The Oxford Union bills itself as “the most prestigious debating society in the world” based on the values of free speech. It is a well-earned reputation as one of the world’s oldest forums for debating the great issues of the day. However, Oxford students are outraged that the Union will allow a debate over transgender ideology.
In response, as reported by The Times UK, the Union has promised to provide a “non-student support team that will remain in a separate welfare space to offer counselling and advice.” This is to deal with the trauma of free speech by simply allowing Dr Kathleen Stock to speak about her views that biological sex is real and “gender identity” should not alter certain biological truths.
Stock is a feminist who has joined those (like the author J.K. Rowling) in raising concerns over transgender ideology. Her book, “Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism,” explores the subject and calls for a reaffirming of fixed biological realities.
At the same time, Stock has stressed her support for trans rights generally, writing that trans people “deserve to be safe, to be visible throughout society without shame or stigma, and to have exactly the same life opportunities as non-trans people do.”
Nevertheless, Oxford’s LGBTQ+ society called for censorship of the debate society and objected to her being allowed to be heard on campus as a “transphobic and trans-exclusionary speaker.” They alleged that the union was ignoring the welfare of the society’s members under the guise of free speech.