Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, has opened a formal investigation into 29-year-old student Lisa Keogh, a mother of two, after she dared to utter biological facts in a debate about transgender identity. The university is investigating her “offensive” and “discriminatory” comments.
Keogh’s crime? She said, “women have vaginas,” and argued that a biological male who had testosterone in his body for 32 years would be stronger than the average woman, even if he identified as female. Another student accused her of calling women the “weaker sex.”
In 2019, a biological man who identifies as a woman set new world records for women’s squat, women’s bench press, and woman’s deadlift. Female olympian Sharron Davies decried the “unfair playing field,” noting that “a woman with female biology cannot compete.”
Keogh told The Times of London that she had been taking part in a video seminar about gender feminism and the law when she raised concerns about biological males who identify as “transgender women” competing in mixed martial arts.
When Keogh first heard about the formal investigation, it didn’t compute.
“I thought it was a joke. I thought there was no way that the university would pursue me for utilising my legal right to freedom of speech,” she told The Times.
Keogh said the professor muted her during the debate, and afterward, her fellow classmates heaped abuse on her.
“I didn’t intend to be offensive but I did take part in a debate and outlined my sincerely held views,” the student said. “I wasn’t being mean, transphobic or offensive. I was stating a basic biological fact.”
Keogh told The Times that she now fears that the university’s formal investigation — and the threat of punitive action — may jeopardize her ambition to become a lawyer.
Tragically, the transgender movement has indeed undermined free speech in various settings. In 2019, British tax expert Maya Forstater was fired over tweets in which she said that “men cannot change into women.” Even in the United States, where the First Amendment provides extremely powerful protections for free speech, Shawnee State University forced a professor to use transgender pronouns.
Some professions appear to have entered a self-sorting process. Almost three-quarters of U.S. academics said they would not even eat lunch with a person who rejects transgender identity.
The very purpose of academia is to foster debate and use reason to lead people out of ignorance. Mandating transgender ideology — in opposition to the biological fact that males and females cannot alter their DNA or fully reverse the impacts of biological sex that begin in the womb — and launching witch hunts into anyone who disagrees undermines the very purpose of higher education.