Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Human rights event cancelled due to trans lobby’s bullying, threats and intimidation

‘We are in a new era of witch burning, except that today, the fire is that of media and propaganda, with trans activists and their supporters suppressing any information that contradicts their goals and silencing their critics through oppressive tactics. Some of our contributors have been fired from teaching positions at universities; some have been blacklisted; others threatened with physical harm, rape, even death – all because they have questioned or challenged the idea that the cultural construct of gender should supplant biological sex. Others have been de-platformed as speakers at universities for expressing what should be a matter of common sense: that women, many of whom have been sexually assaulted by males, should have the right to shower, bathe, sleep, or organize free from the presence of males’.

Ruth Barrett

Female Erasure: What You Need To Know About Gender Politics’ War on Women, the Female Sex and Human Rights

Human Rights Week has been celebrated in Tasmania with dignity and pride for over 30 years.  This year’s events, however, have been marred by an outrageous attack on the free speech of women’s group, Women Speak Tasmania.

Women Speak Tasmania members, Isla MacGregor and Bronwyn Williams, were scheduled to speak at an event organised by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

The WILPF event organisers were targeted this week by former Tasmanian Anti-discrimination Commissioner, Robin Banks and the trans rights lobby, and effectively bullied and intimidated into cancelling the programmed event.

Today, Women Speak Tasmania received the following email from the WILPF organisers – 

Dear Isla and Bronwyn,
Since your contact with the Australian, we in WILPF have received strong indications that the media will try to be involved in WILPF’s event on 12 December.
This is not how WILPF operates. We have therefore decided that the best thing we can do is to cancel the event.
We will work out what else we should do to repair the damage and let you know.
We are so sorry and hope that this decision does not inconvenience you.

It is clear from this email that WILPF has been threatened by the trans lobby with unfavourable media exposure if the event goes ahead as planned.

Women Speak Tasmania is sending out a wake-up call to all Tasmanians who care about freedom of speech.

We believe the debate on transgender law reforms is one that should be open to every citizen of this state.  Everyone is entitled to be informed, and those who question the impacts of such reforms on the human rights of women and girls should be heard.

Instead, we are vilified and abused for drawing attention to patent flaws in the legislative amendments passed by the Tasmanian Lower House last month.

And the media in Tasmania has taken the easy, politically correct approach to these changes, preferring unquestioning acceptance of the trans lobby’s assurances that ‘the vast majority of Tasmanians will not be affected one iota’ to detailed investigation of the changes and their implications.

We want to see the Fourth Estate do its job in Tasmania and give equal coverage to all sides of the debate.  This has not happened.  Women Speak Tasmania has, despite regular media releases, been consistently ignored by the majority of local mainstream media outlets, with some notable exceptions.

Tasmanian Times editor, Lindsay Tuffin, has been committed, always, to keeping a free media open to all Tasmanians, including Women Speak Tasmania.  Australian journalist, Matthew Denholm, has also responded to our media releases and provided an even-handed report of all aspects of the trans rights issue in Tasmania.

Additionally, we have been given a fair hearing by Brian Carlton on the Tasmanian Talks radio program, and been interviewed by Tasmanian Broadcasters.

Despite the efforts of the trans lobby, we have not been totally silenced.

Ms Banks and her attempt to no-platform Women Speak Tasmania have exposed a chink in the trans rights armour of peace, love and equality.  They reveal a strategy of threats and vilification to suppress dissent, and the community deserves to be made aware of these tactics.

If you support freedom of speech for women please contact Women Speak Tasmania on womenspeaktasmania@gmail.com or via our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/womenspeaktas/ to find out about our Human Rights Week event on Wednesday 12 December between 12 noon and  2.00 pm in Hobart – venue by application.

See –





Women, men who identify as women, feminists and Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner

Bronwyn Williams is a retired lawyer and social worker

Isla MacGregor is a women’s human rights and free speech advocate

Women Speak Tasmania is a network of women and their supporters based in Tasmania. We operate as a secular group. We are not aligned with any political party or ideology. We share research and information on a broad range of women’s rights issues. These include – female only spaces, services, groups and facilities; the sexualisation of girls and women; pornography/prostitution and the harms of the global sex trade; surrogacy as a violation of women’s human rights; and ending male violence against girls and women. We understand that sex-based oppression affects all women, and underlies all abuses of female rights. We support the right of women to speak freely about the inequities and discrimination they experience. We aim to give a voice to girls and women in the pursuit of justice, peace and security. We support full autonomy and personal freedom for all women.


Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Pat Gartlan

    December 13, 2018 at 9:58 am

    It is vital that Women Speak Tasmania is “sending out a wake-up call to all Tasmanians who care about freedom of speech”, and that “the debate on transgender law reforms is one that should be open to every citizen of this state”, and that “everyone is entitled to be informed, and those who question the impacts of such reforms on the human rights of women and girls should be heard”.
    Passing of the legislation now before the Legislative Council will certainly transform the lives of all Tasmanians, not just a few. This is clear from freely available evidence from Canada, UK and other jurisdictions where similar laws are in place.

    Impeding fully informed community discussion before such a law is passed is just a token of what will happen after it is passed. By then it will be too late.

  2. Andrew

    December 11, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    It’s not just this issue. There is an unhealthy trend towards blocking free speech in Australia, particularly when the views of the speaker are considered to be “non progressive”. It is a slippery slope and we would do well to remember that many of the modern freedoms that we take for granted have been won through free speech.

    Instead of blocking “controversial” speakers, we should be listening to and debating them.

  3. Ron

    December 11, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Actually, you are just a bunch of man-hating trolls getting a dose of your own medicine.

    The longer you keep up your twisted rants against men, and anyone else who is “different” to you, the more we all recognise you for what you are .. just a minute group of twisted man haters.

    Feminists demanded equal rights .. CHOKE ON THEM!

    • Russell

      December 13, 2018 at 9:01 am

      As I said before, but you obviously can’t/won’t read or comprehend .. most people commenting on these articles are men, real men, with “male” on their Birth Certificates, and who are not confused about their biological identity.

      One can only imagine why you are so supportive of transgenders, and not having biological “sex” recorded on our Birth Certificates, Ron. Are you confused?

  4. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    December 7, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Delaney’s suggestion that Isla and Bronwyn actually planned for a WILPF meeting failure that would give them ‘the excuse’ to move to a closed venue of their own to deplatform the trannies is as outrageously disingenuous as Vladimir Putin accusing the Ukrainians of ‘provoking’ a Russian attack. Ho, ho, ho! I am almost helpless with mirth.

    Delaney is a real pro. I have to admire her front .. the sheer chutzpah of it!

    Good propagandists have no inhibitions about making seemingly outrageously implausible claims without anything more than their suggestion as ‘evidence’. They know that, doubts notwithstanding, some of them stick. And as the old adage says, repeat them often enough and people will start to believe them.

    “Bullshit beats brains any day, doesn’t it children.”

    “Yes Mx!”

  5. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    December 7, 2018 at 10:51 am

    It is a very bad sign of intellectual and ideological pusillanimity that meetings can be so easily broken up these days. Deplatforming is such a breeze. All you need to do is ring, text or email a meeting organiser, use the right language ‘code-words’ and they go straight into a compliant ideological trance.

    In the good old days, when everyone was a bit clearer about what they stood for, one needed to use a bunch of uniformed toughs armed with iron bars wrapped in newspaper to get that level of ‘attitude adjustment’.

    Gatherings organised and run by the communist party in Germany during the 1930s had to have similarly equipped red arm-banded meeting enforcers to stop Nazi infiltrators breaking up their meetings.

    Forcing Isla and Bronwyn to organise a meeting of invitation-only guests means their enemies have already won half the battle. Being feminists means they are not into political rough-house .. but maybe they need to be.

    Transgen behaviour is a clear sign of just how unstable and fragile the old post WW2 ideological compacts have now become.

    • Isla MacGregor

      December 7, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      Christopher, the harder our opponents try to silence whistle-blowers and dissidents … the more the public want to hear what ‘we’ have to say.

  6. Martine Delaney

    December 7, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Mmmm … this seems a little disingenuous.

    To my knowledge, nobody has ever requested Women Speak Tasmania be no-platformed at the WILPF event. Certainly, in my discussions with organisers and Robin Banks, it was about ensuring the audience would be able to hear from both sides on the day. I understood, until yesterday, that Women Speak Tasmania would be giving its intended and complete address and I would be given a right of reply – a very brief right of reply, but a moment or two. Until yesterday.

