Mark Latham is an Australian politician, and New South Wales leader of One Nation, a conservative libertarian political party.
Mark spoke recently at a community gathering to express his concerns about women being excluded from public spaces and from sport, as women’s spaces were gradually being taken over by trans women. He and I share the view that trans people are not to be mocked or belittled. If they want to call themselves women that is up to them. But if they want us to call them women, that is up to us. They disagree.
At this community event, titled “Let Women Speak’ there was a noisy crowd of trans activists who were determined that no one should speak, and that anyone who did not publicly agree with their position should be silenced. This continues a pattern where what is presented as a call for tolerance by minority groups quickly becomes a call for compliance: everyone must agree. Any expression of disagreement is described as exclusionary and hate speech. Even if the disagreement takes the form of women politely expressing their concerns about men in women’s clothing taking over women’s sport, and women’s rest rooms.
Following this, Mark was described by Alex Greenwich, an openly homosexual member of the New South Wales parliament, as disgusting, hateful, and dangerous. Mark responded with a bluntness that offended Alex, and which caused a number of lily livered handwringers to flutter their fans and complain that his remarks were mean and unseemly and offensive and not appropriate for a public figure.
What counts as disgusting? Allowing people to speak about matters that concern them is not disgusting. Attempting to shut them down by screeching, calling them names and threatening violence is disgusting. Mark Latham is not hateful and dangerous simply because he refuses to go along with demands by noisy minorities for complete agreement and silent compliance.
Was Mark’s response to Alex disgusting? Maybe. What it brought home to me is that if you say bluntly what a particular behaviour is in a way that makes it clear that it is not something to be proud of, those who take pride in it will descend in fury like a clamour of harpies…