by Joan Smith
Tuesday, 12
October 2021
Campus Wars
13:24

The disgraceful treatment of Kathleen Stock

It is staggeringly reckless to target a woman in this manner
by Joan Smith

Trades unions are meant to stand up for people who are being bullied at work. But that clearly doesn’t apply to the University and College Union, an organisation so steeped in extreme gender ideology that its Sussex branch has decided to join in the attacks on a philosophy lecturer. 

Last week, posters appeared around the campus at Sussex University, calling for Professor Kathleen Stock to be fired. Amid a vile collection of slurs, they described her as ‘one of this wretched island’s most prominent transphobes, espousing a bastardised version of radical feminism’. 

At a time when violence against women dominates the headlines, it is staggeringly reckless to target a woman in this manner. Not that long ago, union officials and colleagues would have rushed to Stock’s defence, condemning the campaign by a group as a deliberate attempt to frighten her off campus — and an attack on free speech.

Not anymore. So captured is the UCU that its local branch has issued a statement full of high-sounding sentiments — ‘we oppose all forms of bullying, harassment, and intimidation of staff and students’ — before coming down firmly on the side of the people persecuting Stock. It goes on to demand an ‘urgent investigation’ into ‘institutional transphobia’ at the university — a claim made, as always, without a shred of evidence. 

It’s a technique familiar to feminists like Stock who have been viciously traduced by trans activists and even, in the case of the writer Julie Bindel, physically assaulted while leaving a meeting at another university. It’s called DARVO — deny, attack, reverse victim and offender — and trans extremists use it all the time to smear their opponents. Now it’s being employed against a woman for whom, all too evidently, the campus is not a safe working environment. 

This is the contradiction at the heart of trans extremism: it is no longer safe for women to call for single-sex spaces that protect us from an epidemic of male violence. Gender ideology promotes the lie, too readily accepted by sections of the media, that trans extremists are at risk from feminists, not the other way round. Feminists who write books, like Kathleen Stock and Helen Joyce, hold meetings and wear ribbons in suffragette colours. How terrifying is that?

The results of accepting this lie are now all too obvious. At one of the country’s leading universities, a woman with a distinguished body of work can no longer risk going to her office, while the very institution that should defend her is calling for her to be investigated. This should be a turning point — and whoever is running the UCU, assuming anyone actually is, should hang their heads in shame.

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Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago

Not surprised. My wife was a member of UNISON but when she needed support against management they were completely useless. Unfortunately, all too often the Unions are run by careerist political agitators who are not primarily interested in protecting individual members but advancing some political agenda. This is, unfortunately, the fault of the members for not voting in sensible representatives as the political agitators are usually voted in by a tiny portion of the membership.

Richard Stanier
Richard Stanier
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

In my long-gone days as a Unison member, there simply were no “sensible representatives” on the ballot. Just the usual extremists.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
11 months ago

Honestly, I may be blowing my own trumpet here, but if I had charge of that place the problem would be solved in two minutes. The students running this campaign would be expelled and any staff supporting them would be down the labour exchange. Yes, it would create a massive confrontation, but so what? These people are like the Joker in Batman — they can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. So sooner or later, they’re going to have to be fronted up by someone.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
11 months ago

It appears that ‘fronting up’ is no longer possible in any institution because only cowards are employed by those institutions ie individuals who are compliant by nature and unable to stand up for anything !! too harsh ??

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
11 months ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Probably not.

Peter Rigg
Peter Rigg
11 months ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Yes,certainly as far as the Sussex Vice Chancellor,Adam Tickell is concerned. He’s been publicly very supportive,unlike eg. Cambridge’sToombs,fortunately soon departing.

Edward H
Edward H
11 months ago

Appalling. The Uni should expel the “activists” responsible immediately, and the Union’s members should urgently call a general meeting to sack the Executive at Sussex.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
11 months ago

It is a sad world in which we now live when terms such as “epidemic of male violence” and “institutional transphobia” can be used without any form of qualification. Such flippant use makes them become an undebatable fact for many people, and things are clearly not so binary or so black and white, neither of which terms being appropriate in such a comment in these modern times.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
11 months ago

I think a baffling thing is that Transwomen are mostly fully endowed heterosexual men who expect born women (both straight and lesbian) to consider them as potential sexual partners.

I’ve been told that a lesbian who rejects the possibility of having a sexual relationship with a Transwoman is automatically branded a Transphobe. Presumably why the lesbian feminists (whom some accuse of being anti-men) are especially vilified.

If it’s transphobic to choose a sexual partner on the basis of their sex (as opposed to gender, if I’m following the argument) 98% of the population must be guilty.

