Letter to Master of Clare College, Cambridge

Oct 30, 2020 by

from The Free Speech Union:

We’ve written a letter to Lord Grabiner, Master of Clare College, Cambridge, sticking up for Kevin Price, a porter at the college who has been targeted by student activists for not signing up to the trans agenda. Last week, Mr Price stood down as a Cambridge City Councillor and resigned his membership of the Labour Party because he felt he couldn’t vote for a motion that began with the words: “Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary individuals are non-binary.”

In his remarks to the Council, which have attracted the ire of student activists at Clare College, Mr Price affirmed his commitment to trans rights, but noted that trans rights sometimes conflict with women’s rights and criticised the unwillingness of trans activists and their allies to enter into a discussion about how to balance these competing rights in a calm and evidence-based way. Instead, they are prone to making blanket assertions – such as “trans women are women”, which effectively means trans rights should be given priority over women’s rights – and brand anyone who disagrees with those assertions a “transphobe” or a “bigot”. If we understand Mr Price’s argument correctly, he felt he couldn’t vote for the motion because it was siding with those who adopt this dogmatic position, refuse to acknowledge that supporting the rights of transwomen in some cases breaches the rights of women and expressing a view that effectively means that trans rights should always take priority.

All of these points strike us as perfectly respectable. In particular, Mr Price’s view that that trans rights can sometimes conflict with women’s rights – and treating transwomen as indistinguishable from women is tantamount to prioritising trans rights over women’s rights – is one that is widely held by a number of feminist academics, including Ms Selina Todd, Professor of Modern History at Oxford. Choosing to defend some women’s rights at the expense of some trans rights – objecting to transwomen competing in women’s professional rugby matches, for instance – does not make Mr Price a “transphobe” any more than defending some trans rights at the expense of women’s rights would make supporters of the Council’s motion “misogynists”. Both points of view are reasonable, neither comes anywhere near to being “hate speech” and no one expressing either point of view deserves to be called a “bigot”.

Read here

Please right-click links to open in a new window.

Related Posts


Share This