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The problems for women with sex self-ID in law and society

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, September 13th, 2021 - 104 comments
Categories: feminism - Tags: , , ,

For a range of reasons I’ve not been able to write the range of considered, nuanced posts that this topic deserves i.e. about the problems with the proposed BDMRR Bill changes to sex on birth certificates and how it impacts on women* and trans women. Part of that is the hostile environment that self-ID debate is taking place within (content warning for misogyny and violence in that link).

Ahead of the BDMRR Bill submissions closing tomorrow (Tuesday), I had a quick read through of some of the relevant documentation this morning, and now I’m really fucked off. The Department of Internal Affairs FAQ page attached to the Bill  barely even mentions women, and there appears to be zero attempt by the government to explain what the issues are so women can consider them and be part of the political process. As with Stats NZ consultation on sex and gender, the Working Group for reducing barriers to changing registered sex set up to advise the Minister for Internal Affairs included no women’s groups.

So this is a fast written post that tries to just lay out the issues ahead of the submissions deadline closing tomorrow.

If you want to skip straight to writing a submission, there is a template on the Speak Up For Women page, or you can use the government page here. Submissions are public, and you should probably make it clear you are a NZ citizen or resident because it’s possible perceptions of international submissions may impact on the process. You can see submissions already made here.

A brief outline of the problems with sex self-ID

  1. The BDMRR Bill makes changing biological sex to nominated sex on their birth certificate easier for trans and non binary people. This is a good thing for those people. Trans and non-binary people should have the same access to documentation and ability to take part in civil life as the rest of the population. The Bill removes the court, time length, and medical transition processes currently required and replaces them with a personal declaration by the individual, hence ‘self-ID’. Transgender, non-binary, or any gender non-conforming person should not have to medically or surgically transition in order to live the way they want to live.
  2. Self-ID based on gender identity is a legislative change and a social change and a political change.
  3. Gender identity ideology is the philosophical belief that everyone has a personal, internal gender that only they can determine. It can be fixed or changeable (eg gender fluid people) and not necessarily tied to biology or gender roles of male/female or man/woman (eg non-binary people). As far as I can tell the BDMRR Bill doesn’t address the needs of gender fluid people, or the myriad of additional gender identities (and presumably subsumes them under non-binary)
  4. Separate to the straight forward legal needs of trans and non-binary people in point 1, gender identity ideology is a powerful political force that asserts that gender identity should trump and replace biological sex in law and most areas of society, and posits that anyone who opposes (or even questions) that is a bigot or worse.
  5. Gender identity politics now says that being a trans woman requires no transition whatsoever. This alongside legal and social self-ID means that any male can say they are a woman at any time and this is to be accepted (no birth certificate required).
  6. There is a clear conflict of rights between all of that, and women’s need for spaces, services and culture based around sex not gender identity. Women’s rights to single sex spaces were established for safety reasons, and to ensure that women are able to take part in civil society like everyone else (eg women’s toilets). In addition, women being with women is a positive and necessary condition for women to have their own politics and social well-being.
  7. Open and informed debate about sex vs gender has been actively suppressed by gender identity activists and political parties (the Greens and Labour). ‘No Debate’ has been an intentional and actively pursued political tactic. My belief is that because of that, most women in NZ won’t know this Bill is about to be passed, or won’t know the implications.

How this might impact on women, a few explanatory examples

  1. Males can be housed in women’s prisons. Where this is already happening internationally (including by men with convictions for sex offenses), women are being sexually assaulted, and women with PTSD from sexual or other assault are being further traumatised. Women inmates are having to organise sleeping in shifts and to have condoms. Self-ID, where a man can simply declare himself a woman, obviously increases the ability of males to access women’s prisons, whether they are trans women or not. This is a clear example of where women’s rights are being discarded to assert trans women’s rights, and where upholding the rights of both groups isn’t being considered (eg housing trans women inmates in specialised facilities).
  2. Women needing services after rape or domestic abuse that are female only, may no longer have that option. This is already happening internationally. The need for women to have female-only space after being raped should be self-evident, but in the UK gender identity activists are lobbying to remove single sex exemptions under human rights legislation, and internationally rape crisis groups that still provide female only services are under immense pressure to include males (again, with social self-ID, any male who says he is a woman is one). Again, where is the political push for solutions for both groups eg dedicated rape crisis services for trans women? These could be stand alone or alongside women’s services.
  3. Women wanting to run female only spaces and groups may not be able to, either via law or via social pressure and cancellation. Think lesbian dating apps, women’s health groups, feminist organisations, a body-positive support group for women. Again, this is already happening internationally. eg lesbians are being banned from dating apps for saying female only, or being told that organising female only lesbian events may breach human rights law.

Obviously but apparently needs saying, not all trans women are sexual predators (any more than men generally), and there are good reasons to be careful in discussing this in regards to trans women’s safety. However unless women can point out the problems without being called bigots, it becomes very hard to explain what the issues are. Gender critical feminists are usually willing to talk about this alongside the rights of trans women, but are often pushed into a defensive then offensive corner by gender identity activists.

Much of this debate is happening on social media where there is clear evidence of events like males saying they are trans women doing naked selfies in women’s refuges, or masturbating in women’s toilets and posting online. What happened at WiSpa in California is the classic example: a male person saying they are a trans woman exposes themselves in the women’s section of the spa, all hell breaks loose when women complain, GCFs are accused of being allied with fascists, and it turns out that the male/trans woman has a history of sexual offences and is now being charged over the WiSpa incident. Stop and think that through now: any male can say they are a trans woman in any women’s space, and women will be accused of being bigots if they challenge them. With self-ID, how are women to know if a male person is a trans woman or not? (and should that even matter?). It’s pretty clear that many on the left are willing to sacrifice women’s rights.

I’m not even going to link here because this stuff has been discussed by gender critical feminists for years now, and the left has either ignored it or actively abused the women raising the issues. Look it up if you are unaware of what is happening. I’m willing to provide examples and links in comments for anything I’ve said in this post, in the context of considered and thoughtful debate.

The point here is isn’t to demonise trans women. Most trans women just want to get on with their lives. The issue is about how society can ensure good, fair and safe lives for women and trans women alike. Most women and people generally support trans rights. Many people also on the face of it support self-ID. This appears to be because most people still think that trans women are post-op transsexuals and think of Georgina Beyer. But once they are asked about self-ID and it is explained what that means (that any male person can declare themselves to be female), support for self-ID changes. This from YouGov polling in the UK,


This doesn’t mean that trans people shouldn’t have rights. They should. Obviously trans people still face many barriers and prejudices in society and this should be actively addressed. Likewise, society should be enabling women to talk fully, frankly and openly about the issues that self-ID raises, because there is a conflict of rights and we have to sort that out.

Will the BDMRR Bill affect any of this? I think probably, because the change to self-ID isn’t simply an administrative issue. But I don’t really know what the impact will be in New Zealand, because both Labour and the Greens have taken the position that there is no conflict of rights, and so New Zealand women haven’t had a good opportunity to look at the issues and debate them. There’s been a dearth of coverage in the MSM as well.

The DIA FAQ page had one thing to say about women,

How will you protect women’s rights to sex segregated spaces if self-identification is introduced?

The sex printed on a birth certificate does not determine someone’s legal sex and any associated rights, and there is no legal provision for definitively determining sex in New Zealand legislation. A self-identification process doesn’t change the protections for sex segregated spaces.

People have been able to change the sex on their birth certificate since the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1995 was first enacted, and to self-identify gender on passports since 2012, and we haven’t seen any evidence of this being abused.

From this statement it is that it’s unclear if women have a legal right to sex segregated spaces based on biological sex at birth. One the one hand, they’re saying there is no legal definition of sex in NZ law, and on the other they’re saying that self-ID doesn’t change existing protections for sex segregated spaces. What they don’t do is clarify how women’s rights would be impacted. I think it is highly like that New Zealand will follow in the UK’s footsteps and women will have to fight to retain single sex spaces that are female only (i.e. that exclude trans women).

For this reason, I encourage people to submit on the Bill and oppose changes until a full political debate can be had about the social, political and legislative changes involved.

My own position is that trans rights would be relatively straight forward were women’s rights being considered alongside, but until that happens women have the right to push back against processes that put us and our well-being at risk.

The Speak Up For Women submission template page.

The New Zealand Government submission page.

