Call for action to publicly condemn her views

More raging hatred of women dressed up as progressive activism:

Oxford SU LGBTQ Campaign

Statement concerning Oxford University History Society’s decision to invite Jenni Murray, and Oriel College, Oxford‘s decision to host the event.

tw: transphobia, terfs, transmisogyny

edit: The original statement said the event was taking place on Saturday 17th November. It is in fact taking place on Saturday 10th November.

We, the undersigned, are deeply disappointed by the Oxford University History Society’s decision to interview Dame Jenni Murray on the topic of “Powerful British Women in History and Society” on Saturday 10th of November, and call for action to publicly condemn her views and, if possible, cancel the event. Oxford SU LGBTQ+ campaign believe that inviting publically transphobic speakers to the university, without challenge, further marginalises and unnecessarily compromises the welfare of trans students and staff.

Murray has made explicitly transphobic comments in an article for the Sunday Times, dated March 5th 2017. She has told trans women “don’t call yourself a ‘real women’”, that “it takes more than a sex change and makeup”, and repeatedly insinuated that transgender women and girls are not women and can only pretend to be women. Although Murray claims to believe trans people “should be treated with respect”, she has silenced her critics by alleging that trans women are “misogynistic” for pointing out transphobia in feminist discourse, and uncritically encouraged her readers to question whether trans women and girls should be allowed to use single-sex spaces such as changing rooms and bathrooms, whether trans girls should be allowed to join Girlguiding, and so on. She repeatedly fails to approach trans issues with the same respect that she calls for, in fact achieving the exact opposite: admonishing trans women and questioning their womanhood – the same beliefs which motivate much of the violence against trans women – cannot be reconciled with her supposed support for those she calls “transsexuals” and “transvestites”.

Her views, which clearly reflect a lack of engagement with the vast majority of actual trans people, and are in sum deeply harmful to trans women and trans feminine people, contributing to and exacerbating the harassment, marginalisation, discrimination, and violence that they already face.

This event is not framed as an opportunity to respond to Murray’s views but as an uncritical discussion led by Murray as a paragon of feminist opinion, emphasised by the title of the talk, “Powerful British Women”. Inviting Murray to talk in this capacity leaves her transphobic rhetoric essentially unchallenged. While there may be “ample time for questions”, the decision to offer Murray a platform is not apolitical or neutral, especially when her views cause tangible harm to vulnerable members of our society. Obsessive and sustained media focus on trans people has recently put the valuable progress made on trans rights under threat, and the consistent prioritising of voices like Murray’s over those of trans people has intensified this. In this environment, the decision to invite Murray to Oxford in this capacity, to promise her a microphone and the undivided and uncritical attention of a room, is a decision to propagate, validate, and normalise institutionalised transphobia.

Etc etc etc, blah blah blah. In other words: how dare you invite this feminist woman to speak. Meet the new boss, exactly like the old boss.

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