She said, “At that time I was just hanging on,” I was teaching from home. I saw the posters. I was told to stay at home for my protection. The police were approaching. I am having security products delivered to me. It is time to start thinking about the future.

‘I was worried that I’d have no choice but to stay on campus for the duration of the term. But, I could still teach on Zoom. I hoped that they would support me.

The union branch then issued its damning statement. Kathleen explains, “It was a pompous oration about’standing alongside our trans and nonbinary students contre institutional transphobia. “And all they could possibly have meant by that was that I had been there.” [teaching at the university].

“There is nobody who speaks out as loudly as I do.

“Plus, every second communication from the university is about trans/non-binary spaces. There is a staff network. There is also a Centre for Sexual Dissidence. There is also a Centre for Gender Studies.

“It’s saturated with positive messages. It’s located in Brighton, which is one of the most queer-friendly cities in the world.

‘So all they could mean by institutional transphobia is: ‘We haven’t shut that b**** up yet.’ It came through my email and it just felt as a punch in your gut.

Kathleen is not one to shy from a fight. Nevertheless, last month she decided to leave Sussex after 18 years teaching: a move that shocked many

Kathleen is not afraid to fight. Despite this, she decided to quit Sussex last month after 18 years of teaching. This shocked many.

She says, “This is a union!” They are supposed to protect employees from their bosses and to offer solidarity with anyone who is an employee — especially in a university.’

Kathleen says that this intolerance trickles down from the top of UCU.

Jo Grady, UCU’s general Secretary, boasted, for instance, that she had installed ‘Terf Blocker software’ on her account on Twitter, blocking any account that was deemed transphobic.

Kathleen states that “Grady is not an unusual academic figure.”

“She has extreme views, but they’ve become the standard. These people are very few. 

Kathleen states, “Universities are supposed be places of learning, exploring ideas, even controversial ideas. So it’s a disgrace this totalitarian approach seems like it has replaced open debate and discussion.”

Kathleen asks if there is anything we can do. 

“What we can do is demand universities reduce the influence lobbying groups such as Stonewall and insist on senior management not making politically-loaded pronouncements about controversial areas.

She explained that the presence of transgender flags at campuses, and the holding of quasi-religious ceremonies, such as “Trans Day of Remembrance”, are not neutral gestures. Managers should not be participating. 

Kathleen believes that there is good news despite all the abuse she has received.

She has received a flood of support from students, liberals, government ministers, feminists, and feminists. They are now less afraid to speak up, having been inspired and inspired by her and others who have gone above and beyond the parapet.

“We’re clearly having some success because more people are speaking out.

I believe that the public will become more educated about the fundamental issues and our position. This is the opposite of what has been shown.

“One thing that has happened recently is that The Guardian or BBC no longer present our views as ‘anti trans’ or ‘transphobic. At least some of those working there seem to be aware that there is a real intellectual dispute.

“Beforehand, I honestly believe Guardian readers didn’t know about any of these implications of self-identification.

“They were being protected from this information, because it was not serving the newspaper’s business model well.

What will Kathleen do now? With defiance, she says to me: “I’m going not stopping,”

“I left Sussex to be more open and able to speak up, and now I have a larger platform.”

It remains to be seen what she does with this platform. But I expect we’ll find out soon.