The Gender Inclusion Network (GIN) would like to offer its full support to Professor Alison Phipps, following the publication of her name and photograph in an article by Gabriella Swerling in The Telegraph (05/11/2021 edition). Swerling explicitly uses this article to link Professor Phipps with the responsibility for Professor Kathleen Stock’s recent resignation from her role at Sussex University. 

Professor Phipps is certainly not alone in her prior criticism of Stock’s gender critical views, and of Professor Stock’s role as trustee of the anti-trans rights group, the LGB Alliance. Stock was a signatory of the ‘Declaration on Women’s Sex Based Rights’, which seeks the elimination of what it terms ‘transgenderism’. As a recent Open Letter signed by over 600 members and supporters of GIN testifies, there are a very large number of academics who stand in opposition to Stock’s views and affiliations.

Professor Alison Phipps is an internationally renowned gender studies scholar who is hugely respected within her field. It is our view that Phipps, who is a Professor at Newcastle University, has been singled out in this piece because she was previously a colleague of Stock at the University of Sussex. We strongly condemn The Telegraph in publishing what amounts to little more than a personal attack, based solely on anecdotal evidence and subjective misrepresentation of Phipp’s previous work. No effort was made to engage with the views of trans and non-binary people involved, especially those from the student body. Their wholly justified grievances were at the heart of the protests against Stock, which Stock has herself described as leading to her personal decision to leave her post.

The Telegraph’s choice to run this article is particularly concerning when viewed in the wider context of the European anti-gender movement, which according to ILGA-Europe is “spreading hateful discourses to wedge public opinion, often targeting LGBTI people and their human rights, sexual and reproductive rights, sexual education, and gender studies”. In light of these activities, it is alarming that a gender studies scholar should be targeted in this manner. As this report from the BBC last year shows, transphobic hate crime has been steadily on the rise for some time, and coverage such as this article directs the focus away from the very real concerns of trans and other LGBTI people and instead spreads gender critical misinformation, adding to the long term harm being done. GIN stands with the vulnerable minorities that are currently under attack, and opposes any attempt to build an anti-gender movement in the UK.

We demand that the photograph of Professor Phipps and the unsubstantiated claims about her be removed from The Telegraph’s website. We call for this piece to be retracted and that Professor Phipps is issued with a full and formal apology of equal prominence to the article as it appeared in print and online.