The Abigail Article and My Response

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This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues…

Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of the Palestinian people; the threat of climate change; human rights here and abroad; the  reaction to globalisation  manifested by the symptom of Trump and Brexit; opposition to the secretly negotiated TPPA; the obscenity of the international arms industry; the utter failure of the neo-liberal experiment as families were forced to live in motels, garages, and cars, and much more.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

The hostile, dehumanising culture of WINZ was a problem I took particular interest in, as well as homelessness.

In February 2013, Martyn invited me to contribute to his ‘new’ project, The Daily Blog. It was a honour to participate and I devoted as much time as could be squeezed into a 24 hour period to research, write, correct, research more, format, write, proof-read – post! Always research. Make sure the facts were as correct as could be – though on occassion sharp-eyed readers picked up on a mistake and were not shy in letting me know. (Which I always appreciated.)

My motivating principle, as much as possible, was to highlight a injustice; point out where something had gone wrong, and offer a solution where possible.

The Key-led (later Bill English-led) government offered no shortage of issues to write up. There were even problems with this current government that I felt necessitated criticism.

I rarely took exception to issues and opinions expressed by my fellow Daily Bloggers, even when I thought they were wrong (we don’t all think alike as some collective ‘Hive Mind’ – more on that point in a moment).

At the top of my concerns were always those most vulnerable; the poor; the homeless; ethnic minorities, and others who were slightly different to mainstream white middle-class Aotearoa New Zealand such as the LGBTQI community.

On 5 September, my Daily Blog colleague (and in many ways, a mentor to me) Martyn Bradbury published a blogpost; “Imagine the uproar if any other Political Party self censored the way the Greens just did.

It was a critique on the Green’s decision to remove an article by “long-time Green Party member Jill Abigail“.

I have read the article.

Far from being a “moderate”, “mild”, or “reasonable”, it was a thinly-disguised attack on trans people – specifically, trans women. Trans men are not mentioned anywhere once in her article. It was another in a line of attacks on trans women.

Ms Abigail tried to sound tolerant and inclusive;

“Transpeople are a vulnerable group that until recently has been excluded from general consideration and now justly claim their right to be treated with equal respect.”

But her subsequent comments revealed her true agenda and negated her previous sentiment;

“I am horrified by what is happening overseas: the shutting down of free speech; the silencing and abuse of academic experts; young children being taught they can be in the ’wrong’ body, thus reinforcing stereotypes; women’s refuges and rape crisis centres no longer safe sanctuaries; lesbians being accused of transphobia if they insist on same-sex relationships; malebodied athletes entering women’s sports and taking the prizes; the very language changing to erase females/women, in the name of ‘inclusiveness’.

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Most serious of all is the medicalisation of children. I recently met a woman who had taken her 11-year-old daughter to a doctor because of a sore throat. The daughter is a tomboy, with short hair. The doctor asked the mother if she wanted the girl to go on puberty blockers. An 11-year-old goes to the doctor with a sore throat and is given a suggestion of puberty blockers?

Gender-critical feminists have allies among some transpeople themselves, who see this ideology as a misogynist, homophobic, men’s rights push. No previous extensions of human rights for new groups have involved taking away the rights of others needing protection. It would be progressive of the Greens to be working for solutions that are fair to everyone, rather than reinforcing the current divide.”

Like saying, “I’m not a racist, but…”

Those three paragraphs are a regurgitation of similar comments made by other so-called “gender critical feminists” (aka “TERFs”) and their over-eager cis male allies.

Let’s scrutinise those three paragraphs.

“I am horrified by what is happening overseas: the shutting down of free speech; the silencing and abuse of academic experts…”

Many of those “academic experts” have columns in mainstream media as well as reported widely via social media. The fact that Ms Abigail’s article has been widely reported; republished; and commented on belies her assertion of being silenced.

Furthermore, there is no automatic right for anyone to be published anywhere, unless engaging in self-publication or self-blogging. The Green Party does not publish opinion pieces by National or ACT supporters and vice versa. The Daily Blog does not publish blogposts from David Farrar or Cameron Slater, and vice versa. Even supporters of a given group cannot expect automatic right of publication.

The Daily Blog itself often declines publication of comments from individuals for various reasons. I publish on TDB at the ‘pleasure’ of Martyn, which he may rescind at any time. That is his prerogative. Anything else is “entitlement”.

The so-called “abuse” Ms Abigail references is often legitimate push-back from transrights activists; others in the LGBTQI community; cis women; and Inclusive lesbians. It has to be reminded that publishing a controversial  opinion piece (like this one) will attract critical as well as supporting responses. That is the free speech we are continually called upon to speak out for.

young children being taught they can be in the ’wrong’ body, thus reinforcing stereotypes…”

What “young children” is she referring to? What age?

Apply that statement to young people who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, etc and it becomes an obvious slur attacking Rainbow people. No one is teaching “young children being taught they can be in the ’wrong’ body“. Just as no one is teaching young people to develop same sex attraction.

What “stereotypes are being reinforced”? Is Ms Abigail suggesting that only binary sex and heterosexual orientation is acceptable? Binary heterosexuality would constitute stereotyping.

