Feminist academics have described how they have started to self-censor because their opinions on the transgender community have caused them to be passed over for jobs, physically excluded from events or even removed from them, and to experience a “continuum of hell” from online trolls who have threatened them with rape and death.
Women and men vary biologically in ways that are “binary and unchangeable,” according to 14 feminists whose opinions Laura Favaro, a researcher on gender problems at City University of London, questioned.
The so-called “gender critical” feminists said that because of their opinions on sex and gender, they have faced harassment, intimidation, deplatforming, smear campaigns, and “missed professional advancement prospects, including being banned from positions” in the academic sector.
Some claimed to have been physically cut off from events and even to have been the targets of internet encouragement to murder.
A criminology expert characterised her experience as “a continuity of hell,” while early-career professionals stated that it would be “simply too terrible” to express their opinions in public for fear of being “ostracised,” preferring to “hide in the shadows.”
Dr. Favaro said in a piece for The Times Higher Education that the interviewees cautioned against the near-total control of academic freedom by those who advocate “trans-inclusive feminism,” who decide what may be debated in departments and published in academic publications.
It seems so alienating since academics ought to be about debating and sharing ideas, but it isn’t, one professor remarked. Our context does not fit it.
It’s also really stressful because I don’t want to lose my work and I don’t want to endanger my children, even if I know they might.
As an immigrant early-career academic with a family to support, Dr. Favaro wrote: “Of course, I fear injuries to my career and more for initiating, as interviewers consistently expressed it, “tough dialogues”.
However, why would I want to work in academics if I am unable to do scholarly work? Being gagged is far scarier than being disliked.
It follows a lawyer’s resumption of litigation against a contentious LGBT charity after she won a tribunal against her chambers for treating her unfairly because of her views on gender issues.
Allison Bailey, a close friend of J.K. Rowling, who has faced criticism for her political beliefs and is the author of the Harry Potter series, said Garden Court Chambers was holding back work from her and attempting to break her spirit.
She said that incident took place after she criticised Stonewall’s trans policy, which included suggestions to switch from the pronouns “she and he” to “they and their.”
Lesbian Ms. Bailey thinks that “woman” is defined as “mature human female” and that sex is biological and cannot be changed. After winning a portion of the discrimination lawsuit, she received $22,000 in damages from GCC. She did, however, lose some of her argument when she said that Stonewall had directed or coerced the treatment by the chambers.
She said today that she had appealed a portion of the tribunal’s decision.
As soon as the decision was made, the author of the Harry Potter series tweeted: “Allison Bailey is a heroine to me and many other women for refusing to compromise her views and ideals in the reality of intimidation and bigotry.” Congratulations, and I couldn’t be prouder of my buddy, the speaker said.
When the chambers became a Stonewall Diversity Champion in December 2018, Ms. Bailey protested to her colleagues, claiming that Stonewall supported “trans extremism” and was involved in a campaign to intimidate people who questioned their gender identification.
She established the LGB Alliance organisation, which challenges several of Stonewall’s stances, including the claim that “trans women are women,” and contends that the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons clash.
By tweeting that it was looking into Ms. Bailey and by endorsing Stonewall’s assertion that two of her tweets “were likely to infringe (The Bar Standards Board’s) basic obligations,” the tribunal said that GCC had discriminated against Ms. Bailey.
A claim of indirect discrimination by GCC, a claim of discrimination by Stonewall instructing, causing, or inducing GCC to discriminate against her, as well as allegations that it victimised and discriminated against her by withholding instructions and work in 2019 and causing the claimant financial loss were all rejected.
When GCC was named a Stonewall Diversity Champion in December 2018, Ms. Bailey protested to her coworkers, stating the organisation supported “trans extremism” and participated in a campaign to intimidate people who questioned their gender identification.
She helped establish the LGB Alliance advocacy organisation in October 2019 to combat “gender radicalism.”
Following her tweets opposing transgender rights movements, GCC received tweets and complaints stating her views were transphobic and had harmed the organization’s image.
The tribunal determined that her gender-critical beliefs—that Stonewall wanted to replace sex with gender identity, that its advocacy of gender self-identity took an absolutist tone that made it complicit in threats against women, that it undermined lesbian same-sex orientation, and that it threatened to undermine women’s rights—were protected under the Equality Act.
When the GCC tweeted that the complaints will be looked into under a complaints system and when it determined in December 2019 that two of her tweets were likely to violate the essential obligations of barristers, it supported her allegation that GCC discriminated against her because of her belief.
She was awarded a $22,000 sentimental damage settlement by GCC, with interest of £4,693.33.
The chambers initially said that it was “seriously analysing the verdict with our legal team with a view to appealing,” but has not done so.
‘The recent Employment Tribunal judgement established that Stonewall had NOT ordered, prompted, or influenced Garden Court Chambers to prejudice against Allison Bailey,’ a spokeswoman for Stonewall said.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has not alerted us of any appeal by Allison Bailey, but should we do so, we will vigorously defend our position.
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