Monday, March 20, 2023

Hang on - who are the real inciters?

The Greens, displaying their customary enthusiasm for free and robust debate, want a British anti-trans activist barred from speaking in New Zealand. They say her meetings are likely to provoke violence. But who are the real inciters?

RNZ reports that three people were arrested during clashes between supporters and opponents of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, in Melbourne yesterday. That was the cue for Green MPs Ricardo Menendez-March and Elizabeth Kerekere, tireless free speech champions both, to insist that the government deny Keen-Minshull a visa.  

Failing that, Kerekere thinks Keen-Minshull should be denied access to speaking venues, as happened to the Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux in 2018. (Still unsure what hateful ideas the Canadians supposedly intended to disseminate? Me too. We were prevented from hearing them, so couldn’t judge them for ourselves. The protesters made sure of that.)

Kerekere claims Keen-Minshull’s meetings will incite violence against trans-gender and non-binary people. But hang on a minute: judging by media accounts of the Melbourne meeting, pro-trans protesters outnumbered Keen-Minshull’s supporters. By turning out in force and thus ensuring a confrontation, the pro-trans activists are giving oxygen to the very people they profess to want silenced. Has it ever occurred to them to stay away?

Here’s a radical suggestion. Anti-Vietnam War protesters in the 1960s used the slogan “Suppose they gave a war and nobody came”. The same idea could be applied to speaking tours by people the woke Left dislike. They could just ignore them. But of course that would deny the woke Left a chance to parade their outrage in the front of the TV cameras. Publicity opportunities like that are just too good to pass up, especially when sympathetic media are always keen to frame the confrontations as a fight against the dark forces of the far Right.

From a broader perspective, the denial of a visa or speaking venues to Keen-Minshull would again signal to the enemies of free speech, as with Southern and Molyneux, that they can shut down people they don’t like simply by threatening disruption. What could be simpler than to orchestrate a confrontation with the other side and then blame them for any unpleasantness that eventuates? In the meantime, freedom of speech has taken another hit – which of course is the objective.

Here’s another radical suggestion. Is this whole furore essentially a contest between two sets of noisy exhibitionists? I suspect both sides are immensely gratified by all the attention. I know nothing about Posie Parker, but the cute moniker suggests that she’s not averse to a bit of self-promotion. Then of course there are the tut-tutting media, who are part of the problem. In an ideal universe, they would all be locked in a room together. The rest of the world could be left to get on with things that matter.

Now, one more radical idea. LGBTQIA+ activists bombard us constantly via the media with their breast-beating laments about how oppressed they are. They are endlessly inventive in creating new definitions of sexuality or minority status – QTBIPOC, MVPFAFF, BBIPOC – that no one previously knew existed. I have even read one activist complain - seriously - that there are not enough terms to capture all the variants of sexuality that queer people might identify with.

A tiny but very vocal minority have succeeded in capturing the institutions of power with their bullying diversity agenda. They have done this so effectively that they have co-opted mainstream society whether we want it or not.

But here’s the thing: I don’t think most New Zealanders give a toss about how their fellow citizens identify sexually. They rightly regard it as none of their business. On the rare occasions when a person’s sexuality has become a matter of wider interest – for example, Georgina Beyer – the public attitude has been one of acceptance and tolerance.  

This, apparently, is not good enough for the activists. It’s not sufficient that the rest of us consider it their right to adopt whatever identity and lifestyle they choose and just get on with it – preferably quietly, as sexual minorities did in the past. They insist on being noticed.

Call it exhibitionism, attention-seeking, whatever. “Look at me – I’m different.” Ultimately, that’s what a lot of the activism over sexual identity seems to be about.

ADDENDUM: To his credit, Nathan Rarere on RNZ's First Up this morning invited Kerekere to explain why Tusiata Avia, author of a so-called poem (ejaculation of bile would be a more appropriate description) encouraging retribution against the descendants of white colonisers, had a right to free speech, yet Keen-Minshull didn't. There was an awkward (I hesitate to say pregnant) pause before Kerekere replied that the latter was guilty of "clear and obvious hate speech". Then she sought refuge in a string of standard woke cliches ... marginalised people blah blah ... rainbow communities blah blah .... that totally failed to substantiate her answer. 

