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

Bronwyn Williams

Women’s forum on transgender law reforms goes ahead

Women Speak Tasmania are holding a Q & A forum Review of Transgender Law Reforms

on  Monday 18th March at the Friends Meeting House in North Hobart between 6-7.30pm.

This forum comes after a sustained campaign over many monoths by some in the trans rights lobby and their supporters to silence women’s voices on legislative proposals which will impact on the human rights of girls and women.

At the coming Quaker Yearly Meeting to be held in London in May, a Discussion document by Quaker Life Central Committee has stated:

‘We affirm the right of women’s organisations to critique and explore the nature of

gender identification and respect their right to freedom of speech. We recognise that

some Friends will find such organisations supportive and of comfort and respect their

right to make their case. We do not accept that the critique of transgender identities in

the political sphere is necessarily transphobic. We affirm our welcome to such

organisations to meet publicly or privately on Quaker premises.’

Speakers at the forum will include Tessa Anne, Jo Pinkiewicz, Bronwyn Williams and Isla MacGregor with Chair Jennie Herrera.

Women Speak Tasmania welcome all members of the community to participate in what will be a lively and robust discussion on the issue that will commence debate in the Legislative Council next week.

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.

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63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Isla MacGregor, Women Speak Tasmania

    May 27, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Trans ideology is unraveling with Bear Grylls reversing trans policy in UK Scouts:

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/scouts-earn-u-turn-badge-after-scrapping-trans-policy-w6rnxbflc

    • Lola Moth

      May 30, 2019 at 10:00 am

      I don’t believe people think things through when it comes to the new trans ideology. They want to give everyone equal rights, which is a good and noble thing, but never ask themselves whether changing laws to include one group has an impact on any other group. By allowing men to hide behind the legal fiction of being female we expose all biological females to dangers that we had put laws in place to protect them from.

  2. Isla MacGregor, Women Speak Tasmania

    May 13, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Global support for women’s voices to be heard in the trans debate are mounting daily.

    There is now an international group – Save Women’s Sports … ‘an organisation that seeks to preserve biology-based eligibility standards for participation in female sports’.

    The Trans athletes section on this webpage is a shocker: https://savewomenssports.com/

  3. Isla MacGregor

    April 21, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Richard King’s book “On Offence” is very useful reading for anyone disturbed by transactivists attack on women’s freedom of speech and the weaponising of offence:

    ‘The problem is not the hurt feelings themselves; the problem is the belief that hurt feelings should take priority over argument. The word offend derives from offendere, a Latin word meaning to ‘strike against’. But in the 21st century, it isn’t only offence, but also the taking of offence, that is weaponised – that is used to strike against intellectual opponents. Though this is not a new phenomenon, it is certainly newly prominent. And for anyone who cares about the world of ideas, it should be a cause of deep concern. ‘

    • Lola Moth

      April 21, 2019 at 11:51 am

      How many times have we heard recently, “Your questions are offensive, so we will not be answering them.”?

  4. bystander in the prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.

    April 18, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    If I were a visitor from the Pacific Islands to Tasmania I would feel worried about how you will plan ahead to meet the needs of women and girls. How do you know what social, economic and political system you may have in 100 years time? How will you know how to plan ahead for the future needs of women and girls for quality gynaecological and maternity care services if you do not have strong data sets? A strong Register of Births records valuable and accurate data of persons of the female sex, (irrespective of gender identity).

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) together with the United Nations Decade for CRVS in Asia and the Pacific (2015-2024) provide a key opportunity for Pacific countries to improve their CRVS systems and subsequently to support SDG’s.
    We in the Pacific Islands value Australia’s National Plan to end all forms of Violence against women and children. We also admire the fact that Australia has an opportunity to meet due diligence standards for good governance and reporting for the Convention to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls (CEDAW) as well as the children’s Convention( CROC).

    We need to protect our existing strong CRVS that records data on the birth sex of a babyand also the age of the birth mother, for the reasons outlined above and in previous posts. As mentioned, and for a number of reasons, we cannot rely on data from Census records or rely upon information from hospital records.

    A strong birth certificate that records the birth sex of a baby is one of the best ways to protect the identity of a baby. (For example: male, female, intersex).

    It is important to have clear identity markers to protect the legal status of the baby and also for reasons of child protection, as mentioned previously.

    This is the reason why it would be wise to keep recording the birth sex of each baby irrespective of parental “choice”.
    We cannot assume that birth mothers will have a free ” choice” free of coercion ( indicator of intimate partner violence) or for a number of other factors.

  5. bystander in prevention of violence against women and girls

    April 18, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    If I was a visitor from the Pacific islands to Tasmania, I would also be most interested in how vital statistics such as Civil registration (CRVS) can help to meet the SDG of planning ahead to help prevent disasters and also to help mitigate against the effects of disasters. I would hope as a visitor from the Pacific Islands, that the absence of vital statistics in Tasmania would not contribute to disaster planning unpreparedness. As mentioned, in the Pacific Islands we are most concerned to end harmful practices such as trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced and early child marriage; and also to end female genital mutilation. We can see already from the plight of women and girls and boys in situations of chaos such as forced relocation ( for example people forced to flee as refugees) just how vulnerable women and girls can be. Whilst we hope that in the Pacific Islands that we can avoid major disasters based upon natural events such as climate related events, this is the reason that we value strengthening our Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS).

    In the Pacific Islands we are also especially concerned to protect and promote the health and well being of all our new mothers and to protect them from coercion in the perinatal period.

