Student warns professor her 'gender critical' talks are 'problematic'

Student warns professor her 'gender critical' talks are 'problematic'

‘Choose your words carefully’: Law professor shares sinister letter from Reading student warning her ‘gender critical’ talks have been ‘identified’ as ‘problematic’ to the trans community

  • Feminist law professor Rosa Freedman received sinister letter from student
  • Reading student Alex Wareham told lawyer to ‘choose her words carefully’
  • Miss Freedman does not believe men can become women by surgery
  • She questions policies giving transgender people access to female-only spaces

A feminist law professor accused of transphobia received a ‘passive aggressive’ email from a Reading student calling her views on gender politics ‘problematic’ and warning her to ‘choose her words carefully’.

Rosa Freedman, a human rights lawyer who does not believe men can become women by surgery, shared images of a letter from Reading student Alex Wareham in which he says he is working with professors to ‘identify problematic areas within the university which is (sic) holding it back from equality’.

In the email, Mr Wareham says he intends to discuss the Reading lecturer and her ”gender critical’ talks’ but would ‘prefer to talk to you personally about this issue and your opinion on trans rights’ rather than ‘sum up your feelings from a few talks, twitter threads, emails, and press coverage’.

Referring to her ‘issues in the past with trans allies trying to protect the trans community from you’ – a nod to Miss Freedman’s cancellation by Essex University last year – Mr Wareham insists he does not ‘intend to get aggressive’ before adding: ‘I would recommend that you choose your words carefully’. 

He continues: ‘I understand you may be delayed in reply (sic), but if I do not here (sic) back from you, I will have to move forward anyway’, before signing off with the pronouns ‘he/him’. 

Sharing images of the letter on Twitter last night, Miss Freedman accused Mr Wareham of ‘harassment and intimidation’ and said ‘after three years of watching my back’ she is ‘going to call out this s**t’.

The Jewish feminist, who has complained of receiving anti-Semitic abuse from trans activists for questioning policies giving transgender people access to female-only spaces, hit back: ‘Harassment and intimidation will not silence me. If you didn’t want to be named and shamed then don’t send passive aggressive messages. I’m done being your punchbag. And I’m done staying silent.’ 

She added: ‘To the people who say I shouldn’t have named this person publicly. He is a grown adult. And he sought to intimidate me in my workplace. I’ve been here previously and I’ve learned that an evidenced (sic) based response is the only forward. Please stop victim blaming.’ 

Miss Freedman told MailOnline her Twitter account has been locked, while the tweet has been hidden by the social media website for allegedly violating its rules. The account will remain locked until her tweet is removed.  

Mr Wareham declined to comment. The University of Reading have been contacted for comment. 

Rosa Freedman received a ‘passive aggressive’ email from a Reading student calling her views on gender politics ‘problematic’ and warning her to ‘choose her words carefully’


She shared images of a letter from student Alex Wareham in which he says he is working with professors to ‘identify problematic areas within the university which is (sic) holding it back from equality’

Sharing images of the letter on Twitter last night, Miss Freedman accused Mr Wareham of ‘harassment and intimidation’ and said ‘after three years of watching my back’ she is ‘going to call out this s**t’

The professor who was warned to ‘choose her words carefully’ by a student is a human rights lawyer who does not believe men can become women by surgery. 

Rosa Freedman has received anti-Semitic abuse from trans activists for questioning policies that give transgender people access to female-only spaces such as women’s changing rooms, prisons and sports teams.

She was ‘disinvited’ from speaking on a panel on anti-Semitism in January 2020 to mark Holocaust Memorial Week amid allegations of transphobia. Miss Freedman has since received an apology from the university. 

She had been assured in December 2019 that she would be invited to speak at the university about a report she helped to write on anti-Semitism and human rights. But the university found that complaints had been made about her views on ‘sex and gender’.

