In Support of Academic Freedom of Expression and Critical Thought



A democratic society must allow for rigorous discussion and debate. The moral certainty of some around this topic is fundamentalist and religiose. The silencing of people (especially women) is culturally and politically alarming. We must be able to advocate for the needs of women and girls, lest the clock be wound back on the gains society as made in this regard.

pandora karavan (Greenslopes, 2021-02-27)


The freedom to debate and explore ideas is sacrosanct. Dr Holly Lawford-Smith should be free in a democratic society to exercise her right to express her ideas on what it means to be female, and create a platform for other women to do so too. Those calling for her removal are arguing for a new criminalisation of blasphemy, something we should have left behind in the Enlightenment.

As a lesbian myself I find it highly incorrect to suggest that silencing Dr Lawford-Smith would improve the "safety" of "LGBTIQ+ students". The concerns of lesbians are being repressed by believers of the new gendered-soul religion, and I do not want the L to be included in this phony "concern".

Amy Robinson (Melbourne, 2021-02-27)


I'm signing because regardless of ideological lobby groups, a POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY professor of all people has the right, and should have the support, to ask important questions that might not make one hundred percent of people happy. I am a gay male, I am a past student who graduated from unimelb with a degree in physiology, and I find the idea that we aren't even allowed to question the "gender" activists' narrative disgusting.

Daniel Allen (GREENSBOROUGH, 2021-02-27)


Holly is right standing up for women & girls and has every right to collect this important information.

Judith Hunter (The Junction, 2021-02-27)


Because this is wrong.

Paul Collins (Riom , 2021-02-27)


Academic research integrity does not need to be "inclusive" to be honest research. Stop censoring free thinkers with this biased Genderist Ideology.

Denise Letts (SE Queensland, 2021-02-27)


Our universities and institutions are becoming increasingly partisan and intolerant. Cancelling people you disagree with is totalitarian and should be stopped.

Jane Willis (Noosa, 2021-02-27)


I am an academic and I strongly support academic freedom of research and expression of opinion.

Sandra Taylor (Adelaide, 2021-02-27)


I strongly believe academia should be a place to openly discuss ideas and not fall to prey to dogmatic idealists. I am greatly concerned for our future.

Amanda Ryan (Portland, 2021-02-27)


Stating biological facts and asserting womens sex based rights should not be reason for silencing This is misogyny.

Stephen Pollock (London, 2021-02-27)


If universities ( a place of learning, debate, ideas, science ) cannot have freedom of speech then where else could it possibly reside.

Lynne Robertson (Ridgley, 2021-02-27)


Women are being bullied in the name of an ideologically driven cause which relies on metaphysical claims of 'gender identity' and repeatedly discredited statistics about the risk to trans-identified males in male spaces. Women have always been, and remain, at the highest risk from men, however those men dress or identify.

Jo Smith (Melbourne, 2021-02-27)


How on earth are the true stories of women and girls dangerous? What about “believe women” and “me too” or does it only apply to “cis” men?
As academics don’t you have a responsibility to teach the truth and not promote a corporate captured religious ideology which is based on readily observable lies. Nobody is born in the wrong body. Humans cannot change sex. Holly is the only one brave enough to tell the truth.

Angela Jones (Melbourne , 2021-02-27)


Academic freedom is crucial and women‘s sex-based rights must be upheld.

Renate Klein (Mission Beach, 2021-02-27)


I studied at Melbourne University and I am ashamed at how cowardly the community of academics is on this issue.
Holly Lawford Smith is doing the right thing by asking questions and collecting information about how this ideology affects people in real life.

Siobhan McLoughlin (Frederiksberg, 2021-02-27)


You have our full support, Holly and the LGB Alliance. The MSM can keep trying to report only one side of this issue, but the public are finally beginning to understand the conflict between women's rights and gender ideology. Thank you.

Kandi Lula (Perth, 2021-02-27)


I'm signing because as a University of Melbourne graduate, I value open discussion and diverse viewpoints.

Wendy Poulton (melbourne, 2021-02-27)


Sex based rights are crucial to the well being and safety of women and girls.

