Open  Letter To The NZ Green Party

We, the undersigned, write to you to express our support for Jill Abigail and her article published in the 2019 Spring issue of Te Awa (Green Party News publication).

We reject the assertion of Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson that the article “puts trans rights to exist up for debate” and condemn the public vitriol Jill has been subjected to by members of the party.

Many of us are Green members or former Green members and we are seriously concerned at the refusal of the Green Party to hear the concerns of women that our rights are being impacted by the rapid adoption of gender identity ideology.

We echo Jill’s sentiment that “it would be progressive of the Greens to be working for solutions that are fair to everyone, rather than reinforcing the current divide”.

We call for the Green Party to answer the following questions in order to make plain their positions in this contentious space:

  • What is a woman?
  • Does the Green Party believe people born female deserve their own spaces for free association, social and political organisation, safety, dignity, and privacy?
  • Does the Green Party accept that some people are exclusively same-sex attracted – that is, they are exclusively attracted to people of the same biological sex?
  • Does the Green Party support the need for discourse, even around issues that may be considered contentious, when differing perspectives are held by party members?
  • Does the Green Party accept that in the New Zealand Human Rights Act sex is a protected characteristic and there are specific exceptions to protect the privacy, dignity, and safety of women? If yes, how does the Green Party reconcile the Human Rights Act with their treatment of women who, like Jill Abigail, have raised concerns about the erosion of their rights?
  • Is the Green party concerned about the increasing number of children and young adults being referred to endocrinology services? If not, how does the party explain this sudden and rapid increase in numbers?

We suggest James Shaw, Marama Davidson, and the Green Party apologise to Jill Abigail for the defamatory comments and bullying she is being subjected to by members of the party and call for the abuse to stop immediately.

There may be a loud group of activists in close proximity to those in power, but the party is diverse and a growing number are feeling increasingly more alienated by the ideological positions being taken on gender identity.

It’s time for respectful discussion.

Signed:

Beth Johnson, Auckland
I’m a lifelong green voter, but never again until Marama is gone and civil discourse resumes within the party.

 

Deidra Sullivan, Wellington

 

Kay Barton, Christchurch

I presume you will be changing your name to The Gender Identity Party before the next elections, because unless you start listening and talking with women you may as well.

 

Hamish McGregor, NZ

 

Penny MacArthur, Auckland

 

Jenny Whyte, Wellington
I will not consider voting for the Green Party until they publicly answer these questions

 

Anna Evans, Auckland

 

Don Franks, Wellington

It's nothing short of scary that Jill's compassionate and reasoned letter was banned. Think again Green party.

 

Georgina Blackmore, Auckland

Jill bravely spoke up about a subject that a lot of women (and men) are worried about. I am hurt to see her painted as a villain by those in power. Should those of us who share Jill's opinion be afraid to raise them with our Green Party leadership, now? I hope not.

 

Rose Carlyle, Auckland
I am a lifelong Green Party voter, but this will be changing unless the Green Party recognises the need for free, respectful discussion of this issue.

 

Emily Efford, Wellington

I'm shocked that a life-long feminist who has given so much to the Greens has been demonised in this way for her very reasonable article. Kia kaha, Jill.

 

Tim Leadbetter, Dunedin

The Green party should be committed to open and frank discussion of this topic. It should not tolerate smear tactics and bullying, especially when these dirty moves are directed at women.

 

Chelsea Geddes, Auckland

 

L Myers, Christchurch
I'm not a member of the Greens but I’ve always supported the party. In the context of the massive issues facing us, for the GP to deepen the schism over this one issue is stupid. Ms Abigail did not call for a denial of the trans right to exist but sought to open to sensible debate, issues arising from the intersection between transgender identity rights & women's sex-based rights.
To publicly censure her, to censor the article, and to publicly apologise for publishing it, is almost beyond belief.

 

Daphna Whitmore, Auckland
The Green Party's adoption of extreme gender identity ideology is deeply misogynistic as it completely disregards the concerns and rights of women. The reaction to Jill's reasoned article also shows how authoritarian and anti-democratic the Party is.

 

Ani O'Brien, Wellington

Framing women protecting our rights as hateful is nothing more than a disingenuous and manipulative attempt to silence us. It won't work. I have voted Green my whole life, but simply cannot again while the party endorses bullying of women.

 

Suzy Fry, NZ

 

John Chapman, Raetihi

 

Hillary Mackie, Christchurch

The fascism within the Green's party has appalled me and all those I have talked to about it. They are losing women voters by the day.

 

Shelley Robinson, Lower Hutt

 

Stuart Bramhall, New Plymouth

 

David Murray, Masterton

I have voted Green to ensure a progressive voice is in Parliament on matters to do with the environment, but the attitudes on show recently in respect to women's human rights leave me wondering if I've been casting my vote in the wrong direction.

Women (females) are more than half of the population.

Women's rights should be respected not eliminated!

