A student editor who retweeted the seemingly innocent question, “Is it a crime to say women don’t have penises?” Has had his world turned upside down.
The Daily Mail reports that Angelos Sofocleous, who is a student at a prestigious British university, retweeted an article by the political magazine The Spectator with the headline, “Is it a crime to say women don’t have penises?”
The 24-year-old from Cyprus also added the kicker, “RT if women don’t have penises.”
The postgraduate philosophy and psychology student who was an assistant editor at Durham University’s philosophy journal Critique at the time of the tweet was ill-prepared for the barrage of abuse that would answer his light-hearted social media antics.
Fellow students formed a line to brand the tweet as “transphobic” and demanded justice.
The powers that be decided to sack Mr. Sofocleous from his post as assistant editor of Critique and he was also given the shunt from his position as editor of Durham University’s online magazine ‘The Bubble‘. To complete the hat-trick of kickbacks he was also forced to resign as president of free speech society Humanist Students.
Mr. Sofocleous’s treatment has ignited a fierce debate revolving around the thorny topics of freedom of speech and trans rights.
President of the Durham University Philosophy Society, Ryan Lo explained Mr. Sofocleous was relieved of his post because his social media activity “belittled trans experience.”
“Durham University Philosophy Society has a duty to act within the best interests of all of its members, therefore is committed to equality and diversity and to our democratic principles as a group of Durham Students Union.
“We do not tolerate practices of racism, sexism, or trans-exclusionary sentiments.”
The new editor-in-chief of Critique, Sebastián Sánchez-Schilling, reinforced Mr. Lo’s statements and tweeted the announcement that from now on the publication would not be “‘tolerating trans-exclusionary radical feminists or bowing to their pressure.”
Spectator Journalist Toby Young was shocked by the university’s seemingly intolerant actions and asked Mr. Sánchez-Schilling, “As the editor of a philosophy journal at one of Britain’s great universities, how do you justify not tolerating dissent from campus orthodoxies? Shouldn’t you be encouraging debate about important issues rather than stifling it?”
Student editor who tweeted that 'women don't have penises' is fired from university journal in transgender row https://t.co/4m1hQXx5ei— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) September 21, 2018
Mr. Sofocleous stands by his tweet and told Chronicle Live, “‘What I said was a biological fact.
“We’ve reached a weird era where we are sacking people for stating facts. Even if this is an opinion, people shouldn’t be sacked for having it. We should be having healthy discussions instead of silencing people. It seems like we are taking steps backward.”