And heterosexual men and women are normally attracted to ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ characteristics in their partners; it’s not just about genitalia (though they are assumed). So most straight women like manly men, and most men like womanly women?

So are Transpeople accidentally or deliberately ruling themselves out of the dating game? And is this a contributing factor in the increasingly angry behaviour of some Trans Activists?

Keith Jefferson
Keith Jefferson
11 months ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

Yes, I find this baffling too. If you go back 15 or 20 years or more, and for a long time before that, people understood the concept of transvestites, i.e. heterosexual men who had a kink for dressing as women but had no real desire to live as women. Many of them would have entered into traditional relationships with women, or at least tried (my God, those women must have been so tolerant). So common was this perception that it was a staple of British comedy. Nowadays, the word transvestite is deemed unacceptable, but I wonder how many trans women are actually just heterosexual men with this particular kink? This is an important question, especially when it comes to issues such as trans women (i.e. genetically male) being housed in female prisons or allowed into female changing rooms or women’s refuges. I accept that some trans women may be genuine – I certainly get that impression from the articles on this site by Debbie Hayton. But in all the debate about trans issues, it seems that any suggestion that trans women might be transvestites or heterosexual men with a kink is verboten.
Re your comment about “Transpeople accidentally or deliberately ruling themselves out of the dating game”, Julie Birchill wrote an article recently where she described trans women as “incels in wigs”. It made me laugh, not just because of her usual acerbic style but because there is a grain of truth in it.

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
11 months ago

Most adult transitions by men can be put down to autogynephilia

George Glashan
George Glashan
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lewis

All?

Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
11 months ago

I was under the impression that hate speech was now a criminal offence. Why aren’t these extremists charged, prosecuted and fined. How long is the government going to drag its heels over this lunacy?

Last edited 11 months ago by Barry Stokes
Edward H
Edward H
11 months ago
Reply to  Barry Stokes

Being a “radical” feminist or, indeed, a woman, is not a protected characteristic.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
11 months ago

So feminists have spent a lifetime peddling hatred of men and getting their prejudices enshrined into law and embedded into every possible aspect of life and language.
Now they don’t like it when someone even more deranged than themselves starts peddling hatred of feminists and getting their prejudices enshrined into law and embedded into every possible aspect of life and language.
You have to admit that’s quite funny.
Sensible people see this as like the Iran-Iraq War: we want both sides to lose.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jon Redman
George Glashan
George Glashan
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

the sons have returned to devour Saturn
and you cant spell Saturn without trans, well technically there is a left over  U but they just chop of the bits that don’t matter to them anyway

Last edited 11 months ago by George Glashan
Mathilda Eklund
Mathilda Eklund
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Oh please. Gonna need some sources about all the herds of violent feminists running around hurting men because looking at stats it’s still all men murdering women..

George Glashan
George Glashan
11 months ago

the trans movement is derived of feminism, these “transwomen” ( trans being a prefix which means: not a) are the political children and inheritors of feminism, they even wear alot of the same dresses. What should be really concerning is what will be the movement that follows Trans, something claiming to be even more marginalised, even more entitled with greater delusions and immune to shame. i cant imagine it, hopefully i wont live to see it , or maybe reality will reassert itself in these peoples lives.

Last edited 11 months ago by George Glashan
Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
11 months ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Nonsense. The ‘trans’ movement is completely antithetical to feminism.

Mirax Path
Mirax Path
11 months ago

No, the feminist movement is closely tied to the trans idelogues and the vast majority of women’s organisations are pro-trans. The young feminists are stridently pro-trans “rights” or rather privilege. This is something gender critical feminists have to own. I am a GC feminist myself.

stephen archer
stephen archer
11 months ago

The issues he’s expressing are related to free speech, viewpoints, tolerance and balance in gender issues. But since you had to jump onto the physical violence bandwagon you’re just demonstrating and amplifying what is wrong with feminism, selective arguments.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago

If you are genuinely interested in where these kinds of tactics came from, read Christina Hoff Sommers “Who stole feminism”.
Faux outrage, playing the victim, vicarious oppression, creating a climate in which opposition gets you damned, colonising the moral high ground, taking over and distorting language – it’s all there and more.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
11 months ago

I’m afraid that in the short time that I’ve been on this site thse reactions seem to be common, in fact I knew that they would be here as soon as I read the article. It’s just ad hominem insults and no arguement – it’s really quite shameful.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago

Linda – actually neither yourself nor Mathilda have presented any kind of argument or evidence relevant to the topic being discussed. So this is rather the pot calling the kettle black

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
11 months ago

Ad feminam, surely?

