Taking Stock: Oxford Union to Set Up “Welfare Spaces” for Students to Cope With Gender Debate

The Oxford Union bills itself as “the most prestigious debating society in the world” based on the values of free speech. It is a well-earned reputation for one of the world’s oldest forums for debating the great issues of the day. However, Oxford students are outraged that the Union will allow a debate over transgender ideology. In response, as reported by the The Times UK, the Union has promised to provide a “non-student support team that will remain in a separate welfare space to offer counseling and advice.” This is to deal with the trauma of free speech in simply allowing Dr. Kathleen Stock to speak about her views that biological sex is real and “gender identity” should not alter certain biological truths.

Stock is a feminist who has joined those (like the author J.K. Rowling) in raising concerns over transgender ideology. Her book, “Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism,” explores the subject and calls for a reaffirming of fixed biological realities.

At the same time, Stock has stressed her support for trans rights generally, writing that trans people “deserve to be safe, to be visible throughout society without shame or stigma, and to have exactly the same life opportunities as non-trans people do.”

Nevertheless, Oxford’s LGBTQ+ society called for censorship of the debate society and objected to her being allowed to be heard on campus as a “transphobic and trans-exclusionary speaker.” They alleged that the union was ignoring the welfare of the society’s members under the guise of free speech.

It really is not a “guise” but the very essence of free speech.

Stock was previously a faculty member at University of Sussex, but was effectively forced out due to protests. She is now a Founding Faculty Fellow of the University of Austin, a school founded on free speech principles.

The Oxford Union deserves considerable credit for maintaining its commitment to free speech in the face of yet another cancel campaign. What is most notable about the campaign is the objection to “letting Stock bring her campaign of hate and misinformation to Oxford [and] allowing her to stoke fear against trans people without challenge or opposition.”

This is a debating society. Stock will be challenged and questioned. That is the point. What the LGBTQ+ society is advocating is the cancellation of such speakers to bar “challenge or opposition” to its own views.

The creation of “welfare spaces” is a bit difficult to square with the free speech foundation of the Union. It is also unlikely that emotional support teams are available when writers and professors are denounced as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs).

There has long been an anti-free speech movement based on the notion of free speech as harmful. This dangerous trend in academia is discussed in my law review article, Jonathan Turley, “Harm and Hegemony: The Decline of Free Speech in the United States”, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

The Union reinforces this view by promising to have emotional support ready and safe spaces set aside for those traumatized by hearing opposing views.

I have previously written of my pride as an alumnus of The University of Chicago in how the school has led the fight for free speech in higher education.  It is also ranked as the number one free speech school in the country. (I will be speaking at UChicago next week on Friday and Saturday, including one event on free speech).

UChicago shocked many in 2016 when it sent a letter to incoming students that promised an unfettered and uncensored education without the protection from disturbing or offensive ideas. While most schools are actively curtailing free speech, its letter warned the students that they will not be protected against ideas or given “safe spaces.”

Again, Oxford Union has remained faithful to its noble commitment to free speech inviting Stock. I can also understand the desire to be responsive and understanding to the deep-felt sense of injury by some. However, universities do not have to protect people from the trauma of hearing opposing views. They need to empower everyone to speak freely and to associate with others who share their values.

I may be naive, but I also hope that a few critics might also want to hear Stock and engage in a productive and civil debate at the Oxford Union.

135 thoughts on “Taking Stock: Oxford Union to Set Up “Welfare Spaces” for Students to Cope With Gender Debate”

  1. The gay union is populated by clearly deranged individuals who somehow think they can demand acceptance and control the behavior of others. This entire discussion about “safe spaces” is ce.

  2. From a generation whose youth stormed the beaches of Normandy to a generation who feel unsafe hearing a dissenting viewpoint. How sad

  3. If we expect university students and those of an age in advance of that to be adults, it has been my perception that Orwell’s definition of Liberty suffices to separate the adults from the intellectual children, to wit: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

  4. Well I would like to see some welfare spaces set up for folks like me who need a safe place to go to cope with the mentality that creates this nonsense.

    I’m thinking stacks of dinner plates and a good concrete wall…

  5. ” … The Union has promised to provide a “non-student support team that will remain in a separate welfare space to offer counseling and advice.” This is to deal with the trauma of free speech in simply allowing Dr. Kathleen Stock to speak about her views that biological sex is real and “gender identity” should not alter certain biological truths.”
    I just sent a gross of 3 1/2 inch (#64) rubber bands to the Oxford Union for use in the their “welfare spaces.” I’m suggesting they distribute them to the traumatized needy post haste so the poor dears can tightly wrap them around their pants legs to prevent those vicious British ants from eating their candy arses.

        1. Cindy,

          Great to hear from you to.
          One thing about it we surely living in interesting times.

          I hope everyone is having a nice Mothers Day. Many of us are glad it’s only 24 hours as many guys know at some point we’re going to say something stupid again. lol;)

        1. If you people insist on playing with Bio-Chems & Oppenheimer’s lil Toy Nuke Weapon Crap please take it a few Solar Systems away from Earth as it’s not only Stupid but also it’s Illegal… long passed Dr Doug Rokke & All of his former dead Crew & … Dr Francis Boyle all point out we have far to many Ignorant Azzholes play with things they don’t understand or they are just Evil.


