Selina Todd signs ‘disgusting’ letter demanding women’s prize excludes trans writers
Although the history professor has now removed her signature, this is not the first time she’s come under fire for ‘transphobia’
Oxford History professor Selina Todd signed an open letter demanding the exclusion of trans women from the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
Todd has a history of making remarks which have been condemned as “transphobic” and was deplatformed at an Oxford event last year.
The self-proclaimed “gender critical feminist” has since removed her signature from the letter, offering no explanation as to why.
Last month, author Torrey Peters made history as the first trans woman to be nominated for the £30,000 Women’s Prize for Fiction for her debut novel Detransition, Baby.
A group calling themselves the Wild Woman Writing Club has since penned an open letter opposing this decision and urging organisers to reverse this inclusive policy which is “allow[ing] male people to appropriate [their] honours.”
The letter claims that “women are now being shunted back towards the condition of marginalisation which led the founder to establish a single-sex prize to begin with” because they are being “silenced by gender identity extremists”.
The letter was described as “absolutely disgusting” and full of “unhinged levels of bigotry” by one student who took to Twitter.
Another student explained further that “having an openly transphobic tutor puts trans students at risk and goes against all values of inclusivity.
Todd has since removed her name, but an original version of the letter is available in the public domain via the Internet archive.
Peculiarly, the letter also uses a host of dead women as signatories, among whom are are Emily Dickinson, who died in 1886; Daphne DuMaurier, who died in 1989; Willa Cather, who died in 1947; and Currar Bell, the pseudonym of Emily Bronte who died in 1855.
An associate at the University of Bristol sarcastically remarked, “So feminist they’re appropriating the names of dead women without their permission cute cute cute”
The Wild Woman Writing Club explained this by saying they represented the signatures of “authors who don’t want to lose their livelihoods, adopting pseudonyms”.
The Wild Woman Writing Club and Professor Selina Todd have been contacted for comment.