  6. bystander in prevention of all forms of violence against women and children

    April 18, 2019 at 11:42 am

    If I were a visitor from the Pacific Islands on a study tour of Tasmania I would feel worried. You see, in the Pacific Islands we care about our womenfolk and girls. In the Pacific Islands, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) is essential for reporting against Sustainable Development Goals ( SDG”s) and our Healthy Islands Framework. We are doing all we can to support the United Nations flagship goal of making women and girls visible and to ensure strong CRVS. Whilst strong census data provides data every 5-10 years CRVS reporting provides us with up to date information as essential for responsive monitoring of key SDG’s. Moreover, CRV’s is a SDG in its own right( SDG 16). Vitally, SDG 16 helps us to measure key health and wellbeing indicators such as gender equality for women and girls, so that we can end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls in the public and private sphere. We are very concerned to end harmful practices such as trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced and early child marriage; and also to end female genital mutilation. This is the reason that we value quality birth registration data that includes completeness by birth sex and also age of the birth mother. The rational for this is that when our womenfolk and girls have a strong legal identity and are formally recognised we are better protected from trafficking and other forms of exploitation. Therefore, it is vital that there exists quality and strong accurate birh registration coverage, especially for girls (birth sex data) by age 12 months.

  7. Isla MacGregor, Women Speak Tasmania

    April 17, 2019 at 7:50 am

    WST Media Release 15 April – warning Australians:

    ‘Have you been wondering what ‘gender’ means, Australia?

    Did you think it was a simple alternative to ‘sex’?

    Wonder no more, because ‘progressive’ Tasmanian parliamentarians have it sorted.

    Under our brand new laws ‘gender’ now has an official definition.

    Wait for it.

    ‘Gender’ means –

    (a) male; or
    (b) female; or;
    (c) indeterminate gender; or
    (d) non-binary; or
    (e) a word, or a phrase, that is used to indicate a person’s perception of the person’s self as being neither entirely male nor entirely female and that is prescribed; or
    (f) a word or phrase that is used to indicate a person’s perception of the person’s self as being neither entirely male nor entirely female.

    So, ‘gender’ is whatever you want it to be. In Tasmania, people will soon be able to register something like ‘omnigender’ or ‘boyflux’ and have it printed on their birth certificate.

    ‘Male’ and ‘female’ are still options, but so ‘yesterday’.

    And, if you’re wondering where birth sex has gone, well it’s hiding somewhere in the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages but you won’t see the word ‘sex’ on any birth certificate issued after our new laws become official. It’s ‘gender’ all the way.

    For fans of circular reasoning that goes nowhere but up its own backside, try this on –

    Gender means, among a variety of options, ‘male’, so let’s say, for example, that gender means male. But, the new law also says that a reference in the definition of gender to ‘male’ means a reference to the ‘male gender’. So, gender means male means male gender – and we still don’t know exactly what ‘male’ means.

    It’s like saying ‘four-legged animal means dog means four-legged dog’. Not much help when you want to distinguish dogs from other four-legged animals!

    But, who cares, when you can be ‘demi-gender’ and you don’t need to explain that to ANYONE.’

    • Lola Moth

      April 17, 2019 at 9:26 am

      I don’t have a gender so whenever I come across a form that asks for my gender I cross out that word and write, “Sex: Female”. It has been pointed out to me that online forms can sometimes not let you proceed until you answer the ‘gender’ question. There are only two biological sexes but millions of possible genders, so this whole gender/sex thing is probably the worst piece of language swapping nonsense I have come across recently.

    • Rob Halton

      April 18, 2019 at 3:32 am

      Take a break Isla, I look foward to some of your excellent photography showpieces, perhaps nature at its best in the recovery sequence of the fire burnt areas surrounding Lake Pedder via canoe, as Parks remain hysterical about reopening of Scotts Peak Road

      Sue will look after any offending trannies who dare to invade female spaces, pity help them,….. now that you are sort of now out of the scene, thats right isnt it !

      The world wont fall in without Women Speak Tasmania being active 24/7/365, Anyway have a good Easter

  8. Russell

    April 11, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    If the Tasmanian government were to call a snap election over this stupid decision and promised to put it to the people I feel that much of Labor, all that’s left of the Greens and Sue Hickey would receive a trouncing.

    • Lola Moth

      April 14, 2019 at 11:04 am

      If there were to be a state election soon I would probably withhold my vote for the very first time, which is something I never thought I would consider doing. I have voted in every election I’ve been allowed to because in doing so I am honouring those women who fought tooth and nail to give me the right to have my vote counted.

      I have a friend who draws male genitalia on his ballot paper when he is unimpressed with the candidates on offer. I would probably copy his artistic flair but add the words, ” Women do not have this.”

  9. Russell.

    April 11, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Kate, since when could that in any way shape or form be interpreted as “humour”?

  10. Isla MacGregor, Women Speak Tasmania

    April 10, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    April 10, 2018

    Labor, the Greens and Sue Hickey pass ‘seriously flawed’ laws …

    Labor, the Greens and Liberal Speaker, Sue Hickey, failed to heed the advice of legal and academic experts, including the Solicitor-General and former Tasmanian Bar Association President, Chris Gunson, and today passed radical amendments to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act and the Anti-Discrimination Act.

    Women Speak Tasmania Spokesperson, Bronwyn Williams, said …

    ‘Many legitimate concerns about these changes have been raised by community members and those with specialised knowledge of their potential legal consequences.