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
11 months ago

I quite agree, it was quite civilised at the beginning, as many things are, until they, inevitably, are not. Which is not a sleight to the writers, most of whom are thoughtful and fair. But I do not think I will be renewing my subscription

Last edited 11 months ago by Lee Jones
David McDowell
David McDowell
11 months ago

Looking at the stats it’s men murdering men but the feminists never mention that because they’re really misandrists.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
11 months ago
Reply to  David McDowell

We don’t mention it because it is irrelevant. Feminism is about women.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
11 months ago

Quite so. At the annual grand assembly of the Secret Council of Men last week, all of us blokes, worldwide, agreed we weren’t killing enough women and we should all redouble our efforts. Because that’s what men are about, isn’t it?

Lucille Dunn
Lucille Dunn
11 months ago

But what did you mean by “women”?

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
11 months ago

Do you also condemn all 1.5bn Muslims around the world on the basis of the violent actions of a tiny minority of extremist Islamists?
Sad that UnHerd is attracting such brainless bigots.

Last edited 11 months ago by Eddie Johnson
Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
11 months ago

I agree with you. Carl Trueman addresses this in his book, ‘The rise and triumph of the self.’

Matt B
Matt B
11 months ago

Well said Mathilda. Comment seems totally unwilling to parse the difference between gains to all our benefit derived from feminism over a century, and the hijacking of it or any movement by fringes. An oddly resentful stance that seems to equate reasonable gains for women as blanket hatred of men.

Last edited 11 months ago by Matt B
James Joyce
James Joyce
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I view this in WW II terms: the French Resistance temporarily side with French Communists against the Nazis. These two groups are natural enemies, but are able to put that aside for the moment to defeat the even greater enemy. Once the greater enemy is defeated, the Resistance and the Communists can attack each other, as in the old days.
For those who require a legend:
French Resistance=Libertarian, free-thinking people who accept reality, i.e. there are 2 biological genders, sexes, whatever you want to call it (though ALL people should be treated with respect);
Communists=the left, people who were “radical feminists” and other combinations and permutations before they were cancelled by the mob. Bari Weiss is a good example of this.
Nazis=the woke. Those who have an extreme, religious belief in their extreme causes.
As a moment of comic relief, Rachel Paris does a very funny routine on feminism, concluding that the last tenet of feminism is “a hatred of all men.” Funny? Or funny because it’s true?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
11 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Same thing in China with the Kuomintang and the Communists pausing their civil war in the 30’s and 40’s in order to deal with the Japanese.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Or as the saying is, ‘Karma’s a Bit* ch’

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Feminists are concerned with promoting the interests of women. Men are an irrelevance. You can’t cope with that, can you? That’s what this is all about.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
11 months ago

Except you will achieve nothing without the active support of the other 50% of society.
Sadly your Guardian-style bigotry and intolerance, and your self-declared victimhood have deprived you of reason.

Last edited 11 months ago by Eddie Johnson
Hosias Kermode
Hosias Kermode
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I wish you were not always so bitter about women, Jon. Surely one hopes to find, among both men and women, individuals who are kind, decent, loving, honest and morally responsible. There are good and bad men. There are good and bad women. I say that as an old 70s feminist. All I wanted back then was to be allowed to do my job on the same terms as the men. Is that unreasonable?

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Indeed.
They wanted transsectionalism and identity politics, well now they have it.
In spades…
Hoisted on their own intolerant petards

Last edited 11 months ago by Eddie Johnson
Mirax Path
Mirax Path
11 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

You want both sides to lose? You see this as just a women’s problem? You are an idiot.

Ailsa Roddie
Ailsa Roddie
11 months ago

It’s unsurprising to find the misogynists here in the comments, but depressing all the same.
Listen, ye men of sore feelings. We feminists are well aware that not all men are baddies. You don’t need to remind us about it. We’ve got husbands and friends and fathers and sons etc. What do you actually think feminism is? It’s not actually about hating you, though I know this may come as a shock. It’s usually about smashing restrictions imposed by gender stereotypes, asking for violence against and harassment of women to stop and putting in place measures to prevent it, and basic stuff like equal pay for equal work. Surely you men folk can handle these simple requests, big and strong as you are. Thanks.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Ailsa Roddie

It’s generally the usual suspects who leap on the ‘all feminists hate men and are unreasonable and strident’ bandwagon. They will not be swayed by logic.

Margaret Bluman
Margaret Bluman
11 months ago

Great article, Joan. Looks like the Sussex University branch of UCU is run by four men. Now there’s a surprise!

Claire D
Claire D
11 months ago

The executive committee is made up of 10 men and 5 women.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
11 months ago
Reply to  Claire D

Quite true. A quick look at the biographies of the Equalities reps on the UCU Sussex executive committee provides these two gems:
Samuel Solomon:“My next large critical research project is on the relations between typesetting/printing labour and English-language LGBTQ+ literary production in the late twentieth century. An article from this project, focusing on the writing of Marxist-feminist organizer, typesetter, and poet Karen Brodine, was published in GLQ.”

