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

Article

An Open Letter From a Non-Binary Tasmanian Regarding Women Speak Tasmania, Gender and Discrimination Laws, and Trans Identity 

Self-identified ‘radical feminist’ group Women Speak were sighted at Salamanca Market on Saturday the 9th of February, an occurrence that has sparked criticism and concern from the local LGBT community. A rally was being held in order to spread the group’s opinion of the transgender law reforms introduced to the Tasmanian government late last year, with alternative legislation from the Women Speak group being a major topic.

A stall, set up by the activist group, sported signs such as “abolish gender”, “trans yes, trans dogma no”, and “female is not a feeling”. Salamanca Market has offered a statement denouncing the group, and claiming that they neither were approved for a stall, nor had the co-operation of the market staff. Despite this alleged dismissal of the market stall holder rules, the group engaged with the public and media reporters about their concerns.

Which is where things get interesting …

The “Womens Rights and Transgender Law Reform” proposal written by Women Speak, and available on their Facebook page, sports more than a few misinformed claims. Accurate as of this broadcast, the proposal reads less as a proposal for compromise between the previously submitted reform proposal by activist group Transforming Tasmania, and more like a proposal put forth by a group that assumes the more rights a different group has, the less rights they do.

In truth, some of the proposed alterations are, at best, helpful for people outside of the LGBT community and, at worst, down-right pedantic. The suggestion of replacing “gender” with “biological sex” in Anti-Discrimination Law is a non-issue. Unfortunately, at least for this reader, that is where the logical solutions end. Before even getting into the proposal properly, the preface makes the claim that the Transforming Tasmania activist group is (quote) “advocating that ‘gender markers’ be removed from birth certificates entirely” (end quote). No, no they are not. The reforms put forth last year advocate for the *choice* of abstaining from placing a gender marker on a birth certificate. This choice would be available to transgender and gender diverse people, as well as new parents. Anyone who would prefer to have a gender marker is well within their right to do so, and indeed would be within the majority. Just like with the same sex marriage debate, if you don’t like it, don’t do it.

This initial over-simplification quite suitably sets the tone for the remainder of the proposal. Not only does the proposal claim to address (quote) “all aspects of the trans rights debate” (end quote), which it most certainly does not, the proposal completely ignores the existence of non-binary gender identities. If you were gearing up to hear what the group thinks of us, try to contain your disappointment.

But what does the proposal actually want? Well, we’ve covered off their first point in the Anti-Discrimination Law change: a terminology change. Besides that, the group is advocating for an exemption to the inclusion of biological sex, so that groups such as services, facilities, groups and sports may reserve the right to only include people of the same biological sex. Which is an interesting thing to attempt to police, but I guess this group has already made it their business as to what is in my pants, so asking prior to letting me into their book club probably doesn’t phase them.

Following on from that, they propose the removal of “gender identity” as a protected characteristic, replacing it instead with the term “social identity”. If you just did a double take while reading, don’t worry, I’ll explain. You see, according to Women Speak, gender identity cannot be defined without referring to social constructs of gender, and as such it should be referred to as “social identity”, to make it less confusing to everyone else. This is, again, an over simplification of the experiences of transgender people, and condenses the range and scope of that experience down to the preformative aspects of gender in an attempt to make this all a social construct that can be redefined and sculpted at will. But we’ll come back to that.


Women Speak make a few claims in the rationale of this proposal that should be addressed:

1. “Biological sex is the basis of most discrimination against female persons, for example when they are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have other parenting obligations”.

2. “Protecting the characteristics of gender and gender identity in anti-discrimination law essentially protects the interests of those who ‘feel’ their ‘true’ sex is at odds with their biological sex, while the interests of biological females NOT in this category are ignored”.
3. “Current anti-discrimination law in Australia provides specific protections for an infinitesimal proportion of the population and ignores more than half of us”.

