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Women’s Day

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, July 17th, 2021 - 106 comments
Categories: feminism - Tags: ,

This post is for women commenters only.

Sometimes on The Standard we have posts dedicated to creating specific kind of debate spaces. Lefties on The Standard started around the 2017 election to give left wing people some discussion free of the acrimony between left and right at that time. A post earlier this year on the death of Sarah Everard, women and male violence was open to women commenters only for similar reasons. Sometimes women need space to talk through issues without the distraction of male view points.

When I started Lefties on the Standard, I wrote,

I had a gratifying experience last month, a late night conversation on twitter about the left and the NZ election and what the Greens are up to. There were maybe half a dozen people in the conversation, and all of them were left wing. The conversation ranged over a number of areas and sub-threads and lasted several hours. At the end I came away feeling buoyed by the debate, that it was not only productive, and gave us food for thought, but that it fed us too. One thing I noticed was that none of us slagged each other off, nor was there a slagging off of our political allies.

We certainly weren’t all in agreement, and the conversation started with us disagreeing on a number of points around Green Party strategy – this was just after the first GP election campaign launch and Metiria Turei had just called Peters out on his racist rhetoric. But it was a conversation free of antagonism and instead explored political issues in depth and offered a chance for people to talk with their allies.

I’d like to try something similar today, a post for women commenters only, whereby we have discussion space for the things that matter to us, and can have those discussions in our own way. The intention is to create women’s space as a positive environment for feminist and other politics that are important to women.

This is a trust model. I’m asking this post be for cis women/biological women only, and that men and people who self-identify as women refrain from commenting. Everyone is welcome to read, and the usual Open Mike and Daily Review spaces are still there for a wide range of discussions as are any posts put up by authors.

Usual TS rules still apply.

This is an imperfect, evolving experiment. I fully support men, people with gender identities, and all groups of people with their own politics to create space for their own discussions. This is about diversity and valuing many voices, that may also enhance when we come together in mixed and general debate.

So, women of the Standard, here’s a space to ourselves…

106 comments on “Women’s Day ”

  1. weka 1

    For some other kinds of stories about farmers, Shepherdess is a relatively new quarterly magazine for/about rural women. Some snips of the stories on their website https://www.shepherdess.co.nz/stories

  2. TeWhareWhero 2

    Okay I'll play. I'm old-school left – Red left as opposed to what the Chinese call the White left which, it seems to me, increasingly busies itself with tidying up Neo-liberalism's mess or darting about sprinkling glitter on its worst excesses. Apologies for indulging in a bit of snarky poetic license.

    I had an exchange with a person recently who was opining about the ways in which technology will soon free those who can give birth from the tyranny of biological reproduction; and without missing a beat they (non-binary) went on to say how wonderful it was that uterine transplantation into MtoF transgender people was imminent.

    When I pointed out some of the realities of that most extreme of high-risk obstetrics, and said it would be nice if the miracle-makers of NL's brave new world could address themselves to the 100k- 300k women who die unnecessarily in childbirth every year or the 1m neonates or the 4m other kids under 5 – an annual holocaust of easily preventable deaths of poor, brown and black little humans – the response was a what do you expect me to do about that shrug.

    That made me think. There are so many issues which in themselves are huge and daunting but in combination become overwhelming, maybe the appeal of GIP is, it's something people feel they can make a difference about.

    In relation to the issue du jour, I am critical of gender identity politics (GIP) because I am critical of superficial identity politics (SIP) more widely. I see it as a preoccupation of Neo-liberalism’s left wing – essentially individualist and individualising, seeking accommodations for selected interest groups within a malign and inevitably destructive economic system. Don’t get me wrong – reforms and extensions of rights are vital – we should wrest everything we can out of the system, but we should not close our eyes to the fact that whilst formal rights and choices are being granted on the one hand, the ability of many to exercise rights and access choices is being curtailed – even removed entirely.I

    I think it was Holly Lawford-Smith who said that often in debates about GIP and sex-self-ID in particular, the two sides are talking about different things. At the extremes of the debate, the stereotypes of the ‘enemy’ become caricatures. I’m not known for being a centrist in relation to much but on this, bringing the debate back to a more moderate, nuanced centre seems essential if we aren’t to all disappear up our respective fundamentalisms.

    My bottom line is – woman is both a biological and a social category so deeply embedded in all cultures that crude / heedless / superficial, / of the moment attempts to blur, obfuscate, remove, hi-jack it will result in a backlash that could grow – very easily and very fast – into a far greater reaction which could sweep away far more than trans rights.

    We do not need to empty the terms woman and female of meaning in order to protect trans rights. I will have more to say later about the wider implications of the privileging of gender identity -a subjective, sometimes shifting, unverifiable sense of a gendered self – over the material reality of biological sex, with its vast weight of historical and contemporary, cross-class and cross-cultural meaning.

    • weka 2.1

      I’m not known for being a centrist in relation to much but on this, bringing the debate back to a more moderate, nuanced centre seems essential if we aren’t to all disappear up our respective fundamentalisms.

      I've been thinking a lot about this. For radical people, there's a kind of aversion to considering any kind of centrist positioning because conventional politics frames everything on the left —- centre —- right line. Who wants to be compared to Peter Dunne?

      But then there's this whole thing about politics of middle aged women being dismissed, an often unacknowledged misogyny inflated with anti-boomer, anti white supremacist rhetoric, and now also a convenient tool for GIP to dismiss gender critical feminism. Middle aged and older women hold society together and look after the kids and are still cleaning the toilet. Maybe the centre appears worse than it is.

      Societal change starts at the edge, but it still requires the centre to come along, and the centre holds a position that stops the edge from going completely off the rails. Maybe politics isn't a line but a sphere. In the same way that Green politics doesn't fit easily into the conventional line (or even the fourfold political axis), so too women's politics needs a better model. I like the sphere because as well as the delight of left/right lines meeting up on the other side, there's the whole deep/superficial aspect as well. And much cannot be seen when one is solely focused on one's own little patch.

      GIP definitely points to a need for tempering influences.

    • Sabine 2.2

      Yes, there are stories now out about Transwomen who want to breast feed and in order to do so take huge amounts of hormones and stuff, never mind that the baby will 'eat' all of that stuff.

      no answers. but it reminds of this here https://orville.fandom.com/wiki/About_a_Girl#:~:text=About%20a%20Girl%20is%20the,Goodman.

      in this case (sify) all women born to this planet/people are automatically transitions to boys as they consider their planet to not be good enough for girls.

      I think biological women really need to come to grips with the fact that at best in our lifes we will only encounter 'benign mysogyny" from men and enabling women (and yes, women will happily turn in to a Aunt Lydia if it will benefit them), or at worse just flat out misogyny and hatred of the 'female'.

      Case in Point, the CHCH school and the casual every day abuse of young girls /women, that seemingly gets nothing from the Ministry for women, or the Police, or anyone. It is just a normal rite of passage for women.

    • Fran 2.3

      I have become increasingly concerned by the shutting down of debate by women. The removal of the billboard in Wellington makes me shudder. I am an older woman, a mother and grandmother of girls and I worry that the gains made by my generation for women will be wiped out for my granddaughters.

      Womanhood is as much social and cultural as biological but the social and cultural mores of women hood are predicated in the biological.

      Trans people have different social and cultural experiences not just different biological ones. This is why I firmly believe these people should be loud and proud of who they and their journeys and experiences rather than claiming someone else's. It is rather like those who feel they are ethnically different and try to claim someone else's culture.

      Why can't we have trans or gender fluid spaces oh hang on, we do. Unisex toilets abound as do family changing spaces at swimming pools etc. Perhaps we just need to rename them.

      Sorry this is a bit rambling but thank you Weka for creating a women's space here. We are being marginalised again and this is a little bit of redress.

      • weka 2.3.1

        I read that and thought it particularly lucid. Very similar to how I feel, including the bit about women’s culture arising from biology.

        We are at a point where women are kicked out of women’s spaces for refusing to stop taking about our bodies in our own language, and where lesbians are kicked off dating apps for saying they only want to date biological women. Now lesbians in Tasmania have been told they have no legal right to their identity.

