Academics and researchers

I do not want to pursue a career teaching and professing falsehoods

As an academic in social sciences and, partly, gender studies, I do not want to pursue a career teaching and professing falsehoods. In short, gender identity may lead to a person’s social identity and legal sex to be modified, but her/his genetic and reproductive make up remain unchanged. This, apparently, is contentious to utter.

So far, practicing my arguments on this in social media and discussing this with colleagues. I live in a small European country where these debates are very niche but do exist.

I have experienced scolding from some quarters (people on social media, PhD students), for not being “inclusive” enough. I have heard of other scholars in Europe being scolded in seminars or having papers rejected for applying a binary classification of sex.

Ellen , Post doc in social sciences, Scandinavia

Academics and researchers

I have been featured in hate lists simply for being friends with women that were more vocal than I am

I am a lesbian. If I had been born 10 years later, I would have been told to transition instead of accepting my sexuality.

I have tried educating people on the subject.

I have been featured in hate lists simply for being friends with women that were more vocal than I am. I have lost friendships for suggesting lesbians should be able to reject males sexually, even if they’ve got make up on.

Julia, Lesbian teacher, Canada

Academics and researchers

At the university and in the clinic, queer theory has dominated the spaces and the only voices heard are of gay men

I care because I was born in a very small town, where nobody taught me that it was okay for me not to identify with dresses and dolls, and that in my adolescence it was okay to like girls. not being attracted to penis.

I also care because I am a psychologist and I realize that, at the university and in the clinic, queer theory has dominated the spaces, and the only voices heard are of gay men.

I have tried to speak about this in my Instagram and small groups, also I study a lot to feel more secure about my opinion. I have been afraid to talk about it at the university, afraid of being taxed as a transphobic.

I failed a master’s test because I wanted to talk about radical feminism and lesbian women, criticizing psychoanalysis.

It was very sad, and since then I have been trying to find some space where my writing will be welcome.

Dreamer, lesbian born in a small town, trying to gain space at the university, Brasil

Academics and researchers

I find it horrifying that “feminist” groups talk about women as “non-male”

This matters to me because I am a feminist and believe women are oppressed based on their sex. If “sex does not exist”, we deny the material reality of women. Also, this would mean same-sex relationships would not be acknowledged anymore.

I find it horrifying that “feminist” groups talk about women as “non-male”. Men are the standard and we are the “others”, how is that feminist?

I was appalled to learn that radical feminists were harassed and received death threats during the last Women’s March, because of their views on the abolition of prostitution and gender. They communicated this to the organizers, that have not denounced this publicly.

I have spoken to people but only face to face, in private settings. I never dared to say too much in the general meetings of my feminist group, once the “issues” about using the word woman began. When this debate came up, it was explicitly said that anyone who thought sex-based differences exist was a transphobe. But when I have discussed in private with other women from that feminist group, they had the same concerns as I did, and also did not dare to speak up.

I resist in small things. I carried a representation of a vulva during a Women’s March and address fellow feminist colleagues with female pronouns, despite criticism.

I now participate in other feminist groups where the material reality of women is not denied. I have removed myself from these circles.

Camille, Feminist activist, Belgium

Academics and researchers

I carry out small acts of resistance

I care about women’s rights and am also very concerned that we’re carrying out medical experiments on vulnerable kids. The post-truth/thought control side of this is very disturbing to me as someone with a background in 20th-century totalitarian movements.

I applied to graduate school to research the issues of gender transition and kids (starting fall 2020); I am writing online and speaking to people one-on-one in my real life — colleagues, friends, strangers! — about 50-60 such people; and I carry out small acts of resistance like reshelving “gender handbooks” that tell kids that if they’re uncomfortable with gender stereotypes they might be born in the wrong body and moving them to the highest reaches of the Adult Fantasy section, where they belong.

I have lost friends who are gender activists.

Eliza, USA

Academics and researchers Healthcare

I have never seen such brutal silencing of women’s voices, just for stating basic scientific facts

I care about the issue because things escalated very rapidly under my nose. I have been active in feminist spaces for years but I have never seen such brutal silencing of women’s voices, just for stating basic scientific facts.

I am not from the UK – I live in the US, but I came from another country and I’m still very active in social media in my native language (sorry about my English BTW – it’s not my first language). A few months ago a huge fight broke in my Facebook group – one of the triggers was you and your tribunal hearing but there were others. Some of us decided to finally speak up. All hell broke loose. I lost many friends and became a much hated figure but it only made me care about the issue more.