Nadia Lane (Wilmslow , 2021-02-27)


I am an advocate of free speech even if we don’t agree with someone. The only exception I’d make to infringe on free speech is deliberate incitement of violence & threats against another group but women speaking on issues that pertain to us does not fit in that category. We have to be allowed to speak on our concerns without being under threat of losing jobs, being attacked, having our rights eroded.

J Jones (Sydney , 2021-02-27)


Free speech is needed for democracy and for the Academy to be of value to society

Julia Harrison (Melbourne, 2021-02-27)


Gender ideology has made the world less safe for women and girls. Academics must be able to chronicle the lived experience of women harmed by this tyrannical movement.

Stassja Frei (Melbourne, 2021-02-27)


Stifling academic voices because they are critical of an ideology is anti-intellectual and not conducive to the success of a civil society.

Deryck Reaburn-Jenkin (Castlemaine , 2021-02-27)


As I lesbians my views are not permitted in my own communities because women are being silenced yet again! We will look back on this period of history with shame again on how women were suppressed.

Kylla Patterson (Melbourne , 2021-02-27)


The trans cult is taking over our children and ripping families apart

Claire Morris (Melbourne , 2021-02-27)


I'm signing because I like other women am impacted by males entering our spaces. Its unsafe, its uncomfortable, I have been attacked by a man in a toilet. I know #notallmen, but those who attack are mainly men and trans identifying males are no less likely than other men to follow patterns of dominance,violence and entitlement in the company of women.

Catherine Anderson-Karena (Sydney, 2021-02-27)


The freedom to express alternative view points is an essential principle of academic integrity. A very dangerous precedent is being set. 5

Judi Pattison (Doonan, 2021-02-27)


Holly is doing what all feminists should be doing, which is to stick up for women’s only spaces. Transgender rights should NOT come at the cost of women’s hard fought rights!!

Eileen Kernohan (Essendon, 2021-02-27)


Let her speak. Me too

Natal born Women have a voice for to long the voices of women and lesbians are being silenced by Gender Ideology. I Sign for sex based rights and protections of freedom of speach in university. Dr Holly Lawford smith is an amazing woman to speak out on this issue.. it is time to cancel the cancel culture and political correctness

Jessica hoyle (Launceston, 2021-02-27)


Women should not be silenced. And universities should be safe place for conversation and for women to be part of the conversation. It is not transphobic for women to express a need for safety from men or men identifying as trans women.

Samantha Rosich (Sydney, 2021-02-27)


As a homosexual man, not homogendered, I have watched with dismay the closing down of free speech. I’m more worried for the rights of women and of homosexuals to identify as same sex attracted than at any time in my life in Australia.

I marched and was arrested in Paddington in August of 1978. The thought police of today are much worse than in my youth and ironically today their zealots are mostly From the Left.

Michael Kernohan (Oliva 46780, 2021-02-27)


It is an excellent summary of an important issue

Chris Sitka (Northcote, 2021-02-27)


I’m signing because I believe in the right to free speech

Sue Leigh (Melbourne, 2021-02-27)


Freedom of speech should still matter even if you don't agree with what is being said. I applaud Dr Lawford-Smith for her courage.

Shelley Duff (Geelong, 2021-02-27)


I support women’s sex based rights and academic freedoms

Christine Edie Chehade (Brisbane , 2021-02-27)


It is academically dangerous and an affront to free speech if tertiary learning institutions censor academic opinions.

Fleur Ford (Auckland, 2021-02-27)


I support true freedom of speech and the right to fight for women’s sex-based rights

Loretta Smith (Melbourne, 2021-02-27)


