Sunday, March 26, 2023

It's not hate to allow women to have their own spaces and their own events

The desperation of the elites to look good lies behind this suddenly invented "trans" war. The elite are aware that others envy and dislike them so grab at anything that will make them look good and wise and noble. So the poor old trannies have suddenly been elevated to an important group requiring support at all costs

For a while "women" were a big cause to the elites but women were just a convenient group for them to use to show that they cared. The fact that they all along did not care about women at all is now so clearly revealed that they are not even prepared to name them. It must be quite a shock to genuine advocates for women to find that they have gone overnight from friend to enemy in the minds of the insecure Leftist elites

And once the elites have set the ball rolling and given the latest issue big support, lots of other attention seekers climb on board in support of the issue in the hope of also becoming seen as good and wise and noble. They too seize the chance to be seen as virtuous

There are two issues at stake in the transwars that are again finding their way to our shores with ‘Posie Parker’s’ (aka Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull’s) Australian Let Women Speak tour. These are: children’s bodily integrity, and women’s rights including the need for single-sex spaces. These issues have very different histories, politics, and ontologies but they coalesce around transgenderism because this is the point at which the conflict of interest arises.

On social media and in the legacy media this week, this critique has been presented as tantamount to Nazi ideology. What we have is a classic case of reductio ad Hitlerum, defined by Leo Strauss as a type of ad hominem used to derail arguments by creating a ‘guilt by association’. In other words, ‘playing the Nazi card’.

This means if neo-Nazis are on the steps of the Victorian Parliament, ushered around by police and with excellent camera crews capturing their Sieg Heil, and you happen to be in the vicinity, you’re ‘guilty by association’.

If you’ve been so propagandised as to assume that there is no legitimate discussion to be had around these issues, then you’re a victim of a corrupt media that has ceased to do its job. The Third Estate has well and truly died if a smallish group of women, including MPs, teachers, doctors, and philosophy professors, can’t gather in a public place to discuss matters of cultural and political importance to women.

When Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and progressive party leaders such as the Greens’ Adam Bandt define these women (or their protest) as associating with ‘neo-Nazis’, we have a gross misrepresentation at play and one that anyone participating in this charade should be ashamed of.

This whole mess is an orchestrated misrepresentation that amounts to propaganda.

It is obliterating the legitimate concerns of women regarding the safety and privacy of women and girls in rape crisis centres, women’s shelters, women’s prisons, women’s changerooms, and toilets. It is sabotaging the discussion around how women can possibly compete against natal males in sport, and of the gross inequality of quotas, prizes, or shortlists for women being filled by trans-identifying males. It is also about the loss of meaningful language for motherhood, including the removal and replacement of words such as pregnant woman, mother, and breastfeeding (with abominations such as ‘vulva owner’, ‘birthing people’, and ‘chest feeder’). These are important conversations, nothing more, but also nothing less. It is not and never has been about the violation of trans people’s legal, civil, or social rights. It is about the recognition of women’s rights.

Sure, feel free to disagree but don’t engage in this false and indeed defamatory characterisation of the gender-critical feminist voice. There are two sides to this discussion; not one legitimate side (trans) and a motley assortment of neo-Nazi bigots. Moreover, we have seen misogynist overtones from male leaders who appear to dismiss women speaking about issues of fundamental importance like equality, privacy, safety, and the well-being of children.

The neo-Nazi optics are undoubtedly appalling, and one can’t help but wonder how this came about. At the very least, this alignment serves the status quo very well, as every polite mainstream-media-reading centre-Left, small ‘l’ liberal who, having never left their media ecosystem, assumes that ‘Terfs’ are a bunch of scary bigots with radical ‘far Right’ views. Political goal achieved.

A quick lesson in protests: not all who attend a protest are in agreement. Some are widely divergent politically. Moreover, ‘outside agitators’ can and are planted to stir up trouble and/or to alter the public’s perception. A quick lesson in propaganda: the truth doesn’t matter if the lie has been accepted. Certainly, in the public’s mind, ‘gender critical feminism’ and the important political issues this argument represents, have been thoroughly besmirched.

In the public’s mind, Kellie-Jay has a kitsch Norma Jean aesthetic going on and seems to be showcasing more star-spangled nylon and sequins as her social media following grows (and concomitantly, as we descend into the ‘bread and circuses’ era of the culture wars). Moreover, in my opinion she has failed to overtly distance herself from the far Right, as some local feminist groups have rightly pointed out.

Nonetheless, her message is direct and simple, delivered in a working-class idiom: ‘men can’t have vaginas’, ‘men can’t give birth’, ‘men can’t be women’, ‘men shouldn’t be in vulnerable women’s spaces’, ‘men can’t (or shouldn’t) compete in women’s sports’, and ‘children aren’t old enough to surgically remove their primary and secondary sex organs, or make decisions about adult sexuality or fertility’.

These were all uncontroversial statements not long ago. Indeed, the first three statements were common knowledge in all cultures, in all places, and across all time until maybe five years ago (that’s a pretty big sample!). At this point, inner-urban, educated progressives extrapolated an obscure set of gender ideologies localised to arcane corners of university Arts departments and gaslit or bullied anyone who disagreed.

Magically, and in lockstep, governments the world over introduced legislation and policy to allow self ID, to outlaw ‘conversion therapy’ (i.e., newspeak for adopting an exploratory approach to gender dysphoria rather than uncritical affirmation), to update the protected category of sex in law, and to revise statutes regarding sex discrimination so that sex-category was replaced with gender identity.

This effectively created a mandate around the acceptance of transgenderism with no capacity – politically or socially – to disagree. If the ‘choice’ is to agree or be an incorrigible bigot with few job prospects, except perhaps as Mark Latham’s cleaning lady, then most people are going to shut up and go along with this agenda. This is the coward’s bargain; it is not agreement.

Let’s stop pretending this doesn’t have the full force of the corporate-state and captured media and academia behind it. Let’s stop pretending that there are two sides to this ‘debate’: there is one side and a maligned minority of women bravely fighting for the right to have a conversation. As I have said before, what we are owed is more and better disagreement, not slogans and abuse.

Until a moment ago we all understood what a woman was, and we understood that men were physically stronger than women. Most also understood that women had been historically excluded from political rights with ongoing ramifications for their civil standing in liberal democracies. Feminism was the movement for women’s rights that began with married women’s property rights and culminated in suffrage and access to education and the professions. It was the movement to end women’s legal and political subjection. From second-wave feminism onwards, larger questions were asked concerning women’s role in society, the family, sexuality, and psyche as women entered into paid work en masse and redefined what it meant to be women.

That the ‘category of woman’ is now being jettisoned (or revised beyond all recognition) at the precise historical hour that women in the West have gained a political and cultural voice is disturbing. Moreover, in redefining women’s rights almost entirely in terms of queer identity politics, crucial issues such as women’s poverty and homelessness, sexual and domestic violence, and mothering and care work, fade from view. These issues barely raise a mention as sex-class transmogrifies into gender ID.

Assuming this debate is like other debates between say, liberals, and conservatives, or between opposing philosophical paradigms like positivism and hermeneutics, is sadly mistaken. This debate, like so many in the contemporary culture wars, is on an entirely new epistemological terrain: what is at stake here is nothing short of reality itself!

The ‘priors’ therefore of either side are no longer shared; we need rather to understand this issue (as with several other contested political issues) as a disagreement, not on a shared understanding of reality, but rather a disagreement about the nature of reality itself. The question pivots, interestingly enough, on what it means to be a woman.

A poignant example to illustrate this point can be seen in the nomenclature used: one party refers to themselves as ‘gender critical feminists’ and sympathetic media outlets adopt this terminology, sometimes situating it in the longer history of feminism. This side suggests that ‘transwomen’ are better understood as ‘trans-identifying males’ to locate both the person’s natal or biological gender and their preferred identification.

However, the other side, the trans activists and their allies, refer to gender-critical feminists as ‘transphobic’ and as committing dangerous ‘hate speech’. These are such egregious accusations that, if true, require punitive action and redress. Thus, a position itself is defined by one side as ‘gender critical’ and based on women’s ‘sex-based rights’ and by the other as ‘hate speech’. The issue pivots on the ‘category of woman’ which is defined by one side (the gender criticals) as a political class – a ‘sex class’ – founded in biology and given its contemporary meaning in society.

