George Orwell said, “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”
Never has this seemed more true than when observing the way a university treated a female researcher who discovered that other female academics were censored, smeared, and silenced when they questioned “gender identity theory” and their views didn’t comport with their liberal institutions.
Laura Favaro, a feminist sociologist at City, University of London worked, in her own words, “to investigate the disputes around sex and gender that have escalated dramatically since the 2010s.”
City, a public research university, confiscated Favaro’s findings that studied reactions to Britain’s gender wars, claiming the research data she discovered was “dangerous.” Favaro had set out to do the first taxpayer-funded study into “whether social scientists at universities feel censored over their views on transgender issues” back in March 2020.
As she began to collect evidence that female researchers were being ostracized and smeared for believing in just two biological sexes, she was pushed out of the university, “stripped of the findings she collected and barred from publishing them amid claims of transphobia,” The Telegraph reported.
Favaro’s Twitter profile sums it up nicely: She’s a Spanish sociologist and mom who “Spent 3 years researching the ‘gender wars’, censorship & working life in academia. Suffered consequences …”
Her story came to light as she is bringing an employment tribunal claim against City.
Her claim? That she was discriminated against for believing in and studying the reality of male and female sexes and gathering the stories of dozens of women who believe the same and were being smeared for it.
At Crowdjustice.com, where she is raising funds to take her case to the employment tribunal, Favaro writes:
I’m an academic who has been researching the silencing, discrimination and harassment of female academics who raise questions about gender identity theory, including those that are “gender critical” such as myself. As a consequence, I have been ostracised, subjected to false complaints, had my research stopped, my research data taken away, and I have lost my job.
According to The Telegraph, Favaro received £18,000 ($22,470) from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and another source to perform her research. She gave a report of her findings to the commission, and it has not yet been published.
From 2020 until recently, she dug deep into the realm of sociology and psychology to study sex and gender. Her study included at least 50 individual interviews with members of academia in gender studies departments who identify themselves as feminists. She also conducted a survey of 650 social scientists.
What she learned was not surprising to anyone who has been paying attention not just to the gender debate but to the public’s reaction to those who hold traditionalist or religious views on the matter, including the visceral reactions to even renowned authors like J.K. Rowling.
The scholars Favaro interviewed who embraced a traditionalist view of sex and gender said they had experienced threats, smears from colleagues, and believed their careers “can’t survive that sort of backlash.” For coming to the conclusion that “a culture of discrimination, silencing and fear has taken hold,” as she wrote in an article back in September, she herself has been silenced.
Oh, the irony.
After tracking these results from academic peers, Favaro’s bosses told her that City thought her data was “dangerous” and was afraid to make the results public.
The Telegraph reported that Sahra Taylor, a City lecturer, claimed Favaro’s work reviewing scholars’ opinions on gender issues and their feedback was an “attack piece on trans people [and] our existences” that has “clearly caused harm to many interviewed.”
Eventually, Favaro lost the ability to access her own email account that she used to communicate with the survey respondents, and administrators demanded that she give up all her material and findings.
City, University of London, has refuted her claims.
This dystopian nightmare is Favaro’s reality, and it’s relevant to us in the United States in a myriad of ways. For starters, from her research, it’s clear more people in England—and likely here, too—simply believe in two genders, male and female. Second, they don’t feel like they can speak out, and the whistleblowers like Favaro who do face severe punitive measures.
This is devastating news for academic freedom, freedom of speech, and perhaps most importantly, freedom of belief. May we watch, learn, and prevent this from happening here.
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