Academics have warned the Joint Human Rights Committee that universities and student unions are banning ‘offensive’ speech, citing sexual discrimination, homophobia or transphobia. They say this stifling of free speech is having a ‘chilling’ effect on debate and discussion and that a generation of conformist students are being taught to see themselves as vulnerable. Committee chair Harriet Harman responded: ‘Isn’t it empowering women for them to be able to shut up misogynist men?’ (Telegraph, November 16, 2017).

Recently, however, several ‘empowered women’ successfully ‘shut up’ other women at Oxford University, drowning out a debate in which they were to give their reasons for opposing abortion. Refusing to leave, the poor victimised female protesters forced the meeting out of the hall.

In the 1970s and 1980s Ms Harman’s National Council for Civil Liberties (now called Liberty) argued that all views were equally valid – indeed, they even worked with paedophile groups – but having conquered the political scene they shut down debate. Might makes right: the early fascists disdained discussion, preferring to break up their opponents’ meetings. Now, on the pretext of protecting the snowflake generation – chiefly from the dangers of hearing an alternative to the far-Left worldview – in her privileged position as chair of a human rights committee, Ms Harman attempts to dictate the one-sided debate in a speech worthy of a despot.

Previous articleReader’s comment: Time for respect
Next articleOnly joking! Dublin or quits
Ann Farmer
Ann Farmer is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Movement (Catholic University of America, 2008).


  1. So the Universities shut down debate in the name of “….homophobia or transphobia….”.

    Misogyny is completely inherent to trangenderism. There are worldwide examples now of biological males entering women’s athletic event on the basis that they claim they are of the feminine gender. Even with drugs and surgery science has proved that they still have hundreds of genes that are male. Consequently they trounce actual female athletes. Therefore transgenderism sends out the very clear message that biological women athletes are wasting their time and their lives even bothering to train.

    So what that means is that Universities are shutting down debate in the name of “….homophobia or transphobia….”….but are fully promoting misogyny!!!!!

    • I can only see transgenderism as misogyny in a roundabout and indirect way, basically as an unintended side effect of the deep stupidity and malevolence of the current politically correct narrative.

      Look at how this mess has come about. Feminists insist male and female are equal in every respect (except female is far superior). Hence there must be no difference in treatment between the sexes (except women must be treated better). This self-evident equality also therefore means there must be no barrier between the sexes; hence transgenderism – the right of everyone to hop across between male and female as easily as stepping over a faint and arbitrary line on the ground, because there is no real distance between them at all. Every perceived difference is just a social construct, that needs to be deconstructed as soon as possible. Because equality, which is the be-all and end-all. Men need to be more like women in order to improve themselves and escape their toxic masculinity, and women need to be more like men so they can enjoy the privileges that the patriarchy selfishly hogged for itself over the last x thousand years.

      So here we are: no sexual differences mean anyone can be any sex they want. It was never intended to create misogyny, but the purveyors of the above thought process never thought it through to its conclusions. Now let’s see how the snake goes about eating its own tail.

    • Misogyny is also completely inherent to sex-selective abortions, which the feminists either support or don’t care about.

  2. Harman is simply a misandrist. Many such campaigners and “activists” are grinding personal axes from personal chips on their shoulders and being “empowered” to by political imbalance.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I still can’t believe Harman is married to a man and has 2 sons – I doubt they tiptoe on eggshells around her but the environment she’s helped create, perpetuating the myth that all men are pre-crime predators, is scary and dangerous.
      She is an out and out misandrist as are some others on her benches including Jess Phillips, who openly laughs at the idea of equality amongst all.

      • Hattie has frequently said she’s only married because she believed it helped her politically at the time . Her husband of course won his seat after being “selected” from an all women list ( I think the list got lost) . And the two sons I take to be God’s joke on poor Hattie.

    • Whilst I agree she is a misandrist I think her agenda goes much deeper. This is Marxist doctrine brought in under the guise of “equality”.

    • I heard (admittedly at second hand) in her autobiography she recounted that a university lecturer offered to improve her course marks if she was, well, nice to him.
      She refused.

