Selina Todd

Selina Todd’s invitation to lecture at the University of Kent should be withdrawn, because she campaigns against trans people’s rights. Many academics agree, and have signed an open letter to the University.

As colleagues and students at the University of Kent, we would like to register our opposition to this event. Selina Todd is a self-proclaimed gender-critical feminist who has been widely criticised for her arguments against trans people’s- particularly trans women’s- right to self-identify. We believe that the message that our hosting of Selina Todd sends to trans and nonbinary students and staff in the university, our students who are trans and nonbinary allies, and our trans and nonbinary future applicants, is that the School, and more broadly the University, believes that trans identity is “up for discussion”.

They say there has been no proper consultation, that trans and NB people have to defend their right to exist. As Sara Ahmed says, there cannot be a dialogue when some at the table are, in effect or intent, arguing for the elimination of others at the table. Todd’s ideas encourage trans excluders, contribute to a wider climate of intolerance, and justify transphobic violence. Todd has many platforms to spout her views, arising from her privilege which trans and NB people may lack. Transphobic speech is hate speech putting trans and NB students and staff at risk.

What kind of thing does Todd say? She complains that she has been misrepresented, the poor thing, then starts with a misrepresentation. I believe that UK law should remain as it is, with sex a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act, against the claim of some trans activists that people should be able to define themselves as men or as women simply by describing themselves as such. Gender recognition reform will not affect the Equality Act, which already protects those who have decided to transition in their true gender. She implies transition is a silly whim rather than a terrifying but necessary striving for freedom to be ourselves. She goes on to claim that trans rights are “highly socially conservative”. She should tell that to her social conservative allies. Her page headed My Feminism currently only mentions trans issues, as if equal pay, VAWG or reproductive rights do not matter to her. Not everything she writes is harmful: I found her essay on refusing to be overworked interesting.

The public lecture comes under Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. In October, David Olusoga and Razia Iqbal spoke on Empire. Todd’s title is Women and Social Class. The University has put out a statement that Her visit is in conformity with the University’s Code of Practice concerning Freedom of Speech, External Speakers and Events. They link to their Student trans support policy, which specifically includes those who do not seek medical treatment, and nonbinary people. It recognises people might transition at University: The University recognises that the period of transition can be very complex and difficult for the student, and wishes to act in a supportive and sensitive way to ease any transition period. It’s a 37 page policy. As Sara Ahmed says, having a good policy document can be an end in itself- asserted to be proof that they are trans-accepting rather than a pledge to take useful action.

The Universities and College Union election candidates have made a joint statement on Academic Freedom and Trans Inclusion. The right of transgender, non-binary, and gender diverse people to self-identify in no way threatens academic freedom. Claims to the contrary not only undermine the dignity of our colleagues and students but also divert attention from those forces which are increasingly undermining academic freedom in the United Kingdom. They show that media stories do not show the real threats to academic freedom, from the ways academics are managed, but made up threats in a way that undermines the dignity and threatens the safety of transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse people.

29 February: Todd was kicked off the platform of the Women’s Liberation Conference in Oxford, because feminist trans allies threatened to boycott the event. Lola Olufemi, not a trans woman, said, I have seen first-hand how middle-class white women with social capital have used their gatekeeping power to harass trans people, threaten them with defamation, actively work to curtail their rights, refused to extend solidarity, and then claim victimhoodResist this imposed culture war, and practise a feminism that recognises that trans liberation is central to our collective liberation.  Todd made a statement, claiming single-sex spaces are enshrined in law, but “her opponents believe the law should be changed”. It is difficult to believe Dr Todd does not understand the current law on self-declaration, so she is deliberately lying.

16 February 2021: Todd was on Radio 4 complaining about Free Speech again. She’s left the University and College Union, and supports the Tories’ free speech law. Every other academic sees how it will chill debate in universities.

8 thoughts on “Selina Todd

  1. [Clare: Every so often, a fuckwit comments on my blog, and I preserve their comment to show the kind of idiot transphobe we all have to deal with sometimes. Warning: Mark indulges his own sexual fantasies and makes violent threats.]

    Hello, Mister (dunno your real name). I too am a man.

    You can dress yourself up in nails, makeup and hairpeace.
    Bathe your wordpress backdrop in flounce like “loving heart, open mind, generous spirit…”
    But you know and I know that it’s not real.
    That you have mis-shapen pseudo-breasts, swollen anomolies on a man.
    You maybe have a mangled coercion of flesh to ape the natural wonder of vagina that nature has bestowed on women.
    Or perhaps you still have your cock. Taped back uncomfortably, doubtless, in all of those Buffalo Bill-style posings with which you filled your days, and perhaps still do.
    You spent hours voyeurising women, and internalised an illusion of womanhood.
    And all you achieved is a perversion.

