Student Who Says University Investigated Her for Saying Women Have Vaginas Cleared

nito100 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
nito100 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A student who said Abertay University investigated her for saying that women have vaginas and are not as strong as men has been cleared of wrongdoing.

29-year-old Lisa Keogh, who was studying law at the Scottish university, said she was subjected to a “modern day witch hunt” for arguing that biologically male transwomen should not be allowed to compete against natural-born women in athletic contests due to males’ strength advantage over the fairer sex, and was supported in her defence by Joanna Cherry, an MP for the left-separatist Scottish National Party (SNP).

Cherry was until recently something of a heroine to the liberal left for her legal battle against the prorogation of Parliament while MPs were trying to frustrate Brexit, as well as a senior member of her party — serving as its frontbench spokeswoman on justice and home affairs as well as its national executive committee.

She no longer fills those roles, however, and is now often lambasted by the social justice left as a “TERF” — trans-exclusionary radical feminist — for her opposition to reforms allowing transgender individuals to change their gender through a simple statutory declaration.

“Yesterday I received a letter from Abertay University dismissing all the complaints made against me. This is a victory. As overjoyed as I am about this decision, I am saddened that I went through this at such a critical time in my university career,” Keogh lamented.

“The very end of my period at Abertay is now tarnished with these bad memories and I worry that my final grades will have been affected by this,” she continued, revealing that she would “not feel comfortable attending any graduation event” and that, despite the university having “decided I’m innocent of all charges, the ordeal I have been through has been a punishment in itself.”

Joanna Cherry agreed that Keogh “shouldn’t have been put through this ordeal” in the first place, adding that “Universities should review free speech & equality policies to ensure students aren’t targeted by spurious complaints nor discriminated against, harassed or victimised for their beliefs.”

Abertay University, for its part, insists that “Contrary to misleading statements by some commentators who view this as a case about gender identity, Lisa Keogh was not subject to disciplinary action for expressing so-called ‘unacceptable opinions’ about gender identity, or any other topic.”

A spokesman for the publicly-funded institution claimed in a statement that Keogh “met with a student disciplinary board on Monday to consider a single element of an initially complex complaint, which fell within the scope of the Code of Student Discipline. This concerned a complaint about the behaviour of Ms Keogh in class.”

The spokesman did not offer any substantive detail on what that complaint consisted of, in either its “initially complex” or final, more focused form, but conceded that, in any event, “The disciplinary panel did not uphold the complaint against Ms Keogh.”

“As previously stated, our Code of Student Discipline does not constrain lawful free speech, but does cover student behaviour,” they added — somewhat confusingly, given students exercising their freedom of speech and student behaviour are clearly not mutually exclusive activities.

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