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Apartheid in Aotearoa New Zealand – yes, it does exist

By   /  February 28, 2019  /  98 Comments

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Minister Tracey Martin has a moment in our history to do the right thing. Fran Wilde led the way with gay law reform.

But the movement for social justice and inclusion did not end thirty-three years ago. Just as the feminist movement still has much to accomplish.

We cannot, as a society, exclude a small minority by creating a system or practice that separates people according to their status as trans-gendered.

That is apartheid.

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apartheid

noun
1. (in the Republic of South Africa) a rigid former policy of segregating and economically and politically oppressing the non-white population.
2. any system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, caste, etc.

Dictionary.com

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Imagine having to apply a State body to confirm who and how you identify. Imagine if you are a Pakeha or Maori; CIS male or female; or a gay, lesbian, or bisexual,  having to acquire evidence from multiple medical specialists and compile a file to support your identity.

Imagine if you, reading this blog, had to rely on that Court’s decision as to how you would be identified by society.

Imagine, for example, if the identities of fellow bloggers Willie Jackson’s as a male Maori; David Farrar as a male Pakeha; Martyn Bradbury as a male Pakeha; Susan St John as a female Pakeha, former blogger Marama Davidson as a female Maori – were all determined by a Court of law.

Imagine if the required paperwork to present your application to the Court involved corroborating documentation from various professionals.

Imagine that the process was not free, but costs thousands of dollars. Imagine if you could not afford the cost, you could not apply to the Court: it was dependent on your ability to pay.

Imagine that the final decision then rests with a Court and a solitary judge (usually an old white male).

Imagine that your application could be knocked back; denied on a number of grounds.

Imagine that without approval from the Court, you could not identify as the gender, race, etc, that you felt yourself to be.

No need to imagine.

It exists.

There is a class of New Zealanders for whom all of the above is a reality: dictated by law.

But not for everyone. For the majority of us, there is no legal requirement for us to undergo a process to define who we are.

If you are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you are who you are. The State plays no role in determining who you are or how you identify (for gay and bisexual men, since 1986).

You are a free citizen.

But the same does not apply for 100% of New Zealanders. We have a two-class system operating in this country.

If you accept the broad definition above, it may be surprising to discover we have an invisible  form of apartheid operating in this country.

The following is ‘Andrea’s’* story and how our own apartheid system has impacted on her.

Andrea is in her late 50s/early 60s. She is a university-educated professional, highly respected and successful in her field. Her research papers are required reading and has been referenced overseas by others working in her area of endeavour.

She is smart, observant, highly capable, articulate, and with a strong, supportive, close circle of  friends, loyal work colleagues, and loving family. She has two sons who adore her and are not shy or short of offering plenty of hugs, and an ex-partner with whom she maintains tight bonds of friendship and mutual support.

Andrea is also a trans-woman.

Andrea’s journey to transition to the gender she identifies with – female – did not begin in 2002, when she undertook gender-reassignment surgery here in New Zealand.

Andrea’s journey did not begin in 1999 when she came out to her work colleagues.

Andrea’s journey did not begin a year earlier, when she confronted her own true self and disclosed to her then-wife, Sharon*, that she identified as a woman and not as the male’s body she had been born into. It ended their marriage (which had already been under considerable pressure because of Andrea’s hidden gender dysphoria) – but in turn her disclosure to Sharon created a much stronger bond of trust and friendship.

Andrea’s journey began when she was three years old, when she “didn’t feel right” as a boy, and wanted to be a girl.

Her journey was not a simple one. But she says the surgical intervention she went through seventeen years ago was the least of her considerable challenges.

The surgery itself was reasonably straight forward,” she says.

The real challenges were the legal, procedural, and regulatory barriers she had to face.

To achieve a diagnosis for gender dysphoria and gain access to the female hormone oestrogen she first had to be assessed by a psychologist. That assessment consisted of ten, one hour long, sessions. It was a financial cost she had to bear.

Her next step was another specialist, an endocrinologist. That assessment was paid through her local DHB. This allowed Andrea to be prescribed androgen-blockers as well as critically-needed oestrogen.

She underwent electrolysis for unwanted facial hair. This process would be required for the following fifteen years. Cost, around $25,000, paid by Andrea.

Then came the major event that would transform her forever: genital reassignment surgery by New Zealand’s sole plastic surgeon qualified in this particular field. Cost, around $27,000,  again paid by Andrea.

But first – more professionals came and went through her life. The surgeon required two independent psychologist’s assessments; a psychiatric assessment and report, and an assessment by a social worker. The cost of these professionals – around $4,000 – was paid by Andrea.

In 2003, following succesful surgery, Andrea applied to the Family Court for a Declaration changing her gender, and recognising her as female. This required a sworn affidavit from Andrea’s endocrinologist to be presented by her lawyer.

A personal, sworn affidavit was also demanded from Andrea,  affirming that she would not change her mind – despite already having undergone radical genital reassignment surgery. (Perhaps law-makers thought she might “want it put back” later that afternoon?)

Cost of lawyer and court fees: paid by Andrea.

Andrea suffered an unexpected setback when the Judge refused to accept the endocrinologist’s affidavit. He demanded instead that the operating surgeon supply the required documentation.

Disappointed, but with black humour, Andrea asked her lawyer;

“What does he want? That I lift my dress and drop my knickers?”

Her lawyer replied that would probably not be helpful.

She paid more lawyer’s fees – around $3,000 – to obtain the surgeon’s affidavit. Another Court hearing followed.

That was followed by a process called tracheal shave – paid by Andrea. Cost, around $7,000.

The eventual Declaration by the Court reaffirming Andrea as legally female allowed her to be issued with a new much-needed female birth certificate.

That, in turn, would allow Andrea to apply for a passport in her newly identified female gender.

This permitted her to undertake facial feminisation surgery in Belgium. Cost, approximately $40,000, paid by Andrea.

That was followed by vocal chord surgery in Luxembourg in 2016, costing Andrea about $15,000.

A year later she had additional corrective surgery. More cost for Andrea; $12,000.

Andrea recognises that she is highly privileged. Her social status; high education; generous income; progressive employer and work-colleagues; and well-defined support network have benefitted her in ways that the vast majority of trans-people do not enjoy.

At the time the public health system funded only two trans-gendering operations per year and she could personally afford to “jump the queue”. There is an underlying painful sadness in Andrea’s tone when says ruefully that most trans-people are nowhere as lucky or privileged as she is.

Her decades-long journey to become her true self could by no means be described as a “spur-of-the-moment” fancy. The many years she waited; the number of professionals involved; each momentous step; the milestones achieved; the high financial cost;  the regulatory demands from medical professionals and Court; the incredible patience and support from her colleagues, friends, and family – was not for the faint-hearted.

Yet, this is what we demand from those who are our trans-brothers and trans-sisters.

Nowhere else do we expect people to jump through regulatory hoops and cross artificial barriers to simply be allowed to be who we are. Whether you are straight or gay or bi-sexual, you don’t have to fill out a form and beg a Judge’s approval on a “Declaration”.

But we demand it from people who identify as “trans”. For no apparent, logical,  reason that makes any coherent sense.

There is the spurious argument that trans-men and trans-women are a “special case” because they require invasive surgery to allow them to function as they identify.

Yet we don’t expect the elderly to undergo multiple psychiatric, psychological, social worker assessments, plus a Court Declation, to undergo hip surgery. Or organ transplants. Or any of the myriad millions of other invasive medical interventions which nearly all New Zealanders undergo throughout their lives.

But we demand it from trans-men and trans-women.

There is no clear reason why we treat trans-men and trans-women so completely differently to the rest of the population.

As a person who self-identifies as a CIS Male, who do I have to appeal to, to be recognised as such? No one of course.

If the State demanded such stringent, bureaucratic, legal  rules from the rest of us, there would be widespread, massive public resistance. “State thuggery” and “nanny statism” would be screamed from both Left and Right.

But for reasons that remain unclear, it is considered acceptable to treat trans-people in such a callous, inhumane way.

In some ways, the way we treat trans-people is a form of legally-sanctioned, socialised bullying. As if society has found the smallest, weakest, most vulnerable minority in our community and saddled them with huge demands that exists nowhere else.