    • I agree. I think that most individuals’ political perspectives are the result of personal psychology, Itself the result of childhood experiences and family life, and /or the promotion of perceived personal interests.

      These self-serving factors are generally dressed up in some kind of generalised ideology which is superficially altruistic, especially on the Left.

      Kerry Bolton wrote a book about the psychological motivations of important leftist figures: ‘The Psychotic Left’.

  3. Harriet Harman is the Chair of the Joint Human Rights Committee. Harriet Harman is the Chair of the Joint Human Rights Committee. Harriet Harman is the Chair of the Joint Human Rights Committee. The Chair of the Joint Human Rights Committee is…Harriet Harman.

    Harriet Harman, Harriet Harman. Human Rights, Human Rights…

    No, it’s no good. My brain just refuses to compute. It can’t cope with this. All reason has fled away, to leave a horrible, chaotic image in its place. Please somebody wake me up, I am having a recurrent bad, very bad dream.

    • For an encore, try assimilating this;

      Polly Neate, former Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, a woman who despises men and who has probably done more than anyone in the country to promote the lie that only women
      suffer from domestic violence, has now been appointed Chief Executive of Shelter, the homeless charity.

      The overwhelming majority of homeless people are men. I can’t think of a less suitable person to hold this position, but hold it she does, for now. I shudder to think how Shelter will now treat the vast majority of its clients.

      • I can answer that. There will be a huge focus on women, who will now be presumed to represent the majority of the “homeless”. Bearing in mind that “homeless” has several meanings. It will certainly not take on the meaning of “sleeping rough on the streets” or any such thing. It will be interpreted as “a woman not having permanent, comfortable and adequate accommodation for herself (or her children, if there are any).” And since the latter will far outnumber the rough sleepers, it does not take a genius to see where all the resources will be going.

  4. From

    “The Committee also scrutinises…”
    “…the Committee choose its own subjects of inquiry and seek evidence…”
    “The Committee are also required…”

    That middle button, in full, reads:
    “The Committee will also conduct thematic inquiries, where the Committee choose its own subjects of inquiry and seek evidence from a wide range of groups and individuals with relevant experience and interest.”

    Looking past the atrocious grammar, I interpret that to mean:
    “We inhabit an echo chamber in which we talk to the usual suspects and reliably arrive at conclusions in concordance with the modish dogma du jour (and isn’t it a shame we couldn’t wangle a seat for Shami?).”

  5. How interesting. Firstly this article appears to be based on a piece in the Daily Telegraph which I eventually tracked down. Would be useful if a link were included. Secondly the article relates to the proceedings of the Joint Human Rights Committee. This was an approx two hour session at which academics presented evidence and were quizzed by the committee members – you can watch a video of it if you are so inclined. It is actually quite interesting. The Telegraph article is completely inaccurate by the way getting the context of Ms Harman’s remark, and even the name of the academic completely wrong. You just can’t believe anything you read in the MSM.

    • So what is the correct context in which to consider the statement ‘Isn’t it empowering women for them to be able to shut up misogynist men?’

      • Her point was that racism, homophobia and misogyny impinge on the freedom of others to get an education, and are not acceptable. That sometimes telling the person on the receiving end to man up and get on with it is not good enough. You may not agree but the Telegraph article is a complete misrepresentation of what she said. As I say it even gets the name of the professor she is supposed to have responded to wrong.

        Its a bit like this article. It should just say Harriet Harman is Satan and have done with it.

        • You’ve failed to set out in what way Harman’s remarks are presented out of context and what the correct context should be.

  6. “In the 1970s and 1980s Ms Harman’s National Council for Civil Liberties (now called Liberty) argued that all views were equally valid – indeed, they even worked with paedophile groups – but having conquered the political scene they shut down debate…”

    Exactly! This was when the left began to lose me, because I had grown up with the story of the struggle for things like civil liberties for black people, the scraping of guardianship rules for students, the struggle for freedom of speech against religious objections or “obscenity”.

    Then I discovered that having scrambled up the ladder to the top of the greasy pole (there is a mixed metaphor for you) the generation of feminists from the 70-80s spent the 90s rolling back much of their own accomplishments, with a creepy and ever expanding focus of curtailing men’s own freedoms that would bring howls of condemnation if their intent or even rhetoric was applied to women, gays or whomever.