*In this post I refer to biological sex using the terms female/male and woman/man. When referring to gender identity I use trans woman/trans man. If you want to to comment under this post, please make it clear what you mean when using any of those words.




104 comments on “The problems for women with sex self-ID in law and society ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    There are a lot of Gay and Lesbian people horrified at today's gender ideology. Stonewall – which used to be an organisation by and for same sex attracted people now defines "Homosexual" as "Persons attracted to persons of the same gender identity." Sexual attraction has to do with sex – with our sexed bodies. Saying otherwise is profoundly homophobic.

    The idea that a person has a gender identity which trumps biological reality is a lot like saying we all have an immortal soul. We got rid of that kind of thinking from legislation some time ago. Ideology is not a good basis for legislation.

    We have protections now in the Law for people like Carmen and Georgina who have had full surgical procedures. This Bill says that you don't even have to shave off your beard to declare you are a woman.

    I have been a Justice of the Peace for nearly 30 years. I do not think that changing the record of an actual event to create a biological and legal fiction should be done by the same mechanism (Statutory Declaration) which is used for things like school zoning and traffic offences – and yet this Bill proposes that it could be done more than one time by the same person. I will resign as a JP if this Bill becomes law.

    • Questioning 1.1

      It's not just Stonewall, here in NZ, Rainbow Youth and Inside/Out both refer to "same gender attraction" in their definitions of Gay and lesbian – same sex attraction is erased.

      • Jan Rivers 1.1.1

        Yes. They are tasked with, and funded handsomely by government to be looking out for SOGIESC kids or LGBTQIA kids or IDAHOBIT kids but in reality their modus operandi seems to be that they are careless about whether gay and lesbian kids are being transitioned and becoming life long medical patients. Did you see the recent post by Paul Letham? An eight year working relationship with them cancelled without the courtesy to pick up the phone. Luckily some counsellors are taking a deeper look at them now. https://shadowbox.substack.com/p/a-small-cancellation

  2. francesca 2

    So what's the situation with trans men?

    Will they be able to access women's toilets because they are biologically female?

    And are more likely to encounter male violence in men's toilets than female violence in women's.Or will they have to use the toilet of the gender they identify as?

    Where do women now find their safety, in nightclubs or bars when they need to take a breather from unwanted male attention ?

    A man in the women's toilet can be challenged at present.With the law change a male bodied person can enter the women's toilets and there will be uncertainty.How are we to know if this male is just being an idiot, has bad intentions , or identifies as a woman ?

    I have encountered a man in the women's toilet, at a lonely beach between the dunes and a line of dark empty Aucklander baches , at dusk , in the winter.

    I came out of the cubicle, and there was a man , standing by the basin .A large football field had to be got across to where I was staying .

    The jolt of fear was visceral, my heart was hammering.I have been badly physically hurt by males in the past .My fear was not irrational.Men attack women with depressing regularity , and you can never predict which men it will be.Yes it was remote , yes it was dark, but that man shouldn't have been there.A kind of contract was broken.

    Is it fair to inflict this erosion of places of safety on women ?

    I do get that the whole self id is to make it easier for trans people, with the anguish and discrimination they experience on being "outed" by their birth certificate.

    I would have thought it better to encourage societal acceptance of trans people , to beef up anti discrimination laws.In that respect Georgina Beyer is an excellent advocate, strong enough in herself to not pretend , to not insist she is a literal woman and expect everyone constantly affirm that

    She is who she is and she's wonderful and loved for that.

    • Visubversa 2.1

      There are very few places where people have to produce a Birth Certificate. It is not a proof of identity – as anyone can get a copy of any Birth Certificate and many of the Certificates actually say on them that they are not evidence of the identity of the person presenting them. The do not meet the requirements of the Money Laundering Act for example. Trans identified people can get their gender "identity" on their passport or Driver's License. They are accepted identification documents.

  3. francesca 3

    Have put in my submission

    Thanks so much Weka for all the work you've put into this

  4. Gypsy 4

    We often only hear the voices of trans people who support gender self ID. So here's an alternative, from Debbie Hayton (a transgender activist who is an outspoken opponent of gender self ID):

    "Future historians may see this as a clash between postmodernism and facts: the facts of life, namely sex and reproduction, on the one hand, and the idea that sex, or at least gender, is defined by thoughts and feelings rather than bodies."

    "More generally, we need to be intellectually honest. I am not female and I know that I cannot become female, but I can and do live in a way analogous to the way that women live. I make no claims I cannot justify and my life is better for it. "


  5. Gezza 5

    My God. The post is very well written but the bewildering range of gender or non gender definitions that some people seemingly want to be able to self-identify as is mind-bendingly difficult to get my head around.

    I've just seen some of the more esoteric (?) classifications some individuals want to define themselves as as rather strange but – hey, it's their business, & as long as it's not harming me or those I care about it doesn't need to even feature on my radar.

    The only transgender person I personally know is the eldest daughter of my best man, who visited me with her dad on on a long weekend trip 2 years ago to see the Wellington Phoenix play & spend some time bonding outside Aucks in her new identity.

    *Sarah, is now *Jonah.

    So the pronoun above really has to be changed to him. Dad P texted me beforehand to tell me that Sarah had announced to he & his wife earlier that year that she had always felt she was born in the wrong body & wanted to change gender. They were dealing with it & had immediately decided to both support her.

    Jonah (20) told me he intended to have surgery eventually, but for now had seen psychologists & was now taking hormone treatment, I noted which had lowered his voice to an intermediate vocal range that could be taken for either a slightly husky female, or a young male with a mid-range vocal timbre.

    Because his dress & appearance was already very clearly that of a quite good-looking, stocky young male there was no awkwardness at all in relating to him as P's son. They are both guitarists & so am I so it was a thoroughly enjoyable time we spent together.

    It was only after they returned to Auckland I realised that although I asked numerous questions of Jonah over the weekend & our conversations were easy & unselfconscious, I never asked "which toilet (or changing rooms) do you use".

    I obviously need to do more reading on this subject, but my initial reaction is to be a bit wary of supporting self-identification of gender change registration because of the various issues that have arisen with, particularly, predatory males claiming to be trans-women, assaulting non-trans-women.

    I'd have thought there should be some medical certification of gender change – not necessarily reassignment surgery per se – but some reasonable psycho-medical evidence supporting a registration of gender change.

    • Visubversa 5.1

      Unfortunately, it is not their gender that they want to change – it is their sex. Gender has no physiological manifestation – needs no hormones or surgery. The hormones and the surgery are about people's primary and/or secondary sex characteristics. They are changing their bodies to fit what they think is in their mind. The idea that people can be born in the “wrong” body is “ableist” in the extreme.

      • Gezza 5.1.1

        Ok, thanks, V. That clears that up for me. I think. Jonah has had, or wants, a sex change. I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable about the subject to know at what point that is considered to be achieved.

        The "born in the wrong body" was his dad's initial shorthand term to me to infer that Sarah had never felt attracted to typical (?) female dress, or interests, & mostly eschewed these throughout her young life. After moving out from home to flat & go to University, in her final year she came home & said she wanted to transition.

        It seemed very clear that Jonah is far more comfortable in his new identity.

        But, having just now read Stephanie Rodgers' sunmission, perhaps this is far too complicated a matter for me to have just come waltzing in with an uniformed comment, & as the time left for people to make submissions on the Bill is so short, I should just leave it there & let those who DO understand the crucial issues fully have their say & make their submissions.

        • Nic the NZer

          I quite like the literary form of Stephanie Rogers submission. She opens by making it clear all her ideological belief systems she conforms to, put her arguments across, and finishes with a suggestion that other submissions (the sciency sex based argument ones) are ideologically motivated and should be devalued on that basis. Its a nice circular form, though usually put across as a joke, where the punch line is to explain why what you just said was good advice is actually undermined.

          • tracey

            Stephanie contradicts herself- pleaded to SC to ignore others for having what she considers ideological beliefs with no evidence then says they should pass the law based on ideology and no evidence

            • Nic the NZer

              If you think that one was bad, you should see the one about conversion therapy. Ideology doesn't seem to need any safe guards against criminalizing phychology or counseling practice it seems.

      • Joanne Perkins 5.1.2

        Thanks V, nice to be told what's on my

        mind, and that I'm "ableist in the extreme". I admit to not understanding what you mean by that but hey, as long as you do I guess it doesn't matter, certainly to you, if I do or not. I am a 64 year old trans woman, my surgery status is my business, not yours and I totally reject this bill and it's unjustifiable intent to allow people to self identify, though maybe for other reasons than some. I was interested in what you had to say Weka, until you pointed to the SUFW site, because despite the ruling in Palmerston North far as I am concerned they are a hate group. You will of course disagree and that's OK, I am often disagreed with and I have broad shoulders, metaphorically speaking.