On TVNZ’s Q+A, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin, announced that the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill would  be deferred. She offered the excuse that it was necessary  to deal with “problems” caused by the select committee process;

“However, significant changes were made to the Bill by the select committee around gender self-identification and this occurred without adequate public consultation. This has created a fundamental legal issue.”

The Select Committee is usually the appropriate forum where public consultation takes place. It is unclear where Ms Martin believes “adequate public consultation” should occur, if not Parliament’s Select Committee – the highest “Court” in the nation.

It would be disturbing if a tiny, shrill minority of so-called “gender critical feminists” has put pressure on Ms Martin. If a Minister of a supposedly progressive government cannot act with courage to protect our most vulnerable, then that would be a tragedy.

I hope I am wrong in thinking that is what took place behind closed doors.

When Fran Wilde presented gay reform legislation to Parliament in 1986, she suffered unbelievable threats of intimidation, violence, and death. Opposition to homosexuality elicited insane arguments from homophobes;

Some people argued that the law would lead to more homosexuality and that this would eventually mean the collapse of the family unit. Fear and a lack of understanding led some to claim that young boys would be put at risk. Homosexuality and paedophilia – sex with children – were sometimes regarded as the same thing.

 

Many of the lunatic arguments against legalising male homosexuality in 1986 are being repeated again against trans-people. Most of those arguments are similar to the “claim that young boys would be put at risk” – but this time the supposed “victims” of the trans-bogey are girls and women “threatened in safe places”. Such claims are unclear in specifics and are deliberately vague to create a sense of unease with a phantom menace.

So-called “gender critical feminists” have taken to using offensive and degrading terms such ‘misgendering’ and ‘deadnaming’ to further undermine and deny trans-gender activists’ identities. It is an unnecessary, cruel tactic more commonly found on right-wing websites.

But Ang Jury, from New Zealand Women’s Refuge refutes any suggestion of problems with trans-gender women with Susan Strongman reporting for Radio NZ that “there is a solid process around deciding who gets into safe houses, and that transgender women have been allowed into many refuge spaces for years without issue“.

Last year, National Council of Women and YWCA came out strongly in support of the trans-gender community, with NCW CEO, Gill Greer, stating;

“Trans women’s rights are women’s rights – and ‘women’s rights are human rights.”

Feminists who support the trans-movement know full well that there are few such “safe places” and that most sexual abuse/attacks on girls and women occur in the home (or work place) and the perpetrator is usually known to the victim/survivor.

Exploiting the fear of “stranger danger” against the trans-community – many of whom have themselves been victims of harassment and/or sexual assault – is obscene.

The trans-community and it’s supporters counter opposition to the right to self-ID and describe it as fear-mongering;

Local transphobic campaigners are backed by a large group of extremely bigoted international social media accounts, many of which are controlled by extreme right wing and religious fundamentalists.

This article from the Southern Poverty Law Centre helps explains the relationships between the groups driving the campaign.

Campaigners are making claims about predators using the proposed law changes to gain access to vulnerable people. These claims are manufactured and intended to create a moral panic. Evidence shows that no such incidents have been reported in countries where these changes have been made.

It’s important to remember that anybody making changes to markers on their birth certificates would make a statutory declaration in front of a Justice of the Peace under penalty of perjury. The ability to more easily change the gender marker on your birth certificate can’t be carried out on a whim or with dubious intent. The changes proposed simply brings the process for changing all major forms of identification in line with one another.

Minister Tracey Martin has a moment in our history to do the right thing. Fran Wilde led the way with gay law reform.

But the movement for social justice and inclusion did not end thirty-three years ago. Just as the feminist movement still has much to accomplish.

We cannot, as a society, exclude a small minority by creating a system or practice that separates people according to their status as trans-gendered.

That is apartheid.

And we’re all agreed that apartheid is a bad thing?

To Minister Martin I say this:  thirty-three years years ago, your Parliamentary predecessor, Fran Wilde, did the right thing by standing up for gay men. She endured a storm of personal threats and vitriol that would wither most of us.

But she stood up for what was right.

Will you do the same; will you stand up for what is right?

It’s not a difficult question. Fran Wilde knew the answer.

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Acknowledgement: this author wishes to thank Andrea and others in the Wellington trans-community for sharing their experiences  and allowing me to honour their stories. – Frank Macskasy

* Name changed to protect ‘Andrea’s’ and ‘Sharon’s’ privacy and prevent harassment.

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References

Dictionary.com: Apartheid

Radio NZ: Births, deaths and marriages bill deferred to allow more public consultation

NZ History: Homosexual law reformPage 4 – Reforming the law

The Right To Self ID: What is the Births Deaths and Marriages Act?

YWCA: We support trans rights in Aotearoa

Radio NZ: Sex self-identification debate a ‘cesspool of harmful stereotypes’

Additional

Radio NZ: Transgender and non-binary communities disappointed at bill deferral

Robinhead: Gender Roles

Previous related blogposts

First they came

Fairfax media and Kiwiblog revise incorrect story denigrating trans-people

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98 Comments

  1. Sam Sam says:

    That judge ought to no better than to wast scarce medical resources but god dam $60k for legal and medical opinion just to gain access to a $30k procedure, heart surgery is about $20k-$25k. Trannies are just getting ripped off. whats the deal with the costs, is it a penalty, a hurdle, price of admission?

    Any one willing to go through reassignment surgery surley should be admission enough. Plastic surgeons do psyche reviews all the time and that’s enough to satisfy them for routine reconstructive surgery.

  2. Freda Lobb says:

    What a incredible journey Andrea had to take. Remarkable strength, courage , patience and persistence. Impressive.

    Interested that author thinks it’s an easy yes by the Minister. Verbal attacks and threats to the level that Fran Wilde endured..in these times of social media where the entire family comes under attack ..that’s a huge personal ask.

    Freda Lobb

    • Thanks, Freda

      I wouldn’t say it’s an easy thing for Minister Martin to to do. But it’s the right thing.

      Every so often a Minister will come under intense pressure on a controversial issue. How s/he acts will be the legacy they leave behind.

      I sincerely hope Ms Martin can rise to the challenge.

  3. Andrew says:

    We have practiced Apartheid in NZ for over a century: Maori List MPs.

    Read your own definition:

    2. any system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, caste, etc.

    • Sam Sam says:

      It is disingenuous to call Māori people, oppressors. Even now you flip trans people the bird with your false ideology.

    • Mjolnir says:

      Jesus wept, Andrew, could you be any dumber with your false conflation??

      Maori seats guarantee INCLUSION. Real apartheid is EXCLUSIONARY!! READ THE FUCKING DEFINITION!!

      Frank’s story is about EXCLUDING a minority from recognition of their gender, which the rest of us TAKE FOR GRANTED!!

      Trying to conflate Maori seats is desperate racism on your part.

      • I was going to make a point about false analogies, but as usual, Sam and Mjolnir beat me to it.

        You referred to part 2 of the definition above. Now read part 1.

        It’s sad when you exploit this issue, Andrew, to take a dig at another minority.

        • Sally says:

          As always, Frank, insightful and written with great clarity. You’ve made a powerful case for transgendered men and woman and your points are hard to refute.

          Thank you for speaking up for those whose voices have been silenced.

      • Andrew says:

        I know it makes Kiwis have sad little faces 🙁 for pointing out their Apartheid electoral system. The truth hurts sometimes.

        It seems you’re all ignorant of the history. Allow me to educate you on the origin of the Maori seats:

        They were created in 1867 to give Maori a say in government because at that time there wasn’t a universal franchise. A man had to have title to property to get a vote (great system by the way) and Maori didn’t have title because their land was held in tribal title.

        So Maori got a vote before women did.

        So once NZ adopted a universal franchise the Maori electorate became redundant.

        To prove the point, in 1986 the Royal Commission on electoral reform that gave us MMP recommended the Maori seats be removed because they had served their purpose, but the politicians of the day ignored that.

        • Mjolnir says:

          Now go read part 1 Andrew. You seem to have missed that bit.