That is, from a classical feminist perspective, the category of woman is a biological category with political implications, namely subjection within a patriarchal society. The newer definition replaces gender with sex and defines the category of woman (or man) as one that can be opted into, it is a subjective state or a feeling. Thus, we haven’t even made it out of the paradigmatic gate before we find ourselves fighting over the nature of reality itself. The category of sex is the site of the struggle. If we cannot agree that sex exists or is materially, politically, and linguistically distinct from gender, then we are not arguing about the same thing. To invoke Smith’s famous aphorism regarding the two women arguing from their respective balconies: they were arguing from different premises!

To suggest that any discussion which assumes natal women have a claim on the sex category woman is a priori an act of discrimination is effectively to quash the discussion. It is to define it as an abominable act of hate speech before it is even out of the gate. How is this a fair discussion? To suggest that gender-critical feminists are neo-Nazis is transparent bullying and it’s coming from the top – literally the leader of the Victorian government – not from minorities as we’re being told. It has the sanction of the mainstream media who are hacks failing in their duty to the electorate to fairly represent the issues from all sides.

Parker’s Let Women Speak Tour gives women an opportunity to speak about their experience of this inflamed political and cultural conflict without being silenced.

In the sinkhole of partisan politics and propaganda this act of discursive generosity is defined as ‘far Right’. In the real world of heterodox politics and culture, Posie Parker’s message cuts across the increasingly defunct Right/Left divide and indeed speaks to women and men across the political spectrum.


Posie Parker protests: iron fist of intolerance in velvet glove of woke

It is a mystery to me that anyone could look at those Posie Parker gatherings and think Posie Parker is the problem.

On one side there’s the diminutive bottle-blonde from Britain whose rallying cry is “Let women speak”. Parker’s supporters are mainly women, too. All of them have been impeccably civil. They’ve stood still in a public place and given calm, sensible speeches, mainly on their concerns with transgenderism.

On the other side, in contrast, there is a baying mob. We’ve seen huge crowds of Posiephobics bellowing insults at these women who only want to speak.

I was horrified by the sight of independent senator Lidia Thorpe crawling on her hands and knees – after she was knocked to the ground by cops – so she could tell “that thing” (Parker) that she was not welcome here.

That thing? Now that’s dehumanising language.

I was shocked by the sight of the Tasmanian Greens senator Nick McKim saying Parker and her gang of “Nazi-supported transphobes” should not be referred to as TERFs but as TERDs.

A TERF is a trans-exclusionary radical feminist – that is, a woman who commits the thoughtcrime of believing men cannot become women. A better title for them was TERDs, McKim said – “trans-exclusionary right-wing dropkicks”.

“They’re not TERFs, they are TERDs,” he said, much to the juvenile glee of Posie-haters on Twitter. You don’t need a PhD in linguistics to work out why McKim chose the acronym TERD. It’s because it sounds the same as turd: excrement, faeces.

A public official grossly demeans women whose only offence is to speak in public and we’re meant to be more outraged by Posie?

I have been alarmed by the heaving crowds that have tried to menace Parker into silence. The mob has chanted “F..k off, Posie, f..k off”. Social media has overflowed with hyperbolic effluent about Parker. She’s scum, she’s a Nazi Barbie. Misogyny much?

So, yes, there has been hate and hysteria on the streets of Australia these past couple of weeks. But it hasn’t come from Posie’s camp. It has come from her searingly intolerant critics.

The woke demonise Parker as a bigot, but it is they who behave like bigots.

The Oxford Dictionary of English defines bigotry as “intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself”. Who does that better describe – Parker and her supporters, who only want to express their beliefs, or the mobs who furiously shout down these women, these “things”, these turds?

The fury around Parker tells us a really important truth about political correctness. It comes dolled up in the language of kindness and fairness, but in reality it’s a chillingly unforgiving creed that will destroy anyone who deviates from its commandments. In the mob loathing for Parker we can glimpse the iron fist of intolerance that lurks in the velvet glove of woke.

Posie Parker is the pseudonym of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, one of the best-known blasphemers against trans thinking.

She believes sex is immutable. She thinks a man never becomes a woman, no matter how many hormones he takes or surgeries he undergoes. She wants biological males out of women’s sports and women’s spaces.

Her Let Women Speak initiative is genius, in my view. She cleverly entices the woke to behave in a menacing fashion in full public view.