    Sorry, I don’t mean to use the word pejoratively, but descriptively.
    That’s the problem.
    All of these words have been thrown at people like yourself meanly, as insults.
    I don’t agree with that at all. Because it’s unnecessary, but more imprtantly because it distracts from the purpose of employing the word here; which is to define with accuracy the inherent quality of the thing in question – the mangling of a person of one sex into a parody of the other.

    So what ofthe implications of your decision ? Apart from the fact that you have to spend thegreater part of your life ministering all sorts of props and crutches to maintain the illusion and keep reality out.
    Dodgy social connections with the similarly deluded.
    A tonne of accoutrements of material junk you that you imagine prove your fluency in womanhood.
    This crummy wordpress blog.

    But none of that is a problem. Not to me, anyway.
    The problem is your attitude to women.
    You’re a bloke. Repeat that fact in your head, because it’s going nowhere. It’s there with you all the time no matter how hard you pretend otherwise, you know it. Release the strain. Look at it.
    You know better than I do that all of the intellectual ‘proofs’ don’t keep this away. Paper-thin.
    And, as a bloke, you are a pathetic, sorry excuse.
    A little fuck.
    Bullying women, as a bloke .
    That ‘poor little dear’ thing ? What sort of pathetic little fuck of a man goes after a woman like that ?
    Like all pathetic little wannbe bullies, makes you feel big. Take out your inadequacy on a target that you despised because you couldn’t appropriate it.

    You wanted them. Were jealous of them. You hate them.
    Took an insane course of action to get back at them. You’re like a bloke who puts on a skirt when he wants to hit women in a failed attempt to prove that his action is not the action of a pathetic weakling.
    Because a man hitting a woman is like a man punching a child.
    Fists or no, what you’re doing here – what you’ve been doing all your life and will always be doing – is the same thing.
    The fact that you have to enact your frustration on sad-bastard passive-aggressive catty malignancies like you did here only shows how far you’ve fallen, and how irredeemable is what you’ve become. Not just what you’ve had done to yourself (which lets face it, hasn’t worked out too well aesthetically), but what you’ve shrivelled up into, internally.

    You need to be dealt with as a man. Look at us when you go out later today, or tomorrow.
    Pass us in the street.
    Other men.
    We know what you are, and you know we know,
    and you also know what real men think of sorry little cuntfarts who try to bully, undermine or take from women.

    This is who and what you are
    This is not going away
    This is never going away
    And you know it
    And so do I
    And so do we all


          • I was…

            [Clare: Mark continues with his self- justification and his masturbatory fantasies, speculating on my genitals, etc. He has had quite enough space to show off his paraphilias and psychopathology.

            Mark, my comment policy is “Don’t bore me”. Unless you can say something sane, don’t comment again. I am happy to allow disagreement in comments, but not the expression of the foulest recesses of your dirty mind.]


            • Mark, possibly you are just a violent man looking for someone to bully who you don’t think will hit back, but in that case why are you familiar with arcane trans-related details of a thirty year old film? I think you are trans and in denial, terrified, and projecting your self-loathing. Go and see your doctor, Mark. You’ll feel better in the long run.


  2. Selina…As Promised…John”’

    For Review and Information …Radical Gender Honest Humanist history of sex…John

    Book Revamps World History of Sex

    Sex, the World History; Through Time, Religion, and Culture by John R. Gregg, is a daring exploration of human sexuality from the ancient to the modern world. ‘


    A cross-cultural examination of sexual beliefs, the book traces sexual practices, the unusual and the transcendent, throughout the worlds’ cultures. A deep look at world religions and their control of sex, the book explores complex relationships between spirituality, sexuality, and the treatment of women throughout history. The book revamps previous historical interpretations of gender fluidity in worldwide cultures.

    While women were exalted as leaders and priestesses in many cultures, they suffered a drastic loss of power and prestige over time. The supremacy of the Mother Goddess throughout most of human existence, and her relatively recent fall, is detailed.

    Other themes are; the existence of bisexuality in the majority of human cultures, the influence and abuses of the Church, the history of sexual slavery including World War II, child brides and forced marriages, historical perspectives on homosexuality, the origins of the LGBTQ and Feminist movements..

    Included are works of mythology, erotic artwork, and literary excerpts. These weave together a multicultural and historical tapestry which we can now see reflected in our contemporary world. It offers in very readable form an encyclopedic tour of the sexuality of humankind!


    • Welcome, John. In 2017, John finished where Michel Foucault could not. I don’t know why you’re commenting here, though. This is not Selina Todd’s blog. I link to it above, though, if you are interested.


All comments welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.