          Enshrining Maori representation isn’t apartheid, as much as you want it to be. It’s GUARANTEEING it. Which is the polar opposite to apartheid. A point you are studiously ignoring.

          Don’t be so damned selective. Your racism is showing.

          • Andrew says:

            OK so how well are Maori doing on this diet of “enshrined, guaranteed representation”?

            Is there not a problem with education, suicide, violence, poverty & imprisonment?

            In fact it is just paternalistic racism: You demean them by making them ‘special’

            • Sam Sam says:

              You are a degenerate for claiming Māori are oppressive and now you concede that point by claiming Māori are over represented in poor social stats. Make up your mind.

        • SPC says:

          Not surprising that racists would support lack of land/wealth to exclude others from voting – Jim Crown laws. That old time religion – the old gated community class apartheid.

          Maori seats actually reflected the inability of Maori to have
          self governance chieftainship after being and continuing to being stripped of their land. Thus this was incorporated into the parliamentary system.

    • Michelle says:

      we have practised racism and discrimination for 150 years andrew the four seat set up to ensure Maori could only vote for one of the 4 and not out vote the settlers even though they out numbered them
      we gave land to pakeha soliders through a land ballot Maori were excluded on the grounds they owned lands. We gave more pension monies to our pakeha soldiers I think we have a well established entrenched history of being racists

  4. Marianne Hepple says:

    I have no problem with transgender people being able to legally ID as they wish. I do have a problem however with transgender people who still have male genitalia being permitted in women-only spaces eg toilets and prisons

    • Sam Sam says:

      Well in a professional manner, particularly while in the early stages of transitioning so while on alpha blockers. Just to maintain an in personal professional manner while on the job, they can’t tell any one that they are trans because that creates an unprofessional relationship with customers / clients or what ever.

    • Mjolnir says:

      “I do have a problem however with transgender people who still have male genitalia being permitted in women-only spaces eg toilets and prisons”

      Do you often look over toilet walls to check out people’s genitalia Marianne? You realise how creepy your comment sounds?

      Didn’t we get the same homophobic BS about gay men and public toilets during the homosexual law reform debate?

      As for prisons, if trans women are on testosterone blockers AND being given oestrogen, I think you’ll find their penises are pretty much useless (no erections).

      • Andy says:

        Transgender prisoner Karen White, a convicted male rapist placed in a woman’s prison in the UK, was reported as “her penis was visibly erect as she touched other women”
        by various newspapers.

        OK, nothing to see here, move along please

        • Mjolnir says:

          Yeah, wasn’t tha the only case you could find Andy? And you’re using one case to demonise all transgenders. Just like you demonise muslims and gats.

          Move along nothing to see?

          Onky a bigot.

    • her says:

      Eight of Iran’s women’s football team ‘are men’ awaiting sex change operations https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/11903290/Eight-of-Irans-womens-football-team-are-men.html
      and while it might actually get womens sport on TV it is no longer relevant or anything I would want my daughters to be involved with.

      • Would this be a “story” if the headline was “Eight of Iran’s women’s football team are ‘lesbians’ “.

        Responses to my story demonstrate the level of transphobia in this country.

        We have a long way to go.

      • I might add, “Her”, that whilst Iran has repressive laws regarding gay men and lesbians and does not recognise a non-binary sexual spectrum, it is curiously liberal on Trans gender operations and facilitating official gender/name changes.

        So the fact that there are more trans women in Iranian society should not be surprising. Just as we have more women in politics here in New Zealand because women’s rights are stronger than Iran’s.

  5. Zack Brando says:

    In Latin and Greek respectively, “Gender Dysphoria” translates to “Birth Nation is Hard to Bear”.

    Gender reassignment surgery is NOT an issue I’d die on a hill-top for, saying that I have trans-gendered friends. Not every trans-gendered person wants ‘reassignment surgery’ or to take androgen-blockers and “critically-needed” estrogen.

    Should the government be funding non-life-threatening, cosmetic surgeries? I’d would suggest not .. though the NZ tax payer already funds many non-life-threatening surgeries and subsidizes creams for conditions such as .. dry skin.

    The issue here is the cost, for what many consider a mental illness. In many countries “Gender Dysphoria” is recognized as a mental illness. It’s free for someone to identify as the opposite gender, it’s ALSO free to recognize that someone identifies as the opposite gender.

    What is not free is changing someones gender, and by all accounts changing someones gender is impossible – on the DNA level anyway. I don’t know where the State fits in here, but I would NOT call the current state-of-affairs Apartheid.

    Issues that could arise though mass funding of gender reassignment include; demented parents grooming their children to get gender reassignment and people regretting undergoing such a radical surgery.

    Pushing those issues AND alternative treatments to the side .. if only a small group of Kiwis want such surgery, maybe just fund it! .. maybe a more subsidized system? ..

    .. OR, let us as a Nation go FULL capitalist/libertarian and 1. Let people choose for themselves AND 2. Develop a ‘gender reassignment tourism industry’. With the increased tax revenue; citizen’s gender reassignment surgeries would pay for themselves and the supposedly “critically-needed” estrogen.

    Like I say, “NOT an issue I’d die on a hill-top for”.

    • Mjolnir says:

      “The issue here is the cost, for what many consider a mental illness. ”

      Well, those “many” would be wrong, wouldn’t they, Zack?? I mean, who are they to say that?? And didn’t those “many” once dismiss homosexuality as a “mental illness”??

      “Issues that could arise though mass funding of gender reassignment include; demented parents grooming their children to get gender reassignment”

      Now we’re getting into demented fear mongering crazy talk. Any other possible horror fairy tales you’d life to share with us??

      Fuck me, someone opened the floodgates to nutty transphobic craziness.

      • Zack Brando says:

        I’m friends with and know more trans-gendered people than you MJOLNIR, I can 100% guarantee you that. I’ve found many trans-gendered people to be extremely introspective and reflective about their gender/sexuality.

        You come across as a “nutty” (your own word) social justice warrior, only concerned with ignorant virtue signaling. Disgusting how you so easily throw around the term “transphobic”.

        As for “horror fairy tales” and alternative treatments, which I didn’t even elaborate on – I ‘pushed them to the side’ for good reason .. but I assure you, such tales and more are quite real.

        Sounds to me like you’re trying to sweep abuse towards trans-gendered people under-the-rug MJOLNIR, while at the same time accusing everyone of being “transphobic”.

        • Mjolnir says:

          Your “friends”?? I call bullshit. Real mates don’t let their friends be denied basic decent human human rights.

          Yeah, “some of my best friends are transpeople” or “some of my best friends are maoris”. Then you launch into an attack on trans people. Or maoris.

          Social justice warrior?? Thats how dismissive you are of social justice, eh?

          Hypocrite.

          • Zack Brando says:

            What are “human rights” – that is a very abstract term, use by social justice warriors such as yourself. I wouldn’t call gender reassignment a human right.

            • Mjolnir says:

              So human rights is an “absract term” for you Zack?

              I see.

              So abstract thst when denied to a minority, its not an issue for you, evidently.

              Anyone else you think should have their human rights treated as a “abstract term”?

  6. Danyl Strype says:

    I have always defended people’s rights to dress however they want, regardless of historical gender norms. I have always respected people’s choice to take on a new name, whether that’s a nickname or one that indicates a gender identity differing from the sex they were assigned at birth. If people indicate to me that they prefer a male, female, or neutral pronoun other than the one I would have unconsciously assigned them based on their appearance, I have always done my best to respect that. These things do no harm, cost me nothing, and make people more comfortable, so why not respect them?

    But asking the state to start certifying people’s sex or gender, other than by recognizing what genitals they’re born with, has much larger implications than just respecting their self-identity in social situations. For that certification to mean anything, there needs to be objective criteria that can be applied consistently. Those need to be defined thoughtfully, and encoded in carefully written legislation. Tracy Martin is quite right to tread carefully here. This is a complicated issue, where the state has a moral duty to balance the competing rights, needs, and wants of different groups of citizens. It’s important not only that justice is done, but that it is *seen* to be done, that everyone feels their concerns have been heard and addressed in the final legislation.

