New Zealand’s Sunday Star Times
OPINION: Since the beginning of our collective consciousness we have known what ‘male’ and ‘female’ are and how our biological realities shape our experiences in life.
It is ridiculous to expect that we suddenly have more than two sexes and can in fact swap in and out of our sex just by self-identification.
This is the issue at the heart of my organisation’s invitation to feminist author Meghan Murphy to speak in New Zealand next month.
* Meghan Murphy Auckland event moved for safety fears
* Petition for Massey University to cancel feminist event gathers steam
* Banned from Twitter but welcome at Massey: Feminist event to go ahead
Claiming progressiveness as their shield, the ‘woke’ champions of identity wield their righteousness dictating who sits where on the hierarchy of oppression. They’ve inverted Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the ego reigns supreme and woe betide you who think you can challenge this new order.
Like Meghan Murphy, who I will speak alongside in New Zealand, I hold firm in my belief that feminism is a movement for the rights and liberation of women and girls. It isn’t about ego or identity, feminism is about the fights we have had to fight simply by virtue of being born female. It is about the challenges we still face as a sex because we were born female.
Meghan Murphy was banned from Twitter because she dared to articulate these obvious facts. She wasn’t banned for committing a hate crime as many have suggested. She simply called a person who at the time was going by the name ‘Jonathan’ “him”. Jonathan is now ‘Jessica’ and has sued multiple female beauty therapists for refusing to give him a ‘Brazilian wax’ or in layman’s terms, wax his balls. But that is another story.
We’re bringing Meghan to New Zealand because she’s on the frontlines of feminism in Canada witnessing the impact of sex self-ID, a fate New Zealand woman narrowly avoided when Minister Tracey Martin deferred the Births Deaths Marriages and Relationships Registration bill last year.
The controversy surrounding Meghan is something many women around the world can relate to currently. In fact, all of us speaking at the Feminism 2020 events have experienced similar attacks.
Something else we all have in common is that we do not ever advocate for discrimination, violence, or harm towards trans people. Time and again you will see us state that we support those who seek to challenge gender norms. Gender is oppressive. Gender is the stereotypes we pile on to the sexes. We celebrate those who refuse to conform to the ideas of how they should dress and express themselves. We just don’t believe that taking on the stereotypes imposed on the opposite sex makes you that sex.
Meghan is a fierce advocate for women. She’s spoken at the Scottish Parliament earlier this year and helped politicians understand how pointing out the ways gender identity negatively impacts women is not hatred. Its feminism.
Feminism was never popular until recently and that’s because it was fighting the status quo and challenging power dynamics. The “cool” feminism that is promoted as whatever any woman decides it is at any given time is “cool” because it challenges nothing. It allows males to dictate its priorities. It causes the National Council of Women to turn its back on all its history and become more preoccupied with gender identity than the real struggles of Kiwi women.
Meghan Murphy, Speak Up For Women, and many women like us around the world are not popular because we stand for something. We are still challenging society. Like the suffragettes who withstood immense hatred from men and other women as they fought for our vote, we will continue to fight for women’s rights, whether they like us or not.
Ani O’Brien is the chairwoman of Speak Up for Women New Zealand which is hosting the Feminism 2020 event in Auckland next month.
* Editor’s note: Meghan Murphy was banned from Twitter because it found she breached its hateful conduct policy, including referring to a transgender woman as ‘him’.
Originally published at https://www.stuff.co.nz.