I have mentioned before that I have never met anyone who claimed to be an “empath” who did not turn out to be a self-absorbed narcissist. That is a tautology, I know, but the contrast between empaths’ avowed ability to imagine themselves in other people’s situations and feel other people’s feelings, and the often shocking unkindness with which they treat anyone whose views differ from their own is worth noting.

Recent incidents in Australia and New Zealand are a perfect example. Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, better known as Posie Parker, visited those countries to speak on the importance of maintaining women’s identity, and women’s spaces in sport and art and politics (not to mention restrooms). Her rallies and events had the general theme “Let women speak.” The idea that women should speak on matters which concern them is an outrage to the kind and inclusive.

Protestors responded with violent fury, doing everything possible to silence and intimidate, so that everyone’s voices could be heard, and no one be afraid. No, it doesn’t make any sense, until you realise that everyone’s voices means only the voices they want to hear, and that it is OK to intimidate and act with violence towards people who disagree, because those people are nazis and therefore not real people.

Posie Parker describes her experiences here.