Hate speech? Really? We don't even know what Keen-Minshull has been saying at her rallies (the media don't bother to tell us), but as far as I'm aware she's a feminist who insists that men can't be women - a proposition that the vast majority of New Zealanders would consider harmless and unremarkable. Avia's poem, on the other hand, can't be interpreted in any way other than as an explicit approval of racially motivated violence.  But there are no prizes for guessing which one of the two will be on the guest list at the next round of literary festivals.


Odysseus said...

There is in fact a serious issue in play here. As I understand the situation from her recent interview with Sean Plunket, Keen-Minshull is a champion of Women's Rights which are perceived to be under attack via Gender Self ID where biological men identifying as "women" can enter spaces traditionally restricted to biological women, such as changing rooms or women's prisons. You will recall this matter recently brought down the unlamented Nicola Sturgeon who defended a male serial rapist's incarceration in a women's prison on the basis of his self ID claim.

Today's Herald absurdly described Keen-Minshull as an "anti Transgender activist". That's a serious distortion. I believe she is here at the invitation of "Speak Up for Women" who have in fact been targeted by transgender activists for defending the idea that a woman is "an adult female human", the conventional definition. You may recall the Free Speech Union has successfully defended Speak Up for Women's right to hold meetings in Council owned premises after activists pressured administrators to deny them permission.

There are many strands running through this issue including the right to free speech and the right of biological women to feel safe. It's very important.

Philosophical Crumbs said...

Only lies cannot handle scrutiny and dissent. Anything that is true can and will stand for itself, no matter how much it is subjected to attack and analysis. In any case you care to cite, if people are discouraged from having and banned from expressing certain ideas, then it is practically guaranteed that the reason is that lies are being protected, lies that would collapse if they were exposed to scrutiny. But it's never stated that the motivation is maintaining the power and influence of the censoring party – no, it is always preventing "hate" and "violence" that are the stated pretexts.

The reason for the resistance from the LGBTQIA+ activists has nothing to do with "hate" or "harm" or "violence" but has everything to do with preventing people thinking and speaking the truth. It is an objectively determined truth that people cannot transition between genders, so those who are invested in claiming that it is possible have every motivation to prevent people thinking and saying the truth. More broadly, their entire worldview is a set of gigantic lies that, although they may try, cannot be covered over by censorship and hidden under rainbow flags. If someone's truth-claim cannot be openly questioned and demonstrated to be true, then this is a sure sign that the claim is false.

David George said...

Douglas Murray, a gay man himself, put it well in his recent book The Madness of Crowds;
"the love that daren't speak it's name now can't STFU about it."

Anonymous said...

Years ago u watched the Adam's Family show. In it they had Cousin It. Hair to its ankles. Couldn't tell if It was a boy,girl,or other, hence I am now using the term Cousin It as if these folk can't which alphabet they are I think the term fits.

Don Franks said...

Workers Now statement
Workers Now condemns the uninvited presence of nazis at a recent Australian Let Women Speak rally. History shows only too clearly that fascism has nothing in common with women’s liberation or people’s democratic rights. Opportunist attempts by the Green Party to identify fascism with Let Women Speak, to try and stop New Zealand rallies taking place are contemptible and factually wrong. The Green’s smears are endangering women, increasing the likelihood of the sort of violent clashes that they claim to oppose. Women should have the right to open discuss their issues free from fascist interference and state censorship.

Huskynut said...

Agree with all your points. From my PoV, much of the leftist debate is driven by an adolescent drive to test boundaries. Unfortunately conservatives have forgotten how to preserve and enforce boundaries such as free speech, and indeed the right to speak. The more conservatives cave to the pressure, the further they'll be pushed, because the drive to test boundaries is unconsciously the urge to feel secure knowing they exist and are capable of containing people's worst urges. It's not good parenting to cave to a toddler's desire to run the world. This isn't all that different.