How the Green Party puts this right for Jill and all women will strongly influence my vote at the next election.

 

Prue Hyman, Paekakariki

The censorship of Jill's very moderate well reasoned argument is scary and unjustified. Such censorship is contrary to a calm discussion on these issues which is essential for sense to prevail and if the Green party is not to lose many members on both 'sides' of the debate.

 

Victoria O'Brien, Auckland

 

Mikayla Brown, Tauranga

Sex and gender are different. That shouldn't be up for debate!

 

Francesca Holloway, Auckland

I too have been a Green voter and am appalled at the Green refusal to have reasoned and reasonable debate.

 

Jim Rose, Wellington

Gay rights was about liberty rights: the right to be left alone. Nothing was asked of others. Transgender rights is about claim rights: the obligations we have to each other when interacting publicly. Claim rights define the rules of the road and the risks we must shoulder when interacting with others. The Greens are currently debating in parliament the very existence of another claim right: assisted dying bill. that debate is about what extra risks others should shoulder from carving an exception to a previous blanket rule so others can get do something really important in their life, which is assistance in having a peaceful death. Greens were willing to vote against End of Life Choice Bill because no amount of safeguards would allay their concerns about risks to people with disabilities. Why aren't women given the same room for debate when they are asked to shoulder risks regarding women only spaces, intimate privacy and sporting opportunity?

 

Emily Barnes, Wellington

 

Paul Litterick, Auckland

A party that attacks one of its senior members is not worth a vote.

 

Courtney Wilson, Christchurch

 

Sam Edwards, Invercargill

 

Freida Maverick, Hamilton

I voted Green last election. But you've lost my vote because of this issue.

 

Karen Bryant, Gisborne

 

Venus Yerkovich, Northland

 

Aorewa McLeod, Auckland

 

Annette Breen, Auckland

Former Green voter and supporter. Identity politics turned me off doing so ever again.

 

Michelle Genet, Wellington

 

Angela Ritchie, Greymouth

 

Clare Maguire, Christchurch

Shutting down respectful conversation is never good.  Never. I am still gobsmacked at this censorship.

 

Lia Moon, Wellington

Time to listen up.

 

Sharon Shaw, Auckland

 

Abigail Lane, Queenstown

 

Gilda Kirkpatrick, NZ

Terrible treatment. Embarrassing!

 

Ana Webster, Wellington

 

Juliet Moses, Auckland

Jill's article was respectful and in no way hateful. The hate has all been one way. Shame on the Green Party for demonising Jill and the very many people who support open, respectful debate about this issue. The Greens have become the party of intolerance and authoritarianism.

 

Alistair Mackay, Dunedin

 

Dianne Landy, Otaki Beach

 

Alyssa Jordan, Auckland

Despite my support of the Greens positions on many issues, I cannot in good conscience vote for the party while it continues to stifle respectful debate regarding a topic of great concern to many New Zealanders and most particularly women.

 

Karen Courtis, Auckland

 

Dave Ananth, Manukau

 

Susan Stowe, Whangarei

 

Kim, NZ

 

Jan Flinn, Greymouth

The Green Party projects itself as a liberal innovative party and yet Marama behaves in a dogmatic manner which suggests a lack of maturity of her and the Party that she/they are unable to discuss issues respectfully if she/they do not agree with.

 

Steph Thompson, NZ

 

Ellen, NZ

 

Dane Giraud, Rangitikei

A party so hostile to debate and hearing counter arguments has no place in the NZ government. A culture change is drastically needed at the NZ Green party.

 

Stephen Chester, Auckland

Opinions are important, and shouldn't be shut down because you disagree.

 

Shelby, Wellington

 

Sam Brydon, Cambridge

 

Carol Penman, Auckland

 

Mike O'Brien, Auckland

Not a green voter but totally agree

 

Jin Wan, Auckland

Ironically, Marama Davidson's ideology is putting WOMEN'S rights to exist up for debate. Forget this Green Party. We now have a true, green party - Sustainable New Zealand Party.

 

Alison Simmons, Maidstone

 

Kathleen Lauderdale, New Plymouth

Women have quite enough institutional sexism and misogyny to deal with denying their legal and human rights risking abuse and their lives and the health and mental health of their children without having to deal with more male fantasies undermining them which this attack on a woman is another example of. We are along way still from fulfiling equal rights for women and safety of children and can do without a minority of extreme idealogues undermining progress further taking attention off important issues yet to be undertaken for natal women. This is an example of rampant misogyny ALWAYS demanding and priotising mens "wants" before women and childrens needs.

 

Rae Robinson, NZ

 

Alison Laurie, Wellington

 

Kathryn, Dunedin

 

April-Tui Buckley, Te Atiawa (currently abroad)

I'm an indigenous New Zealander, of Te Atiawa, from Wellington and my grandmother was a founding member of the Maori Women's Welfare League. She would be appalled at what you're doing, as I am, as my mother is, as my daughter is. Censoring the concerns of women is misogyny.