This is where the blanket of rationale starts to wear thin over the underlying transphobic content. You see, the Anti-Discrimination Act (1998), Part 4, Division 1, Section 16 (https://www.legislation.tas.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1998-046#HP4@HD1@EN) lists the character traits that you are not allowed to discriminate against. These include, but are not limited to:
(e) gender;
(ea) gender identity;
(eb) intersex;
(f) marital status;
(fa) relationship status;
(g) pregnancy;
(h) breastfeeding;
(i) parental status;
(j) family responsibilities;

So there, in black and white, are the exact protections that the proposal claims women do not have. If you are a woman and are being discriminated against on any of these aspects, that is illegal and you need to report it to the closest authority.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there. The proposal then concerns itself with Birth Certificate policies. They propose that changes to birth certificate gender markers should not be allowed at all. Full stop. Not only that, they propose that the Registration of Change of Sex be removed and replaced with a Recognition Certificate. You are probably wondering where to obtain such a thing? The proposal indicates that there would be a Sex Reassignment Board to assess your application for a certificate. Because obviously a board of complete strangers will be able to judge whether your personal, individual experience of transgender identity is trans enough for you to earn that certificate, once they consider “evidence that the claimant has lived, and intends to live in the future, with a social identity incongruent with their biological sex”.

To Women Speak, changing your gender marker is akin to “rewriting history”, their words, and they honestly believe that doing so will compromise the integrity of the data obtained from them. The thing is, the government and governmental bodies that require that information already have it. They have had it since the day you were born, and they will keep it far after any change. This seems to suggest that the government will back-alter every record of you once your gender marker is changed. Which is not only ridiculous, it is also illegal.

But the real kicker about all of this is that the proposal put forth by Women Speak has one glaringly obvious flaw. And that is that Women Speak, through this proposal, are pushing forward what they really think about the transgender experience under a thin veil of protective concern.

That is that being transgender is a social construct. That the change of gender markers is simply to be recognised in the community, which is a perspective that makes “Recognition Certificates” seem fair. What Women Speak fail to realise it that the transgender experience does not begin and end with the social aspect. While a very important part, it is only one aspect of the whole. These women don’t realise what it’s like to wake up every morning and feel out of place in your own body. They’ve never experienced the disassociation, or the anxiety. They don’t feel incomplete or wrong in their own skin. And I bet not one of them has ever experienced the overwhelming mental agony that causes thoughts like “with a bottle of vodka and a really sharp knife, I’m sure I could get rid of my breasts/genitalia myself”.

In simplifying our experiences they are ignoring psychological and medical research that recognises the transgender experience as something fundamentally real. The studies that have shown that there are physiological differences in the makeup of the brains of transgender people. They are ignoring the incredibly high suicide rate of transgender teens who are pushed to the limit and broken because they feel that anything, *anything* is better than this.

Women Speak use the catch phrase “female is not a feeling”. And they’re right. It’s an inherent knowing. But even if it was just a feeling, so is depression. So is anxiety. So are so many things, and to dismiss us on the basis of it being “just a feeling”, is to dismiss everyone who gets treatment for their “feelings”.

My final message to those reading is this: if you find yourself around members of Women Speak, do not attempt to argue with them. They are not here for a conversation – they have already made up their minds about us, and we will not change them. Focus instead on the other people around you. Tell your stories where you can. Strike up conversation with those who might not have reached a conclusion on this. Humanise us to your family, your co-workers, your friends. But do not waste your energy on the members of Women Speak. If they don’t respect your protections and well-being, they won’t respect your experiences.

Bent Air is Tasmania’s only LGBTIQ community radio show. Thursdays 11am on Edge 99.3FM.

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

35 Comments

  1. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    February 21, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    The trouble with the attitude of all the transgen lobby generally is that its advocates are so thin skinned and easily upset by ideological dissonance that if you hit them with so much as the threat of a feather, they will pull switchblades on you faster than Mac ‘The Knife’ and take offense more deeply than ‘Chopper’ Reid after a few drinks .. and they share those two mongrels’ taste for ‘disappearing’ their enemies …

  2. Sarah Baker

    February 19, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you for your open letter addressing the views, and to some degree the tactics, that this very disingenuous group expresss.

    Since becoming aware of this small group, which was unfortunately on the same day a very dear (gender diverse) friend passed away, I’ve felt deeply distressed and concerned about the emotive and dishonest way it represents itself.

    This news site has become a platform for their agenda. It’s full of articles that clearly show a view of gender diverse people that is offensive and deeply hurtful. Their followers comment with fervour, and they relish the opportunity to treat gender diverse people in the way the patriarchy wants them to. Meanwhile, their Facebook page makes an effort to hide who they really are and who they really speak for, as FB does not allow the hate speech they can get away with here.

    Its good to see a piece that outlines their dishonesty. I hope to read more articles that expose Trans EXCLUSIONARY Radical Feminism for what it is .. a small but vocal group of women and men who appropriate feminism as a vehicle to maintain an unjust, inequitable society that divides by gender, encourages toxic masculinity, and forces trans-gender women in particular into situations that place them is great danger.

    They do not Speak for Women. They speak for anyone who wants to keep trans people in a separate class of humanity.

    • PLB

      February 19, 2019 at 11:00 pm

      “Trans EXCLUSIONARY Radical Feminism.” Wow, thanks for that Sarah.

      We had best be aware of them just in case they seek to indoctrinate the children!

    • Christopher Eastman-Nagle

      February 20, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Ms Baker, it doesn’t matter a jot whether Women Speak Tasmania is a minority, of one or a mass movement, if what it is saying isn’t as ‘disingenuous’ and ‘dishonest’ as you suggest, and that its representatives have indeed brought to bear a very solid evidence-based case to support their arguments despite your vacantly unsupported assertions to the contrary.

      The fact that you have lost a friend who was suffering from gender dysphoria is regrettable, but hardly relevant here unless you are fishing for additional sympathy for your overwrought ‘deep distress’, ‘hurt’ and sense of ‘offence’ at the ‘emotive way they (WST) represent themselves’. It seems to me Ms Baker, that it is you who is playing that card and the fragile and tragically vulnerable ideological princess that comes with it, to the hilt.

      Now Ms Baker, on the face of it, how a feminist organisation like WST, that has spent the last few weeks energetically trying to defend critical interests of half the population against a demographically microscopic bunch of born male female wannabees trying get into female only spaces, could possibly be ‘a misappropriation’ of feminism, or ‘inequitable’ and ‘unjust’, or place anyone in ‘great danger’, or makes them a party to encouraging the interests of a ‘toxic patriarchy’, is a mystery.

      It seems to me that the only ‘toxicity’ here is a rapid succession of defamatory, malicious and baseless accusations to justify yet another bunch of males trying to colonise and screw over their long suffering sisters, again.

      For someone who is such a delicate and thin-skinned precious, you are no shrinking violet when it comes to ‘toxic’, ‘hurtful’ and ‘offensive’ smears. The accusation of ‘hatespeech’ is as vacantly unsupported by you as all the rest of your assertions, but it is a lot nastier.

      ‘Hatespeech’ and all the rest of your malicious vocabulary, like ‘vilification’, ‘transphobia’ ‘bigotry’ and all the rest of it, always assume what they need to prove, ie, that the accusation isn’t baseless and defamatory. But it doesn’t have to do that, because if you throw enough shit at people, some of it is bound to stick .. and best of all, it is cheap, easy and any moron can use it.

      It is a typical redneck tactic to suggest that civil rights campaigners have no legitimate or principled agenda because underneath their veneer of concerns for social justice lies a ‘nigger lover’ who has some unnatural and probable sexual attachment to their ideological clients.

      ‘Hatespeech’ and ‘nigger loving’ are exactly the same dirty little device of groundless legitimacy denial.

      All such verbal ‘assault technology’ corrupts the architecture of discourse by shutting down unapproved ideas and destroying the underlying principles of not just respectful discourse, but discourse and debate itself. It is the natural default of totalitarian consciousness that does not tolerate opposition, only deals in the language of propaganda, and promotes the very noxious things it accuses its opponents of, which is classic circular and self-validating Orwellian doublethink.

      Ms Baker, you and yours are egregious users of a filthy and degenerate abuse of language as a social mechanism and it doesn’t stop at ‘hatespeech’ et al. Calling the women down at WST ‘TERFs’ is another example of baselessly derogatory genre. They have provided ample argument and evidence to cast doubt on transgen male claims to be ‘included’ as ‘women’. They have plenty to be ‘exclusionary’ about, and it is perfectly legitimate and proper for them to call out your bogus claims and call your bluff.

      I accuse you of grotesquely inflating a delusional sexual identity disorder into a sexistentialist fluff-up that turns fantasy into a confected ‘state of being’ or reality-in-its-own-right. It might well be a reality for the sufferer, but it isn’t for anyone else not sharing the delusional condition.