        That degree of body and sexuality denial is dangerous.

        I want society to change and improve for trans people as well as women. The hypocrisy of gender activists in demanding acceptance of trans identity while actively deny the same for women is ideology not social justice and is harming us all.

        • Fran

          You are so right. I don't hear many women denying trans people their identity but I am hearing women being shut down and us being denied ours, that billboard again.

          Keep up the good work.

  3. KSaysHi 3

    Look, my needs are simple. In a world where violence against women gets a "meh" reaction, I'd like to know that the laws put in place don't worsen the safety issues we already have. Really is that asking much?

    Seems to me lobbying has overcome common sense. There should be a compromise but I sure as hell don't want to try and argue it given the level of outright venom directed at anyone who attempts a rational and calm argument.

    This isn't the US or UK ffs. We should have our own Kiwi way of including everyone in a manner that works. Less drama, more solutions you might say.

    • weka 3.1

      yes. I see NZ having the potential to do it differently.

    • TeWhareWhero 3.2

      I hear you. I once said to an earnest young thing that without the biological reality of dimorphic sex there wouldn't be gender and I was called a TERF and blocked. Not much scope for moderate and nuanced debate with someone as high on sanctimony as that. The current debate in parts of NZ social media is just as emotive and running on parallel lines as elsewhere in the Anglophone world.

  4. Anker 4
    • Thanks. For this column Weka. I am a little tired after yesterday’s debate and also have some stuff on today. I do want to acknowledge how well you stick to the issues around the GC debate.
    • I have always been moderately left, Labour voter etc. I feel very disillusioned with Labour about the gender self ID and associated issues. I think the situation with the debate is so fractious, that we are heading for something akin to the Springbox tour.
    • as I pointed out on another post, Tinetti has failed in her duty to show some leadership and try and bring all sides together. It has been truly shocking to me that she has failed to listen to opposing feminist left wing voices.
    • as a wo men my life is ok. I am lucky. I have earnt a lot less than if I had of been a man, I have battles with women’s health problems, I am supporting a friend through a separation who virtually gave up her career to parent and is having to fight hard to get financially compensated in the settlement. And despite living with two lovely men, I am still the one who cleans the toilet
    • weka 4.1

      I've been thinking about the Tour lately too, and the potential for losing friends.

      As a woman my life is ok too. I am relatively safe from violence, but living with disability as an older, unmarried woman puts me at a more invisible risk.

      I miss women's space, there used to be a lot of it around when I was in my twenties and thirties. One of the good things I see from the g/s war is the arising of grass roots feminist groups in the UK. As KSaysHi points to, I'm hoping NZ can find a different path than the shit fight that's happened in the UK, and I also think there is much to be learned from those feminists at this time.

    • tracey 4.2

      The other day I mused , only partially joking, if anyone had a drone. So that we might send it up, over the All Black match in Hamilton tonight and drop lots of leaflets about what is happening in NZ to women, by left wing men and their female helpers. I want the ‘Left’ to wake up to itself. It is driving people like me into a political wilderness. I have never voted NZF, ACT or National but this one issue, which is actually the manifestation of many issues for females, nat drive me there.

      To be turned on by the Left itself is like a world gone mad. I am permanently banned from twitter. A transwomen prof declared that NOT giving young people was akin to Genocide. She declared as a Jew she could say that. I posted a link to the Bell v Tavistock funding and a NICE article on puberty blockers and wrote that giving unproven drugs to children to change their sex almost sounds like… Appeal failed. Meanwhile heaps of white lefty blokes get to stay despite their misogyny. We are being silenced and many men on the Left are leading it.

      Not just this issue but consider that hundreds of thousands of women and children in NZ are victims of sexual abuse by men. Survivors are traumatised. We cannot tell any good guy from a bad guy- this is even more pronounced if we were abused by a known person that we trusted. With NO skin in the game the men of the Left are railing on SM that we need to let men into our spaces, cos they feel bad when we don’t. Part of creeping back into the world is seeking out safe spaces- including gym and pool changing rooms(physical activity plays a pivotal role in easing mental health issues). So big brave men of the left calling us bigots and transphobes, white supremicist etc for wanting to safeguard each other and children- tell this girl (one of far too many) to suck it up, let men into her spaces, cos ‘they’ might kill themselves https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/125778043/i-dont-feel-like-a-kid-anymore-young-girl-faces-rapist-in-court

      • Tabletennis 4.2.1

        My thought resonate with Anker -I found the contribution to a post, by Advantage, frustrating in that – where to start (arms up in the air) not seemingly having given any thought to the legal consequences of such a 'small admin change'.

        I've even looked at a new political home, as I feel a lack to support the extreme left and its lacking to acknowlede the colliding rights between women and TIM (trans identified man).
        I've spent hrs writing to my local Labour candidate and Jan Tinetti – there is no debate.

        -I shared many an scientific article with the local TOP candidate, on the harm and lack of positive outcomes on children, around the issue of 'consent' given by minors for puberty blockers and crossex hormones, followed by invasive surgery.
        Which medical discipline promotes the removal of healthy body parts? And though he was new to this subject, he announced after a couple of months that he felt he supported MORE rights for T-people.

        I spent time on the TOP FB page, to find the moderator and administrator, two young males with technical backgrounds, who believe in sex not being binary and that the only difference between women and man is their hormone level.
        Remember- this is the party that lobbies on science and evidence based policies.

        Today I find that transsexual (Transsexual voices Matter) are too opposed to the sex self-ID. Explaining in 7 bullets point as to why and how it affects them negatively.

        The amazing work that Speak Up for Women does fill me with a last bit of hope that things might still get debated and that the other persons in this debate becomes visible i.e women and girls.
        It all depends who will be sitting on the submission committee – any one knows yet?

  5. Sabine 5

    I fit into middle class now. 🙂

    but i never felt save as a women out and about. I never felt safe at work either for that matter. I had my fair share of women hate hurled at me by boys, then men, and some women (Mother dearest) for that matter.

    heck my Name alone is a prime example of internalized women hate ( i have no better word and misogyny seems to benign actually).

    Sabine – Rape of the Sabines.
    How can any parent name a girl after a group of women who legend goes were stolen from their tribe – after the blokes / boys were killed, to become 'spoils of war'. Just like the muslim women of Bosnia, or the Yazidi women and Isis.

    I hear your hope, but i have given up on hope. Hope implies that on the other side there might be a smidgen of concern, but the lack of safety for women and girls in this country tells me that there is no hope.

    Women really have to stand up for themselves and their sisters, and daughters. Cause we have always been alone in this fight.

  6. Anker 6
    • Sadly I feel the same way Sabine.
    • re the Transgender issue it may come unstuck when the kids who are being given puberty blockers and engaging in breast binding, not to mention surgery, Stuart to question what happened to them when they were just kids? Where were the adults that were supposed to protect them. Also their parents now who are struggling to cope with what’s happening to their child.
    • on a lighter note has anyone seen the norm hicupp clip? Too provocative to post? I found it very clever for people who are concerned about transgender in women’s sport
  7. This is a bit of a ramble.

    I used to introduce myself in days gone by and in circles that would understand it, as 'an unreconstructed 1970s feminist'. I later studied Womens studies at VUW. My whole career in NZ Public Service has been devoted to achieving a fair go for women in jobs, respect, pay scales. Other issues were pro-abortion, our bodies ourselves (including the "Unfortunate Experiment' , hot & cold doctors file, equality of access to health care where religious beliefs had no part in the practice of medicine. This focus on women then lead to help for others who were discriminated against.

    I can never forget the unedifying and frightening sight of MPs like Hon Gerard Wall speaking in the House against the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion bill.

    There was a political dimension Marxist debates. This was not my focus. My focus was to give voice to the people who were being discriminated against.

    Over this long period I gained, and still have, a healthy disrespect & cynicism for men/males and the patriarchy.

    Many men then and still, well hidden today, hold mysogynistic views.

