A Professor of Criminology was ‘hounded’ from her Open University job. She was likened as a racist uncle at Christmas dinner.

Professor Jo Phoenix has crowdfunded more than £80,000 to fight her former employers for not protecting her from a bullying campaign after she expressed views about the silencing of academic debate on transgender issues.

She claims that the Open University, for which she started working in 2016,’shattered her dreams’ and made her feel ‘like an outsider’.

Professor Phoenix also stated that her belief that male-bodied prisoners should be kept out of female prisons led to public vilification, which has seen her labeled transphobic as well as racist.

She hopes to protect female academics against ‘the vicious bullying perpetrated in our belief system on sex and gender’ by bringing the Open University before an employment tribunal. 

The Government’s policy to house transgender women in female prisons was ruled lawful by the High Court in July earlier this year amid claims from an inmate it raised the risk of sex attacks. 

Karen White, a man born in 1978, was put in HMP New Hall for women after he revealed that he was a woman to authorities. In 2018, he sexually assaulted two female prisoners.

Professor Jo Phoenix said the Open UIniversity made her feel 'like a pariah' when she began expressing views about the silencing of academic debate on transgender issues

Professor Jo Phoenix stated that the Open UIniversity made it feel like a pariah when she started to voice her opinions about academic debate on transgender topics

Criminology professor Jo Phoenix has raised more than £80,000 to fund her battle with the Open University and protect female academics from 'the vicious bullying perpetrated by those who disagree with our beliefs on sex and gender'

Criminology professor Jo Phoenix has raised more than £80,000 to fund her battle with the Open University and protect female academics from ‘the vicious bullying perpetrated by those who disagree with our beliefs on sex and gender’ 

Prosecutors alleged that White, who was a victim of sex assaults in the past, used a transgender persona to gain access and sexual intimacy with vulnerable females. White was sentenced to a life imprisonment in a male prison for his sex attacks. 

The High Court heard that trans women make up around one per cent of the female incarcerated population, but are responsible for around six per cent of sexual assaults in women’s prisons.

Official figures for 2020 revealed that seven sex assaults on women in prison were committed by transgender prisoners. 

According to the Ministry of Justice policy prisoners can be housed according a gender identity regardless of whether or not they have taken legal or medical steps to attain that gender. 

Professor Phoenix has also faced a backlash for openly criticising the influence of controversial LGBT charity Stonewall’s in the UK. 

The charity offers a program called Diversity Champions where companies can sign up and pay Stonewall for advice on creating an inclusive workplace for LGBT workers.

A number of organizations, including Ofcom, Channel 4 and the Cabinet Office, quit the initiative after being critical of its hard-line policies and widespread outrage when its boss stated that believing that a person’s sexuality cannot be changed was as bad as antisemitism.  

The BBC is believed to have also dropped the scheme after it was revealed that staff were shown a controversial graphic titled ‘Genderbread Person’ in equality training using Stonewall material.

Nolan Investigates, a podcast hosted by Stephen Nolan, discovered that the image was presented as part of an internal BBC course in conjunction with the lobby group.

The 'genderbread person' graphic shown to employees at the BBC earlier this year. The broadcaster is understood to have dropped the charity's scheme

The BBC’s earlier this year graphic showing the ‘genderbread man’ graphic to employees. The broadcaster is believed to have dropped the charity’s program.

The graphic of the “genderbread person” depicts sex as an array and defines gender identity as “how you think about yourself”. 

It was apparently shown to BBC staff, with no other explanations, despite these ideas being challenged.  

Following ‘transphobe’ accusations, Professor Phoenix was caught in controversity in 2019 with another university.

After a protestor forced the University of Essex to cancel a seminar, the University of Essex had no choice but to apologize.

Although the seminar was cancelled partially due to security concerns later, an investigation revealed that the decision “amounted to a violation of Professor Phoenix’s right to freedom to expression”.  

It comes after Professor Kathleen Stock, 48 resigned from her position at University of Sussex last month because of her views on transgender persons.  

Professor Kathleen Stock resigned from the University of Sussex after facing a campaign of 'bullying and harassment' for her views

Professor Kathleen Stock resigned from the University of Sussex after facing a campaign of ‘bullying and harassment’ for her views

After stating that she believes that gender identity is not more important than biological sex, the philosophy professor was at center of a row at the university. 

She also stated that people cannot change their biological sexuality, which angered protesters who accused her transphobia. 

The professor stated that she was quitting her job due to harassment and bullying. 

Professor Phoenix says that she has been researching sex-, gender-, and justice for more than 20 years and is well-known worldwide.

She stated that things “started going horribly wrong” after she began to speak out about her views.

She cited examples of abuse she suffered and claimed that she was told by a senior manager she is “like a racist uncle at Christmas dinner table”.

She also stated that more than 360 university colleagues signed a public condemnation of the Gender Critical Research Network she started and asked for their employers to end all funding and support. 

She also stated that she was told not to talk about her research in departmental meetings.

After the ordeal, she claims to now have been diagnosed as having PTSD and has been ‘too sick to work for months’.

Professor Phoenix stated: “My hope is this case will force universities protect female academics contre the vicious bullying perpetrated from those who disagree with us on sex/gender; bullying that’s designed to silence our research and silence us.”

The Open University. Professor Phoenix plans to bring the university to an employment tribunal

The Open University. Professor Phoenix plans to make the university an employment tribunal

“We need to prove that this type of harassment is illegal in relation to protected gender critical beliefs.

“These issues of gender and sex are so important, we need to talk about them and do research on them without fear of being harassed out of our jobs.

“Above everything, I am taking this matter to protect academic liberty and freedom of expression.”

Stonewall UK and The Open University were contacted for a statement.