The statement makes no sense except to conjure up frightening images of “young children” brain-washed by unknown agents of a secret cadre of LGBTQI.

Similar slurs were made against gay men during the horrendous “debate” surrounding the 1986 Homosexual Law  Reform process. Homophobes constantly accused gay men of lurking in toilets and changing rooms, waiting to turn young straight males gay and fearing that gay law reform would facilitate that “corruption”.

It never happened. Civilisation did not collapse. The sacred family unit has not been dismantled.

“lesbians being accused of transphobia if they insist on same-sex relationships…”

That one is more complicated to unpack because no examples are given. What constitutes transphobia? A simple rejection usually doesn’t. A full-on attack on a transgender person would do it. Have any heterosexual cis men been accused of homophobia because they declined an advance from a gay man? A polite decline would hardly constitute homophobia. A vitriolic response attacking gay men would do it.

“malebodied athletes entering women’s sports and taking the prizes”

According to Wikipedia, there are 28 prominent male-to-female trans athletes and 12 female-to-male. (And those numbers are spread over a fortyfive year span.)  Forty trans athletes out of millions of sports people around the world.

If the trans community were planning for world domination in sporting endeavours, they have a long way to go.

“the very language changing to erase females/women, in the name of ‘inclusiveness’ ”

This metaphysical complaint should be seen for what is it: chauvinistic. There is no suggestion of “erasing females/women” any more than the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1986 erased heterosexuality. Lesbianism has not “erased” heterosexual women.

Curiously, the Gender Critical Feminist theory of “erasure” appears to echo the Great Replacement theory espoused by White Identitarians;

The great replacement can generally be understood as two core beliefs. The first is that “western” identity is under siege by massive waves of immigration from non-European/non-white countries, resulting in a replacement of white European individuals via demographics…

When both are analysed side-by-side, the similarities are striking. It is no coincidence that both Erasure and Replacement fears have gain wider traction during the current Trumpian Era when “The Fear of The Other” is heavily influencing US, European, and British political discourse.

US journalist, Katelyn Burns wrote an in-depth analysis of the convergence and close co-operation between Gender Critical feminists and conservative Think Tanks, organisations, anti-abortion activists, and a prominent rightwing host on Fox TV. In Britain, Gender Critical feminists have been supported by media mogul Rupert Murdoch in his tabloids.

So maybe it is not  a coincidence that “Gender Critical Feminists” are (almost always?) white, middle class women. Likewise their cis male allies.

This chauvinism is further demonstrated with comments such as this, by Martyn;

However. As a white heteronormative cis-male, I also believe you can’t force women to accept Transwomen into their spaces. Telling women who the must and must not include in the spaces they have fought for seems utterly contrary to respecting feminism.

Which makes certain the assumption that all women think alike on this issue. As mentioned above, and by a reader’s post-article comment, women do not have a single Hive Mind on this subject. There are as many diverse views on this issue as there are with cis men – and bloggers.

At the same time, consider whether any one group in society has the right to define and dictate human and civil rights for another. Think very carefully of the implications.

Does The Majority have the right to define and limit the rights of a minority? If the answer is yes, consider the implications this would have for Maori in a predominantly Pakeha society. Or gays and lesbians (as well as trans) in a predominantly heterosexual society.

Remember that women’s right to vote was determined by men. Now imagine if that vote had failed.

It was only in 1971 that women in Switzerland won the right to vote – after a general referendum by men voting. Twelve years earlier, men had voted against women having the vote.

In apartheid era South Africa, it wasn’t even a Majority holding power and denying a minority equal rights – it was the other way around until 1994.

When one group in society can define and dictate the rights of another, there should be cause for concern. That some Gender Critical Feminists are advocating some form of gender-chauvinism and denying trans women their right to self-identify as such (with some even denying to exist at all), is a giant stride back in time. It would seem to be everything that feminism and the LGBTQI community have struggled to achieve.

Over the last hundred or so years, white heterosexual men have had to share their power with others; women; gays; lesbians; other ethnic groups; etc.

It should not be a surprise that cis women are now called upon to do likewise for their trans-sisters. Radical? No more radical than women’s emancipation and dismantling patriarchal privilege.

That this seems to make some regular commentators on The Daily Blog react negatively is not only disappointing – but disturbing.

In my eight years of blogging I have read many chauvinistic, reactionary comments on the pages of Kiwiblog and Whaleoil. Whilst I shake my head at the wilful ignorance of those right-wingers, I understood that they were railing against the gradual dismantling of their white male privilege.

So it was disheartening to read similar comments – many openly transphobic – from a few TDB regulars.

We resist and condemn the injustice shown to welfare recipients; the working-poor; solo-mothers; Maori, prisoners; the homeless, and others who have been marginalised by the neo-liberal system that treats us as “consumers with spending power” rather than citizens with rights. We understand the innate injustice of an economic theory that treats humans as disposable units.

But when push-comes-to-shove, this current challenge to the predominant status quo is met with scorn, derision, and hateful comments. The response to the transgender issue on The Daily Blog, from some, has been shameful.