    I cannot help but think that the patriarchy, held back over the years and forced to give way to equitable movements sharing power has now forcefully emerged.. However they don't want to join they want to dominate.

    We as biologic women still get to be told what to do & what to think by biologic men. It seems a bit ironic to me.

    As for disrupting outside meetings held by women (or any group) who want to discuss things that is well established What is questionable, for me, is that Councils who should not have a view on these issues & Council mechanisms are being brought in to support one group over another (WCC).

    I have no problem altering the entries made on birth certificates in a measured and careful way and that seems to be provided for in the draft legislation. That should be the end of it. People make use of the facilities provided for them in a sensible & caring way.

    The debate inevitably turns to shared toileting and changing facilities. As a biologic woman I can count on the fingers of one hand the times when I have used public toilets (M/F) or joint changing rooms in stores (once after instances of male masturbation) and have never used public unisex toilets. I use women only spaces. A peek in the door after a male had come out of a public unisex toilet was enough for me. My use has been circumscribed by the actions of men – male toilets and male use of unisex toilets that I have seen leave the facilities in indescribable states. They have never been a safe space for me.

    There are legitimate queries about fairness for bio women in sport as muscle mass is built up often in early teens and remains to a large extent even after transitioning.

    Having been around men for my whole life, working in male dominated workplaces the way that the debate is being carried out bears the hallmarks of a stereotypic male response, loud, bullying and disrespectful.

    Women have had safe spaces for many years. In times gone by the were rooms on railway stations set apart for women to wait. Many clubs provided de facto safe spaces for women. We should not strive to get ahead by disrepecting and denigrating the views and concerns of others.

    As Kenny Rogers in the Gambler said 'Knowing when to fold 'em and when to walk away……'

    Let us focus on making the legislation as workable, respectful & useful. Let us keep the carefully crafted words. Hurting, harming and screaming at bio women who have legitimate concerns about yet again possibly being consigned to an inferior positions vis a vis men is likely to draw attention for all the wrong reasons.

    I am not sure why SUFW has caused such unwarranted oppobrium to its meetings. In Womens Studies we read about the hidden nature of womens sexual response and the -intuition that many women have, leading to charges in days gone by of witchery. I can't help thinking that the concern about these meetings has a visceral harking back to those times.

    • TeWhareWhero 7.1

      For me – and I do hope others are reading these posts – the political game was revealed when there was a shift from Women's Studies to Gender Studies. In part that was down to Second Wave feminism's over-emphasis on the social construction of gender and a down playing of biology, and the Left in general being taken completely by surprise by the sheer power and speed of Neo-liberal ideology and economic change. Liberal feminism had emphasised formal equality with male peers within existing economic structures; socialist feminism saw the liberation of women as linked to and a necessary precondition of the liberation of all, which required structural change; and radical feminism overlapped with SF but saw the problem either as more or as solely located in patriarchy rather than in class. The interplay between socialist and radical feminism gave rise to some extraordinary political organisation and scholarship. But with the rise of Neo-liberalism with its "end of history", and the destruction of the great meta-narratives championed by the likes of Foucault, second wave women's liberation died and we got Judith Butler, fetish heels, Sex in the City, sex work as work, identity politics, and the rise of choice and corporate feminism. Now it seems we are in the phase of the "end of sex" and the rise to dominance of gender – the thing which both socialist and radical feminists saw as the ideological means by which women were subordinated to men is now being used to abolish woman/female as a sex class. An irony of cosmic proportions.

      • Shanreagh 7.1.1

        Very carefully and correctly written.

        Now it seems we are in the phase of the "end of sex" and the rise to dominance of gender – the thing which both socialist and radical feminists saw as the ideological means by which women were subordinated to men is now being used to abolish woman/female as a sex class. An irony of cosmic proportions.

        The irony is not lost on me.

        This is why I value the space we have here to discuss.

      • SaucySue 7.1.2

        Spot on sister. I’ve been a lefty and a feminist for 50 years. Your analysis of the demise of second wave feminism and the individualised identity politics of many younger women echos my experience. Part of the problem is that this generation don’t see themselves or their ideas in historical context. Their politics is me me me – no sense of the structural forces of class, gender and colonial relations that produced inequalities. Never thought I’d be fighting for the very recognition that women are females and that sex matters. Many transsexuals support us, arguing that although they identify as a different gender, the markers of biological sex will always remain. Current consultation on hate speech law is very important. I’ve made a submission supporting gender expression as a protected category but not ‘identity’ which is a psychological state. Gender expression encompasses not only trans people but also butch lesbians and others who don’t conform with gender stereotypes bodies or roles. My generation fought to smash stereotypes. This one seem to refit stereotypes and medically alter bodies to fit. What a triumph for BG Pharma

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.2

      A peek in the door after a male had come out of a public unisex toilet was enough for me.

      Do you think it would be reasonable to ask (prettily, of course)if perhaps urinals could be installed in the Ladies' so this doesn't get to be a thing when we are obliged to welcome our former brothers into our loos?

  8. We do not need to empty the terms woman and female of meaning in order to protect trans rights

    This sums it up for me. If there is no need why does it seem to be happening?

    • Sabine 8.1

      because women and female also represent humans? As in protected human rights, and if we can remove these rights under the pretense of 'gender' trumps sex, then we don't need these rights anymore? And we are back to where we used to be, Chattel.

    • tracey 8.2

      This is happening cos in 2021, men still determine what a woman is, what she isn’t and what she’s worth. Compare the protests of a male dominated career (farming) with the Nurses or teachers.

  9. TeWhareWhero 9

    I'm writing a piece about female incarceration in NZ. It’s very depressing. Between 63 & 68% of our female prison population is Māori. Highest per capita incarceration of indigenous women in the world – in a crowded field. And we’re still up there in the overall OECD incarceration rates with over 50% of all prisoners being Māori.

    A class-based analysis would reveal that hand in glove with ethnicity/race, is socio-economic status. All the identified risk factors associated with criminality are poverty related, and Māori are disproportionately poor. Yet, NONE of the policies aimed at reducing offending or reoffending address its location in an economic system which is foundationally exploitative, in which the CJS can be (often is) a tool of oppression in the service of that economic exploitation.

    The implications for abuses of sex self-ID are most profound in relation to incarceration. With sex self-ID there's no gatekeeping other than the common sense and good judgement of those people tasked with processing statutory declarations, and managing Corrections' policy. It may all a bit too reliant on an assumption of good faith and fail to account for the wider gender-zeitgeist as a result of which people may be too frightened of being accused of being transphobes, TERFS etc, to speak out about any concerns they have.

    In relation to prisons, we also need to be mindful of the glaring ethnic and class biases throughout the CJS system. RNZ broke the story late last year of women prisoners being shackled while giving birth, and the appalling abuse of two Māori women, in the wider context of an escalating use of solitary confinement across the whole prison system. Add to the mix, the known potential for predatory or vexatious men to play the system – and the potential for mistakes which could impact on already vulnerable women is alarmingly high.

    It’s fine for middle-class bandwagon-jumpers playing at being transgressive but there are hugely vulnerable people at the centre of this – many of whom will not have privilege-based escape routes if it all goes to custard.

    NB. In California, where GIP lobbying has resulted in any prisoner who identifies as female, being housed in women’s prisons, it seems the authorities have begun issuing condoms to prisoners even though all sexual activity is forbidden. They know that the bulk of the prisoners from the male estate who are about to enter women’s prisons, are male-bodied, and some of them are known to be violent sex offenders. Those US female prisoners are hugely vulnerable – overwhelmingly poor, disproportionately black women and women of colour, frequently suffering from various sorts of physical and psychological trauma.

    In Scandinavia, they experimented with mixed prisons – the rationale was it would help with male rehabilitation by making prison a more ‘natural environment. Seems it did squat for male reoffending rates but resulted in a lot of women being “coerced” into sexual activity.

    • tracey 9.1


      Similar to studies that co-Ed schools are good for better male behaviour toward females but single sex provide better education to females.