      To try and maintain that one is ‘in the wrong body’ is no more valid than imagining that your lower right leg should not be there and ought to be cut off, or that one is a living re-incarnation of Freddy Mercury. And while being in that position is tough, that does not mean that the rest of us have to indulge your existential delusions.

      To pretend that our rejection of your absurd claims is a function of inappropriate emotions that overwhelm our rational judgement is a grotesque try on that could only possibly work in a society that has already been badly damaged by its own economic, social, existential and intellectual excesses, and the wretchedly ‘sub prime’ post-modernist packaging it has brought in its wake.

    • Jack

      February 21, 2019 at 1:56 am

      “I hope to read more articles that expose Trans EXCLUSIONARY Radical Feminism for what it is .. a small but vocal group of women and men who appropriate feminism as a vehicle to maintain an unjust, inequitable society that divides by gender, encourages toxic masculinity, and forces trans-gender women in particular into situations that place them is great danger.”

      Wow, that all sounds truly evil; dividing genders, placing people in great danger and encouraging toxic masculinity etc. But you claim they are a ‘small group’ of women – so what’s your problem? Do they have superpowers?

      If you’re confident that the majority of women are happy to have their gender repossessed and renovated, and legal rights panel beaten into the shape you desire, why would it bother you?

      Personally, I’m already sick to death of “Trans EXCLUSIONARY Radical Feminism” because it is clearly someone’s whinge dressed up as an acronym.

      The big shame is that I fully support trans rights for self actualisation and expression as you see fit – but not at someone else’s expense. Whilst you may “hope to read more articles that expose Trans EXCLUSIONARY Radical Feminism” the more I am exposed to such bombastic irrationality the more inclined I am to suspect that psychopathology is the key issue. I’m also starting to see the substance of what Women Speak Tasmania are on about.

      Look, it’s a small point I know, but your ‘hurt’ and ‘offence’ counts for zero because, if this was the stuff of reasoned debate then I would otherwise have to accept that a hurt and offended Nazi was also deserving of sympathy. Now, I’m not comparing you to a Nazi, but rather I’m trying to demonstrate that trading in accounts of gratuitous feelings, offence and personal tragedy is meaningless and tiresome. It suggests that that’s all you’ve got to run on.

      • Christopher Eastman-Nagle

        February 21, 2019 at 10:36 am

        Spot on Jack. The Ms Bakers seem to be living in a parallel universe of post-modernist groupthink that now seems to characterize the ideological conformity camps that university humanities departments have degenerated into.

    • Lola Moth

      February 21, 2019 at 7:52 am

      Ms Baker, I would like you to explain what you mean when you say WST ” .. hide who they really are and who they really speak for.”

      I have been under the impression that they speak for me, but if there is a dark and sinister entity behind them please let me know.

      I would not like to align myself with a group with a hidden agenda and would drop WST from my life immediately if I discovered its people were not who they say they are. I await you answer.

  3. aljammer

    February 17, 2019 at 12:33 am

    A summary of the case against self ID with an extensive list of supporting evidence:
    https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/LACSC/2018/Anti-DiscriminationGender2018/submissions/007.pdf

  4. Mike

    February 16, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    I propose a compromise.

    BENT get to choose 20 volunteers to stand naked in front of Women Speak Tasmania and Women Speak have to identify the sex of each volunteer.

    The rules are that the people are not allowed to wear any device that would obscure their true sex or any other means of deception.

    The people cannot have had any sex altering therapy since birth. (IE they are the same sex as they were born)

    No one is allowed to talk or discuss anything, visual inspection only.

    Women Speak Tasmania have to identify the true sex of every person with 100% accuracy to win the argument or otherwise the winner is BENT.

    • Isla MacGregor

      February 17, 2019 at 2:38 pm

      It is important to get away from ‘performance and games’ in this debate.

      This sort of suggestion goes to show a total lack of respect for women’s real concerns, and the evidence base that underpins them.

  5. Radi Calman

    February 16, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    If it were bad enough that BENT tried to antagonise and silence anyone trying to comment on this important issue on their Facebook page, they have gone and wasted a lot of people’s time by submitting this nonsense.

    Women have every right to ask questions about legislation changes likely to impact their ability to access sex segregated spaces.

    The Queensland parliament has accepted a submission from Fair Go For Women Queensland which I have attached below. It bears much relevance to this exact topic and I commend its reading to understand the issues of concern that these women have raised.

