Wellington 01 October 2019
Lesbians from women’s rights group Speak Up For Women are furious at reports that Rainbow Tick are threatening Massey University with the removal of their ‘tick’ if they let the group’s event go ahead.
The group has been under attack from trans activist extremists since the news broke of their Wellington and Auckland feminist events to be held in November.
Accusations of transphobia, hate speech, and worse have been spread by activists with an interest in making sure these women aren’t able to speak. These unfounded denunciations have been presented without proof and repeated without verification by the media and Massey University where the Wellington event is to be held.
What the media, Massey University, and activists have neglected to mention is that half of the speaking panel are lesbians including the spokeswoman of the group. There are a number of lesbians and bisexual women in Speak Up For Women and many more in women’s groups like them around the world.
A key reason that lesbians are overrepresented in feminist groups like Speak Up For Women is that they are being failed by the LGBT and ‘rainbow’ organisations that are meant to advocate for them. Just this week, Simon Fanshawe, co-founder of Stonewall in the UK, has spoken out about plans to form a new breakaway LGB Alliance group.
“Stonewall’s failure to advocate for women means that one letter in LGBT is invariably sidelined: Lesbians,” says Fanshawe. “If Stonewall can’t defend lesbians then we will have to look at setting up an organization that will.”
“As a lesbian I am appalled and hurt by statements made by Massey University, the Rainbow Tick organisation, and the media that demonstrate that in their eyes we aren’t the ‘right’ kind of rainbow,” says Speak Up For Women Spokeswoman, Ani O’Brien. “Activists who do not want us to be able to gather and speak about our concerns as lesbians and women are deliberately pitting us against what should be our own community.”
O’Brien continues to direct media and detractors to the Speak Up For Women website in the hopes that they will see for themselves that the group are not a “hate group” as they have been called. The group have listed the eight principles they adhere to in their work and Ms O’Brien challenges anyone to find hate in them. Rainbow Tick have not contacted the group to clarify their positions.
“I am appalled that such lies are being spread without anyone bothering to verify the facts,” says Ms O’Brien.
“We are a group of Kiwi women who simply seek to discuss our rights. We have a lot of concerns about gender identity ideology and its impact on women. This does not mean we hate transgender people at all, in fact we have publicly stated that we absolutely believe they should live free from discrimination. We are simply challenging the activist movement and its demand that we have no discussions about the implications of the changes they are pushing.”
The women’s group are devastated at the smear campaign they are being subject to, but determined to push on ahead with their events.
“We know that the majority of Kiwis share our concerns. They, like us, don’t hate trans people or wish to encroach on their human rights, but we all have a right to challenge activist movements who are bringing about wholesale changes to our society without understanding or caring for the implications for others,” says O’Brien.
“This is not hate; it is women attempting to assert our rights in what should be a democratic society. Instead, we are being silenced by activists and lobby groups who bully businesses and institutions with threats of withdrawal of ‘rainbow capital’. Well, a ‘rainbow tick’ that is conditional on you silencing lesbians is a pretty meaningless concept, in my opinion.”
Event location: Massey University, Theatrette 10A02, 21 Buckle St, Wellington
Date: 13 November
Time: 6pm – 8pm
For press passes to the event, and/or to arrange interviews with any of the speakers, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org