      Note also how little has really been said, and nothing demanded, following the Christchurch Girls High protests and behaviour. Less than 15%?of schools actually teach the MOEs compulsory consent course!

  10. Trans women are women, just as blonde women are women and fat women are women, and my feminism and womanhood do not suffer one jot from including them.

    In fact, excluding trans women from womanhood, on the grounds that womanhood is defined by biological reproductive traits, is about as far from feminism as I think it's possible to get.

    It's really disappointing to see the nonsense propaganda of an extreme conservative movement taking hold in what might once have been a strong progressive space.

    Kids aren't getting surgery. Parents aren't "transing" their kids because they're homophobic (who ARE these fairytale parents who think being trans is better than being gay?). Sporting prowess isn't determined by testosterone and we are literally seeing cis women getting excluded from the Olympics on the basis theirs is too high! Trans women have been using the same spaces as other women, including rape crisis centres and refuges, for decades without issue.

    And literally every single one of the "arguments" put forward against trans women was wielded identically against lesbians not more than a few decades ago.

    (I'm not even going near the dismissive, gaslighting way trans men are treated by this kind of politics).

    Now before I hit "send", do I need to provide some kind of medical certificate demonstrating I have a functioning uterus? Or are you just going to trust my self-identification??

    • tracey 10.1


      a long list of mantras isn’t discussion.

      Transwomen are transwomen

      testosterone isn’t the only measure but it is significant in why we have sport divided into male and female

      ’Males enjoy physical performance advantages over females within competitive sport. The sex-based segregation into male and female sporting categories does not account for transgender persons who experience incongruence between their biological sex and their experienced gender identity. Accordingly, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) determined criteria by which a transgender woman may be eligible to compete in the female category, requiring total serum testosterone levels to be suppressed below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to and during competition. Whether this regulation removes the male performance advantage has not been scrutinized. Here, we review how differences in biological characteristics between biological males and females affect sporting performance and assess whether evidence exists to support the assumption that testosterone suppression in transgender women removes the male performance advantage and thus delivers fair and safe competition. We report that the performance gap between males and females becomes significant at puberty and often amounts to 10–50% depending on sport. The performance gap is more pronounced in sporting activities relying on muscle mass and explosive strength, particularly in the upper body. Longitudinal studies examining the effects of testosterone suppression on muscle mass and strength in transgender women consistently show very modest changes, where the loss of lean body mass, muscle area and strength typically amounts to approximately 5% after 12 months of treatment. Thus, the muscular advantage enjoyed by transgender women is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed. Sports organizations should consider this evidence when reassessing current policies regarding participation of transgender women in the female category of sport’ https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-020-01389-3

      Transmen are not succeeding in male sport for the same reason a 43 year old transwoman is- biology – the former will not succeed cos going through female puberty embeds disadvantages and taking testosterone bans them from competition. Transwomen are required to lower T to 10 which is still way higher than women. The onus must be on those advocating for transwomen in sport to prove they DONT have the advantage we know exists between males and females- not demand we show they don’t. Hubbard and other transwomen also take synthetic T and can get a medical exemption for it so

      • "a long list of mantras isn’t discussion.

        Transwomen are transwomen"

        Can you hear yourself?

        And comparing cis men's performance to cis women's performance has nothing to do with trans women. Unless you're saying they're "really" men, which is, ding ding! Transphobia.

        • Anker
          • Stephanie cos men performance equal trans womens
          • bodies play sport not identities. Laurel Hubbard has a biological males body
          • saying my statement is transphobia is a way of you shutting down a biological fact. Hubbard has a male body
          • tracey


            Stephanie’s response on this thread are lazy but wise than that they are vacuous. Mantras, word confetti and name calling ‘transphobic’ – the go to for those with no foundation for their argument. Transwomen have male biological bodies- and advantages. It is on the Trans community and those who support transwomen pkaying in female sport to prove they have NO advantage which makes it unfair or unsafe for women. They cannot so they mantra, attempt to shame/silence- in doing so they make themselves look more foolish than I ever could. In addition they completely ignore that transmen will have nowhere to play- easily beaten, and hurt in men’s comps, and excluded from female comps cos Of testosterone levels. Altho of course none will ask to play in female spirt cos they are ‘men’- right Stephanie? A japanese female soccer playing is holding off transition until her career is over cos she knows transitioning will kill her career- biology means she will not make a living as a male soccer player

        • tracey

          Stephanie that response to me makes you look very foolish indeed.

          • Anker

            Agree with both these comments Tracey, the one directed to me and the one to Stephanie.

            Being told I must agree with the statement Trans women are real women, else I was transphobic was the first thing that made me raise my attenae about this debate. I've never been required in my whole life to adopt someone elses thinking and if I didn't called a bigot.

            I don't think I am a bigoted person and never had a problem with the trans people I came across before this. I still don’t think I do, but the ideology and the tactics bother me hugely

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Stephanie. I am thinking that perhaps we are misreading you on this thread.

          You are, of course, being sarcastic/ironic aren't you?

          I have been guilty of this myself many times, so I understand.

          This thread was set up for serious, good faith conversations about an issue that is of huge importance to all women going into the future…it is important that we not even pretend that there are not very real and pertinent biological differences between men and women and that sex, like gender is a social construct.

          We all need to be very, very real.

    • Rosemary McDonald 10.2

      In fact, excluding trans women from womanhood, on the grounds that womanhood is defined by biological reproductive traits, is about as far from feminism as I think it's possible to get.

      If this is true…why is it so damned important to have the indicator for biological sex altered on one's birth certificate?

      Surely one can simply ignore one's biological sex and just get on with living one's best life?

      • Shanreagh 10.2.1

        I don't think it is that easy, I think it would make it easier to get a passport, go to the correct prison if need be but mainly perhaps because holding a birth certificate that does not represent one's sex is a nagging dissonance with who one is…..

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Biological sex cannot be changed…although one's 'gender identity' (whatever that means) can be whatever fits the individual.

          And a wee infant will have no sense of their gender identity, and indeed such could change over the course of one's life….so why not either remove the 'sex' field on a baby's birth certificate altogether (since it seems the trans ideology renders it defunct anyway) or retain biological 'sex', and as a right of passage have a gender reveal ceremony when the individual has matured enough to know better how they identify?

          Personally I think the whole gender identity thing is a retrograde step. I hoped as a young woman that one day it would be no big deal if one rejected the role and behaviours expected of one's sex. It is certainly how, to the greater part, I have tried to live my life. Even in the face of criticism and judgement. And exclusion.

          • tracey

            Me too. I thought we fought to dismantle stereotypes not entrance them

            dismantle stereotypes not bodies

          • Shanreagh

            Personally I think the whole gender identity thing is a retrograde step. I hoped as a young woman that one day it would be no big deal if one rejected the role and behaviours expected of one's sex. It is certainly how, to the greater part, I have tried to live my life. Even in the face of criticism and judgement. And exclusion.

            I agree Rosemary. My big aim was and is for choice and that no-one would think the lesser of a person if they chose a different path, that the world would still be open to them. .

            Looking at the actual amendments proposed these amendments are not carrying the baggage/excluding tactics adopted to shut down SUFW, and other people, even on this board.

            Why do some proponents feel that to get support for the amendments they need to shut down any discussion and force their will on others?

            It is a losing tactic.

            • weka

              It's like they don't trust women or wider society. Which I can understand in some places (eg the US), but NZ is very liberal, and my belief is that while there is still significant transphobia in parts of NZ society, including structurally, most people will support trans people having their rights upheld and being able to live their lives in society like other classes of people.

              I think the issue isn't that NZ would reject trans people, it's that many people have an ideological commitment to gender over sex, identity over material reality, and taking that to the wide public would be pretty difficult. But it's not the same thing as upholding the rights of all people to be fully part of society.

