Tom Slater Tom Slater

Lisa Keogh and the myth of campus censorship

The next time someone tells you campus censorship is a myth, made up by right-wing tabloids and leapt upon by a Tory government keen to wage a ‘culture war’ against the left, tell them to Google ‘Lisa Keogh’.

Keogh is a 29-year-old law student at Abertay University in Dundee. She is currently being investigated by the university for the crime of saying that women have vaginas and men are stronger than women. For all the naysaying on the left, campus censorship is now apparently so extensive that stating widely accepted facts is a risky business.

Campus censorship is now apparently so extensive that stating widely accepted facts is a risky business

As the Times reports, Keogh is facing disciplinary action over ‘offensive’ and ‘discriminatory’ comments that she made during lectures and seminars. These include saying that women are born with female genitalia and that ‘the difference in physical strength of men versus women is a fact’. Such heresies upset her younger classmates, who complained to the university.

Keogh also claims she was muted during a seminar for suggesting that trans women, given their physical advantages, shouldn’t be able to compete against women in mixed martial arts. ‘I made the point that this woman had testosterone in her body for 32 years and, as such, would be genetically stronger than your average woman’, she said. ‘I wasn’t being mean, transphobic or offensive. I was stating a basic biological fact.’ She also objected to other students suggesting that ‘all men are rapists’.

When Keogh was informed that she was under investigation, she thought it was a joke: ‘I thought there was no way that the university would pursue me for utilising my legal right to freedom of speech.’ But that is precisely what is happening.

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