The event, which features Professor Kathleen Stock of the University of Sussex, has been criticised due to previous comments made by the academic concerning gender. The group has released a letter in which they claim the talk is "scientifically illiterate and outright dangerous as it legitimises bigotry and hatred towards trans people".
Professor Stock, has said that "trans women are still males with male genitalia, many are sexually attracted to females, and they should not be in places where females undress or sleep in a completely unrestricted way."
She has strongly denied being transphobic, however, stating that she "vocally uphold(s) the rights of trans women to be free of violence and discrimination, but I question whether the only way to protect trans women from violence is to allow trans women into female communal spaces."
YUSU LGBTQ+ Officer Gemma Card commented to Nouse about the event: "It’s dangerous for the University to allow someone with bigoted views on gender and shameful that an academic feels they are in a position to question a persons identity. Our University, or at least the Philosophy Department, has failed us by inviting Kathleen Stock. Look no further than her TERF infused articles and Twitter account. The Trans Network will be heard on this."
A spokesperson for the University of York said: "The speaker at this event will be discussing a research paper with an academic audience. We believe in providing an environment for a variety of different academic views, which can be both debated and challenged in a respectful manner. We are committed to creating a University community where diversity is recognised, valued, and celebrated."