Oxford don branded 'transphobic' will head new women's rights research programme

A controversial academic accused of being transphobic will head a new women's rights initiative at Oxford University.

Professor of Modern History Selina Todd is one of several people who were chosen to lead the Oxford Martin Programme on Women’s Equality and Inequality, which was announced earlier this month.

She has previously been criticised by LGBT campaigners for holding 'anti-trans' views and supporting Woman's Place, a group branded as a 'trans-exclusionary hate group' by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights.

In a statement published by St Hilda's College, Professor Todd said: 'We are very proud that Oxford will be home to this new research programme on women's equality and inequality.

'The idea for this initiative grew in part from a St Hilda's research initiative called "Mind the Gap", which brought together academics at all levels, including students, to discuss shared concerns in the research of inequality.' 

Professor of Modern History Selina Todd is one of several people who were chosen to lead the Oxford Martin Programme on Women¿s Equality and Inequality, which was announced earlier this month

Professor of Modern History Selina Todd is one of several people who were chosen to lead the Oxford Martin Programme on Women’s Equality and Inequality, which was announced earlier this month

It is unclear how the Oxford Martin Programme on Women’s Equality and Inequality will improve the rights of all women, including transgender women. 

The initiative, also led by Professor Senia Paseta, aims to 'eradicate educational and economic inequality for women around the world' by identifying 'drivers of individual upward mobility.'       

Professor Todd came under fire earlier this year when she joined other speakers at the 'Defend Me or Expel Me' event in London, organised by Labour Women's Declaration supporters.

She was one of nine headliners who spoke out against Labour's trans rights pledges.

The event followed persistent backlash from the cancellation of Professor Todd's talk at a feminist festival held at Exeter College.

She was uninvited from the event, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of Ruskin College's inaugural Women's Liberation Conference, after trans-inclusive feminists pointed out her ties with Woman's Place. 

In a statement addressing the cancellation in March, Professor Todd said: 'I am shocked to have been no-platformed by this event, organised by Oxford International Women's Festival and hosted at Exeter College. 

Laurence Fox to launch new political party to fight 'culture wars' with £5million from former Tory donors 

Laurence Fox is launching a new political party to fight the 'culture wars' named Reclaim, and he has already raised more than £5million.

The actor, 42, has received substantial sums from former Tory donors and hopes to stand dozens of candidates across the UK.

The Lewis star says he wants to provide a movement for people who are 'tired of being told that we represent the very thing we have, in history, stood together against'.

Among Fox's aims in his new party are reforming the BBC and celebrating Britain's contribution to the world, according to The Telegraph.

The party is provisionally called Reclaim and has a website named LaurenceFoxParty.

He hopes to launch the party next month and the name is subject to the Electoral Commission's approval.

His website states: 'Over many years it has become clear that our politicians have lost touch with the people they represent and govern. 

'Moreover, our public institutions now work to an agenda beyond their main purpose.'

 

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'I was asked to participate in October 2019, and I explained to the organisers that some trans activists may object to my being there.

'I was then told that trans activists had already expressed hostility towards the event because they claimed second-wave feminism is inherently trans-exclusionary.'  

Among those who spoke out against her exclusion was campaigner Julie Bindel, who told the organisers: 'You should hang your heads in shame for giving into this mob.' 

The Oxford University History Faculty also criticised the decision, saying: ‘We cannot accept the exclusion of our respected colleague Professor Selina Todd from the event, and that means that we withdrew from the weekend’s celebration. 

'We recognise that it is not always straightforward to balance the rights of women with the rights of trans people, but we believe that the way forward is for us all to talk to one another.’

Professor Todd denies holding discriminatory views against trans people. 

Exeter College said at the time it was not responsible for her being banned.

In a lengthy statement posted on Twitter, the Oxford International Women's Festival said it was not 'responsible for requesting Professor Selina Todd not to speak'.  

The academic was provided security by Oxford University in January after she was informed by students of threats made against her on email threads. 

She said the threats, believed to have come from trans rights campaigners, left her feeling 'vulnerable'.

The appointment comes amid rising condemnation

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