In 1986 we decriminalised male homosexuality. Cis hetero men did not “erase” overnight. Toilets and changing rooms are still safe to use. Civilisation  has not collapsed into public debauchery.

New Zealand was not just the first sovereign state where women won the right to vote, in 1999 we were the first country to elect a transgender woman to Parliament.

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In Wairarapa – a rural seat! Not exactly a hotbed of progressive politics pushing for LGBTQI rights.

In 2013, Aotearoa New Zealand gained marriage equality. The “sanctity” of marriage did not end. Heterosexual’s right to marry was not “erased” just because same-sex couples now shared that right.

These are rights that quite rightly we have shared with everyone. No one is denied equality and inclusion because one group feels threatened. “Get over it!” we told the homophobes and the male chauvinists.

For gods sakes, people, no one asked which toilet Georgina Beyer used when she entered Parliament.

Instead, we were damned proud of that achievement.

As a blogger, I will continue to write for those who are marginalised, attacked, scorned, and powerless. I will continue to support Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Trans people to be included in our society and to have the same rights and privileges straight cis people take for granted.

Not because I’m Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Trans, but because I’m bloody minded and I know it’s the right thing to do.

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An injury to one…

… is an injury to all.

(Popular motto of trade unions around the world)

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Postscript

Disclosure: I am a Green Party supporter (if that makes any difference).

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References

Wikipedia:  Transgender people in sports

The Guardian: The ‘white replacement theory’ motivates alt-right killers the world over

Vox: The rise of anti-trans “radical” feminists, explained

Wikipedia: Women’s suffrage in Switzerland

Additional

NZ Herald: Greens members leave after ‘transphobic’ article in magazine

Other Blogposts

Imagine the uproar if any other Political Party self censored the way the Greens just did

Previous related blogposts

Apartheid in Aotearoa New Zealand – yes, it does exist

Anti-trans activists fudge OIA statement – Report

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77 COMMENTS

  1. First of all I feel like when a trans says “cis” gender it sounds authentic but when others say “cis” I instantly go well what are you selling and refuse to hand over anything especially not money.

    And I want to say that Iv got no problems with transpeople except for the initial discomfort of meeting someone new.

    Where we land with in the trans debate is rarely overcome. Rather than returning into our own unhappiness we set off on new quests for our own satisfaction.

    As trans people shift from one gender to another while changing jobs, values, partners and some times more such as political or sexual orientation to themselves there are restrictions that those requirements impose.

    Just as in sports if its the athletes intention to play in the female divisions then they must be mentored to play in the woman’s divisions from the beginning. It’s a wast of time to go oh because you’re not yet transitioned you have to oaky with the boys or what ever. That’s not how it’s done, as it is for everything else in life, the earlier you train for the division of your choice the better, whether it be female or male rugby or what ever.

    This exhausting liberation is kind of sold as liberation but what drives it isn’t the demands of sport or culture. It’s driven by the economy of our material life and constant transformation for instance of the jobs market.

    The ideal trans worker is one that isn’t trans at all. A persons identity is not wired to go past the employer. And by wired I don’t mean something vulgar, I mean we shouldn’t be determining someone’s identity. To everyone else you’re either male or female. Where as in sports females risk more severe injuries if they are not mentored properly in the idiozcincracies of male combat sport.

    Radicals and most importantly revolutionaries are in a very difficult position with this one. On the one hand we aim to emancipate humanity so everyone can realize their own ideas and desires. But on the other hand we know that those ideas are determined on the material conditions of society. For example I may well be arrested for saying all this in Russia but not in New Zealand. And as we know the need to produce and reproduce the things that maintain our social existence determines what we want.

  2. The experts disagree with you, Frank. “Dr. Paul R. McHugh, Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, filed a brief explaining the difference between politics and science in the realm of gender identity. Dr. McHugh’s brief concentrated on the difference between “ideological pronouncements” and scientific evidence, concluding that “sex, from a medical standpoint, does not include gender identity.” Dr. McHugh’s position was echoed in a brief submitted by a group of 50 distinguished professors who called out “gender identity” as “metaphysical constructs of dubious ideological and political origin.”

    https://townhall.com/columnists/marinamedvin/2019/09/03/if-anyone-can-be-a-woman-then-no-one-is-a-woman-n2552516

    • Well, Hillary, let’s hope “50 distinguished professors” don’t call out your “gender identity” as “metaphysical constructs of dubious ideological and political origin”? I’m uncomfortable with the proposition that “50 distinguished professors” get to pronounce on such matters.

      Especially when even in nature, sex is not as binary as some humans like to believe;

      “Secrets of a sex-changing fish revealed”
      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190710163416.htm

      And,

      “7 gender-bending animals in the animal kingdom ”
      https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/science/nature/article/2016/09/29/7-gender-bending-animals-animal-kingdom

      “6 surprising animals that can change sex”
      https://animalogic.ca/wild/6-surprising-animals-that-can-change-sex

      Plus, of course, it wasn’t too long ago (early 1970s), that medical experts considered homosexuality to be a mental illness. Then they realised it wasn’t.

