Saturday, February 24

Posie Parker and the problem of inconvenient truths

Suzanne Levy of Speak Up For Women responds to a piece by former ACT MP Deborah Coddington writing for Stuff that argued against Pose Parker being allowed entry to New Zealand. Coddington oddly evoked Alan Turning – the code cracker of WW2 who was rewarded for his efforts with an indecency conviction due to his homosexuality.

Deborah Coddington and I agree on one thing. That the treatment of British war hero Alan Turing was appalling and disgraceful. And I have no doubt that almost everyone who read her article was horrified when she wrote of having to choose between chemical castration or prison for being homosexual.

What Coddington neglects to mention is that the drugs used to chemically castrate Alan Turing are now called ‘puberty blockers’. The same drugs that Alan Turing chose to take to avoid prison for being homosexual, are being used in 2023 off-licence to chemically castrate, or as activists prefer to say, “block the puberty” of gender non-conforming or vulnerable and distressed children. A disproportionate number of these gender non-conforming children will grow up to be same-sex attracted.

I should be able to end my response there. Because there are very few people who would not be horrified that drugs previously used to chemically castrate gay men or sex offenders, and are now currently used to treat prostate cancer, are being used on healthy children. Off-licence. That means not approved by any regulatory or medicines authority for that purpose.

Let’s add to that that every other country with a health system like New Zealand’s, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France that have done recent independent and robust reviews of the use of these drugs on children have deemed them experimental and taken immediate steps to decrease or limit their use.

This is one of the many things that Kellie-Jay Keen would have talked about if a rainbow-clad mob hadn’t stampeded barricades and forced her security to form a human shield around her at Albert Park on Saturday.

Coddington says “I don’t believe we should allow individuals into Aotearoa who pre-announce they intend to force harm on the country and its people”. Yet like almost every single other person who has opined on this topic in the last week she doesn’t name a single “harm” that Kellie-Jay Keen would have forced on New Zealand.

Deborah proclaims her virtue-signalling ally-ship by saying that Kellie-Jay Keen and those of us who supported her visit “pick on” the LGBT community. Well I happen to be the L in that community and Deborah does not speak for me, or many other gay and lesbian people I know.

I am old enough to remember what real harm was like. When same-sex couples were illegal, when I couldn’t get married, when gay and lesbian people were shunned and kicked out of their families. When gay men were regularly assaulted, beaten, and sometimes killed for the crime of being a word I won’t write. The idea that someone saying “A lesbian doesn’t have a penis” is now so “harmful” that Deborah and her ilk think that someone should be banned from the country is an affront to the brave menand women who fought for actual gay rights. Who endured not words they didn’t like, but fists and ostracization.

In New Zealand, there is not a single right denied to people because they identify as gender diverse. The demand for males to be able to self-identify into women’s sport, to access women’s changing rooms, and for the sex on their birth certificate to be altered to state something that isn’t true is not a demand for rights. It is a demand for special treatment for a particular subset of people that requires women to put their dignity, privacy, and safety second.

As for all those women saying “you don’t speak for me”. Remember how outraged you were when a group of women in the US gave away the reproductive rights of all women? Remember your anger, your marches, and your tears. Well you’re now them.

You don’t get to give up other women’s sex specific spaces, services, and sports. You don’t get to say that a survivor of rape is not entitled to a female only space. You don’t get to say that a Muslim woman is not entitled to a female only swim session. And you do not get to give away the words that have described us for millennia. Woman. Mother. Daughter. Sister.

If you want to be a menstruator, vagina-haver, or pregnant person then go for it. If you want to share your changing room, public toilet, or sports team with a male who identifies as a woman then go for it. But you don’t speak for me.

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