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In Praise of Kathleen Stock

Written June 2023

When Dr. Kathleen Stock attended a debate at the Oxford Union last month, an event to which she had been invited, the LGBTQ+ and trans ideologues of Oxford arranged a rather pathetic little protest. One of these protestors, an impish they/them character called Riz Possnett, managed to make their way into the chamber and glue their hand to the floor directly in front of Dr. Stock, in a move which, frankly, went down like a damp squib. If the young, overly confident protestor had intended for their antics to cause alarm and pack an emotional punch, I’m afraid they failed in spectacular fashion. If anything, it was, well, a little bit like a toddler staging a sit-in at the sweet shop, after being told she can have no more foam bananas.

Young Riz sported a T-shirt during her tantrum, which bore the slogan “No More Dead Trans Kids”, presumably to promote the false notion that trans kids are dying in their swathes. The reality is that the T-shirt is a perfect illustration of the puerility of the extremists in the trans movement. Their (used in the traditional, plural sense) arguments are peppered with hyperbolic statements which on the most basic of examination do not hold water. All mouth, no trousers, you could say. The relative calmness of Riz’s protest must have come as somewhat of a relief to Dr. Stock, who back in November 2022 was ambushed by another smug young activist during a debate at the Cambridge Union, in a protest that was decidedly more unpleasant. Again, it was an event to which Dr. Stock had been invited, much to the chagrin of the LGBTQ+ students and their allies, who set about throwing their toys out of the pram, and doing their level best to have the event cancelled. In a small win for sanity, they did not succeed, and the event went ahead.

Despite the fact that the subject of the debate was not about trans rights, a non-binary student named Kass Caldicott, who had falsely auditioned as a proposition speaker on the same side as Dr. Stock, used their allotted time to spout a bullying rant about Kathleen Stock. Veering wildly from the debate topic, Kass proceeded to make some extraordinary claims, including that “The environment for trans people, in particular in the UK, is at present, abhorrent,” and that trans and LGBTQ+ people face “countless indignities against them, from civilians and government alike,” and indeed that Kass, personally, had endured “countless amounts of looking over my shoulder, countless amounts of walking home in the dark, scared” and even “countless of amounts of dealing with people making truly awful comments to me”. Well, what were those comments, Kass? I’m all ears. Your definition of “truly awful” might mean nothing more than someone saying they did not like your haircut, so unless you can present real examples of the dreadful treatment trans and LGBTQ+ people are facing, even on the streets of Cambridge, I’m not buying it. As they warmed to their theme, it became clear that Kass saw themselves as a gifted orator, and they became more animated as their rhetoric became more personal, and more vile. They accused Dr. Stock of perpetuating hatred towards trans people. They accused the Union of being wrong in inviting her to speak. They then ended with a rallying cry of “Dr Stock, those she enables, and those who enable her, disgust me, and should disgust this house!”

Though visibly shaken, admirably, Kathleen Stock stood and delivered her prepared proposition speech, conducting herself with enormous dignity, and, as always, her argument was reasoned, rational, and backed up – the antithesis of her opponent. But then, Kathleen Stock is no stranger to attack. After becoming the target of an unbelievable period of bullying at her workplace of 18 years, by students and faculty members alike, in 2001 she was forced to resign, unable to counter the irrational and frightening hatred she was subjected to. Unprotected and undefended by her employers, the University of Sussex, she was thrown to the wolves, the university board’s sacrifice to the gods of extreme trans ideology. Quite where the students found the time to study whilst waging their merciless campaign of hate against Dr. Stock is anyone’s guess – it would be safe to say that these students are unlikely to be the ones who work in restaurants and coffee shops to help fund their way through university.

The over-privileged bunch of self-important dogmatists who are the stalwarts of these activist groups are clearly oblivious to the arrogance of their position. Their objection to the very presence of a person they disagree with on their campus borders dangerously on fascism. They wax lyrical about the hate and abuse trans people are experiencing every day, yet can offer up no specific examples. The apparently shocking tweets, which Kass professed to have found on a scroll through Dr. Stock’s twitter, turned out to be nothing more than retweets of some very mainstream articles, in which gender ideology is questioned, in very reasoned fashion. Perhaps to Kass and others of his ilk the great offence and “truly awful”-ness of these pieces is simply that they do not affirm, pander, and celebrate their own sentiments. Likewise, when Riz was interviewed by Times Radio after their little sit-in, they made repeated statements along the lines of “the type of things Kathleen Stock says” and “the way trans people are spoken about and treated”, and yet, like Kass before them, they offer no specific examples. The only actual insult Riz could offer that had come directly from Kathleen Stock, speaking of the group trying to have her cancelled at Oxford, was that she called them ‘absolute babies’. Boo Hoo. Seriously, if being called a baby is a crushing insult, I have some grave doubts about the future of the human race. I would argue anyway that Dr. Stock was simply stating a fact – but then, facts are the enemy of extreme trans ideology.

I have huge admiration for Dr. Stock. She is the very picture of intelligence, humour, rationality, and good grace. Her forced resignation is a great loss for future students at Sussex University. Academics of Dr. Stock’s qualities I’m sure are few and far between. In the face of enormous hate for nothing more than sharing an opinion, and stating facts, she has stood courageously, and refused to be silenced. To stand up in the chamber of the Cambridge Union after Kass’s aggressive bullying must have been traumatic, and yet Dr. Stock did just that, and with absolute aplomb. In stark contrast, the duping delight was clearly evident on Kass’s face, as they used their platform as a license to bully, disrespect and shout down a person to who they showed zero civility, exposing how little respect they are capable of exhibiting to someone of an opposing opinion. This behaviour, surely, the absolute opposite of the spirit of the Union. The inexperience of the young activists challenging her is palpable, a fact that would not count against them if they were conducting themselves with more decorum. As it is, however, they speak entirely in meaningless buzz words without substance, and this is what makes Riz, Kass, and all their pals, so utterly irritating. The theatre of the pronoun business is a kind of jedi mind game, where the self-professed trans person, ambiguously dressed and with an indeterminable name, wills others to misgender them, so that they can react in overly dramatic aggression with impunity. Misgendering is now deemed an ‘act of violence’, a phrase which used to describe a physical assault or a hurled racist slur, but which now applies to someone making the heinous error of using the wrong pronoun.

There is far more to be said regarding the motives and actors at the real heart of the pushing of trans ideology – you can read my previous articles on the subject here. But this piece is intended as a shout out, to Kathleen Stock, warrior woman, of great poise, grace, and intellect. Keep fighting. You are on the right side of history.

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