"Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and a cornerstone of democracy, which cannot flourish unless citizens can articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship or sanction. So it should concern anyone who claims to be a democrat that there is growing evidence that women who have expressed a set of feminist beliefs that have come to be known as “gender-critical” have, in some cases, faced significant professional penalties as a result."
"The belief that the patriarchal oppression of women is grounded partly in their biological sex, not just the social expression of gender, and that women therefore have the right to certain single-sex spaces and to organise on the basis of biological sex if they so wish, represents a long-standing strand of feminist thinking. Other feminists disagree, believing that gender identity supersedes biological sex altogether."
"Both are legitimate perspectives that deserve to be heard in a democratic society. Both can be expressed without resulting in the abuse, harassment and discrimination of trans people or women. Being able to talk about these alternative perspectives goes to the heart of resolving important questions about how we structure society. "
"As a society, we need to resolve the question of how to protect the privacy, dignity and rights of trans women while also respecting the privacy, dignity and rights of those born female."
(Extracts from an Observer editorial arguing that free speech must be an essential part of ensuring that society can between protect and respect both women and trans people. You can read the full editorial here.
I agree with that: I would add that there are a number of other improtant and difficult issues on which free speech is also essential - and is equally under threat)