UvA distances itself from speaker’s statement on “the non-binary phenomenon” | amsterdam

NewsThe Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (ISW) program at the University of Amsterdam “categorically deviates” from the statements made by Professor Laurens Buijs. It was in the university newspaper, among others sheet criticism of the university’s diversity policy and the “non-binary phenomenon”.

Hannah Bolts

© Hannah Bults

In an email to students, program director Michaela Hordijk writes that she has received reports from students about statements made by Buijs on social media and that an opinion piece in sheet and an interview on Radio 1 were brought to his attention.

In the opinion piece, Buijs writes, among other things, that “the diversity policy in its current form is a Trojan horse, with which radical ‘woke’ ideology is introduced into the organization and is normalized at the lightning speed”.

Buijs is also “critical of the phenomenon of ‘non-binary’ and the accompanying obsession with”pronouns‘ (personal pronoun). I see this phenomenon as empty hype in modern high society, with no scientific basis in biology, psychology and anthropology. There is strong evidence for the existence of masculine women, feminine men and transgender people. But the emancipation of a minority group completely outside the “gender binary” is, in my eyes, a dangerous and pseudo-scientific delirium.

According to the teacher, a debate on this kind of subject “can hardly be held without being accused of discrimination. Students and colleagues say my opinions violate their “safe space” and consider it a “micro-aggression.”

Whistleblower Policy

In the letter to students, Hordijk writes that teachers, administrators, and support staff “categorically distance themselves” from Buijs’ “judgments and hurtful statements about non-binarity.” ISW is a course where everyone is welcome and can count on respect for their identity. Hordijk also writes that he discusses with various parties how the conversation can be conducted at the university “about identity and academic freedom”.

If the UvA wants to attach consequences to Buijs’ statements or wants to talk to him, this is not possible at the moment: Buijs has appealed to the whistleblower system. He did this to the UvA board and asked them to “investigate the disturbing developments and come up with a plan of action to save academic freedom.” The UvA must first await the results of this investigation via the whistleblower system.

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