    ‘Those concerns have been dismissed as ‘fear-mongering’ by the proponents of the new laws and their supporters. Groups and individuals opposing the changes have been labelled “cruel” and “awful” under cover of parliamentary privilege, and public name-calling has been rife.

    ‘But, in Canada, rape crisis centres have been denied funding if they refuse to admit intact males who identify as female. This is a very real problem for vulnerable women, and one of the unintended consequences the supporters of the new laws refer to as “nonsense”.

    ‘An EMRS poll conducted in December last year showed over 70 per cent of Tasmanians opposed the birth certificate reforms. But the proponents claim the changes have been widely consulted. The question needs to be asked, “Where is the evidence of that broad consultation”? There is no evidence, and Labor and the Greens can expect a significant backlash at the upcoming Upper House and federal elections.

    ‘These laws passed today at a time when similar law reform proposals are being sent to a full Parliamentary Inquiry in New Zealand due to a lack of proper community consultation.

    ‘In the UK, the push to implement ‘trans-inclusive’ policies has been reconsidered, with the prison service setting up transgender prison wings to protect the safety and human rights of female prisoners, and the National Health service reviewing its policies on transgender persons accessing women’s hospital wards.

    ‘Following Martine Navratilova’s recent public statement on the unfairness of biological males competing in women sports, a global campaign has been set up by sports women to oppose transgender male to female persons participating in women’s sporting competitions.

    ‘It will only be a matter of time before this legislation is challenged in Tasmania and potentially in the High Court. Girls’ and women’s rights remain unprotected under these seriously flawed laws’

    • Rob Halton

      April 13, 2019 at 3:06 am

      Isla, one has to give some credit to Sue Hickey who is successfully busting the religious/conservative stigmatic mold of the Liberal party currently under the lesser enthusiastic leadership of Premier Hodgman!

      In fact Sue Hickey is going about saving the Abetzian stronghold from itself.to give the Liberals an air of respectability to be recoginised by the public as a lead into their future, similarly Lisa Archer has made reasonable moves to give women their freedoms for an abortion clinic be made available locally..

      Sue Hickey has a strong social agenda there is no question about that,, her recent embargo into the housing/homeless crisis for which has dragged on for too long, arousing the Minister for Housing Roger Jaensh from his long sleep in.appears now to show improvements by pointing to speeding up the provision of more low cost affordable public housing.

      The public are also up against the Health Minister Michael Ferguson who has a hard line approach to what is seen as diverse social agenda which has originated from his failure to recoginise equality issues, Sue Hickey has challenged the entire approach, the transgender legislation may not be prefect the test case will be how well it works in public so we all will have to wait and see!

      Sue Hickey is quite an approachable person from her office in Glenorchy, I was fortunate recently to have an interview with her over Greater Hobart’s traffic congestion busting issues for which she accepted as reasonable and passed onto the “slow lane” Infrastructure Minister Jeremy Rockcliff to fund a study into a City Bypass which is contrary to the current Green inspired Hobart City Council nonsense that fails to recoginise the role of the importance of providing for vehicular traffic passing through, given the small footprint of the city is being invaded by the University enterprise which will create crowding and clutter on top of the continuation of other developments.

      Isla, go and talk to her if you have concerns, in my opinion Sue Hickey shows signs of being a good political leader and potentially bringing the the entire State political system up to date with the times!

      • Isla MacGregor

        April 13, 2019 at 9:45 am

        Women Speak Tasmania reps went to see Sue Hickey and not only did she not read any of the evidence and research we provided her, she did not listen to a word of our views. She has drunk the cool aid and is ideologically bent. The irrationality of those in the ALP and Greens on this issue is mind boggling but worse – the denial of the very real impacts on girls and women’s rights is nothing less than misogyny at its worst. The only reason these laws got through was through a bizarre numbers situation in both houses. No proper consultation (and over 70% opposing the leg in Tas), outright rejection of legal and expert opinion, no debate and a flouting of democratic processes resulted in the worst “men’s rights” laws passed in Australia to date.

      • Formally Just Kate

        April 13, 2019 at 9:59 am

        That appears to be a very good example of “narcissistic flattery” Mr Halton. Unfortunately for the Libs they did not wake up to Hickey until it was too late. Bec White however, saw her coming and used “narcissistic flattery” and banked on her poor impulse control on the 1st May 2018 to Labor’s advantage. (ethics committee?)

        Egos Inflating Over Time: A Cross‐Temporal Meta‐Analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory
        (Abstract) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00507.x

        • Rob Halton

          April 14, 2019 at 1:02 pm

          Formally just Kate. Hickey used Transgender social disadvantage as a part of her overall plan to reform the Liberal Party to represent the people of Tasmania and took Labor and the Greens along with her. As I have clearly said the legislation will be tested in the public space to test if it will stand up to serve the better public interest otherwise it may be repealed.

          Hickey is a shrewd mover who will continue to penetrate the Party control freak Abetzian para politically correct religous regime which is not serving up the best for the public interest..

          There will plenty of surprises to come from her ambitious target to bring about a much fairer approach to the Tasmanian people who are not so well off initially with regards to Health and Housing.

          My guess is her first attempt at social Inclusion was at least worth the try!

          • Formally Just Kate

            April 14, 2019 at 4:14 pm

            “Hickey is a shrewd mover”

            ROTFL…good one Rob!

            But from past experience you have to be a bit careful “cracking a funny” around here as some of the readers don’t understand and then it sort of loses its meaning when you have to explain.