      Those “50 distinguished professors” may change their minds in due course.

      • Frank, clownfish also have gills. Next time I’m wheezy should I suggest to my doctor that she shouldn’t listen to my chest because biology is a spectrum and clownfish have gills?
        If we are going to use other species to prove nonsense about our our sexes then why not apply it to our respiratory system too?

        • No, people who believe that they are animals is a thing too Y’know. The human body is amazingly adaptive. The way DNA works means eventually it will produce someone who is in the wrong body.

          • Georgina Beyer is a transsexual. Not transgender. She has even said so herself, consistently. In her maiden speech to the House she explicitly noted she was transsexual, and recognised transgender as a separate category.

            Further, even the Human Rights Commission notes a difference between the two Trans categories. One has had bottom surgery, the other has not.

            The sublimination of erasing transsexual, which is one thing, and including it in transgender, which is another, is staggering.

            So Frank, if you wish to be correct in your postings, please recognise that Beyer wishes to be acknowledged as Transexual. Not transgender. They have two completely different meanings. One has committed to living life as the other sex. The other simply says they “feel” different to the sex they were born as.

            • Er not necessarily.

              Transgender refers to different identification to birth sex, no more. It can thus include those who have had surgery and those who take hormones and dress other than their birth sex. Only some of those then identify as transsexual – in Beyer’s case her years as a transvestite sex worker probably inform her reasoning for making the distinction.

              We could distinguish transgender transsexual or transgender on hormones, but each more than feels different to their birth sex. They are living otherwise.

            • No, well Georgina or another transsexuals have much issue fitting into 21st century Aoteroa-New Zealand. It’s the dudes that get caught masquerading as females in sport and protest movements who lash out with the ferocity of a male that is of concern. Y’know the “It’s ma’am” dude. In that moment of anger a trans is more male than female.

                • Just perosnal experience and it is likely true for every male that massive dumps of adrenaline and testosterone can be triggered by anger, and getting around that by dealing with it in a feminine way would be tricky. People expect violence from males but not females and we shouldn’t mix the two.

              • Sam: ” It’s the dudes that get caught masquerading as females in sport and protest movements…”

                Sam: “Just perosnal experience”

                So no evidence then? Forgive me if I choose not to support your position of “dudes getting caught masquerading as females”. Apocryphal stories from Anons just don’t cut it for me.

                • Just type in “its ma’am” into the YouTube search engine. A video or videos should appear showing a guy dressed as a girl getting extremely angry at being called “sir.” The guy is visibly larger and more athletic than those on film yet rejects the notion of being called sir. To which the others reply to him as sir. In this situation, responding to the aggressor as a female does not inspire safety or security. Responding as if he was male is the only rational thing to do for what was supposedly a routine purchase.

                  Y’know if Frank would like me to go into this more in essay form I will, gladly. But I honestly can’t be arsed providing more and more evidence and nuance to random questions, for what should ordinarily be routine.

            • Oh thank you James. Some cishet men are so adept at splitting hairs when it comes to other peoples identities. I mean, the number of times I read on Whaleoil that XYZ wasn’t a “real Maori” because, you know, White Men are so fucking expert at determing who is or isn’t a real Maori. Ditto for your distinctions of how Ms Beyer defines herself. As if its any of your business.

              But tell me, do you honour her as she is without wanting to know which toilet she used in Parliament. Take your time on this one.

              • How dare you assume my gender identity. What makes you think I’m a male in the first place.

                And as for how GB defines herself, clearly you haven’t even been paying attention to her role.

                Need I also point you to the HRC “To Be Who I Am” report, which also had discussions with Transgender AND Transsexual people who informed their findings that there are two distinct categories.

                So don’t come wading in here with your assumptions as to who I am, and further, imposing your own beliefs as to whom is splitting hairs, when the very people that demand a category ASSISTED in defining those categories with the HRC and now appear to be ignoring that salient point.

            • “One has committed to living life as the other sex. The other simply says they “feel” different to the sex they were born as.”

              I don’t think that’s up to you or me to determine that, James. You have autonomy over one person and sex: your own.

              How others are, or “feel”, is hardly something for you to define.

              “So Frank, if you wish to be correct in your postings, please recognise that Beyer wishes to be acknowledged as Transexual. Not transgender. They have two completely different meanings. One has committed to living life as the other sex. The other simply says they “feel” different to the sex they were born as.”

              James, Ms Beyer transitioned in an era when the term “transgender” was relatively unknown (she undertook transition operations in 1984). The term at the time was “transexual”.

              Interviewed by Corin Dann last year, she said;

              “… the term ‘transgender’ never existed in my younger days. I think it was a term that became used in the 1990s, probably, and maybe into the 2000s more often.”

              We have moved on since then.

              However, kudos to you for one thing: you are using correct pronouns for Ms Beyer.

        • AOB, thankfully we’re not talking about gills.

          Seriously though, supporters of SUFW often bandy about biological science to prove their point that trans women should not be considered as women. But when pointed out that Nature (biology) is far more diverse, and specific examples are given, the response changes to something like yours.