    Yesterday, I received an email from a member of the WILPF Executive advising me they’d decided to cancel the event. This outcome does neither Transforming Tasmania nor Robin Banks any favours. As we see now, it allows Women Speak Tasmania to make unsubstantiated claims of WILPF being bullied, threatened and intimidated by trans groups and Ms Banks. Only one group can possibly benefit from the event’s cancellation .. Women Speak Tasmania.

    A question, then. Did Women Speak Tasmania play a role in the cancellation? I’m intrigued to discover Women Speak Tasmania is now holding the same ,at a secret venue, with a person required to jump through a couple of hoops to gain access. I’m guessing I’d not be welcomed. Was this the plan from the onset?

    To clarify, I’d certainly rather see the event happen. To support this statement, here’s the text of my email to WILPF, sent after it notified me of the cancellation …

    “Dear (redacted)

    Thank you for your advice.

    I must admit to some disappointment. While I was concerned by the possible backlash to WILPF providing a platform to Women Speak Tasmania (WST), and I disagree strongly with WST’s position, I respect their right to publicly voice their views.

    My sincere hope was that WILPF would be able to provide a space for your audience to hear both viewpoints presented, without rancour. Sadly, it seems this now won’t be happening.

    Of course, you’ve every right to cancel the event and I can understand your reasons for doing so; it’s certainly become a far different thing to what you’d intended. However, I would be delighted, should you decide to reverse this decision. In fact, I would ask your Executive to reconsider.”

    Kind regards, and wishes for the season,


    • suzie

      December 7, 2018 at 11:20 am

      Martine, you state:

      ‘As we see now, it allows Women Speak Tasmania to make unsubstantiated claims of WILPF being bullied, threatened and intimidated by trans groups and Ms Banks’

      Can you please explain the blatant attempt by Banks to discredit and vilify the women’s group as substantiated by her email and posted on this site yesterday?:

      ‘On 30 November, former Anti-discrimination Commissioner, Robin Banks, emailed WILPF with the following …

      ‘I am writing out of concern for WILPF, having just seen the invitation to your human rights week event at which you have Women Speak Tasmania as the speakers.

      I anticipate that the reason you have invited this group is their apparent promotion of women’s rights. Sadly, this is not a group that support human rights for all.

      They have, at present, a nasty and untruthful campaign targeting members of Tasmania’s gender diverse community. They do not support the human rights of people who are gender diverse. Indeed, they deny their very humanity and existence.

      The giving to this group a platform for their hateful views by WILPF will be seen by many in the LGBTIQ community as an endorsement by WILPF of those views. This is the very real potential to damage the reputation of an extraordinary and compassionate long-standing human rights group.

      If there is any way that I can help you to negotiate what I think is a very difficult situation, I am happy to do so

      Robin Banks’

      Is anyone suggesting that Banks was not trying to interfere with WILPF’s organising and invitation to these women to speak at their human rights week event?

    • Isla MacGregor

      December 8, 2018 at 6:53 am

      Women Speak Tasmania would welcome any member of the public to ask questions or make comments at one of our presentations, including at the now cancelled WILPF Human Rights Week event.

      We are very disappointed that WILPF, which invites a guest speaker for their Human Rights Week event every year, has found it necessary to cancel its event.

      I last was invited to speak at WILPF’s Human Rights Week 2015 event on the subject of the corruption of the policy decision making process used by Amnesty International in fast tracking their deeply flawed policy to decriminalise pimping, etc. After I gave the talk many people came to speak to me about how glad they were to learn about the background to Amnesty’s policy, but especially to learn about Stop Demand laws .. better known as Nordic model laws. Many in the audience said they knew nothing about these international legislative developments or the increasing harms to women and girls in the global sex trade. Many said that they would be reconsidering their views on the issue as a result of the evidence I presented. WILPF members had not previously had the opportunity to hear a view on the global sex trade from a women’s human rights and evidenced-based perspective.

      It is not always necessary at public forums to have debates, or to hear from both sides of a debate. This is very much the case when proponents of an issue are publicly known to use any measures they can to discredit their opponents in order to silence them in an attempt to detract from the issues they are raising.