      • Geoff Holloway

        April 13, 2019 at 4:26 pm

        Tasmania now has a one-person government – what the Speaker says goes! Hardly qualifies as democracy, Mr Halton! Ummm … is this the normal role of a Speaker? What do you think Mr Halt-on?

        • Rob Halton

          April 13, 2019 at 11:02 pm

          Of cause, Women Speak Tasmania now have their noses in a knot because they did not get their own way.! Tranasgender social management is obviously a difficult area, Hickey with the Greens and Labor have given it a chance and time will tell if the legislation will need to be repealed!
          At least the “test case” is now on the table and lets see if it is actually workable within society!

          Hickey has an overall strong social agenda and its about time someone challenged the slow coaches that are meant to be our political leaders.!
          ,Good to begin with what the less well off who deserve live a normal life just like the rest of us by at least having a roof over ones heads!
          ,Feeling as a part of general society and more having a start in life so to speak feeling of worth and being listened to,.that is something where our State Parliament has repeatedly failed especially with Public Health and Affordable Housing.!

          Hickey is championing the cause where others in the Parliament fear to tread,.this even leaves the likes of popular Federal member Wilkie to be seen at a different level than dealing directly from the coal face..

  11. Cross Quaker

    March 22, 2019 at 9:26 am

    The Catholic Church paid for an ad in the Mercury for your group. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-20/transgender-advocates-slam-coalition-for-kids-advertisement/10919674

    The Pastor at the Cornerstone Presbyterian Church supports your views. https://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-gender-law-risks-harm-to-community/news-story/a67cfaa71ea0f45efbdf2d06c0187a06

    The Children’s Commissioner has written an erudite detailed letter explaining the legislation. You have the right to contact her if you disagree with her analysis. https://www.childcomm.tas.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019-03-19-Comment-on-Proposed-Amendments-to-the-Justice-and-Related-Legislation-Marriage-Amendments-Bill.pdf

    With the support of the above churches you have potentially literally hundreds of venues open to your message.

    You are not being denied the right to speak.

    You have a plethora of options.

    Quakers have one Meeting House, and rules about its use.

    I repeat … leave us alone.

    • Lola Moth

      March 22, 2019 at 11:08 am

      The link you have supplied states that the Tasmanian Coalition For Kids put up the ad which the Catholic Church helped fund, along with other groups and individuals. The Catholic Church can support any view they choose but that does not mean that anyone else that supports that view is a member of the Catholic Church. There are many people who hold the same view as me on this matter but that does not mean I agree with them on any other subject or that I condone their views on other matters.

      The Catholic Church does own a lot of property that could be used for meetings but WST owns none. You are putting everyone with similar views on this topic in one basket, which is wrong. WST is not a group I belong to but I back them 100% on this issue. If the church also has the same opinion as me, that fact does not make me Catholic.

      I feel you need to open your mind a bit before jumping to conclusions about individuals and their individual views and beliefs.

      • Cross Quaker

        March 22, 2019 at 1:31 pm

        I neither know nor care what your beliefs are, Lola Moth.

        My point is that you can meet in any of a hundred or more places in Hobart. Just refrain from vilifying us any further. Please refrain.

        • Lola Moth

          March 22, 2019 at 5:10 pm

          Please point to any comment that I, Lola Moth, have made that you consider to be vilification. You can quote anything I have written and if I was ever disrespectful, nasty, bullying, or inciting hatred in any way I will not only apologise profusely, but I will give you my first born as restitution.

          If you find you have confused my comments with those of others I shall expect a small apology from yourself. I pride myself on being respectful on TT and have never been rebuked by anyone until now.

          • Formally Just Kate

            March 24, 2019 at 6:55 am

            Lola,
            It has been a couple of days since you posted the above statement. Perhaps you have had time to settle and think about the threat you made against Cross Quaker.

            “You can quote anything I have written and if I was ever disrespectful, nasty, bullying, or inciting hatred in any way I will not only apologise profusely, but I will give you my first born as restitution”.

            Lola, you have openly declared yourself to be on the autism spectrum, a condition that is heritable.

          • Lola Moth

            March 24, 2019 at 11:25 am

            Formally Just Kate, you astonish me. You have accused me of threatening Cross Quaker, which is the most outrageous accusation I have ever come across. Cross Quaker accused me of vilification, which I asked her to clarify but got no answer.

            I believe what you are doing is termed ‘gaslighting’.

            I openly declare myself to be VERY autistic, but I don’t know what my autism has to do with anything unless you are trying to tell me that I am being rude without knowing it. If that is what you are trying to tell me then you need to point to the bits of my comment that are rude or threatening because I can’t see it.

            I ask the moderator here at TT if s/he could also please show me where my comment may be construed as threatening. Lola.

          • Formally Just Kate

            March 24, 2019 at 1:12 pm

            Sorry Lola no offence was intended, and I knew of the risk I took with my comment. I am fully aware that some people on the spectrum do not get the concept of humour (dark perhaps)

            Moderator, please insert comment under Lola’s.