    I think it’s really instructive to observe the strategy and tactics of identitarians on both sides of the trans rights issues. Both sides are absolutely convinced of their monopoly on the moral high ground, and the irredeemable evil of their opponents. Both sides are willing to irretrievably destroy any hope of future relationships and alliances with anyone who doesn’t take exactly the same position as them on this issue, even those with whom they agree on pretty much everything else. Both sides take the same scorched earth approach to any dissenting view, which means that whatever positions a person takes on trans issues, they have at least one block of identitarians condemning them as bad allies, maybe two. It’s a classic lose-lose game.

    It’s also a classic example of why, despite being a life-long supporter of full and equal rights for all humans, including women and minorities, I see this pseudo-religious style of identity politics as being toxic to the left. To avoid being captured by the divide-and-rule strategies of our real political opponents (the 1% and their lackies), we need to be able to disagree respectfully, in a way that builds relationships and alliances, instead of destroying them.

    • RosieLee says:

      Finally some common sense and reason to the debate.

    • Sam Sam says:

      I’v got no idea what it is like to live my life with a desire to transition to the opposite gender. Being helpless on an operating table while people who you have just meet cut bits off you takes tremendous courage and will power to go through such a procedure. What ever society thinks of trans people it is not cowardly or simple fashion to transition so that they can be recognised as the person they have always desired to be. For any surgery to be succesful, a doctor knows that for the patients mental health it is important the patient understands all the risks and complications and understands that there is no going back from a life changing procedure.

      That trans people face overwhelming financial barriers preventing them from rejoining the workforce and progressing through life creates a toxic environment where trans people have to lie to there own friends and family. No mater how talented a group is, if even one person in a group of one hundred is toxic that group just can’t do anything productive or meaningful for the community.

      New Zealand society has many structural problems. Making gender reassignment surgery and streamlining medical costs in line with DHB subsidies surley is one ingredient for curing the melting pot.

    • Mjolnir says:

      “Those need to be defined thoughtfully, and encoded in carefully written legislation. ”

      When do we start legislating for which gender you and I identfy as, Danyl? Frank made a strong point when he pointed out that trans people are expected to have the State determine their identity, but we don’t . Why one law for trans and none for the rest of us? Smacks of gender apartheid when you look at it from the trans perspective.

      • Sam Sam says:

        Help if trans people put some one forward to define it correctly.

      • SPC says:

        There is the issue of birth certificates being historic (identifying male or female sex body of the child) with the rare non binary variant. As compared to their subsequent gender identity with or without male to female, or female to male sex (body) changes.

        Drivers Licence and Passport ID can more easily reflect their current circumstance.

        To make light of what is a difficult policy decison, we do not require women who marry and then partner with other women to claim to have been born that way and state they only married a man because of cultural oppression (and lack of legal equality at the time). It’s sad that those who identify differently to their birth sex feel the need to change their birth certificate. Presumably as much because of society as anything else.

        People change their name – by deed poll, just not their historic birth name.

      • Andy says:

        “Gender apartheid” actually I haven’t heard that term used outside Islamic nations

        • Mjolnir says:

          Bullshit Andy. You really can’t help exhibit your bigotry against Muslims, can you? You must be pissing yourself with happiness that the TERFs are here with their transphobic bullshit

  7. Kelly says:

    Imagine the exclusion of males from female-only spaces, services and provisions being called “apartheid”.

    Imagine people thinking that are leftists and simultaneously believing that the boundaries of people born female are… too strong. Too rigid. Simply not pliable enough.

    Imagine a new Mens Rights movement, wrapped up in the sleazy sexist tuxedo of respectable leftism.

    Julia says “I am an incest survivor who feels fear when in an elevator with only male occupants – please support this Supplementary Order Paper so I can continue to find women-only places of safety.”

    Imagine some dude calling this “apartheid”.

    Imagine this dude imagining himself “on the right side of history”, joining a long tradition of men telling women that they should chill and accept male demands for validation.

    Now that Frank McCasey has gone full MRA we no longer have to imagine.

    • Firstly, Kelly, welcome to you and others who are new to TDB, who have been drawn to this forum on this issue

      Secondly, I appreciate your attempt to parody my writing.

      Who do I have to be to support trans rights? Yes, I am a white CIS hetero male.

      I supported gay law reform in 1986, despite not being gay.

      I support tangata whenua in resolving Treaty breaches, though I’m not Maori.

      I support many other struggles, despite having no personal benefit to me.

      Who do we have to be to support minority struggles?

      If we are forced into ‘silos’ of self interest, how does that benefit you, the LGBTQI community, et al? It doesn’t. It only benefits reactionaries such as the religious right ( https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/10/23/christian-right-tips-fight-transgender-rights-separate-t-lgb ).

      You cannot have women’s rights built on the bodies of a minority. There must be a way forward that does not deny the rights of others for perceived “safety risks”. That is a lesson patriarchal society is coming to grips with ( and shows up in the form of Trump’s election, as push back).

      If women’s rights are dependent on Trans rights being made secondary, then you have to ask yourself if there’s an element of privilege involved.

      I am a privileged white male. I accept that as a given.

      Are you privileged?

      • Kelly says:

        “If women’s rights are dependent on Trans rights being made secondary, then you have to ask yourself if there’s an element of privilege involved.”

        For starters it is not my position that “womens rights are dependent on trans rights being secondary”. But there is indeed an element of privilege involved: male privilege.

        Mens Rights Advocates like yourself are effectively arguing for the limitation of womens rights to have spaces and services that are female only.

        It’s great that you’ve participated in many struggles associated with progressive leftism. But your equivocation between womens boundaries and apartheid just proves that the left can be just as sexist as the right.

        • I am not a “men’s rights activist”, Kelly. That is a false claim. If you need to invoke false labelling it suggests you have nothing factual to offer.

          By the way, I notice you’ve made this about me, instead of the issue of trans rights
          Well played.

          But bandying around personal insults, offensive trigger words, and mis-representation suggests you cannot address the points I’ve raised.

          The gender-based apartheid inflicted on transwomen is an injustice that can no longer be ignored. This issue will not go away any time soon. Instead of trying to preserve your own privilege, look at those who you have decided are not worthy of their identity.

          • Hillary says:

            If you are not a men’s rights activist, Frank, why are you using appropriation and false equivalence to encourage a pile on of women?

            Why are you making outrageous statements such as:
            “You cannot have women’s rights built on the bodies of a minority. There must be a way forward that does not deny the rights of others for perceived “safety risks”.

            This statement is breathtakingly hyperbolic, deceitful and untrue.

            Do you not realise that emotional and irrational writing such as this is unacceptable?

            • Sam Sam says:

              So recreating apartheid through things like spaces for X group/demographic only, reinventing X demographic based hiring practices again, and recreating social thought as an official stance again.

              Yoi do realise that Frank made the case for this.

            • SPC says:

              How is this “There must be a way forward that does not deny the rights of others for perceived “safety risks” in any way outrageous.

              People once claimed it was “unsafe” to allow women contraception, a right to divorce, for homosexuality to be decriminalsied or for same sex relationships to be formalised/normalised or for children to be raised by such couples.

              The point that all people should have rights, and ones own rights are not weakened by allowing others their rights. This argument is neither emotional nor irrational.

        • Mjolnir says:

          Wow, so you’re one if those TERFs, Kelly??

          Jesus wept, you have the hypocrisy to accuse others of “vitriol” and your comments aee about as vindictive as any I’ve read on Whaleoil. Hmmm, maybe that’s where you’re from? Whaleoil?

          Cameron, is that you, boyo?? Cameron? Cameron????

    • SPC says:

      The tactic used by Trump’s white race nation of male victims of multi-cultural liberalism is now being used by some women to defend their turf from some new alien migration threat.

      It’s an irony that so many women will not call themselves feminists, yet so many “feminists” now pander to those with historically exclusionary views. At least one hopes those that the lesbian and bi-sexual amongst them are at least aware of the risk of choking on their hypocrisy when they do so.

      Now being safe, and having a wider concern for the safety of women, should also include a concern for the safety of others at risk because of their sexuality/gender. Anything less is being less than human.

      • nukefacts says:

        Perhaps feminists/lesbians see their hard won rights being encroached on again and again by men, and understandably have issues with this?

