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College protesters stage unsuccessful sit-in against trans-critical book launch

‘Strange, screaming people outside did their best to prevent us getting in,’ women’s organization wrote

Academic writers critical of transgender ideology and their supporters overcame a sit-in and shouts of “shame” by rowdy protesters to launch their book recently at a Scottish university.

For Women Scotland, a feminist organization supporting rights based on biological sex, not gender, wrote that the protesters assaulted those who attempted to cross a police barrier to attend the Oct. 12 event.

“Women who came along for a book were crying because their legs were being grabbed by people as they tried to get by the barrier,” the organization wrote on X the night of the event.

Another trans-critical women’s organization, Scottish Feminist Network, later posted that the gathering had taken place successfully.

“We’re in!” the group wrote Thursday night on X. “Strange, screaming people outside did their best to prevent us getting in (blocking door on left, but there’s another door in).”

Sociologist and University College London Professor Alice Sullivan, biologist Colin Wright, and philosopher Kathleen Stock contributed essays to the launched book, titled “Sex and Gender: A Contemporary Reader.”

The College Fix reached out to Sullivan and Stock to inquire why they believe protesters opposed the book and what they hope its publication will accomplish. The authors have not responded.

The authors’ book offers a scholarly take on “how and why sex matters from a range of disciplinary perspectives, drawing out the social, political and legal implications,” according to the publisher’s website.

University of Edinburgh issued a statement prior to the event, which it shared with The Fix.

“Sex and Gender” is “an academic publication by a reputable publisher and the event will be an academic discussion of the ideas presented in the book,” the university wrote.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to freedom of speech and we have procedures in place to support members of our community to host events on controversial topics with the safety of everyone on our campus as an absolute priority,” it wrote.

“While we are committed to freedom of speech, we will not tolerate discriminatory or disruptive behaviour. We firmly uphold the right of people to take part in peaceful and lawful protest, but we will not tolerate obstructive protest or protest that does not abide by our Dignity and Respect policy,” it stated.

However, Scottish Feminist Network wrote on X that protesters greeted the attendees and book editor Sullivan at the launch with cries of “shame” and called them “TERFs.”

“TERF” is an acronym for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” and has been used as a slur against women who affirm the importance of biological sex in politics and law, according to philosopher Holly Lawford-Smith.

Many of the books’ co-authors are no stranger to controversy.

In May, crowds of Oxford University protesters opposed Kathleen Stock’s appearance at the Oxford Union, The Fix reported at the time.

Police removed one demonstrator who sat with a hand glued to the Union floor.

Stock, an English philosopher who has affirmed the male-female binary and argued that gender should not trump sex in all circumstances, spoke at the Union despite major protests leading up to the event as well.

MORE: UVA students protest author of book on teen transgender craze

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About the Author
Georgia Lucas -- University of North Carolina Pembroke