  12. Duncan Conroy

    March 19, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Clerks David and Maddy appear to be presenting mixed messages in their comments:

    ‘However, this Tasmanian Times article came to our attention only this afternoon by a member of our Meeting. We are deeply disappointed that it was not discussed with us beforehand and it has caused some considerable distress to some members of our community. It carries an excerpt from a Discussion document by Britain Yearly Meeting’s Quaker Life Central Committee. While the excerpt identifies that the discussion document will be discussed “At the coming Quaker Yearly Meeting to be held in London in May”, it does not clarify that this is therefore not Australia Yearly Meeting……’

    while Clare Dimyon has a very different view on the statement in the article:

    ‘I think the original article (yours?) is clear that this is in a discussion document ie a matter for future discussion by British Quakers in May (ie in future)’.

    and

    ‘Earlier this week the Principal of Friends’ School received emails from members of the school community voicing concern that the school was hiring the venue to this group, claiming that the group promoted intolerance. These emails were forwarded onto us, the co-clerks. This was the first we had heard of it. We asked the Meeting House bookings coordinator to follow up with the person who booked the venue, (a Quaker of many years’ standing), about these claims. She was told that “the evening will be orderly and harmonious and that there will be no lobbying or political statements”. We knew nothing else about this group and took the assurance of our Friend, who would be well aware of the need for tolerance for all people. We then wrote back to these emailers telling what we had done and asked if there were something or someone that they had a specific concern about, we would be happy to follow up. We also provided the phone number of the person who made the booking to one of the emailers so that they could follow up any concerns directly with the group. We don’t think that they made contact. We received a reply from the other emailer to say thank you for following up but they offered no other information other than repeating the claim that Women Speak is intolerant. In the absence of any specific complaint, we believed that the hire of the Meeting House was within the guidelines noted above. We are deeply concerned that two vague emails are being represented as attempts to prevent the forum from proceeding or that these attempts were overruled – this is an overstatement of the facts.’

    It is disingenuous of the Clerks to suggest that only’ two vague emails’ were received by the Principal of Friends School and the Quakers, as it is known that many anti women’s rights activists contacted Quakers in an attempt to have WST women no-platformed.

    It is understandable that the Clerks would not want to publicly convey in any statement the degree of lobbying they had been subjected to. This would have exposed them to the usual of claims of ‘offending’ the trans community – by stating the truth. They would then be subjected to the usual slurs that women are on the receiving end of – ‘transphobic and hateful bigots’.

    As Gaby Stallard said “Women must be silenced and they will bear the blame and the costs.”

    It is good that Quakers in Australia will now be discussing this issue as there is much concern in the Quaker community over Women Speak Tasmania’s forum being cancelled but maybe the park was a more open and hospitable place to meet.

  13. Spider Redgold

    March 18, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    It is not a representative democracy if women are silenced. Let us speak !!!!

    • Isla MacGregor

      March 19, 2019 at 10:02 am

      17 March 2019

      MEDIA RELEASE

      Quakers cancel booking for women’s forum

      The Clerks of the Tasmanian Regional Meeting (TRM) of the Quakers yesterday cancelled the forum booking for Women Speak Tasmania scheduled for Monday night 18 March. The forum was to be held in the Friends Meeting House in Argyle Street, New Town.

      ‘The cancellation appears to be the result of a smear campaign from some in the transgender lobby to ensure the views of Women Speak Tasmania will not have a public forum in Tasmania’, said Women Speak Tasmania spokesperson, Bronwyn Williams.

      ‘One of the persons who contacted the Quakers to lodge a complaint against the forum was a staffer in the office of Greens MP, Cassy O’Connor’.

      ‘Additionally, a call of complaint was made to the Quakers from the office of Labor MP, David O’Byrne’.

      ‘All the speakers at the Women Speak Tasmania forum are mothers and/or grandmothers with legitimate concerns about the effects transgender ideology is having on children, women and the broader Tasmanian community. That ideology clearly underpins the radical legislative reforms to be debated in the Upper House of the Tasmanian parliament this week’, said Miss Williams.

      The meeting ‘Review of transgender law reforms’ will go ahead at the Stoke Street Reserve on the corner of Argyle Street and New Town Road at 6.00 pm on Monday 18 March.

      • David O'Halloran and Maddy Walker

        March 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

        Dear Isla McGregor,
        We are disappointed by this press release which misrepresents Quakers and our decision. Our decision to withdraw our offer was based solely on Women Speak Tasmania misrepresenting Quakers in this article. A decision that you told David O’Halloran personally last night that you understood. The contact made by members of the public about Women Speak Tasmania was irrelevant to our decision. Do not allow the strength of your convictions to betray you into making statements or allegations that are unfair or untrue.

        In peace

        David O’Halloran and Maddy Walker
        co_Clerks, Tasmania Regional Meeting
        The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

        • Isla MacGregor

          March 22, 2019 at 10:13 pm

          Dear Clerks of TRM

          Based on the information we have received, WST’s ‘understanding’ of the reasons for the cancellation of the booking we had agreed to for use of Quaker facilities, remains as per our Media Release.

          At no time have I stated to Clerks that I ‘understood’ your views on the ‘alleged’ misrepresentation of Quakers in any statements made in our article above.

          Please do not allow the strength of your convictions to Quaker traditions to result in the making of statements or allegations that are unfair or untrue.

          I look forward to hearing of outcomes of further discussions within Quaker TRM on the issue of freedom of speech and women’s rights in relation to transgender law reforms and use of Quaker facilities.

          ‘Speak truth to power’ …..The first use of the phrase is attributed to the American Religious Society of Friends Church, better known as the Quakers.

          https://grammarist.com/phrase/speak-truth-to-power/

          In peace

          Isla MacGregor

    • Cross Quaker

      March 21, 2019 at 11:52 am

      You have the entire treasury of the Catholic Church at your disposal. Until recently this was managed by Cardinal Pell. You seem to be using that effectively to get your message out. Just leave the rest of us alone please.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Those contributing harsh Comments about Quakers or others may be in breach of our Code of Conduct which bars the uploading of “any material which is abusive … or which may cause distress to any person.”