          We either accept the wider aspects of biological science, or not at all.

          History shows us that science has been mis-used by those in power, whether the Nazi notions of Aryan raceial superiority (and the “sub-human nature of Slavs, Jews, et al) or slave-traders who justified their heinous enterprise by insisting that Africans were sub-human. It was all bogus science.

          The only place where cherry-picking is permissable is in a cherry orchard.

            • Hi Rosemary, your question to Frank caught my eye.

              If your asking him to define what a woman is, I hope he doesn’t attempt it. The problem with defining a group of people by sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, etc is that it is fraught with complexity and gray areas.

              You ask what is a woman? If one of your definitions is XX chromosomes, then that might be a starting point. Trouble is, some women are born with genetic markers or extra chromosome that muddies that particular water.

              Maybe hormonal levels? Like testosterone? Well, I was born cis female and I have unusually high testosterone. Where does that leave me and others like me in your narrowly defined view of women? On the out looking in, I’m guessing. Mokgadi Semenya, the African woman has had her sex questioned for exactly the same reasons. (With overtones of racism and misogyny tossed in to really murky the waters.)

              Are you referring to physical charachteristics? Perhaps hirsuteness. In which case, again, your in trouble. I’m hirsute because of my testosterone. I stopped depilating and shaving when I accepted myself for who I am, not for SOMEONE ELSES’S DEFINITON OF WHAT A WOMAN SHOULD BE. I capitalised that to make sure you understood that point.

              I’ve read Frank’s blogpost, carefully, to make sure I understood what he was getting at. I got it. I then read the page for the SUFW peitition, and that really disturbed me. Like, could it be any more hateful to a class of people?

              Everything I’ve been hearing from your group makes me very uneasy and reminds my of the comments I got with regularity; “you should shave. you should wear more feminine dresses (I prefer jeans). you should use makeup (yuk). you should go out with boys instead of girl (oh mum, I still love you!). You should do this, do that.

              No, no no!! I refuse to be defined by other peoples definitions of who is a woman.

              So I won’t be signing your petition but I will be supporting my trans sisters and trans brothers. I’ve been down that road of rejection and double-take looks and until you’ve experienced it Rosemary, you’ve no idea what its like. I hope you and your SUFW friends think a little more carefully about what you are doing. It is not helping anyone and you are causing division where none should exist.

            • Rosemary, not only will I decline your request to define what a woman is – but any attempt to do so is fraught (as Billie rightly pointed out above).

              Any definition you or I could come up with would be challenged by people who may not quite fit into a particular narrow definition.

              The last time a regime defined a particular group of people, the results were very unpleasant. Nazi Aryan ideology determined that Jews, Slavs, and other “mud races” were sub human. And once that re-defining was achieved, genocide followed.

              • Personally I find woman to be 60% hoha (Māori for annoying) 39% a choir and 1% bliss. Y’know blissful once on most days, sometimes twice a day, and 9 times blissful on the rare days.

      • Frank,

        1. I don’t have a gender identity. My biological sex is female.
        2. We left cousin clownfish in the tidal pool 500 million years ago. The science is unequivocal: humans are sexually dimorphic mammals. Biological sex is immutable.

    • You’ll excuse me Hillary if I choose not to allow “50 distinguished professors” to determine how I identify?

      If you want to put yourself in he hands of 50 strangers to define your identity, well, good luck to you.

  3. Jesus I echo the sentiment above Frank the best thing you’ve ever written

    But more important it resonated with a family member who is starting her transition this year. She’s been going through rough times and the constant harping attacks by terfs hasnt helped at all

    I showed her your blog Frank and it really made her day

    You are a champion mate. People like you have our backs

  4. “Over the last hundred or so years, white heterosexual men have had to share their power with others; women; gays; lesbians; other ethnic groups; etc.
    It should not be a surprise that cis women are now called upon to do likewise for their trans-sisters”
    Women should share their power? Really? What power might that be?

    • Power in the sense of power sharing – including others as equal citizens.

      Clearly some women have issues with trans women being regarded as fellow women. Basically the bigotry is that if they once had a penis they are not “natural” women – just transitioned “transvestites”.

      It’s akin to the former fear of lesbians amongst some women. Or bigotry against women who were not playing out the feminine role, and or those who chose career over having children.

      This appears to be of a strange alliance between the conservative women (virtually a servant of the patriarchy), a nativist natural woman is best (organic pure anti-vax) nationalism and those lesbians (being divided on this issue) being hyper vigilant of any external male threat to woman (a remnant of the involvement in refuge work).

      Consider where we were back in 1986 and then the debate over civil unions a decade before same sex marriage went through smoothly in 2013.

      Once women get there head around the difference between transgender women and transvestites this too will fade as a matter of contention (except in the area of sport). In one way it’s like a fear of Moslems hiding weapons under their clothing – not being to tell the difference between transvestites and transgender women when using public spaces for women).

      In many ways this is the last frontier of former debates – where moral conservatives tried to appeal to “natural law” required marriage to be between a man and a woman, a ban on homosexual acts, men to be the leaders in each home and each sex/gender to have their distinctive roles.