        • tracey

          Nagging dissonance with who one thinks they are- the point is humans cannot change sex. How far does our society-wide validation of feelings go? We don’t even deal well with actual sexual violence against women/children yet we have venues cancelling discussions by women, Tasmania telling Lesbians that they cannot exclude transwomen from their events…

          • Shanreagh

            Perhaps I should have made it clearer that I have not seen anywhere publicly and simply expressed the reason to change the BDM provisions. (The intro to the Bill states 'This law (about changing one's sex) was progressive in 1995 but is now outdated and inconsistent with global developments.' The intro is silent on what these 'global developments' are. I have not searched through the review material to see the background to the suggestion of easing the ability to change one's birth sex. The ability to aver one's sex does have a similarity (to me) to changes to legislation relating to ethnicity, to change to vote on the Maori electoral role does not have the notions of percentages but at its core, feelings and the way one has been brought up, together with being able to whakapapa to an ancestor.

            The bill suggests an administrative process and for there to be 4 choices. 'Under the 1995 Act an individual can only nominate a change to the opposite sex (female or male). In addition to these, we recommend including the options of “intersex” and “X (unspecified)”. By including these as registrable options the bill would recognise non-binary sexual and gender identities.'

            My earlier post had my two ideas. One was feelings based and perhaps does not have as much solid recognition as being able to travel, when we can travel easily. NB the 'global developments' may refer to a feelings based approach.

            With the comment by TeWhareWhero about uterus transplants perhaps a reason is to be able to persuade holders of scarce funds that here is a woman (with her birth certificate to prove it) who has been denied her ability to have children. Not that I have ever, ever accepted that there is a god-given, or any given 'right' or destiny for a bio woman to have children, let alone for the State to pay for it. Some women are not able to (medical), do not have the opportunity (war intervenes, they do not meet someone). That is why to 70s feminists the ability to regulate our own bodies, control our own fertility was so important.

            Judging by the simple changes that are proposed TeWhareWhero's statement becomes all the more powerful

            'We do not need to empty the terms woman and female of meaning in order to protect trans rights'

            So why has the debate entered into these realms. Why has the debate focused on disrupting the ability of people to meet in groups to find out things.

          • Anker

            Hear hear Tracey @

      • "If this is true…why is it so damned important to have the indicator for biological sex altered on one's birth certificate?"

        Because trans people face immense levels of violence and discrimination in our society and having documents that don't match each other puts them at risk.

        • Shanreagh

          So are you able to be a bit more specific please about where the risk is being faced. Is this in the field of employment?

          Where are the 'immense levels of violence' coming from?

          Why, if trans people face levels of discrimination, are people, in their name, discriminating against bio women who want to meet quietly and non-violently.

        • tracey

          Stephanie are you saying if they pull out an altered birth certificate this violence will drop? Can you post your supporting evidence and examples of where the violence wouldnt have happened?
          PS proving you’re a woman doesn’t help the rest of us reduce our chance of being victims of male violence

          Solve-address- the problem of male violence first then ask females to relinquish our safe spaces to males. THAT is the Feminist order of things

      • Priss 10.2.3

        Really, Rosemary?

        Have a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT0HJkr1jj4

        Your biological absolutism shows cracks in its foundations.

    • Anker 10.3


      Ok Stephanie, so just for a start sporting prowess. As you have made a pretty strong assertion about this, kindly read the link. Its an article featuring sports sciencetist Ross Tucker who is very apologetic about what he is about to say about trans women in sports. That their inclusion in rugby is 30% more likely to lead to injuries when women are being tackled and the ten thousand fastest men can run faster than the fastest women.

      But maybe you are a science denier, since you so assertively posit that trans women are real women. Women = adult human female, xx chromosome.

      Teens are getting surgery. for example the young women who got a double masectomy at 16 and a hysterectomy at 18 written about in the Listener article. You all good with that.

      I think you are someone who believes that gender identity trumps biological sex. You are entitled to that view. Many of us disagree. Its not anti trans to believe in biological sex and that it trumps gender identity.

      I have just read the article you posted Stephanie and this is what it includes. This defeats your arguement.

      The data presented here demonstrate that superior anthropometric, muscle mass and strength parameters achieved by males at puberty, and underpinning a considerable portion of the male performance advantage over females, are not removed by the current regimen of testosterone suppression permitting participation of transgender women in female sports categories. Rather, it appears that the male performance advantage remains substantial.

      • tracey 10.3.1

        We also know that despite lack of evidence am- of medical efficacy children are being offered puberty blockers- in NZ upon the advice of MOH- notwithstanding the UK High Court examining 3000 pages of evidences and concluding that puberty blockers amount to ‘experimental treatment’ for children. No proof they are ‘safe’ or ‘reversible’. NHS immediately changed their advice but not Gender ideology captured MOH NZ ‘

        Puberty blockers are a medication that can be used to halt the physical changes of an unwanted puberty.

        Blockers are a safe and fully reversible medicine that may be used from early puberty through to later adolescence to help ease distress and allow time to fully explore gender health options.’

        Mr Little refuses to reply to my requests to remove this advice or justify its claims. Following gestation, puberty is the next biggest development a human undergoes- halting it except with medical evidence of efficacy (eg precocious puberty- ) is dangerous

        • Anker

          Good on you for writing to Andrew Little Tracey.

          And a reply to Stephanie from further up this thread re 16 year olds been given mesectomies and hysterectomies, there is a report from a women who this happened to in the Listener at the end of June.

    • Sabine 10.4

      Well that is the question, do we get to ask to see some Gender Certificate if a bloke with a beard an a male body comes in and simply states i am a women? 🙂 Are we allowed to do that, or will we be burned like witches on the stake in the name of bigotry?

      Or are we just to put up with it, and that means all the women who also have issues with the male gender due to assault/violence/rape in their lifes and where should they go to toilet in peace or feel free of the male gaze while going to the gym or sauna?

      How about transwomen who have assaulted women and girls? We shall just not worry?

      Personally i don't have an issue per se with Transwomen in our places – cause women – i have an issue with any bloke having the potential to self identify as a Women – and thus getting access to spaces that they usually would not and thus have access to women and girls. I have issues with a mediocre male that could not cut it in male sports declaring himself a women to finally get that darn medal.

      And maybe it pays to remember that not all Men are rapists, but most rapists are men. And us women we don't know who a rapist is until we get raped. And that too happens in places such as public facilities, work places, at home etc.

      I simply want more safeguards and i don't think that the Labour Party or the Green Party for that matter is able to do that. The one cause they really don't care it won't affect them (labour) and the other because their own 'identity' blinders prevent them from having an honest discussion about it.

      So my point is, that women – all women are again out of a space that previously was safe, and that men again have access to women and girls, their safety be damned. And also that men very loudly shout us down that women have penises and men have vaginas and have children, and that if a transwomen wants to breast feed all we need to do is pump them full of hormones and other assorted crap – the health of the baby and the transwomen be damned cause……!

      And non of that helps any Transwomen or Transman. But it sure seems to help some people in Parliament, some unscrupulous surgeons that have no issue sterilizing young kids in the name of trans and the holy ghost of mammon, and some very unscrupulous others who think that babies of 2 year old need crochet penis packers cause they are trans. https://cafemom.com/news/craft-company-trans-kids-packers

      Let those kids grow up to develop a sense of self before sending them to double masectomies at twelve, hysterectomies the moment they turn 18 (try that as a bio cis gendered women and some fucking male doctor will give you a speech of how you might regret not having kids later in life or how you owe your future husband children – never mind lesbian 🙂 ), and the same counts to what ever they do to boys in order to transform then into women.

      Better healthcare, specifically mental healthcare – but then our labour government is not able to do anything according to a very frustrated minster of something Andrew Little – would be what should be given out. For those that reach adult hood and still want to transition let them go down that way. But keeps the hands of babies and kids.

      So yes, Transwomen are women, and some of them are rapists with their male genitalia that they want to keep and use. And us who are afraid of these people and their supporters should have the right to be scared. Cause it is women and girls and maybe the odd bloke who will get raped by a person who declares himself a women and direct her weaponised “female” penis to cause harm.

      • tracey 10.4.1

        The point is the new law would mean that man w the beard who is not a transwoman, who is a predator, can produce the piece of paper cos it will be SO easy to obtain. Females can’t tell who the good men are by looking. Female children are being taught they are bad, bigotted if they question a male in their spaces- they are asked to examine themselves- this removes a form of defence-

        • Sabine

          I know that.

