On 23 September, Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette. The event is called Feminism 2020.

The intention of the event is to discuss the future of feminism. What are the big issues on the horizon for the women’s liberation movement to focus on? What can women look forward to in the future?

The response to an announcement that a group of women were going to discuss their own liberation movement was drearily predictable: a partnership of liberal organisations took action to shut down the conversation before it had started.

Misinformation

The usual dishonest pretexts were rolled out: according to ActionStation, one of the countries largest activist networks, discussing women’s rights would “harm the trans community”. One trans-activist organisation called us “anti-trans extremists”.

The term hate speech has been applied liberally.

Even Massey University itself has publicly said that it does not share any of our views. We have asked Massey University which of our views it disagrees with. We have had no response.

In a media environment hostile to feminists speaking for themselves, we’ve been told that we oppose transgender people playing in sports; that our members are responsible for trans people killing themselves; that we are funded by powerful, right-wing Christian organisations.

This Misinformation Is Dangerous

Similar fear-mongering has resulted in attacks on women’s meetings, such as the mob that attacked the meeting of A Woman’s Place UK on September 23.

So What Are The Facts?

Feminism 2020 will be a discussion of feminism led by women and open to all. Everyone, except those seeking to disrupt the event or who pose a threat to the security and safety of those attending. Like all “uppity women,” Speak Up For Women have received threats for simply daring to quite literally speak up for women. Threats will not deter us.

The phenomenon of gender identity will no doubt be discussed, along with other issues pertinent to women’s lives. We will talk about that which effects the lives of women.

Do You Hate Trans People?

No.

We support the rights of transgender people to live their lives free from violence and discrimination.

Do You Engage In Hate Speech?

We have published large amounts of content on our website. We encourage you to look over it for yourself: we speak openly and honestly. You’ll find nothing that meets a reasonable definition of “hate speech”.

Are You A Hate Group?

No.

We are a non-partisan organisation that exists to protect and advance the rights and interests of women and girls in New Zealand.

Speak Up For Women formed in 2018 in opposition to the government’s sex self-ID proposals in the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill. Our campaign platform – that there was inadequate public consultation, and the Bill risked unintended consequences for women’s sex-based rights – was ultimately accepted by Minister Martin after taking legal advice, and the proposal was withdrawn.

We are a diverse group of ordinary New Zealanders including teachers, academics, health professionals, care workers, activists, lawyers and students with a shared interest in the rights of women and girls.

Are You “Trans Exclusive”

No.

We have never refused to talk with people because they are trans. We have never excluded anyone from our organisation or our meetings because they are trans. We have never kicked anyone from our Facebook page because they are trans. We speak regularly with trans people, some who share our views on women’s rights, and some who oppose them.

Our meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend without threatening people or disrupting the event.

We would like you to come along and listen to us talk.

Maybe even say hello to us personally after the talks have ended.

We don’t have to agree on everything. But we should agree on this: If you want to disagree with an idea or a belief, then you should have a good understanding of that idea or belief first.

  1. […] University, the group faced backlash from organizations attempting to shut down the event. On their website, Speak Up For Women addresses the […]

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  2. […] Note added 9 October: in view of the continuing tide of misinformation in the mainstream media surrounding this event, Speak Up For Women issued a press statement answering the slanders one by one. It can be read here. […]

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  3. It is terribly disheartening to see all the nonsense still being peddled by people who seemingly cannot accept that biological women have a right to gather to discuss issues pertinent to their well being in society.

    Thank you for continuing to fight the good fight on our behalf.

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  4. Racheal McGonigal October 9, 2019 at 6:40 am

    I am a Transsexual, not Trans. I have been accepted within the SUFW page, made comments and allowed to be heard. I am NOT a member of SUFW because there are some things I disagree with. I have never been attacked or put down, which I have been by Trans groups. My pov has recieved fair discussion, I havent been attacked. I knnow I have educated some about Transsexuals.
    They are most definitely falsely accused of being TERF’s, Transphobes etc to shut them down and to stop them being heard but I have never found the group to be this. I have meet and shared a wine with somme and discussed.
    I have found them open to listening and discussing but they are standing up for what they feel, and I must say I as a women, see is the definition of ‘women’ being attacked.
    But they are not anti Trans but pro Women.
    Everything I have seen and experienced re Trans is they do support and believe Trans have a right and place, but not to usurp the meaning of ‘Women’.

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  5. […] SpeakUp4Women responds to disinformation about the Massey petition […]

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  6. I think it is terrible that any institute of learning can ignore the many female victims of sexual and physical violence in New Zealand and not see that women have to meet and discuss their concerns about their own personal safety. If a university cannot see that women have physical vulnerability how do they keep women safe on their campus? While making assumptions about Speak Up for Women they ignore the needs of women including lesbians on their campus. Massey better under something, you are going to have egg all over your faces when it comes out that you misrepresented women and this meeting. Is Massey going to issue outraged statements every time women’s groups get together? Do let women know in advance.

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  7. Women again relegated to last place because of people born men, I support the right of people to change gender, I do not support them having more rights than others.

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  8. Pickle Strawberrypatch October 17, 2019 at 2:12 am

    The only way I feel a transgender woman should be any different from a woman who was designated that at birth is in sport. Sport is a place where the muscular and skeletal differences in bodies matters; that is one reason differently-abled people don’t compete with normatively abled people. It isn’t realistic for a group of people who were designated women from birth to compete in a contact sport against a woman who’s skeleton and muscular makeup is that of the male sex as the later could badly injure the former and nobody would want that. I identify as left-wing but this the debate about sport should not be seen as partisan and I believe that these women have the right to speak for themselves so long as they do it in a way that is not oppressive to others. I suspect they would do exactly that and am saddened their right to self represent is being curtailed by people jumping to conclusions before knowing the facts.

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    1. Hi Strawberrypatch,
      I went to see some weightlifters st the commonwealth games in 2018. Laurel Hubbard famously pulled out with an elbow injury, yet it was clear that the weights she was lifting put her so far ahead of the competition. I walked out thinking that actually, she should not be competing in that category. But then….what category should she compete in? She clearly has a right to compete in sport.
      Competitive International weightlifters are all genetic outliers. I don’t like the word, but they are freaks, if you will. Freaks whose bodies are outliers to an extreme degree. Insinuations are made about Serena Williams. Questions are asked about Caster. If Laurel’s genetics make it hard for some people to compete with her, Roger Federer’s genetics make it hard for me to compete with him. Elite sport is not a democracy and it has never been fair. I dreamed of a weightlifting career, but when I moved to the South Pacific for university, I found that I couldn’t compete with the local weightlifters. I would train eight times a week and my diet was ruled by Macros – but these guys with minimal training would come and out lift me by 30 kg. I couldnt compete with them. Its genetic.

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      1. PS just to be clear, I am a man.

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