“We need to talk more about the ideology which Posie Parker tried to import at her Let Women Speak event in Victoria, Australia”, writes LilahRPG – who was part of the counter protest.
For months, trans activists, allies and even members of federal parliament called on the Australian Labor Government to step in and deny the Visa of anti-trans campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull AKA Posie Parker, who claims to be fighting for “women’s rights” whilst making it very clear she’s not a feminist. She brought her transphobic hate tour titled “Let Women Speak” to Australia and we knew her goal was to generate more hate towards trans people, an attempt by Australian TERFs to import the UK and USA’s “gender critical movement.”
A desire so great the TERFs don’t care who they throw under the bus to get there. We were unsuccessful in stopping her, and well, many people already know what happened next.
Whilst most of the attention of Posie Parker’s tour (rightly so) has been focused on the Neo-Nazi’s throwing Nazi salutes on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament steps acting as a “vanguard” in their own words for Posie and the “Let Women Speak” cohort. Or on some juice being poured on Posie in Auckland the following week (some TERFs claim she could have died after all.) There needs to be more discussion about the TERF ideology these people tried to import, how damaging it is for the women’s rights they claim to protect, and how it tries to hide its true intentions through a misogynistic framing of women as innocent childlike creatures, almost mythical, unable to do any wrong who must always be protected.
You will frequently see the term “Let Women Speak” or variations regurgitated in TERF spaces. Anti-trans bigotry like that of Posie Parker is often hidden under the veil of “concerned women.” But when Women came to ‘speak’ they could not spare a word for the 1 in 6 children in Australia going hungry, the growing demographic of older women forced onto Jobseeker (Australia’s unemployment welfare system) the abysmal status of the single parenting payment, the fact many women are forced to choose between fleeing Domestic Violence and ending up in poverty or staying with an abuser due to that welfare system.
Or the fact the most dangerous place for a woman is in her home. Not even a single mention about how Posies’ sponsor CPAC or her supporters and speakers like Kirralee Smith are anti marriage equality and anti-abortion. In their words, these are all issues to care about “when the war is won”. The war of course, is their war against Trans people.
Funny how I still have time to be pro-trans *and* talk about a wide range of politics.. yet you don't because you're a terf 🤔
It's almost as if… you're single issue. pic.twitter.com/HNkphmOvEE
— Lilah TheyPG 🌻💚 (@LilahRPGtt) April 11, 2023
It is a reoccurring talking point from TERFs like Posie Parker that Trans Men are “innocent girls that are mutilating their bodies” they think Trans Men are being manipulated because they perceive these men as women and therefore wish to deny their autonomy. They believe women to be incapable of making their own choices with their bodies, especially when it’s a choice that could impact their traditional patriarchal role as a potential mother. The term “healthy breasts” or “another mother down the drain” are used far too frequently to claim otherwise. This is part of a broader tactic TERFs use when spreading bigotry, the tactic of infantilisation.
For years women have been writing about the infantilisation of women, and how cis men sexualise women as childlike and innocent, and how this directly correlates to the infantilisation in professional and social settings. There have been many studies showing this widespread patriarchal infantilisation also contributes to gender inequality in certain industries.
The TERFs are more than happy to aid this instead of challenging it like true feminists would do, they do that to themselves by branding themselves as innocent and always in need of protection, branding adult AFAB trans people as “young girls” despite being adults, calling Women’s bathrooms the “little girls toilet.” Among other things. Its that denial of autonomy and that infantilisation that directly benefits a conservative view of a nuclear family.
TERFs like Posie Parker also allow cis men to join in without repercussion, in a non TERF brained scenario, a cis het man calling women “handmaidens” or using phrases like “sweetie” or “kiddo” would be seen as misogynistic. But TERFs actively support people like Graham Linehan using those phrases daily. TERFs have attracted conservative misogynists through their partnerships and sponsorships with right wing groups, but also through allowing cis men to openly participate in misogyny.
Their goal doing all this is so when they’re questioned, they can say “you’re attacking a woman” with that groundwork they’ve laid for society to view women as helpless creatures who have never done a single thing wrong and could not possibly be hateful or bigoted. All the while their sponsors, supporters, and even members of the prominent TERF movement themselves are repealing abortion rights in the US, attacking marriage equality and gay rights and undoing all the work women have done over the years to break patriarchal stereotypes of infantilisation. That’s not even mentioning anti-drag bills that ban gender nonconformity or the various gender non-conforming cis people who are frequently being harassed.
For us it was more than just stopping a hateful individual in Posie Parker. It was about stopping a hateful movement that seeks to not only eradicate trans people, but also seeks to reinstate all the patriarchal nonsense that is incompatible with our autonomy and which we have opposed for decades.