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Prof Michael Biggs, 'How Queer Theory Became University Policy' re Oxford & Gendered Intelligence(3 Posts)
Conatas News article:
'How Queer Theory Became University Policy'
"Like other variants of postmodernism, queer theory has been ensconced for decades in academic disciplines studying culture. Now, however, the theory is being established as official doctrine by universities. Policy goes far beyond what is required by the Equality Act, which rightly forbids discrimination on the grounds of gender reassignment. Indeed, the doctrine clearly contravenes the law in one respect. The Act also protects sexual orientation, but if gender identity supersedes sex, then heterosexuality and homosexuality disappear. Any male can declare himself to be a lesbian, like a bad joke from the 1970s updated for our ultrawoke era. The Edinburgh University Student Association’s LGBT+ Convenor, Ada Wells, demanded that the University expel any lesbian who refused males identifying as ‘gender neutral’ (such as Wells) as potential sexual partners.
Gendered Intelligence plays a key role in training academic staff and administrators. Its course on ‘Trans Awareness’ has been repeated in dozens of universities. Merton College at Oxford, for example, paid the company to train ‘key staff members from the Lodge, Academic Office, Warden’s Office, Finance and Domestic Bursaries, Library, Welfare Team, Development Office, and HR, along with a number of Governing Body Fellows’. The Oxford University Student Union now wants to mandate this training for all staff in welfare roles, to be repeated every two years . The impetus comes not only from students but also from the Equality Challenge Unit, the quango charged with administering diversity to British higher education. The Athena SWAN Charter, originally designed to advance the careers of women in science, is now used as leverage to enforce gender doctrine.
Students who question their own identity are directed to Gendered Intelligence, which also trains university counsellors. When an undergraduate—previously diagnosed with depression—at the Royal Central School for Speech and Drama decided that she was a man, the School paid for mentoring by Gendered Intelligence. (A professor at the School is a trustee of the company and Stewart’s partner.) The mentor researched surgeons who offered elective mastectomy. ‘Surgery will affect sex in many ways’, advises Gendered Intelligence, ‘but the most noticeable effect is a boost in body confidence.’ If gender identity is uncorrelated with sex and is fluid and changing, how then can that identity require irreversible bodily transformations? Logical contradiction is no embarrassment to postmodernism. When a lesbian takes testosterone and amputates her breasts in order to play the part of a man, this is celebrated by queer theory for deconstructing compulsory heterosexuality.
“When an undergraduate—previously diagnosed with depression—at the Royal Central School for Speech and Drama decided that she was a man, the School paid for mentoring by Gendered Intelligence…The mentor researched surgeons who offered elective mastectomy.”
The establishment of an official doctrine on gender identity is an unprecedented threat to academic freedom. Sex and gender should be subjects for robust research and vigorous debate. Instead, scholars who query the new orthodoxy of queer theory are subjected to vicious harassment and intimidation. Almost all are women, and many incline towards radical feminism. The culprits are ultrawoke students—most do not identify as transgender but style themselves as ‘allies’—and some feminist academics. They can claim, however, that their aggression is licensed by university policy. After all, universities have granted one particular group extraordinary power to control intellectual discourse. ‘If a trans person informs a staff member that a word or phrasing is inappropriate or offensive,’ warns University College London, ‘then that staff member should take their word for it, and adjust their phraseology accordingly.’
Welcome to the 21st century university, where sex has disappeared, homosexuality is exclusionary, and orthodoxy is enforced in the name of diversity."
Michael Biggs. Associate Professor in Sociology and Fellow of St Cross College wrote the following article after Woman's Place UK meeting in Oxford :
'Free speech at Oxford: Do women have the right to meet to discuss legislation?'
"A meeting was held on 25 April 2018 to discuss proposed changes to the law on gender recognition. The proposed legislation will eliminate sex-segregated spaces and activities, from women’s refuges to competitive sports. In a democracy, people have the right to meet to discuss—and indeed oppose—legislative changes. This should be incontrovertible. I am appalled that a small number of students at Oxford used extreme measures to stop this meeting from being held.... "
"I have entered this debate not because I am a feminist but because freedom of speech is one of the highest values of a democratic society, and the basic foundation of university life.
Transgender activism poses a grave threat to freedom of speech. I think of the young MPhil student who had to disguise herself to attend this meeting because she feared the reaction of fellow students. This is the generation that we have educated."
current thread running re article: