An increasingly censorious atmosphere is sweeping through Down Under
Three prominent women in Australia have been sacked or expelled for voicing gender critical views in recent weeks. Julie Szego, long-time feature writer for The Age was sacked for, well, doing her job. Szego was commissioned to write a piece on transgender youth by then Age editor Gay Alcorn, but the completed article was subsequently rejected by the new incumbent Patrick Elligett. She subsequently chose to publish it on Substack. Elligett went on to sack Szego, and now to Substack she goes, like all the other “neo-Nazi, right wing extremists”.
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Nor was she the only one. Moving north, we learned this week that senior staff psychiatrist at Queensland Children’s Health (QCH), Dr. Jillian Spencer, was stood down following a patient complaint. The hospital drew upon its powers to compel staff under employment law to use children’s preferred pronouns. This followed months of conflict at QCH over the treatment of children with gender dysphoria, specifically on whether to follow the affirmation or exploratory models.
Finally, Pearl Moon, a mixed media Australian artist was expelled as a finalist from the Australian Wearable Art Festival, which is being held on the Gold Coast in August. As she outlined on her blog, once the festival organisers discovered she had attended two of Keen-Minshull’s ‘Let Women Speak’ events in Sydney and Canberra, they emailed her expressing concern that her views would arouse a backlash from the LGBTQI+ community. They also stated they wanted it to be a “safe space for everyone”. Just not Moon, of course, who is no longer welcome.
Moon had been working on her entry piece for the exhibition entitled Wedding Gown for a Woman Marrying her Garden. But on the 4th June, she received a follow-up email from AWAF organisers stating that she had been expelled from the festival.
These three prominent expulsions come on the heels of MP Moira Deeming being expelled from the Victorian Liberal Party last month (after an initial suspension), again for speaking at the ‘Let Women Speak’ event in Melbourne. Add to that Associate Professor Holly Lawford-Smith, who was also ‘investigated’ by the University of Melbourne for her participation at the same event, for which she endured menacing student protests. The demonstrations were so bad that they forced her to cancel one of her classes on the advice of security.
While the university found nothing on which to indict Lawford-Smith, she lodged a WorkSafe Victoria complaint accusing the University of Melbourne of health and safety breaches, bullying her for her political views, and failing to uphold its commitment to freedom of speech. She cites an email by the Dean of Arts, Professor Russell Goulbourn, circulated to staff on 24 March, criticising the ‘Let Women Speak’ tour.
All of these women — a journalist, a psychiatrist, an artist, a politician, and a philosophy professor — have expressed the once normal and now rapidly taboo view that a woman is an adult human female and that children’s psychological and bodily integrity (and future fertility) should be protected. That these views have become ‘incendiary’ speaks to the draconian absurdity of our present cultural moment.
For too long the spurious notion of ‘inclusivity’ has obfuscated the conflict of interest between trans rights and women’s rights, with horrible repercussions for the latter. Unfortunately, it would now appear that ‘inclusivity’ has become the language of cancellation.