Law professor 'scared' for her safety after speaking out on gender self-identification

(Photo: Unsplash/Cecilie Johnsen)

An academic at the University of Reading says she has received rape and death threats from trans rights activists over her opposition to gender self-identification.

Prof Rosa Freedman said her office door had been covered in urine and that she had been forced to hide behind trees after being followed.

She also claimed to have received anonymous phone calls in the middle of the night from individuals who told her she 'should be raped and killed' for her beliefs on gender identity.

Prof Freedman, an expert in human rights law, said the campaign of harassment began after she took part in a public debate in which she voiced concerns about women's safety if the Government goes ahead with proposed changes to the UK's gender laws.

According to the Daily Mail, she explained further that she believed 'a woman should be defined by law as biological not psychological' and that other academics were being 'harassed' in the workplace for sharing the same view, even when it was evidence-based.

'[We] are being demonised, harassed, and targeted for expressing opinions based on the expertise for which we were hired and for why we are revered,' she wrote.

'This evening I was followed by students on campus, and ended up hiding behind trees because I was scared for my physical safety.

'I have been open about being a survivor of sexual violence, despite which young male-bodied persons have seen fit to abuse me verbally about rape or follow me in the dark into secluded spaces.'

She went on to say that with her experience of abuse, it was 'little wonder' that other women 'feel unable to speak up to protect women's rights'.

Prof Freedman also told the BBC that critics had branded her 'transphobic' and a 'Nazi' for her views.

Dr Chloe Houston, an associate professor at the university, condemned the 'abusive treatment' by 'anonymous cowards' and denied that her colleague was transphobic.

'Rosa has not expressed transphobic views and she is not transexclusionary,' she said.