The reality is that most people condemning Posie Parker right now have no idea what she’s actually about. Just say the word ‘Nazi’ and people’s brains turn to mush.
In a shameful Q&A interview on Sunday morning, Jack Tame begins by saying to Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni: “That could have been avoided”.
Well yes it could have been had the media done its job and provided balanced coverage in the lead up to the event, and actually told Kiwis what Posie Parker was here to say. Instead, they egged on the hatred by misrepresenting her views and giving uncritical air time to the people opposing her. It was a shameful week in the country’s media history.
But Tame’s question had a particular purpose. He was framing up the debate in favour of a particular outcome.
In doing so, he blames the violence that was visited on Posie Parker … on Posie Parker. And exonerates the people who were doing the violence.
They are counting on you not to notice, and it’s a fact that many people just won’t.
Tame is clearly angling for a comment from the Deputy PM to the effect that Posie Parker, aka Kellie-Jay Keen Minshull, ought never to have been allowed into New Zealand because of the public order problem, with the result that the next time a controversial person wants to come and speak in New Zealand, the Minister can shut it down and refuse entry.
In the propaganda business, it’s known as manufacturing consent, and it’s as old as the hills.
Study this carefully, as this is a ‘masterclass’ on how the media subverts legitimate political discourse and empowers bullies. The same thing happened last year with the media coverage of the Parliament protest.
It’s worth reminding viewers here that Keen Minshull has done nothing wrong. She has incited no violence, done no violence and not attempted any violence. Her entire platform is about letting women speak. We’ll come back to that in a moment.
Downplay, minimise, divert attention
The role of the media after an event like the one that happened on Saturday in Auckland is to downplay and distract from the perpetrators of violence. Stuff even went so far as to lionise the activist who poured tomato juice on Keen Minshull, as some kind of hero, despite the fact that this act was assault.
Eliana Rubashkyn took the mic at the Rotunda after Keen Minshull was forced to flee, and stated: “I dropped a little tomato juice because I want her to be full of blood, because that is what she is advocating for. She is advocating for our genocide.”
Actually she was advocating for women and girls’ right to have certain spaces free from men – for example, women’s changing rooms and toilets, women’s prisons and women’s sports – for their own safety. She has never called for violence against trans people, it is simply not true. But there was plenty of violent behaviour and language directed at so called TERFS on Saturday. Check out this website if you have the stomach for it, to see the kind of violent misogyny some trans women direct towards ‘terfs’, it’s truly vile.
In allowing this to go unchallenged, the media are sending a veiled message to women everywhere: that any concerns we might have about men in women’s spaces, or children being indoctrinated, are not important.
Those concerns, if expressed, will be misrepresented as hateful. And when an angry mob comes after you, the state will be quite happy to let them do so with impunity. In fact, they will tell even you it is in the name of equality, unity, tolerance and inclusion.
“I respect the rights for people to go out and counter protest and I absolutely respect the kaupapa for why they are protesting,” Sepuloni says in the interview.
“In my mind, that woman and her views are abhorrent and actually in some ways quite ridiculous … to me she is nothing. I think most New Zealanders have much more common sense than she has. We are much more inclusive than that woman is. And for me personally I just don’t want to support her, I don’t want to say her name, I don’t want to give her a platform because I think we are much more progressive and have moved beyond those kind of views.”
Well, I would like to know what views “that woman” holds that our Deputy Prime Minister finds so offensive.
Because as far as I can tell, the public has not once been told what Keen Minshull’s views happen to be. Just as so called ‘mis-and-disinformation’ are never illuminated, and news consumers never bother to follow up or challenge the journalist to provide the actual piece of misinformation. Same difference here.
Keen Minshull’s views are not ones they want you hearing because there is a very high chance you might actually agree with her, and send the whole false narrative around trans rights crashing to the ground.
So, instead we are told she is an ‘anti-trans activist’. That she is affiliated with white supremacists and Nazis, and that she is trying to erase trans people. None of which could be further from the truth.
Distorting the message
I’ll provide some of her views here.
Keen Minshull was a member of the UK Labour Party for most of her life. She has frequently said she is not a feminist – yet her detractors insist she is a TERF (Trans exclusionary radical feminist), apparently one of the worst things you can be.
Keen Minshull says she is a pro-woman activist – detractors call her anti-trans.
Keen Minshull says she is safeguarding women spaces and children – detractors say she is trying to erase trans people and spewing hate.
Keen Minshull says that parents should be involved in decisions around things like contraception and puberty blockers for kids – her detractors say she is against sexual and reproductive rights.
Keen Minshull says she has no affiliation with any of the dodgy characters she is being associated with on social media and that no-one in their right mind would ally themselves with Nazis – her detractors claim she is a white supremacist and Nazi.
Keen Minshull says her wikipedia page has been hijacked and rewritten and she is unable to change it – her detractors widely refer to this page for information used to defame her.
She cannot win, because those who are against her – including the media establishment – will not allow the public to get a true representation of her message or her values.
There is a clash of rights going on – but only one side is having their rights validated, and it ain’t women.
The message I am getting very clearly from trans activists and legacy media, is that women don’t matter. What we feel and think about having men in our private spaces is of no concern, and trying to talk about it makes us Nazi or far right.
The message women and girls are getting is: SUCK IT UP!
Trans activists could be arguing for their own safe spaces – but this is not really what they want.
As Posie Parker has astutely observed, what they want is validation as women, which means access to women’s spaces – be damned what the real world consequences of this might be for women and girls.
Let women speak
And that’s exactly why women need these Let Women Speak events.
The organisation that Keen Minshull founded to put them on is called Standing for Women. Here is what they do:
“At Standing for Women we foster a community in which all women feel empowered to speak.
We achieve this through our free speech events, they are free to attend.
“All Speakers Corner events or Let Women Speak events are held in outdoor public places. Places are chosen so that they are as accessible as possible and close to public transport.
“There are no tickets, anyone can turn up and anyone can speak (but we ask that men wait until the end). You can speak about whatever you like, these are free speech events, as long as what you want to say is legal.”
It strikes me that trans activists had an opportunity here to take the high ground and participate as per the above kaupapa and engage in some kind of respectful dialogue.
They chose to not let women speak.