The narrowness of the ideological viewpoint

Alice Sullivan and Judith Suissa of University College London on the narrowness of the ledge we are allowed to stand on:

Academics who do not adhere to a particular line on gender and transgender issues have suffered intimidation by trans activists. The people under attack are not mavericks or extremists. They are feminists who question the trans-orthodox view that biological sex is a social construct while gendered identities are fixed and innate. They also seek to defend women’s sex-based rights. In this article, we explain what is happening and consider what steps the higher education community needs to take to ensure that academic freedom is not curtailed.

One reason why concerns about academic freedom have been crystallised by the trans activist movement in particular is the narrowness of the ideological viewpoint that it has sought to impose.

Emphasis mine.

National polling shows that only 19 per cent of people share the view that ‘trans women are women’, and dissenting opinion encompasses a range of views. Yet trans activists claim that questioning the position that a person’s ‘gender identity’ trumps their biological sex in legal and social contexts amounts to being ‘anti-trans’, and to denying trans people’s very right to exist.

They call it bigotry and transphobia and they and their non-trans but equally rabid allies do everything they can to shut it down.

When academics disagree with a piece of research, they would normally encourage debate, critique and more research. However, in the case of transgender issues, activists have derailed this process repeatedly. This is particularly troubling given the need for research into the rapid growth in the numbers of young people presenting with gender dysphoria.

It’s also particularly troubling given how thoroughly the whole thing has been politicized, such that claims about “authentic self” and “validation” are brandished like weapons to close down attempts to talk about the facts, aka the evidence. Researchers are assailed for trying to find out why there is such rapid growth in the numbers of adolescents claiming gender dysphoria.

The climate within academia is inevitably influenced by the broader political arena, where trans activists have sought to shut down debate, often using violent misogynistic language and behaviour. Trans activists have adopted the slogan and hashtag #nodebate, claiming that debate constitutes ‘real harm’ or even ‘literal violence’.

Read the rest.

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