Journal editors quit in protest over ‘transphobic’ academic The Times 26.06.19

The original article is here.

Editors of an academic journal on disability have resigned in protest at an executive’s alleged transphobia.

A petition to remove Michele Moore, an academic at the University of Essex, from her post at the journal Disability and Society received more than 800 signatures, and four editors have resigned over her stance.

Professor Moore has written about trans issues and co-authored the book Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body. She recently supported a letter to The Sunday Times criticising the role of the LGBT+ charity Stonewall in delivering a diversity and inclusion programme. Members of the journal’s editorial board claimed that an article by two Sheffield academics who advocate for trans rights was blocked from publication.

Phillippa Wiseman, a sociology research assistant at the University of Glasgow, claimed on Twitter that accepted submissions were removed because they disagreed with Professor Moore’s views.

She said: “That the journal is in any way associated with ideologies of discrimination and oppression is unacceptable and goes against the very heart of the disabled people’s movement. There is no justifiable narrative that allows for removing submissions that have been accepted because they are not in line with those of the executive editor.”

Disability and Society, which was founded in 1986, explores the rights and inclusion of disabled people. Its Current Issues section invites “interesting, controversial or even polemical” contributions of a less formal nature. Several editors said that a submission to this section exploring trans rights was accepted then later blocked.

Jen Slater, one of the article’s authors, tweeted: “After initial acceptance, Disability and Society refused to publish the piece in their Current Issues section, claiming that we aimed to cast disability studies in a bad light.”

Another academic, in a resignation letter posted to social media, said that she was concerned that Professor Moore’s supporters were using her position at the journal’s helm to bolster her credibility as an expert on transgender issues.

Angharad Beckett, of the University of Leeds, also wrote: “The journal has a long history of being a forum for debate — heated at times . . . I firmly believe it was a mistake not to publish that piece and allow such debate to take place.”

After the letter was published in The Sunday Times, Professor Moore told the newspaper: “Somebody has to say we will talk about the potential harm of transgenderism of children, as many with autism or other social learning problems are being caught up in this.”

Jessica Vivian, a director at Taylor & Francis, the journal’s publisher, said: “Having seen both the petition and social media discussion online, we are working with the journal’s editor and board to put into place a review of the journal’s editorial policies.

“This is to ensure that the publication process is inclusive and transparent at all stages, and set within a robust framework. Our focus remains on ensuring the journal continues to challenge, debate and publish research from across the full spectrum of views.”

Professor Moore failed to respond to request for comment.