      In Tasmania in August 2018, Women Speak Tasmania publicly released proposals for reforms to the Anti Discrimination Act 1998 that relate to proposed transgender law reforms.

      We would have been willing to participate in the co-hosted Tasmanian Law Reform Institute and Transforming Tasmania public forum on 17 October at the Stanley Burbury Lecture Theatre:

      ‘Transforming Tasmania: Legal reforms for gender diverse and intersex equality
      An open Q&A forum with an expert panel on proposed reforms for transgender, gender diverse and intersex people in Tasmania.

      Professor Margaret Otlowski, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Culture and Wellbeing) and Professor of Law, University of Tasmania
      Robin Banks, former Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner and author of the 2016 options paper Legal recognition of sex and gender diversity in Tasmania
      Dede River, Transforming Tasmania spokesperson and legislative drafter
      Matty Wright, Transgender Tasmania community leader

      Moderator: Dr Angela Dwyer, Associate Professor, Police Studies and Emergency Management, University of Tasmania’

      We did not receive an invitation to attend the forum or an invitation to be on the panel. I think our alternative legislative proposals would have led to a much more lively discussion about the implications of transgender law reforms on girls and women.

      We did contact the TRLI to ask to be on the panel and were rejected, and of course the forum went ahead.

      For further information:


    • Joanna

      December 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Dear Martine,

      I know Bron and Isla personally. I think it would have been great if Robin didn’t get involved at al and let women present.

      It is also perfectly appropriate for you to ask to present on a separate occasion.

      If you want a debate, please engage with people outside your own community to instigate one.

      I’m certainly sick of this issue escalating. When it comes to policy we should be able to analyse it from different perspectives and come up with a better solution that allows both women and trans people find some middle ground.

      Current bill amendments are not satisfactory. We need debate on the terminology we could agree on and discuss potential consequences.

      Experiencially we are coming from different perspectives, and we may not reconcile all differences, but in terms of policy we have to work a bit harder. Otherwise deep schisms will remain and fester.

    • Russell

      December 10, 2018 at 6:37 am

      “To my knowledge, nobody has ever requested Women Speak Tasmania be no-platformed at the WILPF event.”

      Really? Then why was the event cancelled?

      “To my knowledge” is a pathetic and deliberately mischevious copout, just as Minister Brooks shook his wattles violently as he repeated “Nope .. nope .. nope” to questions when he damn well knew the correct answer was YES.

      • Russell

        December 13, 2018 at 9:01 am

        No answer, Martin?

  7. Kate

    December 7, 2018 at 7:59 am

    If it was your intent to discredit yourself, you have just done it!

    On a good day, Brian Carlton and others like him are a joke.

    (That’s as polite as I could be.)

    • Rebecca

      December 7, 2018 at 9:24 am

      The trans lobby also loves to try and discredit by association. It’s another tactic it has to resort to because its adherents’ substantive arguments are so weak.

      Transwomen are men.

    • Barbara Mitchell

      December 8, 2018 at 12:35 am

      Mr Carlton might be a ‘joke’ to you Kate, but he’s a joke with a big audience in northern Tasmania. I bet you’d be whistling a different tune if he was falling into line with the rest of the craven media outlets up there.

  8. Isla MacGregor

    December 7, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Women Speak Tasmania is holding an event for Human Rights Week:




    Wednesday 12 December 2018

    12 noon to 2.00 pm

    Venue by application


    Women Speak Tasmania invites you to attend an information forum to discuss attacks on the human rights and freedom of speech of women by the global trans lobby.

    Worldwide, trans activists routinely attempt to discredit and no-platform those who speak against trans ideology. Dissenters are bullied, their livelihoods are threatened, and some have been physically assaulted.

    Documented evidence of the negative impacts visited on women and girls in the name of transgender rights Is denounced as transphobic, bigoted ‘hate speech’

    The tactics used by the trans rights lobby in Tasmania are no different to those used in many other countries. See – https://wwwfacebook.com/fairplayforwomen/

    For examples of the abuse directed at women who argue the rights of female persons should not be subsumed by transgender rights see – https://terfisaslur.com/

    If you would like to attend contact – womenspeaktasmania@gmail.com – or see our Facebook page at – https://wwwfacebook.com/womenspeaktas/

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