Arabella Stanger: “My work reaches across dance, theatre and performance studies, with an emphasis on the exploration of performance as sociopolitical practice. I am particularly interested in thinking at the intersection of materialist thought, critical race theory and indigenous studies for theorising the ways bodies move: from the choreographic practice of dance artists to what might be termed the choreographics of the everyday.”
Enough said regarding Stock’s chances of getting support from her Union when you read stuff like this.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Thank you for saving me the trouble of visiting their website. My view of stuff like this is unprintable. At least the VC of Sussex has stood up for Professor Stock.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

To be fair your first example – and this I speak as a fairly mainstream Tory utterly appalled by the treatment of Professor Stock – while Samuel Solomon undoubtedly wears his left-wing-ness on his sleeve, there’s no hint of wokery in his self-description. For all we know, he may be on Professor Stock’s side in all this. Moreover, I consider the history of gay activism in the print industry to be a legitimate subject of study in a university; even from a hard left perspective – I’m glad that academia has people like Terry Eagleton in it.
It may be that Solomon will turn out to be the wokest witch-hunter in the world, in which case I will duly wind my neck in. I just wanted to point out that his being so isn’t established by the passage you quote. No disrespect intended. Your second example is on point anyway

Last edited 11 months ago by Drahcir Nevarc
L Walker
L Walker
11 months ago

Is there an epidemic of male violence? I’m not denying it exists, but is it an epidemic?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
11 months ago
Reply to  L Walker

Pretty much every man I know has beren beaten up at some point in their lives, it is kind of part of being a male really, and by that it has some qualities of being an epidemic.

But what are you going to do? It is in the genes really, on the Y chromosome throughout the animal kingdom.

I am against this zero tolerance against Bullying as it is just not normal. Youth need some degree of bullying to learn reality, how it is out there, and how to cope, it is a mechanism in our development. One that I think parents who put a complete stop to end up harming their child’s development by – like any excessive parenting leaves the kid weaker in the long run. They produce the weak, entitled, angry, weirdos like the students here – unable to handle anything outside of their tiny life experiences, and outraged by everything except their own mindset..

J B
J B
11 months ago
Reply to  L Walker

That’s what I was thinking, not sure epidemic is the right word.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
11 months ago

I await the University’s decision to derecognise this disreputable trade union.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
11 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Knott

I await them getting more hardline, woke crazies, to then replace them.

These mad folk are not just some spontaneously arisen group – they are a product of the Soros Global Elite, who formed them over 70 years with the goal of destroying the West. About 1950 it became apparent Communism was never going to take over the West, and so it had to be killed off from the inside. These are that mechanism.

First they captured the Academic, Liberal, Education industry (really goes back to the ‘Frankfurt School of thought). Then they took the Teacher training and by that eventually captured the school system. Now the products of these twisted, Neo-Marxist Post Modernist education fill the desks of every government agency and corporate office, and are like the Zombie Apocalypse….They are everywhere, and out to get you, and there are less routs to get away from their clutches every day….

That their destroying of Liberal Capitalism will destroy them too, they just are too ignorant of reality to understand.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
11 months ago

Incidentally, I rather liked how we’re described in passing ‘this wretched island.’ Nice to see how far the ratchet’s moved since we were merely a “cake-filled misery-laden grey old island” in the days of the referendum.

David Morley
David Morley
11 months ago

It’s a technique familiar to feminists like Stock who have been viciously traduced by trans activists 

It’s familiar to feminists because they pretty much wrote the play book. For those who haven’t seen it in action, Christina Hoff Sommers “Who stole feminism” is still worth a read, even if now a little dated.

Last edited 11 months ago by David Morley
R MS
R MS
11 months ago

The debate is over. The activists have said so, and given it takes two to tango, they must be right.
All that’s left to do is regulate these failed institutions, the universities and associated unions, both, to protect free speech.
As Thatcher did to the unions generally in the 1980s, so here. Get on with it.

George Glashan
George Glashan
11 months ago

Last edited 11 months ago by George Glashan
George Glashan
George Glashan
11 months ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Last edited 11 months ago by George Glashan
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
11 months ago

All sounds like early 1930s Germany but the other way round. The 4th Reich was quite clever using a rainbow flag but now, like the Labour Party, they turn on each other. 90%+ don’t give them a second thought as their pride becomes their fall.

Last edited 11 months ago by Zorro Tomorrow
David McDowell
David McDowell
11 months ago

What goes around comes around. The sensible response to both Sussex and Stock is to want both sides to lose.

Last edited 11 months ago by David McDowell