        Think of it this way.

        Gender (feminine/masculine), sex (male/female) and sexuality (thoughts and practices pertaining to sex) are separate things. Some psychologists think that gender identity is a spectrum, with most people either identifying as male or female, and a small number in between in one or more of potentially 16 different states.

        Most trans men have a different gender identification but only a small number of them fully identify as the other sex and gender. What Frank is talking about here is someone who has fully transitioned to be externally-anatomically female – i.e. they identify with the gender and sex aspects. Fair enough.

        But, do you seriously think women are going to think it’s fine for everyone who wants to call themselves trans to claim gender identification as women, even when they don’t want to fully transition?

        If I was a woman, I’d probably feel this was yet another attempt for men to claim privilege over women.

        • SPC says:

          I do not find the argument, that those born male sex claiming to be women are seeking privilege over women, credible. Nor see how it could be claimed to be a threat to their hard won rights (neither as lesbian women, nor as feminist women).

          As you note, for practical purposes, the issue is about whether (and how and when) one distinguishes between those born female sex, those who physically transition to female sex, and those who otherwise identify as female on a permanent basis. As I said, the issue is largely one of a sense of safety, and this applies to all involved, not just one group.

          Once men decided, then hetero normative male and female born sex decided the society order. I realise that the men of psychiatry who once described a identity/behaviour group as abnormal (and as a condition to be treated) will provide their useful expertise once more. And those who influenced them to that perspective still seek dominance over what women are allowed to do with their bodies. There is some irony, given the history of conservative men claiming what the role of women is, and what righteous women should think and behave – of their support for those women who want to exclude their natural order female sex kind from intrusion.

          Perhaps there should be a grand consensus where women decide this issue and the proposed reform of womens control of their fertility legislation from criminal to health. Or would men find this upsetting?

        • Mjolnir says:

          “Perhaps feminists/lesbians see their hard won rights being encroached on again and again by men, and understandably have issues with this?”

          Same arguments used by privileged men: their “hard won rights encroached on again and again by XYZ”

          Yeah, yeah, yeah, heard the same BS before. “My” rights not “your” rights. Because only “my” rights count, eh, Nuke?

          • Sam Sam says:

            There are consequences for displacing men and woman as the head of the family unit.

            There are consequences for paying men less and less so that woman can earn more.

            And there are also consequences for trans people becoming the head of a family.

            I didn’t have a dad to take me fishing or anything like that. I had uncles but I found out latter on when I had children of my own that there’s no substitutes for a biological fathers care, attention and patience. Sure parenting is anecdotal but there’s plenty of study’s that say there’s no substitute for a biological father, or mother. Kids are such a sacrifice that they’ve got no time for the hang ups of adults.

            • SPC says:

              You mean consequences when both birth parents do not live with children (adoption, single parents, divorced couples, parents forming new marital partnerships)?

              Or when couples make arrangments to breed with external help – sperm donor or surrogate mother?

              Or when parents refuse to maintain their expected normative gender roles and or birth sex?

              Men are not paid less when women are paid more, reduced pay is a global market thing – what is real is that two income couples bid up the value of property (greater ability to service a mortgage) and that makes it harder for one income families – albeit WFF tax credits is some alleviation of the impact of this.

              And all parents sacrifice to raise up children.

            • Mjolnir says:

              Yeah, so why on earth people born male feel they need to transition to femakes?? Why on earth would anyone do that, unless it was an innate biological drive.

            • Sam Sam says:

              That’s the other way around. There are also consequences for displacing the man as head of house and all the male duties that entails, gardening, house maintenance, banking ect ect ect. There are many ways of going about a family unit which raises many many more questions than answers for example take the idea that single mothers on welfare have to be driven to work, first of all they are not lazy unemployed. The idea that welfare mothers have to be driven to work isn’t allowed to be questioned on the television to raise a consensus. What does that even mean, does it mean that if you are not raising a well adjusted child that you are not working?

              I don’t know how many people around here have tried to raise a child but the assumption is if it’s the kind of work woman do then it isn’t work, and now we also talk about trans woman in the modern context. If it’s the kind of work (trans) woman do it isn’t work. Think it through it leads to interesting directions. This particularly is supposed to be a meritocratic society and feminist we’ll be proud about that and so you measure the amount of work by the amount of pay you get and so if you measure the value of raising children and keeping it going then the amount of pay you get is zero. So raising children and so on is totally worthless and keeping families alive is totally worthless and as a demonstration you don’t get payed for it and that’s a meritocratic society.

              Well what is work and it’s the stuff you get a lot of money for. So work is jumping in a taxi to Wall Street and speculating on currencies in an effort to drive down growth rates and you’ll get a huge amount of money for that so that must be really valuable work. So those guys don’t have to be driven to work because they’re doing already extremely valuable work but some one raining a child has to be driven to work because they’re not doing any work. This is the assumption that underlies all of this debate. And so of you begin working your way through all of those assumptions then a lot of interesting consequences follow.

              So before you can begin theorising about the consequences of displacing the male as the head of a family you first have to ask the question well what is work?

              Even if you picked the craziest Chicago University ideas about work that dos net make any sense on those grounds. Every economist will agree that of you want to be serious then you can’t talk about human beings as if they are creatures with rights and so, you have to talk about them as capital and tansy why there’s something called human capital which means “how much a human being can contribute to growth .” So do you have enough to eat, are you strong enough to get out of bed, that’s human capital. So of all that stuff increases then you are increasing human capital, if you want to be serious we have to talk about it this way.

              Now the question is what is raising human capital and the answer is MOTHERS raising children. What’s the biggest fa Tor on growth? It’s human capital. So it ought to be a fact that we are paying mothers a high salary to try to improve the human capital because of the work they are doing. Of any one who has had a child thinks for a second knows that rearing children is hard work, it doesn’t come free and that’s only a piece of it.

              In fact the whole story unravels completely when you take a look at it seriously about what is work and what are gender roles.

              And then there’s this story about inflation and unemployment numbers and when they go above these mythical numbers we are meant to guess whether they’re good or bad and well if you want to keep the numbers down then you’d pay mothers and trannies higher wages to keep it down. I mean the whole thing is a tissue of contradiction and absurdities that we can’t even discus and I don’t think you should be trapped in it to discuss certain premises like the premise that if your raising children you’re not working, on the other hand if your speculating on currencies you’re working even though they effects are extremely harmful. The effects is to drive down growth rates and that’s the point.

  8. sumsuch says:

    Hip hip hooray for the least of the minorities.

  9. A says:

    This is an odd case. My sister has legally transitioned and it didn’t cost anywhere near this much. Having said that, she had the surgery done in Asia (which is where I think a lot of people go).

    Yes, the surgery should be available for free through the public health system.

    No. It shouldn’t be simple to change your gender identity. As Danyl said, there are competing interests at stake, and the result can only be some form of compromise.

  10. nukefacts says:

    Wow. Apartheid is it now? Do we see trans people shoved into bantustan homelands? Do we see them shot in the street while protesting? Do we see segregated buses, cafes, etc? Do we see pervasive discrimination across all legal and social areas?

    No.

    You are seriously overreacting here. Yes we have to acknowledge Trans people have rights. That doesn’t mean we need to manufacture this level of hysteria.

    It’s almost like you’ve gone Woke, Frank.

    • Nukefacts, having ” Bantustans” is not the only indication of apartheid. White Rhodesia had a form of it after UDI, and it had no Bantustans.

      Study the second definition of the term at the start of my blog post.

      I have pointed out above the different rules for trans and non-trans people. It’s all described fully. You haven’t addressed any of those points.

      There is no “level of hysteria” here. No more than there was for gay law reform in 1986, marriage equality, or the struggle for women’s franchise. Though no doubt opponants of all three of those social movements invoked “hysteria” and other dismissive epithets to minimise social justice.

      If that’s “woke”, so be it.

      • saveNZ says:

        @Frank WOKEasky, you are respected commentator, it’s good to be supporting an issue you care about, but invoking apartheid is going too far!

