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Michael Biggs (Sociology Dept. Oxford) "Free speech at Oxford: Do women have the right to meet to discuss legislation?"
45

R0wantrees · 24/05/2018 01:10

Michael Biggs
Associate Professor in Sociology and Fellow of St Cross College writes:

users.ox.ac.uk/~sfos0060/FreeSpeechOxford.pdf

"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....
(concludes)
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."

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TransplantsArePlants · 24/05/2018 05:02

Excellent ROwan

Thank you so much for tall he information gathering and linking you do on Feminism Chat. It's invaluable.

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TransplantsArePlants · 24/05/2018 05:02

all

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womanformallyknownaswoman · 24/05/2018 05:25

Great news - another supporter - although why in the name of heaven women should have to be justifying their right to discuss legislation in public and private meetings and why the police haven't been called in by politicians to defend that right is beyond me.

I appreciate this and all the other links R0wantrees - I love the skill and dedication of people like you who create and maintain databases of useful links - so useful and I appreciate your service.

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JoanSummers · 24/05/2018 08:11

This was really interesting to read. Do you know if any of the protesters have been called in for disciplinarys (like in Bristol)?

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lightthedarkness · 24/05/2018 08:13

•In 1908, the Woman’s Social and Political Union could advertise meetings in advance and hold them without security measures. But Woman’s Place UK cannot in 2018•

This.

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TerfsUp · 24/05/2018 08:18

Good for Michael Biggs. Five stars. Would read again.

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SpareRibFem · 24/05/2018 08:24

Glad he's spoken up, we need more people like Professor Biggs to do the same. Amazed and depressed that in 2018 it needs to be stated that women are allowed to discuss legislation that impacts them.

Thanks Rowantrees

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LangCleg · 24/05/2018 08:28

Good, clear article.

And how sad that a PhD student had to disguise herself to attend the meeting, lest she be recognised.

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Terfulike · 24/05/2018 08:36

Excellent

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gendercritter · 24/05/2018 09:16

Very glad this was written.

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blackteasplease · 24/05/2018 09:34

Good stuff!

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HotRocker · 24/05/2018 09:45

Good article. I wish I’d known about that meeting, I would’ve gone. Hopefully there will be another one so I can attend.

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R0wantrees · 24/05/2018 10:00

(no thanks is needed, but thank you!) I happen to have some time at the moment and I still approach complex ideas as I did when studying English.

The wider impact of no-platforming etc in universities was raised by Claire Fox (Institute of Ideas) when interviewed by Julia H-B.
Its at 09:23.
talkradio.co.uk/radio/listen-again/1525325400#

Discussed here in context of the Govt announcement about protecting free speech on university campus:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3238951-some-good-news

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R0wantrees · 24/05/2018 10:21

HotRocker
Link here to twitter thread with upcoming WPUK meetings etc twitter.com/Womans_Place_UK/status/998837710491090944
& their website: womansplaceuk.org

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Waddlelikeapenguin · 24/05/2018 10:29

R0wantrees adding my thanks also - I do love a good reference Smile

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Wanderabout · 24/05/2018 10:32

This is a great statement thank you to Michael Biggs for standing up for freedom of speech.

Also thank you to OP!

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Damnthatonestakentryanother2 · 24/05/2018 10:34

You'd have thought a Professor would be more aware of the importance of getting facts right before using them as the basis of an opinion.

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ToeToToe · 24/05/2018 10:38

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.

Yes - shout it from the rooftops (now we're being banned from Twitter Wink ) This is so, so important. Possibly the most important aspect of the whole thing.

Thank you Rowan & Michael Biggs.

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PurpleCrowbar · 24/05/2018 10:43

Excellent article.

I got into a FB ruck last night over David Lewis - will save this to share with my (well meaning) friend who was yelling at me for being a 'bigot'

Thank you x.

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R0wantrees · 24/05/2018 15:30

Damnthatonestakentryanother2
"You'd have thought a Professor would be more aware of the importance of getting facts right before using them as the basis of an opinion."

Briggs' document which I have linked above has a number of footnotes and embedded links. I would assume as he is an academic, he would be open to discussion about these.

Like Waddlelikeapenguin I like references.

I won't presume to guess which aspects of Briggs' writing you believe to be unfactual & its not my place to defend him.

I am aware though that a number of 'distortions of truth' have been spread by some people in the name of Trans rights eg 'that women attending WPUK meetings are 'carrying baseball bats, doxxing children, burning books, inciting rape and suicide etc'

It is a shame that these claims are rarely referenced or critiqued.

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jgrobinson · 24/05/2018 22:51

Biggs also just reviewed Heather Brunskell-Evans & Michele Moore's book on trans kids for the Oxford Magazine:
users.ox.ac.uk/~sfos0060/TransgenderChildren_review.pdf

(https://twitter.com/Transgendertrd/status/994943901801832448)

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spontaneousgiventime · 24/05/2018 22:53

Hmm, academics wading in. Excellent.

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R0wantrees · 25/05/2018 00:23

Hmm, academics wading in. Excellent.

Thread below may be of interest:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3254291-Philosophical-perspectives

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Noqont · 25/05/2018 00:29

Transgender activism poses a grave threat to freedom of speech.

This really is important to remember. Because if we are silenced, then where does it end. Even if an opinion isn't popular, it's important, really it's everything, that people are allowed to say what they think anyway.

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spontaneousgiventime · 25/05/2018 00:32

Thank you R0wantrees I'll have a read tomorrow, off to bed in a mo. Goodnight all.

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