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Trans versus women versus lesbians versus TERFs: The remix

Just over a week ago Whaleoil published my guest post. I was seeking to make some sense of the gender self-identification debate. I knew I was walking into a wildfire wearing sunscreen and virtually everyone that knew I was writing it told me not to touch the issue. It’s a tough issue. There are strong passions on both sides as the comments section of this blog made clear.

I put a lot of thought into the comments you made. I realised that I had made some mistakes in my position but wasn’t sure what to do about it given the extreme controversy. It would be much easier for me personally to say nothing else and hope it’s all forgotten. However, this issue is only going to get bigger in New Zealand as the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill will result in a parliamentary debate over the right of individuals to change their gender on their birth certificate by way of statutory declaration. Therefore I’m going to ignore my gut instincts and the wise advice of others by giving this issue a second go.

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Stephen Berry is a political commentator, professional retailer and ‘home-schooled economist’ who promotes the virtues of free speech, free markets and individualism. He has previously been a parliamentary Act party candidate, most recently in the 2018 Northcote by-election. This post is compiled in his private capacity.

Trans versus Women versus Lesbians versus TERFs

The title alone is enough to confuse most, and I’ve invested a bit of time in this debate to try to ascertain exactly what it is about. Male to female Transsexual activists are determined to be considered women and therefore also be considered lesbians should they enter a relationship with a cisgender (i.e. biological) woman. TERFs is an acronym given by trans activists to feminists who are opposed to male to female trans being allowed to call themselves women, Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist.

I personally don’t have any skin in this debate, but I’m willing to risk making some suggestions. A lot of the concerns appear to centre around feminist women having to share women’s rights with those who are not biologically women, while trans activists believe trans rights are being violated through such an exclusion.

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Stephen Berry is a political commentator, professional retailer and ‘home-schooled economist’ who promotes the virtues of free speech, free markets and individualism. He has previously been a parliamentary Act party candidate, most recently in the 2018 Northcote by-election. This post is compiled in his private capacity.

If we are to be stripped of freedom of speech, it’s content doesn’t matter

Lauren and Stefan silenced

The two Canadian visitors have left these shores in circumstances never to be accurately recorded. After three weeks of controversial twists and turns that showed less regard for the laws of quantum physics than the last Terminator movie while simultaneously exceeding the New Testament’s volume of resurrection, it seemed to conclude in a stomach-churning car accident from which both passengers emerged uninjured.

More storyline twists in a media cycle than I’m told can be found on Shortland Street can amaze and exhaust in equal measure. By Monday, with Molyneux and Southern gone I was content to wait and observe. As incredible as the weekend had been, I’d just climbed out of bed midday Sunday following a legendary man-flu experience. My twitter feed required deciphering skills one only acquires religiously playing cryptic crosswords and I barely have the patience to finish the $3 Instant Kiwi version.

Aside from an absence of new facts and nothing new to say about how vital and essential free speech is to the liberties every individual in our country enjoys, it seemed much more prudent to watch and wait. The price of freedom remains eternal vigilance and I think some of us would benefit from using the latter more on occasion. A fact I was absolutely certain of is that the rabid, snarling proprietors of hate and haters of speech perceived a whiff of a scent of the chance of success last weekend and that perceived success was the result of the ‘threat’ of violence once; temporarily thwarted, only to be attained a second time by the implication of kicks and beatings.

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Stephen Berry is a political commentator, professional retailer and ‘home-schooled economist’ who promotes the virtues of free speech, free markets and individualism. He has previously been a parliamentary Act party candidate, most recently in the 2018 Northcote by-election. This post is compiled in his private capacity.