I mostly fear for the future of children who may be pushed to undergo irreversible, profound medical procedure before they’re old enough to know better because doctors and parents are afraid to speak up – transitioning children should  become illegal. I fear for girls and women whose spaces are taken away from them, and I fear about us losing the ability to have a peaceful, logical discussion about the issue. I care about the language to describe ourselves being taken away from us.

I have set up a website in my native language (the only one that I know of) where I collect materials, make facts and stories accessible and write about the issue freely.

I also continue to be active on Facebook and Twitter (although I had to start using a pseudo-name on Twitter). Some friends and I are preparing to start lobbying with politicians to make underage transition illegal and to preserve sex base rights in my home country.

My friends and I are also in touch with organizations in Canada and the UK hoping to make our voices heard.

I have lost friends, but so far that is it. I have a secure job and my employers and co-workers don’t speak my native language and are not aware of my “extracurricular activities”.

The Trash Patrol/Sayeret Zevel, Academic, immigrant, radical feminist who’s sick of crap, USA

Academics and researchers Lesbians

I’ve been called “they” and “them” over and over in LGBT circles, no matter how many times I tell people I’m a woman

As a lesbian, I’ve always been a gender nonconforming woman. There is a great push today to get rid of “GNC woman” (gender non-conforming) as a category at all and to replace it with “nonbinary” or “trans man.”

I’ve been called “they” and “them” over and over in LGBT circles, no matter how many times I tell people I’m a woman, and I am sick of seeing the consequences of this on young gay people (especially considering the health effects of puberty-blocking drugs and hormones).

I have a blog, but it is mostly anonymous due to concerns about my social safety. I don’t fear for my life but I think I would lose friends and even academic and career opportunities over it, if I spoke out.

I have received online harassment, and I have been told by friends that I “worry them” sometimes with my opinions. I have to self-censor frequently.


Academics and researchers Healthcare

I’ve been horrified by the levels of groupthink and bullying I’ve seen

I’ve never been happy with masculine gender roles & had a ‘trans’ phase in my teens; I mostly kept it to myself, and it passed. It’s a sad experience to have, but men who have it aren’t women, and can’t speak as or for women – and they can’t literally change sex.

I’m alarmed that these basic truths are now being denied, particularly on the Left – it seems like a betrayal of the gains of feminism. I’ve also been horrified by the levels of groupthink and bullying I’ve seen, and the ‘cancelling’ of good socialists by their former allies and friends (e.g. Laura Pidcock).

I’ve done very little, least of all under my own name – a reply to the odd consultation, a few conversations on blogs and Twitter, a few (very difficult) conversations with my children.

I’ve removed identifying details on Twitter after a TRA (trans rights activist) made threatening noises (“I’m surprised that someone in your position”, etc). Even so, most of my friends and contacts – on social media, IRL, at work – don’t know my views on this, and for now I’m keeping it that way.

To date, two people have broken with me on social media; they’re both people I’d known for 20 years, and one I had counted as a friend IRL (in real life). If I were more open with my views I’m sure I’d lose many more contacts and friends, and I’m concerned that there might be consequences for my job.


Academics and researchers

I disagree with the dogma of Stonewall

It matters to me because the real work of the Equality Act is incomplete. Removing sex as a protected characteristic undoes the historical work of feminists and activists. I believe all groups of women (including trans women) have the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of association.

I disagree with the dogma of Stonewall and find their campaign slogan troubling (acceptance without exception and ‘no-debate’), on a personal and professional level.

I don’t believe any charity should be unaccountable or beyond critique and intellectual scrutiny and academics should feel able to engage in that critique without risking their professional status and livelihood. 

I have written to the head of equality for my trade union and raised concerns about the behaviour and tactics of high-profile trans-activists. I have communicated that concern to regional officials and my local branch president. I have spoken to my (former) MP. I have spoken to work colleagues I know I could talk to without retribution, but speaking openly is a high-risk strategy and I have not yet done so.

I would be subjected to targeted harassment and probably lose my job.

JC, University lecturer, trade union activist, mum to two daughters, not on twitter – got hounded off

Academics and researchers

I hate being told what to think

Firstly, because I hate being told what to think. I was similarly upset about Dawkins’s campaign against religious belief- at a time when I was struggling with the loss of my own; his authoritarian and judgmental attitude, I thought, was terrifying and insulting.

Secondly- and paradoxically with reference to the first point – because what we are asked to believe can’t possibly be true, unless there is a disembodied soul. Otherwise, the mind is an emanation of the body; therefore, the idea of a quasi-spiritual essence of femininity which is separable from the body makes no sense.

I have argued with people on social media.

I have had insults and abuse; people saying that, for example, they’re glad I’m not my child and that I might kill him with my “intolerance ” (he’s 2); one threat of violence; lost friends.

Smithsinarazz , 44, urbanist, mum