      See here: https://tasmaniantimes.com/the-legal-bits/

      — Moderator

      • Lola Moth

        March 21, 2019 at 2:22 pm

        Cross Quaker, the reply setup on TT and the possible moderation of your comment leave me a bit confused as to your meaning. Are you implying that WST and those who support them in their fight for the rights of women and girls around the world are really motivated by religious beliefs and not by the fear of men accessing women’s safe spaces?

        I can assure you that I have never once come across any religious argument either for or against on this issue. I am atheist so there is no god prodding me in the back to say certain things or to act a certain way. My views come from logic and experience. Perhaps you can explain your comment in a way that does not breach the TT Code of Conduct so I have a better understanding.

  14. joannapink

    March 18, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Message of support from a gender critical Quaker from Britain, Eli Gordonova, posted on our FB page:

    “GC Quaker seeing this from UK: a similar kind of thing happened in UK some 9 months ago… in retrospect it turned into a kind of turning point. Respectful and evidence-based discussion…. is the name of the ‘game’.

    Women Speak Tasmania Well for what it is worth, I am thinking of you and from previous output feel very confident in you. It isnt pleasant at all but it does pass and transform into something different.

    Women Speak Tasmania Stand your ground, if it is anything like here in UK, the analysis soon follows.”

  15. Clare B Dimyon MBE-LGBT

    March 18, 2019 at 2:05 am

    Hi Lola Moth [Miranda Yardley passed me this link for clarification – see above my comment about alphabetical ordering of surnames – yes that is what Quakers do].

    I think the original article (yours?) is clear that this is in a discussion document ie a matter for future discussion by British Quakers in May (ie in future) but I can also see in this heated debate that Tasmanian Quakers feel that a ‘line was crossed’, as they say above. On my browser the text under discussion at a future date by a completely different Quaker oganisation, is unusually large… which may have contributed to it feeling like a ‘crossing of the line’.

    Given the sensitivity of discussion, it might have been a good idea for the Quakers to have had a copy of the article upfront. I am familiar with Quaker processes and language but I can see that those who are not might understand the article that way and why the Quakers would have been sensitive to this, when attempting to navigate a strictly impartial line. There is an intrinsic problem when one side of a debate characterises that debate in binary terms ie debate = lose: no debate = win.

    We had a similar sequence in the UK last summer, another venue was found and a respectful, evidence-based discussion was held with Quakers in attendance. Im sure that will be the case both in Tasmania and in the rest of Australia.

    • Lola Moth

      March 18, 2019 at 7:30 am

      Hi Clare, thank you for the reply. I now know where our lines have crossed. The article was not written by me and I am not a member of WST, although I support them 100% in wanting dialogue on this issue of changes to birth certificates. I was just the first person to comment on the article so my name was prominent. I have been feeling extremely guilty that something I have written has caused so much trouble, but I feel this is just a misunderstanding now. Guilt assuaged.

      • Clare B Dimyon MBE-LGBT

        March 18, 2019 at 9:31 pm

        The uncrossing of wires is very cheering to hear, as indeed is the assuaging of guilt. As Quakers are prone to saying (in the UK) “I hope so!”

  16. Clare B Dimyon MBE-LGBT

    March 17, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Lola, ‘gender critical’ British Quaker and lesbian here. I am just off to Quaker Meeting now…so i can’t stop. As in the UK this is a very tense discussion with heightened feelings on all sides. I can see the ‘optics’ of this but I would like to assure you there is no side taking here. That said, in this fevered debate I can also see how that feels to you too. Back to you after Quaker Meeting.

    • Lola Moth

      March 17, 2019 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Clare. If you wish to answer my comment please click the reply button underneath my comment.

      By your use of the word “optics” I think you may be confusing me with Miranda. I have never used that word.

      I acknowledge that you think you are not taking sides on an issue that you and your Friends have not formally discussed, even though you have now withdrawn permission to use premises previously booked by a particular group on the grounds of not wanting to be seen to endorse their particular view. I meant you no disrespect.

      Lola Moth.

      • Clare B Dimyon MBE-LGBT

        March 18, 2019 at 10:45 am

        Dear Lola, I am not a frequent visitor to Tasmanian Times but thank you for the guidance.

        Yes it was Miranda who used the term ‘optics’, I was in a certain amount of haste but wanted to communicate with you. I am a British Quaker who takes both a ‘gender critical’ position and takes quite a lot of flak for it… in this case Miranda had drawn it to my attention and was upset over something she didn’t need to be upset about. At first I couldn’t see what the problem was and did very much appreciate the compliment to Quakers you intended. (If you are not a Quaker then how could you understand Quaker structures and our sometimes less than obvious ways?)

        I felt absolutely no disrespect but thank you very much for saying so. In fact, we had an almost identical situation in the UK with a late cancellation by Quakers last June, with which I didnt agree. That incident (and others) and the Quaker presence at the new venue almost certainly contributed to the discussion paper that will be discussed in May 2019 by Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM). [I wonder if it is wise for discussion papers that have not been subject to ‘due process’ to be published and will discuss that within BYM.]