 

Mark Muller, Auckland

The party shows no regard for reality, and no respect for women. It is endorsing misogyny.

 

Anna D, NZ

A healthy political culture does not frame respectful disagreement as "harm" or "hate".  This is a disgraceful, chilling episode of mob rule.

 

Jan Rivers, Wellington

After my delight at seeing the Te Awa letter published it was with dismay that I heard of the repercussions this week.  An attack on the author, the Green Party losing valuable, talented and committed volunteers and embedding a culture of isolationism rather than open discussion. Several Green Party friends contacted me about the article, representing many more conversations with other members delighted that the logjam on debate was broken.  Very sad about this turn of events.

 

Michele Donovan, Auckland

 

Jim Schofield, Wellington

Yeah what they said. Also, #CODPIECES. I'm trying to get Codpieces trending. Just 'cos.

 

Anne Stephens, Auckland

This is beyond silencing of reason. How have we come to this? Green Party, stand up for women.

 

Ann Scrimshaw, Central Hawkes Bay

 

Jan Preston, Auckland

Greens - silencing reasonable commentary is censorship beyond your mandate.

 

Sam Day, NZ

Females are oppressed by patriachy because of their biology, sex based rights to privacy for females from male bodies must be maintained

 

Natalie Hamill, Franz Josef

 

Andrew, NZ

 

Stephen Brocklehurst, Waikanae

 

Annette Gerlich, Paraparaumu Beach

 

Sue Boland-Vernon, Wellington

Let's remember to listen with respect. Refusing to do this, particularly from a position of power, is a form of abuse

 

Georgina Ward, Christchurch

We need to find a way to respect trans rights without removing hard won women's rights. We need to protect both groups from predators who will abuse self-ID in order to gain access to women's prisons, refuges, hostels, toilets etc.  Women and girls have the right to safety, privacy, dignity and equality. Please be part of this really important  conversation rather than shutting down debate.

As Simon Fanshawe (co-founder of Stonewall UK so he knows a thing or two about LGBT issues) says "Language is NOT violence. We must support freedom of speech. If you disagree,  argue, don't ban". It is time for mature discussion and debate before it is too late.

 

Tracey Macleod, Christchurch

I dont want Marama muzzled or gone from GP but she and other members must adhere to the Members Agreement. I agree to support consensus decision-making processes and to engage in constructive debate while respecting the rights of others to express their views.

I understand that failure to honour this agreement could result in my party membership being declined or withdrawn. I am an abuse survivor and Lesbian. Women only spaces are a life saver cos I dont have to be hyper vigilant or worry that a devious man is there triggering me. We are intelligent people, surely we can find a way to protect TransFolk without the easily manipulated Self ID. Womens lives matter too.

 

Liam O'Sullivan, abroad currently, hometown Wellington

I am a former Green Party voter who will not vote for you in the future while women are being bullied and silenced for showing natural concerns around their privacy and dignity. In the post #metoo era, I am shocked at the response to their wish to preserve their spaces for natal born women. It should be pretty obvious why that's necessary. Shame on the Greens, you're not the party I remember.

 

Michelle O'Donnell, Wellington

Your treatment of Jill Abigail has been utterly contemptible and I look forward to you answering these questions. A party that relies on climate science to justify progressive environmental policies, yet simultaneously approaches women's rights as biology-deniers is one I can't vote for. Deal breaker.

 

N. George, Wellington

 

Georgia Drysdale-Dunn, Te Aroha

I implore you, The Green Party, to be reasonable not reactionary. You are voted in as representatives for the people, not to censor us.

 

Pauline Dwyer, Wellington

And so it is even in NZ: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7415169/Religion-political-ideals-replaced-dogma-turned-beliefs-hate-crimes.html

 

Sarah Campbell, London (but from Dunedin)

I am actively involved with the Green Party and have worked on campaigns for them in London for overseas votes.

This issue matters to me, and I know it matters to a lot of Greens. Silencing debate is not the progressive thing to do. Protecting minority groups is important, as part of an overall approach that respects people and their rights to dignity and privacy. Women's rights must be protected.

The Green party need to listen to women and allow debate. This is not the party I have worked so hard for.

 

Kirsten Mullany, Hastings

 

Steve Jones, Wellington

Consider your position before making a stand on any issue, seems like any basic politician could achieve that, people are impacted by your behaviour and you're in a position of power

 

Vanja, Auckland

 

Rachel Stewart, Whanganui

 

Kirsty Walker-Swears, Hamilton

 

Rosemary Miller, Whanganui

 

Magdalena Lischka, Wellington

You don't take or validate rights of one group and pass them to another, bad move Greens. From now on an ex-Green voter.

 

Steve Austin, Blenheim

Men need to support women. Gay men who have been supported by amazing women - including activist lesbian  feminists need to speak up on this issue. The Green Party has roots in social justice - why has this been forgotten?

