Student cleared of wrongdoing over gender comments

Lisa Keogh(Photo: LinkedIn/Lisa Keogh)

A law student investigated by her university for saying that women have vaginas and are weaker than men has been cleared of wrongdoing.

Lisa Keogh, a final year student at the University of Abertay in Dundee, Scotland, also said in lectures that women should not have to compete against transwomen in sports because of differences in strength. 

The 29-year-old final year student faced expulsion after being reported by classmates over the "offensive" and "discriminatory" comments.

But the university's Student Disciplinary Board has now informed her in a letter that the complaints have been dismissed. 

Keogh called the outcome of the two-month investigation a "victory" but said it was an ordeal she should have never been put through. 

"As overjoyed as I am about this decision, I am saddened that I went through this at such a critical time in my university career," she said.

"The very end of my period at Abertay is now tarnished with these bad memories and I worry that my final grades will have been affected by this. I will not feel comfortable attending any graduation event.

"Although Abertay has decided I'm innocent of all charges, the ordeal I have been through has been a punishment in itself.

"I hope that Abertay University can learn from this experience and not put other students through a similar ordeal just for voicing their opinions." 

Keogh, who was supported by the Free Speech Union (FSU) and SNP MP Joanna Cherry, said people should "have the opportunity to take part in lively open debates without worrying about being punished afterwards".

"If Abertay just carries on as before, this journey will have been for no good reason," she continued. 

Likening her treatment to a "modern day witch hunt", she said the length of the investigation and the fact it fell over her final exams had been "needlessly cruel". 

"The university should put a process in place that will enable it to judge what complaints need to be investigated and which ones can be dismissed immediately because they're vexatious and politically motivated," she said.

She added, "No woman should face discrimination in the way I have because she believes in sex-based rights." 

Commenting on the investigation, Mrs Cherry said, "I'm pleased at this outcome. But Lisa should never have been put through this ordeal in the first place and the university should review its free speech and equality policies to make sure that future students are not subject to the stress of spurious complaints nor discriminated against, harassed or victimised for their beliefs."

Toby Young, General Secretary of the FSU, said he was delighted that the complaints had been dismissed.

"The path of least resistance would have been to apologise and renounce her heretical belief, but instead she fought her corner," he said.

"Thanks to her courage, there is now space for a broader range of views at Abertay – it is no longer taboo to defend sex-based women's rights."