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Feminist artist is cancelled by the Royal Academy after trans activists complained about her blog

A feminist artist has been cancelled by the Royal Academy after trans activists complained about her 2019 blog in which she called a woman ‘an adult human female’ and criticised LGBT charity Stonewall.

The institution pulled the work of Jess de Wahls, a textile artist born in East Berlin, from its gift shop after activists accused her of expressing ‘transphobic views’ in a blog posted to her website two years ago.

Miss de Wahls had criticised ‘gender identity ideology’ and Stonewall, the controversial LGBT organisation which has been accused of fostering a climate of intolerance in workplaces across the UK.

She had also warned that the ‘ideology’ of gender politics enforced censorship akin to that found in her birthplace – the East German police state – and had a detrimental impact on the rights of women and girls.

Though she defended the rights of transgender people, Miss de Wahls claims her work was pulled from the gift shop as a result of a ‘concerted effort’ from online activists over her alleged transphobia.  

In a statement published on Instagram today, the RA said it had received complaints for selling works ‘by an artist expressing transphobic views’ and said that Miss de Wahls’s work ‘will not be stocked in future’.

The academy added: ‘The RA is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and does not knowingly support artists who act in conflict with these values. We would like to reiterate that we stand with the LGBTQ+ community’. 

Miss de Wahls wrote in a 2019 blog that a woman is ‘an adult human female’ and ‘not an identity or feeling’, adding: ‘I can not accept people’s unsubstantiated assertions that they are in fact the opposite sex to when they were born.’

Jess de Wahls, who was born in East Germany, was found to be in ‘conflict’ with the values of the British institution over views expressed in a 2019 blog post which criticised ‘gender identity ideology’ and Stonewall

She wrote: ‘I have no issue with somebody who feels more comfortable expressing themselves as if they are the other sex (or in whatever way they please for that matter). However, I can not accept people’s unsubstantiated assertions that they are in fact the opposite sex to when they were born and deserve to be extended the same rights as if they were born as such. 

‘And I do not believe that these beliefs should override existing protections that are in place as a result of the biological realities of women, since their purpose is to relieve oppression based on women’s physicalities and reproductive functions (not identity or feelings). Feelings don’t have human rights. Humans do.

‘I am also completely at a loss over Stonewall’s (the LGBTQ lobby group) updated description of transgender, seeing that, by their logic, almost anybody would fall under this category, including those that don’t identify as trans. 

‘How is it okay for an organisation in Stonewall’s position to categorise somebody as transgender, even if that person doesn’t do so themselves?’ 

She added: ‘With everything said, I am genuinely deeply worried.

‘I worry that we have increasingly become a society where valid concerns regarding women’s rights, children’s safeguarding and freedom of speech, are being classed as hate speech to stop any debate from happening.

‘I worry because this notion of ‘wrong think’ and wrong speak’ feels eerily reminiscent of my East German childhood, and that’s actually quite terrifying.’  

The Royal Academy issued a statement online on Thursday, in which it said it had received complaints for selling works 'by an artist expressing transphobic views'

The Royal Academy issued a statement online on Thursday, in which it said it had received complaints for selling works ‘by an artist expressing transphobic views’

The Instagram statement added: 'The RA is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and does not knowingly support artists who act in conflict with these values. We would like to reiterate that we stand with the LGBTQ+ community'

The Instagram statement added: ‘The RA is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and does not knowingly support artists who act in conflict with these values. We would like to reiterate that we stand with the LGBTQ+ community’

Maya Forstater, who won an appeal after losing her job following tweets stating trans women were ‘not women’, warned of the growth of ‘McCarthyism’ in society.

She told the Telegraph: ‘Organisations have got used to overreacting to complaints of transphobia. They need to take a deep breath, look at the Equality Act and consider that everybody has rights.’ 

The campaign groups Sex Matters has called on the director of the RA to reinstate Miss de Wahls’ works and apologise to the artist.

In a letter, they claimed the decision to pull her work came after a ‘handful of coordinated complaints’, adding: ‘The Royal Academy is carrying out an egregious and blatant belief discrimination against textile artist Jess de Wahls.’  

Miss de Wahls is a textile artist who makes embroidered portraits, often dealing with feminism. Her work was sold in the RA gift shop, where prints of controversial artists have previously been made available for sale.

Prints of the work of Paul Gauguin, who reportedly had sexual relationships with young girls, were sold during the 2020 exhibition Gauguin and the Impressionists.

Eric Gill, an artist and sculptor now known to have sexually abused his daughters, was an associate of the RA during his lifetime.

MailOnline has approached the RA for comment.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk