The beclowning of academia

Kathleen Stock’s OBE may be the most useful one ever awarded. Oh, my God, if people weren’t aware of how academia has been infiltrated by some of the wooliest bullies on earth, they sure know now.

We’ve already covered poor old Jonathan Ichikawa’s attempt to rustle up a mob, and subsequent shyness when it didn’t go in the direction he’d requested.

Philosopher Miroslav Imbrisevic tore the open letter to pieces in a Twitter thread.

Discourses like that of Kathleen Stock 'reinforce the patriarchal status quo'. Au contraire - transwomen who imitate the worst stereotypes of the social role 'woman' reinforce the patriarchy - they have imbibed too much of it.

Conflating concern about the harms of Stock’s work with threats to academic freedom obfuscates important issues." No. Like many others, Ichikawa conflates disagreement about gender ideology with transphobia and with harm to trans people.

Disagreement doesn't cause harm. But employing a transwomen in a rape crisis centre will continue to traumatise victims of sexual violence. And why would anyone - employer or employee - with real concern for women think that this is a good idea? All in the name of inclusion.

How is Kathleen Stock's discourse restricting 'trans people’s access to life-saving medical treatments'? Trans activists claim that being trans is not an illness. Why the treatment and why is it 'life-saving'? UK law permits a change of gender - KS is not standing in their way.

Apparently, the British government mistakes 'transphobic fearmongering for valuable scholarship'. It's the other way round, Ichikawa mistakes valuable scholarship for transphobic fearmongering.

Ichikawa claims that 'prominent members of our profession [are] using their academic status to further gender oppression.' More mis-representation, which is shocking when it is coming from philosophers, who are trained to recognise such fallacies.

KS is doing her academic work. The title 'Professor' comes from the Latin: to publicly declare your views. That is the job of a Professor (and public intellectual). Particularly when academia is firmly in the grip of transgender ideology - and any deviations lead to vilification.

We, as philosopher should always be civil, but reading this letter, I will permit myself to deviate: the term 'pompous ass' comes to mind. And I claim Isaiah Berlin as my 'spiritus rector'.

‘Pompous ass’! Steady on, professor!

Rebecca Riley Cooper had this to say:

Nobody ever explains why the belief that sex based oppression is either imaginary or insignificant, and that sex based rights should be dismantled, shouldn’t be considered “harmful rhetoric” towards women that “furthers gendered oppression” and prevents an “inclusive culture”

I used to get anonymous emails warning of me of plans to harass me at my office or venues I was talking at, screenshots of discussions about how to drive me off campus...the same happens to every gender critical philosopher. You really want to talk about an “inclusive culture?”

You feel unsafe because I argue that female people are entitled to certain sex based protections and rights. I feel unsafe because you talk about what time I’ll be arriving back at my office and how many of you will be there to accost me when I do. So I guess both sides are bad?

A commenter on the Daily Nous also had this savage indictment of the current academic culture.

If viewed as a first-order philosophical topic, the trans issue is indeed curious in that, for many, normal standards of rational debate ought to be abandoned; those who think otherwise are literally phobic, violent, or whatever, and deserve to be hounded and discredited by any means possible, all in the name of higher virtue. If viewed sociologically, however, the fog clears. The real problem with KS and others is that, if they are right, then mainstream academic feminism is not serious, morally, politically, and intellectually. This is evidenced by the previous open letter, referred to in the present one, which inconsistently claims that all positions are debated and that no-one should question self-identity as a basis for categorisation. Worse, KS has mostly operated outside of the channels that can be policed; and when KS does publish in a forum that can be policed, one finds letters to editors, protests, etc. Whether KS et al. are right or wrong, what one is witnessing is simply centres of academic power and prestige defending themselves in the manner power always does, and since the academy selects for obedience (a herd of free thinkers), one finds a general coalescence in support of that power. The trans issue itself is mostly an abstraction, a mere signifier of virtue and would-be philosophical insight. It thus becomes explicable how supposedly morally serious people can blithely shove poor, abused, imprisoned women under the bus for the sake, essentially, of middle-class manners in academia. No-one bats an eyelid at hyper-privileged white straight males sticking it to an uppity lesbian. For a certain kind of progressive male, if trans people didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent them.

And then, PLOT TWIST!

In fact, the letter is full of errors.

Again, Boodleoops put it best.