Bath Spa University’s crime against academic enquiry and truth – the transgender shutdown

Tom Winnifrith Monday 7 October 2019


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One day I shall reveal my own battle against my wife’s former employer Bath Spa which happened after I gave this guest lecture. The institution is, in my view, not fit for purpose and this was demonstrated again this weekend with the tale of  Charlie Evans, someone born female but who lived as a male for a decade until 2018 when she “detransitioned”.

I fear that in twenty years time we will look back on the record numbers of young folks who want to transition and who are now given “supportive “ counselling from aged four, hormones from their teens and allowed surgery from 16 and think this was a crime against humanity. But I may be wrong. I do not know how many come to regret the process and that is the point. Nobody does.

Charlie says since she went public last year she has been contacted by hundreds of folks who regret gender reassignment treatment. She told Sky News ““I’m in communication with 19 and 20-year-olds who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn’t, and their dysphoria hasn’t been relieved, they don’t feel better for it – they don’t know what their options are now.”

Charlie is now launching a charity called The Detransition Advocacy Network, with its first meeting set to be held in Manchester at the end of the month.

This indicates that there is a real issue here but how big is the problem? We just do mot know. In 2017 an academic James Caspian was accepted by Bath Spa to do a PHD addressing this very point. But Bath Spa, until fifteen years ago just a college of higher education, then responded to a very few complaints from LGBT activists saying that Caspian’s work might affect transgender individuals badly, it might “offend” them, and so simply shut him down. Caspian has lost one court case appealing that decision but says he will fight on.

The issue here is that Caspian’s work is clearly important work which is needed. Academic freedom in old universities used to mean that you could challenge prevailing orthodoxies. But on left wing madrassas such as Bath Spa that is not allowed. Orthodox views on LGBT issues, climate change, the evils of abortion or capitalism cannot be challenged. Folks such as Caspian must be thrown to the wolves to appease the jihadists of woke.

But perhaps Bath Spa might actually reflect on how shutting Caspian down has made the world a better place?  Perhaps its academics might read the story of Charlie Evans and reflect. I suspect that unless the Guardian picks up on the Evans case they won’t even be aware of it.

About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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