We must confront this woke misogyny

The assault on Posie Parker is only the latest violent attack by trans activists on women. Enough.

Tom Slater

Tom Slater

Topics Feminism Free Speech Identity Politics Politics UK World

Men forcibly stopping women from speaking in public. Men chanting that women who dare disagree with them should shut up and kill themselves. Men punching women in the face. There’s a word for all this: misogyny. Unbridled, violent misogyny, at that. And yet this vile behaviour has been indulged in once again in recent days by those who think they are the foot soldiers in a new civil-rights movement, by those who besmirch the mantle of anti-fascism by claiming it for themselves, by those who somehow still manage to call themselves ‘progressives’.

I’m talking, of course, of the assorted trans activists who have menaced and assaulted women in recent days for daring to speak their minds. Above all, I’m talking about the clash in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday – where trans activists confronted a rally of gender-critical women, organised by British women’s rights campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen. The event, which Keen (aka Posie Parker) has replicated across the UK and US, was called ‘Let Women Speak’. Each event is the same. Keen shows up, addresses the crowd, then invites women to take the mic and say their piece. Naturally, it always enrages the misogynists – there really is no other word for these cunts, other than perhaps ‘cunts’ – who routinely gather to drown out these events with loudhailers, noisemakers and chants, and who in Auckland shut it down through physical force.

The clips circulating online are stomach-turning. Keen was pelted with tomato juice. Surrounded by a crushing mob of trans activists, she had to be escorted to safety by hi-vis-clad women stewards. She has since been forced to leave New Zealand and return to the UK. Another video, purportedly of the same event, shows a grey-haired woman being punched in the face by what looks very much like a bloke’s fist. Another shows men gleefully knocking through security barriers. Who were they running towards? Who were they raining fists and spit and insults down upon? A group of largely older women, there to peacefully air their concerns about gender ideology, according to eye-witness accounts. Amid the melee, Auckland police were nowhere to be seen.

While the New Zealand debacle has rightly grabbed headlines, this wasn’t the only disturbing event in the gender wars to happen over the weekend. Yesterday, in London’s Hyde Park, there was a miniature replay of Auckland. At the monthly ‘Let Women Speak’ event at Speakers’ Corner, a small group of gender-critical women were surrounded by a far larger group of trans activists. Police failed to keep the two sides separated. Going by videos of the encounter, a handful of cops stood around the women for a bit, forming a thin blue line between the feminists and the counter-protesters, before just leaving them all to it – patting themselves on the back for a job barely begun. All the while, the ‘right side of history’ crew could be heard chanting, ‘The only good Nazi is a dead one, so just go kill yourself’.

Thankfully, it didn’t come to violence. But that’s hardly a triumph, is it? These women were demanding only the right to speak in public, about the erosion of their freedom of speech and sex-based rights at the behest of extreme gender ideology. And even that was not afforded to them. The protesters drowned them out. This wasn’t counter-speech – it was the heckler’s veto in action. Even that feels like a bit of a tame way to describe the tactics of this mob. Heckles are often funny. There’s nothing funny about calling women old enough to be your mother fascists and telling them to top themselves. What’s more, it could easily have boiled over. Just as it did in almost the exact same location back in 2017, when 60-year-old Maria MacLachlan, waiting to attend a gender-critical event, was punched by Tara Wolf, a 26-year-old male who showed up explicitly ‘to f**k up some TERFs’ – a slur which means ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’. (During Wolf’s trial, MacLachlan was told off by the judge for failing to refer to her assailant as ‘she’.)

These clashes are only becoming more common. In London on Saturday, the inaugural event of the newly formed gender-critical Lesbian Project was met with a counter-protest. The two sides were kept well apart this time. But a man who decided to film the trans-activist demo outside had his phone knocked out of his hand and was called a fascist. In his video of the exchange, the police can be seen accusing him of antagonising the mob. Then there’s the myriad exploits of the men gender-critical feminists have wittily dubbed the Black Pampers – balaclava-wearing ‘anti-fascists’ apparently devoted to menacing women who disagree with them and flinging vile sexualised insults at them, such as telling so-called TERFs to fellate them. Presumably because no one else will touch them. Their antics have been caught on film in Manchester, Brighton and Bristol – where they recently forced a group of women to barricade themselves inside a pub.

Enough. We need to call this behaviour out for the violent misogyny that it is. We also need to call out the various cretins who have put a target on these women’s backs, from New Zealand TV station Newshub, which deployed absurd tactics to smear Keen as ‘far right’ ahead of the Auckland rally, to Australian senator Nick McKim, who called Keen and her supporters ‘cunts’ in Aussie rhyming slang, to our own woke bros like Owen Jones and Billy Bragg, who continue to say that gender-critical women, rather than the black-clad men threatening to beat them up, are the fascist-aligned side in this battle. Finally, not least given the fact that police are refusing to do their job, anyone who believes in freedom of speech and women’s rights really needs to stand in solidarity with these courageous women – physically, in public, at a gender-critical event near you.

They must be supported – and the reactionaries posing as progressives must be opposed. See you at Speakers’ Corner.

Tom Slater is editor of spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Slater_

Picture by: Twitter.

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Topics Feminism Free Speech Identity Politics Politics UK World


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