Selina Todd, a history professor at Oxford University who takes particular interest in working-class history and feminism, has been given two security guards after receiving threats from transgender activists over the comments she posted on her official website, the UK Telegraph reported earlier.
Todd became especially worried after students showed up at her lectures in trans activist outfits and openly called the professor "transphobic".
"I get frightened by the threats in lectures. You can't help but worry. It's had a huge impact on me. You don't expect to be defending yourself the whole time from complaints or threats of violence", Todd told the newspaper.
The activists got furious over Todd's comments on her website that trans people's claims for free access to women-only places can potentially harm women's rights themselves.
"Like every other gender critical feminist I know, I encountered the current debate about whether transgender people should be able to self-identify as such (without fulfilling other legal and medical requirements) from the instinctive standpoint that I wanted to support transpeople’s rights. But after months of research, I concluded that this position would harm the rights of women, because so often what is being asked for is free access to women-only spaces.
Angry students also demanded the professor be fired, but some have been empathetic to Todd and warned her of the threats. The school eventually had to investigate the matter and provide Todd with security protection during lectures.
Users on Twitter, many of them colleagues of Todd in the academic sphere, stepped up to support the professor against what they think is open bullying and a violation of her free speech rights.
This is a horrifying attack on the human rights of @selina_todd and she is not unique. For human rights organisations and representatives and political parties, especially on the left, to overlook this because the alleged conspirators are politically aligned is shameful https://t.co/hj5dFx1GFl— Audrey Ludwig (@AudreySuffolk) January 23, 2020
This is tale of multiple moral failures (and one shining example) but I mostly reproach, not students, but cowardly colleagues with prestige and power who could easily unite to take a firm public stand beside @selina_todd and say - this intimidation is NOT OK. But don't. https://t.co/SLMoFAf5RR— Kathleen Stock (@Docstockk) January 24, 2020
"Whatever our position on sex/gender debates, its time for #twitterstorians to stand up for academic freedom and call out the culture of bullying. When a historian needs security to give lectures, everyone needs to speak out. I stand with [Selina Todd]", another user commented.