As a graduate of the University of Melbourne, I am proud of its world-leading status and implacable commitment to academic excellence. Essential to this is the value of academic freedom, which only flourishes if universities trenchantly support their academics against those who would silence them for stating unpopular or unfashionable opinions. The recent petition calling for punitive action against Dr Lawford-Smith seems precisely to be this kind of attempt at silencing. I urge the university to continue to support Dr Lawford-Smith against these attacks. Certainly, nothing she has said or done affects anyone's safety or wellbeing, and nothing warrants her cancelling on these grounds. As a gay man myself, I am well aware of the kinds of actions that constitute hate or violence against sexual minorities. To say that Dr Lawford-Smith is engaging in these is ludicrous. What is really going on is that Dr Lawford-Smith has voiced opinions unpopular in certain circles and, for reasons not made clear, those who disagree with her have chosen not to respond with counter-arguments and calls for more debate but instead with strident demands for her to be punished. In the interests of academic freedom and the university's own peerless reputation, this hysterical, intolerant behaviour must be stoutly rebuffed. In its stead, what about pursuing a more positive approach, such as setting up a live, in-person debate between Dr Lawford-Smith and those who disagree with her?

Niels Jensen (Taipei, 2021-02-27)


Freedom of speech is essential. This is shameful behaviour towards Dr Lawford-Smith!

Helen Shanahan (Crows Nest, 2021-02-27)


I am a lesbian who believes in academic freedom and free speech. I am grateful to Dr. Lawford-Smith for standing up for the rights of women born women, especially lesbians against an ideology of bullying misogyny.

Deb Ramsey (Ballarat, 2021-02-27)


She deserves support for giving women a platform to tell their stories. It is her website outside of her employment and it is reprehensible that she is being subjected to bullying to remove the site.

Pam Atkins (Ballarat, 2021-02-27)


I am a trans gender person. I believe we must be open to debates and discussions about how best to meet the needs of trans people, but also respecting other peoples rights. Freedom of speech is paramount in a society that wishes to find the best path on important social issues.

Pauley Johnson (PIRRON YALLOCK, 2021-02-27)


I believe in debate not censorship.

Bec Buchanan (Melbourne, 2021-02-27)


Women need a voice.

Wendy Stockdale (Clarksville , 2021-02-27)


The academy must support diverse perspectives. Silencing is not freedom of speech

Leni Johnson (Newcastle , 2021-02-27)


I support sex-based rights for women and the freedom to openly and respectfully discuss these rights.

Ann De Hugard (Chewton, 2021-02-27)


Women-only spaces are crucial to women being able to exercise their rights as citizens. Women should not be harassed for discussing their rights.

Ingrid Lyberg (Lund, 2021-02-27)


The aggressive over the top reaction to Dr. Lawford-Smith's site, is testament to 1. precisely why women must have women only spaces and 2. the fact that women's rights are indeed under attack by transgender ideologues. Glad to hear that Melbourne Uni is standing their ground on freedom of speech - as they and every University in the world has a duty to do. Women's Action Group supports Dr. Lawford-Smith's endeavour and we also support LGB Alliance's position on this issue. Thank you.

Women's Action Group (Warrnambool, 2021-02-27)


I am concerned how gender ideology is erasing woman and our voices are being silenced

Deborah Harris (Sydney, 2021-02-27)


Protect the right of uninhibited free expression!

Cameron Jensen (Maleny, 2021-02-27)


Academics must be able to investigate, analyse and distil information from every area of learning. This is essential for society to continue to understand, grow and question. No topic should be silenced otherwise we will be like a totalitarian state.

Robin Gregory (Melbourne , 2021-02-27)


We need to listen to women.

Catherine Walsh (Sydney, 2021-02-27)


I support the Chicago Principles, and wish Australian universities to uphold the same.

Melissa Curran (Canterbury, 2021-02-27)


i am in support of freedom of speech, particularly academically

andreia velander (NSW, 2021-02-27)


I believe in upholding the democratic values of freedom of speech, thought, and expression. I support Dr Holly Lawford-Smith and the vital data gathering on the impact of men in women's spaces

Sara Jackson (Perth, 2021-02-27)


As an academic specialising in violence against women, I am deeply concerned scholars can no longer have a public voice on issues and advocacy of women's safety

LAURA MCVEY (Belmont, 2021-02-28)


The silencing of the discussions around sex and gender can have dire consequences for womens human rights which are being seriously eroded.

J Draper (Wollongong, 2021-02-28)


I believe in freedom of expression and women's sex-based rights.

Peta Melbin ( Ballarat, 2021-02-28)

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