On 7 November, four Tasmanian Women’s Services – Women’s Legal Service Tasmania, Engender Equality, Hobart Women’s Shelter and Women’s Health Tasmania – issued a statement in support of Labor and the Greens’ proposed transgender law reforms.

In that statement, Women Speak Tasmania was roundly criticised for opposing the reforms.

‘We believe allowing self-identification changes to sex markers on birth certificates will compromise the rights of female persons to access female-only spaces, services and facilities’, said Women Speak Tasmania spokesperson, Bronwyn Williams.

‘According to Susan Fahey and Alina Thomas from Women’s Legal Service Tasmania, and Engender Equality, our concerns are “unjust and prejudicial”’.

‘Fahey and Thomas also say, “There is no research or service experience to suggest that men who seek to harm women change their gender or masquerade as transgender women in order to do so”’.

The women’s group statement of support was posted on the Women’s Legal Services Tasmania Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Womens-Legal-Service-Tasmania-Inc-111476978876726/ – and immediately attracted a number of comments refuting this assertion, and providing evidence of transwomen changing their ‘gender’ to facilitate the assault and harassment of female persons.

‘Rather than engaging in a rational debate, and offering documented support for their position, Women’s Legal Services decided to hide the dissenting comments from public view, and block the authors, who they described as “overwhelmingly…hiding behind fake names and profiles, some clearly set up for trolling purposes”’, said Miss Williams.

Presumably, the few supportive comments came from verified ‘real’ people known to Women’s Legal Service Tasmania.

‘I was one of the commenters, using my own name and asking a perfectly legitimate policy-based question. We challenge Ms Fahey to forgo the censorship, reinstate all comments and answer the questions asked’, said Miss Williams.

‘As a lawyer with a clear commitment to the ‘transwomen are women’ ideology, Ms Fahey is doing transwomen a disservice by failing to argue their case in this forum’.

Ms Fahey says she welcomes discussion of these issues person to person. She says she’s ‘not hard to find’. Neither are we, Ms Fahey. Give us a call and we can arrange a meeting.