 

Maire Leadbeater, Auckland

Strongly endorse the bullet point about the need for open discourse especially around contentious issues. How else can we test our ideas and learn from one another?

 

Carolyn Skelton, NZ

 

Racheal McGonigal, Auckland

I am also appaled at how the media has been walked over and stopped from showing a true balance to New Zealander.

 

M. Hancock, Lower Hutt

The Greens need to allow an open dialogue and answer these questions. This isn't a matter of someone gaining rights, it's a matter of someone taking rights away from other people. A woman is a adult human female, a protected group under human rights law, not an identity to be adopted.

 

Pauline Evans, Mangonui

I read Jill's article and there was no hate speech whatsoever in the article. He article was eloquently and fairly written without prejudice or hate against the transgender community.  The only hate speech I noted was coming from a group of Green party members who wanted to silence Jill's opinion. They appeared to me to be using bullying and threatening tactics and "witch hunt" style of rhetoric.  I was absolutely apalled that a group of people many Green party members could resort to such bullying and agressive name calling and abuse.  I wholeheartedly support Jill being able to state her opinions without threats and any attempt at gagging any form of debate on the issues she raised

 

Jane Cook, Tauranga

 

Tania Sturt, Wellington

 

Rosemary McDonald, NZ

 

Glenn Stewart, Auckland

It is horrifying to see the lack of nuance in the Green party. Simply requesting a space space - even a word! - for women to call their own, is categorically NOT the same as denying the rights of transpeople to exist. Nor is it "hate speech"; calling it such simply dilutes the term, making it weak and useless. And don't get me started on the insults, the slurs, the bullying. I used to be a committed Green voter, but now ... not so much.

 

Janine Stagpoole, Christchurch

 

Grace Miller, Wellington

You say us TERFs are hateful. Check this out: www.terfisaslur.com and tell me the difference. I'm asking for no men to use my toilet, even if they wear a dress and ugly wig. Nor in my sports, spaces, changing rooms and scholarships. Look at what they want to do to women and men who believe in science and biological facts. Men are not women. No woman has a penis. This is basic biology. NO man is a woman; only men get prostate cancer.

What the hell is wrong with you? Rory Francis is a man who is pretending to be a woman. So is Gavin Hubbard and Mr Weatherly, the current 'women's' downhill champ - the man who helped set trans policy with NZ Cycling to let him cheat and race against women. Not on.

Jamming this shit down our throats and at school while kids overseas as young as 3 are being affirmed as 'being in the wrong body' and our autistic/Aspergers kids are being preyed on by the trans lobby. No such thing as a trans kid, just a sick parent that's confusing their kid - 80% grow out of their supposed 'gender dysphoria'. One woman stood up to you with a reasoned response and you hid her away, ashamed of the truth.

Biological reality is not hate speech. Men are not women. No woman has a penis. It doesn't matter what they 'believe' they are, woman is not a feeling. Wake the fuck up.

 

Angel De Genero, Wellington

Gracias.  Me entristece ver a las mujeres tratadas de esta manera.

 

Wendy Davis, Wellington

 

Bridget Holland, Auckland

Jill's article was neither unreasonable nor naive, much of the hostile reaction to it was.

 

Alison McCulloch, NZ

 

Faye Chen, Auckland

 

J. D., Wellington

Have usually given the Greens my party vote. Will not do so again until I see evidence of understanding and respecting women's rights.

 

Megan Fox, Raglan

I cannot agree with the assessment of this lifelong women's advocate as being in any way hateful or attempting to deny the right of trans people to exist. I had come to understand the Green Party as a bastion of common sense, fact-based policy, and open discourse. It alarms me to think that I have spent the past 20 years voting for a party that is now seeking to suppress reasoned and respectful debate on an issue that has real, life-changing effects on two vulnerable minorities.  I cannot in good conscience vote for you again until I know that the Greens support both biological women and trans women, and are open to finding a policy line that protects all parties.

 

Wayne Bawden, Carmarthen

Stop ignoring women's legitimate concerns. And stop dismantling protections that keep them safe

 

Jacqueline McClaren, from South Otago, currently in Germany

Marama Davidson, the party's co-leader, has said that they are actively working on resolving this issue. These questions, then, need to be answered, alongside `What is a lesbian?` and what support does the party offer for the L part of LGBTQI etc.

 

Glenda Gale, Wellington

I believe Jill wrote a thoughtful  and respectful article . Shutting people down and preventing free speech is a dangerous path to take.

 

Isabella Jane, Auckland

Wish there was someone in New Zealand who would reach out to older feminists (& teachers, nurses, all groups) and recruit them to this cause. We need street demonstrations that will physically/visually draw attention to the issue. Organising demonstrations involves a great deal of outreach. A lot of older feminists are old! but they can be organised by others with more energy

 

Erin Reeves-McMillan, Auckland

 

Richard Caigou, Wellington

 

Holly Lawford-Smith, Taupo

 

Morrigan Severs, Christchurch

 

Michelle Stevens, Auckland

Women's sex based rights are vital. I voted for your party. Please stand for us, as our brave mothers, grandmothers and their allies did. We are not a feeling, a costume or identity. We demand our voice so our daughters will be heard.