          But can we ask to see that paper?

          Would we dare to ask to see that paper?

          Will they be required to have that paper on them at all times?

          Will they be required to show it if asked?

          Hence why i asked.

      • This entire argument is completely nonsensical. If anyone of any gender or presentation walks into a changing room and poses an actual threat of harassment to the other people there, it makes no difference what their birth certificate says.

        And for a bunch of women purporting to be feminists you sure seem happy to ignore the fact that cis men have invaded women's spaces and committed violence against cis and trans women with impunity for centuries. They don't need paperwork.

        • Sabine

          You must mistake me with someone else. I have never stated that I am a feminist, for the record i was taken out of school at 15 cause girls get married and have babies and need no stinkn education. Cause education ruins women.

          I am merely a women who was NEVER assaulted by a person with a vagina, but i was assaulted and raped by people with penises.

          And as such, i would like to keep predators with penises out of my space, be they male, or women.

          But please tell me again, how that is not ok. I must be hard of understanding.

          • tracey


            Well said

          • Lucy

            So the fact that i stopped going to a woman's gym because of the amount of women hitting on me in the changing rooms does not count? I want to keep predators out of my space be they male or female! I too have been assaulted by people with penises, I have also been assaulted by people with vagina's! I do not think that trans people (men and women) are the issue, predators are the issue. A trans person can be a predator in the same way a non trans person can. The debate has been hijacked by people who say predators will dress up in womens clothing to assault women, but why should they when they daily assault women/children in bars, homes, toilets, streets, schools, workplaces and anywhere without the need to dress up. If we are to have an adult conversation please lets have one without relying on the argument that seems to me wrong. As a mother of a boy you would not let a 3 year old go into a men's public toilet, all trans women are saying is that men's toilets aren't safe for them, so I want people to not live in fear. All womens toilets are stalled so everyone get privacy.

            • Anker

              Lucy I don't want anyone to be assaulted in a toilet or change room (the latter often not providing cubicles.

              The human rights act states that women are entitled to their own public toilets and change rooms for reasons of privacy and decency and I want to keep it this way.

              I am not sure why trans women (certainly not those who haven't transitioned at all) want to be in a women's change room. Why is it so important to them?

              Why haven't they lobbied for their own facilities? Most women I know don't want people who look like men (genitals and all) in their women spaces.

              Why such as sense of entitlement that they should be admitted into these private spaces.

              Its not just about risk of assualt or seeing a trans women's penis in a change room. I don't want to be looked at by biological males and I don't want them being able to look at girls or teen girls. Can you understand why that bothers me?

              • Lucy

                Yes I can but for me I don't want to be looked at while i am changing by people who sexualise my body – male or female! When I am changing I prefer to be in a cubicle. I do not get why it is biological men that bother you? A trans man can use the womens changing room under your scenario as he is biologically a woman. Gay women can and do use womens changing rooms and they look at girls and teen girls while they are there, but most are respectful. Most trans women much prefer cubicles as changing is more complex and many have body issues. If you grant gay women the luxury of being able to change in a changing room full of people that they desire and assume they can keep their sexual needs under control, why can't you grant trans women the same thing?

                • Anker

                  Lucy, I don't want biological males in my change room. Under the human rights act 1993 the right to have women only spaces is set out and guarantees this for me. I don't want that to change. I am comfortable with lesbian women in women's change rooms, because they are women. It is nearly always without exception men who sexually offend against women and this includes taking harmful digital recordings including in women's change rooms.

                  I am curious as to why trans women are not lobying for their own change rooms? Why is that?

                • tracey


                  You may think you have a ‘gotcha’ with your Lesbians look at women and girls too. I am a Lesbian and I do not look at women and children’s bodies in changing rooms for any kind of personal/sexual gratification. At most it’s a glance as I walk in or out. Lesbians do not have a history of assaulting, sexually or otherwise women. Men do- a long long history. That you choose to put the discomfort of .5% of men ahead of the discomfort of a much larger % of females- IS the very point you do not and cannot address.

        • tracey

          Yet up above you claim this piece of paper will end violence against trans people- you can’t have it both ways

    • TeWhareWhero 10.5

      I admire your passion. To address the points you make in the latter half of your first post – I agree that kids in NZ don’t have GA surgery although some people think they should be allowed to. The Dutch Protocol exists because minors are not allowed GA surgery & for sound reasons IMO, especially given what’s known about the stages of neurological maturation. All the current evidence points to the fact that most kids who are treated in accordance with the DP, go on to have surgery as soon as they are legally permitted & services are available.

      A trans woman in an article on Stuff the other day stated that prolonged use of cross-sex hormones causes liver & kidney damage. If young trans people are going onto C-SH far earlier than ever before, surely we can agree it needs the utmost caution. Even more so the off-label use of cancer drugs to suppress genetically encoded puberty, which is still in the nature of an experiment so should be subject to rigorous controls. (Before anyone says central precocious puberty, it’s not the same & I’m sure we are all in agreement on the need to demand answers as to why CPP is on the increase especially in the US, esp among poor, black kids.)

      I agree the number of parents who would rather have a trans daughter than a gay son or vv is miniscule – although the situation in Iran might suggest there are regimes in which there is support for that. But fact is, a growing number of lesbians & gay men feel threatened by the current trans orthodoxy. They are offended at being told they're bigots for being same sex attracted, and rulings like the one in Tasmania – that lesbian same-sex gatherings could be ruled illegal – are ringing alarm bells.

      Of course, sporting prowess is not determined by testosterone alone – but it is the hormonal agent which triggers genetically encoded changes at puberty that result in an average male performance advantage over females of 10-12% across all sports – rising to 30% in events like weightlifting.

      I agree the IOC tying itself in ethical knots over athletes with 46XY DSD who have degrees of androgen insensitivity & are required to lower their endogenous T levels to <5nmols/L – & who all happen to be black – is an unedifying spectacle. The more so when they apply a differential standard to transgender athletes. It’s not a good look that both of the TW (I only know of 2) who are competing in the OG, are white westerners & the limit they have to meet is <10nmols/L.

      And yes, women & TW have shared spaces for decades without issue – that has always been my personal experience – what changed for a lot of women was the vexed question of self-ID and all the ideological and legal baggage it drags in its wake. You may be happy to privilege a subjective sense of gender identity over the material reality of biological sex, others are not. That doesn't automatically put you on the side of the angels and them, on the side of the devil.

    • Jan Rivers 10.6

      Hi Stephanie.

      Calling out women who want to remain sex-based rights as 'right-wing' is fundamentally dishonest. There are many dozens of women who are in (and more who have left the Green and Labour Parties) as well as women from Marxist traditions who I have met. I have met none from religious fundamentalism or from the right.

      There is a lot of other misleading information in what you say – for example related to testosterone. (Why would you even try to defend the indefensible? You are a smart woman.)

      Kids are not getting surgery to transition. No-one makes that case. The issue is that the research evidence shows that kids who get prescribed puberty blockers and social transition (and in NZ at rates far higher per head of population than in the discredited UK GIDS service by the way) are more than 98% likely to continue to cross sex hormones. Left untreated (watchful waiting) and / or counselled about the cause of their belief between 70% and 100% of these same kids would have desisted. So NZ's transgender medicine has medically transitioned (and likely sterilised) thousands of young people. Many, but by no means all, would have become lesbian or gay adults

      Perhaps you approve of this. I don't.

    • Anker 10.7

      Stephanie in reply to your com ment that kids are getting surgery.

      If you read the listener article on this issue June 26th July 2nd page 27. There is a case study on a young person in the South Island who got a double masectomy at 16 and a hysterectomy at 18. How do you feel about that?

  11. tracey 11

    There’s nothing more conservative than backing a small number of men to silence women and calling it ‘feminism’ laugh

  12. This is in response to 10. I support Tracey’s views.

    In fact, excluding trans women from womanhood, on the grounds that womanhood is defined by biological reproductive traits, is about as far from feminism as I think it's possible to get.

