KCL criticised for hosting controversial ‘transphobic’ speaker

Over 140 KCL societies, staff, students and academics have signed an open letter criticising KCL for hosting Dr. Joanna Williams, an outspoken critic of modern feminism and transgender activism. 

The letter, first published and signed by the KCL Intersectional Feminist Society, was in response to the KCL War Studies Department inviting Dr. Williams to speak at the university on Tuesday. The event, which was titled Endangered Speeches, focused on the debates around free speech on campus.

It was structured as a conversation between Dr. Williams and Professor Michael Rainsborough, Head of the Department of War Studies.

The letter criticised KCL for offering an invitation to Dr. Williams describing her as “someone who opposes women, trans and non-binary people and their well-being and survival”. It also cited her “opposition to the #MeToo movement and feminism”.

It called for “the redaction of her invitation, canceling of the event and public apology” from KCL. 

Dr. Williams is Head of Education and Culture for Policy Exchange, a centre-right think tank. She is also an associate editor at online magazine Spiked.

Spiked frequently criticises what is described as ‘identity politics’. A recent podcast advertised on the website is titled ‘There’s no such thing as Islamophobia’.

Recent articles Dr. Williams has written for the magazine include an article criticising the ‘self-identification’ of transgender people, one defending controversial feminist Germaine Greer and one arguing against the ‘upskirting law’.

Her most recent book is titled ‘Women vs Feminism: Why We All Need Liberating from the Gender Wars’. 

The demands in the letter are described within as “a step in a much needed fightback against King’s College London’s complicity in and apathy towards transphobia and misogyny.”

A spokesperson from the university told London Student: “Dr Joanna Williams spoke at an event on Tuesday. We promote Freedom of Expression within the law as a university which is one of our core purposes even when debate and points of view are controversial.”


London Student News Editor - born in London, now study here and judging by this pollution, probably going to die here too.

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