    It is beyond belief that BENT is attempting this smear campaign:

    https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/LACSC/2018/Anti-DiscriminationGender2018/submissions/007.pdf

    • Christopher Eastman-Nagle

      February 16, 2019 at 5:51 pm

      That’s an impressive summary of the case against the transgender invasion of female space accompanied by an extensive list of supporting evidentiary repoeting. Thanks.

  6. Claire Gilmour

    February 15, 2019 at 10:12 pm

  7. Barbara Mitchell

    February 15, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    So, female is an ‘inherent knowing’? Is that what got me pregnant the first time I had sex at the age of 20, thereby shaping the entire course of my adult life?

    No, wait, it was my female body.

    And I could have ‘inherently known’ I was ‘male’ until I was purple in the face, and it wouldn’t have made one iota of difference.

    This is satire, right?

  8. Alis

    February 15, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you to all those whose comments are far more refreshing than the stagnant on-off air exclusivity that some would have us think it is a right only to them, and not to all and sundry.

    The situation is made worse by having the freedom of expression taken away by the minority whose sole ‘existence’ relies on fueling division, not integration.

  9. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    February 15, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Continuing 3……..

    Ninth, the idea of ‘recognition certificates’ is to make sure that male to female wannabes can’t just rock up to the birth registry office and declare themselves ‘a woman’ on their own say so. They need to prove that they have taken sufficient measures to be treated as one for certain legal purposes, depending on how far they have gone down that track.

    Women have enough trouble dealing with males anyway without the impost of sex assignment delusional males wanting to get into their protected ‘women only’ spaces as well. Essentially they are drag queens on estrogen pills and a bit of placky surgery darling….There are clubs for that sort of thing..

    And the transgen lobby isn’t just trying to ‘rewrite history’, but rewriting reality as well, by pretending that sexual identity is more than just a powerful sexual fantasy, that gender is more than the sexual politics that underwrite reproductive relationships, and that they have the right to expect the rest of us to swallow this absurd confection without question. Give me a break!

    Tenth, suffering from gender dysphoria, like any other major sexual dysfunction, is tough on people. They still deserve to be our brothers and sisters and to be treated with delicacy and respect, but that does not mean we have to indulge them, which is what you are trying to force us to do.

    We live in an indulgence economy with an indulgent culture and social ideology to match, that has been entrenched now since the 1960s, so it is not surprising that third generation consumerbabelets now expect to be indulged as a matter of course. Nor is it surprising indulgence ideology produces people incapable of discriminating anymore between indulgence and the ordinary decencies of compassion and empathy…which have been progressively turned into excuse making and adolescent special pleading publicrelationsmarketspeak, where ‘fairness’ and ‘justice’ have been turned into playings for microscopic sectional interests and narcissists.

    And eleventh, while the rest of us still have some sympathy with our transgen brothers and sisters, we want you stop your opportunistic political stunts and your ridiculous legal gender bothering, which is even worse than the old fashioned religious kind, coming from the bad ol’ days when being off religious message was a dangerous game of hardball, because that is what you are playing.

    You think you can have our dear sisters thrown out of the Salamanca market. If you don’t want that to blow back into your own face, desist, because what you are doing is absolutely outrageous. You live in a society that loves free speech and tolerates diversity, no matter how nutty and spurious you or I think it sometimes is. I demand you respect that.

  10. Russell

    February 15, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Binary relates to “digital” in electronics….that is, like a switch – it is either on or off, yes or no. That’s how digital electronics works.

    Non-binary in electronics relates to analogue.

  11. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    February 15, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Continuing article deconstruction……

    Seventh, the current transgen attempt to manipulate birth registers is nothing more than a bogus competing rights claim inside the ideological framework of which the Anti-Discrimination Act is a legislative marker, which does nothing of itself to determine the relative merits of those competing claims. And WST and the rest of us are calling out the pretentious rubbish you are putting out to justify yours. Quoting The Act to is obfuscating the reasons we are having this conversation.

    Eighth, as to your claim that our case somehow represents some mythical beast called ‘transphobia’…this is the big mother bluff and baloney of them all.

    This ideological negative keyword confection is designed as a linguistic muckshot which works on the basis that when fired, it really spreads around the smelly stuff so that everyone on the other side gets a splatter or two. The shooter can be a complete moron, but hey, shit sticks. But like any overused cliche, its effectiveness rapidly diminishes with time.