      • But women are not ‘equal citizens’. They get paid less, get raped and beaten up more and have lower social status. The ‘power’ that it’s increasingly being demanded that they share is access by biological men to the few recent advances women have won. Such as their own safe spaces, sporting competitions and public toilets. Then, when women quite justifiably complain about these harmful intrusions, they’re subject to ludicrous allegations that they’re on a par with fascists and white supremists. Jill Abigail’s letter is a message of reason and sanity. May it’s words reach many people.

        • Hear hear!

          And the comments above trying to dismiss sex versus gender are just patently ridiculous and reek of little to no understanding of what these terms mean. Perhaps Frank needs to do a course on Psychology?
          Sex is:
          – physical genitalia
          – brain structures
          – mostly, but not always binary (M/f)
          Gender is:
          – self identified
          – acculturated
          – based in part on sex

          So-called TERF women have a strong sense of sex and gender alignment & identity. They fought hard for some measure of acceptance and rights to their own spaces, free from interference from other parts of society. Now they see another group that has a gender identification that somewhat aligns with theirs, and a sex identification that doesn’t, but who seek to impinge on their identification and in so doing assume their rights, and they naturally contest this. Not hard to understand really.
          Just because they are pushing back on this issue, it doesn’t mean they are negating trans identity, they’re just saying that it’s different to their identity.
          As a thought experiment, I ask you, what if I (a white male of European heritage) suddenly feel like I’m actually Maori in my identity and seek to claim Tangata Whenua status?

          • Nukefacts; “Sex is:
            – physical genitalia
            – brain structures
            – mostly, but not always binary (M/f)
            Gender is:
            – self identified
            – acculturated
            – based in part on sex”

            That’s a narrow definition of sexuality and gender. You’ve probably just wiped most of the bLGBTQ community of the face of the earth.

            Why should you define the validity of other people’s identity? Who defined yours?

            “So-called TERF women have a strong sense of sex and gender alignment & identity. They fought hard for some measure of acceptance and rights to their own spaces, free from interference from other parts of society. Now they see another group that has a gender identification that somewhat aligns with theirs, and a sex identification that doesn’t, but who seek to impinge on their identification and in so doing assume their rights, and they naturally contest this. Not hard to understand really.”

            The same could be said when men pushed back against the right for women to get the vote. Or women wanting equality in the workplace. Those were “spaces” previously held solely by men. Men got over it and learned to share those spaces and privileges.

            There is every reason to be inclusive for trans people and it boggles the mind we’re having to fight the same fight all over again.

        • “Such as their own safe spaces”

          What safe spaces Don?

          The safest space for a girl and woman should be in her own home. But the stats show us it is the MOST unsafe space. The violence to women and girls is in their own home, not from trans women but from men they know. You should know this.

          • Yes, male violence to women and girls occurs to a massive degree in the home. It’s not uncommon for battered women convicted of crimes to actually feel some relief when incacerated, its safer than home. Or was. Women’s prisons and Women’s refuges must now admit males identifying as female. Prison rape has occured as a consequence of this.It’s not right for transsexual demands to be at women’s expense.

            • The only place for a transgender women is in the police cell for women or the women’s prison. In the case of the man dressing up as a transvestite from time to time, the mans prison. The difficult area is the transvestite, identifying as a female and taking hormones -.home detention provides an alternative.

              More unisex public places, would help.

            • Don, please do not presume to tell us we are “ powerless”. I take more offence from that paternalistic attitude than anything sexist men throw at us.

              For the record, I have no problem with trans women in “ my space”. Neither do I have a problem with lesbian women in “ my space”.

              Thank you for your concerns at my well-being but I really don’t need it.

            • “Yes, male violence to women and girls occurs to a massive degree in the home. It’s not uncommon for battered women convicted of crimes to actually feel some relief when incacerated, its safer than home. ”

              Yes, male violence.

              CIS HETEROSEXUAL MALE violence.

              So stop pointing the finger at trans women Don. YOUR Sex has much to answer for. Deflecting to a minority who also suffers violence at the hands of cis het men is absurd and dishonest.

        • Women are equal to men before the law and as political citizens. That there is inequality in society does not change that. Women of the middle class are relatively privileged to those who are less well educated or who lack property ownership but they are equal before the law and as political citizens.

          They do not have lower social status than a man either. And its really silly to claim that and then claim that men are taking their power from them by claiming to be women (none of the transgender can carry a child in any case). Given no men are, and those doing so are trans gender, no longer men.

          There is no problem with male to female transgender people in women’s spaces. Conflating them with those with a penis, the transvestite, is not an argument.

          We can at least agree can at least agree that those who transition from male to female should not compete against women in professional and international sport. But for the same reason some born biologically female should not compete because their hormone levels are those of males and this also delivers an unfair advantage.

        • “But women are not ‘equal citizens’. They get paid less, get raped and beaten up more and have lower social status. The ‘power’ that it’s increasingly being demanded that they share is access by biological men to the few recent advances women have won. Such as their own safe spaces, sporting competitions and public toilets. ”

          Don, I never said women were ‘equal citizens’. I also never denied any of the negative things you referred to.

