US Trumpian Inspired Rhetoric From Anti-Trans Group Not a Good Fit with Nz Society
Trans-rights support groups around the country have been dismayed by recent divisive and repellent comments by Stand Up
For Women (SUFW), a group calling itself feminist but almost exclusively fixated on denying trans people, especially
trans women, their rights.
SUFW want women-only spaces, such as changing rooms, women refuges, and women prisons, to be denied to trans women to
ensure the safety of vulnerable girls and women from marauding men masquerading as women. This morning on TV3’s “The
Nation” SUFW spokesperson Megan Murphy argued that “sex is immutable; men are men, women are women, and women need to be protected from trans women with their penis out” in their spaces.
Tracee Nelley, President of Agender NZ, a trans support group, deplores this type of hateful profiling. She said,
“We regard this as typical "bogeyman type" scaremongering. We are not aware of any recorded instance of a trans woman
harassing anyone in a toilet or changing room. This is homophobic-type slur and ignores the fact that harassment of
women is by cis men, not trans women.”
“If anyone, whether cis man, cis women, trans women, is harassing someone in a toilet or changing room surely the answer
is to call the police and get the person responsible arrested, not ban an entire tiny vulnerable minority of society
from using those spaces.”
Nelley noted that, the issue of "safe spaces" was raised during the 1986 Homosexual Law Reform Bill debate, with
homophobes spreading fear that gay men would invade "safe spaces" such as toilets, schools, scouting organisations,
etc., to prey on children.
It was rubbish then, it is still rubbish and New Zealand society has moved well beyond the Trumpian inspired rhetoric
that Ms Murphy has brought from North America and espoused on The Nation today” Nelley said.
Nelley also noted that the views of SUFW are not a good fit with her members experience in New Zealand. She said,
“My reading of current social media is that the views of Ms Murphy and SUFW generally are not getting much traction in
our society where we have a broad and inclusive view of human gender identity and expression. It’s noteworthy that a
diverse group of New Zealanders on The Nation panel immediately following the interview with Ms Murphy, unanimously
rejected her views.”
Nelley also condemned the SUFW focus on a strictly biological binary view of the human condition. She said,
“Human sexual biology is more diverse than a simple binary male and female. There are many ways in which genes, sex
hormones and their receptors, and embryonic development interact to provide a surprising multiplicity of intersex
conditions that span the gap between "female" and "male". Throw in gender identity and sexual orientation and there is a
rich diversity in the human condition that should be celebrated not demonised.”
In fact, it could be argued that the SUFW dogma of sex binarism is at odds with the real world of human diversity. It
also reduces women to their genitalia - something feminism has struggled against for decades.
Nelley observed that,
“Over the last thirty-three years since the 1986 Homosexual Law Reform Bill, the election of transgender MP Georgina
Beyer to Parliament in 1999, and the Marriage Equality Act in 2013, New Zealand has increasingly celebrated sexual and
gender diversity, moving beyond the fear mongering and divisive comments espoused by SUFW. SUFW’s views are repellent
and do not sit well with the vast fair-minded majority of New Zealanders.”