    ‘Transphobia’ sounds authoritatively ‘scientific’ in medico-Greek kind of way. It suggests, without actually having to lead any inconvenient criteria, analysis or evidence, that rather than being a rational defence against baloney, the opponents of ‘self evidently just’ transgen claims are so colonized by neurotic sexual fear, they cannot determine the line between detecting a cheap bluff and those exaggerated fears.

    There is a huge difference between on the one hand having a healthy respect for spiders, a rational fear of being bitten by one and taking particular care where they are known to lurk, and on the other, going into a cold sweat panic at just the photograph of one. And trying to categorize the former in the same breath as the latter is ideological gobbledigook which has nothing to do with science whatsoever.

    It is a rotten little tactic, because with zero intellectual effort, the ideas of others can be swept away with a wave of the metaphorical hand. It is emblematic of just how far real debate has fallen, that anyone thinks they can get away with it.

    It is an abuse of real scientific psychology. The KGB used to use it on dissidents in the declining years of the Soviet period, when the regime had so run out of legitimacy, it could no longer make real political accusations look plausible. It is the favoured tactic of people who don’t have much intellectual or social capital…and who need to bluff, bluster and fudge instead.

    And this use of ideological ‘close down’ terms doesn’t stop there. The use of terms like ‘hatespeak’ and ‘vilification’ are the same kind of fluff. Instead of irrational fear being the put down, irrational ‘hate’ and ‘malice’ are used instead, with exactly the same cheap ‘n nasty smearing purpose.

    During the civil rights campaign in the US, civil rights activists were smeared as ‘nigger lovers’; i.e., that their agenda was not politically principled, but motivated by irrationally emotional and inappropriate sexual feelings. The transgen lobby uses the same tactic.

    When the intended victims see this for what it is, it becomes a harmless Potterite ‘Boggart’ training tool to harden them up. We are moving into a period where there are going to be much more serious threats than being called nasty names.

  12. Sally

    February 15, 2019 at 11:17 am

    What a load of self-indulgent drivel!

    Sex matters!

    Women have the right to speak about issues that impact upon them.

    This issue most certainly does impact upon women and girls, and not in a good way.

    You telling people not to speak to women about their reasonable and valid concerns (because they won’t do what you want) is blatant misogyny.

    We see straight through you!

  13. Inski_will

    February 15, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I’m pretty disgusted watching these women be intimidated into silence.

    Debate isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about getting to the truth. Your dismissal of concerns about discrimination against women, this group’s right to organise as a movement centering women and their right to be counted, safe and a part of the conversation ABOUT them, is classic tactics of conservative politics .. dismiss, silence, oppress.

  14. Mary

    February 15, 2019 at 7:53 am

    I was like, ‘yeah, OK’.

    And then I read this bit: “Women Speak use the catch phrase “female is not a feeling”. And they’re right. It’s an inherent knowing. But even if it was just a feeling, so is depression. So is anxiety. So are so many things, and to dismiss us on the basis of it being “just a feeling” is to dismiss everyone who gets treatment for their “feelings”.”

    If being a woman is a ‘knowing’, does that mean I like being pretty? I like mopping? I like nail-polish? This is bonkers. There is no defining ‘woman feel’ .. but there are a million cultural overlays that tell a woman what she should be.

    Sorry, a ‘knowing’ is total bull. So womanhood is self-defined, when in fact most of the problems I face are actually because of ‘what’s in my pants’. To pretend it isn’t is disingenuous.

  15. Lola Moth

    February 15, 2019 at 6:41 am

    “They are not here for a conversation…”

    That is exactly why they are here. They want a conversation and a debate. You are trying to no-platform this group in public places.

  16. mctessa

    February 15, 2019 at 1:39 am

    ‘Female’ is an inherent knowing? Riiiiight.

    That is essentially the debate though, isn’t it, whether ‘female’ is a material state of being or a feeling in a man’s head. To be clear, there is no difference between an ‘inherent knowing’ and a feeling.

    It’s disingenuous to appeal to medical notions of transgenderism for justification of a law that requires no such medical oversight. The laws pushed by Labor and The Greens are underpinned by a rejection of the medical model of transgenderism in favour of absolute self declaration, which cannot be justified by the ‘born this way’ appeal borrowed from the gay rights movement.