        • Molly

          It would be good to know why you have concerns with the Self-ID as it is proposed.

          • Joanne Perkins

            Hi Molly,

            I suspect it has to do with my own life experience of the struggles I went through to finally accept who I am. It took years and lots of therapy, lots of heartache, lots of lying to myself and others about who I was and what my life was about, depression and suicidal ideation and attempts. Having survived all that I never felt the relatively small demands were just that, relatively small. My other concern is probably more general, I've never really agreed with the idea that life should be easy, and the concomitant idea that we value only that which has a cost, so if it's easy it won't be valued. I value who I am, in part, because it has cost me so much. I hope this makes sense.

            • Molly

              Thanks, Joanne. I understand that perspective, but also believe that administrative ease will do little to reduce those hardships that are concomitant with identity struggles. Despite the activism stance, I think the current gatekeeping process is a necessary one for well-being and integrity purposes.

              I also have concerns with how the proposal is written in regards to self-id. Persons who are not transgender also gain access to a process that allows them to change name and/or gender with impunity. This will attract both illegal and/or immoral members of society to misuse it, which further harms members of the transgender community by default. Although that is not the intention of the proposal, it is a foreseeable result.

              • weka

                I found it interesting that DIA said there was no evidence of abuse of current process, as if this meant the proposed process also wouldn't be abused. Missing that the proposed process makes things so much easier to use (which of course is the point). I honestly struggle to understand how this cannot be understood by people creating law.

                • Jan Rivers

                  At the first SUFW public meeting in Auckland a woman spoke who was having a sensitive claim dealt with by ACC. She asked for a woman counsellor. She was allocated a transwoman with whom, quite naturally, she found it hard to explore the issues.

                  The role is specifically dedicated one covered by the HRA provisions. ACC should simply not be employing males to work with women for this work – no matter how they identify. But since 2005 the HRC proudly point out that they regard transwomen as women. Not in law, never tested by law. The BDMRR Act will make it harder to test this point in law. It obfuscates.

                  But the main issue is that it is the most vulnerable women who need this law to work well and who are most unlikely to mount have mounted a legal challenge. The proposed law has by no means 'got it right' as Minister Tinetti proposed she would. It’s not clear what will happen after the bill but taking a legal case is hard

                  • weka

                    ok, that's really bad. Are ACC assigning counsellors or was that from another organistion.

                    This does reinforce my fear that women will have to resist and regain rights similar to what's happening in the UK.

                    And yes, that will probably require legal process 🙁

              • Joanne Perkins

                Hi Molly, I wouldn't expect the change in process to make the actual transition easier, and I don't believe the process should be made easier either, for the reasons I mentioned above. Neither do I think that making the process easier will change the views of many, if any, on the validity of who we are, the only thing that will do that is interaction, the meeting of people on both sides in an attitude of willingness to learn. Sadly the only people I've found with that willingness are my Gay and Lesbian friends, and young people who seem to be able to look past the prejudices of their elders.

                • Molly

                  Given your struggles, do you have any suggestions on how that could have been lessened in terms of services provided by government?

                  Or was it mainly societal pressures, or other expectations that added to your burden?

                • tracey

                  I have no doubt being Trans is bloody hard. I respect transwomen and transmen and wish the work we began in the 70’s to dismantle damaging stereotypes had continued- continued dismantling the notion that boys wear blue and girls pink (pants v dresses etc). Think Boy George, Annie Lennox etc etc. I worry this latest move to say you do x stereotypical things then you are a boy and so on is a regressive step, including for Trans kiwis. This is badly worded, poorly thought through law, as is the CP Bilk. Confused law is bad law. I am a Lesbian. I know people beaten or raped for being gay/lesbian, with ‘queer’ ringing in their ears. The worst thing out of all this is the notion that all Trans think the same, that all ‘rainbow’ members think the same- we don’t. But when we don’t we are treated as the wrong kind of rainbow and the wrong kind of Trans and dismissed.

                  weka nails it with

                  ’Self-ID based on gender identity is a legislative change and a social change and a political change’

        • Molly

          It would also be good to hear why you consider SUFW to be a hate group.

          • Joanne Perkins

            It's simple really, they don't believe that I and people like me are valid and they do believe that I and people like me are somehow out to decimate and take over their personal spaces, well I'm not and those trans women I know are not but our words are apparently not worth the effort to listen to, mustn't be because there has been no attempt by them to talk to us that I know of. Sadly I have to say that the few interactions there have been seem to have been with radicals, like them and in the end they only talk past each other. If I'm honest V's words made me think twice about writing anything because transphobia

            • Molly

              Thanks again. I'll have to go and read their views on transgender, to see where they state their position. What is obvious to you may be easily missed by myself. I don't feel that speaking about the impact on women's rights necessitates the removal of transgender rights. Both are valid.

              Like weka, I found that they were the only group consistently and publicly talking about the impact of current gender ideology on women and children. Also, like weka, I found some of the opinions not quite aligned with my own, but thought the stridency and rhetoric was the natural result of very public and repeated attempts to silence them.

              The NoDebate stance almost makes it impossible for nuance or considerate discussion to exist.

              (For example, I don’t see evidence of transphobia in V’s comments. I do see a rejection of current gender ideology).

            • tracey


              i know some members of SUFW and can categorically say they do not want Trans kiwis to not exist. They want transwomen to be transwomen with the rights to safety, jobs etc etc but that they are not women. Are there some bigots in there? Probably but there are also people amongst the Trans community who do bad things, same with Rainbow community.

        • weka

          I'm all good with disagreement where people can be civil and present an argument. Appreciate your perspectives, because I think one of the most important things that could happen right now is for people to listen to each other more.

          The irony about SUFW is that the No Debate strategy has meant that in NZ almost no-one else is talking about self-ID and how it impacts on women. If a political movement (gender identity activism) shuts down debate on the left, then that leaves the right to determine the narrative. Women were never going to just accept the political changes once they knew what was going on, and if the left had allowed open debate we'd have left wing and progressive GCF views as well. Same for those that support trans people and opposed self-ID. I have mixed feelings about SUFW's politics and approach (although I think they have improved) but theirs was the only link I knew about that gave easy access to the submission process.

          • tracey

            Me too @ mixed feelings. Same with a few in Save Women’s Sport cos I know that if electing National/Act is the answer, the question wasn’t ‘how do we improve the lives of women in Aotearoa, especially low paid and mana Wahine??

  6. "and now I’m really fucked off. The Department of Internal Affairs FAQ page attached to the Bill barely even mentions women, and there appears to be zero attempt by the government to explain what the issues are so women can consider them and be part of the political process"

    "Fucked off" is a strong emotion. Usually only felt when someone feels threatened in some way.

    I'm quite curious as to why you think the DIA, under the leadership of the Hon Jan Tinetti, under the ultimate Leadership of Jacinda Ardern, would be going out of its way to ignore the views of women in a way that you must feel leaves women disadvantaged and possibly endangered.

    Are you sure this isn't one of those changes…like Women's suffrage, or abortion law, or contraception, or the Prostitution Reform act, or Homosexual law reform or even alcohol sales on Sunday …that makes some people feel like its End Times with a myriad of 'what if' scenarios…but which, after the dust has settled, turns out to be neither here nor there in terms of the real threats to our peace of mind and societal well being?.

    • weka 6.1

      We already have a regular commenter called Siobhan, so I’ve added 2 to your name to differentiate. If you comment again, please pick a different handle that’s not likely to already be in use (or keep Siobhan 2). thanks.

    • weka 6.2

      "Fucked off" is a strong emotion. Usually only felt when someone feels threatened in some way.

      did you read the post? Of course women are feeling threatened and angry, normal responses to having rights removed and being abused when trying to talk about it.

      I'm quite curious as to why you think the DIA, under the leadership of the Hon Jan Tinetti, under the ultimate Leadership of Jacinda Ardern, would be going out of its way to ignore the views of women in a way that you must feel leaves women disadvantaged and possibly endangered.

      Because they support gender identity ideology. If you think I am wrong about that, or that women haven't been included properly in the process, feel free to make that argument with some evidence.