        Just to be clear I am British and in UK and I have no involvement in this decision but it also isn’t my place to gainsay Tasmanian nor Australian Quakers. In fact I can see it very much your way. I could also see it through the Quaker lens and what I feel I can say is that no Quaker organisation would have taken this decision lightly. (Something I also said at the alternate venue last June in UK after a similar decision by Quakers in my city that I didnt agree with.) I also detect significant distress, all round and that just makes me feel sad.

        My impression from Australian ‘gender critical’ women with whom I am in touch, is that Australia isn’t at the same place in these discussions as the UK and that also means that Australian Quakers havent had the need nor opportunity to consider these issues. I gather there is a new venue and that local Quakers will attend and having followed the previous output of the WST, I am confident they will witness ‘respecting and evidence-based’ discussions.

        In the UK, we have never known a topic be so divisive and I am sad to see that you have the same painful process. I am not very good at 7am in the morning but if it isnt too corny (and if I am in any way conscious) I will be holding ALL concerned in the Light.

        Best wishes

        • joannapink

          March 18, 2019 at 1:46 pm

          Dear Clare, thank you for your comments.
          I’m a member of WST.

          Thank you for explaining.

          The problem has been for us, that we have not been able to publically presents our view, which is political in nature, but also evidence based.

          We would love to have a debate. We are not at the stage that a fair debate is possible or on the cards.

          We have turned to women who understood, that we at least need a space to present evidence based arguments. Hence, us approaching the Quaker premises. We asked a Quaker woman to chair the event and we were prepared to answer questions from the public.

          We have been deprived this opportunity due to to pressure put on the Quaker clerks.

          I admit not being at all familiar with Quaker processes. I do hope that in due time, we could have another opportunity for discussion on this topic.

          • David O'Halloran and Maddy Walker

            March 18, 2019 at 2:38 pm

            Dear Joannapink,
            We have following this discussion closely and warmly welcome open discussion. We note, like our British Friends with sadness, that the matter of gender diversity has been coloured by bad feeling and hurtful language. Our Friend Clare Dimyon has described well the experiences of British Friends and it is a discussion of which we are well aware in Australia. She has been helpful in explaining some of our Quaker processes and we thank her warmly for that. Your description of your reasons for approaching our Friend in Hobart to host the forum are also appreciated.

            We would however like to clarify a point in your post. We came to the decision about no longer making our space available on the basis of this Tasmanian Times article and for no other reason. Certainly neither of us felt “under pressure” from anyone to cancel it, if anything, quite the reverse. Our objection is that the authors, who are two of the organisers, presented a position that Quakers have on topic that we do not yet have. Clare is correct to assume the decision was not taken lightly and it was after much prayerful consideration. It has caused some distress to members of our community but we have taken the view that this was unintended and due to the authors’ unfamiliarity with Quaker practices.

            We understand that there will be several Quakers attending your forum tonight and we wish you well for the event. We have also ensured that directions to the new venue are signposted on our Meeting House in case anyone comes to the wrong venue. We also decided to hold a Meeting for Worship at the Meeting House as we wanted to offer a warm and loving response rather than a closed door.

            In peace
            David O’Halloran and Maddy Walker
            co-Clerks, Tasmania Regional Meeting

          • Clare B Dimyon MBE-LGBT

            March 18, 2019 at 9:28 pm

            Joannapink: There is no reason for non-Quakers to be familiar with Quaker processes but we Quakers find they work for us! A concurrent Meeting for Worship sounds perfect and may even have been involved in my consciousness at the right moment (early in the am UK) to hold all concerned in Love and Light.

  17. Isla MacGregor

    March 17, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    The meeting ‘Review of transgender law reforms’ will go ahead at the Stoke Street Reserve on the corner of Argyle Street and New Town Road at 6pm on Monday 18 March.

  18. joannapink

    March 17, 2019 at 11:59 am

    I very disappointed in the fact the forum won’t go ahead at the Quaker premises.

    As one of the speakers, I know that all of us have been under significant amount of stress and political and social pressure. Many people want us to simply shut up without continuing the discussion.

    I’m sorry that this MR upset the Quaker community.
    I didn’t personally write it but I don’t think it meant to imply, we know the Quakers position on the topic.

    The stetaments however demonstrates that Quakers in Britain don’t take sides on the topic. That is all.

    I would like to see the forum continue in one form or another. It is that now this becomes a symbol of resistance, not just of openness and willingness to debate and answer questions.

    • Kate

      March 17, 2019 at 8:53 pm

      Quakers might not take sides on the topic, but the ongoing articles in the TT demonstrate this group does! Using Quaker openness to attempt to substantiate your groups intolerance is just what other rwnj do.

      • Joanna

        March 17, 2019 at 11:33 pm

        Of course we do. We are against the amendments and have a women’s rights perspective to present, that is no secret.

        Women’s rights group is not KKK, get a grip.

      • Joanna

        March 17, 2019 at 11:41 pm

        Also, the venue was booked by a chair of the forum and a Quaker.

        A few Quaker women are interested in listening to our presentation.

      • Kate

        March 18, 2019 at 1:00 am

        There is degree of irony and humour in your comment Kate!

        • Joanna

          March 18, 2019 at 11:29 am

          I’m a little short of humour at the moment Kate. I thought you said, that WST have used Quakers openness.

          Apologies.

          • Kate

            March 18, 2019 at 1:32 pm

            Not this Kate. Perhaps the moderator could have made this clear.

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Perhaps different contributors should not use the same name.