    I am not sure where in the posts this has come from or are you meaning generally in the community?

    This expresses my view put by TeWhareWhero earlier in the thread.

    We do not need to empty the terms woman and female of meaning in order to protect trans rights

    If you disagree with this then I would love to hear why and how emptying out meaning does in fact add to the human rights of people as a whole.

    Most of us did not 'come down in the last shower' to remember an old phrase. Of course we have been sharing spaces. What I am bemused by is why anyone would feel threatened by a group of people wanting to discuss something quietly without being shouted down or talked down to or patronised, I am talking about SUFW.

    As far as the lesbian angle is concerned this was very much NOT the experience of the 1970s feminists, in fact there was a view in some feminist circles that having a partnership with a bio male and giving birth to or bringing up boy children was perhaps selling out to the patriarchy. Noting that none of the points that others in the thread have put forward are dismissive of trans women……just saying bio women may have views as well and these may be good to listen to rather than being dismissed out of hand or misunderstood.

    I am for the changes proposed. We need to concentrate of building and keeping goodwill to making these the best they can be.

    We may find though, that by taking shots at others who are seeking to have a voice and to understand will find the 'baby thrown out with the bathwater'. The legislation as it is drafted will be seen as too contentious, that we will run the risk of fully awakening the ghastly sleeping dragon of religious extremism that many of us fought against in the 1970s with the CSA Act

  13. tracey 13

    I’m also interested why men on the Left sit back silently or oppose attempts to address appalling rates of sexual violence against women and children, choosing to focus on #notallmen and false claim mantras – it’s almost like they want to help women until it might cost them something

    methinks some doth protest too much

  14. tracey 14

    Why would anyone need a birth certificate in an online discussion? Making light of the difference between online and in person merely shows that mantras have taken over logic and rationality.

  15. Mika 15

    I've noticed the attempts on social media and here in the discussion to paint all critique of gender identity theory as "right wing" or "conservative". What I am seeing here on The Standard and elsewhere online are women of left-wing, socialist and radical feminist kaupapa discussing how the genderist movement is entirely hostile to the interests of women and girls, and lesbians in particular.

    A few years back I read this fantastic series of essays by a (male) US based Marxist, who outlined the class contradictions inherent in much of liberal feminism. I highly recommend reading them.

    By shifting the definition of “woman” away from a materialist one to an idealistic one, we lose the ability to define and fight the causes of women’s oppression.


    Prostitution….“threatens the feeling of solidarity and comradeship between working men and women, the members of the workers’ republic. And this feeling is the foundation and the basis of the communist society we are building and making a reality.”


    And my personal favourite…

    Like the Marxist feminists of the earlier twentieth century, radical feminism emerged not as an anti-leftist movement, but as a movement to push the left to its highest level of theoretical and revolutionary potential.


  16. Weka and fellow posters …….the thread is amazing. I have learned so much in the advances in feminist thinking.

    I have not learned anything about the reasons why, and what is gained for the enactment of the draft legislation, by the belittling, litigation and picketing of venues where people are discussing this?

    I would like to know why.

    Does the legislation not go far enough or are there nuances that the legislation is not picking up?

    Weka I know that some of the issues are big and hard to explain but this is not about the amendments to the Act.

    What is the rationale for trying to shut down discussion? Focusing on shutting up people can back fire big time.

    Presumably there are groups that are working together strategically to get the legislation enacted.

    Where has the idea of shutting down any debate come from?

    As TeWhareWhero said earlier in the thread

    ‘We do not need to empty the terms ‘woman’ and ‘female’ of meaning in order to protect trans rights’ I agree with this.

    Where has the idea of denigrating women as a ‘strategic” (sic) tactic come from?

    Does anyone know?

    • weka 16.1

      No Debate is a mantra and tactic used by gender activists. I think with well meaning intention to start with, the idea was that trans rights shouldn't be debated but accepted. Where that originates, I don't know. Stonewall in the UK, a powerful trans focused LGBTQI lobby group, pushed it hard and it was taken up on social media strongly by GA liberals.

      TeWhareWhero probably has some insight what predates that. But instead of being something that brought trans rights into the light to uplifted, it became a tool of oppression against GCFs, and is a key in why open and transparent debate hasn't been possible. When it was paired with serious and long running attacks on feminist online and in RL, many women were just too scared to get involved. Men too. This has impacted people in universities, community groups, and government departments, where the issues should have been looked at in depth safely and transparently. As I said elsewhere in the thread, it's like women and the public weren't to be trusted. That's dangerous.

      There are the liberal GAs, but there are also the hard out gender ideologues and that's a whole 'nother story about power and agenda that we're not even talking about here yet.

      I have more concerns about self-ID and the impact on women than I do about this amendment when looked at in isolation. But the suppression of debate is also hugely concerning as it ties into left wing authoritarianism and loss of tolerance for dissent and diversity (irony alert!).

      Have a read of TWW and my comments in OM about the third party actors too, big factor.

    • weka 16.2

      I found the thread amazing too. So glad to see so many women on TS joining in the conversation. The gender/sex war aside, it's heartening to see this, it's been a long time.

      • Mika 16.2.1

        Thank you Weka, I appreciate the efforts you have made over the recent months to allow The Standard to be a place where left-wing women can discuss our politics.

      • Priss 16.2.2

        Weka, are their any comments from women that you have removed or refused to publish?

        • weka

          nope, not by me and I don't think any of the other mods have been active under this post. The only comments that don't get published are ones that are a legal issue for the site owners, or ones that are obviously trolling or flaming. There are some exceptions to this, but not very often.

          The kaupapa of the site is robust debate, so we tend to let all comments stand. Sometimes comments get edited eg to remove a word or phrase that causes problems. Most mods will make it clear what they have done.

          • weka

            sometimes comments get moved to Open Mike when they are off topic. Can't remember if I moved any from this post.

    • Tabletennis 16.3


      Where has it – the strategy- come from:
      Jennifer Bilek – The 11th Hour Blog- has done an enormous amount of research on that. Funding for this strategy comes from the Arcus Foundation (and others) and discussed in this article.

      Among other things making law changes and avoiding debate or public consultation as was being tried under the previous government till Tracey Martin got informed by Speak Up for Women re the Self-Id bill.

      For NZ
      Arcus Funding (Us based) helped set up the International Trans Fund – it has been top or near top of the list of sponsors for Gender Minorities Aotearoa for the last few years.Scroll down to the bottom: https://genderminorities.com/

      https://www.arcusfoundation.org/global-trans-initiative/ other donations to NZ organisations /Unis in NZ from Arcus with a focus on trans/human rights

      • Shanreagh 16.3.1

        Thanks Tabletennis…this info makes the shadowy behind the scenes stuff clearer.

        The non-consultation or debating of ideas is anathema to me.

  17. Odette 17

    I have been a long time reader of this site and this is my first comment. I’m commenting now as I have something to say. Firstly I am a female, a biological mother and a human being. One of the unfortunate things that have happened to me in life is that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn’t choose for my boobs to be removed, but to save my life and to continue to be a mother I would have done anything.
    My journey with cancer has taught me to be patient, understanding and to know that just because your physical self is removed, that doesn’t make you less of a woman.
    But I’m concerned about this bill. I’m concerned as a person whom has experienced sexual violence. What is being asked of me is that I am wrong and that if a male bodied person who identifies as a female should be allowed in my safe space. Not only do I have to deal with my body being chopped up, you are expecting me to expose it to any person that decides that they are female? Given the journey I’ve been through I hope that I’m not labeled as transphobic but I suspect I will be

    • tracey 17.1

      Thanks for this comment Odette. Many women share your history, if not of cancer but of sexual violence. Our comfort is being put behind the comfort of .5% of men who feel uncomfortable as males and in male spaces- the answer can NEVER being promoting their unease ahead of ours. And yet here we are. If you feel able please share your story with Ardern, Tinetti. Copy and paste your post here to save you time. We are socialised to put ourselves way down the list- that is now being taken advantage.