      Are you sure this isn't one of those changes…like Women's suffrage, or abortion law, or contraception, or the Prostitution Reform act, or Homosexual law reform or even alcohol sales on Sunday …that makes some people feel like its End Times with a myriad of 'what if' scenarios…but which, after the dust has settled, turns out to be neither here nor there in terms of the real threats to our peace of mind and societal well being?.

      They're not 'what if' scenarios, they're already happening. I'll ask again, did you read the post?

      When women got the vote or homosexuality was decriminalised, what rights did men, or heterosexual people lose?

    • Gypsy 6.3

      "I'm quite curious as to why you think the DIA, under the leadership of the Hon Jan Tinetti, under the ultimate Leadership of Jacinda Ardern, would be going out of its way to ignore the views of women in a way that you must feel leaves women disadvantaged and possibly endangered."

      There is still a chance they won't ignore those views.

    • tracey 6.4

      Siobhan 2 – in all the debates you refer to, people weren’t refused venues after others wrote in, people didnt approach employers to try and lose dissenters their jobs, Didnt get them banned from SM for holding a different view, had a media that printed all sides of those issues, seeking stories from all sides.

  7. Forget now 7

    An important point is that we are not making submissions to the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill this time, but rather to Tinetti's Supplementary Order Paper 59 to the BDMRRB:


    Te Kauniheria Wahine o Aotearoa (NCWNZ) isn't complaining about having too little time to debate these issues. They managed to get their submission into the main bill back in 2019 when SUFW were complaining about the lack of time too, I don't suppose this time will be any different (not publicly available yet). Much of it relates to the Deaths and Marriagse sections, so I will omit those, but this seems relevant here (my bolding):

    5. Information about gender assignment and reassignment

    5.1. The Bill removes the ability for the Registrar General to provide access to restricted birth information relating to sexual (sic) assignment or reassignment to a celebrant or Registrar for the purposes of finding out whether or not those who are entering into a marriage or civil union are a man or a woman [Clause 110]. Since gender is irrelevant in the registration of marriages and civil partnerships, there is no reason for this information to be available. NCWNZ members were asked if they thought that this information about gender assigned at birth should be private to the people concerned. They were also asked to comment on whether the language used in this legislation should refer to ‘gender’ assignment or reassignment rather than ‘sexual’ assignment?

    5.2. Most members considered that the information about whether a child had been identified as male or female at birth should be private to the people concerned. A number of members commented that since gender was irrelevant in the registration of marriages and civil partnerships, there is no reason for this information to be available. They also questioned the language used to refer to what in the legislation is called ‘sexual assignment’. Some members preferred the term ‘gender assignment’.

    5.3. One large member organisation, closely engaged with family health, suggested two approaches regarding the language in the legislation:

    5.3.1. The best language for the current legal framework is the term sex assignment. Gender is not appropriate in this context as the legislation relates to sex assigned at birth and the court processes and medical treatment required to change sex assignment on a birth certificate. The medical and biological characteristics of a person’s sex may be different 5 to how someone chooses to express their gender. Sex assignment is more appropriate than “sexual assignment” as sexual is a word that describes something related to sex – not sex itself.

    5.3.2. It might be worthwhile for the Select Committee to consider whether these court processes are necessary. There is precedent in New Zealand and overseas for gender to be recognised in legal documents based on self-determination alone. For example, in order to change gender on a New Zealand passport, an applicant simply provides a statutory declaration indicating the identity they want displayed on their passport. This approach does not require medical information or assessment, nor costly and lengthy legal proceedings. It would be worth considering whether this approach might be applied to birth certificates as well. Should birth certificates record sex or gender? What are the legal or other risks to the different approaches and if so, how could they be mitigated outside of court proceedings? What is the primary purpose of recording sex and/or gender on legal documents and what are the reasons for medical assessments of sex?


    As NonBinary, it is the ability to remove "Nominated Sex" from the official documentation that is most important to me. Also Gender Minorities have published their submission already, which raises interesting points about gender diverse immigrants whose original documents come from countries where anything queer is illegal.


    • Visubversa 7.1

      The minute you hear the words " sex assigned at birth" you know someone is talking ideology and not biology. Nobody is assigned a sex at birth. Your sex is determined at conception and in humans is bimodal and immutable. The only thing you might be assigned at birth is a "gender role" if someone sticks a bit of pink or blue ribbon on your wrist. Most of us have been working against the assignment of sexist gender roles – especially to women – for all our adult lives. In 1000 years they can dig up your bones, or your cremains, do the DNA test and know what sex you were. Your so called "gender identity" dies with you.

      • Nic the NZer 7.1.1

        Biology is actually more diverse than that however. There is an interesting interview with a woman on Benjamin A Boyce youtube who has XY chromosomes. That occurs when a male chromosome doesn't respond to testosterone. She doesn't agree with queer theory either however.

        • Visubversa

          There is a very small % of people who have what is known as a "Difference of Sex Development". About 0.02%. They used to be called Intersex but that is misleading as it is not a 3rd sex and they do not change sex. They fall into a number of known syndromes and are just variations of male and female. Unfortunately, their medical conditions have been weaponised by gender ideologists desperate to find a physiological basis for their psychological conditions. If there is a "Y" chromosome – the person will be a variation on male.

          • Nic the NZer

            If the body is not responsive to testosterone then the body develops as female. In her case there were difficulties caused by being a tall strong female, and when the facts were known some unease about relationships. She is obviously infertile. But I would say she was female in this case and she only ever presented as female.

            • Molly

              This conflation of gender identity with the incidence of intersex/difference of sex persons is one of the discussion derailments. They are two distinct issues and care should be taken to remember this.

              • Nic the NZer

                I absolutely agree. Just I put the slightly simplistic notion that sex was always aligned with chromosomes (for people with two) before, and it turned out thats a bit simple too.

                As long as the correct understanding is available, I didn't start believing in gendered soles, not just yet.

            • tracey

              And, importantly, a mere 2% of trans people are Intersex. Many intersex people have both male and female biological markers which is still binary

        • Anker

          This isn't about intersex people. The vast majority of that very small group still have either XX or XY chromosome. It is an interesting case you present Nic, but often the issue of intersex gets brought up in these debates as a red herring (not saying you are doing that Nic).

      • Anker 7.1.2

        100% Visubversa. Well said.

        Brilliant article Weka. I do hope some of the progressives on this site will read it and consider the implication of this Bill and how shabily to say the least women are being treated over this.

        The issue is not transgender people, it is trans gender ideology which has swept the Western World with incredible speed. People accepting this relatively. new theoretical model and requiring that everyone else does as well.

      • Forget now 7.1.3

        You have a strange notion about doing DNA testing on cremains there; Visubversa! Even in 1000 years, I doubt that will be possible. Bone marrow however might still be viable if well preserved and undisturbed. But by then everyone you will ever; met, loved, or spoken to will be erased from memory as well. Though this doesn't mean that you shouldn't bother with living because one day you too will be dead.

        The "sex assigned at birth" line was a quote from the National council of Women NZ, and their submission struck me as more pragmatic and less ideologically driven than SUFW's rhetoric. I go into more detail with Anker downthread somewhere.

        In any case; anywhere from 0.17 to 1.7 % of the population (depending whether you count Klinefelter's and other such syndromes as being "real" Intersex or simply Differences in Sex Development) would personally disagree with you that; "sex is determined at conception and in humans is bimodal and immutable".

        Intersex people are born with sex characteristics (including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. Experts estimate that up to 1.7 percent of the population are born with intersex traits…

        Human rights abuses against intersex people include, but are not limited to:

        • infanticide
        • forced and coercive medical interventions
        • discrimination in education, sport, employment and other services
        • lack of access to justice and remedies


        Though, of course, DSD and trans issues may overlap at times, but are generally separate. However, we do find common causes and solidarity in supporting each other. Unlike some who just want to get the L out of a grouping that is not all about them.

    • Anker 7.2

      Sex isn't assigned at birth. It is observed at birth and even before birth utero from scans.

      So like visubversa I turn off from what you are trying to say.

      My understanding is SUFW complaint was that the Greens added the bit about self id after submisions for the Bill had closed. Crown Law advised this was undemocratic.

      A vote compas poll before the last election showed that more people were against gender self id than for it.

      Glad ot hear what is most important to you.and likely the minority of people who call themselve nonbinary.

