Yesterday I attended the Let Women Speak event. A day and a half later, I am still reeling from the actions of a small but incessantly celebrated section of society and their so-called ‘allies’.
We all saw the media in hyperdrive over this issue the past week. Celebrity tweets and mainstream news articles grossly misrepresented the speaker, Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, AKA Posie Parker, repeatedly calling her a Nazi and transphobe, amongst other hateful descriptors. These deliberate lies were then weaponised and used to encourage people not only to attend but actively disrupt and shut down the event.
Like many other women who came to Albert Park, I had prepared a speech. Our voices and our speeches weren’t welcome. We were yelled at, called vile names and told to go home.
This is what I was going to say:
Hello wonderful people. My name is Alia Bland, and I am a mother of three teenage sons, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and one of the three co-founders of New Zealand’s largest freedom organisation, Voices for Freedom and, more recently, a new alternative to the mainstream media – Reality Check Radio!
I am a mother, NOT a birthing individual.
I am a happily married woman, NOT a ‘cis’ woman.
I have considered myself a crunchy lefty my entire life. I am into healthy living; home birthing; extended BREAST feeding, NOT chestfeeding; taking responsibility for my family’s health, education, and values; living lightly on the earth; cultivating positive relationships, and building strong, connected communities.
I have voted Green in every election, bar one, since the Green Party began. I thought it was part of who I was. It turns out I was wrong.
Something happened that left me and so many others standing in a world that we no longer recognised. A place where we were invited and expected to participate in bizarre contortions of language to be considered inclusive to a group of people we were told were being oppressed by our lack of acknowledgement of them in all that we did.
Prior to Covid, I had a business designing crochet patterns for the international market. Little did I know that these creative roots would soon see me labelled a danger to society and on a government watchlist for my supposedly ‘far-right’ views!
It was through this crafting community that I received my first lesson in how nasty and toxic the so-called “inclusive” community of “allies” could be.
The self-appointed inclusivity police began rewriting the rules of engagement. The rules weren’t publicly shared as such, but people soon learned these rules through observation of what happened to those who made the mistake of breaking one or more of them.
Within a very short space of time, people around me became very fearful and started to self-censor and disengage. They became quiet at public events and in online spaces as they saw the awful things that happened to others who accidentally said or typed the “wrong” thing.
People I knew and cared about were hounded and harassed for refusing to play the game or bend to an ever-changing list of illogical, nonsensical rules.
In NZ and around the world, non-conforming businesses came under attack, some were destroyed, and in at least one case, those targeted by the mob found themselves in hospital on suicide watch.
Since then, things have only got worse.
Women daring to stand up to advocate for women’s only spaces such as bathrooms, changing rooms, competitive sports, women’s refuges, and prisons in the name of safety for ourselves and our sisters, daughters, granddaughters and nieces are viewed and portrayed as far-right, nazi, fascist, transphobic, misogynistic, TERF extremists.
Heaven help you if you suggest that the medical transitioning and bodily mutilation of minors is a dangerous and really bad idea.
Trying to engage with people on the erasure of women and the well-being of our next generation is like arguing with overtired and sugared-up toddlers. (I mean, look →)
We have lost the ability to discuss important issues rationally without melting down, shouting down, and lobbing labels like grenades at those we disagree with in order to smother, obliterate, and cancel people and perspectives that go against the narrow scope of permitted opinions.
The government is in on it.
The mainstream media is in on it.
Social media platforms are in on it.
Our health and education institutions are in on it.
And many private businesses are in on it too.
We could have stood around whinging and complaining about how wrong this all is, but quite frankly, that is not my style, nor is it the style of my VFF partners in crime, Claire and Libby.
When our voices are constantly silenced, our intentions constantly misrepresented, and the conversations that Kiwis NEED TO HAVE are constantly shut down by the captured media and the voices they amplify, there is only one thing left to do – start our own platform to cover the issues the establishment won’t and to challenge the voices the media don’t.
Reality Check Radio launched this week and is already a lifeline to those whose voices have been distorted and silenced.
It is a place where we can hear different points of view on critical issues.
It is a place where we believe you can discern the truth for yourself when given the full story.
It is free, it runs 7 days a week, and it is for YOU!
Go to realitycheck.radio
Keep standing up. Keep Speaking out.