          Women and girls are assaulted and worse by men. Men who are nearly always known to their victims. Hinting at transgender people as someone involved in cis male violence is unfair and unreasonable. In fact, trans women are often victims of cis male violence as well.

          What “safe places” are you referring to? The family home should be the safest place for every girl and woman on Earth. It is not. For reasons I outlined above.

          So somehow suggesting public toilets are an unsafe place for women because of trans women is a total abdication of responsibility for male violence by scapegoating others.

          As for sporting achievements, you’ve read (hopefully) my blogpost above. There “are 28 prominent male-to-female trans athletes and 12 female-to-male. (And those numbers are spread over a fortyfive year span.) Forty trans athletes out of millions of sports people around the world”.

      • Frank. If you fail to see the rank misogyny dripping from SPC’s statement above then I give up on you.

        You endorse this? Seriously?
        “This appears to be of a strange alliance between the conservative women (virtually a servant of the patriarchy), a nativist natural woman is best (organic pure anti-vax) nationalism and those lesbians (being divided on this issue) being hyper vigilant of any external male threat to woman (a remnant of the involvement in refuge work). “

        • Typical – there are those who fight hard for their own self interest and causes but care not a whit for that of others.

          It’s the lack of solidarity with others I find galling, it’s a form of inhumanity.

          • You got it SPC.

            It’s tragic when the previously oppressed pick up their former master’s whip, like the feel of it, and look for an even smaller, marginalised group to subjugate.

  5. Yeah you are right to note the organised political strategy behind this.

    Some years ago some “former Jew”, now Christian, Henry Makow began his save the males (save the males.com) campaign where he warned white race men that left wing feminists were a threat to them.

    As we know there is now a white race identity movement, and of course they needed to develop a similar sense of threat to white race women to help build this.

    The idea of a Moslem terrorists smuggling bombs under their clothing is similar to the idea of a transvestite bringing in his penis to women space while pretending to be transgender. The idea of original pure condition suits their natural law argument using by conservative moralists, and also safe natural organic food, lest their be a fall to unsafe food and judgment over sexuality …. is pretty obvious.

  6. Trans people seem to be subject to a shower of shit from all and sundry just for existing, as did previously “unmarried mothers”, gays, men with long hair, vegetarians (vegans now), activist lesbians, and so on. So, given the social reaction from some sectors, are there really many people that decide to go down the route of affirming their gender identity just for something to do?

    I have been grappling with this subject for a while, since the alphabet soup of changing nomenclature for various gender identities started to lengthen. I have still not reached a definitive position yet but am working on it. My instinctive default position, having a marxist world view, is that all oppressed and exploited groups should be supported, and “unite all who can be united” in the various struggles against both capitalism, and the multiple extra layers of oppression that are inevitably experienced on the basis of gender, race, religion, ethnicity and gender identity.

    I marched for homosexual law reform, wore a HUG badge–Heterosexuals Unafraid of Gays–sounds quaint now, in the 80s, despite the fact that a number of out gays in those days seemed to be tory oriented professionals, trickier to come out for blue collar NZers in our “Whadarrrryaaaa!” culture. It was a human rights issue. But, the bedrock is still class in my view, and as part of that class struggle, all other groups getting a hard time should be actively supported and receive solidarity, despite the difficulties presented by differences among the oppressed.

    But having said that, lesbians are some of staunchest political allies you can get in my experience and don’t like seeing them dissed in this current struggle. But really we all have to adapt to change and the fact is human behaviour has always been a gradation rather than definitively this or that.

    • The confusion arises when, Well what should be your reaction upon discovering that the girl next to you in the female toilet has a penis?

        • Instead of motivating people shaming people into accepting a point of view makes people feel bad about themselves. Right from the start this is a typical blog that tells you everything you need to know about the great big social justice wars echoed across social media Y’know we’ve heard them all before. The main central point is that none of this motivates people and that is something I do not agree with. We live in a stupid world, the point should not be that we inspect other people’s genitals. The point is to cut them off.

          So don’t be too inquisitive here. If biological males are going to enter into female areas it must be done in a proper, peaceful ideological struggle. No one will even be aware of the struggle but all of a sudden there voices will get higher and the discomfort after meeting new people will be as if it were just another family member.

        • The REAL question is: Why are we DEMANDING women and girls deny the material reality they see in front of them when they are in spaces where they are alone and vulnerable?

          • Trans identity isn’t governed by myth or tradition, politics or society, feelings or anything else that we might intuitively comprehend. Instead trans identity is governed by what I would call economic abstraction. We are in the not very sexy position of having think outside the box about our own liberity. What appears to be a struggle to hold on to our own happiness usually ends up serving the very systems that oppresses us. I know it’s cliche but we have to avoid remaining in the frames and conceptions that society provides for us and not spend to much time deciding whether or not trans activism is greater than feminism. Whether a tranny can enter a female toilet or rather a trans can enter the jobs market. Of course trans people should enter the jobs market, or is self hating and backwards. We should avoid this self hate. For trans, every occupation is honoured and looked upon favourably, for that they must sacrifice there biology and identify as the gender they have come to understand through great struggle. It is unprofessional to have close personal relationships so there struggles must remain private and unmolested. How ever I do think it necessary for an employer to pay special attention, perhaps with a third toilet to make the transition as easy as possible.

