The documentary blames the “pitfalls of Feminism and the modern dating-world” for “the planet’s collapsing birthrate"Joe Cook

Students are planning to protest the screening of Birthgap — Childless world, a documentary which blames the “pitfalls of Feminism and the modern dating-world” for “the planet’s collapsing birthrate”. The screening, hosted by a student, will be taking place at St John’s College on 12/05.

In an email sent out via the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) mailing list, the host advertised that the screening would be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker Stephen J Shaw. In response to concerns voiced on Camfess, she criticised students as having “thrown their rattle out of the pram”. The documentary is Shaw’s first project.

The student host of the event, who has written for the Telegraph, and been featured on GB News, aims “to make students aware of the fast-approaching population collapse”. She hopes “to get high-achieving young people (who are most likely to end up unintentionally childless) to consider factoring in plans for parenthood into their career plans.”

Varsity spoke to a female medical student who received the email. She took issue with the host’s reference to ‘feminism’: “I don’t consider this feminist. It’s antifeminist...I’m not a vessel for offspring. Am I not worth anything in myself?”

Another medical student who received the email told Varsity: “It is incredibly condescending. High achieving young people are perfectly capable of deciding whether or not to have children”.

A natural sciences student organising a protest against the event told Varsity: “I think a lot of students are understandably quite hurt that an institution as respected as Cambridge seems to promote bigotry to its students”. While they are “not anti free speech,” they maintain that “misogyny and transphobia have no place in this University, even if some old dons want to keep them here”.

They criticised the SBS’s role in publicising the screening, telling Varsity that “an academic institution should have better standards than to promote events about ‘the pitfalls of Feminism’”.


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The SBS mailing list has also previously advertised the invitation of Simon Fanshawe, a ‘gender critical’ feminist, to Caius, and Helen Joyce’s talk in Michaelmas.

One student who received the email told Varsity, though, that: “I’ve got no issue with people protesting or SBS sending this stuff out. The issue is with the ideas behind it”. According to them, the documentary’s arguments are “categorically not true”.

The student hosting the screening told Varsity: “I encourage the university community to attend Shaw’s documentary and make up their own minds. This is an exciting opportunity to encounter some of the counter-claims to ‘overpopulation’, and to hear women from across the world discuss how they have balanced career-motherhood ambitions. Do not let students who form opinion before the fact direct your lives; to quote Henry David Thoreau, it is never too late to give up our prejudices.”