There were horrifying scenes in Auckland Saturday when a women’s rights event was met with a violent mob of trans activists who viciously assaulted a 70-year-old woman and left the organiser of the event, Kellie-Jay Keen, in fear for her life.
In the run-up to Keen’s arrival in New Zealand on her Let Women Speak tour, the nation’s mainstream media had portrayed the women’s rights campaigner as a Nazi, leading to three trans activist groups launching a petition to stop her from entering the country. When this attempt failed, a large crowd of thugs was assembled to ensure that the women of New Zealand who refused to bow down to the demands of trans activists were not given the opportunity to speak.
Witnessing the scenes via livestream left a sickening feeling in the pit of the stomach, an unshakable sense of dread for the safety of not just the diminutive women at the centre of the pulsating mob, but for all women who refuse to kowtow to the authoritarian rainbow bullies.
Then came shocking footage of a trans activist, a grown man, assaulting an elderly woman, punching her repeatedly in the face. Screenshots of her swollen black eye began to circulate online, and were met with an avalanche of disgust for the man that beat her in service to his ideology.
Keen, like every other woman who dares to say no to this rabid gang of misogynists, has been vilified and dehumanised to the point that anything goes. The wild throbbing fury of the mob that surrounded her on Saturday was only kept in check by her security, without whom Keen believes she would have been killed.
“Next time you’re reading a history book and find yourself wondering how Salem came to be consumed by such swirling hysteria, watch the clips of [Keen’s] persecution in New Zealand. This is how it happens. This is how the fear of witches can overrule reason and unleash the darkest, most punitive passions of the mob,” said Brendan O’Neill.
Many assembled for this witch hunt didn’t seem to have the rights of an oppressed minority at the forefront of their minds. Rather, one could be forgiven for thinking that many of the aggressive men breaking through metal barriers and charging forth to assault women were there for the sole purpose of unleashing their pent up hatred of women, relishing the opportunity, and comfortable in the knowledge that not only would they face no repercussions, but that they’d even be applauded by the good, kind, tolerant left for persecuting the witch and driving her out of town.
These men existed before the modern trans rights movement allowed them to flourish out in the open, they’ve always existed, but in more decent societies, ones not rotten to the core by the poison of gender identity ideology, they had to at least attempt to keep their dark, aggressive nature hidden.
We used to have nothing but disdain for these men. Now, the political left celebrates them.
Then, while the feminist community was still reeling from witnessing such a repugnant display of male violence against women, along came the responses from trans activists around the world.
In Canada, Fae Johnstone, a man who claims to identify as a woman, to know what it means to move through the world as a woman, put out the call to Canadian trans activists to “bring this energy to ‘anti-2SLGBTQIA+’ protests.”
“Yes. Make transphobes afraid again,” was one spine-chilling response from a devoted Johnstone follower.
Katy Montgomerie, yet another man who claims to be a vulnerable oppressed woman, expressed similar sentiments to Johnstone, calling for UK trans activists to channel the same energy as New Zealand.
These are men who claim to be women, who are the faces of a movement that has wrenched the safety and protection of female spaces from women and girls, and who then go ahead and gloat over the despicable mobbing of a woman who has the wrong opinion.
Another man expressed his disbelief that women the world over could get so upset over “that weird TERF getting tomato juice dropped on her,” as if Keen fearing for her life while being surrounded by a 2,000-strong mass of deranged hatred could all be put right by a hair wash and a change of clothes.
The response from men to these nauseating scenes of male violence strike right to the issue at the heart of the gender war: that men can never know what it means to move through this world as a woman under the constant threat of male violence.
Johnstone and Montgomerie’s responses demonstrate how superficial their understanding is of what it truly means to be a woman.
"Make women afraid again" was the rallying cry of Johnstone’s devotee. The glaring chasm of misunderstanding between the two opposing sides could hardly have been more succinctly expressed. These men think they can win this war by intimidating women and making us afraid for our lives. It is yet further demonstration of how little they understand us.
We were already afraid of male violence, we always have been; it’s precisely that fear that drives our refusal to bow down to these men. Our fear is no small part of what gives us the courage to say no.
Only a men’s rights movement so drunk on its own loathing of women could watch those scenes in Auckland, watch a woman emerge from a pulsating mob white with fear after a brush with death, look on as a man pummels a defenceless elderly woman in the face, and think that those actions are to be emulated.
It is simply impossible for a woman to put herself into the minds of these men to understand how the violent threats, the overt aggression, and the vicious hatred is supposed to convince us that men who claim to be women are no threat to us or our daughters in intimate spaces. But of course, the truth is this rights movement has never cared much for persuasion. It has always been about brute force and all-out domination. Forcing women to comply, demanding full submission, punishing those like Keen who dare to say no.
The Johnstones and Montgomeries of this world should revel in their victory of New Zealand women being silenced while they can. Because it’s going to be short-lived. Where there was anger before, there is now incandescent fury, a palpable rage coursing through communities of women all over the world.
If there was any chance of compromise before, it was destroyed by the frenzied rainbow-clad mob in Auckland that refused to Let Women Speak.