        What about someone who is white who feels they are ‘black’ or someone Pakeha who feels they are ‘Maori’ someone who feels they suffer age discrimination… height discrimination, appearance discrimination.. There is serious entitlement going on these days where everywhere somehow, somewhere thinks that they are mislabeled… and there are medical procedures everywhere to make you feel better about yourself.

        But you then have to examine how that plays out with power interests.. aka is it discriminating against a women than a biological man can decide to become a women easily or on a whim… or should there be a rigorous process…

        Trans already have a right to change. Leave it there, before it goes Pride parade and everyone else is ‘other’ and another self promoted group beloved by MSM and reality TV takes a celebration of unity to a fuckfest of exclusion where people stay away.

        P>S. one reason people comment on this is that it has gone too far, and so people feel compelled to put their two cents worth in, maybe that works for site hits or what have you, but also can create a very distorted society out there where people are dying, homeless, hungry and assets being privatised which makes the next generation even more homeless and hungry, but our politicians and social commentators spend a disproportionate amount of time, in first world woke issues, worrying about getting legally high and relabelling the gender of toilets and how long it might take to be Trans.

        But being out of touch, haemorrhages good will, looking at how the Greens poll for example compared to 7 years ago or the Pride Parade turnout. Less and less people can relate to wokie causes and the wokies themselves because it is so far from their reality.

        Even in the 1990’s Georgina Beyer bet Paul Henry into parliament in the Wairarapa… does not sound like apartheid…

        Georgina Beyer, got in because she was a great person for the job and the people felt like she would represent them best, not because she was a former sex worker and transgender! Most people in NZ are tolerant and never batted an eyelid by that.

        • Savenz, that is not how my surname is spelled.

        • SPC says:

          Savenz, the Green Party of 2011 and 2014 got to 10%+ while Labour was weak, their numbers fell back to their 5%+ norm when Ardern took over the Labour Party. “Woke” stuff had nothing to do with any of it.

          People first took their right to practice sexual relationships as they chose before they were allowed to formalise them. Just as they now seek to move beyond a capacity to transition (whether physically or how they identify on a permanent basis) to more formal recognition. If the latter does require the operational approach then that process would have to be more readily available and affordable.

          • saveNZ says:

            Labour only got into power because they said they would not charge any more taxes and took implementing a CGT off the table if they were elected…. which made them have a big point of difference from the Greens.

            Labour also said they were anti TPPA and were going to reduce immigration… Greens would be stronger only the Green wokies have failed to capitalise on any of Labours broken promises like TPPA and doing dopy wokie stuff like giving away the water bottling rights to the Chinese against their foreign policy, giving Natz their questions thinking the next generation should be happy with more benefit and getting legally high and that trans are the self proclaimed most marginalised group in NZ…

            Weird when I looked at the pride parade I failed to notice the batons from police beating up and arresting supporters like during the anti-Springbok tour protesters on apartheid.

            In fact the pride parade apparently excluded the police from joining in the parade.. does not exactly sound like Trans are marginalised in NZ…

            • Mjolnir says:

              The group opposing police-in-uniform participation in the Pride Paradecwasn’t the trans community, it was the People AgainstPrisons in Aotearoa. Something else you got wrong Savenz asvwell as insulting the blog author by deliberarelt mis-spelling his name

              At least i have an excuse with my dyslexia

              • saveNZ says:

                Did not see the Trans community rise up against excluding the police… why do you think people stayed away from pride parade and numbers of attendees dramatically down?

                It went from a celebration of inclusion to being hijacked by wokie interest groups. Yet again!

                Maybe trans were involved maybe not, I don’t know, but anyone who attended and not speaking out against it (including government MP’s or Trans) and attending were showing support for the police exclusion…

                As for the play on name, clearly not an insult but a joke on Frank’s message previously

                “If that’s “woke”, so be it.”

                A sense of humour is also something that seems to be missing along with dyslexia…

  11. saveNZ says:

    When I think of apartheid, I don’t think of trans… people died and were imprisoned for their beliefs on race, gender and class…. now apparently waiting a year to transition is being billed as some massive hardship… people also have to pay in this country from anything to going to a doctor to being disabled… it is not some unique trans victimisation to have to fight for something you are born with… I’m all for someone proving they really are trans for else you get manipulators and psychopaths who might use gender as a way to advantage themselves… Even if you are terminally ill apparently you have to keep getting doctors certificates for WINZ… cruelty is all around us.

    Trans is the new wokie cause in between protesting about some dudes nobody has ever heard of and finding jobs for people paying $40k to get into country. Meanwhile we have massive poverty and hardship escalating here effecting hundreds of thousands of people… how did we get to this point in NZ?

    Maybe the answer is neoliberal power systems create diversions to keep the power system going and people’s minds on other things.

    • Mjolnir says:

      So, Savenz, you want trans people to die before you accept we have a gender apartheid, bscked up by self-seeking TERFs, in NZ? What sort of body count is acceptable to you before you agree with the points raised by Frank Maskasy?

      Does suicide count? Because suicide by trans people is fairly high. Think things through before you engage in petty nitpicking.

  12. Hillary says:

    This is a racist and inappropriate rant with all the tired and predictable hyperbole.

    Imagine appropriating South African POC’s history of racism to push an ideology?

    While we are at it. Imagine telling POC they must accept white people who ‘identify’ as black such as Rachel Doleful, and that if they don’t accept them, they are the ones that are racist?

    Think that is appalling?

    I bet you do.

    That is exactly what you are doing here Frank.

    Somehow, due to queer theory (not any sort of reality), many people have become irrationally ignorant towards biological realities. Realities like the fact that males and stronger and larger than females. Realities like weight for weight they are at least 40% stronger in the upper body and that is just the start. The differences are profound. Realities like women have periods, get pregnant, breastfeed etc. Males don’t.

    Frank, you have appropriated POC history and thrown it over women. This could be seen as having a malicious intent towards women and akin to men’s rights activism. I can only assume that identity ideology allows you to think to that it is okay to make hyperbolic, vitriolic and untrue statements about women you disagree with.

    I urge you to return to reality. I urge you to engage in civil discourse, not this appropriative rubbish that serves no purpose except to fan the flames of indignation and opprobrium towards women. Let’s return to discussing issues using logic, science and integrity instead of emotion and vitriol.

    I wonder if you care about women enough to do that?

    • Mjolnir says:

      Another TERF using personal attack and accusing frank of a “pile on” against women when she and her fellow TERF mates have come here to pile on against the author and trans people.

      You complain about hyperbole Hillary but you’re guilty of it yourself. You and your mates are a chauvinistic bunch. Prepared to attack others and ddny rights to otheds to preserve your own petty status.

      Your hypocrisy is rank Hillary,

      • Hillary says:

        You are hilarious.

        All you have as a counter-argument is hate speech towards a woman who disagrees with you and some bizarre comments about status?

        If you had bothered to read my comment properly, you would realise that my point was about the lack of integrity in appropriating a minority group’s history to give credence to misogynistic attacks on left wing women.

        I am not sure why you bothered to sling in the idea of status? It is a total straw man.

        • Mjolnir says:

          Hillary: “All you have as a counter-argument is hate speech towards a woman who disagrees with you and some bizarre comments about status?”

          Oh yeah, my bad. You and your TERF mates have gone to all the kind effort to gently remind us what racists, misogynists, mens rights activists ( that one DID hurt!!!) we reprobates are. And we’ve repaid your gentle chiding with the TERF epiphet. How unkind of us.

          I mean, it’s not like you and your pals STARTED by slinging the shit at the blog author and the rest of us, eh Hillary?? Eh Hillary??

          You poor poor snowflakes

      • Janine says:

        I think calling someone a Terf is a personal attack. Why do you use this term and what do you mean by it?

        • Mjolnir says:

          So Janine, what do you say about the vicious attack by some of your mates here against the blog author? Fuck me, I haven’t seen such a pile on from a bunch of bigots since the last time I made a post on Kiwiblog!!!!! (And that was a pitiful waste of time)

          Perhaps you shoukd look at your own behaviour and that of your friends first

          Have a fucking nice day

          • Hillary says:

            Oh dear. The irony. You actually proved my comment to Frank correct with your mindless abuse of both myself and another woman calling you out for your abuse. Now you include swearing to in a weak effort to intimidate women.