      Did you read Weka's points about why women are so fucked off with this Bill and this process? Did you click on the link and see the things tran gender activists say about those they call "terfs?" Its truly vile. Sick of our side being accused of hate speech for putting adds up saying women = adult human female.

      • Forget now 7.2.1

        It is a long quote; Anker, but the words you are turning off from are not mine, but rather that of (also typo earlier @ 7 – this was from back in 2018, not 2019):

        The National Council of Women of New Zealand, Te Kaunihera Wahine o Aotearoa (NCWNZ) is an umbrella group representing 245 organisations affiliated at either national level or to one of our 19 branches. In addition, about 350 people are individual members. Collectively our reach is over 350,000 with many of our membership organisations representing all genders.

        An organization who I have much more respect for than SUFW (especially in its current Collins press secretary phase). Cis women I have talked to recently about SUFW's pronouncements have not been complimentary. Many expressing annoyance at having their speech co-opted by this organization that presumes to represent them without consultation. Of course, the sample may be biased from the fact that they are the kind of women who are willing to share their time talking with me.

        The Vote Compass thing is just confusing, do you have a link to what you mean? The closest I could find looks more like a political matching service than any statistically significant form of polling. Not only is the population sample apparently self-selecting, but:

        Based on a user’s responses to a series of propositions that reflect salient aspects of the campaign discourse, Vote Compass calculates the alignment between the user’s personal views and the positions of the political parties…

        Vote Compass results are not intended and should not be interpreted as voting advice, nor as a prediction as to which party or candidate a given user intends to vote for. It is meant to serve as an entry point into an examination of parties differ across a suite of issues relevant to a given election campaign.


        Contrasting that with the NCWNZ/ Gender Equal NZ Gender Attitudes Survey methodology, I know which inspires more confidence in me:

        The survey was completed between 29th July and 13th August 2019, as an online survey, with a nationally representative sample of n=1,000 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over. Interviews with an additional ‘booster’ sample of n=276 Māori and Pacific Island respondents were completed, so that a final sample of n=402 Māori and Pacific Island combined was interviewed.

        The survey data has been weighted in order to adjust for this oversampling and to ensure that any result based on the total sample is representative of the New Zealand adult population.

        Results based on the weighted sample of n=1,276 are subject to a maximum margin of error of +/- 3.0% (at the 95% confidence level).


        There was no specific mention of the SOP59 to the BDMRRB, but the survey did demonstrate increasing acceptance of trans people in Aotearoa over time (from the 2017 survey, no word yet if this year's planned one is going ahead). Results here showing a distinct generational shift however:

        Whereas there are few significant differences by age between the acceptance of gay men and lesbian women, there are some for trans men, trans women, and non-binary gender people.

        For example, 66% of those aged 55+ said they would be comfortable with a nonbinary gender person as a work colleague, compared with 78% of 18-34. This difference is statistically significant.

        In addition to this, significantly fewer respondents aged 55+ stated they would be comfortable with a trans man as a friend, than those aged 18-34 (56% and 73% respectively).

        • Anker

          Ok Forget Now. I have a busy evening so I will answer each part as I can


          This is a link about the process of the Bill. Tracey Martin the then Minister deferred it as gender self ID was added at select committe and didn't give people enough time to make submissions. She saw a legal problem with this

          • arkie

            SUFW was set up to oppose this bill. Their own press release(my bold):

            Campaign Group Welcomes Hon Tracey Martin’s Announcement

            Auckland, 26 February 2019 – Campaign group Speak Up For Women has welcomed the announcement by Hon Tracey Martin that the controversial Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill will be deferred.

            The group, which formed in August 2018 to oppose the Bill, has been calling for the Government to put the sex self-identification clauses within the Bill on hold until there is reasonable public consultation, as well as for clarity on how the clauses in this Bill would impact other laws, namely the protected category of “sex,” intended to protect women from discrimination under the Human Rights Act.

            Yesterday, in a surprise announcement, the Minister in charge of the Bill, Hon Tracey Martin said: “…significant changes were made to the Bill by the select committee around gender self-identification and this occurred without adequate public consultation. This has created a fundamental legal issue.


            Tracey Martin was specifically invited by SUFW to their self-ID events prior to her “surprise announcement”(my bold):

            Public meeting called to discuss sex self-ID

            Auckland, 11 February 2019 – Today, campaign group Speak Up For Women has announced a public meeting in Auckland, featuring international speakers at the forefront of the global debate on sex self-identification laws.

            Several MPs have been invited to the event, to be held 26 February in the Ellen Melville Centre, including Tracey Martin, the Minister in charge of New Zealand’s Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill, which contains a controversial provision to allow sex self-identification.


        • Jan Rivers

          "Comfortable with" is a NZ cliche. Its why John Key used that expression and 'relaxed about' so much. I too am relaxed about transgender people in my life. It doesn't make me believe in gender ideology or think that it would be appropriate that girls have to use changing rooms and accomodation with men no matter how they identify. Nor that women should have to cede their protected rights to men.

          The research you cite was used by DIA to make the case that NZ attitudes are changing towards changing genders. But actually it proved nothing of the sort. In fact it showed that in 2019 very few people even understood what a non-binary person is even as the respondents said they would be 'comfortable about' working with such a person. You get that if you choose to interpret the answers that basically ask "are you a decent person" as an endorsement of gender ideology and gender change.

  8. Tabletennis 8

    Mana Wāhine Kõrero
    OBJECTS to the WEAPONISING of MAORI to pass Self Id for men who say they are women.

    "Until all hapu have been thoroughly consulted and informed on the true intention of this gender identity movement, no government agency, no government minister and no organisation supportive of gender identity has any right to weaponise our culture."

    by ManaWāhineKōrero (13 min)

    Māoritanga is being Weaponised by Gender Diversity

    • Forget now 8.1


      Nā ranga āniwaniwa i te pou āniwaniwa o ngā tūpuna Māori.

      (Takatāpui kōrero)

      I think I prefer Kerekere's discussion of Mana Wāhine, than this ManaWāhineKōrero:

      Mana Wāhine is the recognition of the inherent authority of Māori women beside Māori men – not below them – for the good of all whānau, hapū and iwi. It recognises that colonisation has damaged the status of Māori women. It challenges the use of domestic violence and sexual violence against Māori women and children. It encourages women to exercise tino rangatiratanga (self-determination) over their minds and bodies.


      But then I stopped watching MWK about halfway through. Repeatedly ranting “f*cking”, and taking Blanchard's "Autogynephilia" at face value, was enough for me (let alone; “when you look to the darkness that runs alongside this gender diversity movement”, which TBF seemed too much even for her). Maybe it got better towards the end – looking at the links really made me doubt it.

      But the thing that stood out was her glee at the select committee on Conversion Practice's Prohibition being swamped with over 100,000 submissions. That, and this at the top of the dooblydoo (especially when she is referencing He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni as a legal basis for foreign noninterference in Aotearoa!):

      ** NZ Parliament are inviting submissions from ANYONE OVERSEAS – just FYI **

      Sure, the video has only 500 views, and the submissions close tomorrow, but I imagine that there will be a lot of cut and pasting from sock puppets on both sides of the argument, which won't further the debate much. I guess delay is a political tactic, but it is going to be a bit tough on the committee members – who are likely to just sort them into for and against piles without much time for nuance.

      That makes me feel hongeā with having actually taken the time and effort to craft a submission specifically designed to avoid simply repeating others' words. Keeping it under a thousand words took some doing.

      1814 was the Takatāpui's 1840.

      (another saying amongst ngā kuia queer)

      • weka 8.1.1

        I also find MWK's videos hard going, but again this is what happens with NoDebate. And her point about not making legislative changes without talking to women stands.

        My people come from Scotland, immigrants in the late 1800s. Successive waves of colonisation mean that I don't have my ancestral cultural language to say this, so, given the context, and at risk of getting myself into trouble, I will say that replacing the meaning of woman to include gnc males, and then removing the word woman and using the word people instead, diminishes my mana as a woman, and diminishes the mana of women generally.

        I know what Kerekere means when she talks about Mana Wāhine, and yet I am Pākehā, I don't live in Te Ao Māori, I live in the Pākehā world where some women are afforded status alongside men but generally women are still treated as second class. That there are many Pākehā and some Māori that think elevating more people within that neobiberal misogyny will change the system, or work in the long term, is a massive problem. Fortunately women have always resisted and persisted, it's built into our bodies and our culture, and we won't settle for scraps at the table, even more palatable ones.