Prof Freedman had also signed the letter raising concerns about Stonewall and been labelled as ‘transphobic’. Her invitation was later reinstated but the university’s inquiry found that, had this not happened, ‘she would have been subjected to an interference with her right to freedom of expression’. 

Miss Freedman received an apology from Essex University after she was ‘disinvited’ from speaking on a panel on anti-Semitism in January 2020 to mark Holocaust Memorial Week amid allegations of transphobia. 

She had been assured in December 2019 that she would be invited to speak at the university about a report she helped to write on anti-Semitism and human rights. But the university found that complaints had been made about her views on ‘sex and gender’.

Prof Freedman had also signed the letter raising concerns about Stonewall and been labelled as ‘transphobic’. Her invitation was later reinstated but the university’s inquiry found that, had this not happened, ‘she would have been subjected to an interference with her right to freedom of expression’.

The law professor said she felt vindicated, adding: ‘They were trying to cancel me from having a platform, on a subject where I am a world-leading expert and which is of deep personal significance, because of my views on sex and gender.’ 

A damning report for Essex University by barrister Akua Reindorf found that the institution has failed to uphold free speech, branded Miss Freedman and another academic – Jo Phoenix, professor of criminology at the Open University – transphobes, and subjected them to mass complaints in what was called a ‘mob atmosphere’. 

Miss Freedman and Miss Phoenix believe that men cannot become women by surgery and that it is important to protect women-only spaces in institutions such as prisons and refuges. 

Unredacted copies of the report showed that a flyer was circulated with ‘violent and profane’ imagery, including the image of a gun, and the words Shut the F*** Up TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) – a pejorative term for someone considered transphobic. 

Both academics slammed the ‘culture of fear’ at Essex and demanded that the university donate at least £100,000 to a women’s charity and discipline or sack the students and staff involved in their abuse. 

In a joint statement, they said: ‘We feel very sad. It took 18 months to investigate what happened to us, which included a violent threat against one of us and the other being called a Holocaust denier. We welcome the apology… but we also want to see… the students and staff responsible disciplined. 

‘We also, because of the damage to our reputations and the stress caused, want the university to make a six- figure donation to a women’s charity. The culture of fear on campus at Essex… is very real. People are afraid to speak out.’  

Miss Freedman is a professor of law at Reading University who who does not believe men can become women by surgery

Miss Freedman received an apology from Essex University after she was ‘disinvited’ from speaking on a panel on anti-Semitism in January 2020 to mark Holocaust Memorial Week amid allegations of transphobia

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Prof Phoenix welcomed the apology but said the experience had taken an appalling toll on her personal and professional life.

The origin of her nightmare was a decision to join other lecturers in signing two open letters in which concerns were raised that trans activists were curtailing academic freedoms.

One claimed that LGBT charity Stonewall was restricting debate by advising universities against inviting speakers who deny ‘that transgender people are the gender they are’, although Stonewall says that is not true.

During a speech at a feminist meeting in 2019, Prof Phoenix also criticised the idea that men who identify as women should be allowed to serve their sentences in female prisons because they are the same as women.

‘I knew that I was sticking my head above the parapet,’ she said. ‘But what I did not realise is how quickly it could get shot off.’ She was quickly labelled a ‘TERF’. 

‘I was accused of being part of an anti-trans social movement simply for raising a question about Stonewall’s influence on universities,’ Prof Phoenix said. ‘All we were saying was, hang on a second, these sets of ideas about gender and gender identity are open to question, and if we don’t question them we’re actually looking at the curtailment of academic freedom. I thought that was relatively uncontroversial. How naive was I?’

Miss Freedman previously called on the Government to launch an inquiry into the ‘suppression of academic freedom’ after complaining of being blacklisted from events and jobs because of ‘spurious allegations’ of transphobia.

She claimed in a letter to her MP Oliver Dowden last year that senior university managers seeking to ‘silence, block and gag’ are acting ‘in the style of tinpot dictators’. 

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