Crossroads

Hosted BySasha White

Take Nobody’s Word For It: Sophie Watson

Take Nobody’s Word For It: Sophie Watson

Sophie Watson joins me to chat about her experience at Cambridge University, where she is currently working on an undergraduate dissertation about surrogacy. (Sophie’s proposed dissertation topic was detransition, but her advisors told her they would not and could not oversee this project, deterring her from writing it). In November 2020, Sophie published a piece in Unherd called “Cambridge is censoring any dissent on trans issues” about the student campaign against Kevin Price, a porter at Clare College who resigned as Labour Councillor rather than agree with a motion that included the statement “transwomen are women.”

Sophie explains the details surrounding the Kevin Price story and her decision to speak up in his defense. We also talk about what made her realize that the gender identity narrative was faulty, and how she discovered radical feminism. She also talks about her blog, titled “Nullius in verba” which translates to “take nobody’s word for it”, and what that phrase means to her.

Sophie’s links:
Her Substack (please read her incredible first post!): https://nulliusinverba.substack.com/people/18362516-sophie-watson
Her article about Kevin Price: https://unherd.com/thepost/cambridge-is-censoring-any-dissent-on-trans-issues/
Her other articles in Unherd: https://unherd.com/author/sophie-watson/
Follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/psycholophie
Her first blog post is also available to read on Plebity: https://www.plebity.org/conversations/nullius-in-verba-take-no-ones-word

Other links:
I mentioned the undergrad thesis that was cited in the infamous Atlantic article, “The Secret Internet of TERFs”. This is that thesis:
“A computational approach to analyzing and detecting trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) on Twitter exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) on Twitter” by Christina T. Lu of Dartmouth College:
https://digitalcommons.dartmouth.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1164&context=senior_theses

Correction: I misremembered the history of an undergraduate university I attended. During the conversation with Sophie, I erroneously said that The New School was founded by professors who left Columbia University after refusing to sign a statement that they were not communists, as a part of the McCarthy Era. In fact, the professors left Columbia rather than sign a loyalty oath in 1917, taking a stand against U.S. entry into WWI.
In 1933, The New School established a program called the University in Exile, for European scholars who were fleeing the Nazis. You can read more about the school’s history here: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/how-did-the-new-school-come-to-be and here: https://www.newschool.edu/nssr/history/

Crossroads with Sasha White is an interview series about free speech, censorship, and gender identity ideology. New episodes every Friday!

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