Kathleen Stock

Kathleen Stock is a prominent philosopher and academic known for her contributions to the fields of analytic philosophy, feminist theory, and gender studies.


Born in Aberdeen and raised in Montrose, Scotland, Kathleen pursued her academic interests in French and philosophy at Exeter College, Oxford, followed by an MA at the University of St. Andrews. She then won a scholarship to enable her to study for a PhD in philosophy at the University of Leeds.

Kathleen briefly taught at the University of Lancaster and the University of East Anglia before joining the University of Sussex in 2003, where she became a professor of philosophy.


Throughout her career, Kathleen has engaged with complex and often contentious topics surrounding gender identity, sexuality, and feminism. She is particularly recognised for her rigorous examination of the concept of gender identity and its implications for feminist theory and social policy. She has also navigated her career from the perspective of being a lesbian in the often heteronormative realms of academia and public discourse.

Kathleen’s work has sparked widespread debate and discussion within academic circles and beyond. She has published numerous articles in esteemed journals and authored the critically acclaimed book Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism, which challenges prevailing ideologies surrounding gender identity and argues for a grounded understanding of sex and biology in feminist discourse.

Kathleen resigned from her position at the University of Sussex in 2021 after being harassed by students in balaclavas who graffitied and let off smoke bombs on campus, and paraded banners through the city of Brighton calling for her dismissal.

Public figure

Beyond her scholarly pursuits, Kathleen is an influential public figure, frequently engaging in public speaking engagements, debates, and interviews to advocate for her views on gender and feminism. She also a regular contributor to various media outlets. Her willingness to tackle controversial subjects with intellectual rigour and clarity has earned her both admiration and criticism from various quarters.

In 2021 she was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List for services to higher education.

Gender identity theory doesn’t just say that gender identity exists, is fundamental to human beings, and should be legally and politically protected. It also says that biological sex is irrelevant and needs no such legal protection.

Kathleen Stock, Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism

Further reading


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