The move is the latest in an increasingly bitter dispute between a number of feminist academics and transgender activists over the issue of gender-critical thinking and allegations of transphobia.
Earlier this year, more than 360 of Professor Phoenix’s colleagues signed a public letter criticizing the Gender Critical Research Network, which she founded, demanding that Open University remove all of its support and funding.
Prof. Phoenix claimed she was discriminated against because of her gender-critical views, which were considered by a court earlier this year to be a “protected property” under the Equality Act 2010, and has launched a crowdfunding campaign that has so far attracted more than £ 88,000 in donations.
The University of Reading said: “We are dedicated to maintaining an open, welcoming and respectful environment for all students and staff and to upholding the principles of freedom of expression and academic freedom.”
A spokesman for The Open University said: “We are saddened to have received Professor Phoenix’s resignation and understand that it has been a challenging time for her and for many others at the university.
“We strive to create an environment where an academic can freely express a point of view, and where others can disagree with the point of view, such is academic freedom, even for the most polarizing topics. All professional discussion must also take place in accordance with our values, expected behavior and legislation.
“Since the Gender Critical Research Network was established in June, we have offered support to Professor Phoenix, other staff and students and will continue to do so. We wish her the best of luck in her new role at Reading University.”
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