A guest post by a reader:
On Saturday 18 March, in Melbourne, a group of mostly women gathered outside Victoria's Parliament. Lead by a petite blonde Brit the “Let Women Speak” rally was supposed to be an opportunity for women to share the personal impact of gender self-identification (ie. males being able to identify as women based purely on their say-so) and male violence.
A group of men (though that's a harmful assumption since no one asked their pronouns) dressed in black and wearing balaclavas were facilitated by police to crash the rally. Why this was allowed by police has never been explained. Because clearly what a group of women want at a rally about their sex-based safeguarding and protection is masked men.
The black clad invaders then performed Nazi salutes on the steps of Parliament and unfurled a sign. At which point a group of women, many of whom had gathered to talk about the impact of male violence on their lives were *checks notes* roundly condemned for not acting violently toward masked men. And on social media and in the press the two were then conflated into one evil entity.
What has followed in the last week can only be called a damning indictment on the legacy media in both Australia and New Zealand. Leaving what they sneeringly call “alternative” media to be the only platform where actual facts and balance can be gleaned.
Oh, and by the way, that includes the Australian Jewish Association who had members at the event and who has issued a statement criticizing both the policing and stating “it is shameful that some politicians and media are now trying to smear this women's movement with the false accusation of involvement with Nazis.” But never mind them. After all, what would Jews know about Nazis.
So, first of all, congratulations, if you happen to have any concern, any at all, about male bodies that self-identify as women in women's spaces, services, or sports then according to the legacy media you can now take your pick of being “Nazi-adjacent”, an “extreme right-wing bigot” or “hate-fuelled”. Yes, that includes Angie Jones, the woman who organized the Melbourne rally and who is left leaning, has a history supporting gay rights, and Jewish.
It would also be the 67% of New Zealanders who in a recent Curia poll oppose male bodies in women's sport.
The idea, the very notion, that women might want to gather together IN PUBLIC and talk about the outrageous notion that sometimes, just sometimes, some women want spaces away from male bodies, regardless of how those bodies identify, unleashed what kind only be described as a tidal wave of self-righteous performative coverage from people who self-identify as journalists. Here's a sample of egregious examples:
NewsHub on Wednesday went with Ms Keen allegedly using a hand signal linked to white supremacy on a YouTube video. A hand signal so disturbing and offensive that, unlike images of maimed, dying and dead people in the rubble of ukraine, Syria, or Turkey, it apparently needed to be blurred to protect the public.
I watched the unedited video multiple times on Twitter trying to get a screen grab of this horrific gesture of white supremacy that needed to be blurred out and it was so fleeting, so fast, that I couldn't despite multiple attempts. Because Posie Parker/Ms Keen, as it turns out, is a massive gesturer and flings her hands around a lot while talking. And the truth is that Newshub know that if they hadn't blurred it everyone watching would have seen it for the flying jump into defamation that it is. But never mind because the internet has very kindly found us another woman doing this despicable gesture.
Then Breakfast TV Thursday morning sees Matty McLean and Shaneel Lal on the fainting couch. While Matty's eyebrows do some Laurel Hubbard worthy heavy lifting, Shaneel starts with the arson “attack” on the Rainbow Youth centre in Tauranga last year that proves that New Zealand is a cesspit of “queer hatred”. Never mind that the two men convicted had mental health challenges, intellectual disabilities, and developmental difficulties and at sentencing the judge made clear that the arson wasn't motivated by malice towards the LBGT community, and that the choice of the building was incidental but you do you Shaneel.
Back to the beige fainting couch. Having been lobbed the Matty low ball of being asked if he is concerned about the safety of trans people turning up to protests Shaneel summons their non-binary bravery “this is the first time I have feared for my own safety… incredibly scared of being there.” Matty murmurs supportively in what appears to be a live audition for a role in shortland street should the breakfast tv gig not work out.
