Kathleen Stock

Original written text of talk at Make More Noise: Hate Crime event, Manchester, Sat 8th 2020 (in spoken version, I missed a few bits out)

Content warning: I am talking about hate speech and will occasionally be mentioning (but not using) some examples targeted at particular social groups. This is necessary to make an instructive contrast with the case I mainly want to discuss.

As we heard from Sarah Phillimore, a judicial review of Humberside Police and the College of Policing took place late last year, after ex-police officer Harry Miller retweeted a poem which addressed a hypothetical trans woman…


I call upon UK academic philosophers and other academics to publicly demonstrate their disciplinary values.

I am a professor of philosophy, employed at a British university in a Philosophy Department. Today, a UK employment tribunal judge ruled that the belief that biological sex is immutable, and that it is impossible to change one’s sex, is “incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others”.

He writes: “I do not accept the Claimant’s contention that the Gender Recognition Act produces a mere legal fiction. It provides a right, based on the assessment of the various interrelated convention rights, for a person to transition, in certain circumstances, and thereafter to be treated for all purposes as the…


Transcript of talk given on Thursday 26th November at Senate House, University of London. Other speakers were Baroness Onora O’Neill, Professor Tommy Curry. The chair was Ritula Shah. A filmed version should be available soon.

It seems to me that the primary goal of “diversity and inclusion” initiatives in institutions — workplaces, organisations, societies, and so on — is anti-discrimination. As such, diversity and inclusion initiatives are reasonable and valuable projects for institutions to undertake, though obviously they need to be carried out in a way which is more than cosmetic.

What I want to focus on directly here, is not institutions, but two other domains in which diversity and inclusion as now actively pursued as goals. These are:

· first, the domain of sexual desire: idea that people have a responsibility to make their…


The fairly innocuous piece below was originally part of a larger piece commissioned by the Institute of Art and Ideas, entitled “How Can Philosophy Help Us Understand Transgender Experience”. After it appeared, three fellow contributors complained both to the IAI and on social media that they had not known they would be appearing alongside me, Holly Lawford-Smith, and Julie Bindel. They objected strongly, on various patently spurious and selective grounds. The IAI then took the amazing step of taking the whole piece down, with no explanation to the remaining contributors to date, and no response to our emails. It seems…


A huge range of academic questions are raised by the claim that having an inner “sense” of gender identity is an important category, alongside or even instead of the categories of biological sex and socially perceived sex. …


Radical feminist and gender-critical philosophers challenge their opponents to avoid some obviously bad argumentative moves

by Sophie Allen, Jane Clare Jones, Holly Lawford-Smith, Mary Leng, Rebecca Reilly-Cooper, and Kathleen Stock.

28/5/19: new fallacy added ( fallacy 9, section 1) and subsequent fallacies renumbered.

We’re a group of gender-critical and radical feminist academic philosophers. In our work, some of us argue that women, by definition, are adult human females. On this view, since no trans woman is an adult human female, no trans woman is correctly categorised as a woman. The rest of us are currently agnostic between i) exclusively taking…


As various sources are now reporting my ‘transphobic’ email to Sussex Philosophy Students, and academics are retweeting it, here is the full text.

Dear Philosophy student

As some of you know, since May this year I have been writing in public about gender and sex.

My initial starting point was a public government consultation, asking for people’s views about whether the current law (the Gender Recognition Act) should be changed to make a legal sex change purely a matter of administration (at the moment it requires stricter controls). Both as a private citizen and as a professional academic, I exercised…


(NB An abridged version of this talk was given at the meeting. The Trans Inquiry Report can be read, in all its jaw-dropping glory, here ).

Thank you to Baroness Nicholson for facilitating this meeting.

As I hope is clear to everyone by now — thanks to campaigns like that of A Woman’s Place and Fair Play for Women — when it comes to developing public policy around legally changing sex, there are several sets of interests at stake, and not just one.

To put it in a nutshell: if you’re going to make it very easy for members of…


Hello everyone.

I’m an academic at the University of Sussex. I’m in the Philosophy Department.

One of the areas in Philosophy is political philosophy: arguing about what’s right and wrong about social and political arrangements, including the laws. Having opinions, but also supporting those opinions with reasoned arguments.

In the last few months I’ve decided to do some public political philosophy. I’ve started writing about problems with the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, and about their interaction with the Equalities Act.

I’ve posted a series of essays on the open platform Medium, which can be searched for by…


These are the full answers from my interview with the Brighton Argus here.

1) Why does there need to be a discussion around proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act?

The proposed move to self-identification within the legal gender reassignment process needs to be discussed, party because of the problem of sex-segregated spaces, where females get undressed or sleep. These spaces were originally designed to protect the dignity, privacy, and safety of female women and girls. Organisations such as Youth Hostelling Scotland, Topshop, Caledonian Sleeper, Girl Guiding UK, and some women’s prisons, are already allowing into these spaces trans women…

Kathleen Stock

Professor of Philosophy, University of Sussex.

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