LGBTQ

Protesters silenced, not Stock

Academic freedom is a specific principle relating to the sphere of academia and the university setting. It is the right to research and teach without political or commercial interference and institutional censorship. Despite Jack McDonough (Solidarity 615), I’d say Kathleen Stock’s academic freedom has not been compromised. Since Kathleen Stock’s resignation, she has positioned herself as a victim of a university-rife “cancel culture” and she has tarnished student protesters as medieval witch-hunters. It is the voices of the student protesters that have been silenced, not Stock’s. What were...

Glossing over threats to Stock

I had some difficulty following the arguments in Camila Bassi’s article “Academic freedom: we must fight for it” in Solidarity 614. I can only assure Camila that I am not being facetious when I say I simply do not understand what she means by “Academic freedom is contingent upon the epistemologies and politics of the time.” What was clear to me, however, is that Camila is entirely unsympathetic to Kathleen Stock, referring to her complaints of bullying and intimidation by some colleagues, students and campaigners as a “lament that she was a victim” and claiming that her resignation has...

The campaign against Stonewall's "diversity champions"

A sustained campaign against the LGBT rights charity Stonewall has been fuelled by anti-trans campaigners. Stonewall has long represented the mainstream of the LGBT movement. It is a charity which since 2001 has provided a “Diversity Champions” scheme of support for businesses and organisations on workplace bullying and LGBT inclusive policies. 900 organisations are members of the scheme. Many of the policies it advocates have become standard-issue corporate equality, and it is now much easier for LGB people to be out at work and protected from losing their jobs or discrimination. Yet official...

Women's Fightback: Spain extends IVF rights

Spain has extended free fertility treatment, including IVF, to women in same sex relationships, single cis women, trans and non-binary people. This restores rights removed by the conservative Partido Popular government in 2013. The PP government changed the law to only allow straight, married couples to access fertility treatment in public hospitals free of charge, meaning unmarried and LGBT people would have to pay for private health services. This obviously left poorer people less able to access reproductive technologies. Health minister Carolina Darias (PSOE), signed the order at a ceremony...

Women's Fightback: Moral panic against trans women

The BBC website article “We’re being pressured into sex by some trans women” has caused a backlash, with 20,000 people signing an open letter against it. The article used a survey of just 80 people, conducted by the anti-trans pressure group Get The L Out, to claim that trans lesbians are routinely pressuring cis lesbians into sex. The article intersperses LGB Alliance anti trans propaganda with testimony by cis lesbians describing rape and coercive sexual relations with trans women, along with women claiming they have been pressured by a societal messaging against transmisogyny into sex which...

Kathleen Stock resigns

Kathleen Stock, a professor of philosophy widely criticised for her role as a trustee of the LGB Alliance (which plays a pernicious role in undermining inclusive LGBT+ campaigns) and for her support for so-called “sex-based rights” for women that exclude trans women, has quit her job at Sussex University. Despite public backing from University management, and from Universities Minister Michelle Donelan, she claimed that she had been forced out. Donelan has called explicitly for another university to give Stock a job. Stock is clearly positioning herself as a “free speech martyr”, despite the...

Why and how trans people exist, work and struggle

Review of Transgender Marxism by Jules Joanne Gleeson and Elle O’Rourke (Pluto Press, 2021). Marxism offers many tools necessary for any radical fight for trans liberation to succeed — but the theoretical basis for this is rarely fleshed out. Transgender Marxism collects several insightful articles and threads on topics of particular interest for transgender people and activists, using broadly Marxist perspectives. As a collection, it is less a coherent whole, more a sometimes contradictory canapé selection. Yet it is one of the first books attempting to approach this issue from an openly...

"No race-baiting, red-baiting or queer-baiting" - the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union

Excerpt from ‘Trans Work: Employment Trajectories, Labour Discipline and Gender Freedom’, Transgender Marxism. On the passenger ocean liners of the 1930s, male workers undertook tasks otherwise considered women’s work when done in the home: cooking and serving food to the passengers, laundry, and janitorial work. On some boats, African-American men were hired for these reproductive service tasks, much like their contemporaries working as railroad porters. On other lines, Chinese men took up this work. Under the white supremacist cultural logic of the US, Black and Chinese men were already...

Miller, Hasse, and academic freedom

In discussing the case of David Miller and Bristol University, I chose the example of Helmut Hasse, a celebrated mathematician sacked by the British occupation authorities in Germany in 1945 because of his right-wing nationalist views, as a comparison test case. Partly because I knew about it, but partly because no reader is likely to find Hasse's views other than vile. Hasse, to my mind, provides a test case for how Miller's could be considered wrong even while denouncing his political views. And likewise we can criticise Sussex University professor Kathleen Stock's noxious trans-sceptic...

In defence of "Gillick competence" on blockers

The decision in the Gillick case allowed doctors to decide when children were able to consent to medical treatment. Doctors are also generally trusted to decide which treatments would be of benefit to their patients. In the case of puberty blockers, the practice established by the NHS specifies that both the child and the parents must consent to treatment. Jack McDonough (Solidarity 608) argues that in defending the idea that children can consent to medical treatment including puberty blockers (Gillick competence), I am also proposing that under 16s should be able to consent to sexual...

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