Kathleen Stock hits back at ‘intimidation’ and ‘aggression’ after Anti Terf Sussex protest

Stock has always refuted claims that she is transphobic

Kathleen Stock has hit back at “intimidation” and “aggression” after a week of students calling her out for what they believe are “transphobic” beliefs.

A group called Anti Terf Sussex has been putting up posters around Sussex campus claiming that Stock holds “transphobic” views and calling for the University of Sussex to sack the professor.

In response to this, Stock wrote on Twitter: “Couldn’t begin to adequately thank the hundreds of people who have helped or encouraged me in the last few days so I won’t try here, except to say you have my undying gratitude, and I certainly now know who my friends are.

“Universities aren’t just places where students should just expect to hear their own thoughts reflected back at them. Arguments should be met by arguments and evidence by evidence, not intimidation or aggression.”

In a statement released on Twitter, University of Sussex VC Adam Tickell has said: “We are investigating activity on our campus which appears to have been designed to attack Professor Kathleen Stock for exercising her academic freedoms.

“Disturbingly, this has included pressuring the University to terminate her employment. Everyone at the University has the right to be free from harassment and intimidation. We cannot and will not tolerate threats to cherished academic freedoms and will take any action necessary to protect the rights of our community.”

One of the posters found on campus read: “Kathleen Stock makes trans students unsafe.” Images of the posters were later uploaded to Instagram by a group called Anti Terf Sussex.

The group describes Stock as “one of this wretched island’s most prominent transphobes, espousing a bastardised variation of ‘radical feminism’ that excludes and endangers trans people”. Their statement also claims: “Stock is a bigot who uses her academic reputation to further wider transphobic movements”.

This isn’t the first time Stock has had to defend her views to students. 2018 saw her release an email to Philosophy students at Sussex after having heard of complaints on online forums about her.

“I am very happy to reassure every student at Sussex, as I do in my writing, that my philosophical beliefs on these complex matters have absolutely no bearing on how I teach or interact with any trans or non-binary students,” Stock wrote.

Sussex Student Union has shared information on their Instagram page. Promoting their campus based spaces to provide support for LGBTQ+ students, including their LGBTQ+ Student’s liberation room.

Links to support groups for anyone affected by these events: The Tribe: Wellness Community, Navigate – Brighton, Spectra.

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