    Now things have moved on again, and the reign of terror is even eating up SJWs themselves. Look at Al Franklin, a man accused of sexual assault for the kind of rude picture that would have been dismissed as merely juvenile and bullying (nasty, but not a prison offence) a couple of decades ago (its the sort of tasteless “prank” photo that might have been taken and circulated among my friends and I when we were teenage w*****rs; but then being nice is not high on many teenager’s lists).

    Or look at Josh Rivers, hardly a posterboy for the right: Imagine being someone whom only one in 1,000 people resemble in this county (gay, mixed race), and discovering that everyone who does has been infected with a strange, unforgiving fundamentalist mentality that is used to enforce a cult-like adherence to fringe worldviews. Regardless of how you feel about his loose language, read his apology in the link above and tell me if it doesn’t seem forced and really weird in its tone. That is the kind of cringing, beaten-down-dog kind of phrasing SJWs want to inflict on all of us.

    • 100% with your second paragraph.
      By the 1970s, the left did not only support the destruction of UK industry by
      the communist inspired unions, it also supported any outrageous or just
      plain silly idea from assorted “alternative” pressure groups.
      Before Mrs T stopped it, the Labour government was using taxpayers’ money to
      support the Pedophile Info Exchange.
      We all know Corbyn & his ilk hate the UK & want to disarm us physically & morally,
      prior to subjecting us to their own version of Year Zero.
      The best we can hope for after Labour wins the next election,( thanks to massive voter fraud & the grooming of foolish young people), is Venezuela with more sharia courts
      & immigration even higher than last year’s record high.
      Maybe PIE wasn’t the worst thing in the world ?

      • The breaking point will arrive when sharia law dictates the cloing down of all means of making or selling alcoholic drinks. I gather that it is virtually impossible to open a new pub or off licence in some areas already.

        • That the UK allows third world laws & religious demands to hold sway
          anywhere illustrates the extent to which we have lost confidence in our
          country & its traditions.
          I was thinking earlier that the persons least protected by law in the UK
          are muslim girls who can be subject to FGM, even murder (“she’s gone to Pakistan to live with her grandmother”) and indigenous girls subject to
          muslim grooming & rape.
          The most privileged are, of course, muslim men.
          I was, naturally, thinking of everyday citizens, not those privileged classes
          who have bought their way out of the moral destruction they have wrought on socety

  7. ‘Isn’t it empowering women for them to be able to shut up misogynist men?’

    The problem is, Harriet, who gets to decide who is a misogynist? Does Nicky Morgan get to decide, for instance? She thinks that if a man asks her whether she is in control of her department, it means he is a misogynist.

    Am I a misogynist simply for asking this question?

    • Why does Harman implicitly assume in this question that a man cannot differentiate between misogyny and respectful treatment of women? Given that Britain is one of the best places in the world to be a woman, that would indicate rather less tolerance of misogyny in our society, no?

  8. I’d like to shut up feminists who support sex-selective abortions (or indeed anyone for that matter), which are inherently misogynist.

    • “Isn’t it empowering women for them to be able to shut up misogynist men?’

      That’s just one step from saying “all men are misogynist” – she may as well go the whole hog and say so.

  9. And Theresa May clearly considering that Socialism or Fascism is the correct ideology now carries on her work today.

  10. ” Isn’t it empowering women for them to be able to shut up misogynist men ?”

    What a fatuous, not to say idiotic, comment for someone in Ms Harman’s position to make – but by making it she has simply demonstrated her unfitness for the position she holds. One can only wonder what was the nature of the selection process which resulted in her appointment.

  11. The central problem of the Left is that it is defined by what it is AGAINST not by what it is FOR (except for

    • None of that is really a problem for the left when you realise that they don’t care about any of the issues they rage about. Every single issue is just a weapon to be used in a battle to acquire power or, when they have power, to suppress any potential political rival. That’s all it is.

      Or as Orwell put it in 1984, as spoken by character O’Brian:

      “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.”

Comments are closed.