Even though I’m a politically and socially conservative woman, for the last decade or so I’ve been loitering quietly in the shadowy corners of radical feminist, left wing Facebook groups. Why? Well, I thoroughly enjoy their acerbic sense of humour, they are master memers, and I’ve even gained a genuine appreciation for some of their perspectives on “society” and “men” (though not their conclusions). That would have been enough, but I mostly just love how they refuse to bow down to transgender ideology. Like me, when they say the word “woman,” they are referring to adult human females (not women and also some men). Like me, they are furious over the fact that homosexual and gender non-conforming children are being encouraged to destroy their healthy bodies through medical “transition.”
On one occasion, I couldn’t help but feel a kind of bitter empathy when reading these women bemoan the injustices of being labelled “bigots” and “transphobic,” just because they didn’t agree that men could “identify” into being women. As politely as I could, I commented that it was indeed a disgraceful tactic, but that perhaps this was an opportunity to self reflect, and to take care in the future not to instantly label and dismiss those who don’t share their exact views as “misogynistic,” “homophobic,” or as “evil” — inherent enemies. When the expected shower of abuse I’d expected from these women didn’t materialize, I knew that some important lever had been shifted. These women were so gracious, considering they had certainly been hurt by actual homophobes in their lives, too.
I realized that transgenderism might just be the antidote to identity politics we’ve all needed. In the last two decades, what else has been as successful in demonstrating the intrinsic value and absolute necessity of freedom of speech, conscience, and association as transgenderism?
Transgenderism is patently absurd, which is why it’s proponents rely on and are satisfied with forcing a pretence of social acceptance through the law. By legally redefining sex as “gender identity,” disagreement as “hate speech” or “discrimination,” forced pronouns as “inclusion” and indoctrination of children as “education,” they entirely evade the usual requirement to persuade people of their science and philosophy before expecting them to submit to it.
And yet, transgenderism contains the seeds of its own political destruction. This ideology is so utterly narcissistic that it has trampled upon the hard won voices and rights of core groups on the left, the middle, and the right of politics — including, of course women, children, and gay people. For goodness sake, even libertarians can’t find a middle ground with these people!
Recently I attended the 500 strong, sold-out online conference, “Can I Get A Witness,” which spanned six countries and showcased 30 leading voices from the growing global backlash against transgenderism. It was a harrowing, but inspiring 13 hours, where scientists, clinicians, mothers, teenagers, athletes, coaches, men, women, and activists all put aside their (often very serious) political and philosophical differences and joined together to push back against gender identity ideology and legislation. Speakers included Keira Bell, the detransitioned young woman currently suing the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service in the UK; Hacsi Horvath, epidemiologist, expert in systematic review methods, and detransitioned man; lesbian author, JD Ghassan Robertson; and Lynn Meagher, a “mother-turned-activist.”
One of my favourite speakers was Meghan Murphy, founder of Feminist Current, who perfectly captured the pleasantly changing political landscape I’d been treading on. Speaking of feminists, she said:
“This was our mistake… To decide that our speech is good speech, therefore defensible, but not the speech of others, and now this has come around to bite us in the ass. We also screw ourselves by falling prey to modern identity politics, which privileges certain voices and demands others be silent. We cannot rely on the same tactics used by trans activists, proved to be unsound and manipulative. We need ethics and integrity as much as anyone, and we need to play fair, even if our enemies do not.”
I asked a few of the speakers if they, like me, had been finding this new common political ground between the traditionally left and right, an encouraging and uplifting experience. All answered in the affirmative, even as they reminded me, as a conservative, of “my tribe’s” mistake of perpetuating strict gender roles in the first place. It was true political discourse, the very best that free speech is supposed to be.
Afterwards, I spoke with the producer, Joey Brite, who told me about the feedback from “families [who] sat around and watched together, couples who’d been arguing about the issues watch[ing] in quiet unison, and parents [feeling] strong enough to say that they will not allow their child to undergo dangerous and unnecessary injections of puberty blockers or cross sex hormones… The ordinary people [from every background beginning to] understand the gaslighting and dangerous social contagion that transgenderism has become.” Amen.
So here’s to “gender identity” — the unwitting and unwilling catalyst for a new wave of support for freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of conscience!
Moira Deeming is a secondary school teacher with a Bachelor of International Relations living in Melbourne, currently at home with four children and working part-time as a researcher. She spoke out against transgender ideology being forced into the school curriculum in Australia.