The UK’s biggest university union wanted ‘transphobes’ forced out of their jobs, feminist members told The Times
The Union of Universities and Colleges in the UK has encouraged its members to report college staff who disagree with transgender ideology, The Times reported this week. The union said that “transphobes” in academia should be “addressed” and that the Times itself was “intimidation” the union by reporting on its activities.
According to the British newspaper, leaked minutes from a UCU meeting last September detailed the committee agreeing to send a survey to LGBTQ members at universities across the country. These members would be asked if they were aware of “gender criticism” HR consultants and employees working in their institutions, and asked to appoint them, so that the union can be “aware of any problems that may arise.
“Some [of these equality, diversity and inclusion] consultants are transphobes and prominent critical gender activists,” the survey read.
In this case, the term “gender critique” refers to the belief that a person’s sex is defined at birth as either male or female, and that granting male-to-female transsexuals the same rights that to women undermines feminism. ‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling is one of the UK’s most gender-sensitive feminists.
According to the Times, the minutes of the meeting indicate that “Tackling transphobia is important through education, but there is a small core of people who are so set in their ways and the UCU needs to address that…It’s important to look at ways to tackle this. these transphobes because they promote hostile opinions that make campuses very dangerous places for trans people.
Some academics told the outlet that the passage indicated UCU plans to force gender-sensitive staff out of their jobs.
“This passage made my blood run cold” a UCU whistleblower told the newspaper. “They mean feminists, like me. There is no ambiguity, they are talking about their own members. It’s all just awful. »
Criminology professor Jo Phoenix, who recently resigned from the Open University, saying she was harassed for her critical views on gender, said that “silenced academics on gender identity is a huge problem.”
“What we are seeing is a huge intolerance of academic freedom and plurality of viewpoints,” she explained to The Times. “People don’t want to hear what they disagree with.”
Shereen Benjamin, a former UCU member and lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, told the paper she was kicked off the union’s mailing list by an email with the subject line “F**king transphobes, f**k off!!,” after complaining that UCU activists were using the term “Terf”, an acronym for “Trans-exclusive radical feminist.”
The term is commonly used as a slur by transgender activists, sometimes accompanied by threats of violence.
Benjamin had organized a feminist event at college in 2019, which she told The Times led trans activists at UCU to organize a “witch hunt” against her. Activists allegedly accused her of making trans people feel unsafe on campus.
The UCU denied that its survey contained questions about the consultants’ views on gender, and did not “ask respondents to identify the institutions that employed them.” UCU general secretary Jo Grady posted a video on social media ahead of the Times article, accusing journalist James Beal of “harass” and “intimidation” its members asking for their comments.
👋 @JamesSBeal – just get ahead of your transphobic Times article about the UCU and our members.
James harassed UCU members who support trans people – and CC’d their employers 🐍
UCU unequivocally supports the trans community.
RT if you’re with us. pic.twitter.com/49nyTr8EHG
—Jo Grady (@DrJoGrady) August 2, 2022
Beal’s play itself was a “dog whistle transphobic article”, Grady added, a week before it was posted.