This guest post was submitted to Speak Up For Women by LGBT For The Freedom Of Speech
A ‘fait accompli’, French for ‘accomplished fact’, is something that has already happened, and unlikely to be reversed – a done deal. It is the phrase that dances across the tip of my tongue as I read through the media coverage of the “transgender issue” in New Zealand. The issue is presented as a fait accompli – that ‘we’ already know how to deal with this issue, and that anyone questioning or disagreeing must not be listened to or published. Instead, the prescribed procedure is to call them Nazis, threaten them with violence, go after their employment, and deride what they are saying as ‘hate speech’. One Stuff journalist even described people with a dissenting view on the transgender issue as a ‘cult’.
The media has utterly failed on this issue. We did not have this cotton-wool attitude to homosexuals, those scant few years ago when marriage equality was up for debate. We are told this issue is “not up for debate”, and then deluged with statistics of dubious origin purporting to show that even questioning the matter will cause people to kill themselves or feel “unsafe”. A few years ago the media would have been willing to call that out for what it is – emotional blackmail.
Nowhere is this ideological capture more evident in the place it least should be – Radio New Zealand, a a state-funded public service media organization. Radio New Zealand is perhaps the most egregious offender. Its article on the cancellation by Massey University of the Feminism 2020 event was possibly it’s magnum opus in its offenses against fairness, balance, and accuracy. It is a misrepresentation of Speak Up For Women, something the state organ has been complicit in since that organisation’s inception, and it barrages the reader with statistics from the Counting Ourselves report.
Coverage of that report by RNZ showcases the lack of journalistic urge in our state media. Their article reads like a glowing press release – no attempt to actually contextualise the statistics or the sample that they derived from is made. That sample was gathered from the internet; duplicates were filtered out by sorting through IP addresses. This is despite the fact that the majority of New Zealand ISPs use Dynamic IP and frequently change. Duplicate submissions were easy to make.
But flaws in the sampling methodology aside, we find that 63% of their sample were ‘assigned female at birth’, and 78% of ‘non-binary’ participants were ‘assigned female at birth’. The majority of the sample is also under 25 – RNZ does not inquire why this is the case. No concerns about the sample, nor the fact that over over half the ‘assigned female at birth’ respondents report being sexually assaulted, a rate that is far higher anyone else who is female in New Zealand. Instead, they repeat the researchers insistence that it is ‘discrimination’, and generalize the results to ‘all trans people’. However, the rate for those ‘assigned male at birth’ is far lower in the study. Biological sex, clearly, still matters, even when you are trying to pretend it is a social construct.
Worse yet, is the media’s representation of the LGBT community on this issue as a monolith. Ignored is the fact that Speak Up For Women spokeswoman, Ani O’Brien, is a lesbian, as is prominent Wellington member of the group Jenny Whyte. I can assure you: the LGBT community is not a monolith on this issue. It has divided us. Lesbians are being called ‘TERFs’, Nazis and bigots, and deplatformed for saying what essentially amounts to ‘lesbians don’t want penis’. Gay men are being told they must include female bodies in their spaces. We are being told that asserting our right to our sexual orientation, our exclusive same-sex attraction, is transphobic and bigoted. Many of us have been cast out of the community by those claiming trans status, who are in fact exclusively attracted to the opposite sex – in simpler times, we called those people heterosexuals.
A survey commissioned by Speak Up For Women show that the majority of New Zealand agrees with them on the matter – and the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill was deferred as it was an obvious political hot potato. Yet our media, particularly RNZ, are presenting this issue as a fait accompli instead of representing and giving voice to the diverse views of the general public.
The pro-transgender segment of society represents an overeducated, “champagne socialist” point of view, a view that RNZ is captive to on many issues, but none more so than this one. This is also the view of the activist “rent-a-mob” that many in the media have connections to. This mob has harassed and threatened Speak Up For Women members based on their views. ActionStation, despite their endless petitions, does not represent the views of the wider general public.
Radio New Zealand is failing in it’s mandate as a state broadcaster to effectively inform and provide a platform for the general public. This needs to change. The moderate group Speak Up For Women, who simply do not want male people in women’s prisons, changing rooms, sports, or in lesbian spaces, are representing the majority view of the general public of New Zealand. When they raise these issues, they are in fact speaking for the majority of New Zealanders. It is time media in New Zealand understood that, grew some balls, and told the activist rent-a-mob to bugger off.