    Thanks Christopher, for doing the work of breaking down much of the other nonsense here. What a tedious read. Get over yourself ‘non binary Tasmanian’. None of us are sex stereotypes, but only some of us seek to try and make our gender non conformity a special identity that sets us apart from the boring ‘cis’ masses.

  17. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    February 14, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Well, Bent, let us deconstruct your argument:

    First, this is not a zero sum argument as you try to suggest. I would suggest that the situation is much more like your agenda is in deep contradiction to the feminist one, compromises it immediately and that will compound overtime and to suggest otherwise is just obfuscation.

    Second, the business of sex marking at birth is not a consumer choice. The child is either a boy or a girl. The only exception to that are babies with chromosomal damage that has left them with ambiguous genitalia. And there is absolutely no reason to want that to be a ‘choice’ any more than we do leaving vaccination to the vagaries of anti-vaxxers’ ‘choice’. Sex is not an ideological choice. It is a biological fact. Period.

    Third, nobody is ‘denying non binary gender identifiers’. What they are denying is fluffing them up into a mystificatory, ideologically bloated and sexistentially wobblesome pseudoscientific blather that seems to have taken up the space in universities left by the eugenics department. How many genders are there I hear you ask? How many angels can you fit on the end of a pin?

    Fourth, ‘Policing’ sex based services and facilities is only a problem if imposters (particularly male ones) try to crash them. Males are strong enough to overwhelm women at any time, but they really don’t want the risk of that happening in their own private facilities, or prison cells, or having their hard won affirmative action wins invaded by imposters, or being shoved out of the way by muscle bound 100 kg guys with long hair ‘n breasts on the footy field. They don’t have to put up with that just because these sexual ring ins ‘identify’ as women. They can damn well identify somewhere else.

    Fifth, for clarification, let us keep it ideologically simple. Biological sex is binary.

    Sexual identity is a subjective state of mind. It is not some absurdly inflated spiritual state of grace or even a sexistentialist ‘ground of being’. Like all sex, it is pure fantasy and it can be as delusional as you like. And if that becomes problematic, go and see a psychiatrist. Imagining that one is in ‘the wrong body’ is in the same psychological space as imagining one is Justin Buber.

    Gender is a sexual-political/ideological/construct built around the reproductive roles involved in life giving, of what it means to be a man and woman, husband and wife and father and mother, and to mentor it on into the next generation. A feminist construct would be just fine.

    Gender is about the long term politics of reproduction. Anything else is colour and movement that inevitably involves opportunist counterfeiting, bluff, fudge and bluster from the margins, that can only get away with it because our reproductive centre and its social infrastructure has been so deregulated and weakened, it can no protect itself from ideological cuckoos or any other pathology that happens to be drifting past.

    And just to make it really plain where we stand, I think gender studies is a pseudoscientific try on that has filled the space where eugenics used to be. And as to how many genders there might conceivably be, that is an exercise as sterile as the old question as to how many angels could be balanced on a pin.

    Sixth, it is my bedtime and the rest of your article will keep til tomorrow

    • spikey

      February 15, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Ok Chris, let’s deconstruct your argument.

      First, this article does not reflect a zero sum argument, and I can find no indication that your claim as such is anything other than a deliberate pathetic opening straw-man, with a closing agenda of obfuscation.

      Second. This article appears to

      Third: I’m not sure you had a point here, aside from how many ‘genders’ can you fit on a pin. But full marks for creative writing. It sounded super and I’m sure it was a very important and relevant numbered dot point to make.

      Fourth: Fear-mongering worse case scenarios and effectively rejecting any trans people from access to public services is blatant discrimination with a good serving of ‘I fear and reject you’. (They have a term for that, I think it’s trans-phobia)

      Fifth: For clarification biological sex is as binary as the amount of genders you can fit on a pin. If you are too poorly educated in biology to understand the full representations of sexual complexity co-evolved in all life-forms, then you should likely do a little bit of reading on the matter.

      Sixth: Great numbered dot point! I’m glad you took the time to make six before reading the article properly. May the morning Wheaties, topped with indulgence capitalism, homophobia and trans-phobia, give you the energy to respond in a manner worthy of more adulation.