 

Monique Dyer, Wellington

The erosion of biological women's rights is fundamental wrong. One 'group' should not prosper at the expense of another. We fought long and hard for women's rights and space. This is a backwards move for our daughters.

 

Sue Masters, Wellington

Let's talk. Let's listen.

 

Hillary, Auckland

 

Katrina Biggs, Christchurch

Is it really the right thing to erase natal women's rights in favour of trans-women's rights? To let those who are still functioning males push aside women to make way for them? This just feels like another round of HIStory repeating itself. This is not about discriminating against trans-women, but about natal women mot being erased in favour of trans-women.

 

Felicity Stacey-Clark, Kapiti

 

Michelle Rudgley, Invercargill

It appalls me that the green party supports such misogyny!

 

Jane Campbell, Dunedin

This issue should be discussed openly. I was shocked that the Green Party silenced a very reasonable balanced article about women's rights. The Green Party is becoming dictatorial. I shall not be voting for them.

 

Sarah Davies, Auckland

 

Jan Bracewell, Tauranga

 

Kate G., Hamilton

 

Catherine Hayes, Feilding

 

Gracious Standtrue, Timaru

Time for Marama Davidson to go

 

L. Nibbs, Wellington

 

Alison Taylor, Auckland

 

Jennifer James, Hawkes Bay

The fact that we are silencing a debate about whether or not gender is a social construction makes me feel like feminism just took a nose dive back into the dark ages. I have always voted Greens and was part of watching it make history in our country when the first set of Green MPS came on board (one of them being my uncle). I now feel lost at sea, politically.

 

Jenni Bedford, Porirua

seeing what Marama wrote in a tweet about "terf scum" referring to Jill's letter is so anti lesbian. That silences discussion about wanting to hold onto something that lots of us fought hard for a space for lesbians/dykes.

 

Ann Allen, Auckland

I support this letter and Jill Abigail. I would like to support the Green Party but this cannot happen while they support the erosion of rights for women.

 

Alison Wright, Auckland

 

Helen Courtney, Hamilton

 

Deborah Horan, Christchurch

so gutted at the treatment of women by this party shame

 

Sue Aitchison-Windeler, Auckland

 

Fran Marno, Auckland

 

Michelle Gosse, NZ

The promotion of gender so that gender is the form of oppression, not sex, flies in the face of biology. Women and girls have been oppressed for centuries on the basis of sex, not gender. No-one asked what gender we were when we were raped in and out of war. No-one asked what gender we were when we were excluded from education. No-one asked what gender we were when we could not have our own bank accounts, mortgages, and other lending instruments. No-one asked what gender we were when we were passed over for promotion. No-one asked what gender we were when we were/are expected to take meeting notes and ensure that tea and coffee are available. No-one asked what gender we were when we were assumed to be the nurse and not the doctor. This is but a short list of examples.

We've always been oppressed on the basis of sex, not gender. And, strangely, our sex has been accurately identified for centuries...

 

Anita, Hastings

 

Marg Curnow, Wellington

Please wake up to the difference between the reality of biology and the ideology of gender. Biology is fixed - no amount of hormones or surgery can change it. Censorship doesn't solve anything and is a tool of totalitarianism.

 

Christina Carlyle, Auckland

How can the Green Party  expect to be respected for their commentary on climate change when their position on the definition of "woman" is so unscientific?

 

Kathleen Johnson, Carterton

 

Teresa Irving, Whangarei

 

Anna Coleman, NZ

Hoping someone from the Greens will actually answer the questions stated, after all they work for us, the taxpayer - they ought to remember that.

 

Sadi Kalen, Whangarei

 

Hana Blackmore, Auckland

It is desperately sad to see how the Greens have treated Jill Abigail and her thoughtful and honest opinion piece.  The labelling of this as "hate speech" and its online removal is seriously worrying. What has happened to the Greens I joined in the 90s?  Do we not stand up for freedom of speech and expression?  Do we not stand up for everyone's human rights?  Jill is so right to say that "no previous extension of human rights for new groups have involved taking away the rights of others needing protection".Jill, my respect and (Green) apologies for the way you have been treated.  The bullying and "hate" rhetoric cannot be excused and must stop.  James and Marama, this is not us.  Do something.

 

Matthew Blackmore, Auckland

 

Sandra Coney, Auckland

 

Wayne Wilson, Lower Hutt

 

Jocelyn Papprill, Christchurch

I am a long term member of the Greens & before that of the Values Party. I am signing this as I am concerned particularly about how debate or discussion of this issue has become unsafe. I have been name called when I raised it as a point of discussion even before stating any position. In a democratic society we need to openly and respectfully debate such issues, so the question about whether the Green Party support the need for discourse, even around issues that may be considered contentious, when differing perspectives are held by party members is of vital importance to me if I am to remain a member of the GP.

 

Judith Pattison, NZ citizen currently in Australia

I am not a Green's Party member, but always supported them as a vital part of the democratic process in New Zealand. This is a very dissapointng response from them. I hope they use Jill Abigail's letter as an opportunity and take up her challenge to move towards progressive solutions. Speak up for women's questions are valid and necessary. Answer them, please!

 

Anne Moir, Dunedin

 

Florence Carlyle, Auckland

I believe that the transsexual community is reinforcing gender stereotypes - whether intentional or not - in their take on displays of trans identification. They believe that if someone appears in a way that doesn't conform to their biological sex's traditional gender stereotypes then they are automatically transsexual and must be encouraged to transition. They also try to cover up stories of those who have transitioned only to realise that it was not the right thing for them and have since then transitioned back. I do not believe all transsexual people are this way, but I believe a great deal of people are, and so are many people who claim the title transgender rather than call themselves transvestite.

 

Sandra Clark, Wellington

Since when has reasonably expressed opinion become unwelcome in the Green Party?

 

Tamsen Williams, Wellington

I'm disappointed that a life-long feminist who wrote with consideration and reason about an issue that is incredibly important for women's rights has been vilified and silenced by your party. Kia kaha, Jill.

 

Lizzie Kerr, Wellington

Green voter , would like these questions answered.

 

Amber-Rose Christie, Christchurch

 

Letty Riverson, Auckland

For every one of us who is saying something, there are ten who are quietly watching and choosing to vote elsewhere. Abandoning women's rights is a mistake and it will cost the Party dearly - please see reason!

 

Brian & Lorna W., Auckland

Complete and utter disgrace!

 

Taydra Cole, Hamilton

Criticism is not violence. Facts are not up for debate because of "feelings". 2 + 2 does not equal 5. Females will be seriously affected by any such politics, laws, and environments that do not acknowledge sex based rights and oppression. The Greens should stop pussyfooting around the way they are doing to avoid the wrath of the court of public opinion and at least have the ovaries to make their alliance with or betrayal of women and girls plain and clear.

 

Valda Edyvane, Wellington

The Green Party's response to Jill Abagail's article was inappropriately authoritarian. Worse the reaction disrespects the founding ethos of Rainbow Pride: disparate rainbow communities agreeing to work together for social equality, while respecting differences amongst them.

 

Jasper, Auckland

 

Juliana Venning, Christchurch

As a woman who taught trans (male)youth and had trans (male) colleagues, I afirm my right to be in and feel safe in a safe women only space that does NOT include trans males.

 

Janice Maddock, Wellington

The treatment of Jill Abigail by senior members of the Green Party  is appalling. Stop the bullying, stop the intimidation of women and feminists and stop the witch hunt.

 

Sheryl White, Waihi

Disturbing that a leader of one of our major political parties responded so reactively rather than making a considered, thoughtful response even if she did continue to hold opposing views. I expect more of the people who hold such leadership positions.

 

Saige (formally Jane) England, Christchurch

That the article was labelled transphobia when it was not, that Jill Abigail was abused by Party members with no apology to her from the Party and that her opinion piece - clearly headed an opinion piece - was pulled out of the magazine in direct contravention of Te Awa magazine's editorial independence is shocking, dictatorial and a frightening slide in civil rights. For those reasons after ten years of support including writing articles and campaigning for Marama Davidsom, I am resigning my Party membership and will not be voting Green.

 

Emma B., Wellington

 

K. Jones, Palmerston North

Absolutely appalled, at the Green Party's stance and gaslighting of Jill...I have not voted for the Green's nor Labour for that matter because of the appalling derogatory name calling to women, by Senior women MPs of both Parties, NZ First at least had common sense policies...

 

Janet Robin, Auckland

 

Mary Cain, Christchurch

 

Maggy Wassilieff, Gisborne

Why would the Greens want to sacrifice the hard-won freedoms our mothers and sisters have worked for?

 

Catherine Karena, Hastings

Corruption has been driving the gender ideology around world, big pharma putting their hands iin polliticians pockets at the expense of democracy and women.  The Green party is suspect and should be investigated

Natasha Francois, NZ

 

Jim Jones, Auckland

Tau toko this letter and Jill. The Greens have lost my support.

 

Bethan Price, Rangiora

 

Charles Lawson, Wellington

 

Andrea, Kapiti

 

Charlie Montague, Wellington

If an old man had written this the Party would not have reacted so explosively. As Claire Heuchan says, "there is a certain malice projected onto lesbians critiquing gender" & we've certainly seen that here.

I'm a young lesbian feminist Green Party member (& have been a member most of my adult life) sticking around in solidarity with Jill. I'm happy to see many others in the same boat.

 

Tim Darlington, Palmerston North

Don't have a dog in this fight, but a woman should be able to write a feminist opinion piece in a Green Party publication. If others disagree with it, let them argue their case, not just delete stuff they don't like.

 

Mia Molvray, Kamo

Trans people must have the same civil rights as everyone else. Not more. Not at the expense of women. Telling women to forget themselves and be quiet is misogyny. Don't do it.

 

Annabelle Hodge, Wellington

 

Geoff Cameron, Wellington

 

Linda Grey, Dunedin

There are a small group of activists who are intent on silencing debate on this issue. Anyone who disagrees is accused of 'hate speech' or that they are 'transphobic'. I believe that transgender people are vulnerable and deserve respect and equal treatment. However, this does not include access to women only spaces. I am concerned that free speech is now being shut down in New Zealand and will not vote for any party who tries to stifle respectful debate.

 

Billy Collins, Auckland

 

Jo Laird, Whanganui

 

Sarah Fort D'Ath, Auckland

Respect your elders! Jill Abigail And Mother Nature.

There is no GenderWang in these policies here at sustainablenz.org.nz/policies I've always voted Labour and when I feel they'll get in will give a party vote to Greens, but there is no way in sweet heaven on earth that I will vote again for a party that are all in for destroying womens sex class protections and rights. They may not be given away by you because these rights were fought for by your esteemed elders like Jill Abigail. Mmmkay? But, Mother Nature she dont give a ....

 

Chris Pook, Auckland

Green Party member here. The issues raised in this letter are serious and I expect the party leadership to address them politely, promptly and in accordance with the party's own commitment to reasoned discussion and respect for dissenting opinions. Thank you.

 

Jade Follett, Lower Hutt

Jill's article was nothing less than courteous to both trans people and women. As a transexual I can say with certainty that Jill's article wasn't even remotely transphobic, the way her article was twisted as being transphobic hate speech and an attack on trans rights is absolutely disgusting.

I'm to some extent quite pro trans rights, however trans rights shouldn't have complete disregard for the hard earned rights females have been and still are fighting for. Its 2019 and the greens of all people are pushing this misogyny.. have you lot lost your mind's? STOP BULLYING FEMALES!!!

 

Phoebe, NZ

The erasure of hard won sex based rights is legitimatly terrifying. Standing up for women is not hate speech. Listen to us

 

Aileen Lowe, Nelson

The Greens are not who they say they are.  The public need to see people who are real, who are honest and who stand up for justice and not selectively exclude people.

 

Claire, Hamilton

 

Marcus Buckland, Wellington

Jill is a hero.

 

Alicia Nowak, Auckland

 

Ro Edge, Hamilton

 

Marilynn Johnson, Auckland

 

Louise Malone, Auckland

 

Libby Burgess, Auckland

I'm deeply disappointed to see the Green Party bullying, alienating and censoring Jill, a feminist who has expressed a well considered and valid viewpoint.

 

Marty Harris, Havelock North

Pol Pot would be proud of The Green Party - think as we say or else you're an enemy. I've always supported trans rights but I also support the right of women to choose when they want a penis around and when they don't.

 

Tighe Instone, Wellington

Hear hear !

 

Helen de Montalk, Wellington

 

Louise Follett, Whanganui

 

Sabrinna, formerly Christchurch, currently overseas

Every political issue is up for debate. When so-called political leaders refuse to debate then they need to step down because they're no longer fit for office. Debate is the very nature of politics. The Greens Party is proving itself unfit.

 

Ben A., Wellington

 

Coral Searle, Auckland

 

Joanna Markham, Auckland

 

Ben Smith, Auckland

Signed with reservation: there are complex issues here and I do not call for the Green Party to commit to answers without further discussion, particularly around whether and which spaces for women ought to be reserved for biological females. But women who feel a tension between their rights and the rights of transgender women should be heard out, not silenced, until the answers are clearer.

 

Delia Morris, Nelson

I wonder if biological men would like to be treated as biological women are over the rights of transgender people.  Called names (terf) and no support from the so called left in this country.   Well women are not going away.   Your treatment of Jill Abigal was despicable and it shows really how little you value feminist women in your party.  It shows how little you value the female point of view actually.

 

Anne Coury, Otaki

 

Ineke Castina, Hamilton

 

Sandra Bell, Christchurch

 

Sigrid Christiansen, NZ

Jill's courteous article should never have been silenced.

 

Matthew, Auckland

 

Karen Belt, Wellington

I was deeply shocked at the misrepresentation of Jill’s thoughtful and respectful article by senior Green Party members and at the censorship that at coming to light within the Green Party.

 

Adele, Whakatane

I am appalled at the GP's leadership and the GP members for treating Jill Abigail with such disdain. As a Maori women, I do not support the conflation of sex with gender. In my worldview they are separate identities. To change the Maori worldview position on women would require extensive consultation with Maori women beforehand. Otherwise, a potential contemporary treaty breach is in the making and I am more than willing to file that application.