        • Forget now

          Are the NCWNZ not women, or Pākehā, enough for you; Weka? 350,000 seems like a decent number to be getting on with.

          The Council’s long history of fighting against gender discrimination is the foundation on which its resolution of support for all trans and non-binary people was made. In campaigning for women’s suffrage, Kate Sheppard said, “All that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman and must be overcome.” As a founder of their organisation, the National Council of Women stands by Kate Sheppard’s statement.


          Aotearoa is not Scotland. The gender diverse history of ngā tangata o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa (e.g. Takatāpui & Fa'afafine) exists only here.

          Are you really saying that you would seek to deny a Takatāpui wahine ki tāne (who is recognised as such by wahine Māori – eg Kerekere) access to public spaces maintained by society for the use of women? On the basis that these are only for those whom the descendents of (some) Pākehā settlers define as women (in a very; "man and women He created them" kind of way)?

          I believe that Trans people's social participation and cis women's need not be mutually exclusive. But rather than continually demanding a debate be held on your own terms (eg predefining "women" as excluding trans women), there are other ways to engage on substantive and specific issues.

          Though there isn't a lot of trust remaining for anyone associated with the (alleged) hate group SUFW engaging in good faith, amongst te ranga āniwaniwa. Hard to know where to start building that back up to the point where we are not merely talking past one another, oti haere ki ngā kōrero.

          • Anker

            Yes I would deny any biological male access to women's spaces such as public toilets and change rooms that are specifically for women and I think making the cae otherwise because of our colonial past is a red herring. Even in her PHd at one point Kerekere admits that there is no evidence there were Takatapui pre colonial times. I'll find the page referenc for you if required.

            I think there is a lot of inaccurate things said about SUFW. One was that they weren't real feminists. But if you click on their link you will see the incredible activism that individuals who are associated with SUFW have been involved with for feminist causes SUFW are mostely left, feminists.

            I would like people to actually say what they think SUFW are saying that is so dredful. Some actual evidence please.

            SUFW have a range of views regarding transgender people. Some are very compassionate towards trans and speak out for the need for transgender rights. Although I don't think weka is SUFW I am aware of how she always mentions the importance of trans rights.

            I don't think anyone is SUFW is anti trans at all. Generally they acknowledge Transgender should be free to live their lives without harrassment, I do to.

            I have seen SUFW accused of being anti trans because of their Women adult human female add. But the definition is at the heart of the debate. And the add is to pique peoples curiosity about the Bill that this govt are brinking in by stealth.

            I see Ani O'briens name being thrown around as if she is some evil devil. What is it Ani has said that leads you to mention her??? Please let me know. Being Judith Collins press secretary doesn't cut it I am sorry. We all need a job. As I so often find in this debate the opposit is true. If you think it is acceptable to have a group of people on twitter saying "lets try and get Ani Obrien is a c..t trending". What sort of vileness is that. Ani is taking these vile people to court, "just to make them stop". I hope she wins (although I don't know her). She has a good case.

            The main point of difference between SUFW and transgender ideology is that SUFW and their supporters believe biological sex is real and imutable and that it is not possible to change your sex. They absolutely accept that some people have gender dysphoria and that others have an internal sense of the gender identity that is different from their biological sex. SUFW don't want to prevent these people from identifying in this way. That is their choice and people should be free to live as they want.

            There are many people who articulate the trans gender ideology who refer to women who have penises, or lesbians who have penises. Some of these activists also call lesbians transphobic if they don't want to have sex with lesbians who have penises. I totally reject that someone born male with a penis is a women.

            So while i accept that people have a different gender identity from their biological sex, I don't believe their gender identity trumps biological sex. If you were born male, you will always be male. You are free to identfy as a woman and live as a woman, dress in a womans clothes if you want to. And if I meet you I will treat you how I treat everyone, with respect unless you give me cause to do otherwise.

            BUT just because your internal gender identity is that of a women, but you are actually male, then there are some spaces that are preserved for women and girls that you are not welcome in. And I know there are some women who don't think that way, but its not just about their personal opinion. I am absolutely clear where I stand on this, because as an older female I feel a duty of care to do all I can to protect women, teen girls and teen children. Its called safeguarding and its never addressed by trans activists.

          • weka

            Are the NCWNZ not women, or Pākehā, enough for you; Weka? 350,000 seems like a decent number to be getting on with.

            What does that mean? Are you suggesting that NCW should represent all women in NZ? That there should be no dissenting opinions?

            Aotearoa is not Scotland. The gender diverse history of ngā tangata o Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa (e.g. Takatāpui & Fa'afafine) exists only here.

            Are you saying that Gaelic and Celtic cultures didn't have gender non-conformity? That would be quite the claim. Obviously GNC is cultural and each culture has its own expression and mores/roles around that.

            Are you really saying that you would seek to deny a Takatāpui wahine ki tāne (who is recognised as such by wahine Māori – eg Kerekere) access to public spaces maintained by society for the use of women?

            Obviously there are Māori women who don't agree with Kerekere.

            If you are asking me if I think trans women should be excluded from some spaces that are female only, then yes. You know this already about my politics.

            This doesn't preclude mixed services. eg if Māori want to set up rape crisis services that are mixed sex, I would support this. I'd also be really interested to see how that played out at the iwi and hapū level if those services were to replace single sex rape crisis entirely. But you can see here that I am arguing for both/and, not a suppression of trans or other gnc people.

            On the basis that these are only for those whom the descendents of (some) Pākehā settlers define as women (in a very; "man and women He created them" kind of way)?

            For people reading, there's this idea in gender identity ideology that European colonisation enforced its sex and gender culture on native peoples. I think there is truth to this. There's also this idea that before colonisation there was no concept of biological sex as binary, that the imperialists made it up. This is ahistorical nonsense (all cultures know how babies are made and which sex plays which role in that).

            Did Brits arriving here bring a specific understanding of biological sex and gender roles? Of course, this is the patriarchal culture we have inherited. Did this mean that Māori had no concept of binary sex and instead only had gender identity and society was organised around the latter and not the former, I'd want to see some evidence of that.

            If you mean that binary sex was understood but that Māori had positive attitudes towards gnc people, I would agree.

            I think you are conflating gender/sex, so let me just be clear on my own view: afaik all cultures on the planet have had gender non-conforming people, yes even the Brits as they arrived here. How that was supported or suppressed is a matter of culture, and likewise the gender roles of men and women.

            I believe that Trans people's social participation and cis women's need not be mutually exclusive.

            I agree, I can see room for woman and trans women to share space, services, activities, politics in collaborative and mutually beneficial ways. I think this can only happen if both groups are allowed to have their own politics/spaces as well. If TW set up services for themselves, I would have zero problem with that excluding women.

            But rather than continually demanding a debate be held on your own terms (eg predefining "women" as excluding trans women), there are other ways to engage on substantive and specific issues.

            Ok, so you want to determine that women as a sex class shouldn't have their own politics. How is this not disappearing females? How is this in any way pluralistic and inclusive?

            Though there isn't a lot of trust remaining for anyone associated with the (alleged) hate group SUFW engaging in good faith, amongst te ranga āniwaniwa. Hard to know where to start building that back up to the point where we are not merely talking past one another, oti haere ki ngā kōrero.

            To make clear, my association with SUFW is that I've linked to their website and I know a couple of the women on twitter. That's it. I've already said I have some issues with the way that SUFW have organised and done their politics, and I've also said that if progressives want a more progressive GCF movement in NZ then they should stop the NoDebate position and let left wing/progressive women organise.

            But gender ideology activists won't do that because they don't believe that women have the right to their own politics. This is the crux of the conflict of rights.

            • weka

              re good faith, I can say that I appreciate your willingness to engage here.

              I think that the only way forward is to bring all the issues into the open and talk about them and that requires people such as yourself being willing to bring your ideas, politics and passion to the table.

              I'll acknowledge a power imbalance here in that I'm an author and mod, and that I pass for cis. I also routinely get mistaken for being a man online, so there's some privilege in that too. And I'm articulate and used to arguing in hard debate culture.

              It seems to me that there are challenges for you coming into this space because of your gender identity and because TS is fairly mainstream and blokey, as well as reflecting Pākehā society, and there's not a lot of understanding about gnc. And there aren't a lot of rainbow allies here for your political position. So I have respect for you in your engagement even where I disagree with a lot of your politics.

              I'm saying this because TS is a robust debate culture and we don't spend much time acknowledging each other as people. I don't think this is healthy.