            How dare we have views about womanhood!

            You accuse us of a pile on by women? Nah.

            Frank, wrote a pile of emotional, appropriative rubbish that positioned women standing up for women’s rights as somehow like the South African apartheid regime thereby stripping the true horror from POC’s history in that country. The comparison was demonstrably untrue, demonstrably nasty as well as unethical. Encouraging men like you to feel free to abuse and intimidate women who speak up for women.

            That is why I commented.

            • Hillary, your claim that I ” appropriated” Sth Africa’s is untrue.

              Especially when New Zealand feminists like Anne Else have used the same phrase. (Ref: https://www.nowtolove.co.nz/lifestyle/career/kiwi-feminists-from-the-seventies-on-the-fight-for-a-brighter-future-39059)

              But regardless, trying to control the narrative evades the real issue at hand, which you and your fellow “gender critical feminist” friends have utterly failed to address: the double standards which meet the definition of apartheid.

              Dismissing it as you have done so as “emotional, appropriative rubbish” does no service to anyone.

              The problem remains that a minority in out country, who should be enjoying the same rights you and I do,are treated as second class citizens. This cannot be allowed to stand.

              Finally, you complain about comments made by those who disagree with you. Can I suggest that the tone of this debate was well and truly set by those who sought to personalise this issue and deploy certain negative labels that all but guaranteed a poor environment for a meaningful exchange of views.

              I have refrained from using the term”TERF” when it was pointed out to me it was insulting and counter productive to a constructive debate. Regretfully the same courtesy has not been extended to me.

              I welcome a constructive exchange of ideas how to help our trans brothers and sisters. They are, after all, real people for whom this is more than an academic exercise.

              There is a way forward which should make a better outcome.

              • Hillary says:

                Frank,

                Just because someone else has appropriated POC history does not give that comparison any more credence nor make it true. It minimises the horror of people’s lives who lived under an apartheid regime. It does, however, illuminate the emotion underlying your opinion piece.

                Your claim of double standards is also untrue. Of course, everyone should have their full human rights and live a life free of discrimination. That doesn’t mean that any group should have more rights than any other group. If you look at the UN Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948, you won’t find any rights that trans people do not have.

                You make a statement about trans people being treated as second class citizens, but provide no evidence for that claim. You are, I think, talking about claim rights, not liberty rights such as the right to be left alone as in decriminalisation of homosexuality. Claim rights are about the governance of access to shared spaces: prisons, refuges, toilets, change rooms and sport. They are not human rights.

                Statistics tell the story that women in New Zealand suffer high levels of violence and sexual harm from males. Some of the highest in the world. Science tells us that women are physically vulnerable to males yet their views about sharing spaces such as prisons, competitive sports fields, refuges etc, have not been sought.

                Women are also real people. As you are aware, this ideology has already affected more than 6 vulnerable women in NZ. The issue of these women is concerning, with prison policy prioritising the preferences of trans inmates over females in women’s prisons. No one has asked women if they consent to share spaces with male-bodied people, especially vulnerable women. The sad result has been male violence entering female prisons and 6 women assaulted by males in NZ prisons in the last two years. No woman assaulted a transgender prisoner. Vulnerable women’s rights to dignity, privacy and safety have been secondary to males’ preference.

                This Govt announced the women in sport initiative to much fanfare about six months ago. Yet in females sports, women are increasingly being relegated to lesser placings in their own sports due to this ideology. Women’s rights to fairness in competition are secondary to male’s feelings. The IOC hasn’t finalised rules, but the rules as they stand are grossly unfair to women. Male advantage is far more than hormones. Biological differences such as larger heart, lungs and increased blood flow give them big advantages in many sports. For example, weight for weight, males are 44% stronger in the upper body. See this video from NZ expert for confirmation of my claims. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0pfueKxhVI

                I notice that you, “Welcome a constructive exchange of ideas how to help our trans brothers and sisters.” You don’t mention how we can ensure that women do not lose rights due to claim rights being made by another, powerful group. BTW I use the word powerful because there has never been a minority group that has gained so much so quickly. The rapid spread of this new orthodoxy has been extraordinary. From corporations to the media, there is an almost total adherence to its tenets. The ideology itself (not the people) has had little scrutiny because it is policed with aggressive intolerance directed towards those who question it.

                How is it possible that women’s rights, which have taken over one hundred years to gain, are swept aside as if they are meaningless to make way for males? How is it that a ‘minority’ as you call it has such power over the IOC (bringing in guidelines that are unfair to females), the NZ Human Rights Commission ( ignoring the DIA report about an impact analysis on effects on women etc), corporations eg Spark? Why are women removed from this debate?

                • Mjolnir says:

                  “How is it possible that women’s rights, which have taken over one hundred years to gain, are swept aside as if they are meaningless to make way for males?

                  What rights are being “swept aside”?? Tell us what rights are being suppodely lost??

                  Funny, I heard whites in Sth Africa and souther US complain of losing their rights as well to Blacks. S
                  The same old argument is trotted out when gays, lesbians, people of colour, etc, achieve some measure of equality, that the white males are losing theur rights.

                  You fit that category exceedinglu well Hillary. You feel so threatenendd that trans people may achieve equality, inclusion, and recognition and are no longer marginalised by legal bullshit that tge rest of us dont need to follow
                  That must really stick in your craw equality for a minority that you feel so much hatred for

                  I look forward to tge day we have our first transgender prime minister and wonder at what your bigotry is doing to you
                  As always have a nice day

                • Rosemary McDonald says:

                  Thank you Hillary for continuing to attempt a rational and respectful discussion in the face of increasing aggression from one commentor and a remarkably closed mind on this issue from the author of the post.

                • Just because someone else has appropriated POC history does not give that comparison any more credence nor make it true. It minimises the horror of people’s lives who lived under an apartheid regime

                  Your attempt to define the narrative has taken up much of your argument. More so than any professed concern on your part on transgender rights.

                  At first I was perplexed by your on-going focus on the so-called “appropriation of POC history” by my use of the term apartheid.

                  After all, the english language is made up in large part of words and phrases from many other languages. The term “suffragette”, in part takes its provenance from the French, with the suffix – ette – meaning “diminutive”.

                  I realise now that your agenda was based more than a simple etymological historical lesson for my benefit. By attempting to deny me the use of references to apartheid, that you would succeed in undermining and diluting the power of what I have written.

                  It is an Orwellian form of employing Newspeak strategy; remove the word; remove the concept; consciousness on the issue is lowered, not raised.

                  I decline to play by those rules.

                  I stand by the use of apartheid. As the second definition above states with crystal clarity; 2. any system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, caste, etc. The “etc” part takes in sex and gender.

                  . It does, however, illuminate the emotion underlying your opinion piece.

                  The emotion is one of disbelief and horror that this situation still exists in 2019. That trans men and trans women are treated differently, based on arbitrary rules, with no rationale, defies understanding. The 1986 Homosexual Law Reform in 1986, marriage equality act in 2012, et al, should have largely put paid to any form of discrimination against the LGBTQI community.

                  You make a statement about trans people being treated as second class citizens, but provide no evidence for that claim.

                  Read my article above. I have provided clear examples evidencing discriminatory practices that neither you, nor I, nor 99% of the population are required to endure.

                  You are, I think, talking about claim rights, not liberty rights such as the right to be left alone as in decriminalisation of homosexuality.

                  I am talking about human rights. I make no distinction. They are the same human rights you and I and 99% of the rest of the population enjoy. The moment we start to separate out layers of “claim rights, liberty rights”, etc, is when we go down the road to apartheid: a differentiation based on arbitrary criteria.

                  It is unclear why you seem to advocate separating out rights in such an arbitrary manner for a group of people (transpeople, in this case). Is this not the definition of apartheid: different rights for different people based on a physical aspect of their being?

                  Statistics tell the story that women in New Zealand suffer high levels of violence and sexual harm from males.

                  Accepted.

                  Transwomen have also suffered high levels of violence, sexual harm, and exploitation.

                  This is unacceptable for all people, full stop.

