Academics say Edinburgh University’s cancellation of screening of gender-critical film is ‘shameful’

Kathleen Stock - Oxford Union Society/PA Wire
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Academics have called on the University of Edinburgh to ensure a screening of a gender-critical film goes ahead after Kathleen Stock’s talk in Oxford.

A planned screening of the controversial documentary Adult Human Female, which challenges transgender ideology and examines opposition to it in the UK, has been cancelled twice because of opposition from pro-trans campaigners.

A group of lecturers who call themselves the University of Edinburgh Academics for Academic Freedom said it was “shameful” that no events advocating for women’s rights on the basis of sex have been allowed to take place on campus to their knowledge during the past academic year.

They said that several public events platforming gender-identity theory “uncritically” have gone ahead at the university.

The academics cited an event with the gender-critical feminist Prof Stock at the Oxford Union last week, which went ahead despite some students and activists calling for her to be no-platformed over her views.

“Professor Kathleen Stock spoke at the Oxford Union, despite intense and heavily publicised protests,” they said.

“It seems to be only the University of Edinburgh which is unable to prevent such events from being sabotaged.”

Film screening delayed ‘due to security issues’

The screening of Adult Human Female has now been delayed until the start of the next academic year because the university’s management has been unable to make appropriate security arrangements, the academics said on Monday.

They said: “In the immediate aftermath of the second sabotage of our screening and discussion, we said that ‘senior leaders in the university have failed to uphold their legal and moral responsibility to promote and defend academic freedom’.

“The prompt and decisive action we hoped for has not materialised.”

Prof Peter Mathieson, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said in May that it is “important that views can be heard, that individuals are not prevented from exercising their rights to freedom of speech and assembly by others in our community, and that all members of our university are treated with dignity and respect, including by those who disagree with them.”

A spokesperson for the university said: “At the University of Edinburgh, we are committed to upholding freedom of expression and academic freedom and the right of people to take part in peaceful and lawful protest.”

They added: “We are in discussion with the organisers of the screening of the film, Adult Human Female, and others in our community with the aim of identifying a suitable approach for screening the film safely.”

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