          • Hillary: “when they are in spaces where they are alone and vulnerable”

            Which would be the family home, right? I mean, you’re not ignorant of the fact that most violence to girls and women happens in the *family home* and is perpetrated by someoneone they know? You know that, right, Hillary? You’re not trying to smear trans people with needless fearmongering (“stranger danger”) are you Hillary?

    • Quite agree. A lot of the older lesbian feminists have been working for women’s rights and their related safety for decades (and for some of that time at risk of discrimination themselves). Expecting, or even asking, let alone requiring them to easily get their head around this development in identity is inappropriate and perhaps disrespectful.

      People will adjust to the evolution of the emancipation possible in a free and democratic society, as they have many others during the past century or two.

      A simple differentiation between transgender and transvestite (albeit some intend transition to transgender) would help some move the discussion forward). The latter require the availability of unisex public spaces (which is a particular problem in penal areas, police cells and prisons).

    • Well said Tiger Mountain. This TERFism seems to be the new homophobia of the 21st century. It’s as if society can’t function without a vulnerable minority to kick around.

      The women and their male friends behind the so-called “Stand up ForWomen” are to trans people what Graham Capill and Brian Tamaki are to gays and lesbians.

      Frank certainly hit the nail on the head when he described it as the “feminist” version of the white identitarian “Replacement” theory.

  7. The Trans community has become Sexual Zionists trying to colonise feminist spaces. Perhaps they should resile from binary gender dichotomous stereotypes of male versus female and become their own gender without taking feminist lands and spaces?

    • You write absolute rubbish.

      No one has taken my “feminist lands and spaces” and any suggestion to the contrary reminds me of Whites complaining that people of colour have gained equality. Your complaint is the complaint of someone fearing loss of privilege.

      It’s revealing that you have failed to respond to anything Frank has written in his well considered post. Maybe you should try reading a view that challenges your prejudice?

    • @Joseph – A, the right wing 1% ruling class won, while the left 1% subsection of the “people” debate micro versions of identity politics ad nauseum, and the rest of society are repelled from politics as they cry hypocrisy when the 1% of the left use their time to subjugate other marginalised groups hard won rights by allowing self identifying and individualism to rule and take over and not looking at the much wider and bigger problems in society.

      Happening everywhere and all parts of society – which is being bogged down by self interest groups or pop psychologists getting worked up over some already marginalised individual pushing an agenda onto them.

      Example from he other day, principal illegally suspends 10 year old for inappropriate behaviour and denies the 10 yo an education by informal suspension, (instead of getting the 10yo boy help and guidance about appropriate sexual behaviour) and calls in CYFS (no wonder they are so overworked if they are spending their times on this because the school can’t be bothered sorting it out), and then instead of the school waiting for the CYPS report, which finds that class room management was the biggest causal factor, they suspend the 10 yo boy. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12266024

      What happened to health care and learning about bodies and sexual behaviour in school! Yep another identity group has probably banned it for younger kids and the school budget for gender neutral toilets is probably more of an exciting subject to explore, meanwhile the mainstream have sexually confused kids getting completely screwed up in the process!

      Now schools are probably debating gender neutral toilets while not actually supporting and spending time on mainstream sexual issues like how to manage pre teens behaviour and educate them on what to and not to do!

      No wonder we have such family violence in NZ when we have such over reactions and inconsistency and treating young male behaviour as some sort of crime, instead of calmly educating the kid and having calm ways to encourage the correct behaviour!

      Meanwhile in the roast busters case, much older boys who actually raped and gave young girls alcohol do not get prosecuted??????

      Taxi drivers, celebrities and sports stars who grope and rape get off!

      WTF is going on with society, aka going crazy over minor transgressions of probably a (vunerable Maori) kids while ignoring much worse offences of older kids like roast busters and adults who obviously needed the intervention and know better!

  8. I guess the post truth world is here. We seem to be able to make ourselves believe the diametric inverse of the most fundamental truth of our species’ existence. Just by feeling an emotional social pull or push and setting our mighty brains to work to rationalise what is blatantly absurd. God help us!
    D J S

  9. Again, many thanks Frank for the analysis and clear thinking when you write your articles. I am at a loss as to what gender-critical thinking is actually about. The claims made don’t stand up to scrutiny, but seem to reinforce anti-feminist and also patriarchal paradigms. There is an apparent connection to religious fundamentalism and conservative political ideology. But to add scorn and derision to the mix is bewildering to me. Nuance, as others have written in another column in the Daily Blog, is problematic in a short note like this. But gender discussion requires just that, as does any discussion where you try to understand the implications of any significant and complex topic.
    So, I really appreciate your work, and I am deeply grateful for it.

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