          BTW: the grill Rib Steak, bake potato , asparagus w Real Mow Cow Butter, onion, tomato was great! Enjoy your UN/WHO/WEF Bill Gates-Klaus Shwab Bug Guts Dinner w/their Mark Of The Breast Tat on your forehead to pay for it with. lol;)

        2. Ok, it could be the Mark of the “Breast” or more likely it’s the “Mark of the Beast”. lol;)

            1. Nice Darren, I hate my typos but love the opportunity it provides to advance humor & humanity.

              BTW: That Real Moe’s Mow Moo Cow Butter we’re using is Kerry Gold Real Butter out of dairy cows in Ireland! Not trying to push things, but if I’m taking one in Cardio Chest I’m going in on Real Irish Butter. 🙂

              We have I would think plenty of real cows here in the middle of the US. Last time I heard 1.5 millions just west of here in Osage County & likely at least that many to the East in Rogers Co, Etc., around Tulsa County.

              But we’re a bit spooked around here. A few hours West of Tulsa in the Texas panhandle a few weeks back 18000 Dairy Cows were reported to have Exploded in the local news. Read that again 18000 Dairy Cows Exploded, What the Hell ???? LOL:) True, it was reported, did I hear that right?

              Spontaneous Combustion? We’re not sure, I think we need to call Agent Mulder, Scully @ the X-Files just encase.

              Just imagine all these Cow Farts around here going off at once. The planet is Doomed. lol;)

        3. David, another classic true but meaningless “fact” Just because it can be measured,doesn’t mean the value is relevant to the discussion.

  6. Jonathan: Happy Mother’s day to all the mothers that work tirelessly to support their families and raise their kids. They are the unsung heroes we celebrate today. But some mothers who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy will not find an abortion provider in over a dozen states. They will be forced to travel hundreds of miles, at great expense, to find someone who actually cares about them. So, today there will be a lot of celebration of our mothers–even by GOP politicians. But when the rubber meets the road the GOP really doesn’t care about what happens to mothers. They are the real hypocrites today!

    So what else happened this week that deserves attention? Since January the GOP controlled House has been investigating the “Great Biden Family Corruption Scandal”. You have written ad nauseum about it. So what has GOP Chair/Herr Comer come up with so far? Insinuation, conjecture and speculation–but little in the way of solid evidence. Not the kind the House Jan. 6 Committee developed about how Trump planned and attempted an insurrection to overturn the 2020 election and the government.

    Anyway, Comer announced this week “indications of influence peddling” by the Biden family–foreign business dealings by Pres. Biden’s brother James and Hunter. The two were paid over $10 million. But Comer has come up with no proof any of the money ended up in Joe Biden’s pockets or that his decisions as VP were influenced by his brother’s or son’s business ventures. In his news conference on Wednesday Comer claimed the Biden family foreign business endeavors “risked our country’s national security”. Did Comer present any evidence to back up his bizarre claim? Nope.

    And what is Fox saying about about Comer’s investigation? On Thursday Fox host Steve Doocy said this to Comer: “That’s just your suggestion. You don’t actually have any facts to that point. You’ve got some circumstantial evidence” Doocy said. “And the other thing is, if all those names, the one person who didn’t profit–there’s no evidence that Joe Biden did anything illegally”. Woops! Seems you are not on the same page with Fox. How are you going to explain to your bosses at Fox why you have taken the opposite view?

    It appears Comer’s “investigation” is a futile search for crimes that don’t exist. Comer is using valuable government resources in an attempt to influence the 2024 presidential election. Throw around a lot of dirt and hope something sticks. When a reporter asked Comer whether his Committee would investigate the Trump family foreign dealings and their real influence peddling, he was non-committal. The Q is whether Comer will come up with any prosecutorial offenses against the Biden family between now and next year’s election? Unlikely. It’s all about smoke and mirrors!

    1. Nothing celebrates Mother’s Day like advocating for killing children.

      As to this statement: “So what has GOP Chair/Herr Comer come up with so far? Insinuation, conjecture and speculation–but little in the way of solid evidence.”

      Well, that’s with the exception of bank records showing bank deposits in almost all Biden family member’s accounts for which payment no known service was delivered by the recipients.

    2. Impeach Biden!
      Impeach Biden!
      Impeach Biden!

      Expose every bit of Biden’s decades of dirty family “business” and criminality to the country for the next 18 months!
      Does not matter if R’s do not have votes to convict, IMPEACH NOW and drag Biden’s dirty laundry thru the mud, relentlessly!
      Play the game Democrats play….IMPEACH BIDEN NOW!

  7. I have always considered Oxford highly overrated; simply another crime factory like Harvard, Yale and Princeton!

    Are we supposed to take Princeton seriously when it has the likes of Kristina Olson on their faculty —- who claim that three–year–old children can be TRANSGENDERS? Who will utter in the same sentence that “there are no genders” yet babies can pop out of the womb immediately recognizing their own wrong genders?!

    Puuuhlease!!!!! And Princeton and similar outfits were long ago seeded with the wrong types by the Bretton Woods Committee (brettonwoods dot org), the lobbyist group for the international super–rich!!!

    And at Harvard virtually every criminal group is to be found: where the architects of election fraud and mass censorship and anti–spikevax (mass mandates for concentration camps and other nefarious schemes can be seen!

    Remember: 21 evidence exhibits from the Charles Lieber trail in Boston were classified from public viewing by the FBI —— must have been afraid of something there!?

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