            — Moderator

  19. Alanna Kennedy

    March 15, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Good on you for insisting on a dialogue. I hope you have a very successful and productive event. I would come if I didn’t live a couple of states over

  20. Lola Moth

    March 14, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    I have other duties on that day but I will be with you in spirit. I have always admired the way Quakers treat everyone with the same respect and how they won’t be intimidated into going against that principle. Bravo to them for standing firm and allowing WST to use their premises for open and fair discussion.

    • The Friends’ Meeting House is able to be booked by anyone in the wider community. We ask that those hiring the venue maintain respect for Quaker faith and practice. However the use of the Meeting House by outside groups or individuals does not imply or carry any endorsement by Quakers – any suggestion of such is an unacceptable use of our facilities.

      Earlier this week the Principal of Friends’ School received emails from members of the school community voicing concern that the school was hiring the venue to this group, claiming that the group promoted intolerance. These emails were forwarded onto us, the co-clerks. This was the first we had heard of it. We asked the Meeting House bookings coordinator to follow up with the person who booked the venue, (a Quaker of many years’ standing), about these claims. She was told that “the evening will be orderly and harmonious and that there will be no lobbying or political statements”. We knew nothing else about this group and took the assurance of our Friend, who would be well aware of the need for tolerance for all people. We then wrote back to these emailers telling what we had done and asked if there were something or someone that they had a specific concern about, we would be happy to follow up. We also provided the phone number of the person who made the booking to one of the emailers so that they could follow up any concerns directly with the group. We don’t think that they made contact. We received a reply from the other emailer to say thank you for following up but they offered no other information other than repeating the claim that Women Speak is intolerant. In the absence of any specific complaint, we believed that the hire of the Meeting House was within the guidelines noted above. We are deeply concerned that two vague emails are being represented as attempts to prevent the forum from proceeding or that these attempts were overruled – this is an overstatement of the facts.

      However, this Tasmanian Times article came to our attention only this afternoon by a member of our Meeting. We are deeply disappointed that it was not discussed with us beforehand and it has caused some considerable distress to some members of our community. It carries an excerpt from a Discussion document by Britain Yearly Meeting’s Quaker Life Central Committee. While the excerpt identifies that the discussion document will be discussed “At the coming Quaker Yearly Meeting to be held in London in May”, it does not clarify that this is therefore not Australia Yearly Meeting. To a non-Quaker, this distinction would not be understood and may be open to interpretation that it is a matter for Australian Quakers. The excerpt also in our view misrepresents the entirety of that document. As it is still a discussion document it is not yet a matter that British Quakers or any Quakers speak as one about and should not be represented as such. While the matter of transgender law reform has exercised the hearts and minds of British Friends and some of that discussion can be found on their website, the matter has not been subject to the same level of discussion or discernment in Australia Yearly Meeting or Tasmania Regional Meeting and therefore to give any impression of what Quakers have to say on the topic is mistaken. The tone of this article has been read by some in our Meeting as carrying an endorsement of the Forum, of Women Speak Tasmania and of a particular view of Tasmania’s Transgender legislation. None of these matters have been brought to a Meeting for Worship for Business and therefore we, as a Regional Meeting have not made any discernment about them and do not speak with one voice. While we warmly welcome a wide range of views and open discussion, no outside organization can claim or even imply our support until we speak as one on the topic. This article, in our view has crossed that line, and at it is by the organizers of the forum we believe that they are not acting in right ordering. On that basis, and that basis alone, we have decided that the forum cannot proceed at the Meeting House.

      We ask you to understand that this decision should not be represented as having a particular view of the forum, of Women Speak Tasmania or of any particular view of Tasmania’s transgender legislation. It is simply that you cannot claim or even imply Quaker’s support for a particular view when that is not the case. Our decision is likely to be misrepresented and we ask that you avoid promoting this misrepresentation.

      In peace

      David O’Halloran and Maddy Walker
      Co Clerks, Tasmania Regional Meeting
      The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

      • Miranda Yardley

        March 17, 2019 at 12:29 am

        The optics of a man leading a statement which denies women a venue to meet and discuss real life legislation that impacts on women is pretty awful.

        • David O'Halloran and Maddy Walker

          March 17, 2019 at 8:20 am

          Thank you Miranda for letting us know.

          It is our usual practice to place names in alphabetical order. We are sorry if the message received conveys a different impression.

          • Clare B Dimyon MBE-LGBT

            March 17, 2019 at 9:04 pm

            Hi Miranda, you know me as a British Quaker lesbian (female & homosexual) and you know I take a ‘gender critical’ position. I can absolutely confirm that it is usual Quaker practice to place names in alphabetical order. I can also confirm that that comes from a 330 year old testimony of equality between females and males.

        • Anne Meadow

          March 17, 2019 at 8:52 am

          Sadly, Miranda has failed to grasp the reasons for the decision, which is not about denying a voice, but about the group misrepresenting Quakers.

          • Clare B Dimyon MBE-LGBT

            March 18, 2019 at 9:03 am

            Hi Anne, British Quaker who knows Miranda has had that conversation with her and assured her on that point, which she has accepted.

      • Lola Moth

        March 17, 2019 at 9:21 am

        Wow. There I was praising Quakers for their tolerance and equal treatment of all people only to have that belief shattered.

        I did not in any way say that Quakers endorsed a particular view of this debate, only that they are open about debate and don’t choose sides. I can’t believe you are de-platforming WST because you don’t want to appear to support their views, but by doing this you are appearing to support the trans lobby and their views. It appears now that Quakers have chosen sides in this debate and are de-platforming WST even though you state you have come to no definite opinion on this matter. This is a very sad day for open discussion and respectful debate.

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