Uni student cleared after being investigated for saying women have vaginas

Student Lisa Keogh, who was investigated by Abertay University for saying women have vaginas and are not as strong as men, has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The law student was investigated by the Scottish university after classmates complained she had made “offensive” and “discriminatory” remarks at a lecture.

She argued the difference in strength between the sexes meant it was not fair that women should have to compete against trans women in sport.

Lisa has now received a letter from the Chair of the Student Disciplinary Board informing her all the complaints against her have been dismissed.

Ms Keogh, who was supported by the SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC and the Free Speech Union, said she was delighted at the victory but saddened that it happened.

She said she was targeted in a “modern day witch hunt” because of her gender critical views and belief in sex-based rights.

Lisa also accused Abertay of being “needlessly cruel” in dragging on an the investigation for two months during her final year exams.

She says she no longer feel comfortable attending her graduation.

The university has stressed the allegations were not in relation to Ms Keogh's personal opinions, but to alleged behaviour in class, including in some online breakout rooms.

According to The Herald, Ms Keogh said: “Yesterday I received a letter from Abertay University dismissing all the complaints made against me. This is a victory. 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.

“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.

“While I may no longer be a student at the University, it is still vital to me that others 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 added: “Although Abertay denies this, it was my gender critical views that led to me being investigated by the University and this should never have happened.

"I know the University has a duty to investigate all complaints, but to draw this process out for two months while I was taking my final exams was 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.

“I always knew the complaints made against me were groundless and now the Student Disciplinary Board has confirmed that.

“I was targeted because of my gender critical views – it was a modern day witch hunt.

“My time studying law at Abertay has made me aware that there are legal avenues open to me to stop this kind of thing happening to other women.

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

“I want to say a special thank you to the Free Speech Union for helping me through this stressful time, in particular Fraser Hudghton, the Case Management Director, who has been on hand at all hours to answer my calls and navigate me through this.

“I also want to say a massive thank you to the SNP MP Joanna Cherry who is someone who I look up to. The fact that she had my back throughout gave me the strength to carry on.

Ms Cherry added: “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."

ree Speech union general secretary Toby Young said: “It should have been obvious that the complaints against her were due to her gender critical views, not the manner in which she expressed them. In a seminar on gender, feminism and the law there should be room for a range of views, from militant trans activism to traditional feminism.

“Lisa deserves a huge amount of credit for standing up for herself. The path of least resistance would have been to apologise and renounce her heretical belief, but instead she fought her corner. 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.”

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A spokesperson for Abertay University said: “Under normal circumstances the University does not comment on student disciplinary cases, however as the student involved in this case has chosen to comment publicly we feel it is necessary for us to do so on this occasion.

“As we have previously stated, the University is legally obliged to investigate all complaints. This does not mean every element of a complaint about a student becomes the subject of a disciplinary case.

“Contrary to misleading statements by some commentators who view this as a case about gender identity, Lisa Keogh was not subject to disciplinary action for expressing so-called ‘unacceptable opinions’ about gender identity, or any other topic.

“Ms Keogh met with a student disciplinary board on Monday to consider a single element of an initially complex complaint, which fell within the scope of the Code of Student Discipline. This concerned a complaint about the behaviour of Ms Keogh in class.

“The disciplinary panel did not uphold the complaint against Ms Keogh.

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