      Personally I find this gaggle of trans-phobic agenda pushers masquerading under ‘women’s rights’ to be a sad representation of the state of affairs. I look forward to a less bigoted and repressed hateful future where an individual can identify as any gender they pick from the pin, and not be shamed by those full of ludicrous fear, and those who would use that fear for political gain.

      • Christopher Eastman-Nagle

        February 15, 2019 at 12:31 pm

        Folks, the thing about trolls is that they specialise in diversionary ad hominem attack without contributing anything to the conversation other than negative puffs. And when one twigs that one is dealing with such a creature, rather than a bona fides interlocutor, it is better not to respond.

        Initially I thought ‘Spikey’ was an obtuse and not very bright character who just didn’t ‘get’ what was being said to it.

        I was wrong and I was wasting my time with it .. which is of course, a win for the troll.

        Lesson learned.

        • spikey

          February 15, 2019 at 1:24 pm

          On the contrary Christopher, most trolls have learned to avoid correspondence with me because I call them out, with much wit and aplomb, and remind them of previous comments they’d rather forget they had made.

          That was certainly a pretty creative way of permitting yourself the indulgence of pretending to ignore my response!

          My numbered points were all certainly more valid than yours .. even the second one which I forgot to complete.

          Your ongoing support for the vilification of humans, who’ve done nothing to deserve vilification, is why I choose to respond to pointless points, and to vilify your frequently presented, bigoted homophobia and transphobia.

        • Christopher Eastman-Nagle

          February 15, 2019 at 3:49 pm

          Trolling 202.

          The troll is practised in the art of plausiblisms: i.e., making an authoritative sound assertion without actually arguing it out.

          To the inexperienced troll victim, this is an irresistible invitation to go down an ideological rabbit hole in which the troll will lead them into futile cull de sacs.

          It is much better to leaving them to dance around & make a nuisance of themselves than take the bait.

          Trolls are Pottererque boggarts. Leave them alone for someone else to learn the necessary lessons they mete out to the unwary.

          • spikey

            February 15, 2019 at 10:42 pm

            Hey Christopher, here is an invitation to argue out the issues I have with your apparent perspectives.

            Foremost your early often written opinion, that the idea of gay marriage was going to be the downfall of society, and those that supported the idea ‘haftas’ were analogous to the propaganda movements of the tobacco and oil industries.

            Secondly
            I’d like to take eloquent issue with your current attempts to paint anyone else who doesn’t conform to your narrow biological well educated ideals of how people should be.

            Thirdly
            I’d like to take issue with your suggestion that the practice of empathy is an indulgence, like capitalism.

            Fourthly
            I’m going to bed, if you want to learn from others, engage me in debate, or continue to push hate, if it suits your agenda better.

            PS your use of the 202 was cute, imitation being the best form of flattery

      • Isla MacGregor

        February 15, 2019 at 1:01 pm

        Women Speak Tasmania supports anyone identifying as any gender they choose.

        We do not support them identifying as a sex other than the one they are, or accessing single sex services.

        It’s always good to do the research if you want to understand the different views in a debate.

        Biology matters, and no minority group has the right to redefine what it is to be a woman.

    • PLB

      February 15, 2019 at 9:45 am

      A good read, Christopher!

      Clear, uncluttered, and an easy read.

      Well done! Keep it coming.

  18. Milly

    February 14, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    What facts have been distorted?

    Reading through this, I see direct quotes from your Facebook page as well as direct quotes from the Tassie anti-discrimination law.

    Both are available online for anyone to read and verify as true.

  19. Melissa

    February 14, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Aaand the well-trodden descent begins as predicted – first, a lavish distortion of the facts, then a slathering of emotive language finished off by a call to no-platform. It’s so boring and transparent. My advice would be to revise your tactics because at this point all it’s getting you is diminishing returns.

    I listened to your little on-air chat, led ever-enthusiastically by Tracy Wing, back at the end of the year. I must say your contemptuous dismissal of anyone outside your hug-box left me completely bewildered at how sheltered a group of women can be. Small wonder that it was taking place in the hallowed halls of academia. I shall say no more on that.

    And you’re absolutely right, Tasmania stands outside of Federal legislation where Sex is still a protected characteristic. I suspect your little stunt might see an end to that. I believe the words I’m looking for are ‘unintended consequences’. Your advocacy group would have been well served to look that particular term up before you began this fight.

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