And they are not wrong. They have reason to be fearful because *checks notes* in Melbourne the three people arrested were all transgender activists, not that you'll find anyone in the mainstream media fessing up to that. Meanwhile, good old Aotearoa Twitter, that beacon of reasoned and rational debate, there are transgender activists talking about packing bricks in their bags for the protest. If I was a police officer faced with the choice between a bunch of women wanting to talk about male violence and women's spaces and protestors threatening to pack bricks I know which way I would be facing in Albert Park tomorrow.
As much as I'd love to stay with this touching moment between Matty and Shaneel on the beige couch, we need to move on to other members of the media who are refusing to be left behind in out competing each other in the witch hunt.
Today FM, that stunning and brave media organisation most notable for sending two of its presenters off for “re-education” for not reading the memo about affirming “pregnant people” and pronouns. They're also known for well, nothing. Their ratings are in the toilet, their management is quitting all over the show, and the only people who listen to them are… I have no idea. It's a mystery.
But we're going to give Lloyd and Tova a shout out in their frantic pursuit for relevance because they at least did one of those time honoured traditions of objective and considered journalism in their respective thought pieces yesterday. And by that I mean they linked to each other's opinions and their own coverage as proof that Posie Parker is a “hate-fuelled, anti-trans, neo-Nazi supported” bigot. Don't you just love it when elite urban liberal journalists quote each other as proof that someone with opinions they don't like is evil?
Oh and Lloyd announced that he was joining the protest. You do you, Lloyd. Be a good man and take some tissues for Shaneel. And maybe keep a wide berth of any of your pink or blue haired friends carrying a suspiciously looking heavy handbag.
Back to Tova, who must be desperately missing her television career right now because there's no thrill of chasing people in a red beret when you're on talkback radio. Once she's done quoting Lloyd as proof that Posie Parker is evil, Tova just goes straight for disinformation claiming, Speaking of liberal democracies, the leader of the Liberal Democrats in Victoria has expelled an MP from the party for attending one of these hateful rallies.
It's not true. What did happen is that John Pesutto, the new Liberal Leader in Victoria in the job for all of three months after the Libs took an absolute caning in the state elections last year, stated that he intends to seek a vote on expelling Moira Deeming. Moira attended the rally where she read out a statement on behalf of a Muslim constituent whose religious beliefs require that she access sex segregated services and facilities in certain circumstances and so is being impacted by males claiming to be women entering those spaces.
His decision came after his staff performed a through and independent review by *sigh* looking up Posie Parker on Wikipedia and reading an entry that had been maliciously edited by transgender activists. Now, I would have thought that any male political leader might have thought twice about opining on where one of his female MPs may go and who she may talk to but that's just me with my weird beliefs about women having agency and autonomy. Especially women elected by their constituents and speaking at an event on behalf of one of them. And a women Muslim of colour that that.
Whether or not Moira will be expelled is the matter or both enormous angst and a matter for next week. Pesutto is digging in, he may have the numbers because for some reason the Victorian Libs are more afraid of the extremists who think that male rapists should be in female prisons than they care about holding onto what is left of their own dwindling supporters. Maybe once he's done Matty could invite him for a session on the couch and they can slap themselves on the back for putting a stop to those damn annoying women with opinions speaking.
Back to Tova and her disinformation. Tova is using a lie about Moira Deeming to demand Christopher Luxon “stand up” and ban his MPs from being in the vicinity of either Albert Park or Civic Square over the weekend in case they hear opinions her and Lloyd don't like.
Luxon, who when asked anything remotely controversial tends to resort to a word salad, at least remembers that in theory his party has a literal value of “individual freedom and choice” so he dodges the question by saying no one has expressed an interest in going. But you can guarantee that behind the scenes he is contemplating putting GPS tracking and/or geo-fencing on the principled MPs who do actually believe in freedom of speech and association and hearing alternative viewpoints.
Someone should tell Luxon about that 67% of bigoted hate-fuelled New Zealanders who don't support male bodies in women's sport. Because bigots tend to vote. But I digress. Politicians are a whole other post. As are the rest of the media, I'm looking at you RNZ, Stuff, TVNZ and NZ Herald, I'll get to you if DPF lets me do another column.
So here we are. It's Friday.
We all know what the media want this weekend. Shame on them.