Chris Morris said...

The neo-Nazis (I don't know if they were but that is how the press labelled them) that turned up at the Australian rally. Seems they were there for a battle against the alphabet soupers. Neither group appeared to want to hear what Ms Poser had to say. Her main platform seems to be Woman only spaces. That isn't fascism, no matter what the hysterical claim.
Are the neoNazis actually that? There were troubles at a Republican rally in the States with provocateur hired by the anti-Trumpers to turn up as White Supremacists?
Once we hear the backgrounds of those arrested, we may get a better idea of why they were there.

Chris Morris said...

Looks like they were genuine neo-Nazis
But they seem to have been there just to wind up others, preferably with a resulting brawl, not because they supported the speaker.

Tinman said...


Are they worse than the Marx/Lenin/Stalinist/Pol Pot crowd?

Birdman said...

There is a post on this debate by the Free Speech Union but my (lack of) e-tech capabilities mean I can't provide a link. I expect it will be up on their website if not now then very soon.

On the matter in this debate, our Supreme Court's lack of vigour (let alone reason) has meant they have kicked the right to free speech for touch by not applying a rigorous test in the Southern et al case. That the Court that is the highest in the land essentially took a bob each way is not only unfortunately but seriously lacks courage (let alone reason). This will mean woke judges at the lower levels of the judiciary and then upwards will cite the Supreme Court, so wash their hands in cases like this current one re the woman whose coming here. The Supreme Court has done NZ a serious dis-service and needs to recall its decision and provide substantial support for free speech versus the bully's veto.

I know members of the Supreme Court and I'm ashamed of them. Their recent decision on voting for 16-year olds showed how out of touch with reality, let alone the Bill of Rights, they are is the most recent example. At least their newest member, Stephen Kos, had the legal nous/ability and balls to dissent from that judgment.

If our most senior Court is captured by being woke instead of intellectually and legally rigorous we are in deep trouble.

Phil said...

I have read Speak Up For Women were denied advertising space by much of the NZ media. I wonder how many women in New Zealand are even aware about these issues given the level of media blackout. The closure of the Tavistock Clinic in the UK resulting from I believe a class action by young adults who feel they were pressured into taking puberty blockers wasn't even reported here despite being a major global news story.

Bernard Moran said...

According to Monday's Bolt Report from Melbourne on SKY TV, the Speak Up for Women crowd had no idea the Neo-Nazis were coming and of course they got tarred by the media asd Nazis - despite on of the being a local state Liberal MP who is Jewish.

The report in today's NZ Herald by reporter Kate Harris, lacks any context and reveals that the Greens are controlling the narrative, supported by the usual suspects.

B. Moran

Eamon Sloan said...

Your post concluded with: “Call it exhibitionism, attention-seeking, whatever. ‘Look at me – I’m different.’ Ultimately, that’s what a lot of the activism over sexual identity seems to be about”. I take it Karl is referring here only to the LGBTQIA+A2Z groups. Sometimes known as alphabet people.

True to a point. It is about much more than exhibitionism. It is really about the total normalisation of conflicted and deviant sexualities. In other words the abnormal is to become the normal. By deviant I mean the transitioners manufacturing new sexualities from either male or female.

Being straight means nothing. Though the recent census form asks a question (Q 29) regarding gender: Whether the person self-identifies as: heterosexual/straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual, another identity, or prefer not to say. Digressing, a friend emailed me to suggest the form was obsessed with race, sex and religion. There may be something in his claim as 12 of 54 questions covered those three points. Did the alphabet people ask, or demand, for the gender question to be placed on the census form?

On the subject of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull being allowed to visit NZ. It was the lead item on TV1 news Monday tonight. The Mayor of Wellington gave the impression of being utterly ill-informed on the Melbourne event. Via TV1 she said the council was especially protective of the rainbow community. Though after reading Stuff (Tues a.m.) TV1 had been up to its standard trickery of highly selective editing. By Tuesday the mayor is possibly taking a more nuanced and conciliatory stance (sorry about the buzzwords).