                  Your claim of double standards is also untrue. Of course, everyone should have their full human rights and live a life free of discrimination. That doesn’t mean that any group should have more rights than any other group. If you look at the UN Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948, you won’t find any rights that trans people do not have.

                  That doesn’t mean that any group should have more rights than any other group.

                  The phrase is often used by conservatives against women, LGBTQI, people of colour, etc, by those who feel threatened by a struggle for equality.

                  When Maori are accused of “having more rights than any other group”, that it usually code by some pakeha that they feel their privilege is threatened. When challenged what “more rights” are involved, there is usually a stark silence.

                  Same with LGBTQI struggle for equality.

                  They have no “more rights”. In fact, I doubt you could point to any.

                  But you certainly seem to display a sense of your own privilege being threatened by transpeople attaining equality. Why is that?

                  How is it possible that women’s rights, which have taken over one hundred years to gain, are swept aside as if they are meaningless to make way for males?

                  No one is suggesting that. You are.

                  We are not talking about “males”, we are talking about transpeople. Your refusal to acknowledge the state of their gender reassignment is indicative of your own chauvinism.

                  When people with privilege complain of their “rights… being swept aside”, it suggests that what is really in question is their privilege and power being challenged.

                  I suggest you feel threatened that your sense of privilege is being challenged.

                  If you look at the UN Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948, you won’t find any rights that trans people do not have.

                  Untrue. Re-read my article above.

                  When did you have to apply to a Court to have your gender recognised?

                  When did you have to consult several medical professionals to be considered a “real woman” (or real man)?

                  No one has to go through what transpeople have to endure.
                  That was the entire point of my article. A point you appear unwilling to accept or understand.

                • Samwise says:

                  “ That doesn’t mean that any group should have more rights than any other group.”

                  How many times have we heard that complaint, usually from privileged white heterosexual males.?

                  This isn’t about “more rights” it’s about EQUAL rights.

                  It’s the same expectations the rest of us in the LGBTQI community have come to take as a given.

            • nukefacts says:

              Well said Hillary. It is appropriation when the experiences of someone like Nelson Mandela (beaten and tortured and imprisoned for decades for his cause) is appropriated by white privilege for a cause that has legal rights, had a trans MP in parliament, has a yearly parade paid for by ratepayers, and has options for gender reassignment paid for by the taxpayer. It’s just not acceptable to cry apartheid in this case and demean the suffering of those who actually lived under this system.

              • Mjolnir says:

                You obviously didn’t read Frank’s post above and the absurd LEGAL barriers thrown up against trans people. Try reading it, and understanding. How’d you like it if you had to seek legal approval to be who you are???

                You think trans people have SOME rights, that’s sufficient? You really are sounding more and more like a White Afrikaans wanker, saying “them black have more rights than in other Afrucan dictatorships, what more do they want?”

                Yeah, yeah, heard all those specious arguments during the 81 Springbok tour from apartheid apologists.

                This really is sounding more like a “my rights at the expense of their rights” argument. Thanks for proving that this IS an apartheid like situation, Nukefacts, Hillary, etc.

                By the way, if you’re trying to say trans people haven’t been assaulted, hospitalised, murdered, then you really do have your head up your arse. Get real, it’s been happening for decades. Just as gays were beaten up and murdered, before the laws were changed.

                Then there are are suicides.

                How many more dead do you want before you change your arrogant way of thinking?? Stop being so goddamn selfish.

                • Hillary says:

                  Suicide is a complex phenomenon, linked to a complex series of factors (co-morbidities are usual) such as depressive disorders (59%), alcohol dependence or abuse (43%) , and complex family issues etc. Using suicide as a tool to score points on social media is unethical and morally corrupt.

                  • Mjolnir says:

                    You are so fucking unbelievably arrogant!!!

                    I mean, how dare you assume why people commit suicide? How dare you be so coldly dismissive of the presssures on trans people and assume you know why many are driven to depression, self-harm, self-medication with alcohol and drugs, and suicide???

                    You are so pompous with your know-it-all attitude.
                    Your arrogance is beneath contempt and I understand why some in the trans community dismiss TERFs with derisive contempt

                    If you talked about any other minority in society with the arrogance you do, you’d be called out as the faux intellectualised bigot that you are

                    • Rosemary McDonald says:

                      Mjolnir.

                      How about you try and engage with Hillary at the level she has set and present some actual facts and figures?

                      Instead of all this piss and wind?

                      Because you’re undermining your credibility with all the vitriol and spew.

                    • Hillary says:

                      Oh dear, statistics are assumptions now? Please use a dictionary and look up the meaning of ‘assume’. Here’s a hint: facts are not assumptions. While you are at it, please apply some soap to clean up your unfounded abuse of a woman quoting statistics and try again.

                    • Sam Sam says:

                      Before the crown arrived in Aotearoa Māori didn’t have a word for poverty because resources where controlled through a tribal hierarchy so there where no cops saying don’t build here and Māori could do a lot more business than today.

                      Contrary to what Jordan Peterson says about combating suicide and poverty by addressing alcoholism. The cause is actually state agents desires over Māori land and resources that make poor people poor.

                      So there is a valid reason why normal people are getting upset with you and the TERF community and it’s got nothing to do with your gender and everything to do with the injuries you are carrying around with you.

  13. Joanna P says:

    Many thanks for writing this Frank. Most people see this issue as some kind of choice, and I guess in some ways it is. Interestingly you mention having a hip operation as an example of not needing to go through psychiatric assessment. I have arthritis of the hip, and I can choose to have, or choose not to have, surgery to correct this medical condition. After a while though, it can be difficult to function in everyday life.

    I am also transgender, and for my entire life I have had difficulty functioning in a society that is quite simply, highly prejudiced. These comment section echo chambers as ‘Countryboy’ aptly named them, is a place I rarely go with this kind of discourse. Simply not worth the aggravation.

    But I am here now because of the outstanding humanity of a man I have grown to have considerable respect, for high levels of integrity, depth of research and strong social commentary. I am also powerfully encouraged by the people I engage with, who take me as I am.

    This issue is a medical problem and can be fixed medically. I am not trapped in a mans body, I have simply grown with the wrong hormones coursing through my body. This condition can be corrected for as you can read in frank’s article above. To have corrective surgery would be wonderful within the public health system. To have this done privately is well beyond my financial capabilities. To go through the barriers to even change names let alone birth certificates, is a significant challenge. So what, I may hear you say … I just wish I could say that! Can I possibly wonder if anyone who reads this, that they stop and question their understanding of what it is to be transgender, and consider it in the same light as your ‘elderly relative’ going in for a hi op … medical interventions can save a great deal of pain.

    So thank you again Frank, for this and all of the excellent incisive articles you present on the Daily Blog.

    • Thank you, Joanna. I appreciate your generosity. I wish you well in your journey.

      Let’s hope the future is a brighter one for all of us.

    • Mjolnir says:

      Well said Joanna. It’s people conscience and deep sense of fairness that get change done in this country. Whether its Fran Wild or Frank’s blogging, they remind us when things need fixing to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

      We need to hear from more people in the trans community so we have hear their stories and appreciate struggles.

  14. saveNZ says:

    First United Kingdom transgender prison unit to open

    “The move comes after the case of Karen White, a transgender prisoner, who sexually assaulted two women while on remand at New Hall jail in Wakefield.

    White, who identifies as a woman, was described by a judge as a “predator” who was a danger to women and children.

    She was given a life sentence for sexual offences.

    First United Kingdom transgender prison unit to open

    A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “Prisoner safety is our biggest concern and any decisions we take will seek to best manage the risks posed by each offender.

    The wider management of transgender offenders is a highly sensitive issue which poses unique and complex challenges and we are determined to get it right.

    “That’s why we are reviewing the way we manage all transgender offenders.”

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/383878/first-united-kingdom-transgender-prison-unit-to-open

  15. Samwise says:

    Frank, this is one of the best pieces you have written. You’ve shed light on a marginalised group in our society in a way that might be troubling for some, but needs to be addressed.

    As a gay man who has experienced apartheid based on my sexual orientation , pre-1986, I understand fully what you have exposed as an unacceptable double standard in our society.

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