      Transmen may want mastectomies and transwomen implants- but it is nOT a medical/physical need and neither should be funded until every female who needs either, medically, has them

    • Anker 17.2

      Odette, just seen your comment. So sorry about your breast cancer. Its in my family so I know what devastation that diagnosis means.

      No absolutely you shouldn't have to share change rooms with male bodied people.

      I cannot understand the arrogance that these men who identify as women think that is o.k. It bloody well isn't.

      Take care.

  18. weka 18

    This post is for women commenters only (cis women/biological women). Please read post for details.

  19. Sabine 19

    As for this 'bill' i don't per se have issues with Transwomen in my toilets or changing rooms, as for most of these Ladies their own body disphoria would probably prevent them from exposing themselves to others in theses spaces. For some Transwomen social transitioning is enouh, for others surgery will follow and with that the need to access gender conform areas previously used only by biological females.

    What I would like to see is simply an acknowledgment that Transwomen can also be abusive, have abused people while being male still and have continued to do so while female. I would like for these people to NOT have the right to undo their past by changing their sex on a piece of paper to get access to those that they like to hurt.

    So maybe this is something that can/should be done, if someone has a record of sexual offending, assault, rape then they don't get to get that change done, they don't get to be called a female, they don't get access to places where young girls and women present themselves naked or in various stages of undress.

    To refuse to acknowledge that Transpeople or Gender – anythings (too many to list here) can be predators is in my books extremely shortsighted and somewhat rapey.

    And for what its worth if people here complain about the 'shocking amount of abuse' of Transgender people and Youth then i better see them in the same sentences acknowledge the shocking amount of abuse hurled at Girls in schools, in universities, at their work places etc.

    And this we do not. We do not acknowledge the fact taht while not all rapists are men, most rapists are men. And some of these men are women. And this is what i would like to protect myself from, my own sense of safety, my own issues with body disphoria as a sexual assault/rape survivor, and all i see here on this post is a whole raft of women asking for that.

    IF we don't protect the 50% of humanity that was born with a vagina from domestic violence, sexual violence, discriminations in the workplace, heck ask yourself who are the people that don't get unemployment benefits cause the partner makes 'too' much money – they are the women unemployed for most part, then how can we even pretend to protect transwomen or youth for that matter? Or is that just an attempt to lump all others in to the women category, so that it is in effect much easier to discriminate against them, cause discrimination against women in NZ (and the rest of the world) is as normal as butter on toast.

  20. No Debate is a mantra and tactic used by gender activists. I think with well meaning intention to start with, the idea was that trans rights shouldn't be debated but accepted. Where that originates, I don't know.


    Just thinking overnight, as you, I came to the conclusion that:

    No Debate advocates and TINA (the sterile 'there is no alternative') advocates are sides of the same coin. Usually TINA advocates don't want there to be a debate or to do the work to find them in case something has to happen. People doing policy work to tease out options come across TINA people frequently.

    Then the actions of the No debaters in trying to close down discssion remind me of the tactics of some hardline religious movements. Hardline religious movements have a history of being over-involved in women's bodies and beliefs.

    The Arcus Foundation

    Where has it – the strategy- come from:
    Jennifer Bilek – The 11th Hour Blog- has done an enormous amount of research on that. Funding for this strategy comes from the Arcus Foundation (and others) and discussed in this article.

    Among other things making law changes and avoiding debate or public consultation as was being tried under the previous government till Tracey Martin got informed by Speak Up for Women re the Self-Id bill.

    For NZ
    Arcus Funding (Us based) helped set up the International Trans Fund – it has been top or near top of the list of sponsors for Gender Minorities Aotearoa for the last few years.Scroll down to the bottom: https://genderminorities.com/

    https://www.arcusfoundation.org/global-trans-initiative/ other donations to NZ organisations /Unis in NZ from Arcus with a focus on trans/human rights

    If this foundation has funded NZ groups they have more than likely made donations to MPs or political parties.

    While some donations are to keep the system going, when you see donations made from groups to MPs/parties on all sides, some are made to encourage the 'good work' of MPs who appear to espouse the aims of the group donating. I will have a poke around to see if I can find anything.

    If anyone knows if this has already been done please let us know

    And Weka your point about not trusting women is valid. The people trying to shut down debate don't trust NZ society really. This is the danger of importing jargon and strategies from overseas, they are not fit for purpose in a NZ context.

    NZ has a long tradition of being able to find its own solutions to problems and has led the way in many social reforms because we have had the freedom and willingness to craft something that suits us, is aspirational etc. .

    The idea that people are called 'transphobic' or 'bigoted' because we deviate, or appear to deviate, from the imported song sheet is anathema to me. .

    Women have the right to safe spaces. It goes without saying that it would be/is scary and frightening to have male people ie with intact male genitals and male levels of testosterone in these safe spaces.

    I cannot see how a birth certificate (raised by Tracy before 10.4.1 & will keep us safe as women when we are confronted with a male, in male clothing and intact male genitals with male levels of testosterone.

    The amendment does not require any evidence of trying to live/living as a woman. Perhaps some evidential provisions similar to those in the existing act could be a half way house…..a NZ solution?

  21. Priss 21

    Be careful of quoting Jennifer Bilek, Shanreagh. There is an unhealthy convergence between the GCs and anti-semitism. I refer you to this well researched article at the Progressive Magazine, https://progressive.org/magazine/antisemitism-meets-transphobia-greenesmith-lorber/

    In 2018, anti-trans feminist pundit Jennifer Bilek wrote a column for The Federalist in which she claimed to expose the “rich, white men institutionalizing transgender ideology.” Bilek’s essay named several prominent progressive Jewish funders, including George Soros, Jennifer Pritzker, Martine Rothblatt, and Jon Stryker. This article and similar articles Bilek has written for other rightwing publications have spread the conspiracy deep within anti-trans feminist movements.

    On her own blog, The 11th Hour, Bilek furthers the “Jewish funder” conspiracies, claiming that Rothblatt and Pritzker are behind a “transhumanist” movement not only to erase women, but ultimately to morph the human species, Matrix-style, into a terrifying techno-globalist future.

    Similar fears of an elite “transhumanist” cabal, using transgender advocacy as a dystopian social engineering experiment, have gained recent popularity among the radical right, thanks to white nationalist Scott Howard’s 2020 book, The Transgender-Industrial Complex, and are recycled regularly on far-right conspiracy platforms like Infowars.

    Bilek isn’t the only contemporary anti-trans or “gender critical” feminist, as some activists are calling themselves, who openly expresses antisemitism. In 2018, Jen Izaakson erased the history of genocide of transgender people and the destruction of decades of research into transgender health during the Holocaust to discredit people using the term TERF. In 2019, prominent British anti-trans feminist Kellie-Jay Keen (also known as Posie Parker) joined Canadian white nationalist Jean-François Gariépy on his podcast to talk about anti-trans activism.

    Christa Peterson, a Ph.D. student of philosophy at the University of Southern California, has extensively researched the spread of antisemitic rhetoric within anti-trans feminist circles. She says anti- trans ideology has “solidified over time” into embracing more explicit conspiracy theories.

    “Today, this rhetoric provides an entry point into far-right politics,” Peterson says. “When you add a legitimization engine on top of the conspiracy theory, with people affiliated with universities or with degrees in higher education promoting these ideas, there’s a real danger they can move further mainstream.”

    • weka 21.1

      Can you produce something Bilek has written where she says the problem is Jewish people, rather than rich people?

  22. Priss 22

    Why was my reply to Shanreagh deleted?

  23. Priss 23

    In my deleted reply, I simply pointed out an unhealthy convergence between GCs and right wing conspiracy theorists,anti-semitics.

    What was so terribly wrong with this comment?

    [repeated text deleted]

    [it wasn’t deleted. You’re either a new commenter, and as such got held for approval, or your quote had too many links in it. – weka]

  24. weka 24

    Post on the new Women's Liberation Aotearoa website, about the recent SUFW talk in Wellington, and how Labour is failing its members and the public by not facilitating discussion of the BDMRR Bill in its own ranks.


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