Last Saturday Women Speak Tasmania held a media conference at Salamanca (outside the market precinct) to launch our flyer outlining our views on proposed transgender law reforms and their effects on women’s human rights. The flyers were also distributed at Salamanca Market that day.
Our flyers received both positive and not so positive responses but many Tasmanians we spoke with said they knew nothing about the proposed reforms.
We were nevertheless astonished to find on the following day that Salamanca Market posted the following on their facebook page:
The City of Hobart have been made aware of a group that were distributing anti-transgender materials yesterday at the Salamanca Market.
From what we can gather this group set up just outside the market boundary, but it is possible they were assisted by a stallholder of the Market. We will be investigating further to see whether this was the case and establish how this occurred.
Market staff undertake regular patrols through the course of the day and this group was not picked up, leading us to believe that it may have only occurred for a short period of time, however it is important to make clear that we do not condone this activity and that it was undertaken without any knowledge or involvement of the Market.
We apologise to all those offended by the material that this group distributed. The City of Hobart is an inclusive community that appreciates and supports all identities.
A selection of interesting comments about Salamanca Market’s posting followed:
Cindy Renate Markets now have political group think? What about stallholders who vote differently to the organising committee or who have differing religious ideologies – should we boot them also?
The outrage at women sharing flyers that question the phenomenon of our children thinking their bodies are wrong is highly illustrative of just how much conversation we ought to be having about the topic.
James Ross Free speech is important. I don’t want to live in a place where local city councils or market committees decide who can and can’t have an opinion and express it. This is Australia, not Soviet Russia. Part of living in a democracy is being uncomfortable or even offended by what other people say and still upholding their right to say it.
Fernella Ricardo Did Salamanca Market contact this group to discuss with them concerns they received? Have you provided them with due process in this situation – I think not? Please give a public explanation on this thread as to what in the said pamphlet was ‘anti- transgender’ – that is the least the public can rightly expect.
Once again Tasmanians are seeing the trans lobby’s anti-women, anti-free speech campaign ramping up.
It appears the more the public are being informed about this debate the more the trans lobby are trying to silence women’s views.
Women Speak Tasmania are calling on all Tasmanians to support our freedom of speech and let Salamanca Market know that you do.
BRITISH HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST MIRANDA YARDLEY HAS OFFERED SUPPORT TO WOMEN SPEAK TASMANIA …
British human rights activist Miranda Yardley has offered support to Women Speak Tasmania, following criticism of WST’s presence at Salamanca Market on Saturday 9 February 2018.
“It is hardly surprising that the Hobart municipality has waded in with with comments that indicate such inflated sense of purpose and authoritarian overreach: we all have the right to disagree with others’ beliefs, however sincerely these are held, and nobody has the right not to be offended.
It seems hypocritical for the market to claim to be ‘inclusive of all identities’ while ignoring the political right of women to publicly demonstrate, especially while these women are finding their experience of material reality ignored in favour of metaphysical identities that lack concrete basis. Women’s rights to freedom of speech and association are under attach, in the UK we have seen women arrested and imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of speech and conscience, and it should concern the people of Australia this literally fascist ideology is taking hold in Australia, which threatens the freedoms and rights of women and girls and anyone who disagrees.”
The pamphlets handed out at Salamanca …
Isla MacGregor is a women’s human rights and free speech advocate
Bronwyn Williams is a retired lawyer and social worker
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.
Miranda Yardley is a British human rights activist. About Miranda Yardley: https://mirandayardley.com/en/ . https://mirandayardley.com/en/transwomen-are-not-women/