Liberation groups condemn HistorySoc’s invite of Jenni Murray

They called on the society to publicly condemn her views and cancel the event

Three student liberation groups have called on Oxford University History Society to retract their invitation for Dame Jenni Murray to speak at an event, due to her “transphobic rhetoric”.

Oxford SU LGBTQ+ Campaign, Oxford University LGBTQ Society and Oxford SU Women’s Campaign collectively wrote a statement condemning the society’s decision to invite her this Saturday at Oriel College on the topic of “Powerful British Women in History and Society”.

In the statement, they accused her of making “explicitly transphobic comments” in a 2017 Sunday Times article, where she “repeatedly insinuated that transgender women and girls are not women and can only pretend to be women.”

In the article, she wrote that “it takes more than a sex change and makeup” to become a woman, and she told trans women to not call themselves “real women”.

The statement said: “Her views, which clearly reflect a lack of engagement with the vast majority of actual trans people, and are in sum deeply harmful to trans women and trans feminine people, contributing to and exacerbating the harassment, marginalisation, discrimination, and violence that they already face.

“[…]Inviting Murray to talk in this capacity leaves her transphobic rhetoric essentially unchallenged. 

“While there may be “ample time for questions”, the decision to offer Murray a platform is not apolitical or neutral, especially when her views cause tangible harm to vulnerable members of our society.”

When contacted for comment, Oxford University History Society referred Cherwell to the event’s Facebook post, which stated: “Jenni Murray was invited for her prominent role as presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, as well as for her historical writings. 

“As a society we condemn any transphobia and do not necessarily endorse the views of our speakers.”

A spokesperson for the University told Cherwell: “Oxford is committed to supporting the University’s transgender students and staff and to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment that promotes equality and diversity.

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“We are also committed to freedom of expression, and this event is entirely suitable for a student society.”

Dame Jenni Murray and Oriel College have been contacted for comment.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Disgraceful intolerance. University is meant to be a place where you are exposed to a range of views and can discuss them, not a place where only one view is allowed to be expressed.

  2. The way things are going under the present authoritarian and totalitarian SJW rule, if Shelley published THE NECESSITY OF ATHEISM today he would be expelled from Oxford as he was in 1811. Imagine, wounding the feelings of the religious and violating their safe space …

  3. So the representatives of LGBTQ Society seem to be offended that someone else has a different view as to what constitutes a woman. Fine. Some people may think that unfair. Some people may think it breeds intolerance which is another matter, and maybe worthy of discussion. In the very place of enquiry and debate, one can share, strengthen and enrich the debate and acceptance and create tolerance, if not necessarily agreement. It is the willingness to take on debate, to listen, share and enquire that allows us to grow and prepare us for life. If there is no debate, you might as well speak to a few friends about how right you are. What prospect for peace and growth in the world if debate is stifled? Maybe an enquiry where people are simply heard. What a missed opportunity, yet again. Do you think that in life, you will be limited to speaking only to people who agree with you? It is in the debate, that we not only learn to speak but to listen

  4. What a joke!!! Oxford University’s Women’s Campaign descriminated against and reviled a prominent women’s rights activist! What would they have done to Ms Pankhurst?

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