              There's also not a lot of understanding or support here for feminism. Women have to fight hard to be here, myself included and I've paid some large prices to remain an author here, stuff that isn't generally known on the front end although I hint at it from time to time.

              My fight here isn't with trans people. It's with anyone who seeks to diminish the rights of women, myself included. Because of my history on TS, it's personal in this space as well as political. That I now have to argue with left wing men, who in the past have supported feminism but are taking the position that they as men get to decide what is legitimate feminism and what isn't, is a massive problem on top of the generally institutional sexist nature of TS. So there's the queer/rainbow politics to deal with on one side, and there's the increased sexism on the other.

              What I'm trying to say here is that it's hard for women and trans people to be here, in different but overlapping ways. The main thing I take from that is that we should be finding common ground and looking to make TS a better debate place for all of us.

              • Forget now

                I feel I should reply; Weka, but that's going to take some time and I have other things to be getting on with. The submission period is now closed, so it's not like there's any particular urgency. I will probably pick up some of these threads next time the discourse swings by this way, rather than on a three day old thread that is slipping down the main page.

                Tracey was first (ie last in the timeline) on my reply button so she is the one on whom I spent what little energy I have remaining for this topic.

          • tracey

            You’ve read Kerekere’s thesis? Then you know she offers NO proof that Maori ever believed humans can change sex. It’s a lightweight (academically) piece that talks about lots of stuff but proves nothing. It is not for her to determine what Maori concepts were nor is it her place to gift Reo.

            • Forget now

              I have skimmed Kerekere's thesis, but wouldn't claim to have read it; because to do so would involve accessing the supporting documents and references – which isn't the easiest without time and resources that are not readily available to me at this time. Hard to offer definitive proof of anything from a largely oral history, especially since what written records are extant are largely derived from Pākehā missionaries with their own biases and agendas.

              This section about the gender neutrality of Te Reo Māori, is indicative of the difficulties involved:

              Ngata (1986) stressed the importance of context in translation and interpretation because Māori had significant differences from both the language and lifestyle of the English. One example is the use of the personal pronoun ‘ia’ to denote ‘her’, ‘hers’, ‘him’, ‘his’ and ‘it.’ This genderneutral terminology was emphasised as relevant to takatāpui by the former Hauora Takatāpui (HOT) team at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (Harris et al 2005). Te reo Māori has very few gender-specific terms overall, kuia female elder and koro male elder being notable exceptions. That no individual words existed for the terms of ‘mother’, ‘father’, ‘wife’, ‘husband’, ‘daughter’, ‘son’, ‘sister’, ‘brother’, ‘aunty’, ‘uncle’ shows that the British nuclear family was not the standard in Māori society. Instead, generic terms were used: wahine woman/wife; tane man/husband; kōtiro/hine/tamatahine girl/daughter; tama boy/son; tuahine sister (of a boy)/female cousin; tungāne brother (of a girl)/male cousin; matua parent and those of the same generation; kaumātua grandparents and those of the same or older generation.

              The order of birth was considered to be much more important, as specific words did exist for the eldest child mataamua and the youngest pōtiki. The elder sisters of girls and brothers of boys were their tuakana while the younger sisters of girls and brothers of boys were their teina. Each of these positions came with specific rights and responsibilities.

              Such clarifications are important to this study when assessing the translations and interpretations given for a range of traditional Māori narratives, as they are likely to reflect any gender bias of the interpreter.


  9. esoteric pineapples 9

    To me, the fact that women are expected to make concessions so that society can find a place for trans people is itself sexist.

    • Anker 9.1

      Absolutely Esoteric. It really f…s me off how a small minority have a problem and the attitude is well women can accommodate for these people put up and shut up.

  10. Mika 10

    If we want to see what the consequences of sex self-ID are for marginalised and vulnerable women prisoners the lessons from Canada are sobering. There, men have been able to self-identify into women's prisons for some time. Many are convicted sex offenders and surgery is not a prerequisite for transfer. This interview with advocates for women prisoners in canada is sobering.

    PODCAST: Men are being housed in women’s prisons and the Canadian government doesn’t care

  11. miravox 11

    Thanks for bringing this it our attention. Submission done.

    You're so right about the problems with discussing this issue on-line. As in real life, there are few safe spaces for women. Thanks also for providing one of them.

    • Gezza 11.1

      I clicked on weka's hostile environment link. Had absolutely no idea the reactions/threats were this foul & frightening. Glad I mostly ignore social media, even fb.

  12. It’s pretty clear that many on the left are willing to sacrifice women’s rights.

    Or are oblivious to them or downright dismissive of them. These last few years have been a real eye-opener.

    • Anker 12.1

      What I think is happening on the left is a complete absence of critical thought. Progressives are jumping on the band wagon probably because the want to stand by a minority group. But they are failing to open their eyes and see what is really going on.

      This isn't about transgender people. This is about transgender ideology, its hallmarks of no debate, labelling people trans gender if they fail to comply, requiring the world to change, treating women with complete disrespect and failure to recognise how this ideology completes the safe guarding of women and girls with reckless disregard.

      • Nic the NZer 12.1.1

        I don't see this kind of thinking as an absence of critical thinking, or at least an unusual one.

        While gender ideology is not a harmful cult, it does have aspects of cult thinking. Something about cult thinking is the ideology is frequently self contradictory. You might think this is accidental, its actually a feature. L. Ron Hubbard placed many contradictions into his theory of scientology for example. The effect of this is for the people who accept both the statement and its contradiction they will often notice this, but form some adhoc justification for believing both. People value and internalise ideas they think of themselves absorbing them on an emotional level.

        It seems to also help with identifying people who no longer accept the core doctrines.

        Unfortunately for normal people (some autists being an exception) there is a strong intuative and largely emotional part to their thought processes. Most thoughts and many decisions are made quickly and not made rationally at all (allusion to Kahnemans book, Thinking fast and thinking slow).

        • Anker

          I disagree Nic. I think Gender Ideology is harmful.

          The automatic affirmation of young teens and children in their gender identity leads to a affirmation medical transition, puberty blockers then almost 100% transitioning to cross sex hormones and then often surgery such as masetomies, hysterectomies and this is kids 18 and under. These medical interventions are irreversible and effect fertility. There are many kids who want to de-transition and only have limited success for this.

          There is also evidence of transwomen being transferred to womens prision, some whom are sex offenders who go on to sexually assault and harrass women prisioners.

          I could go on, but I have an important phone call to make. More later.

          • Nic the NZer

            I agree that this ideology is causing in some cases harm, and is aspiring to cause harm to how society functions by modifying male & female norms.

            The phrase harmful cult however is kind of the classification most people think of as a cult. It turns out many institutions, family, church, school, military would otherwise meet the effective description of cult. So i'm just saying its not a cult, it just shares aspects of cult ideology.

      • tracey 12.1.2

        We know the Right are no friends of women or our rights. But the Left are not immune to misogyny and this issue has blown that right open. A small number of men who think they are women are getting rafts of policy/legislation at a speed that must give critical thinking women pause and must make mana Wahine go WTF

        • Psycho Milt

          I think it's the clearest possible sign of how bad things have become that conservatives, of all people, are looking less oblivious to women's rights than the left.

  13. left for dead 13

    Another good post Weka,please let some sanity prevale.

  14. there's no fuss about trans ideology grooming kids for a lifetime of dysphoria and regret

    but teaching them Christian principles is a horrible hate crime

    I see Labour is putting its majority to good use, instead of actually fixing stuff (e.g. WINZ, housing, power & food costs — all in the "too hard" basket)

    • Molly 14.1

      This proposal, like the conversion therapy bill, requires no thought (other countries have already done similar), and even better requires little in the way of budget or resources.

      Solid evidence of "progressive" politics without any effort. How could they resist?

    • Gypsy 14.2

      Well said.

    • tracey 14.3

      Hardly a hate crime- religious exceptions to laws are not being overridden, women’s exceptions are

      • roblogic 14.3.1

        I expect that the triumvirate of stupidity (conversion therapy scaremongering/ sex self-ID/ hate speech) will undermine both groups' rights and stifle their complaints about it

  15. The Fairy Godmother 15

    This is indeed a scary topic to put one’s name to. Just got in a discussion on facebook on a friends post on this issue and someone decided to tag all our mutual friends. Just nasty low level harrassment on the trans activist side. I have put in a submission because enough is enough. I want to have stated that I do not approve of this bill and it will damage the rights of women and girls.

