A safe place for difficult conversations

The Scotsman reported on reaction to Edinburgh University’s publication of an amateurish tendentious article about “transphobia” as part of its official guidance on inclusion.

ForWomenScot posted: “We are deeply troubled to see this from @EdinburghUni. Female lecturers are routinely harassed & put in fear on campus for arguing for legal rights. However, the university have chosen to publish a deeply political piece, misrepresenting women’s concerns.”

Susan Smith, a spokeswoman for the group, said the article, which appears on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion section of the university’s website, was “hugely biased” and much of it was “a low-grade attempt at a smear campaign”.

The article treats the nonsensical doctrine that men can magically become women just by “feeling like women inside” as not a childish fantasy but settled fact. A university shouldn’t do that.

Ms Smith said: “One of the silliest things is this idea that safety and privacy for women are not compromised if you allow people to self-ID into women’s spaces. That’s clearly a nonsense and it shouldn’t even be a point of contention.”

That is, if you allow men to self-ID into women’s spaces. It has been made incredibly difficult to hang onto the language of reality.

A university spokesman said: “The University of Edinburgh is a safe place for difficult conversations. We are committed to defending freedom of speech and expression, as long as it is carried out within the law and in a respectful manner.

“The web-page in question was designed as a resource to support students, inform discussion, and help promote a respectful, diverse and inclusive community.”

How can it do any of that by posting what look like dispassionate factual explanations but are in fact the tenets of a new and ridiculous ideology? How can it do that by asserting that men are women if they identify as such?

“Given the size of our community, it is inevitable that the ideas of different members will often and, quite naturally, conflict. We encourage members of our community to use their judgement and openly contest ideas that they oppose, and feel protected in doing so.”

But the article in question asserted the claims of trans ideology as if they were simple facts, similar to saying Edinburgh is 47 miles from Glasgow. The claims of trans ideology are magical, and childish, and silly. Students aren’t going to “feel protected” in that situation, except maybe the trans ones.

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