 

Lindsay Christopherson, Kapiti

 

Diane Landy, Otaki Beach

I will not be voting for The Greens. Trans rights are human rights, they are not women's rights.

 

David Wright, Auckland

 

Athena Cotidis, Wellington

 

Justin Nobbs, New Plymouth

 

Mark, Paeroa

 

Reena, Wellington

And we like to think we live in a democracy. Yeah right.

 

Clive, Otaki

Annie Scott, Rotorua

 

Chris McMillan, Auckland

 

M. Malcom, NZ

 

Mark Price, Auckland

How Jill was treated was disgusting.
Once Marama is out of the party (our most racist MP) then perhaps the greens can start to mend itself.
Here’s to hoping.

 

Dylan Tipene, Auckland

When politicians provoke the sort of reaction above by vilifying anyone who calls them out, it simply reaffirms my thinking that anyone wanting to run for Parliament should first have to pass a stringent mental health assessment. There are some very, VERY unwell individuals walking our corridors of power.

 

Rosemary Neave, Christchurch

I was particularly struck by the latest Panui that suggested hurt and distress was only on one side of this argument. Surely we can work this through to a win win that sees kindness, love and justice working together. And all this when domestic violence and bullying is multiplying across the land.

 

Pam Henson, Nelson
I'm disturbed that the Green Party is apparently introducing censorship.

 

Tracey Crampton Smith, Dunedin
The Green Party seem to be going against their own ethical stance of open, honest and inclusive discussion - a great disappointment.

 

Bob McCroskie, Auckland
Biology is not bigotry

 

Kathy Stodart, Porirua

 

Andrew Kensington, Wellington

The Green's insistence on silencing dissenting voices from a segment of the community who will be subjected to the consequences of this policy decision is antidemocratic.

 

Paul Vincent, Auckland

 

Phillip Ferguson, Dunedin

I have been active in progressive politics for well over 40 years, in Britain, Ireland and NZ. I've seen good and bad on the left. But the attacks on women's rights from people like leaders of the Greens and then their attempt to silence and censor gender-critical people count as at the top of the worst. Jill's very reasonable opinion piece should have been treated calmly and with respect. Instead the response was vituperation and censorship. The Greens are now doing politics just like all the rotten establishment parties - if anything the misogyny and shutting down of debate is every bit as bad as in National and Labour. Stop the top-down censorship and stop the anti-women and anti-lesbian bigotry.

 

Yvone Weeber, Wellington

Green Party member who wants the important conversations on transgender health and sex based rights of women and girls to be open, inclusive and work on solutions that are fair to everyone.

 

Catherine, Christchurch

 

Janet Charman, Auckland

Further respectful discussion is what is required before people take entrenched positions.

 

Sunil Williams, Auckland

It should not be controversial that in a world dominated by male violence, people born female deserve their own physical and political space. It is shocking that the Greens are attacking members of their own party who understand this.

 

Isabella Stevenson, Auckland

 

Mark Crocker, Christchurch

Really disappointing the way Jill Abigail has been treated and censored by the Green Party.I'm a long time Green Party voter and I'm not comfortable with the undemocratic direction the party is taking.
There is a misogynistic element within your party, particularly young men and very obvious on social media.

 

Erika Beck, Dunedin

 

Alex Morgan, NZ

I used to be an avid Green Party supporter who actively encouraged others to vote Green. Not anymore.

The rise of authoritarian politics and group think in the party is scary. To censor and vilify a longstanding member of your party for an article which was clearly labelled as an opinion is deplorable. Apparently the Green Value of “respectful engagement- without personal attacks” only applies to those who hold the “correct" opinion.

You have lost my vote and I will now actively encourage others NOT to vote for you until take the rights, safety and dignity of those born female seriously.

 

Caroline Murray, Wellington

 

Paul McWhinnie, Wellington

 

Rachel, Auckland

 

Colleen Glynn, Richmond

 

Rae, Dunedin

 

Julie Glamuzina, Northland

I am shocked and disgusted at the Green Party response to Jill Abigail's reasoned and respectful article. I call upon the Green Party to stop censorship of key stakeholders in this issue (ie biological women) and commence a respectful dialogue instead of  labelling any arguments contrary to the Green agenda as "hate speech" and without issuing disingenuous "apologies".

 

Diane Hobday, Wellington

I am worried that The NZ Greens who have been more aligned with my principles than any other party in NZ, has allowed an inexperienced leader to behave very inappropriately. Get back to founding principles and accept Marama's resignation from leadership.

 

Zoe Wyatt, Wellington

 

Harry  Parke, Thames

 

Pauline Dawson, Wellington

 

Suzanne Kendrick, Auckland
Women's concerns in this area are legitimate and must not just be pushed aside.

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