Across Britain and now in Australia, her public stunts lure misogynists into daylight. She knows the counter-protesters will make her point for her. She and her allies say: “Let women speak”, and the mob essentially replies: “No. Shut up. Go home.”

Hey presto, the sexism that she believes courses through the veins of the trans lobby makes itself visible. Job done.

For me, the most cynical thing the Posie-haters did during her visit to Australia was brand her movement “Nazi-adjacent”. They did this after a bunch of hard-right idiots turned up to Parker’s gathering in Melbourne. Uninvited, it should be noted.

This gave rise to the chant: “Posie Parker, you can’t hide/You’ve got Nazis on your side.”

What desperate stuff. Virtually every anti-Israel demo of recent times has had anti-Semites on it, people who horrifically demean Jews as Nazis or child-killers. Yet the left never describes Palestine solidarity as “Nazi-adjacent”.

Their hurling of the Nazi gibe at Posie’s women is a sexist silencing tactic. It’s designed to paint these harridans as being beyond the pale, and thus ripe for censure and punishment.

Posie and her allies are defending reason and freedom. They’re standing up for biological truth and the right of women to express themselves.

Their woke persecutors, meanwhile, are the foot soldiers of irrationalism. They fantasise that there are 72 genders and they clamour for the silencing of all who disagree.

Liberty or absurdity? I know which side I’m on.


Sir Lunchalot goes down again

He was just looking after his union mates. There seems to be no claim that he personally profited

Ex-NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald gets 14-year jail sentence for corruptly awarding mine licence

Ian Macdonald is already serving a maximum nine-and-a-half-year jail sentence for another offence. (AAP: Joel Carrett )
Former New South Wales Labor minister Ian Macdonald will stay in jail until at least 2027 for misconduct in public office involving two mining licences.

In 2022, Macdonald, 74, was convicted after a retrial for issuing the Doyles Creek mine licence to a company chaired by former union boss John Maitland.

Mr Maitland was acquitted of being an accessory to the misconduct.

The men were granted the retrial in 2019, after an appeal court found the judge in their original trial misdirected the jury about the state of mind required for Macdonald to be found guilty.

Justice Hament Dhanji, who presided over the retrial without a jury, found Macdonald wilfully made decisions to benefit Mr Maitland, and there was no justification for his actions.

In sentencing him to 14 years and six-months' jail, with a non-parole period of 10 years, the judge said a high degree of criminality was involved.

"The misconduct occurred at the time the finances of the state were under considerable strain. The damage to the institution of government is a serious loss that affects the entire community," he said.

The Doyles Creek licence was granted by direct allocation in 2008 when Macdonald was resources minister, and the court heard he lost the state tens-of-millions of dollars in fees paid by other mining companies for coal exploration licences.

Around the same, time a tender process saw Chinese company Shenhua pay $300 million for an exploration licence in the Liverpool Plains and a BHP subsidiary pay $91 million for an exploration licence at Caroona.

Justice Dhani said Macdonald had expressed no remorse and the crime was committed 15 years ago, making it a "stale crime".

He said the sentence has been backdated, discounted and influenced by special circumstances, including Macdonald's range of health issues including a large hernia and anxiety, and threats from other prisoners.

The judge noted Macdonald was already concurrently serving a maximum nine-and-a-half-year jail sentence for conspiring with former Labor minister Eddie Obeid and Obeid's son Moses, over a separate mine licence for Mount Penny in the Bylong Valley.

Justice Dhanji said with time already served for misconduct over both mine licences, Macdonald won't be eligible for parole until 2027.


The national curriculum substitutes emotion for hard learning

Occasionally our political representatives will say things which stand the test of time, but more than often, they do not. One example which springs to mind is a comment made in 2004 by the then federal education minister Julie Bishop, who optimistically proposed that the creation of a national curriculum would wrestle education out of the hands of the left-wing ideologues occupying state bureaucracies and give it to a national board of studies comprised of educators from the ‘sensible centre’.

Unfortunately, the Institute of Public Affairs’ new report on the latest iteration of the National Curriculum, De-Educating Australia: How the National Curriculum is Failing Australian Children reveals beyond a shadow of doubt that the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is now irreversibly stacked with utopian activists who know that in order to change the world, you have to change what children are taught.

