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Philosophical perspectives.

(21 Posts)
R0wantrees Sun 20-May-18 13:16:17

Kathleen Stocks' article begins:
"Something is afoot in academic philosophy. Beyond the academy, there’s a huge and impassioned discussion going on, around the apparent conflict between women-who-are-not-transwomen’s rights and interests, and transwomen’s rights and interests. And yet nearly all academic philosophers — including, surprisingly, feminist philosophers — are ignoring it."

This conflict is given a particular sharp illustration in the UK at the moment, where both major political parties currently support changes to the Gender Recognition Act, to make it easier for people to legally ‘self-identify’ as a particular gender, without any prolonged psychological or medicalised intervention. It looks likely that this act of self-certification will be all that is required to legally ‘become’ a woman or man; no change in lifestyle, clothes, or physiognomy, or any period of living ‘as a woman’, or the lack of it, will be relevant...." continues here:***@kathleenstock***/academic-philosophy-and-the-uk-gender-recognition-act-6179b315b9dd

She has also included in another article,
"Anonymised responses from other academics to my articles on sex, gender, and philosophy
Here are some responses I’ve received, unsolicited, from fellow academics, since I published this and this. Each is from a different individual, with the discipline area named at the end. They are reproduced here with permission"***@kathleenstock***/anonymised-responses-from-other-academics-to-my-articles-on-sex-gender-and-philosophy-f1cc0db04554

and written "Arguing about feminism and transgenderism: an opinionated guide for the perplexed"***@kathleenstock***/arguing-about-feminism-and-transgenderism-an-opinionated-guide-for-the-perplexed-eabd8208469f

Picassospaintbrush Sun 20-May-18 13:23:22

Well done Kathleen.

BeyondPink Sun 20-May-18 14:17:39

Brilliant articles Kathleen, and brilliant - if depressing - responses in the middle one.

SusanBunch Sun 20-May-18 14:31:54

Yes. I mentioned that on here a few weeks back. I work in academia and it’s true that feminist researchers are just not tackling this question. The silence is deafening. From my own perspective, it’s just not worth the fall-out to even raise it as an issue.

R0wantrees Sun 20-May-18 14:37:12

Link to Rebecca Reilly-Cooper's website:
"I’m a political theorist in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. I’m a once liberal, now increasingly radical, feminist, and I’m currently writing a book about sex, gender and identity. This blog is the space where I try out ideas, and I’m grateful for all your comments and feedback.

I sometimes tweet as @boodleoops"

CritEqual Sun 20-May-18 14:40:58

I'm compelled to ask then what are feminists academics even for? It's not as if there aren't a lot of them...

SusanBunch Sun 20-May-18 14:43:07

Becca Reilly-Cooper is very very brave. Her profile is no longer up at Warwick. She has either left or they have taken it down to prevent the level of abuse she undoubtedly got.

On the last thread, I mentioned the savaging Rebecca had got from more senior members of the academy, notably a professor at Keele called Alex Sharp who is also a trans woman. AS ripped into RRC’s work on a public blog and I don’t think many if any dared stand up for RRC.

SusanBunch Sun 20-May-18 14:46:08

That’s a bit harsh CritEqual. Would you be prepared to risk your career that you had worked for years towards for this? Would you be willing to be unemployed and probably ostracised? That’s if you even got your articles through the peer review process- academics are reliant on journal editors and reviewers to get their voices heard.

R0wantrees Sun 20-May-18 15:00:32

Heather Brunskell-Evans is a Senior Research Fellow at King’s College in London, social theorist and philosopher.

Podcast with interview:

thread re WEP:

YetAnotherSpartacus Sun 20-May-18 15:03:35

It's also the savaging that one will get from one's students.

R0wantrees Sun 20-May-18 15:07:29

Heather Brunskell-Evans was the first speaker at the Bristol 'We Need to Talk about Sex' meeting. She talks about some of the pressures facing academics and describes her work.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Sun 20-May-18 15:16:47


YetAnotherSpartacus Sun 20-May-18 15:31:53

^ I haven't seen you around for ages Prawn! How are you?

LangCleg Sun 20-May-18 15:42:29

It's also the savaging that one will get from one's students.

Yes. The tyranny of student scoring. Just like schools - all back to league tables.

terryleather Sun 20-May-18 15:48:05

I think I read a discussion on Twitter re: Rebecca RC having left Warwick but no one seemed to know if it was personal reasons or if she'd been driven out - I really hope it wasn't the later.

RRC is a personal hero of mine, I love her work.

SusanBunch Sun 20-May-18 15:48:12

Yep, if the student union got wind of GC stances, you would be treated pretty much like you were a holocaust denier. Lots of public ripping apart and calls on the HoD to sack you. I have seen people noting Dr Adrian Harrop’s behaviour on twitter. It would be like that but worse within academia.

SusanBunch Sun 20-May-18 15:56:32

Just looked on Twitter. RRC has left academia completely. This is a terrible loss. She says she was motivated partly by needing a secure job close to her home as she has had a baby but she also said that the hounding she received from students and other academics made it an easy choice. Protests were organised on campus, labelling her as a TERF.
This really is awful but hopefully people can understand why GC feminist academics do not speak out. RRC had a permanent job at a top university and yet was driven out- so many of us are precariously employed and can not afford to put a foot wrong.

SarahCarer Sun 20-May-18 15:59:24

"The injustices that are inflicted on girls do not occur because those individuals happen to know that they are girls and to think of themselves as girls. They occur because those girls inhabit female bodies, and so were placed into the inferior sex class at birth. To deny this fact is not only to fail to understand how gender operates. It is also to engage in a form of victim blaming, where girls and women who suffer gender-based violence and oppression are assumed to have identified with this subordinate social position, and to recognise and endorse their own inferiority and submissiveness." Well said Reilly-Cooper

terryleather Sun 20-May-18 16:36:49

That really is terrible news Susan and a sad indictment of the current situation in the academy.

I hope she will finish her book though, I've been waiting to read that for ages!

Prawnofthepatriarchy Tue 22-May-18 23:12:16

I'm really pleased you remember me, *@YetAnotherSpartacus*. I've not been great, tbh. I think I need to find out how to name change and get some advice.

YetAnotherSpartacus Thu 24-May-18 12:26:43

flowers Prawn. Take care.

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