    • Anker 15.1

      Good on you Fairy Godmother. yes its very nasty what happens if you express gender critical views……

      Its a cunning strategy to call people transphobic………….

      Usually I get good responses when I comment on The Standard, but whenever I raise transgender ideology, the reponses get really personal and uncalled for. "unhinged" "stupid" "ideotic" to name a few.

      All the people who tried telling me the Wispa. incident was a hoax were nowhere to be seen when it turned out it wsn't a hoax and a known sex offender who was trans gender went into the women's section of the spa naked with his penis semi erect. Women and girls there at the time………..Where is the outrage!? I feel outraged by that.

      • The Fairy Godmother 15.1.1

        Thanks Anker I became gender critical when I realised a lot of feminists I respect were expressing concerns. I looked into it and can see that vulnerable women such as prisoners are in real danger when males identify as women. There are no checks and balances and sex offenders are put in with these women. Unacceptable. It seems society doesnt care about male violence against women.

      • Mika 15.1.2

        All the people who tried telling me the Wispa. incident was a hoax were nowhere to be seen when it turned out it wsn't a hoax and a known sex offender who was trans gender went into the women's section of the spa naked with his penis semi erect.

        I'm not sure that the WiSpa flasher was actually trans. It turns out he was a serial sex offender with a long history of misusing sex self-ID to commit crimes against women and girls.

        This is exactly the potential problem with self-ID. There are some men, (yes, yes, I know, not all men) who will do absolutely anything and exploit every loophole to offend against women and girls.


        • weka

          it's also the dilemma for the GI activists. Either Darren Merager is a man, in which case self-ID is a risk for women, or Merager is a trans woman, in which case we need to accept that TW can be sex offenders and we should do the research on the rates so risk can be assessed. NoDebate has pushed denial so hard that now the GI activists have nowhere to go other than throw women under the bus.

          The other big problem there is the dishonesty in the debate about violence by TW means we can't find good solutions for violence against TW.

          • Tabletennis

            Some research has been done, to help understand and debate the Trans activist arguments, and can be found on the Fair Play for Women website.

            "As a group transwomen’s offending rates are much the same as those of men, though worse in sex offending and violent crimes. This means that while not every trans person presents a risk, as a group they are no less risky to women than men are. In our society, men are expected to stay out of women-only spaces, despite the fact that most men are not offenders, because some are. Our research indicates that the same is true of trans women.

            Remember with self_ID, comes a name change and deletion of any criminal record. This makes vetting, especially in the volunteering sector an safeguarding issue. Things get so strange that UK GirlsGuiding policy is now: that any new adult men or women gets vetted, but when claiming to be transgender one is exempt.

        • Molly

          Interesting article on the media reporting and reaction to this incident, which seemed to be replicated in a small way here on TS:

          "The Wi Spa scandal is worse than we thought" – Brendan O'Neill, http://www.spiked-online.com.

          Another thought inducing 2018 article on the different response a male author received when writing about transgender issues:

          "I am neither trans nor a woman. Can I write about the issues they face?" – James Kirkup, The Economist.

          It was one in a series of 10 Op-ed pieces from different perspectives. Worth the time to read.

  16. Anker 16

    Roblogic it is truly horrific what is happening with grooming kids in to the idea that they are born in the wrong body and that there are 7, 20, 70 genders (you will find that if you google).

    Anyone who thinks girls having double mastectomies at 16 and hysterectomies at 18 (as per NZ Listener article end of June this year) needs to sit down take and deep breath and say that to themselves many times until they take in what that actully means……..its a horror story.

    • roblogic 16.1

      There can be justified medical reasons for such operations, but the current social activist movement is not doing itself (or trans people) any favours by some of its more extreme positions. Shutting down academics, cancelling feminist events, demanding compliance with a gnostic belief system, forcing medical professionals to affirm only, and alienating concerned parents.

      Red flags and disinformation abound

  17. Anker 17
    • I would like to see this debate go to open mike.

    I think there are a lot of people on the Standard who are in denial about what is going on in the world and the invidious way gender ideology has seeped into our universities, media, public service and the multinationals.

    when people finally wake up to this, they will realise how they have turned their critical brain off and merged into a group think slumber.

    NI appreciate that Forget Now has come on this thread and tried to engage.

    Autogynephilia was a term used by a psychologist who was working with trans women. Like all good scientist, he was trying to make sense of what was going on for the people he was trying to help. Unfortunately this Avenue of enquiry, like that of the scholars trying to research de-transitioners is being shut down. It’s never healthy when scientists are shut down for political reasons..

    so my call to the women and others on this post is let’s keep posting on open mike. Bring links about what is happening with this issue. See you there!

  18. lol Bomber is having a normal one over at his place.

    he deserves an award for most bombastic blog.

    BL0GWATCH: Is there an Action Station petition to cancel The Standard yet? | The Daily Blog

    • Nic the NZer 18.1

      I noticed an ex-author commenting how much he is being missed. Seems to have noticed a pattern, lack of author => lack of flamewars => lower comment volumes.

      He probably disappeared more comments as too right wing than TDB has daily of course.

      • roblogic 18.1.1

        His accusations against Weka were completely off the wall. I can relate to his frustration with "woke" discourse but that's not Weka. And material class analysis has never been lacking here, it's just that the muck of current affairs tends to intrude upon the purity of one's ideals occasionally.

    • weka 18.2

      lol, there’s a lot of weird shit on that page.

      go Sabine though!! And nice one Corey.

      • Psycho Milt 18.2.1

        V sad to learn that you "and your ilk" have been pushing gender identity ideology, weka. You kept that so quiet I've never noticed it even once.

        • weka

          it was super secret. So secret that no-one knew, not even me. Bomber knew of course 🙄

          I kind of like the idea of being a weasel sniper, in a Blackadder cunning kind of way.

  19. Cricklewood 19

    Wow, I read and dont comment on these posts as im out of my depth but making an exception thos time. I clicked through on Hostile environment reads like an incel thread on 4chan… unreal…

  20. Jan Rivers 20

    Thanks Weka for a really solid article on this topic. You have done, and taken the place of, the NZ media who are all but absent on critical analysis of this area.

  21. Sabine 21

    and under the self id law in the US this bloke will go to a female prison. Cause why not.


    The leader of an Illinois anti-government militia group who authorities say masterminded the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque was sentenced Monday to 53 years in prison for an attack that terrified the mosque’s community.

    Emily Claire Hari, who was previously known as Michael Hari and recently said she is transgender, faced a mandatory minimum of 30 years for the attack on Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington.

    District Judge Donovan Frank said evidence clearly showed Hari’s intent was to “scare, intimidate and terrorize individuals of Muslim faith.”

    “Diversity is the strength of this country,” Frank said. “Anyone who doesn’t understand that doesn’t understand the constitutional promise of this country that brings a lot of people here.”

    “Anything less than 636 months would (be) disrespect to the law,” the judge added.

    Hari made a brief statement before she was sentenced, saying, “For how blessed my first 47 years of life were, I can’t complain about what the last three have looked like … considering my blessed and fortunate and happy life, I can’t ask the judge for anything further.”

    She also said the victims who testified during Monday’s hearing have been through a “traumatic ordeal” and she wished them “God’s richest blessings in Christ Jesus.”

    Frank said he was prepared to recommend Hari go to a women’s prison, but said the Bureau of Prisons would decide.

    Well i guess that spending up to 30 years in the slammer for terrorism is easier to do in a female prison then a male one. Now i just wonder if the guy identifies as a "Translesbian" and if he gets to bunk with a biological female.

  22. tracey 22

    One of the jobs of law writers and law makers is to provide exceptions, to consider unintended consequences, and to consider what can go wrong.

    eg transwomen in the pre GI sense are just trying to get on with their lives. Some predatory men will use laws intended to ease the lives of transwomen to prey on children/women. That is NOT the same as saying transwomen are paedophiles, unless you completely lack reading comprehension. So one task of law makers is how do we close that loophole

    which gym owner is going to refuse a BC in the current climate? And risk the media raining down on them?

    the HRC is totally embedded in GI but they are the body to report conversion therapy, discrimination issues?

    how many of us can afford to take a civil case to test our hard win women’s rights?

    And I am sick of being told I hate and want the erasure of trans kiwis, I don’t and I don’t. This is about balancing multiple rights- trans, women and children

    but we cannot balance them when we are yelled over and down

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