What is currently being unleashed in classrooms across this country is about as far away from a traditional curriculum as you can possibly get. Rather, it is an anarcho-political manifesto which seeks to dismantle the entire edifice of the modern state of Australia by undermining its values and institutions.

Children taught according to the dictates of this curriculum will finish school with a set of beliefs, a worldview and a sense of what it means to be Australian that are at odds with those which have previously been passed on to generations of Australians.

This document is indoctrinating the young and impressionable with radical theories about race and gender, which were once marginal academic ideas but have now become the pedagogy favoured by the progressive educationalists employed by the state.

Take critical race theory, for example. This American import is now interwoven into the arts, history, civics and citizenship learning areas. In the health and physical education syllabus students will ‘gain insights into the impact systemic racism and discrimination have had on Australian First Nations Peoples’.

The progressive educationalists are using their considerable institutional power to bring forth and legitimise radical ideas such as the notion that Australia is a fundamentally racist country, and that all of its institutions are smokescreens for racial domination. It introduces children to the fiction of ‘systemic racism’, as well as the racist concept of ‘whiteness’ being problematic.

Students studying Australia’s history will leave school convinced that Aboriginal Australians were not, and never have been, beneficiaries of the universal rights afforded to all Australians that were brought by the British to this country in 1788. In year 9 history, students will study ‘potential barriers to equality of access to justice, such as education and literacy, location and proximity to legal avenues, financial constraints, race or ethnicity especially for First Nations Australians’. At the same time, the curriculum teaches that the source of Aboriginal Australians’ rights is different from that of non-Aboriginal Australians, the implication being that Aboriginal Australians are in some way legally separate from other Australians. In the years 7 to 10 arts syllabus, for example, students are informed that, ‘First Nations Australian cultures have internationally enshrined rights to ensure that these diverse cultures can be maintained, controlled, protected and developed’. They will also be taught about ‘rights relating to Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property and how these rights can be protected through respectful application of protocols’. We should hardly be surprised that in a recent YouGov poll, 64 per cent of 18 to 25-year-olds were in favour of establishing an Indigenous Voice to parliament.

In the meantime, the ‘Sustainability Cross Curriculum’ priority is doing significant damage to Australia’s youth. It has become the gateway through which children are being introduced to concepts and ideologies that have nothing to do with looking after the environment in the true sense. They are schooled in environmental determinism, which is the concept that humans and their natural environment are interrelated, and that environmental factors such as climate change presuppose the success or failure of civilisations. The priority promotes the idea that a sustainable world cannot be achieved without a socially just world, and that the two are inextricably linked. Children are repeatedly asked to ‘recognise that the interdependence of Earth’s systems and values of diversity, equity and social justice are essential for achieving sustainability’.

In every learning area, they are bombarded with the view that society is not progressing towards greater wealth, prosperity, and improvement in the human condition, but that because of our attachment to plastic straws and bad recycling habits, we are careering headlong towards an environmental cataclysm. We should also not be surprised that young Australians are suffering from severe bouts of ‘eco-anxiety’.

This is placing an extremely unfair burden on young Australians. On the one hand, they are being fed the current prognosis of the ‘scientific consensus’ that every day of inaction brings us closer to catastrophe, while on the other they are being told that only they can avert that catastrophe through activism. In ‘foundation arts’, we see four-year-olds rapping about climate change. Eight-year-olds are ‘identifying ways they can change their behaviours to support the sustainability of the Earth’s systems’ in health and physical education. Students of French are organising real protests and rallies to ‘raise awareness of environmental, social or ethical issues’, and year 7 science students are writing letters to editors of newspapers to ‘express a view about an environmental issue affecting local ecosystems’.

Children are repeatedly informed that they are global citizens and that the global problems are theirs to solve, yet the curriculum does not even give them the basic literacy and numeracy skills they need to flourish and live fulfilled lives, let alone tackle imagined problems of a global nature.

There is no doubt that the bureaucrats at ACARA have deliberately jettisoned the acquisition of knowledge and replaced it with pure, unadulterated emotion. They have created a curriculum that will elicit feelings of guilt about the past, anger about the present and sheer terror about the future. In this way, they are manipulating children for political gain. As Thomas Sowell notes, ‘there are few things more dishonourable than misleading the young’.




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